The Pacific Grove Auction

Lot 35
1908 Stevens-Duryea Model X Touring

Selling on Thursday

1908 Stevens-Duryea Model X Touring
Ex. Henry Austin Clark


• Highly original preservation example
• Known with careful ownership from new
• Participant in many tours including Multiple Glidden Tours

Four-cylinder L-head engine, 36 HP, three-speed transmission, leaf spring front and rear suspension, rear mechanical brakes; wheelbase: 124

At the dawn of the motor age there were literally thousands of tinkerers hard at work, but very few managed to produce anything that actually ran. Among the more successful of these inventors were the Duryea brothers who built and tested their prototype car on the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts on September 20, 1893. This was widely recognized as the first running car in America. They offered their first production car in 1901 and were soon recognized as a leader in luxury and powerful motorcar production. The age of the motorcar had arrived and, as the builders of the very first car, the Duryea brothers had a reputation that few others enjoyed.

Offered here is an important piece of the Duryea brothers history with this powerful 1910 Model X five-passenger touring car. Although titled as a 1908, the serial number seems to indicate it to be a 1910 model year and it carries the larger 36 horsepower engine. Stevens-Duryea offered the big 36 horsepower Model X for only two years, making this one a rather rare car. It rides on a 124-inch wheelbase and its open-air touring body is large and comfortable for the driver and all passengers. As a car from 1910, it represents as part of the Pinnacle of the Brass Era, with the radiator, headlights, side lamps, windshield frame, shifter, clock, speedometer, and even the floor trim and grab handles all finished in brilliant brass. All the brass accessories are original to this car. The interior is highlighted by a brilliant wind up eight-day clock built by the New Haven Clock Company. A wicker basket at the rear provides ample space for storage and this Model X rides on wood spoke rims with blackwall tires. The provenance of this Model X is known from its original owner, Mr. Henry Treadwell from Long Island, New York who owned from 1908 until the early 1950s. Mr. Treadwell enjoyed his ownership and drove the car regularly. He then bequeathed the car to the famous Henry Austin Clark, of Long Island, New York. Clark featured the Model X in his Long Island Auto Museum where it was seen by thousands over the years. Clark also drove the Model X extensively as he participated in the legendary Glidden Tour several times, as well as numerous other tours. An original film exists of this Model X being driven and displayed at the Long Island Auto Museum open house in 1959. There is also film of this car being driven by Clark in the Glidden Tour and it also participated in the Carnival of Cars in New York City. The Model X was next sold to Walter McCarthy, who would own the car for several years before turning it over to its fourth owner, Mr. Warren G. Kraft from Sprague Harbor, New York. It is now offered for public sale and this will be the first time it has left Long Island, New York. The present condition of this Model X is best described as beautifully preserved. The paint has been touched up over the years, but there is a degree of originality in its appearance. The interior is original to the car and displays beautifully with soft and supple leather that has been cared for to the highest standards. The top was replaced some years ago and has a nice patina with a diamond rear window. The authenticity of this Stevens-Duryea is solidified by the brass tag on the dashboard that states this car was built under license of the Selden Patent that was granted to George Selden in 1895. It also carries its original factory tool kit and a complete copy of the lengthy instruction manual from the period.

As the builders of the first car to run in the United States, the Duryea brothers would be proud to know that such an example of their fine work still exists to this day. The preserved condition of the powerful and mighty Model X is surely a testament to the quality of their work, as this is a car that can be driven and enjoyed with the utmost in reliability.

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