Premier’s 1920 Push-Button Transmission

1920 Premier Model 6-D Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 12, 2012

There is something about the way the top folds back on some 1920s-era seven-passenger touring cars that makes them look gigantic. And it is a pretty big car – the wheelbase is 10 inches longer than that of a brand new Chevrolet Tahoe.

Premier was founded in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1903 by George A. Weidely and Harold O. Smith. The corporate name of the company would evolve five different times before it went out of business in 1925.

This big touring car has a 3.4-liter straight six making 65 horsepower. It is also equipped with a Cutler-Hammer electro-magnetic shift transmission. It was essentially a push-button transmission with controls mounted on the steering column. The driver could push the button for the gear they wanted to select and the transmission would execute the shift electronically in one-fifth of a second. A modern Ferrari F1 car can shift in less than 100 milliseconds – making the technology on this Premier seem like Fred Flintstone Formula One. It’s still really cool though (you couldn’t get this technology on a Packard until the 1940s).

This car comes from the collection of John O’Quinn and should sell for between $30,000-$50,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.

Update: Sold $63,250.