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The Quail Auction / 1903 Winton 2 Cylinder Tourer Chassis no. 1718

Lot 21
1903 Winton 24HP 5-Passenger Toy Tonneau Tourer
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

US$225,000 - US$250,000

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1903 Winton 24HP 5-Passenger Toy Tonneau Tourer
Chassis no. 1718

4.3-liter Water-Cooled 2-Cylinder Engine
24 Horsepower
2-Speed forward, 1 reverse
Contracting Brakes on Rear Axle
Emergency Brake on Engine Drive Sprocket

*Offered with entry to the 2023 Audrain Veteran Car Tour
*Among the most powerful cars available at the time
*Rare and Important Model in automotive history
*Eligible for a variety of veteran and brass car events


In 1896, Alexander Winton, utilizing his background in steam engineering, decided to divert from bicycle manufacturing, and began to build his first automobile. In March of 1897, the Winton Motor Carriage Company was formed, and had produced 2 prototype examples. For the benefit of promoting the durability and usefulness of the new Winton motorcar, Mr. Winton drove one of his vehicles to New York City from Cleveland on an endurance run, in July 1897. By March of 1898, the first Winton car was sold to the public, additionally another 22 examples were sold by the end of the year, followed by the sale of more than 100 examples in 1899, and Winton becoming the largest manufacturer of American built gasoline powered cars of the day.

Winton is considered the first manufacturer to produce cars on a mass scale of production, in groups or series of vehicles ranging from a runabout to a semi-truck. The increased interest and production resulted in the first automobile dealership being opened in the United States in Reading, Pennsylvania.

A second endurance run was made by Winton in 1899, from Cleveland to New York City and returning to Cleveland. The promotional benefits of this run led to an increase of production to 25 cars per week, as well as the building of a new factory, and more than doubling the company's work force to 1,500 employees.

1901 was an eventful year for Winton, as the company began capturing even more of the general public's attention. Winton cars were purchased by wealthy elite such as the Vanderbilts, and the acquisition of a 40 horsepower 2-cylinder "Bullet" by Larz Anderson further added to the public's desire to experience these new machines.

In October of 1901, Alexander Winton competed in his Bullet, against Henry Ford in the "Sweepstakes Ford" at the World Champion Sweepstakes, in Grosse Point, Michigan, losing to Ford in the 10-lap race. Winton was determined to return and defeat Ford, and in 1902, a Winton Bullet was built capable of reaching a speed of nearly 70mph. In October of 1902, the Winton Bullet once again competed against a new Ford car, dubbed "999", and piloted by Barney Oldfield. Yet once again, due to misfiring, Winton was defeated by Ford.
1903 became an important year for the Winton. What began as a gentlemen's bet, became history in the making when, with undaunted courage, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson and his riding mechanic Sewall Crocker, set out to be the first to cross the United States, from coast to coast, in a 1903 Winton 2-cylinder 24 horsepower runabout. 63 days after leaving San Francisco on their grand adventure, they completed their task and arrived in New York City. The 1903 Winton 24 horsepower car proved to be a well built and capable machine, and The "Mad Doctor's" drive further sealed the Winton Motor Cars' standing in the upper echelons of the history of the American automobile. In 1944, Dr. Jackson donated his Winton to the Smithsonian Museum, where it resides today with Bullet No.1, and the first 8-cylinder car produced in America, Bullet No.2, as well as an 1898 example.

