<b>1913 American Underslung Model 34A Tourist Four Passenger Touring</b><br />Engine no. 4558

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Lot 174
Concours Restoration
1913 American Underslung Model 34A Tourist Four Passenger Touring

Sold for US$ 192,640 inc. premium
1913 American Underslung Model 34A Tourist Four Passenger Touring
Engine no. 4558

318ci, T-Head Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
48bhp, rated at 32.
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front and Rear Underslung Leaf Spring Suspension
Rear Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Example of legendary Underslung model
*Beautifully restored to show winning standards
*Horseless Carriage Club event eligible
*Ready to show or tour


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."

For 1913, American would continue to offer a simple three model range, the large Traveller and mid-range Tourist, now supplemented with a more modestly proportioned 'Scout'. The Motor Age would comment that the 1913 season Tourist would continue to offer the same renowned engine, together with electric light dynamo, self-starter, storage battery, five electric lamps, speedometer, windshield and top. The body was to be widened two inches, now allowing for pockets in the side doors as well as a 'glove box' between the front seats, and subtle details such as an inch greater clearance for the rear wheels on the running board were applied.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

The car we present here was the subject of a fastidious and well visually documented restoration under the supervision of its late former owner. It is understood that the car was acquired as part of a package deal from a Bob and Ruth Toney, collectors, who had resided in Merced, California. It is said that when purchased the car was a rolling chassis that had lost its bodywork along its career. A painstaking project followed, during which time this was exactingly recreated to correctly match its original form. This work was carried out by Honest Charley Garage in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

It is understood that this work was completed in 2008 and that the car subsequently received an Antique Automobile Club of America National First Prize and Senior. The car has been shown on a few occasions in the last couple of years, at Hershey where it won the AACA National Chocolate Town Trophy in 2013 here, at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance in 2014 as part of the Underslung display, and just last year being displayed at the Keels and Wheels Concours d'Elegance where it won Best in Show for an American car!

Within the last few years American Underslung cars have drawn considerable focus, a great share of the modest survivors crossing the Bonhams auction block. This 1913 example offers a more modest entry point to sample these legendary cars and we are proud to offer the car from its prominent stable.
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