1912 ALCO 40

Sale Price
$350,000 - $450,000
Est. Range
1 October 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Light yellow with red chassis and black leatherette top over red leather. RHD. 454/60hp T-head four, 4-speed, Solarclipse acetylene headlights, single right side spare, buffered spring shackles, jump seats, wicker trunk, folding windshield.

Evaluation: Formerly owned by Dr. Sam Scher and Richard C. Paine, Jr., two of the most respected early car collectors, and one of only four known surviving 4-cylinder ALCOs. Restored long ago but maintained, driven and preserved throughout its history and much too good to restore.

Bottom Line: Built in Providence, RI by the American Locomotive Works, the ALCO was the supreme American automobile of its time using the finest materials and production methods available only within its vast steam locomotive factory. It also was fabulously expensive. The age of the restoration, which probably dates to Dr. Scher’s ownership, renders it fit only for touring and for instructing newcomers in the technology that that was incorporated in some cars 110 years ago. It is impossible to argue with the price it brought, yet it also represented very good value for the money.

by Rick Carey
22 October 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.