1914 Cadillac Military Sports Roadster

As the teens rolled into the twenties, many owners of high quality Brass Era motorcars were facing a dilemma. Their machines were falling out of fashion as automakers introduced new, ever more modern body styles. Owners could cut their losses and sell their perfectly good automobiles, or simply order a new body to make their older car look new. This became a rather common practice for owners of extremely high quality cars such as Rolls-Royce, Locomobile and Cadillac.

This 1914 Cadillac is one such car that received a new body when it was just a few years old in order to keep it in vogue. Originally a 2-passenger roadster, the Cadillac updated in 1919 with this 2-passenger “Military Sport Roadster” body by Schutte Body Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Schutte bodies were known for their unrivaled quality, and were often seen fitted to the finest cars in America. This is believed to be the only Cadillac to wear this sporty Military Sport Roadster body.  This vehicle was retained by the same family for 98 years.

1912 Stoddard Dayton Fire Chief Car

Stoddard-Dayton can trace its roots to well before the turn of the twentieth century. Prior to making automobiles, they made agricultural equipment and tools. In the early 1900s, Charles Stoddard had become very interested in motorcars as they began to appear on the roads – and he decided to build them on his own. He sold off his agricultural business to fund his project, and built his first car in 1904. Stoddard-Dayton cars swiftly grew in price, size and power, and sales increased steadily, even in the face of mass-produced competition from Ford.
Known for its reliability, quality and performance, the Stoddard-Dayton was an ideal choice for a quick-response fire vehicle.

This 1912 Model 20 Stratford is equipped with a fascinating and beautiful body by Prospect Fire Engine Co. Given its beautiful quality and expensive equipment, it was most likely a Fire Chief’s car, ideal for rapid response to emergencies.

1909 Locomobile Model 30 Speedster

Initially founded with the intent to produce steam powered motorcars, Locomobile would eventually find its niche as a purveyor of fine quality, large scale luxury automobiles. The company started life in Massachusetts but quickly moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut where it truly established itself. After giving up on steam cars in 1905 and focusing solely on petrol-power, Locomobile soon became one of the greatest names in American motoring. Their cars grew ever larger, more prestigious and more expensive by the year. One of the company’s greatest achievements came in 1908, when “Old 16”, a specially built Locomobile racer with a massive 16.9 liter OHV engine won the prestigious Vanderbilt Cup; the first such win for an American car in the face of fierce competition from the likes of Isotta, Daimler-Benz and Fiat. Locomobile’s primary competition on the sales floor came from Packard, Peerless and Pierce. In order to ensure its exclusivity in the face of the other manufacturers, Locomobile made the brash decision to limit production to just four cars per day.
For 1908 the smaller, lighter Model 30-L joined the lineup (named for its 30 h.p. output). It was powered by a four-cylinder T-head engine but used all of the same high quality materials and construction techniques of its larger brethren, and thereby did not compromise on quality. In 1911, the Model 30 was joined by the six-cylinder Model 48 which came to be the mainstay of Locomobile production through the rest of the company’s life. William C. “Billy” Durant had purchased Locomobile in the early 1920s (following his second ouster from General Motors) and dreamed of putting the marque at the pinnacle of his next great automotive empire. Sadly, that did not come to be and Locomobile suffered the same fate as many of the great early luxury car makers, closing its doors in 1929 thanks to a critical lack of capital.
This 1909 Locomobile Model 30-L  carries a big T-head four cylinder engine and displaces 286 cubic inches. While it was named for its output, the actual power was closer to 40 horsepower, an excellent figure for a four-cylinder model of the time. While larger model Locomobiles relied on chain drive to put the power down, the smaller L-series utilized a shaft driven rear axle that afforded smooth and quiet operation with less maintenance. Inspired by the contemporary Panhard, Locomobile fitted the gearbox in the center of the car, which gave better weight distribution and positive action from the gear lever.

