Hershey | Lot 131

1907 Victor Runabout

The Richard Roy Estate



$22,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania

8 October 2015

Engine No.
  • Offered from the Richard Roy Estate
  • A fascinating Massachusetts-built, air-cooled horseless carriage
  • A New Jersey resident since 1916; single ownership for nearly 50 years
  • Complete with an original brochure and correspondence

15.3 hp air-cooled opposed twin-cylinder engine, two-speed manual transmission, fully elliptical front and rear suspension, and rear-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 109 in.

Addendum: Please note the windshield suffered minor damage and will be repaired following the auction.

Documentation for this air-cooled “horseless carriage,” equipped with rack-and-pinion steering, indicates that its earliest known owner was Charles Lauter, of Brooklyn, New York, whose New York State registration for 1915 is on file. Later that year, it was sold to A.E. Brauer, of Orange, New Jersey, and is strongly believed to have remained in New Jersey since. It was acquired in 1966 by Robert Havell, of Morris Plains, from whom Mr. Roy acquired it later that year. A fascinating photograph on file shows the Victor arriving back at the Roy Company in Branchville, stuffed rather inelegantly into the back of a Dodge pickup!

The Victor was fully restored by Mr. Roy’s good friend and trusted restorer, the late Lawrence Stilwell, of Goodville, Pennsylvania. Correspondence regarding the work on the car is on file, as is a detailed composition book kept by Mr. Roy, with notes on the car’s condition when purchased and what was done in connection with the restoration. The most extensive research was in determining which of the several early Victor automobiles, built in various locales across the country, this car actually was. In corresponding with Chuck Rhoads and such figures as famed collector A.K. Miller, Mr. Roy was able to satisfy himself that the Victor was one of those built by the Overman Automobile Car Company, which had its business offices in New York City and its factory in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

The restored car was shown here at Hershey in 1967 and was featured in the November 1, 1967, issue of Spoke & Wheels magazine. It is believed that this was the Victor’s only public showing. It afterwards retreated into the Roy garage in Branchville and has remained there since, enjoyed by its late owner and the occasional visitor. Its paint, properly brushed-on in the period style, has held up well over the years but would benefit from a thorough cleaning. The black leather interior is somewhat dry but solid. The car is still fitted with a wicker trunk, painted “G.W. Lincoln Gtn. Pa.,” and has most of its original trim, proper wooden artillery wheels, and solid rubber tires. In addition to the aforementioned documentation, it is accompanied by an original Overman advertisement in its original envelope and a packet of gate springs.

This is a fascinating little car!

Suggested lots