Bonhams has the special honor to offer extremely rare and one of the most historic automobiles ever brought to auction, which features a lot of “first” and “oldest” in front of its description. On August 17th in Carmel, California, Bonhams will offer 1895 Buffum 4-Cylinder Stanhope, world’s first four cylinder automobile, first time offered publicly, the first Buffum automobile produced, the oldest American car ever offered at auction and the oldest American gasoline car in private ownership, as a part of its Quail Lodge auction.
This extremely rare and important part of American automobile history, dates back in 1894, when H.H Buffum has started with his first automotive design on this four cylinder engine vehicle, and finished it one year later, employing many of the accepted technologies of the period. The value of this unique car becomes more invaluable, if take into account, that the number of pre-1897 American car can be counted on one hand. Also important, the history of the car has been known since construction, as well as the fact that the car has mainly survived in original condition. Estimate: $ 250,000 – 350,000!
“As the world leaders in the sale of pioneering motorcars, Bonhams is delighted to offer a machine of such outright historical significance,” says Mark Osborne, Bonhams’ Head of Motoring. “It is our great pleasure to have been appointed to present this national treasure – the oldest American car ever offered at auction.”
The car was displayed for decades at the Princeton Auto Museum in Massachusetts (one of the first auto museums in the country) and later at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Maine. [Bonhams]