Lot Number
104
language

1913 Pathfinder 5-Passenger Touring

$125,000 - $175,000

RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 19 - 20 JANUARY 2012


Chassis No.
1331

Series XIII. 40 hp, 281 cu. in. L-head four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic rear springs, and mechanical rear-wheel brakes. Wheelbase: 120"

• Believed to be the only surviving 1913 Pathfinder

• Single-family ownership for 90 years

After the Parry Automobile Company went out of business in 1911, its creditors reorganized the company, renaming it the Motor Car Manufacturing Company. Former Parry employee W.C. Teasdale was assigned the presidency and resumed production of the Parry designs. In 1912, the new Pathfinder model succeeded the old Parry automobiles. Priced at $1,750 and competing against Hudson and Cadillac, the Pathfinder was selected for highway survey work by the U.S. Office of Public Roads and the American Automobile Association. Four years later, the Motor Car Manufacturing Company was renamed Pathfinder, but in 1917, just one year later, the company finally went out of business.

In 1913, the Pathfinder Model 40 was offered in six different body styles: Touring Car, Phaeton, Armored Roadster, the beautifully appointed Martha Washington Coach, the Cruiser and the Delivery Wagon. Nine different colors were available, and of those, four were available for the Touring Car.

This 40-horsepower Touring Pathfinder is the only known example in existence. It was ordered new in 1913 by Clark and Laura Rice, and of the available options, it is believed they chose the top-line “Option #1” package. This comprehensive package consisted of full electric equipment including five lamps, a dynamo, an electric self-starter, a storage battery and an ammeter. Also included in Option #1 was a silk mohair top, storm curtains, a top boot, a Bair auto top holder, a rain vision and ventilating windshield, a Stewart and Clark speedometer, robe rails, foot rests, a horn, an extra demountable rim, a rear carrier and a complete set of tools including a pump, jack and a tire-repair kit. Certainly not cheap, Option #1 cost a whopping $2,185 in 1913.

Clark and Laura Rice passed the Pathfinder on to their son Earl B. Rice, and it remained within the Rice family for over 90 years. Earl B. Rice would regularly entertain guests by taking them on tours of the family farm in the Pathfinder, and in the summer of 1980, he took the car to Memory Ville, USA in Rolla, Missouri, where it received a three-year, nut-and-bolt, concours-quality restoration by George L. Carney.

Following the restoration, the Pathfinder was trailered to and from events and driven sparingly. As the only known surviving 1913 Pathfinder, the opportunity to acquire such an early, pioneering American motor car will not come again soon.



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