1910 Cartercar Model H  Chassis no. 2108

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Lot 450A
1910 Cartercar Model H
Chassis no. 2108

US$ 35,000 - 45,000
£ 25,000 - 33,000
1910 Cartercar Model H
Chassis no. 2108
Byron Carter believed the future of the automobile was infinitely variable transmissions. It has taken over one hundred years but he may be right. Mr Carter’s idea for a simplified clutch and transmission system solved what he felt was a problem with cars of the era. This belief is what led to his fall out with his partners at the Jackson Automobile Company. Carter’s colleagues had different ideas about transmissions and Carter was so adamant about his system that he formed his own company, bearing his name, Cartercar. Founded in Jackson MI it was quickly moved to the center of motordom, Detroit, MI.

Carter’s novel transmission system was an instant hit with the press. Praising the systems simplicity and near lack of maintenance, save for the occasional replacement of the friction lining. The lack of gears eliminated the need for the driver to master the art of “crash box” shifting. Unfortunately Carter’s positive publicity never translated into huge sales: a little over 300 units were sold in 1908. The good publicity did get the attention of William Durant. So intrigued by Carter’s system, Durant purchased the company in 1909, becoming part of his newly formed General Motors. Carter would tragically play an important role in the history of another General Motor’s brand. In 1908 while attempting to assist a stranded motorist, Carter was struck in the face by a starting handle eventually causing his death. His good friend Henry Leland was so distressed by the tragedy that he immediately commissioned the self-starting system for his Cadillac cars.

Carters initially began as two-cylinder cars and a four-cylinder engine was introduced in 1909. By 1910 the four-cylinder engine became the only choice and would be offered in several sizes. A few body styles were offered though the product line was kept simple to keep costs down. Despite the affordable prices, ample use of brass and fine styling made them attractive.

This Model L is powered by a 25 Hp four-cylinder motor running through the famous variable friction drive. The car has a 100” wheelbase, fine brass windscreen, two man top, side mount spares and excellent brass lamps. Finished in Brewster green with very nice black leather upholstery. This Cartercar has been lavished with a high quality restoration that was preformed some years ago. Upon close inspection the car was clearly restored form a pristine example and the car has barely aged since the restoration was preformed. It can be assumed that this Carter has been used exclusively for display for many years and has been lovingly cared for.

Rarely seen on the market, Cartercars represent a fun and high quality alternative to the ubiquitous brass era Model T. Simple enough for even the newest brass era enthusiast to run, but interesting enough to keep the seasoned veteran happy. In the wonderful condition it is this car should prove a dependable and strong HCCA tourer.
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