October 11th 2015 Premier Automobile Sale
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/10/2015
Thomas B. Jeffery, an Englishman, who had immigrated to the United States, began the manufacture of bicycles in 1878. It was not long before the Gormully & Jeffery concern was one of the largest manufacturers of bicycles in America with branches in Boston, Washington, and New York, along with its home factory on North Franklin and Pearson Streets in Chicago. By the 1890’s there was even a branch in Coventry, England. The company whose products were marketed under the trade name Rambler was rivaling the Pope-Columbia for the number one position in the American market.Jeffery was a prolific inventor and like many, fascinated by the horseless carriage. He began work on his first in 1897. The awkward vehicle gave way to two vehicles he was ready to show publicly in 1900 – one a Stanhope and the other a runabout – both with tiller steering and twin-cylinder engines. Each was the work of Jeffery’s son Charles and shown at the Chicago International Exhibition and the first New York Auto Show in Madison Garden. That summer, the cars completed a round trip from Chicago to Milwaukee. Following the sudden death of Philp Gormully, Jeffery sold his interest in Gormully & Jeffery (to competitor Pope) and bought a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin formerly owned by the Sterling Bicycle Company. There he set about building the Rambler automobile. The advanced design featured a front-mounted engine and a steering wheel in place of the tiller, incidentally, mounted on the left side of the vehicle. The elder Jeffery had second thoughts and the one-cylinder Rambler introduced in 1902 had its engine mounted under the seat and a tiller steering the car from the right hand side. His conservatism paid off as 1,500 were produced at $750.00 each in 1902. Only Ransom Olds sold more cars. By 1904, all Ramblers had steering wheels (from the left hand side) and by mid-year 1905 the company discontinued its single-cylinder cars concentrating on higher-powered, larger, and more expensive cars it introduced in 1904. Rambler produced 3,807 cars in 1905 ranging in price from $1,200.00 to $3,000.00 including this 5-Passenger Surrey which is sits atop a 90-inch wheelbase with power coming from an 18hp two-cylinder engine with single chain drive. By mid-year 1905 this would become Rambler’s least expensive offering at $1,200.00. The canopy top was $100.00 additional.The new Ramblers also offered one lever control, a fingertip-operated ring on the steering post taking care of both increases or decreases in speed without the necessity of removing one’s hands from the steering wheel. “Even one armed men are running Ramblers,” the company proudly advertised, “one in Michigan and another in Ohio.”Thomas B. Jeffery died of a heart attack on April 2, 1910 and son Charles took over. Production increased modestly. The big change came with an all-new car in 1914. One of the most respected names in the industry was no more. The new car coming from Kenosha would be called . . . the Jeffery.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $25,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $93,500.00
Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Saturday, October 10, 2015.
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