Continuing to build upon the ingenious engineering displayed in previous models, the 1903 Winton 2-cylinder 24 horsepower model was designed using a number of intriguing and interesting elements, which resulted in simplicity and ease of operation. Its large, but tidy 2-cylinder engine, with a bore of 5¼ inches and stroke of 6 inches, for a total displacement of approximately 4.3 liters, was mounted longitudinally in the center of the chassis. The gearbox was designed as a constant mesh unit, with individual brass clutches on each gear - 2 forward and 1 reverse - engaged via two levers at the driver's right hand. One lever engaged reverse or low speed, the other, high speed and a drive brake - attached to the chain drive sprocket - used to transfer power to the rear axle, which contained contracting brake units, operated by foot pedal, and also used as a parking brake. Oil was fed to the necessary points on the engine from an oil tank under the bonnet, regulated by a float valve, ensuring even oil distribution to the cylinders, and to the crank case components which were enclosed to prevent debris from infiltrating the finely machined surfaces, and prevented oil from dripping on the carriage house floor. Proper cooling was achieved with a front mounted radiator and centrifugal water pump, efficiently keeping the engine at proper operating temperatures. Semi elliptical springs provided a quality ride front and rear. Perhaps the most brilliant piece of engineering developed by Winton was the throttle control. Winton, whose background was in steam engineering, devised a brilliant self-regulating intake system for his new automobile, employing a small air pump in the crank case, that created pressure with each crankshaft revolution. This pressure would then be fed to a chamber that limited the action of the intake valve. As engine speed increased, the rising air pressure would restrict the valves, causing the engine to throttle down. The driver could press an accelerator pedal, that would bleed the air from the system, allowing the motor to accelerate and make maximum power. When the driver came to a stop, the air system would return the engine to a nice low idle. This system did all this brilliantly, with just a few components; an air pump, a line connecting the air to the carburetors, and a foot operated bleed valve. A clever feature prevented the starting handle from being used, unless the spark was fully retarded, and the tilt up steering wheel provided excellent feel of the light and precise steering. The body was framed in ash with panels formed of poplar, with beautiful curves and lines serving to further compliment the elegant design.


This Winton 2-Cylinder 24hp Toy Tonneau Tourer model, bears chassis number 1718, and is one of about 850 Wintons built in 1903. It is a fully outfitted example and was restored with events and touring in mind. Presented in Blue with Black accents, as well as red pinstripe decorations. It is adorned with Gray & Davis Winton badged head lamps, standing proudly out front, which are accompanied by Gray & Davis Winton badged side lamps. With its folding windscreen, lattice roof, and full weather kit presiding over its plush black leather interior, it allows for accommodations for up to 5 people. It stands tall and is a striking and dominating presence when viewed in the flesh. The wicker storage compartments, on either side of the tonneau, and the wicker umbrella holster provide ample storage, and a further sense of its grand touring capability.

Not much is known of the early history of 1718. The car was purchased by a well-known member of the veteran car community, Willis Boyd of Santa Ana, California, sometime around 1980. It is understood that he performed the restoration of this wonderful Winton with the idea of using it regularly on driving tours and veteran car runs. With that theme in mind, Boyd set about to perform some updates which would make operating the Winton much easier and safer on today's roads.

The original carburetors have been replaced with a pair of more standard period units, which perform very well. The addition of a hydraulic emergency brake was made to ensure confidence when traveling a road with a steep decline - it is engaged by an additional foot pedal. The addition of an electric starter motor allows for quick and easy starting from the driver's seat. The rear lamps have been converted to 12 Volt electric, operating as running lamps, brake lamps, and turn indicators, and seat belts have been installed in the front seats. It is believed, that the car was run on several events by Boyd. 1718 was then acquired by another well-known enthusiast, Conrad Fletcher of Golden, Colorado in 2002, and was very well cared for as part of his impressive collection of brass era cars for about 20 years.

1718 presents very nicely today, in excellent running and driving condition, it is ready to be seen touring at its next event! With about 20 examples known to exist and many of those being held by prestigious museums, this is an exceedingly rare opportunity to obtain one of the most powerful, well-engineered, and luxurious cars of its day. 1718 is being offered with entry to the 2023 Audrain Motor Museum Veteran Car Run.

The contribution of the Winton Runabout, on the transcontinental trip of Jackson and Crocker, to the development and acceptance of the automobile as a practical, reliable means of transportation cannot be overemphasized. The charm, ingenuity, and creativity incorporated in early automobiles like this, is increasingly recognized and the number of events in which their participation is sought grows annually with, of course, the most famous being the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. The only way to join the fun is with a car like this and 24hp will get it to Brighton early enough to enjoy watching many of the later arrivals while enjoying a nice cup of tea!

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