The Sears Motor Buggy was immediately identifiable by its 'high wheels' - intended for rural American roads, which were generally unpaved and muddy, following a rain storm.The Sears Motor Buggy was powered by a two-cylinder motor that began as an eight horsepower motor in 1908 and increased to 12 horsepower by 1912. The car featured friction drive and double chain drive.The Motor Buggy was available through the Sears catalogue from 1908 until 1912 - catalogue number 21R333. Price of the Model H was $395. The company stopped selling them in 1912 when they discovered that the car's selling price was less than it cost to build! Besides, the Ford Model T had begun to dominate rural American automobiles sales.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. offered buyers with a convenient way of purchasing a vehicle at the turn of the century - just by opening a catalog and placing an order. The Sears Motor Buggy was available for purchase by mail order and ranged in price from $325 to $475 depending on which model was selected. All of the models were powered by a mid-mounted engine that displaced 50 cubic-inches and offered around 10 horsepower. The drive was to the rear wheels via two chains and a variable speed friction-drive mechanism. Braking was by friction-pad brakes and there were four-wheel elliptic-spring suspension. Perhaps the most distinguishable feature about these motor buggys were the large, 38-inch wheels that were fitted with hard rubber tires. This height offered excellent ground clearance over the muddy rural roads. The company's slogan for their vehicles were 'Lowest in Original Cost - Lowest in Upkeep Cost,' and 'so safe that a child could run it.'Unfortunately for Sears, the company lost money on every order that was placed. Between 1908 and 1912 there were a mere 3,500 examples produced. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2010