Lot Number

1903 Orient Buckboard

Sold For $24,200

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 10 - 11 OCTOBER 2019 - The Merrick Auto Museum Collection

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  • First of the Waltham Orient Buckboards
  • Formerly of the Henry Ford and Vince & Pati Chimera collections
  • Totally original condition; AACA HPOF Certification

In a sense, all Orient Buckboards are special. As with all things special, though, some are more special than others. This 1903 Orient Buckboard is believed to be the first one built. On 1 August 1932, Leslie Henry, curator of Transportation Collections at the Edison Institute (then and now the corporate name of the Henry Ford Museum, now simply the Henry Ford), purchased it from W.W. Taylor of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cambridge is less than ten miles from Waltham, Massachusetts, where the Orient Buckboards were built.

Examination and analysis of the unrestored vehicle concluded that it has a number of features that distinguish it from successive production vehicles: individually fitted copper cooling fins; heavy wood wheel rims; shovel-handle leather-arm pull-starter; full-length hickory wood longerons, and hand-painted emblems on the seat pedestal.

Before acquisition by the Merrick Auto Museum in 2006, it was in the collection of Vince and Pati Chimera of Sunrise, Florida. It is accompanied by this documentation, and a letter from William Smith, then executive director of the Antique Automobile Club of America, congratulating the owner on qualifying for the new Historic Preservation of Original Features Class. The letter has a caveat: If the Buckboard is ever restored, its HPOF status will be revoked and its medallion taken away. We certainly hope that will not be the case with this historic Buckboard.

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