Between 1900 and 1918, White of Cleveland, Ohio, produced a range of high-quality steam and gasoline-powered automobiles. They gained considerable notoriety, and national attention after a White steamer set a world record speed of 73.75 miles per hour at the Morris Park Track in 1905. Prominent individuals like John D. Rockefeller and Buffalo Bill Cody counted among White owners, and a White tourer stood out as the only car used in President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1905 inaugural parade.
While famous for their prestigious steam cars, White also embraced the petrol engine with equal enthusiasm, building their first gasoline engines in 1910. Two models were offered in the first year - the 110-inch wheelbase Model G-A and the 120-inch wheelbase Model G-B. Both cars shared the same 20/30 horsepower four-cylinder engine, with five different bodies offered across the range. While White cars were highly exclusive, sales were never enough to feed the bottom line, and their line of heavy trucks was considerably more lucrative. By 1918, White quit the car business to concentrate on trucks – which ultimately proved to be the right decision as the company survived until 1980.
David Kleptz discovered this fantastic 1910 While G-A Speedster while preparing to start the Great American Race from the Santa Monica Pier. Someone casually mentioned the car’s availability and offered it to David. So, after finishing that year’s Great Race, he went back to California to see the White. According to the previous owner, the G-A has been in speedster configuration and an active racecar since the late teens. It also allegedly made a handful of appearances at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races in the 1970s. David was so taken by the White that he made a deal to buy it on the spot. He called his dad with the good news, and when Frank asked how the heck he was going to get it home, David responded, “I’ll drive it!” Naturally, that evolved into a bet, and a couple of days later, David knocked on his dad’s front door to collect – with the White sitting in the driveway.
Eventually, the G-A was treated to a high-quality restoration, and it has seen little use since then. With its brass radiator, polished bonnet, and minimalist bodywork, the White G-A Speedster is a fantastically evocative machine. The restoration is finished to a high standard, with excellent paint quality and detailing. Several items point to its long-term history as a racer, including the exceptionally rare Martin friction shocks, wire wheels, and a rare twin-spark magneto. The lovely oval fuel tank is also believed to be a period fitment. In the interest of maximum weight savings (while also looking really cool), the previous owner meticulously drilled everything from the gear/handbrake levers, pedals, steering wheel controls, and oiler levers.
Considering the 20/30 horsepower engine has such little mass to haul around, the White G-A has enormous performance potential. The inline-four feeds a four-speed gearbox with a 25% overdrive – making the car good for 70 miles per hour. David fitted it with cast iron brake drums, so it has a prayer of stopping should you explore the outer limits of its performance. As offered here, some additional finishing work is required to get it fully running, including some plumbing of the fuel and oiling systems, though preliminary checks show the engine is in good order and should likely get up and running with ease.
We would love to see this rare and evocative White Speedster return to the race track, sliding around legendary circuits like Laguna Seca, Lime Rock, or Goodwood, and it will undoubtedly provide years of enjoyment for its next custodian.
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