1908 Simplex 50hp

Bonhams Amelia Island 2021
Thursday, 20 May 2021
Sale Price
$600,000 - $800,000
Est. Range
20 May 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Rebodied or recreated
Auction House
Chassis no. 850211. Maroon with dark red frame and accent over black leather. RHD. 597/50hp ALAM, 4-speed, Solar acetylene headlights, kerosene sidelights and Gray & Davis taillight, Black wood spoke wheels, 36 x 4 1/2 Silvertown tires, dual rear-mounted spares, rear-mounted oil and fuel tanks, dual chain drive, Warner Auto-Meter speedometer and clock, Condor bulb horn, radiator stoneguard, Prest-o-Lite acetylene tank.

Evaluation: How this Simplex’s life began is a cipher and it was discovered in pieces in 1957. Restored in its present Speedcar configuration by Walter McCarthy with an engine acquired from Henry Austin Clark, Jr. in 1984. High quality paint, bright brass, good upholstery. An imposing, beautifully restored and maintained automobile. Clem and Mary Lange Collection.

Bottom Line: This Speedcar could have been bodied as a limousine or imposing touring car when new but its present embodiment as a Speedcar accentuates its massive power and performance. It was reported sold at Mecum’s Monterey auction in 2014 for $2,014,000, a price that exceeds improbable and ventures into impossible. It’s still fabulous, however, with freeway-capable cruising speed and lazy, loafing touring capability. And it is impressive with every detonation of one of the 5 3/4 inch bore cylinders a massive report.

by Rick Carey
5 June 2021
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