The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49

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Lot 108
1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer
Registration no. BS 8329 Engine no. 49

Sold for £ 326,333 (US$ 450,050) inc. premium
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein
1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer
Registration no. BS 8329
Engine no. 49

Footnotes

  • Montague Stanley Napier had taken charge of the Lambeth-based family engineering business in 1895 upon the death of his father. The youthful twenty five year old – once described as "combining the philosophy and the modesty of the rustic cobbler with the best attributes of the unspeakable Scot" was a brilliant engineer keen to move the family business from its traditional fields of printing machinery manufacture into the new-fangled world of the horseless carriage. Fascinated by speed, he had earned repute as a racing cyclist of no mean ability and, mixing in those circles at the Bath Road Cycle Club, he came in contact with one Selwyn Francis Edge, London manager of The Dunlop Tyre Company. Napier's engineering flair and Edge's commercialism, combined with an at times uneasy flair for self-publicity, made for a powerful partnership that was soon to establish the name Napier at the forefront of the British motor industry as well as a force to be reckoned with in international motor racing.

    In 1900 Napier entered their customer Edward Kennard's 8hp car in the The Thousand Miles Trial round Britain, (a blatant piece of propaganda for the motor car), and with Edge at the wheel achieved not only first in class but second overall in the whole Trial against a formidable line up of 84 cars. Appreciating the value of such publicity Edge and Napier set their sights on the great Continental motor races, in particular focusing on winning The Gordon Bennett Trophy – an ambition achieved in 1902 in a spectacularly uneventful drive from Paris to Innsbruck which left the French team in a state of disarray by the roadside.

    Alongside the epic drives and races Napier concentrated on building cars of high quality at the Lambeth works which they soon outgrew. A move to larger premises at Acton followed in 1902 and by 1906 1,000 men were employed at the Acton factory.

    The ever-ambitious Edge, keen to boost sales in America, where the likes of Mercedes and Mors had a strong foothold, established the Napier Motor Company of America in 1904 to assemble British manufactured Napier motor cars in Boston, thus avoiding the import taxes on complete cars which was holding back sales. The venture met with only limited success in America and that operation ceased in 1912.

    This car is one of a very small number of American-assembled Napiers to survive. The fabulously wealthy pioneer American car collector, George Waterman Jnr., assembled a massive collection of early cars in the 1930s, retrieving them from the coach houses and garages of luxury dwellings on the East Coast of America, and housed his collection in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. (The Waterman Collection at one time included both the 1903 Gordon Bennett Napier and the 100hp Napier that ran in the Gordon Bennett eliminating trials of 1904). The old car fraternity was both small and close knit at the time and Henry Austin Clark and Kenneth Stein from Long Island were major players and friends of Waterman. When Waterman reduced his collection after World War II, Clark and Stein found this Napier and a similar model in the Waterman stores and persuaded him to sell them the two cars. Klein was to retain this car in his collection, Clark keeping the sister car. Klein restored No.49 to running order and brought it to the UK in 1984 to take part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. In later years both of these ex-Waterman cars were acquired by an English collector, this car coming to the UK in the year 2000. The car has since taken part in the Tour de Leman and in later ownership has amassed a record of many successful London to Brighton Runs, on one occasion crossing the finishing line in style six-up, and only once failing to complete owing to a minor mechanical failure.

    Although marketed as 12hp in America, presumably for tax reasons, the Model D45 model was marketed in England as the 15hp, the four-cylinder engine, cast in pairs, displacing 2,525cc and reputedly developing 21hp. This engine drove through a four- speed gearbox with final drive by side chains. The more practical side-entrance tourer coachwork reflects then current fashion and the move away from the horsedrawn vehicle inspired rear-entrance bodies of earlier cars.

    No.49 has stood well its 111 years, having been sympathetically recommissioned by Klein in America and carefully further restored upon arrival in England in 2000. It is presented in green livery, suitably coach-lined, with deep-buttoned red leather upholstery and brass accessories. Driving equipment includes Phare Solar Model 66 headlamps (dated August 1903), Dietz oil side lamps and rear lamp, a Boa Constrictor snake's head bulb horn, a sprag and a most practical Stepney wheel. A cleverly designed and most useful rear luggage carrier, rug rail, hood, windscreen and side curtains afford good weather protection and comfort for the more inclement drives to Brighton. In its purest form the car is presented without its windscreen, a more recent addition, which can be easily removed/replaced in just a few minutes.

    Napier No.49 is a car of British manufacture, assembled in period in America, has been part of three major international car collections, has four cylinders, a four speed gearbox, carries five passengers in comfort, has rarity in spades and comes with an enviable record of completed Brighton Runs. It is entered for the 2015 run and the vendor will be happy to advise the successful bidder re running/driving instructions. The car is VCC dated, Certificate no. 1571, comes also with a Science Museum Certificate of Date, a copy of the State of North Carolina Certificate of Title dated 2000 and is currently Swansea registered.
Contacts
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
The ex-George Waterman and Kenneth Stein,1904 Napier Model D45 12hp Four-cylinder, Five-seater, Double Chain Drive, Side-entrance Tourer  Engine no. 49
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