Community Spotlight: Charles Cotta

Local News

Could Lanark be the home to the first four-wheel drive car with four-wheel steering?

Local historicals say it’s a possibility.

Charles Cotta built a handful of functioning steam power cars in their early 1900s in Lanark.

Local historian David Shaulis said, “Some folks jokingly say that Charles Cotta was the first with a 4×4 vehicle and the local newspaper in 1901 reported that Charles drove this vehicle around town but just imagine the first vehicle he ever made was 4 wheel drive with four-wheel steering.” 

None of the Cottamobiles have survived. 

Cotta later when on to create a transmission manufacturing company in the Rockford area.

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