1907 Pope Toledo Type XV Touring

No fewer than five companies bore the surname of the ambitious industrialist Col. Albert Augustus Pope; a man who created a short-lived but prestigious empire of automobile manufacturers which offered a wide variety of vehicles between 1904 and 1914. Col. Pope set up shop in Hartford, Connecticut where, in 1903 he built his first prototype single-cylinder car. Production began in earnest the following year with two body styles offered on the common chassis. Larger engine options came quickly, with a 16hp twin following the single, as well as a 20/25hp four. Ever-increasing engine sizes were met with ever-inflating prices, with the largest of the Pope-Hartford line topping $5,500. Pope-Hartford models were built at the company headquarters in Connecticut, though other brands soon followed as the Colonel and his family extended their reach in the automobile business. Pope-Waverly offered electric cars built in Indiana; Pope-Tribune focused on small, cheap cars, Pope-Robinson was a very brief foray that produced just 59 cars, and the most prestigious of them all was Pope-Toledo.
Pope-Toledo grew out of the International Bicycle Co., another of Albert Augustus Pope’s businesses. From 1904, the company offered first steam, and later petrol-powered cars. The petrol versions proved quite successful in motorsport, with a Pope-Toledo coming in 3rd in the highly competitive and popular Vanderbilt Cup in 1904 and winning the America’s first-ever 24 hour endurance race in 1905. Pope-Toledo cars grew swiftly in size and price through the coming model years, culminating in the 50 horsepower limousine of 1907. This prestigious and beautiful machine sold for a robust $6,000 and was among the finest automobiles on offer to wealthy American buyers. As with much of the Pope empire, growth came quickly and with little regard to the market demand. While cars like the Pope-Toledo were beautifully built and returned excellent performance, the market was crowded and only a finite number of buyers could afford such extravagant motorcars. Pope-Toledo went into receivership in 1909; with the parent company Pope-Hartford following shortly after in 1913. While its sister company Pope-Hartford enjoyed moderate success over the course of a decade, the much rarer Pope-Toledo was experienced by only a handful of fortunate (and wealthy) clientele.

This 1907 Pope-Toledo Type XV 50hp touring car is one of just a handful known to exist and was once part of the famous William F. Harrah collection.

1907 Rainier Model C Convertible Limo

John T. Rainier got his start in the automobile business around the turn of the 20th century when he purchased the Brooklyn, New York-based truck and bus manufacturer Vehicle Equipment Co. Vehicle Equipment Co. built electric trucks and sightseeing buses and following his takeover, Rainier experimented with a few cars marketed as a V.E.C. He eventually introduced a new automobile that bore his name in 1905. This luxurious new motorcar was assembled in a facility in Flushing, NY using an engine and chassis supplied by Garford of Elyria, Ohio. 1906 Rainiers were even larger, now riding on a 104″ wheelbase and powered by a 30/35hp four-cylinder engine, still by Garford. Big and expensive, the Rainier cost a not-insignificant $4,000 in 1906, rising annually to nearly $6,000 by 1910 making it one of the most expensive motorcars in America. Success in competition – mainly hillclimb events – earned Rainier a strong reputation. Their quality, cost and equipment levels earned them the nickname “the Pullman of Motor Cars”.
Garford had entered into a contract with Studebaker that prevented them from supplying any more engines and chassis to Rainier, so in late 1907, Rainier moved to Saginaw, Michigan and hired an ex-Garford engineer who designed an even larger range of engines, all the way up to 50hp. An ambitious plan to sell 300 cars was met with bankruptcy in 1910, after just 180 were produced. In spite of the financial struggles, the Rainier brand held enough weight to attract the attention of William C. Durant who purchased the remains of Rainier and rolled it into his new company, General Motors. The marque continued only through 1911 when it became part of the lower cost Marquette brand.
This remarkable 1907 Rainier Model C is one the last of the New York-built examples before the company was moved to Michigan. Chassis number 1193 carries with it a fascinating history, with a string of famous and influential owners that kept it in their care over the years. It presents in complete, original condition, appearing a bit rough in places but remaining proud and grand as ever.
This history of 1193 is known back to the original owner, one Paul M. Howard, a wagon builder from Mansfield, Ohio. Apparently the wagon building business was quite good, as Mr. Howard specified his Rainier with an expensive and elegant convertible limousine body by C.P. Kimball. Given the considerable expense of his Rainier, it is of little surprise that he kept the car until 1945. The car was then purchased by the famous radio personality and operatic tenor, James Melton. Melton was clearly enthralled with the car as he kept it for many years before it changed hands again, this time going to Winthrop Rockefeller, the Governor of Arkansas and third generation member of the famous Rockefeller family.
After its time with Mr. Rockefeller, the Rainier then became part of what was once the most famous car collection in the world, the William F. Harrah collection. It remained part of the Harrah collection for nearly a decade before passing to another famous collection, that of Don Metz. It remained in Metz’s possession for two decades before its sale to David Noran in 2004.
This Rainier Model C is imposing and impressive as one would expect from a high-horsepower horseless carriage.  The magnificent body was built by C.P. Kimball of Chicago, Il. Standing at over seven feet tall, it can be reconfigured as either a closed limousine or open tourer. Period advertisements proclaim the ability to remove the roof and fit “summer doors” and a folding top (at additional cost, naturally). Options included rear jump seats, and accessories such as electric light fixtures, gentleman’s smoking case, ladies toilet case, and carriage clock were touted. This luxury came at a cost of course; over $2,000 in its day. The passenger compartment on our example features the optional jump seats and the rear upholstery is believed to be original. Original features such as the intercom tube remain intact and the body still wears its original brass lamps.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 320

