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1914 American Underslung

  • 6-Cylinder Engine, capable of 60 Horsepower
  • 38 x 4/12” tires, mounted on 29” rims
  • Underslung chassis

The American Underslung was the brainchild of Harry Stutz and Fred Tone, manufactured in Indianapolis from 1905 to 1914 by the American Motor Car Company. With a six-cylinder “T-head” engine and capable of 60 horsepower, the 1914 was one of the strongest cars of its time. The most exciting feature of the vehicle was the Underslung frame which hung below the axles by half-elliptic springs, making the car as low as possible. This lowered the center of gravity of the main body of the car, resulting in greater driving stability, better handling, and a low-slung look. In order to compensate for its low ground clearance, 38 inch wheels were required to give ample space between the frame and the ground. The Underslung was marketed to be able to be tilted up to 55 degrees without rolling over, far beyond what other cars at the time were capable of doing.

The American Car Company was arguably one of the first to focus on sports car production with their 1907 Underslung. Although an attractive build, the cars never had much success in racing. Due to its large wheels and center of gravity, the car suffered from poor handling at top speeds and frequent tire changes.

1933 Auburn V-12 Boat Tail Speedster

  • V-12 engine
  • Top speed of a supercharged speedster was 115 mph
  • Could drive 500 miles without stopping

In the first half of the 20th century, Indiana rivaled the big car manufacturer companies in Michigan as the center of the American auto industry. Among cars built in Indiana, the most prized are those of the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg combine, created by financier E.L. Cord. The Auburn came first, produced by the Eckhart brothers of Auburn, Indiana. Their first automobile was a one-cylinder, chain-driven runabout shown at the Chicago auto show in 1903. Production reached a standstill in 1924 as hundreds of unsold cars filled the fields surrounding the Auburn factory. Errett Lobban Cord, a 30-year-old self-starter acquired the company shortly after and began to add glamour to the lackluster cars.

The Auburn ‘Boat Tail’ Speedster was first introduced in 1928. Powered by a 115 horsepower Lycoming straight-eight engine, this quickly became a popular car, especially to individuals who liked sports and style. In 1932, Auburn introduced a V-12 engine in an elegantly detailed Speedster body designed by Alan Leamy and built by the Union City Body Company. Coupled to its mighty V-12 engine, was a three-speed manual transmission with a Columbia electric overdrive. The characteristic boat-tail body as well as the price, attracted many buyers to the Speedster.

The Auburn V-12 Speedster’s most valued trait was the power behind its engine. The Speedster set nine International Speed records including winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1932 travelling 104 mph. Its endurance was remarkable as well – the car was once sited as having driven over 500 miles without stopping at over 113 mph, an incredible feat in the 1930s!

1930 Brough Superior SS80 De Luxe

  • Guaranteed to reach top speeds of 80 mph
  • 988cc J.A.P. sidevalve engine

In the early 1920s, George Brough of Brough Superior in Nottingham, United Kingdom, released the Brough Superior SS80 (Super Sports), the motorcycle that would skyrocket his company to fame. Described by The Motor Cycle as “The Rolls-Royce of Motor Cycles,” a Brough Superior set a standard for motorcycle production for many years to come. Guaranteed to reach a top speed of 80 mph or customers could get their money back, the SS80 was not only fast, but one of the first superbikes. The Brough Superior remains one of the most sough-out motorcycles to this day.

Although based on a common platform, each motorcycle produced was different and built to the customer’s desires. Early models, such as this 1930 SS80, used the 988cc J.A.P. sidevalve engine, but seeking a more reliable and quieter engine, the company transferred to the Matchless V-twin sidevalve in 1935. Comfort and style were a top priority for the company who used only the best leather for their seats, often shaping the seats for the individual client. The meticulousness in design meant that it was precise at both high and low speeds, a rare achievement at the time.

George Brough became famous as a competition rider on his SS80 he nicknamed “Spit and Polish,” because of the immaculate finish he always maintained. Brough went on to become the first sidevalver to reach 100 mph on the Brooklands track in Surrey, England. He later won 51 out of 52 races on this bike, only losing once due to a flat tire.

T.E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, was an avid lover of Brough Superiors, having purchased eight Broughs in his lifetime. He was known to travel 500 to 700 miles per day on his motorcycle, visiting friends from Winston Churchill to Nancy Astor, until a fatal accident on his SS100 Brough in 1935.

