1915 STEVENS-DURYEA MODEL DD ROADSTER
COACHWORK BY HOLBROOK
Chassis No. 23346
Engine No. 465DD
Dark plum with red pinstriping, black tufted leather interior and a tan canvas top
Engine: six cylinder, cast in pairs, 512ci., 47.2hp; Gearbox: sliding gear three-speed manual with reverse; Suspension: semi-elliptic front leaf springs with three-quarter elliptic rear; Brakes: rear internal expanding on rear wheel with an external contracting transmission brake. Left hand drive.
First shown in November of 1901, the Stevens-Duryea motor car received a warm welcome into the motoring world. With a limited term contract with the Stevens Arms and Toll Company, J. Frank Duryea had procured the necessary capital to begin regular production of motor cars. Production of the Model H, a 2 cylinder, 5 horsepower car was begun that year and by the close of 1902 all 50 examples were sold. By the close of 1907 Stevens-Duryea, now solely owned by J. Frank Duryea had reported a profit in excess of $1,000,000 while the company itself was valued at over $7,000,000. Duryea continued adding new innovations and engineering techniques to his line of fine motor cars. As a result the marque had found itself quite a loyal following that helped keep sales healthy in the years that followed.
By 1914 Stevens-Duryea offered a full range of motor cars with a complement of wheelbases, body styles and colors. Though the cars were offered in only four different colors, any body could actually be painted to the buyer's choice at no extra cost. Additionally, cars were well trimmed and came fully laden with desirable items such as trunk racks, an electric lighting system, Yale locks, spare tires as well as a full complement of quality instrumentation. Five different body styles were offered on the 131 inch wheelbase models, these included a Five Passenger Touring Car, Five Passenger Landau Phaeton and a Five Passenger Demi-Berline. All cars featured the reliable and spirited six cylinder, 512 cubic inch engine. These quality automobiles, however, would soon become extinct from the production line as personal health forced J. Frank Duryea to retire from the business, selling his interest in the company to the Westinghouse Company towards the close of 1915.
This example is reported to have joined the Browning Collection in 1988. Prior to Mr. Browning's ownership of the Stevens, the car was owned by Mr. James Bragg of Woodbury, Connecticut. Records indicate that Mr. Bragg purchased this Stevens from Mr. George Read of Santa Ana, California in the late 1950s. Stevens-Duryea club records show Mr. Read still owning the car as late as 1958, however, ownership information prior to that of Mr. Read's tenure as owner is unknown. Restored while in the ownership of Mr. Bragg, this Stevens-Duryea Model DD is a much older restoration as various receipts and a limited amount of documentation with the car indicates that the restoration was executed in the early 1906s by Mr. A.J. Anderson.
The paintwork is in fair condition and is spidering and cracking throughout much of the body and has been subject to touch-up work in various areas of the body. The paint towards the rear of the car has fairly prominent bubbling. The black tufted leather interior is in equally fair, used condition as is the tan canvas top. The instruments appear correct and original and include a Standard rim wind eight day clock, a Warner 60mph speedometer and a Weston ammeter. The body, which is believed to be original, is fitted with correct 37x5 inch dual spares at the rear. The Roadster is also fitted with incorrectly finished Stevens-Duryea chrome headlamps, Adams-Westlake sidelamps, S and M Model 80 chrome and black painted dual side spot lamps, wind wings, windshield washer, dual side mirrors and a Klaxon horn. The engine bay and motor also appear in used older condition, details include a Bosch magneto as well as an electric starting system. This original bodied Stevens-Duryea, though an older mellowed restoration, is a suitable touring car on many club events and tours and can be enjoyed as it is now or as an ideal restoration of a largely correct example.