1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI

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Lot 55*
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout
Registration no. not UK registered Chassis no. XXXVI

Sold for £ 51,750 (US$ 66,002) inc. premium
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. XXXVI
*Arguably the best of the early steam cars 
*Restored in the USA in 1995
*Previously displayed in the Blackhawk Museum
*Owned by the Key Museum since circa 2012

Footnotes

  • As its name suggests, the Toledo steam car was produced in the eponymous city in Ohio, USA. It was designed by Frederick Billings, whose name it bore when first displayed on the American Bicycle Company's stand at the 1900 New York Automobile Show. Henceforth ABC's Toledo plant would be devoted exclusively to steam car production, building around 325 of which fewer than 16 survive. In December 1901 the operation was reorganised as the International Motor Car Company following ABC's acquisition by Colonel Albert Pope's expanding automotive empire. For 1901 International offered two models: the Toledo and Westchester, though by the year's end the former had been adopted as the marque name. Tiller-steered runabouts, these first steamers were powered by a vertical twin-cylinder double-acting engine of 6¼hp.

    According to the company's advertising: 'Automobilists need employ no expert mechanic or engineer to operate and keep the "Toledo" steam carriage in perfect repair. Although rich in superior mechanical features, simplicity of design and construction has been our constant aim in producing the Toledo'. And if you still weren't convinced, the advertisement condescendingly declared: 'A woman can operate it conveniently and with perfect safety'. As if to prove the latter point, a well-dressed lady was shown seated at the controls.

    The 1902 line-up comprised no fewer than five steamers plus a solitary three-cylinder 16hp gasoline-powered model. Four steamers and three gasoline cars were offered for 1903, though this would be the last year of the Toledo. In common with many other American automobile manufacturers, the International Motor Car Company was struggling financially; from then onwards its products would be marketed as Pope-Toledo, though there would be no more steam-powered cars.

    This Toledo steamer was restored in the USA in 1995 to almost completely original specification by Vern Neff and David Jensen before being purchased by Allen Blazick for his private collection. While in Mr Blazick's ownership the Toledo was displayed in the Blackhawk Museum; it has been in the Key Collection since circa 2012.

    Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be added to the hammer price.
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1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
1901 Toledo Model A Steam Runabout  Chassis no. XXXVI
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