Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833

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Lot 32
1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood

€ 900,000 - 1,500,000
US$ 1,100,000 - 1,800,000
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection
1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood
Coachwork by J E Demar, New York

Chassis no. 5944
Engine no. 5833
By the end of the 20th Century's first decade, the automobile had left its primitive 'horse-less carriage' antecedents far behind, thanks, in no small measure, to Karl Benz. In America meanwhile, the focus of development had been on production techniques that effectively 'democratised' the motor car, making it an affordable means of transportation for the masses and no longer the exclusive preserve of the wealthy dilettante. In the halcyon days before the outbreak of the First World War though, there were sufficient numbers of the latter to make the production of large luxury cars a highly profitable enterprise.

The major overseas players on the American scene at this time were Rolls-Royce and Benz, the latter's distributorship - the Benz Auto Import Company of America - being located on Broadway, New York City. In 1911, when the 45/60hp model offered here was imported, Benz chassis prices ranged from $3,250 for the 18hp up to $8,500 for the 60hp, and this at a time when a new Ford Model T could be purchased for under $700! If custom coachwork of the finest quality was specified, the total cost of a Benz could reach stratospheric heights.

Few early Benz cars have survived and this one is almost certainly unique. The 6¾-litre 45/60hp engine has its four cylinders cast in pairs, with separate camshafts for inlet and exhaust valves in 'T-head' configuration. Lubrication is automatic by means of a low-pressure pump driven off the timing gears and there is twin-plug ignition: one set sparked by coil, the other by magneto. Drive is taken via a cone clutch to a four-speed gearbox complete with transmission brake. Only the rear wheels are braked. The coachwork is of the 'Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood' type, a style rarely seen in Europe, and is the work of J E Demar of New York. This short-lived and little known coachbuilder had been set up in 1907 by Joseph Edward Demar, holder of the Baker electric car agency in New York. The company filed for bankruptcy in 1911 so this 45/60hp Benz must have been one of its final commissions.

The Benz's history in the USA is not known prior to its discovery in the Philadelphia home of the late Blackie Shaefer by Stephen Langton circa 1980. Extricating it from the basement garage proved difficult, and it was only after the basement's driveway had been excavated and four new tyres fitted that the Benz could be towed out and readied for shipment to the UK. Although in need of complete restoration, the car had survived in remarkably complete condition, with its splendid lamps and all dashboard fittings intact.

Some four years later, the Benz was featured in The Automobile magazine (July 1984 edition, copy available). By this time it had been sold to a new owner, restored to an exceptional standard by Brentclass Restorations over an 18-month period, and then sold back to Stephen Langton. During restoration, several signatures of the same name had been discovered on components such as the carburettor, sump and gearbox, their dates extending well into the 1920s and presumably left by the mechanic charged with the Benz's care. Electric lighting and a dynamo had been fitted during the Benz's time in the USA, and an electric starter installed subsequently, which made starting the car for The Automobile's road test that much easier.
The Benz greatly impressed the magazine's editor: 'The engine is very docile and this is not, in any way, a noisy or raucous car but the performance is surprisingly lively and made all the more enjoyable by a fourth gear which serves almost as an overdrive and the engine's smooth torque which enables one to exploit an effortless long legged performance which can only be described as exhilarating.'

It was remarked upon that Roger Steer of Brentclass had timed the Benz at 65mph on one occasion and that it had covered 60 miles in an hour without effort or strain. 'Such performance and refinement of the whole car underlines just how very good the best pre-Great War cars were. This was not a sports car nor has it been modified to improve its performance, it is merely a luxury chassis of overall excellence which its successors would be hard pressed to improve upon until the mid-twenties...'

In November 1992, Langton sold the Benz to William Sykes of Abbotsley, Huntingdon, from whom it was purchased for the Peitz Collection in November 1994. The car comes with its last UK V5 registration document (for the registration 'DS 6638') and while in the vendor's wonderful collection has been maintained by their personal mechanic at the Museum in Portugal. Retaining its original chassis, body, engine, gearbox and axles, the car remains in generally very good condition, running very well and delivering immense power. Rarely do cars of the importance of this superb early Benz come to market and we can only concur with The Automobile's conclusion that 'it is a magnificent motorcar.'

Aus der Ivone Peitz Sammlung
1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau mit Victoria Hood
Karosserie J E Demar, New York
Fahrgestell-Nr. 5944
Motor-Nr. 5833

Zum Ende der ersten Dekade des 20. Jahrhunderts hatte das Automobil seine
Vorgänger, die "Pferdelosen Wagen", weit hinter sich gelassen. Karl Benz hatte hieran einen gehörigen Anteil. Zu dieser Zeit veränderten sich in den USA die Produktionsmethoden und machten die Fahrzeuge damit grösseren Bevölkerungsschichten
zugänglich. Gleichwohl war es vor dem Ausbruch des Ersten Weltkriegs
weiterhin sehr lukrativ, grosse Luxuswagen zu fertigen.

