1906 Success

Success eluded John C. Higdon except in the name of his Highwheeler. Essentially a buggy with a 2-3hp single cylinder engine mounted conveniently on the right side of the wooden frame and body driving the rear wheels through a chain drive, the Success Highwheeler came on the scene in 1906 and, despite upgrades in the engine to two- and four-cylinders, disappeared in 1909, not so coincidentally the same year Henry Ford launched his Model T. Built in St. Louis on the edge of the prairie, the Success, and Highwheelers in general, appealed to skeptical farmers who had to negotiate rutted tracks and were only just learning that a gasoline-powered motor vehicle, unlike a horse, didn't need feeding when she wasn't working. Success, unlike many of its Highwheeler counterparts, even emulated the buggy driver's position, placing the horizontal steering wheel in the center of the front seat. This 1906 Success Highwheeler is an example of Higdon's earliest concept and has been restored to Concours condition in red with yellow coachlining, black leather upholstery and black rubber mats on the floors. A center-mounted brass headlight and brass bulb horn complete its rudimentary equipment, but the restoration is amazing in its attention to detail in paint, upholstery, fittings and clean, crisp mechanical details. Highwheelers were common in America in the early 20th century and no collection chronicling the automobile's history in America is complete without one but a more unusual and meticulously restored one than this example of John Higdon's Success is unlikely to be found.

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