Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978

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Lot 863
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher, 1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout
Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978

Sold for US$ 70,200 inc. premium
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher
1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout
Chassis no. 7962
Engine no. 7978
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, despite its huge industrial base, reservoir of potential consumers, vast accumulation of wealth and capital and access to resources used in manufacturing and operating automobiles, never was the site of a successful automobile company. Autocar came closest.

Established in 1897 by the Clark family, the Autocar Company was set up in neighboring Ardmore in 1901. From the beginning Autocars were powered by opposed two-cylinder engines and demonstrated power and reliability needed to cope with the steep inclines of the many valleys where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers come together to form the Ohio. The rugged little Autocars were among the first to eschew chain drive in favor of more durable shaft drive, adopting the front engine, rear wheel shaft drive System Panhard in 1902 with the introduction of the Type 6.

Autocars’ rugged construction and the heavy industrial demand of the Pittsburgh area proved to the be undoing of the company, at least as an automobile manufacturer. The Autocar product line expanded in 1905 to include a substantial 16/20hp four-cylinder, the Type 11, then again in 1907 with the 30hp Type 14. Simultaneously Autocar began to manufacture trucks suited to the heavy duty industrial applications in such abundance in Pittsburgh. The light two-cylinder Autocars were last cataloged in 1908 and by 1913, despite the company’s statements of its commitment to the automobile, it turned its full attention to trucks, establishing an outstanding reputation for rugged, durable haulers that excelled in urban industrial and delivery applications.

Autocar continued as in independent truck manufacturer until 1954 when it was absorbed into the White Motor Company but continued as a separate division until 2000.

The Autocar Type 10 was the most successful of Autocar’s models, introduced in 1904 and continuing in Autocar’s catalog through 1906. Well over 1,000 were built and they epitomized the attributes which made Autocar successful. Offered only with lightweight Runabout coachwork, with 10 calculated and 12 brake horsepower, they were outstanding, reliable, practical and surprisingly advanced automobiles.

The Paine Collection’s 1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout was acquired in 1967 from the famous collection of Dr. Samuel Scher of New York City. Dr. Scher had Gus Reuter restore it to showroom condition and it was a Junior and Senior National First Prize winner in Antique Automobile Club of America competition as well as a winner of the Thompson Trophy.

It is finished in dark red with black leather upholstery and a black Cape-style top, has body-color wood spoke wheels with black tires. It is equipped with righthand wheel steering, Gray & Davis acetylene headlights, Neverout kerosene sidelights, a Gray & Davis kerosene taillight and a trumpet bulb horn. The opposed two-cylinder engine has atmospheric intake valves. The cooling radiator is located in front of the front axle with its three-quarter elliptical leaf-springs, below the coal scuttle engine hood. The rear axle is suspended with semi-elliptical leaf springs and located by long trailing arms. The engine is a symphony of red painted iron and polished brass.

The restoration for Dr. Scher and its subsequent preservation in the Seal Cove Museum both have done this early Autocar justice. Today it still looks fresh and sharp. The paint is sound, aside from some cracking on a few of the wood panels. The leather upholstery is sound but stiff and will benefit from careful feeding to restore its suppleness. The black leatherette top, lined with rich maroon cloth, is in very sound condition. All the brass has been well maintained and polished.

With mechanical attention to return it to safe and reliable operation and cosmetic freshening to restore its luster and continue its preservation this will be an outstanding car for the Brass & Gas tours which are increasingly popular today and bring an interesting new dimension to the experiences of an increasing number of collectors. Despite the age of its restoration it can be shown with pride and confidence, and in fact the age of the Gus Reuter restoration and its excellent provenance in the collections of Dr. Sam Scher and Richard C. Paine, Jr. for essentially a half century will add immeasurably to its appeal.

It will be especially welcome on a field of antique trucks where, parked in a line of hulking Autocar coal haulers and stake trucks, it will be a welcome diversion.
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher,1906 Autocar Type 10 Runabout  Chassis no. 7962 Engine no. 7978
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