1903 English Mechanic Steam Car
For Sale at Thiesen Hamburg GmbH | Hamburg, Germany
There are always people who think outside of the box when it comes to automobiles and how to sell them. Right now there is a lot of talk about Tesla foregoing the traditional dealer model. Early on, cars like the Metz offered cars on installment plans – where they’d mail you the car piece by piece for home assembly. And then there is this, the so-called English Mechanic, which was never even a car company at all.
The English Mechanic and World of Science was a magazine produced in the U.K. between 1865 through 1926. In 1900, they had a series of articles about how to build a small car from scratch, including instructions on where to find parts you couldn’t (or didn’t want to) make yourself. Over the next nine years, they had instructions for five different models. And people did it.
In fact, four cars – collectively known as the English Mechanics due to their source, but not necessarily who built them – still survive. This example is the Steam Car model that uses a two-cylinder steam engine (and very locomotive-like exhaust). It’s sort of like the first kit car. No one knows who actually built it, but they’re certain the design came straight out of a magazine. It spent a lot of time in a museum and is currently for sale in Germany for about $72,000. Click here for more info.