Sold for $29,250 at 2010 Bonhams
The Mitchell Company was initially known as the Wisconsin Wheel Works, a bicycle manufacturer. Based in Racine, Wisconsin, the Mitchell Company produced a 1.75-horsepower motorcycle that appeared in 1901. The motorcycle was seriously underpowered and often much slower than a regular bicycle. Experimental automobiles soon followed, with production beginning in 1903.
With a new product, the company changed its name to the Mitchell Motor Car Company in 1904. Their first automobiles were two-cylinder, chain-driven runabouts. Some of their earlier cars used air-cooling and a two-stoke engine design before settling on a four-cylinder, shaft-driven, water-cooled cars by 1907.
In 1910, the company added a six-cylinder model to their lineup. During that year, sales reached 5,000 units. By 1916, the company was selling a V8 model, but it was a one-year phenomenon. All Mitchells that followed were powered by six-cylinder engine.
Mitchell had strong sales in 1917 and 1919, both exceeding 10,000 cars, but things were about to change. For 1920, sales slumped to 3,183 units. The reason for this drop was the decision to utilize a then-radical rear-sloping radiator design that led to the cars being referred to as 'drunken Mitchells.'
The company never recovered from the sales slump and filed for bankruptcy in 1923.
This 1917 Mitchell Five-Passenger Touring car was given a restoration in the 1990s. The engine is a six-cylinder engine offering 23.35horsepower. There is a three-speed manual transmission with two-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
In 2009, this Touring car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions where it was expected to sell for $25,000 - $35,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $19,250, including buyer's premium.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia auction presented by Bonhams. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $29,250 inclusive of Buyer's Premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010