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Coming Across a 1923 Buick Moxie: Yes, This Is a Real Thing

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Chances are that most of us have, at some point or other, seen a very peculiar vehicle drive by and turned around on the street to get a closer look. Rare and unique things have that magnetic effect on all of us.

However, how many times have you been stopped in your tracks to watch a passing car?

That's what happened to me a few years ago when I saw this kind of mongrel creation, half-car and half-horse. The word incredulous is the best descriptor of my state of mind at that moment.

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Photo: D.Rufiange

The first full sentence that came to mind? What the heck is that?

A crazy creation? A publicity stunt? An enlightened person who decided to get noticed? A suicidal guy who decided to leave our world but do it with imagination and style?

None of the above, actually. Although...


Before we get to the vehicle, a word about Moxie. It is a brand of soft drink that is still marketed in some regions of the United States. And it has a long history: Back before Coke came on the market, Moxie was the go-to drink for everyone looking for a refreshing beverage.

The company was founded in 1876 and initially offered medicinal products. Over time, soda was added to the recipe, turning the liquid being sold by Moxie into a soft drink. The company’s product was enormously popular and remained so through the 1920s.

Was the secret of its success its irresistible taste, or the creative genius of the folks behind the Moxie marketing schemes?

We'll probably never know, but either way you have to give them credit for the effort and creativity they poured into their work of promoting the sweet stuff.

Photo: D.Rufiange

The Moxie horsemobile

The first Moxie horsemobiles (or horse cars) were built around 1918. The company had the idea of planting a “horse” on the chassis of a carriage to accommodate the driver. The company apparently manufactured a few dozen of them until the late 1930s. There was even a 1935 Rolls-Royce Moxie, a vehicle that sold for over $50,000 at auction in 2011.

Needless to say, to get behind the wheel of something like that, one had to be a little crazy. Safety... What safety?

Nevertheless, we salute the bold innovativeness and audacity of the company, whose publicity stunt did not go unnoticed. Imagine, some 80 years later, this company is still making headlines thanks to an idea it put forward all that time ago.

The Moxie Company has been bought out a few times over the years and is now based in New Hampshire.

Photo: D.Rufiange
Photo: D.Rufiange