<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 134
Offered from the Clem and Mary Lange Collection
1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"
Coachwork in the style of J.M. Quinby & Co.

Sold for US$ 610,000 inc. premium
1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"
Coachwork in the style of J.M. Quinby & Co.

Chassis no. 211

600ci T-Head Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
Single Carburetor
50bhp
4-Speed Transaxle and Dual Chain Drive
Front and Rear Leaf Spring Suspension
Rear Drum Brakes

*The ultimate American brass-era sports icon
*Believed to be the oldest surviving Simplex
*Massive engine and dual chain drive
*One of the best performing cars of the brass-era



THE SIMPLEX MOTORCAR

Simplex has long held a reputation as the ultimate American sports car of its era. With examples being owned by just about every important collector as long as the hobby has existed, Simplex enjoys a status few other automobiles can rival. Representative of one of the most exciting periods of automotive history the Simplex fully deserves its reputation as one of the world's greatest cars.

The origins of the Simplex brand are in the Smith and Mabley Manufacturing Co. of New York. S&M was the American importer for the unrivaled Mercedes brand as well as FIAT, and CGV. With a desire to avoid the huge import tariffs that made already expensive foreign cars almost unsalable, S&M moved to produce C.G.V. cars in America. The C.G.V. exercise was a failure and S&M set about to build its own car based heavily on the Mercedes-Simplex. Producing a fine automobile using the Mercedes as a pattern, the S&M Simplex of 1904 proved moderately successful though still prohibitively expensive.

The S&M operation changed hands and a new plan was conceived. A more powerful and refined version of the S&M would be developed again along Mercedes lines but with a larger engine. The new model, now called just Simplex, would be powered by a T-head four cylinder with an ALAM rating of 50hp. At 600ci it was one of the largest four-cylinder engines ever to power a production automobile. The massive new motor was fitted to a robust dual-chain-drive chassis with a four-speed selective transaxle.

The brutish motor combined with a superb chassis and four tall gears resulted in a performance machine with few rivals. The Simplex proved successful on the track and became the plaything of the ultra-wealthy in America. The 50hp would prove a success with nearly 250 examples produced over its nearly decade long production run—not bad for a chassis costing nearly $6,000 in 1910.

Simplex's performance would immediately cement its reputation as a sporting icon; no car exuded strength, speed and masculinity more than the Simplex. Some would argue a Mercer Raceabout was the superior sports machine, but the reality is that they are machines of a different era and at half the engine capacity and with shaft drive, the Mercer does not have the features that define this more primitive era.

Simplex's mythic reputation would continue into the first days of the collector era. When the hobby began to take shape in the 1930s the Simplex again was the most desired marque. Early collectors dreamed of finding one of these great machines languishing in a barn, and Simplex cars would become prized members of some of the major early American collections. George Waterman, Henry Austin Clark, Edgar Roy, Sam Bailey and Briggs Cunningham were a few of the pioneering collectors who owned and extensively used these automobiles.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This massive titan of the early motoring era is understood to be the earliest surviving example of the legendary Simplex marque. Chassis 211 is recorded as having belong to, and likely originally delivered to, Robert M Janney of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania who kept the car from 1909 until 1912. There is no known history of the car from Janney's ownership until what is believed to be the chassis was discovered by early Brass Era enthusiast Al Hood in 1957. The largely apart and incomplete project would be acquired by Landis, North Carolina collector O.A. 'Ote' Corriher in 1962. Corriher would keep the unfinished project in his garage for 22 years before selling it to Walter 'Wally' McCarthy of New York. McCarthy was determined to bring the early Simplex back to its former glory. A period correct 50 horsepower Simplex engine was acquired from Long Island collector Henry Austin Clark in 1984 while ads were placed in enthusiast and club publications to diligently track down the other elements of the car that had been lost to time.

Upon completion, the car was actively toured and enjoyed during McCarthy's tenure with the car before selling it to Passport Transport found Robert Pass in 2006. The penultimate owner, a southern California enthusiast who acquired the car from Pass in 2007, reported the car to be a fantastic touring car in which he would enjoy several thousand miles on various tours. The Simplex was shown at he 2007 Amelia Island Concours and then later that year completed the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance and graced the lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a few days later. After numerous events, the necessity of a mechanical rebuild snowballed into a complete restoration. As reported by the previous owner, the restoration was completed by a variety of experts in Southern California, including various mechanical refurbishment by Bob Mosier, interior work by Tom Rice—a former apprentice at the Nethercutt Collection, and paint by Harry Nicks of Nicks Old Car Specialty in Redland, California.

Upon completion of the restoration, the Simplex was displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the car was prepared for sale — a process detailed in an episode of Wayne Carini's show Chasing Classic Cars — and acquired by the Clem and Mary Lange Collection in August of 2012.

A massive and imposing machine, it is replete with many rare details including a correct Simplex carburetor and Bosch B magneto. At every turn, one is astounded by the sheer scale of each element of the car—from the nearly Jeroboam sized jugs to the massive 40 gallon fuel and 13 gallon oil tanks, or from the lighthouse-sized Solar Flare Type 796 acetylene headlamps to the gargantuan dual chain drive—it is easily to feel practically dwarfed by it. Amply capable of modern-day highway speeds, this Simplex would make for an excellent ride from which to experience any number of big Brass events such as the Glidden or FARTS tour.
Contacts
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
<b>1908 Simplex 50hp "Speedcar"  </b><br />Chassis no. 211
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, click here for a free ONLINE AUCTION ESTIMATE or please contact:

West Coast
+1 (415) 391 4000

East Coast
+1 (212) 461 6514

[email protected]

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Please Note the Buyer's Premium for this auction is as follows:

The final bid (hammer) price of each lot will be subject to a buyer's premium. For MOTOR VEHICLE property the premium is 12% on the first $250,000 of the bid price and 10% on any amount of the bid price exceeding $250,000. For AUTOMOBILIA and other non-motor vehicle property, the premium is 27.5% on the first $12,500 of the bid price, 25% on the amount above $12,500 up to and including $600,000, 20% on the amount above $600,000 up to and including $6,000,000, and 14.5% of any amount which exceeds $6,000,000.

Bonhams will not charge a Buyer's Premium on Benefit Lots 92 to 95.

Payment Notices

Payment for AUTOMOBILIA and BENEFIT Lots may be made by (a) cashier's check or money order, (b) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (c) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, (d) cash payment up to $10,000, or (e) by credit card.

Payment for MOTORCAR purchases may be made in or by (a) cashier's check or money order, (b) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (c) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer. Please note that cash and credit card payments are not accepted for MOTORCAR lots.

Bonhams encourages contactless payment of invoices prior to collection.

Shipping Notices

For Automobilia shipments, please contact Client Services to receive a quote for post auction shipment, [email protected].

For information and estimates on domestic and international Motorcar transport as well as export licenses please contact the Motorcar Department at [email protected].

Special Car Dealer Notices

, number VI/1087220/1

Lot symbols
Uplift and storage charges

£30 + VAT uplift and storage at £6 + VAT per lot per day.

App