Sold for $25,740 at 2010 Bonhams - Quail Lodge.Sold for $37,400 at 2015 Bonhams : Preserving the Automobile.
Like many early automobile manufacturers, the makers of the White automobile were successful in manufacturing another product before shifting their interest to the automobile.
Rollin White of the White Sewing Machine Company in Cleveland was a strong believer in the future of steam-powered automobiles. He created an engine that was easy to operate and durable. In 1899 he patented his 'semi-flash boiler' which provided safety features that were revolutionary at the time. Boilers were often prone to explosion, but with Rollin's design, these problems were virtually non-existent. Other steamers heated the water in the upper coils but Rollins allowed the water to be heated in the lower coils. This meant that the generator was able to produce steam quicker and safer.
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.
By 1906, the sewing machine company and auto-making department had become separate, with Rollin and Windsor White in charge of the automobile production. A few years later, in 1910, the White Company began producing gasoline-powered cars. Their business was 50 percent steam and 50 percent gasoline production. The following year would be the final year of steamer production and by 1912 the White Company was only producing the gasoline-powered vehicle. During its eleven years of producing steam-powered vehicles, 9,122 examples were produced. Before steam production ended, White had built more steamers than any other manufacturer.
The company was so well established that William Howard Taft selected a White as the first official automobile of the U.S. President.
This 1910 White is a GA 20 horsepower four-cylinder Tourer. It rides on wood spoke wheels, has oil lamps and is right-hand drive. There are a crank start and a gravity-fed fuel system. There are two doors at the rear and a step-through design in the driver's compartment. There are maroon buttoned leather seats, a period clock on the dashboard, and a large windshield.
In 2010, this Model G-A was offered for sale at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia auction presented by Bonhams. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $25,740 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010