Lot Number
126
language

1912 Regal Underslung Model T Touring

$50,000 - $75,000

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 6 - 7 OCTOBER 2016


Chassis No.
Engine No.
5410
5449
  • An extremely rare survivor with “underslung” chassis
  • Wonderful, agile engineering and sporting lines
  • A veteran of many HCCA tours
  • Ideal for Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) and Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) activities

Model “25.” 25 (rated) hp, 198.8 cu. in. L-head inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106 in.

The design of the underslung chassis, on which the frame is suspended from the axles (rather than vice versa), is credited to Fred Tone, chief engineer of the American Motor Car Company of Indianapolis. The appeal of the design was that it lowered the car’s center of gravity while also preserving ground clearance through the use of larger wheels; it was responsible for unusually fine handling, especially for the era.

One of the companies to employ an “underslung” frame design during the Brass Era was the Regal Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan. Established in 1908 as a partnership between brothers Charles and Bert Lambert and Fred Haines, the Regal was soon quite successful. The company’s first underslung models came late in 1910, as the smaller 20-horsepower line, which would be available in a wide variety of body styles during the coming years.

Today, survivors of the Regal Underslung are rare, indeed, and their advanced chassis engineering has made them a favorite both of museums and of avid “tourers” who run them on the AACA’s Reliability Tour and on HCCA events. Moreover, the low-slung frame gives them a wonderful rakish appearance, making them a crowd-pleasing delight on show fields.

The Model T Touring offered here was acquired by the current owner, a former president of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, in 2000 as an extremely original example, which he subsequently restored to original condition. According to the owner, it had been walled into a building in Massachusetts, from whom the previous owner, Vince Peck of Oakland, California, retrieved it. The owner believes that it is one of only two known surviving examples, the other being part of a prominent California collection.

The Regal’s excellent and complete condition prior to restoration is enforced by the presence of the original magnetos and carburetor, with the only major mechanical upgrades having been the additions of a water pump and 12-volt electric starter, as well as by the original brass serial number plate on the dashboard. The body is completely original sheet metal, including the fenders, and retains almost all of the original wooden framework. Wonderful period-correct features include a Garford Hand-Signal, a pump-operated horn at the driver’s right hand, as well as the car’s original Stewart Speedometer with inclinometer and odometer for “season mileage” (which would be reset by the chauffeur each winter). A new top was made using the original for patterns.

Furthermore, the car is very fit mechanically, with the knowledgeable owner having demonstrated its agility on many HCCA tours, including the Brass and Gas Tour in Vermont and the Grizzly Tour in California, among others all over the country.

An excellent touring machine for Brass Era events at a reasonable price, this car would be a wonderful way to get a new enthusiast into the hobby. It would equally be a rewarding addition to the collection of any enthusiast who enjoys advanced engineering, beautiful design, and exceptional quality in one truly regal package.


Addendum

Please note that contrary to the print catalogue, this model was referred to as the "25," rather than the "20," and has a 106-inch wheelbase.


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