1909 Reliable Dayton Surrey

William O. Dayton's Reliable Dayton automobiles were conceived and constructed specifically for reliability and as such they broke no new ground. Their simplicity and strength inspired confidence, as did their immense ground clearance of their tall wood spoke wheels and solid rubber tires, among skeptical farmers, rural businesses and mobile professionals like doctors to whom the new-fangled automobile's utility was attractive. A 2-cylinder 4-cycle engine was placed under the seats with a 2-speed planetary transmission and chain drive. Tiller steering from the right-hand side was intuitive and a small front hood housed the fuel and cooling water tanks. This Reliable Dayton is believed to be the only complete, running surviving example of the marque, and one of only three known. Its present restoration was completed a few years ago on the sound and largely complete museum-displayed original car and is resplendent in bright black with red wood wheels, black leather upholstery and leatherette top and abundant brass trim including the acetylene headlights and pedestal spotlight mounted on the right running board, Warner clock, kerosene sidelights, bulb horn, windshield frame and kerosene taillight. A delightfully original unrestored old trunk is mounted behind the body, a reminder of the Reliable Dayton's condition before it was restored. It is a showpiece that will be a welcome participant in one- and two-cylinder tours and events as well as shows.

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