The Al Wiseman Collection

30 November-1 December 2007

Previous Next

Lot 833

1905 Stanley Model EX Runabout

  • Chassis no. 2101

Sold for $126,500


10hp, two-cylinder double-acting steam engine geared directly to differential, four-wheel

fully-elliptic leaf spring suspension, two-wheel mechanical brakes.

Wheelbase: 90"

The Stanley brothers were identical twins who made their fortune manufacturing photographic dry plates. They first considered the idea of building a steam-powered automobile in 1896, and had a car running by September 1897. The next autumn, at Charles River Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Stanleys’ steam car amazed onlookers as it effortlessly bested its competitors in an 80-foot incline challenge. Not surprisingly, a flood of orders quickly ensued.

The brothers set up a plant adjacent to their plate factory in nearby Watertown, but before production had begun they sold the business to John Brisben Walker and Amzi Lorenzo Barber. The automobile became the Locomobile steam runabout, America’s best-selling car from 1901 to 1902.

The twins left Locomobile at the end of 1899, and had a new design steam runabout ready for market late in 1901. The car was well received, and by 1905 more than 1,000 had been built. The familiar “coffin-nose” hood appeared during 1904, and wheel steering was introduced the following year.

Known for their extraordinary acceleration, Stanley Steamers were also very successful in various sprints and speed trials around the country. At Ormond Beach in 1906, Fred Marriott drove the streamlined Stanley Rocket racer to an unbelievable 127.66mph for the flying measured mile, thereby securing the world’s land speed record, a mark that still stands for steam.

This particular EX Runabout underwent a very meticulous restoration, and was a National First Prize Winner in 1986 and a Grand National Winner in 1989 in the Antique Automobile Club of America. It was purchased by Mr. Wiseman from a gentleman who had acquired it in 1994 from a private collection in Colorado. The car was subsequently restored to a very high standard, and was frequently used through 2001. On its 100th anniversary in 2006, the car was shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The boiler was refurbished in the late 1990s while the car was fitted with a new fuel tank and sump screen. The main burner, pilot burner, and jet assembly were professionally rebuilt as well.

The overall condition of the car remains outstanding as it is of show quality throughout. The body is finished in the proper livery of Brewster Green with black accents and cream-colored running gear, suspension, steering components, and pin striping. The paint is virtually flawless and the pin striping was professionally applied. Brass has been used extensively, from the headlamps and oil-fired, cowl-mounted coach lamps to the various trim pieces. The black leather upholstery of the front and mother-in-law seats has been professionally fitted to show quality standards and features a diamond button tuft pattern. The leather has been very well maintained and is devoid of any signs of wear.

The quality of the undercarriage and suspension components are consistent with the balance of the car and exhibit spectacular workmanship, from the refinished underbody to the polished brass components. The car reportedly runs and drives perfectly. It is accompanied by ‘Instructions for Firing Up and Running the Stanley Steam Car’, detailed restoration photos, and an outline of specific starting procedures.

Although Stanley’s best-seller when new, the Model EX is seldom seen today. Attractively finished in green with brass accents, this Runabout represents a chance to acquire an excellent, show quality example of a rare steam automobile.


Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1905. The serial number is 2101.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

Cameron Smyth

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Cameron Smyth joined RM Sotheby’s as a Car Specialist in 2015, working out of our corporate office and providing assistance on c... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more