- Offered from the Richard Roy Estate
- The “mini Marmon” named for Teddy Roosevelt
- Extremely rare survivor
- Very original condition
Model S. 77 bhp, 201.9 cu. in. L-head inline eight-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptical front and rear suspension, I-beam front and semi-floating rear axles, and four-wheel Bendix mechanical duo-servo drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112.75 in.
During the late 1920s, it was “in vogue” for luxury automobile manufacturers to build what was referred to as a “junior marque”–a smaller, less expensive automobile with the same elegant styling and high quality as its larger siblings. For Cadillac, this was the LaSalle, for Stutz, it was the Blackhawk, and for Marmon, it was the Roosevelt, which was not only named for the late President Theodore Roosevelt but also bore his image in advertising and, most prominently, on its radiator! What, exactly, Teddy Roosevelt had to do with a small luxury car, no one has ever determined.
The Roosevelt was a perfectly fine automobile, sharing the same handsome looks as the Marmon, and it was the first U.S. car with a straight-eight engine to sell for under $1,000. Unfortunately, as with most junior marques, sales were not as expected, and the Roosevelt was its own marque for its inaugural year, 1929, only. The following year, 1930, it became a Marmon model, and then, like Teddy himself, it was relegated to the history books.
The very original Haynes-bodied Roosevelt offered here was acquired by Mr. Roy from John Schramm, of Rockland, Maine; a former owner was Leslie Brown, of Merchantville, New Jersey, in the early 1980s. The car’s paint is largely original and in remarkably good condition, with only the expected chipping around the beltlines and panel gaps, as is the Panosote roof covering and the mohair interior. The body and fenders are solid and well aligned, aside from typical minor corrosion in the side-well mounts, which will require addressing by the new owner. Importantly, the car retains its original cloisonné badge and Roosevelt script, both of which are in excellent condition, and correct lights and sidelights. A period-correct Perfection hot water heater is mounted below the dashboard.
The car’s amusing file contains a vintage Theodore Roosevelt coloring book from the President’s home, Sagamore Hill, published in 1971, as well as photocopies of a Roosevelt parts book and related articles. Mr. Roy was a collector of many things, including teddy bears, and the two that he displayed with this car are also included.
A wonderful survivor of a great “obscuriana” marque, this Roosevelt would be a wonderful conversation piece in any Marmon or Americana collection.