Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1904 POPE-TRIBUNE 7HP MODEL II TWO SEATER RUNABOUT
Registration No. TAR 904
Engine No. 120
Red with tan upholstery
Engine: single cylinder vertical, 4½ x 4 ins. bore and stroke, 1,040cc, automatic inlet-valve, water-cooled, coil ignition; Gearbox: two speed and reverse sliding, shaft and bevel gear drive; Suspension: front and rear, semi-elliptic suspension; Brakes: rear wheel and transmission brakes. Right hand drive.
American Civil War veteran Colonel Albert Pope had created his bicycle-building 'Empire' in the 1880s and it was a natural progression to enter the automobile business, first with Columbia electric vehicles from 1897, followed by five other Pope makes, the best known of which are probably the Pope-Hartford and the Pope-Toledo - these names reflecting the location of the factories and made by the Pope Manufacturing Co. and the Pope Motor Co. respectively.
Also made by the Manufacturing Co., at a factory in Hagerstown, Maryland, was the Pope-Tribune, a small car on European lines. It was introduced early in 1904 and production continued for two years, with steady developments to the specification. The initial examples had a 6hp engine with a water-cooled cylinder-head and an air-cooled barrel, rear-mounted gearbox, braking only on the transmission, and a De Dion-style engine cover. Towards the end of the year a fully water-cooled larger engine became standard encased in a boxy bonnet and the radiator was moved out forward of the chassis. The gearbox was relocated to a central position, necessitating placing the gearlever on the right to join a handbrake lever required for rear-wheel brakes that became a standard fitment. This was catalogued as the 'Improved' Model II.
This car is an example of the 'Improved' model and appears to be in fair condition although it would benefit from some attention particularly to the under-bonnet detail. It has been well known in Veteran circles for many years and participated frequently in the London to Brighton Run, often with a 'celebrity' occupying the passenger seat. The last occasion on which it took part in the Run was the 1996 Centenary event and the opportunity now exists to revive its Brighton career, for a relatively modest outlay.
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