Sold for $124,092 (£78,400) at 2010 RM Auctions - Automobiles of London.
The Toledo automobile, produced in Toledo, Ohio, was a product of Colonel Albert Pope's American Bicycle Company. The vehicles were introduced in 1901 at the New York Auto Show and were initially called the Billings, after its designer. The company was reorganized as the International Motor Car Company after Frederick Billings assigned his interests to the makers, and the International steam car was produced in two models, the Toledo and the Westchester. A short time later, near the close of 1901, the car was called simply 'Toledo.' A companion internal combustion model was introduced the following year. In 1903, steam cars were discontinued, and Colonel Pope's Pope Motor Car Company took over, and subsequent cars were sold as the Pope-Toledo.
This Toledo Steam Runabout was part of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry Collection during the early 1950s when it was owned by Lenox Lohr, the museum's president and a colleague of collector D. Cameron Peck. The Runabout is fitted with a twin-cylinder, double-acting engine that uses poppet valves unlike other conventional steam engine setups which often have side valves. The superheating boiler was of water tube design.
The exterior is finished in dark green with black leather seating and matching green running gear and black rubber tyres. It wears an older restoration which still shows well in modern times. The most recent owner converted the boiler to liquefied petroleum fuel and drove it on the New London-New Brighton antique car run in Wisconsin, USA in 2006.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2011
In 2010, the vehicle was offered for sale at the Automobiles of London sale presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $100,000 - $125,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $78,400, inclusive of buyer's premium.
Introduced in 1901 at the New York Auto Show by Colonel Albert Pope's American Bicycle Company, the Toledo was initially called the 'Billings,' after its designer, Frederick Billings. Later that same year the company, renamed the International Motor Car Company, produced two models, the Toledo and the Westchester, but by the end of the year, it was only producing Toledos. In 1902, a companion model, similar but with an internal combustion engine, was offered, and by 1903 the steam cars were no longer offered. The Pope Motor Car Company took over in 1903 and vehicles built thereafter were sold as the Pope-Toledo.