1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108

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Lot 562
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation
Engine no. 2108

Sold for US$ 47,300 inc. premium
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation
Engine no. 2108
393ci L-Head 4-Cylinder Engine
Stromberg Carburetor
40 A.L.A.M. Horsepower
4-Speed Locomobile Gearbox, Shaft Drive
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
Rear Mechanical Brakes

*Faithfully recreated Brass Era sporting car
*Right hand drive
*Known in this form for more than 50 years
*Formerly owned by famed collector Richard C. Paine Jr.

Sharp Automobiles and the Speedster era

The Vanderbilt Cup was the premier American motorsport venue of the early teens, though Savannah, Georgia's "American Grand Prize" promised competitors a purpose built road circuit and a $4,000 prize. The 1910 Grand Prize race in Savannah was scheduled for a total of just over 415 miles. Among the European specials and American modified stock cars was one American special, the Sharp Arrow of Trenton, New Jersey's William H. Sharp.

Sharp was a photographer who doubled as a driver, and with his brother Fred, he built a sparse, lean racing machine, achieving success in races around New York. Their car was built around a Continental L-head four-cylinder engine and soon its racing success led the Sharp brothers to contemplate series manufacture.

Speed demon that it was, the Sharps named their new marque "Sharp Arrow" and gave it the snappy slogan "Speed King of American Stock Cars." Some 25 Sharp Arrows were built in Trenton before a planned move to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania - but before the move could be completed, William Sharp entered the 1910 Grand Prize race in Savannah.

He crashed during the first lap of pre-race practice, killing his mechanic instantly. Sharp died two days after. The Sharp Arrow marque died that day, with its production of Trenton-built cars being its whole history.

The Motorcar Offered

This sporting Sharp Arrow Runabout is thought to be a faithful recreation of its namesake, built with what is said to be an original Sharp Arrow engine and mainly proprietary components from its contemporary manufacturers. This is not unlike how the original Sharp Arrows were built as they source most components from established manufacturers. The car is known to have existed in this form for more than 50 years, but attempts to establish its precise early origins have proven unsuccessful.

The car spent much of its life in the Richard C. Paine, Jr. Collection, only leaving in 2007. It was purchased by Mr. Paine from W.J. and Genevieve N. Boden of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, noted pioneering collectors of the 1950s.

Right hand drive, it is equipped with Rushmore acetylene headlights and a cowl-mounted Rose acetylene searchlight, but does not have an acetylene generator or Prest-o-lite tank. The two seat runabout body has a pair of bucket seats, dual spare tires mounted at the rear, a luggage or tool box and a cylindrical bolster tank.

The motor quite possibly served as inspiration to Mercer because, like the Mercer, it is a square bore and stroke design that is designed to give the motor more speed to aid in producing power above its rating. Most of the components used are of the highest quality and many are Locomobile items.

The car was restored some time prior to its Paine Collection/Seal Cove Museum display, where it received limited use. In the present ownership it has remained in storage and has been unused, and therefore will require mechanical re-commissioning. Arguably, the addition of lightweight fenders and general detailing would improve its current 'stripped for racing' look.

This Sharp Arrow is a memorial to an early independent racer, special builder and competitor whose vision helped to inspire one of America's most famous and important automobiles, the Mercer Raceabout. The Sharp Arrow story deserves more recognition than it has gotten and this handsome, powerful, sporting runabout has the style and performance to give renewed life to the marque.


  • Please note that this vehicle is titled under its engine number.
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
1908 Sharp Arrow Runabout Recreation  Engine no. 2108
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