226.4 cu.in., 4-Cylinder Inline Engine
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension
*From the prestigious collection of the late Sam Garrett
*A fine, Brass Era touring car
Thomas White was an old-line Cleveland manufacturer, primarily of sewing machines, which allowed him the luxury of an automobile, and he bought a Locomobile steamer before the turn of the 20th Century and was unhappy with both its quality and reliability. His son, Rollin, a Cornell engineer, perfected a water tube steam generator that fixed the most basic problems with the Locomobile and patented it. He and his brother Windsor began making White steamers, which proved successful and spun off from the original company and they had their own plant by 1906. Three years later the company was so well established that William Howard Taft selected a White as the first official automobile of the U.S. President, a publicity coup.
However, steam was running its course in the U.S. auto industry and the internal combustion engine was becoming the standard. White had to bow to public taste. After careful research, White decided to license the design of a Delahaye engine, and built a "gas car" in 1908.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The White in this sale is a 1910 GA 20 horsepower 4-cylinder Tourer. It has many signature items from the brass age, including wood spoke wheels, oil lamps, right hand drive, crank start and a gravity-fed fuel system. The interesting body has two doors at the rear and a step-through design in the driver's compartment. Maroon coach lines mirror the maroon buttoned leather seats. A beautiful period clock dominates the dashboard. The windshield is huge and upright and brass outriggers run from the leading edge of the top to the frame rails.
Much missed for this humor and charm, Sam Garrett was a well known collector in the Pebble Beach area, and over the course of numerous years of visiting the annual Monterey auctions he amassed a stable of a variety of cars which amused him or, more often than not, which were the result of appeasing the auctioneers who he befriended! One of those was this White, which Bonhams sold from Mr. Garrett's Estate in 2010 and remains ready for the host of tours for this era of automobile.