Earl Holley

Inducted 1995

1881 - 1958

Founded Holley Motor Company in 1899 to produce George Holley’s motorcycles and engines.

Produced and sold 600 Holley Motorette automobiles between 1902 and 1906.

Supplied carburetors to Oldsmobile in 1903, then became a major supplier to Ford Motor Company.

The three-wheeled motor buggy that George Holley built at age 19 symbolized the kind of career he would share with his brother: two speeds forward and no reverse. Traveling at the amazing speed of 30 miles an hour was George’s idea of fun, and his hand-built creation was just the beginning.

In 1899, the Holleys founded a motorcycle company. George was the engineer and designer, setting speed records and winning races, while Earl promoted and managed the business. In 1903, they shifted to automobiles with the Holley Motorette. But it was the Holley carburetor that revolutionized gasoline engine development. In 1903, the Holley Carburetor Company produced carburetors for the Curved Dash Oldsmobile.

Holley then became the major carburetor supplier to Ford, and later Pierce-Arrow, Winton, Oldsmobile and Buick. Eventually branching into aircraft and marine engines, the Holley organization became the world’s largest independent manufacturer of carburetors. At a 1952 auto industry gathering, Henry Ford II remarked: “George and Earl Holley are two people who have made circumstances better for all of us.”

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Class of 1995

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