St. John's

The Inn at St. John's
28 July 2012
Lot 122

1907 Dolson Model F Seven-Passenger Touring


$74,250 USD | Sold

United States | Plymouth, Michigan



Chassis No.

55/60 hp, L-head four-cylinder engine, sliding gear three-speed transmission, solid front axle suspension, and live rear axle with leaf springs. Wheelbase: 125"

• Final model year for the rare “Durable Dolson”

• Top-of-the-line 55/60 hp, four-cylinder engine

• Attractive, brass era tourer with original leather upholstery

The Dolsons were successful wagon builders in Charlotte, Michigan, just southwest of Lansing, in the late-nineteenth century. The company built its first car in 1902 and began production in 1904. The name was changed to Dolson Automobile Company in 1906, signifying the shift in its emphasis, which by now included large four-cylinder automobiles. The automobiles were highly regarded, not only for their mechanics but also for their unusually early adoption of galvanized steel and copper sheet panel bodywork over the wood frameworks. Like its many contemporaries, Dolson’s reach exceeded its grasp, and soon after acquiring the St. Anne Kerosine Motor Company, they ran out of capital. Dolson entered receivership in late-1907 and was liquidated in 1908.

This 1907 Dolson is, therefore, one of the last produced and is the ultimate model. Advertised new for $3,250, plus an additional $125 for the top, the 55/60 horsepower Model F was suited for speeds up to “a mile a minute.” It is finished in dark green with black accents and mudguards over a bright red-orange frame and black pinstriped undercarriage and matching wood spoke wheels carrying white tires. It has right-hand drive and shaft drive and is fully equipped with a folding soft top, black diamond-tufted leather upholstery, E&J acetylene headlights, E&J kerosene cowl lamps, a firewall-mounted Solar acetylene generator, dual spares on the right-hand running board, a Rubes-style bulb horn, brass radiator, kerosene taillight, and a gorgeous brass spoke, wooden-rim steering wheel.

This Model F received a particularly sympathetic restoration that importantly retains the original leather upholstery. The paint and brass are very attractive, and the crack-free bodywork endorses Dolson's reputation for durable, metal-sheathed coachwork. A rare and very usable high horsepower brass era automobile, it promises to be a unique entrant on brass and gas tours with its combination of imposing presence, vigorous performance, and thorough and attractive presentation.