Sold for $60,500 at 2009 Gooding & Company. The overhead-valve Marmon inline six-cylinder engine was introduced in 1916. It was well engineered and would remain in use for over a decade. The engine, body and chassis of the Marmon utilized alloy construction to save weight.
This Model 34C has had five owners since new, but little is known about this car. The previous owner purchased the car in Maryland in the 1970s and when its current owner acquired it in 2006, it was reputed to have traveled a mere 30,000 miles from new.
Since that time, the car has been given a professional restoration with many of the mechanical components being rebuilt. This car is one of only three or four known to exist.
The car is powered by a 343 cubic-inch overhead valve six-cylinder engine with a single updraft carburetor offering 84 horsepower. There is a three-speed selective gearbox and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
In 2009, this Marmon was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Auction in Pebble Beach. The lot was estimated to sell for $65,000 - $75,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $60,500, inclusive of buyer's premium. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2010
Indiana based Marmon produced automobiles in Indianapolis from 1902 to 1933. They had a reputation for building well engineered and finely built vehicles. The Model 34 was introduced in 1916. To introduce the new model, a six-day record setting drive coast-to-coast was completed. The radiator shell, the body and most of the engine was made from aluminum.
The Model 34C Four-Passenger Speedster with its narrow body, powerful engine and lightweight construction was one of the fastest American production cars in 1924. There are only three remaining examples of this model.
This example was purchased by Marmon historians from the estate of the original owner in 1969. It was later donated to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. It is one of the most authentically restored Marmons in the world following a multi-year, painstakingly research restoration.
Power is from a six-cylinder in-line engine that offers 84 horsepower. The wheelbase measures 132 inches and weighs 3865 pounds. The four-passenger Model 34C Speedster was priced at $3,295. By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2010
Marmon's parent company was founded in 1851 manufacturing flour grinding mill equipment, and branching out into other machinery through the late 19th century. Small limited production of experimental automobiles began in 1902, with an air-cooled V-twin engine. An air-cooled V4 followed the next year, with pioneering V6 and V8 engines tried over the next few years before more conventional straight engine designs were settled upon. Marmons soon gained a reputation as a reliable, speedy upscale car. The Model 32 of 1909 spawned the Wasp, winner of the first Indianapolis 500 motor race and featured the world's first rear-view mirror.
Marmons were produced in Indianapolis from 1903 to 1933. The Model 34 was first introduced in 1916 featuring an in-line overhead valve six with a cylinder block and most components made of aluminum. (The radiator shell and body were also constructed from lightweight aluminum).
The advanced design of the Model 34 featured 'unification construction' making the body and chassis nearly one - an early version of unibody construction. Weight distribution was an ideal 50-50 front-to-rear, and foot pedals were placed to allow quick movement from throttle to brake to clutch. Instruments were placed in a single cluster with indirect night lighting, one of many features that is taken for granted today. It carried an overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine with a cylinder block and many components made of aluminum. The car has a 74 bhp, 301.7 cu. in. valve-in-head inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission with reverse sliding gear, semi-elliptical front suspension with reversed rear shackles with mechanical rear drum brakes on a 152 inch wheelbase.
Marmon dominated the speedy car niche of American automobiles for nearly three decades. The inaugural Indy 500 was won by a Marmon 'Wasp.' In 1920 the Speedster was chosen as the official pace car for the Indy with legendary Barney Oldfield as driver. Ralph DePalma, that years Pole winner, remarked that the Marmon may have been the fastest car on the track.
Regarded as one of the best handling cars on the road with a nearly perfect 50/50 distribution of its 3,295 pounds, it had an angled windshield, and a cowl mounted gas tank so varying fuel weight wouldn't affect handling. The 340 cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine produced 84 horsepower. The drivers' seat was positioned further back than normal requiring a tilted steering wheel; the gear shift and brake were close at hand and the foot pedals were placed to allow quick movement throttle to brake to clutch.
While the original owner is unknown, it was owned by race car team owner Jim Gilmore.
This Marmon Model 34B Speedster has remained in the same family since the early 1970s. At some point in its history, the Speedster was once repainted, from grey to the red it now wears. The interior is not original, though it is intact. The odometer shows just 40,000 miles from new. The transmission is equipped with a locking mechanism atop the shifter ball, which operates when reverse is selected, and is essential an anti-theft device. There is an air compressor attached to the generator, which is used to inflate a spare tire tube. This turtleback body is accessed through two golf-bag doors. It is equipped with optional wire wheels, which cost a staggering $135 when new. The engine is a 339.7 cubic-inch valve-in-head inline six-cylinder unit offering 84 horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission with reverse sliding gear, and mechanical rear brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
The Marmon brand name was manufactured by Nordyke & Marmon Company, located in Indianapolis, Indiana and produced automobiles from 1903 through 1933. The Marmon automobiles are most remembered for their impressive V-16 engine introduced during the early 1930s as well as introducing the rear-view mirror.
The Model 32 featured rear-view mirrors, and was the first vehicle ever with this feature. It is also responsible for the creation of the Wasp, the winner of the first Indianapolis 500 race. The name 'Wasp' was chosen due to its yellow color and pointed tail.
At the 1911 Indianapolis 500 race, the Marmon was the only vehicle equipped with a single seat, rather than the popular two-seat configuration. The first seat was for the driver while the second seat housed the mechanic. Many people were critical of the single seat configuration. They felt it unsafe because the driver would not be aware of other cars overtaking him. A solution was devised by the Marmon crew to install a rear-view mirror on the vehicle, the first of its kind according to many historians.
In 1916 the Marmon 34 was introduced as an evolution of the Model 32. The Model 34B was powered by an overhead-valve six-cylinder engine comprised mostly of aluminum. Aluminum was used throughout many parts of the vehicle including the body, radiator and hood. Its 340 cubic-inch displacement produced 34 horsepower, thus its name - 'the 34'. The Model 34 was available in a variety of body-styles including roadsters, speedsters, touring, and limousine, to name a few. The only wheelbase size available was 136 inches. Weight was in the neighborhood of 3300 pounds. Production of the Model 34 continued until 1924 which it was replaced with the Model 74 and 75.
As a publicity stunt and to gain media attention about the new Model 34, a Marmon 34 was driven across American in under six days. This beat 'Cannonball' Baker's time record.
The transmission is an unsynchronized three-speed manual unit in the H pattern. Mechanical rear brakes provide the stopping power. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2008