1904 Pope-Tribune Model II 6hp Two-seater Runabout Registration no. Not registered Chassis no. 287 Engine no. 359
Harold Pope, son of Col. Albert Pope, ran the Hagerstown, Maryland, factory, part of the giant Pope empire which operated also from Hartford, Connecticut, Hyde Park, Massachusetts, Toledo, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana. The Hagerstown operation was set up in the old Crawford bicycle factory and the first Pope-Tribune, a single-cylinder runabout, was introduced in 1904. It was to the design of Hiram Percy Maxim, son of Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, the inventor of the Maxim gun. Unlike so many American counterparts the design of the Model II was very much European with a front-mounted, vertical, single-cylinder engine, (4.5in bore x 4in stroke), wheel steering, sliding pinion gearbox, shaft drive and a bevel rear axle with a differential. With its 'coal scuttle' bonnet it had a very European appearance. Early models were marketed at just $650.
This car was acquired by the present owner in the 1980s from Soames Langton who is thought to have imported the car from the USA Correspondence on file suggests that this car may have been owned by the Pope family. The car is to original specification in all major respects and appears generally sound, although now requiring cosmetic restoration. Work completed during the present ownership has included rebuilding the rear axle with a new crown wheel and pinion (Arthur Archer), re-lining the clutch (Solent Vintage), replacement of rear shackle pins (Donald Day), fitting of new fuel and water tanks and restoration of the original Loomis carburettor. A modern trembler coil is discreetly fitted within the original Autocoil box. The dash board carries the original maker's plate and Selden Patent plate. It comes with a rear oil lamp by Columbia (another Pope company) and a double-twist, vertically-mounted, bulb horn. The car has been officially dated as 1904 by the VCC and has Dating Certificate No.2425. It comes also with the essential Science Museum Certificate of Date, necessary for MoT testing exemption for not having a hand brake.
Although not started and run for some time, the engine recently burst into life and ran well during preparation for this sale. The vendor reports that the car drives backwards and forwards under its own power and believes that everything is in working order. At some stage the car has been repainted in its present red livery, the vendor now suggesting that it would be good to refinish the car to the original Olive Green livery with gold lining. The black leather upholstery is believed to be original.
Offered with this car is an extensive file of documentation and correspondence, including a register of known cars, correspondence with other owners, copies of Pope Register Newsletters and references to period advertisements and magazine reports. It should be noted that the visible number 525 on the engine is the part number of the crankcase front half. The engine number is concealed under the flange of the cylinder and can only be read by lifting the block. A rubbing of the engine number on this car is included.
This car comes without documentation but has been in free circulation within the UK and therefore the EU since the 1980s. Bonhams will be pleased to advise prospective buyers regarding registration formalities.
Here is a highly original veteran motor car, offered as viewed but presented as a straightforward recommissioning and restoration project with all essentials complete and in place ideal in fact for completion in time for the VCC Creepy Crawly Rally in April 2012 as a shake-down for next year's London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.