The Auburn Auction

Lot 67
1920 Gray-Dort Model 15 Touring
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE


Selling on Saturday Evening

1920 Gray-Dort Model 15 Touring
Offered from The Roaring Twenties Collection

CHASSIS NO: K39808

• Very uncommon and rare car
• Honored by the Canadian Parliament
• Powered by Lycomings Thermo-Syphon engine
• Well-known for quality and reliability


192.4 cid Lycoming Thermo-Syphon cooled four-cylinder engine, 21 HP, selective sliding three-speed transmission with reverse gear, single disc clutch, spiral bevel drive, semi-floating rear axle with transverse semi-elliptic leaf springs, contracting transmission brake system; wheelbase: 105.5


Produced in Chatham, Ontario, Canada for a span of only 10 years, the Gray-Dort is one of the less commonly known vehicles in the collector automotive world. Gray Dort Motors was originally founded by William Gray in 1855 as the Canadian Carriage Works of William Gray & Sons Company Ltd. Williams father Robert Gray, who was president of the company, went to work building bodies at Fords Walkerville Assembly Plant in the mid-1900s. In 1915, Robert obtained the Canadian rights to manufacture the Dort automobile. Originally founded in Flint, Michigan by Billy Durant and J. Dallas Dort as the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, Dort Automobiles were well-known for their reliability. In its first year, the Gray-Dort motorcar company produced a Model Four Roadster and a Model Five Touring, both of which were no different from their American Dort counterparts. Powered by a Lycoming engine, which used thermo-syphon cooling instead of a water pump, the Gray-Dort was very innovative in a period where traditionality stood firm. Gray-Dort eventually offered a full range of body styles which included the original tourer and sedan as well as a coupe. Easily starting and driving in the harsh northern weather conditions, Gray-Dort vehicles earned a reputation for reliability and quality. Unfortunately, the stress of running a successful car business took its toll on J. Dallas Dort. In 1923, he decided to cease operations, sell his assets, and play golf. Without easy access to American engineering and parts, the Gray-Dort company was forced to fold, ceasing operations in 1925 with a production total of around 26,000 cars.

Offered to astute collectors of unique Canadian automobiles and long forgotten marques is this 1920 Gray-Dort Model 15 Touring. Painted in a charming red on black color scheme, this car has a pleasant look about it, to say the least. Brown wood spoke wheels and a tan canvas soft top complete the charming look of the quintessential classic tourer. The interior is upholstered in reddish brown leather, and a wooden dashboard adorned with simplistic instrumentation echoes the relaxing lightheartedness of the early 1920s. Because of its significant impact on the evolution of transportation in Canada, the Gray-Dort was recognized by the Canadian Parliament as a national treasure. It remains the only brand to carry that unique and distinguished honor. With only around 30 Gray-Dort cars in existence today, the individuality of this car is only matched by its rarity and scarcity in the automotive market.

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