This 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320, chassis number 435053, is a beautiful example of the W142 (the internal designation for the 320 series). Wearing attractive and desirable Cabriolet B Coachwork, it was originally built in Mercedes’ Mannheim plant, which is still in operation today. This fine motorcar has been restored to a very high standard and is in outstanding condition both inside and out. Two-tone blue paintwork is an ideal match to the elegant Cabriolet B style and the finish is exemplary.  Like the exterior, the interior has been treated to a gorgeous, high quality restoration. Tan leather is a lovely complement to the paint colors, and the execution of the upholstery and wool carpeting is excellent.

The original, matching numbers 3.2 liter inline six-cylinder engine presents in exemplary condition. The original jack and associated tools are mounted to the firewall as original. The engine runs strong and the car performs exceptionally well. This example also benefits from the rare and desirable option of “Autobahn Gearing”, an overdrive unit operated by a separate gear lever on the floor.

1921 Chevrolet 490

After establishing General Motors in 1908 and then losing control of the company in 1910, Billy Durant started a new company in 1912 called Chevrolet.  He wanted to build a lightweight, inexpensive car with a “European” flare so he hired Louis Chevrolet, a Frenchman to design his first cars.  By 1915, Durant once again joined General Motors with the Chevrolet line.  Made to compete with the Ford Model T, the Chevrolet sold well but would never be a true competitor.  During 1923, Ford had built and sold nearly 2.3 million cars and Chevrolet would produce less than 300,000.  The 490 series was offered with four body styles; a roadster, a coupe, a touring Victoria and a sedan.  Chevrolet also offered a bare chassis to those who wanted to construct their own body.

This roadster is finished in its original black color, the only color offered that year.  It has been the recipient of multiple awards at various US and Canadian car shows.

1917 Haynes

Elwood Haynes had his start in the automobile business in 1893 when he purchased a Sintz marine engine, which he intended to install in a horse buggy. Lacking the necessary machinery to make the transmission and other mechanical parts he approached the Apperson Brothers machine shop and by July 4th 1894 drove his car down the streets of his hometown of Kokomo Indiana. Haynes and Apperson began building cars in 1898.

Haynes was fond of telling people that he built “the first car in America” a story he told for years. But the Duryea Brothers are credited with being the first to build a production vehicle in 1893.  Haynes is credited with inventing stainless steel and the thermostat.

This 1917 model 37 Light Six roadster features a unique body, having two doors and what appear as very early bucket seats for the front passengers and a passageway to the back seat. Haynes moved the gearshift forward in 1916 to allow this unusual seating arrangement.

Powered by an in-line six cylinder engine of 288 cubic inches, this car had a top speed of 60 mph. The company produced cars from their Kokomo factory until 1924, when creditors petitioned the US federal court to declare Haynes bankrupt. Elwood Haynes died in April of 1925, and the hope of saving the company died with him.

1915 ALF Rhino Speedster

This vehicle began life as an unrestorable 1925 American LaFrance ladder truck and is the product of the imagination of its owner, Richard Prizen and Deoon and Jeff Hammers of Penn-Dutch Restorations. The only parts remaining of the original fire truck are the wheels and running gear. Everything else is new design and construction, including the body, seats, fenders, cowl, hood and radiator. Power steering was installed, along with heated seats, external mirrors and modern shocks and sway bars. This vehicle weighs in excess of 6000 pounds. The engine was rebored as part of the restoration process, and now displaces more than 1,000 cubic-inches (over 15 liters). The top speed is in excess of 100 mph.