Steam Race Car

1901 Milwaukee Steam Racer

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 12, 2016

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

The Milwaukee Automobile Company was founded in 1899 by W.H. Starkweather, Herman Pfiel, and W.G. Smith to build cars that were not a “radical departure from all other types” of automobiles… except that they were using steam power. Most of the early American steam car manufacturers built cars that looked relatively similar but this car, while similar, is fairly different.

The first Milwaukee Steam cars appeared in 1900 (here’s one) and they lasted only through 1902. In 1901, they went to the Chicago Auto Show and exhibited this racer – not a body style that many struggling manufacturers would’ve dared to build. Not much is known about what it was used for in period, but it is thought that it competed in a half-mile race in Illinois in 1901.

This car has been restored to 1901 condition and is eligible for the London-to-Brighton run. You really don’t find racing vehicles from this era that aren’t on long term museum display. It’s even harder to find one that is steam powered and from a three-year-only manufacturer. This should bring between $65,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Milwaukee Steam Runabout

1900 Milwaukee Steam Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hersey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012

The Milwaukee Automobile Company began producing steam vehicles in 1900. There were a bunch of steam car manufacturers in the United States at the turn of the century, and a number of them were producing light runabouts that looked just like this.

Unfortunately, this marque only lasted through 1902 – and not even through the entire year. Quite a few other early makes would shut down just as quickly. It was like a big game of Economic Darwinism Whac-A-Mole. Companies were popping up and shutting down all over the place.

This is a rare example of an already rare marque. It’s two-cylinder steam engine makes six horsepower. It’s only a four-owner car, with all owners and history known – which is a pretty incredible feat considering it’s 112 years old. The car should bring between $20,000-$40,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.

Update: Sold $44,000.