Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195

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Lot 502
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea, 1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout
Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195

Sold for US$ 139,000 inc. premium
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea
1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout
Chassis no. 219
Engine no. 195
The J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co. of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts got into the automobile business in 1901, offering a car designed by J. Frank Duryea—who, along with brother Charles, had produced America’s first series-built automobiles in 1895. In November of that same year, Frank drove a Duryea horseless carriage to victory in the first automobile race ever held in America.

First generation Stevens-Duryea cars were produced between 1901 and 1906. Built on a 69-inch wheelbase, they were powered by a horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine originally rated at five horsepower. The cars featured an unusual mechanism that permitted the driver to start the engine while seated, instead of by direct cranking. Steering was by tiller. After 1903, a three-speed sliding gear transmission was used and the 1904 model, with its engine now rated at seven horsepower, boasted a new three-point engine mounting.

In 1905, Stevens-Duryea produced its first four-cylinder; a huge six-cylinder model, priced at $5,000, followed in 1906. That same year, Stevens-Duryea became a separate company from J. Stevens. During the years that followed, Stevens-Duryea cars became increasingly impressive and expensive. Then, in 1915, the Westinghouse Corp. bought the company, using the factory to produce war material. After the Armistice, a group of former executives bought Stevens-Duryea and resumed car production. The new six-cylinder models that they offered were priced as high as $9,500…right up there with Pierce-Arrow’s most expensive cars. The company would be sold again at least twice before the final Stevens-Duryea was built in 1927.

The offered Stevens-Duryea is a 1904 two-cylinder Model L Runabout, which listed new for $1,250. This example is the very car that was acquired by the MSI through automotive pioneer Charles E. Duryea, brother of J. Frank Duryea, in 1932. Mr Duryea located this exceptional example in Calais, Maine where it was purchased from the original owner. It is now a two owner car.

The Stevens-Duryea appears to be a very original vehicle. It seems complete and intact, with the exception of missing its brass headlamps and side lamps. The car is in completely original condition, having only been cleaned when it arrived at the Museum in 1932. All of the paint is original, including the pin striping. The leather is exceptionally well preserved and original.

The Museum report states that mechanically, the chassis appears to be in very good condition. There are no signs of excessive wear or damage and it is evident this is a low mileage, original car.

The engine is complete and in good condition, as are the transmission and its related controls. The original wood artillery wheels are in good condition. The car still rides on the same semipneumatic tires that it was delivered with 76 years ago.

The body is generally in excellent condition. It is evident that the wood covers beneath the seats have been replaced. As the engine is mounted under the center of the vehicle, the front of the body opens to provide auxiliary seating for two additional passengers. The original Stevens Duryea brass tag remains on the body.

Collectors prize early Stevens-Duryea automobiles, as the make was one of the higher quality smaller American vehicles built around the turn of the century. This example exhibits a charming patina throughout and could be proudly displayed after little more than a thorough cleaning. With a provenance extending all the way back to one of the brothers who originated the Duryea horseless carriage—and by extension, founded the American automobile industry—this Stevens-Duryea is a truly unique automotive artifact.

Without reserve
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
Two owners since new, in the Museum's collection since 1932, secured for the museum by Charles E. Dureyea,1904 Stevens-Duryea Model L Runabout  Chassis no. 219 Engine no. 195
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