1911 Simplex Model 50 news, pictures, and information
|Toy Tonneau Touring|
Chassis Num: 5011658
The original Simplex founders, Smith & Mabley of New York, took their cues from their careers as import car dealers, recognizing how European technology could impact American car design. Bankrupt after only two years, Simplex's founders handed over the reigns to Herman Broesel. Broesel's passion for racing would redirect Simplex's focus to include European racing components and expertise. German-made chrome-nickel parts and frames, combined with Mercedes' skill, created a 90mph machine that was capable of more than quadrupling the current speed limit. Broesel's trendsetting did not end there. To further distinguish his automobile, Broesel teamed up with well respected coach builders to add elegance and style to his very capable vehicles.
These unique cars were in high demand given the limited quantity the company could produce. The success however was short lived. Broesel's untimely death in 1912 led to the company's demise. Sold to new owners with less interest in innovation, the Simplex company, then known as Crane-Simplex produced more orthodox vehicles. Only three years after the transition the Simplex name came to an end when the company refocused its energies on the war efforts.
This 1911 Simplex 50 HP Toy Tonneau Touring is seen at the Gooding & Company Auction in Pebble Beach. It was used as an advertising for the upcoming Otis Chandler Collection Auction. It has a 597 cubic-inch, high-performance, T-head engine with double chain drive that is capable of producing 60 horsepower. It is a First in Class winner of the Pebble Beach Concours and is eligible for HCCA, VSCCA, AACA, and VMCCA events. The coachwork was performed by Holbrook and is considered the best known Simplex in the world. It has been featured in many books and magazines.
The powerful 597 cubic-inch engine was capable of carrying the car at speeds in excess of 80 MPH.
At auction, the car was offered without reserve and estimated to sell between $550,000-$650,000.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
|Toy Tonneau Touring|
Chassis Num: 633
|High bid of $560,000 at 2011 RM Auctions. (did not sell)|
Unfortunately, this would not prove to be a very lucrative way of doing things and within just a couple of years the company would go bankrupt. Herman Broesel was in the textile business but was very passionate about racing and fine automobiles. In a very short amount of time, Broesel would turn Simplex into a very distinct automobile manufacturer, producing chassis that would become very desirable amongst the elite. The perhaps most desirable and popular of the Simplex models would be the 50.
The Model 50 wouldn't be a small machine, but it would be a regular competitor in a number of endurance races. A Simplex chassis would go on to win the 24 hour race and Brighton Beach. Another model would go on to beat drivers like Ralph De Palma and Barney Oldfield.
Over a period of half a decade, some 250 Model 50s would be produced. It would be the last right-hand driving positioned cars to be produced in the United States. The Model 50 would become the most popular model of the Simplex and it would be one of the most expensive and well-built luxury cars available at the time.
Big and opulent, only the wealthiest of individuals and families could afford the car. The company's cars would be owned by such individuals as John D. Rockefeller and Henry Crane. And one of these rare and expensive Model 50s would be up for sale at the RM Auctions event in Monterey, California.
All Simplexes started out life as bare chassis. It would then be finished with all appointments by a coachbuilder. Simplex would have relationship with many at the time including Demarest, Holbrook, Brewster, Healey and Quinby. In the case of chassis number 633, it would be Quinby that would finish the car.
What would result would be the Model 50 Four-Passenger Tourabout. This four-seater exotic and affluent Model 50 would come with its usual 50 hp, T-headed four-cylinder engine with dual chain drive. Though capable of reaching some incredible speeds for its day, the Model 50 would only come with rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
At the time of Simplex making the Model 50s the coachbuilding would take a good deal of time. The result would be an exquisite car with very fine appointments, but it would mean that the company would produce only a small number of cars over the course of a year's time. However, at the height of Simplex's existence only the most wealthy and affluent could really afford one of their models.
The story of 633 would pick up in 1930 when it would be found abandoned in California by Mr. Art Austria. The car was found to have been updated with modern electric lighting. Austria would set about restoring the car to its original condition. Correct Solar headlamps and Gray & Davis side and tail-lamps would all be attached to the car. The car would then be purchased E. Ray Bottimore and would continue to be owned by him until being acquired by Bill Harrah the casino owner and car enthusiast.
Just prior to 1970, the car would go through extensive restoration. Every aspect of the car would be researched. Even correct materials would be sought out to be used in the process. It would be found the car actually had been designed as a seven-passenger touring car. However, during the restoration process Harrah would maintain the four-passenger layout. But this would be held as consistent, it was believed, with the configuration Quinby designed for the car from the outset.
