Krotz Motor Buggy

1906 Krotz Motor Buggy

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | August 2021

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Alvaro Krotz founded the Krotz Manufacturing Company in Springfield, Ohio, in 1903. The company built electric cars under the Krotz Electric brand until the following year. After that venture failed, Krotz relocated to Chicago, where he apparently built this prototype high-wheeler. The story is that he showed it to Sears, who eventually went on to build similar cars. Krotz was also credited with designing the Sears to some degree, but he was gone before production started.

Krotz returned to Ohio, where the Krotz Gas-Electric hybrid was produced in small numbers by the Krotz-Defiance Auto Buggy Company. It would appear that the car above is the only surviving Krotz automobile, and it wasn’t built by either of his to automotive concerns.

The engine is a flat-twin, apparently a Panhard design of unknown displacement or origin. The car has a friction-disc transmission and was restored by its late owner. A note in the photo gallery says that the car can do 50 mph. 50! In this thing. If you’re a big Sears collector (the one or two of you out there) this is sort of a must-have. At any rate, the auction ends tomorrow. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $26,750.

Columbia Highwheeler

1899 Columbia Motor Buggy

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | June 15, 2013

1899 Columbia Highwheeler

I’ll start by saying that this is listed as a “circa 1899” so I’m just going with 1899. The Columbia Automobile Company was founded as a joint venture between the Pope Manufacturing Company and the Electric Vehicle Company in 1899. They offered electric and gasoline powered cars. In 1904, Columbia offered 37 different electric cars and two gas-powered ones. By 1911, there were only two electrics while gasoline cars offered had risen to 10.

In 1911, Columbia came under the control of the United States Motor Company – one of the first major “automotive conglomerates.” It over-expanded and failed in 1912, taking Columbia, one of America’s first manufacturers, down with it.

This car is possibly from the launch-year of manufacture. It is powered by a 616cc two-stroke vertical twin-cylinder. It hasn’t run since 1986 but it’s still early and interesting. There aren’t many of them left and this is the only one in the U.K. It should sell for between $23,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ Banbury Run sale.

Update: Sold $17,966.