When purchased, this SS80 De Luxe included a fully sprung rear wheel, bottom link front forks, a patented rolling stand, pillion footrests, a spring frame, and a specially tuned engine. Originally owned by popular motor journalist and Temple Press Ltd. Managing Director, Eric Adlington, it has been restored to its original condition by Vic Olson.

1907 FIAT Tipo 50/60

  • 11 liter, 6-cylinder engine, 65 horsepower
  • 139 inch wheelbase
  • Motto: No Hill Can Stop me

Powerful and bold, Larz and Isabel Anderson’s 1907 FIAT was a veritable rocket ship at the turn of the century. Even the motto of the automobile, “No Hill Can Stop Me,” reflected its strength, for many automobiles at this time had difficulty going up hills. This 11-liter, 6-cylinder FIAT supercar boasted a strength of 65 horsepower and a large 139 inch wheelbase. The impressive engine measures 54 inches long and is cooled by a huge 24 inch flywheel which has fan blades cast into it. The car was one of Larz Anderson’s favorites and was used for years. In the early teens the vehicle was modernized. It was converted to a Vesta electric lighting system, the make and break ignition system was converted to a Bosch D6 high tension magneto, and the original air starter was removed. Only 116 of these vehicles were ever manufactured and very few, if any, other examples remain.

Prior to 1906, FIAT (lit. Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin) experienced limited success on the racing circuit. The FIAT 130 hp Grand Prix racing car changed that. Designed by Giovanni Enrico and John Henry, the vehicle included new design features such as overhead vales and hemispherical compression chambers, a chain final drive, a front-mounted 4-cylinder, and a 16,286 cc engine. At the French Grand Prix at Dieppe, Felice Nazzaro completed the race in first in his 130 hp FIAT, over six and a half minutes ahead of second place. Nazzaro won fastest lap as well setting an average speed of 113.612 km/h, finishing with only half a lap of fuel left in his tank.

This 1907 FIAT Tipo 50/60, a street version of the famous 130 hp FIAT, was purchased by Larz and Isabel Anderson while they were on vacation in Europe. It was then shipped into New York by the U.S. importer Hollander and Tangeman, better known as Hol-Tan, then re-bodied by high-class body builder, J.M. Quinby & Co. of Newark, New Jersey. Not including its body work, the car would have cost close to $12,000 to purchase in 1907, which would calculate to $297,000 today!

1907 Packard Model 30 Gentleman’s Roadster

  • 5” x 5.5” bore and stroke, 432 CI, 30 hp engine
  • Available in multiple bodies
  • 108” Wheelbase

A curious young engineer named James Ward Packard purchased one of the first automobiles built by Alexander Winton. The story goes that Packard was dissatisfied with his new Winton and suggested improvements to Mr. Winton for the automobile. A dismissive Winton responded, “Why don’t you make a car yourself?” Packard did just that. With the creation of the Packard Motor Car Company, the luxury car field would change forever.

The first Packard was displayed at New York City’s first automobile show in 1900. By 1903, Packard automobiles had advanced significantly in their design and reliability, transitioning from buggy-style runabouts and tourers to front-engine, real-wheel-drive vehicles like the Model K and later the Model L. Improvements continued to be introduced steadily to the Packard automobile, culminating in 1907 with the Model 30, the first Packard to indicate its engine power in the model name. It featured a newly-designed 5 inch x 5.5 inch bore and stroke, 432 cubic inch engine, created by the Packard designers to power the larger, more elaborate, and heavier coachwork the brand’s customers increasingly desired. Packard advertised that the car was rated at 30 horsepower, but in actuality it produced between 50 and 60 horsepower.

The Model 30 was an immediate success, with over 1,400 sold in the first year of production. It was offered in multiple bodies: Touring, Limousine, and Landaulette coachwork on a 122 inch wheelbase, and as a lightweight, sporting Runabout or Gentleman’s Roadster – like this one – on a shorter 108 inch wheelbase. The vehicle’s popularity endured, as the Model 30 continued to be produced for six years with minor changes.

1908 Stanley Steamer – Model K

  • Top speed of over 90 mph
  • 2 cylinder, 30 horsepower steam engine
  • One of three in existence today

In 1907, the Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton, Massachusetts introduced a road version of their famous 1906 Stanley Rocket, a car which set an incredible land speed record of 127.66 mph. The 1907 and 1908 Model K 30-hp Semi-Racer, of which only 25 were ever built, had speed, looks, and power. An attractive and sporty looking automobile with curved fenders, a wooden body, large diameter wheels, a “coffin nose”, and deep bucket seats, the Model K is considered by many to be one of the first supercars.