After completion, the car would remain in Harrah's collection until 1986 when General Lyon would purchase the car. Lyon just couldn't overlook this model car. It was so striking and appealing that he would go on to purchase the car despite not having any other car really from the period. Just one look and it is clear as to why. When finished, the car would be presented in a striking and beautiful contrast of color that easily conjures thoughts of royalty and exclusivity. Finished in white, the car smartly accented by Dark Blue leather interior wheels and sports a Tan cape top. The finished product captures the richness and quality of Simplex's Model 50.
Although they would not start out with any design of their own, the Simplex name would end up being associated with designs of such wealth and prestige that many others would look, tear apart and try and copy the quality and extravagance. Fittingly, this 1911 Simplex Model 50 was expected to earn between $650,000 and 850,000 at auction. Bidding reached $560,000 but it was insufficient to satisfy the reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.
'Featured Lots: Lot No. 218: 1911 Simplex Model 50 Four-Passenger Tourabout by Guinby', (http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r248&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r248&fc=0. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Crane-Simplex', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 April 2011, 19:43 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Crane-Simplex&oldid=422191962 accessed 20 August 2011By Jeremy McMullen
|U.S. Dot, Mazda Motorsports, The Ad Council, And Noys Announce Winners Of 2013 Project Yellow Light Video Contest|
|As part of Global Youth Traffic Safety MonthTM , the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Mazda Motorsports, the Ad Council and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) announced the six high school and college winners of their second annual Project Yellow Light scholarship contest. 'One Text or Call Could Wreck It All,' was the theme of this year's contest. Entrants were asked to develop and produce a short video that would depict for their peers the dangers of risky mobile behavi...[Read more...]|
|Ctech Becomes Official Tool Cart And Cabinet Provider For Road America|
|ELKHART LAKE, Wis., (April 29, 2013) - Road America announced today that CTECH, the leader in innovative aluminum trailer, shop, cart storage and cabinet solutions, has agreed to be the circuit's official tool cart and cabinet provider. Using proprietary designs, patented Motion Latch™ handles on doors and drawers, and GasketLoc™ counter tops that are durable, robust and aesthetically pleasing, CTECH gives racers the cabinets and carts to be the most productive and the most competitive. ...[Read more...]|
|MAZDA MOTORSPORTS ANNOUNCES MAZDA6 SKYACTIV CLEAN-DIESEL TEAM AND DRIVER LINEUP FOR 2013 ROLEX 24|
|MAZDASPEED Ladder and Mazda Road to Indy Racers Promoted January 4, 2013 (DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.). Mazda Motorsports today announced team and driver line-ups for the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona, where the manufacturer will be seeking its 24th class win at the most famous endurance race in America. Mazda teams will be racing in an all-new Mazda6, powered by the all-new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, in the new GRAND-AM GX class. 'We're thrilled to be starting a new chapter of Mazda...[Read more...]|
|Limited-Edition Ford Racing History Artwork Unveiled at SEMA; Limited-Edition Print Sales to Benefit JDRF|
|•Special limited-edition Ford Racing history artwork is unveiled at the annual SEMA show as part of the Ford press conference •Famed automotive artist Sam Bass created the artwork at the request of Edsel B. Ford II, with proceeds from sales of limited-edition autographed prints benefiting JDRF •Drivers and Ford race vehicles featured on the special artwork include Henry Ford (Sweepstakes), Trevor Bayne (No. 21 Fusion), Dan Gurney/A.J. Foyt (Ford Mark IV), Bob Glidden (NHRA Thunderbird), Jack...[Read more...]|
|Mazda Teams Up with Velocity For 2012 U.S. TV Broadcasts|
|February 21, 2012 (IRVINE, Calif.) The best race in the world is hearsay unless people see it. Some of the best racing in the world is not the headline race, but the support races featuring the stars of tomorrow. Mazda has supported more road racers over the past decade than any other automaker, and for 2012 is stepping up that support to include extended TV coverage on the new Velocity network. 'Hardcore fans know that some of the most intense action can be found in the Playboy MX...[Read more...]|
|Other models by Simplex|
|Related Articles and Event Coverage|
|RM Auctions at Monterey|
|Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction|
|Crane Model 5|
© 1998-2012. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.