1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton  Chassis no. 0352 Engine no. 0352

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Lot 145
1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton
Registration no. D3818 Chassis no. 0352 Engine no. 0352

Sold for £ 62,000 (US$ 81,445) inc. premium
1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton
Coachwork by Cann of Camden Town

Registration no. D3818
Chassis no. 0352
Engine no. 0352
This impressive car was acquired by George Milligen from former Brooklands racer Philip Fotheringham-Parker for £650 in 1957. It was bought new by William Hare Ost of Faversham in Kent, who transferred the registration D-3818 from a van-bodied 1908 White steamer in his possession on 12 April 1909. ‘Found in the back yard of a south coast town in 1923’, it was long believed to be of 1904 vintage and actually took part in the Brighton Runs of 1935-37-38-46-48-49. George Milligen, a great devotee of steam, made some modifications to the operating system of this car, bringing the burner valve under manual instead of thermostat control, while the flash steam generator and all the piping were remade in stainless steel to prevent corrosion and a special steam temperature gauge was also fitted.

As part of his ongoing maintenance programme, George Milligen had scheduled an engine overhaul and the renewal of the condenser vacuum pump, though he noted that the state of the burner and generator was “good”. The accompanying file not only contains a typescript instruction book but a number of letters from old-time steam car experts containing much good advice on the operation of the White steamer.
The 15-hp White was the most popular model marketed in late Edwardian days by the White Company, whose London branch was run by the energetic Frederick Coleman, an astute publicist who never lost an opportunity of promoting the merits of the White steamer. The fine tourer body on this car, with its impressive Cape Cart hood, was made by Cann & Company, the preferred coachbuilder of the London branch of the White Company, both companies being based close to the Mornington Crescent Underground station in Camden Town. It is equipped with Rotax Roadlight lamps. It was issued with Veteran Car Club dating certificate 912 on 24 January 1962.

One of the great names in American steam car production, White originally made sewing machines and began building steam cars after Rollin White devised an ingenious quick-steaming flash boiler in the 1890s. A White steamer was the first car ever driven by a President of the United States: Buffalo Bill was another notable owner.

Though White eventually dropped steam cars in favour of petrol, in their day their cars were unmatched for silent running. The motoring correspondent of the Morning Post wrote: “Not the least fascination of the White Steamer is that you are never conscious of the power that is being exerted to carry you up the hill. In circumstances such as these, the White Steamer is the nearest approach to the utter effortlessness of rising in a balloon that one can conceive
1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton  Chassis no. 0352 Engine no. 0352
1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton  Chassis no. 0352 Engine no. 0352
1909 15-hp White Model “O” Steamer Double Phaeton  Chassis no. 0352 Engine no. 0352
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Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

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