An example of the first Rambler automobiles, produced in Kenosha, Wisconsin by Thomas B. Jeffrey and his son Charles, this car is both historically important and part of a long, documented history extending back over a half century. Rambler production in Kenosha began after the Jeffrey’s sold their bicycle business to Col. Albert Pope. In only its first year of production the Rambler was the second-largest selling automobile in America, trailing only Ransom Olds' Curved Dash in popularity. Powered by a single-cylinder engine located under the chassis frame with chain drive to the rear wheels and four full-elliptical leaf spring suspension, the early Ramblers like this were right-hand drive and tiller-steered. This 1902 Rambler Runabout's history is documented in 50's Rambler Club newsletters and included in 50's listings of surviving 1902 Ramblers although some sources feel it is a 1903 Model E. Its restoration dates to the 1950's but has recently been updated and refreshed to sharp cosmetic and mechanical condition. Finished in red with black mudguards and gold coachlining with black button tufted upholstery, it has a single self-generating acetylene headlight and Dietz kerosene sidelights. The cylindrical fuel tank on the rear deck is bound by a pair of brass ends on both sides. Red wood spoked wheels have black tires and brass (real) hub caps. A generous documentation file which includes reproduction parts schematics, owner's and repair manuals and ownership documents and titles comes with it, accumulated during its long history of conscientious preservation and display. It even has a set of display stands which mount to the wheel hubs to relieve weight from the tires and keep it ready for use at any time. An electric starter has been installed to supplement the side-mounted crank. It does not appear to ever have been dated by the UK VCC to determine its eligibility for the London-Brighton Veteran Car Run, but it is believed that Rambler built the single cylinder runabout only into 1905 ... and those had wheel steering ... so its eligibility for this important and enjoyable event open to pre-1905 automobiles is a reasonable probability. It abounds in intricate details that will delight its owner and spectators alike. It is a gorgeous thing.
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