Colonel Albert Pope was a successful producer of bicycles before he diverted his attention and his Hartford, Conn., based business into an automobile producer. Pope began experimenting with the automobile during the mid 1890s and within a few years had created a line of vehicles that utilized power from their electricity or gasoline. This dual offering of either electric or gasoline powered vehicles continued through the early 1900s.
This brilliant 1912 Columbia Cavalier Four-Passenger Touring car is powered by a four-cylinder, 410 cubic-inch, T-head engine that can propel the 120-inch wheelbase to comfortable touring speeds. The car was brought back from the brink of extinction by Jim and Dorothy Conant who had the car restored to its original condition. It was found in a barn in Berea, Ohio in 1965 in very poor condition. Many of its components had been dismantled and used in farm equipment which, too, was spread throughout the property. The transmission had been used for a speed changer for a power saw. The rear axle was found hidden under a pile of clay drain tiles. The radiator was in a empty cistern. The list continues and so did the search, for many weeks.
The car made its debut at the AACA Spring National Meet during the early 1970s where it received a National First Prize. This award would be bestowed upon the vehicle multiple times. In 1971 it was awarded the AACA Cup for the best restoration of the year in the Eastern Division.
It is believed that this is the only 1912 example of the Columbia Company in existence. It has a side mounted tire, beautiful brass lamps, black leather diamond-tufted upholstery, period correct wicker trunk, and finished in green livery.
It was estimated to fetch between $95,000-125,000 at auction where it was offered without reserve. It sold well above the estimated figure, netting $181,500.Also photographed at :
It is believed that this 1912 Columbia Cavalier is the only one in existence. The story begins in Northern Ohio in 1965, Dr. William Donze was contacted by a neighbor, concerning his interest in helping her dispose of several old cars and parts from her deceased husbands estate. During the tour of the property, this car was discovered in pieces. In the next several months, Dr. Donze discovered many of the parts for the car and decided to attempt the restoration. Before completing the restoration he sold the car to Mr. Jim Conant, who with the aid of Larry Amsley of Amsley Antique body Company finished the restoration.
The Columbia Motor Car Company was formed in mid-1909 as a re-organization of the bankrupt Electric Vehicle Company. The Columbia Company initially produced bicycles.
The 1912 Columbia Cavalier sold new for $3,300, and is powered by a 4-cylinder 'T' type motor generating 38 horsepower. It has a sliding gear 3-speed and reverse selecting type transmission. The lubrication is by force feed and splash.
The Ricciarelli family purchased this car at auction from the Conant estate, in August of 2006.