Alphabetical Index|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z


quicklinks|buses|cars|customs|designers|fire apparatus|limos|pro-cars|taxis|trailers|trucks|woodies

John D. Cogan Company
John D. Cogan Co. 1913-1915; New York, New York
Associated Firms
Jandorf, Rothschild, Renault Freres Selling Branch

John D. Cogan was a little known Manhattan coachbuilder, who had started his career in the trade working for Rothschild & Co. Following their failure he took a job as superintendent of the automobile body department of the Jandorf Automobile Co., which at the time was New York City’s largest dealer in used automobiles and coachwork.

Following a late 1913 downsizing of the Jandorf Co., Cogan went out on his own, establishing the John D. Cogan Co. in a modern 6-story brick garage, at 214-216 West 65th street, that formerly housed the service dept. of Manhattan’s Renault Freres Selling Branch.

The construction of the building was well-covered in the Automobile trades, a mid-1908 issue of Automobile Topics reporting:

“New Building Will Greatly Enlarge Renault Facilities

“Early in March Paul Lacroix, General Manager Renault Freres Selling Branch, will take possession of the fine new six story building, No. 214-216 West 65th Street, a structure especially built for the sole use of the Renault garage spare parts and repair shops and Renault Taxicab Department. The garage will be for the use of owners of Renault cars exclusively. Mr. Lacroix states that it will be as complete in every detail as any of the Renault Paris garages and will be conducted on similar lines with French workmen. The spare parts department will be as perfect and complete and as carefully conducted as the repair department is, by skilled French mechanics from the Renault factory at Billancourt, France.”

The August 1908 issue of The Commercial Vehicle provided more details of the Taxicab department:

“Renault Freres, of Paris, evidently foreseeing this state of affairs last winter, built a large brick garage at 214 West Sixty-fifth street, for the private cars and taximeter cabs of the American selling branch. Although Renault cabs are more extensively used for public services in Paris, London and Berlin than any other make, it was only late this spring that the American branch undertook the operation of a cab service in New York on a limited scale. This service has now been taken over by the Motor Taximeter Cab Company, recently incorporated, with $150,000 capital stock, and fifty more Renault cabs have been ordered. These are of two models, two-cylinder cars of 8-10-horsepower and four-cylinder 10-14-horsepower, which have stood the test of three years' work in the French capital successfully. Paul Lacroix, manager of the American branch, announces that a similar service with Renault cabs is to be started soon in Chicago by the recently incorporated Auto Taxicab Company, which has ordered fifty machines. The Renault factory in France, which employs 2,600 workmen and build 4,500 cars a year, has lately taken an order for 1,000 cabs for a new company formed in Paris, and another for 500 for a new London operating company.”

Another article in the same issue provided information on the Motor Taximeter Cab Co.:

“A company has been incorporated for $150,000 under the name of the Motor Taximeter Cab Co. to operate a service with Renault taxicabs in New York city. Heretofore the Renault Freres Selling Branch has been conducting a limited service with eight Renault machines operated from its new garage at 214 West Sixty fifth street The new organization is to take up and extend this business having ordered fifty more cabs. The cabs will be operated from the Renault garage and from stands at Hotel Lafavette and Cafe des Beaux Arts.”

Renault Freres abandoned their Manhattan service garage in late 1913, relocating it to Long Island City. The September 24, 1913 Horseless Age reporting:

“Long Island City, N.Y. - Renault Freres Automobile Co. has leased the entire ground floor of the Galvin building on the Boulevard and Thirteenth avenue. It will be used as a service station.”

The ‘Week’s Incorporations’ column of the December 11, 1913 issue of Motor World reported on the founding of the John D. Cogan Co.:

“New York, N.Y.; John D. Cogan Co., under New York laws; authorized capital: $1,000, to deal in automobile bodies. Corporators: Frank H. Twyeffort, 286 St. Johns place, Brooklyn; Charles E. Healy, 722 St. Nicholas avenue, New York; Ernest J. Ellenwood, 34 Maple street, Brooklyn.”

The January 1914 issue of the Hub provided more details as follows:


“John D. Cogan, until recently superintendent of the Jandorf Automobile Co., New York, has leased the property at 214 and 216 West Sixty-fifth street where he will carry on a general automobile business and build automobile bodies for all chassis. There will also be a used car department and tire department. Prior to his connection with the Jandorf Company Mr. Cogan was with the firm of Rothschild & Co., New York City.”

Frank H. Twyeffort, Charles E. Healy and Ernest J. Ellenwood were all well-known Manhattan attorneys who were already financially involved in a number of auto-related firms which included the Republic Motor Co. of New York, Republic Motor Co. of Massachusetts, Columb Tyres Import Co., and the Columbia Tire Import Co.

Although it is possible Cogan remained in business for a short time, no further information about the firm, or its namesake, was forthcoming and no known coachwork survives.

Later occupants of the ‘Renault Garage’, as the property was called at the time, included the West Sixty Fifth Street Garage Company, formed by Thomas B. Wheeler during 1916, and the New Taxicab Auto Co., which occupied the premises during 1917-1918.

The building was raised in the early 1980s to make way for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts.

© 2012 Mark Theobald -







Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark - Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942

Submit Pictures or Information

Original sources of information are given when available. Additional pictures, information and corrections are most welcome.

Click Here to submit pictures or information


quicklinks|buses|cars|customs|designers|fire apparatus|limos|pro-cars|taxis|trailers|trucks|woodies

© 2004-2014, Inc.|books|disclaimer|index|privacy