This particular car is one of the original three Model Ks to survive, and because of its elaborate provenance, perhaps it is the most important. Originally owned by Clinton Atkinson, the car was later sold to Paul Bourdon circa 1941, who went on to found Bourdon Boiler Works, a shop which specializes in constructing replacement boilers for Stanleys. By the mid-1940s, the opera singer James Melton purchased the vehicle and had it reconditioned by Fred Marriott, the man who set the land speed record in a Stanley back in 1906. In the 1950s, it was then sold to Winthrop Rockefeller, the governor of Arkansas from 1967 to 1971. The following decade, the car became part of the famous Harrah Collection, a collection of over 1,400 cars owned by casino magnet Bill Harrah. Following Harrah’s death, the car travelled to two more private collections.

In 1997, this car was featured in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and appeared on the cover of their program and numerous other items of automobilia. In the same year, this Stanley raced and won the reenactment of the Dead Horse Hill Climb in Worcester, Massachusetts. Then, in 2006, in a reenactment at Ormond Beach, Florida, the same beach that a Stanley set a world record for speed a 100 years earlier, this Model K bested all the other cars on the sand.

1910 Thomas Flyer 6-70

  • 6-cylinder, 70 horsepower
  • Could travel between 5 and 70 mph in high gear
  • 140 inch wheelbase, 38 inch tires

On February 12, 1908, six automobiles took to the starting line in Times Square, New York, preparing to drive 22,000 miles across the world from New York to Paris– a feat never before accomplished. These cars set out to travel in the middle of winter on unpaved and treacherous roads. 169 days later, on July 30, a Thomas Flyer driven by George Schuster and representing the American team arrived in Paris– becoming the first automobile to cross the world! The Flyer beat the nearest rival by 26 days, due to its enduring strength and power. Its incredible triumph made an immense impact on the American automobile industry and brought world-recognition to the United States.

The Thomas Company was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1900 by E.R. Thomas. Originally started as a bicycle and motorcycle factory, the company began building automobiles in 1902. Five years later, the famous 1907 Thomas Flyer was built with 4 cylinders and 60 horsepower. Flying high on their success of the Great Race, the Thomas Company strove to push their cars even further.

In 1910, the company released their six-cylinder, 70 horsepower Thomas Flyer, essentially more powerful than the Flyer that won the New York to Paris Race two years prior. Advertisements at the time boasted that the automobile had an “Unrivalled Performance: Especially Designed and Constructed to Eclipse Competition and Win Absolute Leadership.” And that it did. The massive 6-cylinder engine required a big hood and radiator, which in turn gave the car much more presence. The automobile could be driven between 5 and 70 mph – its top speed – in high gear. While one of the most impressive early cars built in America, it is also one of the largest. It sits on a 140 inch wheelbase chassis and 38 inch high wheels, creating a smooth ride high from the ground.

1901 Winton Bullet

  • 40 horsepower, 2-cylinder, 38 mph
  • First production race car offered to the public
  • Only surviving example

The Winton Bullet with its 40 horsepower, 2-cylinder opposed gas engine, was the first production race car offered to the public. Only four of this particular Winton model were ever produced and this one, purchased by Larz and Isabel Anderson, is the last surviving example. Completely original from the time of the Andersons, the Winton Bullet is an amazing example of early automotive engineering.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, The Winton Motor Carriage Company was a pioneer automobile manufacturer in the United States. In May of 1897, a 10 hp Winton model achieved an incredible speed of 33.64 mph – a true accomplishment of the time! As early as 1900, Winton himself began racing his 1900 Winton Bullet. In 1901, the car set a world track speed record, averaging 38 mph at the Washington Park Track in Chicago. Winton continued to race through 1901, earning the title “National Track Champion of America.”  On October 10, 1901, he took to the track in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, as the man to beat, with the automobile to beat. Winton had reasons to be confident; his Bullet was a proven winner. The underdog of the race, a young Henry Ford who had never raced before, came out ahead when Winton’s automobile experienced mechanical difficulties at the 8-mile mark of the 10-mile track.

Larz and Isabel’s Bullet was large and powerful, and known to drive fast. A day after purchasing this car, Larz entered his Bullet in the first annual race meet of the Automobile Club of New England, held at the Brookline Country Club track. Driven by a man from the factory, this vehicle gained speed quickly but stopped around the 3 mile point, and could not be started again. Soon after, Larz had the rear-entrance tonneau – an addition of seats for passengers – built for his car. He was even known to back up the car to the track fence at races just to have a seat close to the action.