Two Buckboards

1907 Waltham Orient Buckboard Surrey

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Charles Metz’s Waltham Manufacturing Company of Waltham, Massachusetts began producing bicycles in 1893. Their first automobile was built in 1899 and it was electric. Different cars followed for 1900-1902, and their most famous product, the Buckboard, debuted in 1903. They used “Orient” as a brand name through 1905 when it shifted to Waltham-Orient or just Waltham.

This 1907 model was from the final year of Orient Buckboard production and is quite different from most of their products. Called the Surrey, it features two-rows of bench seating and a surrey top that made it look downright luxurious compared to other two-passenger buckboard cars. Power is from a four horsepower two-stroke single-cylinder engine.

Only 1,020 examples were built. This one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $27,500.


1919 Briggs & Stratton Flyer

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

When A.O. Smith stopped producing his “Smith Flyer,” he sold the rights to Briggs & Stratton, they of more recent lawn mower-engine fame. The company has been around since 1908 building small engines. When they acquired the rights to the Flyer in 1919, they improved upon it a little and continued production with their motors through 1923.

After that, the design was sold to a different company that produced it as the Red Bug. This five-wheeled car has a top speed of 25 mph and a single-cylinder engine. It should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $27,500.

Smith Flyer

1915 Smith Flyer

Offered by Dragone Auctions | Greenwich, Connecticut | May 30, 2015

Photo - Dragone Auctions

Photo – Dragone Auctions

The auction catalog lists this as a 1915 Briggs & Stratton Flyer and then immediately goes on to say that Briggs & Stratton didn’t acquire the rights to build the Flyer until 1919. So it’s either a 1915 Smith Flyer or a later car. Based on what I’m reading, I’d say the former.

This “car” is literally a few pieces of wood with some bicycle tires and a small single-cylinder direct-drive engine out back driving the bizarro-world fifth wheel. The engine on this actually says Briggs & Stratton, so it has a later engine that what Smith originally fitted it with. It makes two horsepower. Prepare to lose drag races against Conestoga wagons.

The Smith Flyer will do 25 mph. Street legality shouldn’t be as high a concern as safety. The car weighs in at 135 pounds. Smith built these between 1915 and 1919 before Briggs & Stratton took over. At any rate, you’ll get a lot of attention putt-putting around in this thing wherever you go. It should sell for between $9,500-$12,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the lineup.

Update: Sold $7,150.