1911 Inter-State Fifty Race Car
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | May 20, 2021
Thomas F. Hart founded the Inter-State Automobile Company in Muncie, Indiana, in 1908. Production of automobiles began the following year, and an Inter-State was on the grid at the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. The cars were pretty good, but financial problems led to the company being reorganized in 1914. They shifted to war production during WWI and never resumed making cars. The new owners sold the factory to General Motors after the war, and the Sheridan was later built there.
In 1911, Inter-State offered two models: the popular Forty and the Fifty, which was only available as a seven-passenger touring car. This is what this car started as, but it was later converted to a replica of the 1911 Inter-State Indianapolis race car.
It uses an Inter-State chassis and a Fifty engine – which was a 6.4-liter inline-four rated at 50 horsepower. It’s a pretty monstrous four-cylinder, and I have either seen this car in person or a very similar Inter-State. But the pistons are about the size of your thigh.
The original car must not exist anymore, as this one was used during the centennial celebration of the 500, where it was driven by Buddy Lazier for a lap around the track. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $184,800.