The Cleveland-based White factory developed into a premier manufacturer of luxury steam automobiles. It used an existing network of White Sewing Machine distributors to sell its vehicles both domestically and internationally.
White turned out 719 steam powered model Ds and one, outlined with electric lights, was suspended from the ceiling at the Cleveland Automobile Show in 1904. White gave out white carnations and hat pins shaped like the little 1904 White Model D to all female visitors to the show.
Eventually, White shifted over to gasoline-powered automobiles, as gas won the 'war' of popularity against both steam-powered and electric-powered cars. White then shifted to produce only trucks after World War I. After becoming one of America's biggest truckmakers, White went bankrupt in 1980.
This particular Model D, with a touring body and rear-entrance tonneau, could seat 4-5 passengers comfortably. The 1904 model Whites were longer and heavier than the earlier steam models and included such features as a foot-operated bulb horn, hickory spoked wooden wheels, and a double steering wheel which combines the steering wheel and the throttle. Properly operated, the car can attain a speed of 33 mph. The side wicker baskets were most likely to carry lap robes (to keep passengers warm), tools, picnic lunches, or other supplies. The 'radiator' on the front of the car is actually the condenser, which recycles the steam back into water, and back into the car's steam generator.
Sold for $132,000 at 2009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company.
Canopy Top Touring
Chassis #: 69120
This 1904 White Type D Canopy-Top Steam-Powered Rear-Entrance Tonneau was once in the care of the late Edwin 'Ted' Jameson Jr., a well-known collector. In 2003, his collection of cars, motorcycles and early fire equipment was dispersed; this car was acquired at that time by Barry Hon, a collector pioneering cars. Since then, the car has been restored, where needed. During the process, the majority of the car was repainted in its deep red livery, brining it back to concours quality. There is a fixed canopy top and diamond-tufted maroon upholstery. There is a period brass Rushmore headlamps, Dietz side-lamps and side-mounted wicker tonneau baskets. The original burner is still fitted and the 2-cylinder with semi-flash boiler is capable of 10 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes.
In 2009, this White Type D was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's Auction in Pebble Beach. The lot was estimated to sell for $125,000 - $175,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot had been sold for the sum of $132,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2010