Die Hauptlieferanten für den amerikanischen Markt waren in der Zeit Rolls-Royce und Benz. 1911, als der hier angebotenen 45/60 durch die Benz Auto Import Company of America, mit Sitz am New Yorker Broadway, importiert wurde, offerierte Benz Fahrgestelle ohne Karosserieaufbauten, zu Preisen zwischen $3,250 für den 18HP und bis zu $8,500 für den 60HP. Mit Karosserie-Einzelanfertigungen konnte der Preis für einen solchen Benz astronomische Höhen erreichen. Hingegen
kostete ein komplettes Ford T-Modell damals weniger als $700.

Nur wenige der frühen Benz-Fahrzeuge existieren noch, und das hier angebotene ist möglicherweise einzigartig. Die 6¾ Liter 45/60HP verfügten über einen paarweise
gegossenen Vierzylindermotor mit zwei Nockenwellen in sog. T-Anordnung. Die
automatische Schmierung erfolgte über eine Niederdruckpumpe. Jeweils zwei
Zündkerzen pro Zylinder wurden über Magnetzündung bzw. Zündspulen versorgt.
Der Antrieb erfolgt über ein Vierganggetriebe mit Konuskupplung und
"Getriebebremse". Die Fussbremse wirkte – wie seinerzeit üblich – lediglich auf die Hinterräder.

Der Fahrzeugaufbau nennt sich 'Toy Tonneau mit Victoria Hood'. Er war selten in Europa zu sehen und das Werk eines gewissen J.E. Demar aus New York. Gegründet im Jahr 1907 musste er bereits 1911 seine Firma liquidieren, sodass es sich bei diesem Wagen um einen der zuletzt hergestellten handeln muesste.

Stephen Langton war es, der diesen Benz ca. 1980 in Philadelphia/USA, in der
Garage des verstorbenen Blackie Shaefer entdeckte. Obwohl die Bergung sich
schwierig gestaltete, befand sich der Wagen in bemerkenswert komplettem Zustand.

Eine Totalrestauration wurde erforderlich, jedoch waren insbesondere das Armaturenbrett und die speziellen Scheinwerfer überraschend intakt.

In der vorliegenden Ausgabe des The Automobile Magazins von 1984 steht ein Artikel
über diesen Benz. Er hatte einen neuen Besitzer und war über einen Zeitraum von 18
Monaten, von Brentclass Restorations, in einen hervorragenden Zustand gebracht
worden. Im Laufe der Restauration wurden verschiedene Signaturen auf Komponenten wie Vergaser, Ölwanne und Getriebe entdeckt, deren Daten sich bis weit in die 1920er Jahre erstreckten. Es wird angenommen, dass diese Signaturen von einem Mechaniker
stammen, der mit der Wartung des Benz beauftragt war.

Elektrische Beleuchtung und eine Lichtmaschine wurden, ebenso wie ein elektrischer Anlasser, noch seinerzeit in den USA installiert. Anschliessend wurde der Wagen wiederum von Stephen Langton erworben.

Insbesondere der elektrische Starter erleichterte den von The Automobile
durchgeführten Test, und der Journalist berichtete, dass der Benz besonders angenehm zu fahren war, mit einem vierten Gang, der wie ein Overdrive wirkte und das Fahrverhalten unangestrengt und kraftvoll erscheinen liess.

Es wurde weiter erwähnt, das der Benz 65 mph (105 km/h) Spitzengeschwindigkeit
erreichte und eine Strecke von 60 Meilen, (knapp 100 km), ohne Anstrengung
innerhalb einer Stunde zurücklegte.

Im November 1992 verkaufte Langton den Benz nach England, an William Sykes,
und von dort gelangte der Wagen im November 1994 in die Peitz-Sammlung. Das
englische Zulassungspapier (V5) für das Nummernschild 'DS 6638' gehört zum
Fahrzeug. Es wurde in der hervorragenden Sammlung des Verkäufers, im portugiesischen Museum sorgfältig gewartet. Chassis, Karosserie, Motor, Getriebe und Achsen sind alles Original-Komponenten und befinden sich in sehr gutem Allgemeinzustand. Das Fahrzeug läuft sehr schön, mit beeindruckender
Kraftentfaltung. Ähnliche Automobile werden nur selten angeboten und dem Urteil von The Automobile "it is a magnificent automobile" ist nichts hinzuzufügen.
Contacts
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
Offered from the Ivone Peitz Collection,1911 Benz 45/60hp Toy Tonneau with Victoria Hood Chassis no. 5944 Engine no. 5833
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