Lot 277

Hershey 2017

1904 Stanley Model C Runabout


$55,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
  • Very original early Stanley
  • Recent sympathetic restoration
  • London-to-Brighton eligible

F.E. and F.O. Stanley built their first steam car in 1897, but before they could ramp up manufacturing, they sold their company to John Walker and Amzi Barber, signing a one-year non-compete agreement. At year’s end, however, they were intent on getting back into the business and came up with a steam car featuring a new engine, fuel system, and boiler, resulting in higher pressures than ever used before. For 1903, the body was redesigned, and in 1904 model names were imposed for the first time. This car, the Model C runabout with folding front seat, sold for $695.

The current owner, a professional restorer, pursued this very original Stanley for many years. Only in 2012 was he able to buy it. The car came with a new boiler from Bourdon Boiler Works in Vermont, but uninstalled. In all other respects the car was very much as it had come from the factory, with original wood body and even the leather seating.

Intent on participation in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in England, he commenced a careful, sympathetic restoration. This involved installing the new boiler, valves, piping, and steam packing. New tires were fitted at this time. The driver’s seat was covered over the original leather, and the front seat was restored carefully with neatsfoot oil. The car was repainted in the original maroon and black pattern. Items added during the restoration included a gas headlight in front (not currently connected), a steam line to clear the burner line, a fuel gauge and boiler sight glass, and a steam whistle.

Because of health issues, the Stanley was drained and stored in 2013, and the Brighton Run has remained an unfulfilled ambition. A new owner will be able to rejoin the chase, easily recommissioning the car for the road and securing the necessary dating certificate for entry.