Hershey | Lot 245
1912 Mitchell Baby Six Roadster
$100,000 - $150,000 USD
| Hershey, Pennsylvania
9 October 2015
- The car that answered the “Call of the Six”
- Pioneering, small six-cylinder automobile
- A very original and authentic example
- Formerly displayed in the Gilmore Car Museum
Model 5-6. 33.8 hp, 364.5 cu. in. F-head inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, live rear axle with three-quarter-elliptical leaf springs, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125 in.
As the American craze for bicycles died off in the late 1890s, the companies that had built them turned to other products to stay afloat. One of these companies, located in Racine, Wisconsin, ended up producing a motorcycle and then the Mitchell automobile, which was launched in 1903. While the company experimented early on with such advancements as two-stroke engines and air cooling, they eventually settled on a car of conventional design, with water-cooled engines and shaft drive. As production continued, four- and six-cylinder models were made available, along with a short-lived V-8 and a V-12.
One of their more unusual models was the 1912 Model 5-6 Baby Six, which was an unusual early attempt at a “downsized” automobile. It was a car that had great quality and power and the prestige of a six-cylinder engine but in smaller and more affordable form. It was a fine little Brass automobile with nice performance, and it positively drove the company’s copywriters into hysteria:
You’ve been looking for the Logical Compromise for years, you owners of automobiles and you citizens who have never owned any. You have almost begged for a Six-Cylinder car of reasonable size and unquestioned power whose price would leave your bank account above water. Now you’ve got it in the Mitchell Baby Six!
The handsome Baby Six offered here is an original roadster that was cosmetically refinished some years ago in the present black and white color scheme, with the button-tufted black leather upholstery also being updated. The top appears to be original, as do the floorboards and instrument panel. Underneath and under the hood appear clean, original, and well maintained, as the car has been over many years, and both the chassis plate and engine stamping appear original. The car is fitted with beautiful burgundy-finished wooden artillery wheels with brass hubcaps that bear the Mitchell script, which are accentuated by acetylene-fired brass headlamps. Overall, the appearance is of wonderful authenticity. The front frame cross-member is still stamped “Mitchell” across its broad face, and the car is still fitted with a proper acetylene tank, brass side lights and tail lamp, a small rear-mounted luggage area, and a rear-mounted spare tire.
This is a lovely, well-maintained little Brass car that will fill a “long-felt want” in any prominent collection.