Sold for $51,700 at 2016 RM Auctions
Albert Broomell of York, Pennsylvania, built a two-cylinder, six-wheeled car with equally spaced axles, in 1903. His theory was that extra axles would provide more comfort. The vehicle was called a 'Pullman' after the comfortable railroad sleeping cars. The experiment, however, would prove too be extremely impractical, since the front- and rear-most axles would occasionally cause the vehicle to become stranded as it would over bumpy roads. The car was reportedly disassembled and would move on to other ventures.
In 1905, he teamed with Samuel Baily, a carriage builder, to build a vehicle called the 'York'. James Kline joined the team as a mechanic, and together they formed the York Motor Car Company. The first cars were demonstrated at 1905's York County Fair, by which time the Pullman name had been resurrected.
The Pullman automobiles were offered as runabouts and touring cars, with wheelbases ranging from 93 to 103 inches. They had shaft drive and engines from 20 to 40 horsepower. They were expensive cars, with prices reaching $1,850, which contributed to sales never exceeding 5,000 units per year.
This fully restored 1908 Pullman Model H Touring car was made in York, PA and is the earliest Pullman Motor Car that is restored and operational. Out of approximately 23,000 cars only 27 have survived and only half of those are restored.
The current owner acquired the car in 1982 from a collector in Virginia. The original owner was a farmer who used the car up until the late 1920's, when it was put in a barn on blocks.
This car is a five passenger open car, powered by a 4-cylidner 20 HP engine, utilizing carbide gas headlights and kerosene fuel side and taillights. It has shaft drive, I-beam front axle, selective sliding gear transmission, three forward gears and one reverse, ignition storage and dry cell batteries.
The car has obtained the AACA Senior and First Grand National Award and several First in Class at concours events. It was awarded an AACA Grand National First Prize in 1997 and given Preservation status the following year. In 2005, it earned a Palmetto Award at the Hilton Head Concours d'Elegance in South Carolina.
The car has a light grey body, black canvas top, and red buttoned leather upholstery. It has brass lamps and radiator shell. There is no instrumentation except for a dashboard-mounted key-wind clock. There is a wicker hamper strapped to the rear.
In 1908, Pullman produced 873 cars.