St. John's | Lot 161
1913 Pathfinder Five-Passenger Touring Car
$115,500 USD | Sold
| Plymouth, Michigan
30 July 2011
Series XIII. 40 hp, 281 cu. in. L-head four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, semi elliptic rear springs, mechanical rear wheel brakes. Wheelbase: 120"
- Offered from an important private collection
- Believed to be the only surviving 1913 Pathfinder
- Single family ownership for 90 years
The Pathfinder was a successor to the New Parry car, built by the Motor Car Manufacturing Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, a reorganization of the Parry Automobile Company. The new model Pathfinder, a $1,750 car competing against Hudson and Cadillac, was introduced in 1912. Its selection for highway survey work by the U.S. Office of Public Roads and the American Automobile Association was apropos its name.
The 40-hp Pathfinder Touring Car presented here is the only example of its kind known to exist. Ordered new by Clark and Laura Rice of LaHarpe, Illinois, it came with “Option #1,” which comprised full electric equipment, including five lamps, a dynamo, an electric self-starter, a storage battery, ammeter, ventilating windshield, Stewart and Clark speedometer, foot rests, horn, a rear carrier and much, much more.
The Rices passed the Pathfinder on to their son Earl B. Rice. Remarkably, the car remained in the family for more than 90 years. Earl Rice regularly entertained guests by taking them on tours of the family farm in the Pathfinder. In the summer of 1980, he took the car to Memoryville USA in Rolla, Missouri, where it was treated to a three-year, nut and bolt, concours-quality restoration by George L. Carney.
Following the restoration, the Pathfinder was trailered to and from events, rarely being driven. The current owner acquired it from the Clark family in 2007. The car is adorned with extensive nickel plating, complemented by dark blue paint. The interior is upholstered with rich black leather. Along with the brown trim and white painted wood wheels, it contributes generously to the Pathfinder’s commanding, stylish look.
As part of a large private collection, this car has been treated to climate-controlled storage but has seen little exercise in recent years and will require thorough professional inspection before being driven.