1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106
Lot 131
Formerly Property of The William F. Harrah Collection
1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring
Sold for US$ 528,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106 1914 American Underslung 646 Five Passenger Touring  Chassis no. L-600 Engine no. S-1106
Ex-Harrah's Auto Collection and Matt Browning
1914 American Underslung Model 644 Four-Passenger Touring

Chassis no. L.600
Engine no. S.1106

451ci T-Head Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
Twin-Plug Ignition System
60bhp
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Underslung Leaf Spring Suspension
Rear Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*One of only three examples known to exist
*Extremely desirable early American sports car
*Powerful 60hp six-cylinder motor
*Four speed overdrive transmission, very advanced for its era
*Excellent brass era car for vintage touring



THE AMERICAN UNDERSLUNG

The American Automobile Company of Indianapolis, Indiana is best remembered for its famous and revolutionary Underslung models. These innovative designs placed the frame rails below the axles, giving the cars a significantly reduced center of gravity as well as a signature and unmistakable look. The problems of ground clearance were remedied by the use of significantly oversized wheels. This design resulted in a chassis with remarkably sure handling while still retaining the necessary clearances to handle the poor road conditions of the day.

The visual effect of the Underslung chassis riding on wildly oversized wheels was dramatic and memorable and helped make it an icon of the pre-war era. These charismatic machines have been prized since the day they were built and their owners were many of the automotive luminaries viewed as legends in the hobby today. Captain Larz Anderson bought one new, and an Underslung was also one of Briggs Cunningham's first and most prized antique automobiles.

Today, the American Underslung is regarded by historian/collector Dr. Fred Simeone as the first American sports car. In his book The Spirit of Competition he states "...the American Car Company only made an automobile specifically for sport, at least in 1907 when the famed underslung chassis was introduced. Thus, arguably they are America's first exclusive sports car maker."


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This beautifully restored Underslung is a fine example of the company's last product. The car formed part of the famed Harrah Auto Collection for decades, and was not sold until after William Harrah's death during the famous liquidation auctions held in the mid 1980s. The Underslung would later become part of the noted collection of pioneering collectors Matt and Barbara Browning, and was acquired by the present owner at the 1999 Browning Collection Auction.

While in its current ownership, the Underslung has been carefully prepared with horseless carriage touring in mind. A distributor ignition system has been installed, the braking system was discreetly upgraded with hydraulic components, and a more modern carburetor was installed. All of these thoughtful modifications make for a more usable touring car, but could easily be reversed by the purist.

Built towards the end of the American Underslung's production run, the big 1914 models were equipped with the Teetor-Hartley six-cylinder power plant mated to a tall four-speed gearbox. The "T-head" engine was rated at 60hp and equipped with twin-plug ignition and an electric self-starter system. The Underslung chassis is 132" long, and the car rides on 38 x 4/12" tires, mounted on 29" rims. The svelte four-passenger body perfectly compliments the sporting and purposeful look of the car, while the attractive nickel-plated lighting equipment is electrified, making it possible to extend your tours into the evening hours.

One of the ultimate driving machines of its day, and one of the most sought after early American cars some 100+ years later, the American Underslung is unquestionably a motoring icon. With nearly all survivors locked away in museums or long-term private collections, the chance to purchase such a great Underslung as presented here is a very rare opportunity indeed.

Footnotes

  • Please note that this vehicle is titled under its engine number.
Activities
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