High bid of $190,000 at 2008 Automobiles of Amelia Island, RM Auctions. (did not sell)Sold for $143,000 at 2015 Bonhams : Preserving the Automobile. Tourer
Chassis #: 11667
Engine # 18798
Build #: Resotration No: EL844
Montague Napier was the head of the precision engineering firm, D. Napier & Son that had been in business since 1908 and located in Lambeth, South London. In 1900, Napier formed an agreement with Francis Edge for exclusive rights to sell the entire firm's motorcars they produced. To increase publicity, the cars were demonstrated in many racing events, various competitions, and endurance challenges. One of the more prominent challenges of the early 1900s was the Gordon Bennett Trophy race, which was run annually with each competing car representing their country of origin. Edge won the Trophy in 1902 making it the first British automobile racing triumph. The Napier Racer of 1902 featured a 6.5-liter engine that had five valves per cylinder and a shaft drive. It had been delivered just seven days before the start of the race since build problems had delayed its completion. It had a cracked cylinder head on the way to the boat so another was sent via train and repaired while en route. To add to the complications, the second gear had not completely hardened and all of its teeth were bent. Edge was able to find a factory and re-harden the gears before the start of the race.
The success at the Gordon Bennett Trophy race surged demand for the Napier/Edge vehicles, and large production factories were quickly ascertained to help keep-up with demand. The new facility was located at Acton, West London.
A six-cylinder version was introduced in 1904, though not the first to create a powerplant of this six, it was the first to make a six-cylinder engine a commercial success.
In 1907 Edge set his sights on capturing the World's 24-hour speed record. A team of three Napier 60hp cars were brought to Brooklands track and averaged 65.9 mph and set the record which would last for eighteen years. The two other cars averaged 64.1 and 63.5 mph.
In 1908, engine size came under some scrutiny. The French Grand Prix, in particular, that rules should center on engine development and there should be more interchangeability between the road cars and the race cars. Rules were placed that limited the bore of the four cylinder car to 155 mm, and the overall weight of the vehicle was set at a minimum of 1200 kgs. The largest engine for the race was Victor Rigal's Bayard Clement which had a 14-liter displacement size. A Mercedes driven by Christian Lautenschalger and displaced 12.8-liters finished in first.
By 1913, the French Grand Prix had come down even harder on engine displacement size, mandating that each car gets about 14 mpg and limited the amount of fuel to 20 liters for each 100 kilometers. A weight maximum of 1100 kg and minimum of 800 kg was also imposed. This made the field more competitive and the mechanics more creative. A Peugeot with a 5.6-liter engine would go on to win the race, still having 22 liters left in the fuel tank. The largest engines in the race were the Itala's with 8.3-liters and none of them finished. 11667
It is believed that this Model T44 Tourer left the Napier factory on December 6th of 1913 and delivered to its first owner who lived in Ashburton, Devon. It served as a summer car while the owner's second car, a limousine bodied Napier, was used during the winter.
By the 1930s, the car had traveled around 30,000 miles and was put into storage at Bobbetts Garage in Teignmouth. It was later purchased by Richard Barton who actively campaigned the car in rallies including the V.C.C. Austin Rally from Truro to Longbridge which covered a distance of 750 miles. It served as Mr. Barton's daily driver for several years and occasionally used in hill climbs and other sporting events.
In 1954 ownership passed to Henry O'Rorke who used the car in continental touring. In 1965 it was purchased by Bryan Goodman of Surrey who kept it for two decades. Under Mr. Goodman's care, the car was treated to extensive repairs and updates. The back axle was rebuilt, the engine received new pistons, and new trim was fitted. John Brown of Newbury became the cars next owner in 1987 who commissioned a rebuilt on the rear axle and had it fitted with a Dynastart self-starter.
Ownership later passed to Riachard Sanders of Bicester, and then to Peter Wilson of Leamington Spa in 1998. In 2003, the current owner purchased the car and entered it in the 2005 Gordon Bennett eight-hundred mile round trip tour.
In 2008 it was brought to Automobiles of Amelia presented by RM Auctions where it was estimated to sell for $300,000 - $350,000. At the conclusion of the auction, the car was left unsold after a high bid of $190,000.
This car is fitted with a six-cylinder engine that displaces 4740cc's and produces between 30-35HP. There is a three-speed gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008