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Crane-Simplex History

1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5

Chassis number : 2231

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High bid of $160,000 at 2006 RM Auctions at Meadow Brook. (did not sell)
Sold for $198,000 at 2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction.
In 1916, two brothers named J.H. and H.X. Baxter purchased two Crane-Simplex automobiles. They were self-made industrialists who had made their fortune in the lumber and wood preservatives business. The company is still in business today and continues to deal with wood and timber products.

The Model 5 example shown with chassis number 2231 was believed to have been designed by Harley Earl with coachwork by Earl Automotive Works of Los Angeles, California. It is powered by a 564 cubic-inch side-valve six-cylinder engine, cast in triples, capable of producing 11 horsepower. The 144 inch wheelbase was suspended in place by leaf springs and beam axle in the front and a rear suspension via leaf spring and live axle. Braking was provided by rear-wheel drum brakes with a driveshaft mounted handbrake.

It is believed that the boat-tail design and nautical theme was inspired by the brother's love of the sea and the company's fleet of schooners.

The car was kept by H.X. Baxter until 1936 when it was purchased by Douglas Gardner of California. Mr. Gardner was Mr. Baxter's chauffeur. The car was later sold to Mr. Coffee, also of California. In 1966 the car was sold to Mr. Hopkins and in 2001 it was sold to Mr. Dale Johnson.

The coachwork is by Don Lee Custom Coachworks, or so it is believed. This would mean that the body was built by Earl Automobile Works, which had been founded by J. W. Earl. In 1919, J.W.Earl sold the business to Don Lee, a Cadillac dealer. The name of the company was changed to Don Lee Custom Coachwork. It is not known if Harley Earl had a part in designing or creating this vehicle, but he was 23 in 1916 and working in his fathers company.

This car was auctioned at the 2006 RM Auction at Meadow Brook and a high bid of $160,000 was achieved. This was not enough to settle the reserve which left the car unsold. The car had been estimated to sell for $220,000 - $260,000.


By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007

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2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $185,000-USD $250,000 
Sale Price :
USD $198,000

2006 RM Auctions at Meadow Brook

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $220,000-USD $260,000 
High Bid (Lot was not sold)
USD $160,000

1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Crane-Simplex Model 5

(Data based on Model Year 1916 sales)
1916 Simplex Crane Model 5 46hp Limousine
Chassis#: 2196
Sold for USD$123,200
  2018 Bonhams : Collectors Motorcars and Automobilia Auction
 
1916 SIMPLEX CRANE MODEL 5 'BOAT TAIL' ROADSTER
Sold for USD$198,000
  2016 Bonhams : The Amelia Island Auction
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  
1916 Simplex Crane Model 5
Sold for USD$176,000
  2007 Gooding & Company
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  
1916 Simplex Crane Model 5
Sold for USD$198,000
  2007 Gooding & Company
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Dual Cowl
Chassis#: 2445
Sold for USD$308,000
  2006 The Otis Chandler Collection Auction
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 image  

Crane-Simplex Model 5s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1916 SIMPLEX CRANE MODEL 5 46HP LIMOUSINE21962020 Bonhams : Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum $60,000$80,000
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Seven-Passenger Touring21782011 Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale $150,000$200,000
1916 Simplex Crane Model 5 7-Passenger Touring Car21782009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company $160,000$225,000
1916 Crane-Simplex Torpedo Runabout22312006 RM Auctions at Meadow Brook$160,000$220,000$260,000

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1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Profiles

1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Torpedo Runabout
Coachwork: Don Lee
Chassis #: 2231
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Brewster Berline
Coachwork: Brewster
Chassis #: 2445
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Phaeton
Coachwork: Frederick R. Wood & Sons
Chassis #: 2381
Engine #: 2404
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Touring Car
Chassis #: 2178
Engine #: 2233
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Phaeton
Coachwork: Frederick R. Wood & Sons
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Touring Car
Coachwork: Farnham-Nelson
1916 Crane-Simplex Model 5 vehicle information
Touring
Coachwork: C.P. Kimball & Co