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1902 TOLEDO JUNIOR STEAM CAR For Sale by AuctionBonhams are delighted to offer at our forthcoming Collectors' Motor Car Auction on Friday 3rd November at The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run Sale, New Bond Street, London, 26 veteran motor cars – plus 200 lots of automobilia. The full online catalogue can be viewed at www.bonhams.com/24123. For further images and information on this lot, please follow the link.
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
1902 TOLEDO JUNIOR STEAM CAR
REGISTRATION NO. NOT UK REGISTERED
ENGINE NO. TBA
* Renowned high quality steam car maker
* History noted back to 1970s
* Potentially eligible for numerous events
£25,000 - 30,000
€28,000 - 33,000
To be sold without reserve
The story of the Toledo Steamer begins with the Lozier Motor company, a maker of bicycles and Marine Motors. That firm had plans to leave Toledo in 1900 for New York state, but after months of negotiations, was bought out by the American Bicycle Company (ABC), owned by famous Connecticut industrialist Albert Pope. As the industry was in its infancy, Pope was attempting to collect any patents and properties on offer in an attempt to diversify his holdings. He had also purchased an electric automobile plant in Massachusetts around the same time.
Post procurement, ABC immediately tooled up the newly acquired plant in Toledo for the manufacturing of automobiles and by December of 1900 had rolled out its first new product. This 925-pound, two seat carriage sported bicycle spoke wheels and a robust tube frame. An innovative boiler at the heart of the steamer made it competitive against its internal combustion and electric competition by simply using its gasoline more efficiently.
The company achieved great success in 1901 after two Toledo Steamers were entered into a long distance rally from New York City to Buffalo, with one finishing in third place. That same year, large amounts of positive press were garnered after a series of publicity stunts at the Madison Square Garden Auto show. Standing on the largest space of any exhibitor at the show, Toledo Steamers were driven to the show all the way from their home and upon their arrival were taken through a test of sturdiness in full view of the crowd. The engines were revved up to a screaming 2,200 rpms before suddenly engaging the reverse gear.
1902 would be the last year of Toledo Steamers. The American Bicycle Company had divested itself of its last bicycle holdings and the name was changed to the International Motor Company. Soon after this they produced their first internal combustion touring car, and never looked back.
The sole steam car in this collection, as with others in this group the owner elected to buy a renowned quality automobile. On file is extensive copied material regarding the marque supplied to a former owner by one time Harrah Collection curator Ralph Dunwoodie. As to its history this charts ownership by Thomas C. Marshall Jr. of Yorklyn, Delaware on a 1971 US title document. From Marshall the car passed to Robert Nydam, who appears to have been responsible for its restoration. Later the steamer would become the property of Ken Ducommen in British Columbia in 1988. It would seem that ultimately it was acquired from Ducommen en route to this collection some time ago.
Viewed today, the Toledo has the appearance of a restoration that has aged, but it is not clear how much use it has had or indeed when it may last have been on the road and the drive chain is not present. Naturally, both recommissioning and boiler certification would be required before use. It has accessories including Toledo branded side lamps and correct American Bicycle Co. instrumentation on the kicker/floor board.
Not currently dated, it potentially offers entry to the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run and the steam world in general.