Hart Steam

1897 Hart Steam Victoria Four-Seater Dos-à-Dos

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Frederick Hart was born in England but he and his family moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1880s. He worked for a farming machinery company and built his own lab at his home to experiment with steam engines.

He built his first steam vehicle in 1895 (a tricycle) and built a four-wheeled vehicle, this car, shortly after. Bonhams lists this as a “circa 1897” and I’ve seen it listed elsewhere as a 1903/1904. It is powered by a twin-cylinder vertical engine that is driven by steam. This photo needs someone standing in it for scale: this car is huge at nearly six feet tall and riding on 46 inch tires!

Hart’s family owned this car until 1946 when they donated it to a museum. The museum was shuttered in 1990 and the car went to the U.K. where it was taken apart. The next owner acquired it in 2002 and restored the car to the condition you see here in 2004. It has only been started once since 2004, when there was a small issue and no one has tried again. The paint on this is original, but most everything else has been restored and the car has only covered 200 miles in its life. It’s a one-of-one car and one of two vehicles produced by Hart Steam. It should sell for between $77,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $76,020.

1899 Hurtu

1899 Hurtu Dos-a-Dos

For sale by H&H Auctions | Appleton, England

Hurtu was among the earliest of the automotive pioneers. Founded in 1896, this 1899 Dos-a-Dos isn’t even their earliest model. The company started out in 1880 manufacturing sewing machines. They moved into machine tools and finally bicycles – the launchpad for many an early car maker.

Because my French is terrible (and I actually lived in France for a little bit), I always assumed this was pronounced phonetically. But, as always when it comes to foreign language, I was wrong. It’s French, so the consonants are extraneous. It’s pronounced “ooertoo” (or so says H&H).

Their first cars were Léon Bollée copies. In 1898 they switched to making Benz copies, which is what this happens to be. By 1900 they had their own, more contemporary, designs on sale. The marque lasted until 1930. This car’s engine is a 1.6-liter making 3.5 horsepower. The wood is believed to be original, although the dos-a-dos style seats have been redone (dos-a-dos referring to the seat that is in front of and facing the driver/operator).

About three or four of this type of Hurtu are known to exist. It has been in a Portuguese museum for some years but did complete the London-to-Brighton run in the last five years.  It has been excellently preserved and is ready to run. Price is unknown, but you can find out more here.