Sold for $74,800 at 2006 Gooding & Company
Sold for $64,350 at 2011 Bonhams
The Autocar Company was founded in Ardmore, Pa in 1901 by the Clark brothers, Lewis, John and James. They were given financial backing from their father Charles and William Morgan. This was not their first automobile company; they had created the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company in 1897 which stayed in production for only a short time, ending in 1900. The Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company created three and four-wheeled vehicles and was one of the earliest producers of automobiles in the country. The brothers moved to Ardmore, PA and in 1901, had created 27 Autocars. The following year, a two-cylinder unit was introduced which featured shaft drive in place of the unreliable chain drive.
The company fostered a reputation for producing reliable automobiles that were easy to drive. Improvements were made every year and by 1906, the Autocar Company was producing a line of vehicles powered by a four-cylinder engine. Their line-up broadened even further in the 1907 with their introduction of commercial vehicles and taxicabs. This movement into the commercial vehicle segment was a move that Autocar felt comfortable with, and by 1912 they were no longer producing automobiles and focused on motor trucks.
In 1954 the company was purchased by the White Motor Co. In 1980 Volvo purchased White with Autocar continuing as a division. The Grand Vehicle Works Holdings purchased the brand name in 2001 and continued it on their line of trucks.
This example shown is a 1902 Autocar Type 8 Touring Car with rear-entrance. It is powered by a horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 10 horsepower. The wheelbase is 76-inches and a tiller is used as the steering wheel. It is an AACA National First-Place Award Winner and a certified London-To-Brighton Run Veteran.
Wood was used throughout the body and fenders with the seats being comprised of leather. Dietz oil side-lamps sit in front of the drivers and on either side of the vehicle.
This vehicle was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach where it was expected to fetch between $40,000-$50,000. It was offered without reserve. This beautiful car made a mockery of those predictions by attracting much interest and selling for $74,800.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007