Lot 397

Hershey 2023

1902 Century Tourist Dos-A-Dos


$38,500 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Identification No.
Bill of Sale Only
  • Rare early gasoline car
  • One of three known survivors
  • Benefits from a high-quality restoration
  • Eligible for early car touring events worldwide
Addendum: Please note that the identification number originally published for this car is incorrect. The number 62 is found on the car. Additionally, it has not yet been submitted for dating by the Veteran Car Club, and the historic documentation that accompanies the car is best described as a period advertising piece.

The Century Motor Vehicle Company of Syracuse, New York was organized in 1900. Unusual for a fledgling automaker at the turn of the twentieth century, the company planned to offer electric, steam, and gasoline models. Production began early in 1901 with electric and steam cars, the latter using a form of shaft drive. Reportedly more than 60 vehicles were built by that November. A few of the steamers were exported to England, where they were sold under the name Ophir.

The first gasoline models were produced in 1902. Called the Century Tourist, they were powered by a single-cylinder, seven-horsepower engine and had a 92-inch wheelbase. List price was $750, quite modest in comparison to contemporary competitors Locomobile and Pope-Hartford. By late December, all steam cars had been sold and the model was discontinued. By 1903, production had ceased. Bankruptcy followed in 1904.

Discovered in a Connecticut carriage house some five years ago, this 1902 Century Tourist was sold new in Newport, Rhode Island. Like other early cars, it features dos-a-dos, or back-to-back, seating. Immaculate in gloss black, the body contrasts with deep red trim and running gear. The upholstery is black button-tufted leather with the rear seat facing aft, as the body style implies. Steering is via a center tiller, though the controls dictate that the driver sits on the right.

The wood body was carefully prepped and repainted about two years ago. After a six-month mechanical renovation and test, it was invited to participate in the 2022 Audrain Veteran Car Tour from Newport to Bristol, Rhode Island. It was the oldest car on the tour.

Equipped with new tires, this Century Tourist is an ideal candidate for concours events, tours, and pleasure excursions. One of only three known survivors, it is eligible for a range of early car touring events worldwide.