1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369

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Lot 520
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope
Chassis no. 2369

US$ 150,000 - 175,000
£ 110,000 - 130,000
Amended
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope
Chassis no. 2369
Knox automobiles were built in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1900 to 1914. Founder Harry A. Knox was inspired to seek an automotive career by his next-door neighbor, the great automotive pioneer J. Frank Duryea—who, with brother Charles, began producing and selling Duryea automobiles in 1895. Knox, a graduate of the Springfield Technical Institute, built several experimental gasoline powered automobiles in the mid-1890s, while employed by the Overman Wheel Company in Chickopee Falls.

In 1898, Harry Knox left Overman Wheel, as that company’s management has chosen steam over gasoline to power a planned entry into the horseless carriage market. Returning to Springfield, Knox partnered with E.H. Cutler to manufacture a light three-wheeled car, with single-cylinder engine, based on the Knox-designed Overman gas-powered prototypes. The earliest production Knox three-wheelers were built in the Waltham Watch Company’s Springfield factory. In 1902, four-wheel models were added and both one- and two-cylinder engines were offered. Total Knox sales climbed to 250 that year.

Knox continued to build one- and two-cylinder cars for 1904 (the Knox offered here is one of the larger two-cylinder models). The Knox 2-cylinder air-cooled engine had a rather massive 275 cubic-inch displacement. The cylinder barrels were studded with 2-inch pins, for cooling. The resulting prickly appearance caused some Knox owners to favor the nickname, “Old Porcupine,” for their cars. The engine was mounted midships in the chassis and was connected to a 2-speed manual planetary transmission, driving the rear wheels through chains. A tiller provided steering from the car’s left-side driving position,

Two-cylinder styles for 1904 included the “Tuxedo” touring car, “Tudor” surrey and the “Touraine” stanhope or runabout, as offered here. (The term “stanhope” originated as a designation for a horse-drawn carriage style conceived by Lord Stanhope, an early 19th century English politician and inventor) The Touraine stanhope featured a flat rear deck, suitable for carrying luggage and spares, while Tuxedo and Tudor models had a large rear seat mounted in that area. Seating for two auxiliary passengers was provided on all models and was neatly concealed when not needed in the forward body structure.

The Knox was a relatively large and moderately expensive car in its time. The 1904 Touraine stanhope spanned an 84-inch wheelbase and sold new for $2000. By way of comparison, a contemporary single-cylinder (98cid) Model B Cadillac runabout had a 76-inch wheelbase and listed for $800. The Knox engine was rated at 16/18-hp, about double the power rating of the Cadillac. A Knox entry in the 1906 Glidden Tour finished the endurance run with a perfect score, contributing to the car’s reputation for durability.

Before 1904 was out, Harry Knox left the Knox automobile company, to participate in other automotive ventures. Under new management, the Knox Automobile Co. produced its first 4-cylinder car in 1906 and would continue to build larger and more expensive automobiles until 1914—and trucks into the early 1920s. Hence, the 1904 model offered here represents the final and most refined example of the marque, as built under the direction of founder Harry Knox.

This car was obtained, in unrestored condition, from Canada. Subsequently, a thorough mechanical restoration was performed and the body was also rebuilt and restored. Paint and upholstery were redone in 2000. The restored top assembly was installed at that time.

Now more than a century old, the 1904 Knox is of sufficient vintage to participate in some of the most prestigious veteran car rallies and activities worldwide. It presents an uncommon opportunity to enjoy ownership of one of the more interesting and substantial historic early automobiles built in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The 1904 Knox Touraine is offered with a Massachusetts title.

Saleroom notices

  • This Knox successfully complete the 2006 London-to-Brighton Run. It is VCC Dated as 1904 and includes a brass VCC date plaque. It is currently prepped and ready to participate in the next London-to-Brighton Run.
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
1904 Knox 275ci 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope  Chassis no. 2369
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