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.