Like many early automakers, The Pope Manufacturing Company initially focused on bicycles, soon becoming one of the largest volume bicycle producers in the country. It was only logical that, when the bicycle boom slowed down, Colonel Albert A. Pope would shift his focus to motorcars. Cars gradually entered the picture through several of Colonel Albert Pope’s many companies, including Columbia, which primarily produced electric vehicles beginning in 1897.
The first car to bear the Pope-Hartford name was built in Hartford, Connecticut, and made its debut at the New York Auto Show in January 1904. The two-place Model A runabout was constructed on a 78-inch wheelbase, powered by a 10-horsepower single-cylinder engine, and came equipped with lights but no top. The Model B was largely the same but used additional rear spring leaves to accommodate the heavier rear entrance tonneau body. These two initial models were followed by the Model D in 1905. This new five-passenger touring car had a longer 88-inch wheelbase and was powered by a water-cooled 16-horsepower horizontal two-cylinder engine. The much-improved Model D, while more expensive, was less powerful than the two-cylinder competition from Buick and Oldsmobile. Pope-Hartford transitioned to four-cylinder power with the 20-25 horsepower Model F in 1906.
Facing financial challenges, the company struggled to pay its suppliers, and the Pope Companies went into receivership in 1907. When the company emerged, it was smaller, solvent, and exclusively focused on building four-cylinder cars for the next few years.
In 1911, the company introduced the 50-horsepower Model W, which was powered by a large overhead valve four-cylinder engine displacing 389.9 cubic inches. Paired with a four-speed transmission, power reached the rear axle via shaft drive. Suspension was provided by leaf springs, and mechanically actuated drum brakes were fitted to the rear axle. Riding on a 124-inch wheelbase, it was offered in six body styles with prices ranging from $3,000 to $4,150.
This fabulous 1911 Pope-Hartford Model W Touring is a stunning example of Brass Era performance motoring. Finished in vibrant green with black coach stripes and yellow pinstriping, this Pope commands attention and possesses incredible presence. Little is known about its earliest history, but the most recent owner acquired it from the late Dave Noran, a well-known figure in brass car circles. The previous owner was also a passionate brass-era enthusiast who continued to show and enjoy the car as it deserved.
Still appearing fresh and impeccably detailed, the green bodywork is finished to concours-quality standards, with outstanding paintwork on the chassis and body components. Running boards and floors are finished with period-appropriate linoleum panels, and the seats are beautifully trimmed in black leather. Accessories include Gray & Davis headlamps, Gray & Davis cowl lamps, a Warner speedometer and clock, and numerous beautifully restored brass fittings. Interestingly, the car features different-sized wheels front and back, and the twin side-mounted spares have one of each!
As with the rest of the car, the detailing on the mighty 389.9 cubic-inch T-head four-cylinder engine is impeccable. It is in excellent condition throughout, showing only light use on the undercarriage since its restoration. The chassis is presented as beautifully as the bodywork, with fine-quality paint and painstakingly striped frame, springs, and front axle. It has continued to impress in the hands of its most recent owner, a passionate brass car enthusiast.
Deeply impressive and possessing incredible presence, this 50HP Pope Hartford is an exquisitely restored motorcar that would be a thrilling entry in brass era tours and a welcome addition to concours events worldwide.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7578
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