The Pope empire had its beginnings in Boston shortly after the Civil War, established in 1876 by Colonel Albert A. Pope for the production of small patented articles, soon followed by the Columbia bicycle of its own design. By 1899 Pope created the America Bicycle Co. that consolidated 45 bicycle manufacturers. Pope was in the bicycle business in a big way while laying the fortune for what was to follow. Its first automobile, also called the Columbia, arrived in 1901. It was produced in collaboration with the Electric Vehicle Company with other Pope vehicles to follow including the Pope-Hartford, Pope-Toledo, Pope-Robinson, Pope-Tribune, and Pope-Waverly.
A total of 280 Type V Pope-Toledos were built in 1904, this one being the only known survivor. The car spent many years in the Harrah collection, and had two other subsequent owners before its current owner acquired it in 2000. No one had ever figured out how to get the little 157 CID, 14 horsepower two-cylinder engine running, and there were no operator's manuals known to exist. While attending a small car show/flea market in Vermont, the owner located the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack, a Type V operator's manual. After paying a few dollars for it, the answer was finally revealed in a cut-away drawing of the engine. The owner discovered that bolts were installed in each cylinder where compression release petcocks were supposed to be. After making new valves in his shop, the little engine fired to life, probably for the first time in more than 75 years.