1904 South Bend Surrey
Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012
When I first saw the picture of this thing on RM’s website, I got really excited that it was some long lost car that hasn’t been seen in forever. Some rare marque that time forgot. And that’s kind of what it is. It’s a one-of-a-kind car built in 1904, but it’s history is known from 1927 – so it isn’t like they just dug it out of a barn, even though it looks like it. But that’s one of the coolest things about it.
Speaking of cool things about this car, check out those wheels. They’re a design by a man named Horace Taylor. The wheel hub floats on 12 springs (six per side) mounted around the hub. These are connected to the wooden wheels with solid, steel tires. This alleviates the need for springs on the car and the need for softer tires. It’s pretty cool, looking like each wheel has a little radial aircraft engine on it. I’d like to see the car in motion to see how well this actually works.
The South Bend was built by Walter E. Mack of, guess where, South Bend, Indiana (he never actually named it – it was titled after his death). The parts were purchased from other suppliers. The engine is a straight-four of 3.6-liter capacity. Mack died in 1906 and then the car disappeared.
A man found it in 1927 and built a museum around it and it’s had two owners since then. The car is a survivor – never having been restored. Preservation is the name of the game for the new owner – although it does run and is a usable classic car – which is amazing. RM’s lot description describes the car as starting on the third try after 75 years of not having been used, Some attention will need to be paid to other things if you want to take it on the road. It is expected to sell for between $110,000-$140,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.
Update: Not sold.