Lot 445

Hershey 2023

1908 Stanley Model F Side-Entrance Touring


$286,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Former James Melton car
  • Charlie Johnson upgrades, including water-cooled brakes and strengthened engine
  • Ideal for touring
  • Previous AACA award-winner

During 1905, the Stanley Motor Carriage Company began introducing several new series of steam cars, ushering in a whole new era of manufacture. Moving the boiler out from under the seat to the front of the chassis allowed more space for passenger comfort, as well as larger boilers. The boiler venturis, being at the extreme front, were force-fed by the forward movement of the car, resulting in better combustion. The forward-mounted boilers were given a curved-front hood, giving rise to the nickname “coffin nose.” From then until the adoption of condensers in 1915, all models used some variation on this theme.

At this time, a giant step was taken, lengthening the wheelbase to 98 inches and mounting a 20-inch boiler at the front of the “coffin.” Designated Model F, it was extolled in the company catalog: “For the short run or the long-distance tour, there is no car in the world better able to get you and your party there and back.” With its 20-horsepower engine, the Model F would (and still does) maintain 50 mph with five passengers aboard, making it ideal for touring. The Model F Stanleys, 789 in all, were built through 1908.

This Model F Stanley, produced in the final year, is designated a “Car of Record” in The Stanley Register, an accounting of all known cars. Understood to have been purchased by a “Mr. Cook,” it was discovered in New Hampshire during the 1940s by James Melton, “America’s favorite tenor” and an avid collector of early cars. Melton donated it to the Thompson Products Auto Album museum, now the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio, where it was on display for 40 years. In the 1980s, it was de-accessioned, and after one day’s work it was running and driving.

Long in the collection of Charlie Johnson, the late Stanley specialist of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, it has been upgraded for touring with water-cooled brakes and a strengthened engine. It runs on a correct single-fuel system. Over the years it has received several Antique Automobile Club of America awards, a Senior first in 1987 and Grand National in 1990. It participated in the 1999 Mount Washington centennial celebration of the first automobile to climb the mountain (an 1899 Stanley), as well as the 2006 Ormond Beach commemoration of the Stanley world speed record of 1906.

In correct Brewster Green with Cream Yellow undercarriage, it was acquired by the consignor from the Johnson estate. It has recently been serviced by Stanley specialists Darryl Kendall and Mark Cantor. As seen, it is ready to fire up and embark on an autumn tour of the new owner’s choosing.