1918 American LaFrance Open Speedster
Sale price: £45,000.00 make an offer
Car location: Weybridge, United KingdomSale type: Fixed price listing
Technical specifications, photos and description:
In 1871. Truckson LaFrance. whose family trade was iron working. br/>started building rotary steam engines and in 1903. built
approximately 25 chain drive cars with tube coil radiators mounted
below the front of the frame. 'rear-entrance tonneau' seating. all
righthand drive. The price was set at $5. 00 and all the vehicles
were sold exclusively by Sidney Bowman of New York City. 1906 saw
the experiment of shaft drive cars although this was not pursued.
In 1909. Simplex chain-drive rolling chassis were purchased and
shipped to the new LaFrance factory in Elmira. New York where new
bodies were fitted and badged as LaFrance. In 1910 Simplex
contracted LaFrance to design for them a 50hp. four cylinder engine
and later the following year. an American LaFrance four cylinder. br/>50hp Roadster was entered in the one mile dirt track race at the
Syracuse New York State Fair. This resulted in Type 75-12-10
& 38 model vehicles being manufactured with approximately 5. 00
built until around 1925. These were all in the style that we see
this vehicle in today. albeit with an assortment of configurations.
Mercedes-Benz. through their subsidiary Freightliner Corp. br/>purchased the American LaFrance Company in its entirety from the
Figgie International Company. With it came the oldest
surviving LaFrance car. a 1911 four cylinder. 50hp Roadster and 14
fully restored American LaFrance Fire Trucks which are all now
housed in the new LaFrance Museum in Cleveland. North Carolina.
The impressive vehicle on offer today was originally imported
into the UK in the mid 1980's whereupon it was converted into the
speedster configuration you see today. It was then used extensively
on tours and rallies within the UK and throughout Europe before
returning to South East England for further restoration. It was
completely overhauled. painted and run-in to the point where it can
now be used with confidence as required. The 14½ litre. six
cylinder. T-Head motor turns over with the aid of a solid iron
flywheel and a 5½ bore through twin chain drive to the rear wheels
and provides almost unlimited low-down torque. Starting is by
either push-button or hand-crank and the radiator is a German
silver (nickel silver) unit with an aluminium bonnet and piano
hinges. The original vehicle was specified with a Ross steering
box. a Rolls-Royce unit and a vast improvement on the original
LaFrance item. The seats are in the 'Roi de Belge' style with
leather padded wicker and a period touring trunk can be found to
the rear. With three forward gears and one reverse. wooden
artillery wheels and more kerbside presence than any million pound
supercar. it is little surprise that these immense creations are
hugely popular on the Peking to Paris Rally; indeed there has been
one on every single event (bar one) since its inception and on
every single West to East Road Race in the USA.
Also published at eBay.co.uk
Want to buy this car?
Comments and questions to the seller:from Robert, dated 28 march 2016
Can u let me know price and were I can view la France please
from Siegfried, dated 24 january 2015
Is this American LaFrance only to buy at auction or can it possible to buy directly from seller?
Has this car all the relevant documents / certificates for registration?
Are there only original parts fixed and will you guarantee for that?
If you have positive answers to my questions we'll discuss about next steps.
Thank you for your fast answer.
With best regards
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