A Pre-Underslung American

1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges Touring

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

Photo – RM Auctions

This car, offered from the endless estate of John O’Quinn, was built by the American Motor Car Company of Indianapolis, Indiana. That company is more famously known as “American Underslung” – the name by which their vehicles were badged beginning in 1907, when they introduced their revolutionary (and awesome looking) “underslung” chassis (where the frame is low and between the axles).

But in 1906, their first year for production, the cars were more traditional in design. In fact, the chassis here was designed by non other than Harry C. Stutz – prior to him making it big on his own. The engine is a 35/40 horsepower 5.5-liter L-head straight-four with a three-speed manual transmission sending power through the rear wheels.

The name of the car is simply “American” with “Tourist” being the model designation. I don’t know if I need to explain that, but I’m used to car companies where the word “American” is directly followed by something like “Austin” or “Bantam” or “Underslung” and my mind wants to refer to this as an “American Tourist” – but I guess if that were true it would have to be wearing shorts and gym shoes and shouting loudly in slow, plain English (what a European once told me “gives you away as an American”).

In any case, this car was restored in the 1960s but has been preserved in a museum-quality state ever since. It is expected to sell for between $175,000-$250,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.

Update: Sold $110,000.