Lot 203

London 2011

1904 Waltham Orient Buckboard


£17,360 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom Flag | London, United Kingdom



Chassis No.
Engine No.

4 hp, single-cylinder air-cooled engine, two-speed planetary gearbox, suspension via wooden platform. Wheelbase: 2,030 mm

• Iconic miniature buckboard

• Eligible for various single-cylinder tours

• Entered for 2011 London-to-Brighton

“The cheapest automobile in the world. Everybody should have one.” So read the adverts for the Orient Buckboard, a vehicle from the Waltham Manufacturing Company of Waltham, Massachusetts. The company had been organised by Charles Metz to build bicycles. In 1899, he arranged with De Dion-Bouton et Cie. to sell their tricycles and quadricycles in the United States. He also built some of his own trikes and quads with Aster or De Dion engines. By 1902, however, Waltham were building their own engines and soon came out with an eight-horsepower runabout selling for $875. It took the name “Orient” after the bicycles. Metz left and the remaining directors hired Leonard Gaylor, who had been building Tribune bicycles in Pennsylvania. The result was the Orient Buckboard.

This fetching roadster, with its natural wood-finish body and wings, red running gear, wire wheels and white rubber floor mat, is the very embodiment of a horseless carriage. It was purchased for the Thompson Auto Album and Aviation Museum of Cleveland, Ohio on 15 May, 1940 from Mr. A. Paulson, a Michigan collector. The Thompson Museum later became the TRW Collection and is today part of the Western Reserve Historical Society and known as the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, after the late Frederick C. Crawford, president of auto and aerospace giant TRW, Inc. The car was on display there until 1995 and then stored until sold in 2002. Since then the car has been imported to the United Kingdom by the new owner, registered and VCC dated. The recipient of recent engine work, it is entered for the 2011 London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run.

Offered with current tax and MOT, it is eligible for other VCC activities, and its small size and light weight make it easy to store or display. This is a chance to acquire a turn-key Veteran—and to leave London this November for a punctual arrival at Brighton.