The Oldest Simplex

1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar Roadster

Offered by Mecum Auctions | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

The Simplex Automobile Company was born out of the failure of Smith & Mabley, which began importing and building cars in 1904 under the name S&M Simplex. After their bankruptcy in 1906, the remnants of Smith & Mabley were purchased by Herman Broesel who formed Simplex.

The first Simplex cars were, like the one you see here, massive cars, whose bare chassis with engine cost $4,500. The engine was a 10.0-liter four-cylinder – which, I think, means you can hear each individual revolution of the engine. It also has double-chain drive, which is a really amazing thing to see when one of these drives past you. Simplex was one of – if not the – last company to use chain drive on their cars. The company morphed into Crane-Simplex when they were bought out in 1917.

The restoration on this car can be described as “fresh,” having covered only 200 miles since completion. This is the earliest Simplex known to exist and cars like this are capable of fetching prices near $500,000, but no estimate has been published. For more info, click here. And for the rest of Mecum’s Monterey lineup, click here.

Update: Sold $1,900,000.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Amelia Island 2021, $610,000.