1911 Selden Roadster

1911 Selden Model 40R Varsity Roadster

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We’ve chronicled the story of George Selden, the man who was granted a patent for an internal combustion-powered automobile in 1895. He received a royalty on every car built in the U.S. until Henry Ford quit paying him, initiated a lawsuit, and brought the whole Selden Patent to an end in 1911.

Selden did build cars in his own right in Rochester, New York between 1907 and 1914, with commercial vehicles continuing on through 1932. The example above is from 1911, a year in which Selden offered six different models. The Model 40R was only offered as a three-passenger Varsity Roadster, which cost $2,500 when new.

Power is from a 40 horsepower, 5.8-liter inline-four, and the car remained with the same family from new until 1983. It was restored in 1996 to the condition you see here. Remarkably, this is one of only six Selden automobiles to survive. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.