The Highwheeler is a uniquely American phenomenon, built to adapt to American conditions of the time. The first were the tracks that passed for roads through much of the country of the time outside the east coast. Blazed by wagons and teams of horses, they were muddy, rutted and highly crowned at the center, making ground clearance a premium. Also important was the inherent conservatism of the agrarian frontiersmen and women who still populated the vast plans and prairies. If it was new, it was new-fangled and untrustworthy when a good old buckboard had been meeting their needs for years. The Highwheeler pioneered by Henry Holsman of Chicago in 1903 responded to both these reservations. Set high on four enormous steel-shod wheels, it cleared most obstacles in the West, and it looked familiar. The design was simplicity itself, employing an opposed two-cylinder air cooled engine, two-speed transmission with reverse, rope drive to the rear axle and righthand tiller steering. It survived for only the first decade of the 20th century before being caught up in the automobile's rapid evolution and rendered obsolete by Henry Ford's Model T. This 1907 Holsman Highwheeler is a superb older restoration which received an AACA Senior National First Prize in 1986 and earned a Grand National prize in 1988. Since then it has been maintained in a private museum, with little or no use but runs and drives as it should. The black body, dark green chassis, red coachlines and black upholstery are in show condition. It is one of few surviving Holsman Highwheelers and is simply gorgeous.
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