Lot 415

Hershey 2018

1905 Pope-Hartford Model D Side-Entrance Tonneau


$71,500 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



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Engine No.
  • Oldest known Pope-Hartford Model D; one of two survivors
  • Excellent restoration by Herb Prentiss
Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1904.
Addendum: Please note this vehicle is titled as a 1904

Colonel Albert Pope was a bicycle manufacturer in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1897 he placed an electric car on the market with the name “Columbia,” the same brand used for his bicycles. Columbia electrics, and a few gasoline models, enjoyed a brief vogue before being overtaken by the Stanley-designed Locomobile steamer as America’s best-selling car. In 1903, the Colonel embarked on a scheme to build automobiles in many cities using his own name.

The first of these was the Pope-Hartford, named for its home city. A prototype single-cylinder car was running in the summer of 1903, and a Model A runabout and Model B tonneau tourer were introduced to the market shortly afterward. The following year a Model D twin-cylinder car became available. It had a horizontally opposed engine and a progressive sliding gear transmission with three speeds forward and reverse. With an 88-in. wheelbase, it carried five passengers easily.

The current owner acquired this exquisite Pope-Hartford Model D from the estate of Herb Prentiss in 2005. A former president of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, Prentiss had owned it some 30 years and performed a most careful restoration. Its features include a battery ignition with Splitdorf coils, a gear-driven water pump, and an oversized radiator. The total-loss lubrication is managed by a brass McCord oiler. A French Testophone four-trumpet brass bulb horn provides ample warning, to pedestrians and other motorists. A 12-volt electric starter has been added for turn-key convenience, and it has recently been fitted with new tires.

Finished in brilliant Carmine Red, the car is upholstered in buttoned black leather to the exact pattern shown in early Pope illustrations. Even the inside door panels in the tonneau have the correct molded accents. Since acquisition, it has been stored in climate-controlled conditions and toured occasionally. In 2009 it was presented at the Kirkland Concours d’Elegance in Washington State.

One of two Model D Pope-Hartfords known to survive, this car would be a sterling entrant to any concours or Brass Era touring event.