The Century Motor Vehicle Company of Syracuse, New York was organized in 1900. Unusual for a fledgling automaker at the dawn of the 20th century, this pioneering enterprise set out to craft a trinity of extraordinary automobiles - electric, steam, and gasoline marvels. The wheels of innovation commenced turning early in 1901 with the debut of electric and steam-powered automobiles, the latter featuring a unique shaft drive system. Reportedly over 60 of these vehicles graced the world's roads by November of the same year, with a select few finding their way across the Atlantic to England, where they were sold under the name Ophir.
In 1902, the gasoline models made their debut, christened as the "Century Tourist." These vehicles, equipped with single-cylinder seven-horsepower engines and riding on a 92-inch wheelbase, bore an astonishingly modest price tag of $750 - a stark juxtaposition to their counterparts from contemporaneous giants like Locomobile and Pope-Hartford. As the year drew to a close, the final notes of steam power faded, leading to the discontinuation of the model. By 1903, the production lights dimmed, and in 1904, bankruptcy followed.
Fast forward to the present day, this meticulously resurrected 1902 Century Tourist surfaced from a Connecticut carriage house just half a decade ago. Originally delivered brand new in the opulent enclave of Newport, Rhode Island, it carries the charming dos-a-dos, or back-to-back seating configuration, like other early cars of its era. Immaculate in gloss black, the body contrasts with deep red trim and running gear. The upholstery, swathed in black button-tufted leather, is conceived for back-to-back seating in accordance with the body style. The helm is commanded through a central tiller, a testament to the automotive idiosyncrasies of the day, with the driver ensconced to the right.
Just a couple of years ago, the wooden body was carefully prepped and repainted. After an extensive six-month mechanical renovation, followed by rigorous testing, this stately relic was extended a coveted invitation to participate in the 2022 Audrain Veteran Car Tour, an illustrious journey from the historic environs of Newport to the picturesque vista of Bristol, Rhode Island, where it was the oldest car on the tour.
Outfitted with new tires, this exceptional Century Tourist is an ideal candidate for brass era touring, concours events, and leisurely jaunts. It is also eligible for the famed London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, held each November in the United Kingdom, (subject to the car being submitted for dating by the Veteran Car Club). As one of just three known survivors, it's ready to participate in early car touring events worldwide and offers a glimpse into the bygone era of motoring.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7622
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