1903 English Mechanic Steam Car
For Sale at Thiesen Hamburg GmbH | Hamburg, Germany
Photo – Thiesen Hamburg GmbH
There are always people who think outside of the box when it comes to automobiles and how to sell them. Right now there is a lot of talk about Tesla foregoing the traditional dealer model. Early on, cars like the Metz offered cars on installment plans – where they’d mail you the car piece by piece for home assembly. And then there is this, the so-called English Mechanic, which was never even a car company at all.
The English Mechanic and World of Science was a magazine produced in the U.K. between 1865 through 1926. In 1900, they had a series of articles about how to build a small car from scratch, including instructions on where to find parts you couldn’t (or didn’t want to) make yourself. Over the next nine years, they had instructions for five different models. And people did it.
In fact, four cars – collectively known as the English Mechanics due to their source, but not necessarily who built them – still survive. This example is the Steam Car model that uses a two-cylinder steam engine (and very locomotive-like exhaust). It’s sort of like the first kit car. No one knows who actually built it, but they’re certain the design came straight out of a magazine. It spent a lot of time in a museum and is currently for sale in Germany for about $72,000. Click here for more info.
1925 Stanley Model SV 252A Touring
Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2014
Photo – Bonhams
The Stanley Steamer is one of the most beloved American automobiles of all time. Beginning in 1897, the Stanley brothers (who were actually twins) began producing steam automobiles in Watertown, Massachusetts. They were the #1 American automobile manufacturer in terms of production through 1899. The sold the early company to Locomobile and moved on to build the coffin-nose Stanleys everyone recognizes leading up to WWI.
Steam-powered cars didn’t do so well after about 1910, but Stanley soldiered on, sticking with the propulsion that got them that far. In 1923, bankruptcy came calling and the company was reorganized as the Steam Vehicle Corporation of America (SVCA). In 1925, they introduced the Model SV which uses a 20 horsepower, two-cylinder steam engine.
SVCA only built five Model SV Sedans and 48 Touring models in 1925. The car here is the only surviving unrestored 1925 Touring car. There are a couple restored cars out there and only one of those approaches factory-correct. This is thought to be the SV prototype that was built in 1924 before being re-bodied and sold to the public a year later.
It is unrestored, original, and running. Stanley only completed a handful of cars in 1926 and 1927 models may or may not have actually been built (if you have proof, we’d love to see it). At any rate, this car should sell for between $70,000-$90,000, which seems like a bargain. Read more here and see more from this sale here.
Update: Not sold.