29 April 2000
This Lot has no reserve
1921 BREWSTER MODEL 91 TOWN CAR
Chassis No. 91306
Green and cream with leather and cloth interior
Engine: four cylinder in-line Knight patent sleeve valve, cast en bloc 53bhp; Gearbox: selective sliding three speeds forward and reverse; Suspension; semi-elliptic springs; Brakes: mechanical expanding on rear wheels. Left hand drive.
By the time they began building their own automobiles in 1915, the Brewster coachbuilding firm of Long Island City, NY had been in business for over 100 years and was firmly established as the leading custom body designer and builder in America.
The car they created was not some vast land yacht or road-ripping powerhouse, but rather it was in the typical Brewster mold: understated yet distinctive, built of the very finest materials by the most conscientious and experienced artisans, finished like a fine carriage and priced accordingly for the carriage trade. The car on offer here, for instance, carried a factory price of $10,700 at a time when the most costly Packard was less than half that figure!
Among its easily-recognized features was the round radiator, perhaps inspired by the French Hotchkiss or the Delauney-Belleville with its relatively compact size, for these were intended to be chauffeur-driven town carriages for transport in and around the city, particularly for milady. Near-silence of operation was assured by use of the Knight engine whose sleeve valves reduced the noise level of the motor to a point undreamed-of in poppet-valve cars of the period.
The car presented here is an older restoration that is said to run well, but should receive cosmetic attention in some areas before it is shown at judged events.
Patent leather fenders are in very good original condition, as are the correct lamps and the brightwork. Leather in the chauffeur's compartment is believed to be original, but there are tears in the driver's seat and backrest. Top material is also believed to be original.
The car was repainted some years ago and needs attention again. Although color choice was fully optional on Brewsters, it is doubtful this particular shade was originally applied to the car. The artillery wheels appear to be in good condition. A modification includes the fitment of later shock absorbers at the rear.
One interesting feature on this Brewster, especially in light of the current Presidential elections, is a metal advertisement attached to the headlamp bar which reads, keep Cool-idge, the people's choice.
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This lot has no reserve.
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