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Lot 555

1905 Stanley Model CX Runabout

  • Chassis no. 1305

Sold for $48,400

8 hp, double-acting two-cylinder engine, live axle suspension, full-elliptical leaf springs, mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 78"

- Perhaps the best remaining original Stanley Steamer in existence

- From long-term family ownership; only three-owners since new

- Includes original license plates and operation papers

Stanley Motor Carriage Company of Newton, Massachusetts was the world's most famous maker of steam-powered automobiles. From 1901 through 1927, the company manufactured nearly 11,000 vehicles and set numerous land speed records.

Offered for public sale for the first time is 1905 Stanley Model CX chassis no. 1305. Last driven 98 years ago and carefully stored since, period and marque experts believe this to be the most original Stanley example in existence.

Chassis no. 1305 was purchased new by wealthy Boston-area lawyer Albert Worthen, who was a close friend of company founders Francis and Freelan Stanley. Mr. Worthen and his brother Hadley only drove the car until 1912, when after only about 2,400 miles, the vehicle was stored in the family barn. Not until its sale by heirs to well-known Stanley enthusiast Don Bourdon in 1980 did the car leave hibernation on the Worthen family property. Thereafter the car was stored in as-found condition for an additional three decades, when the extraordinary time capsule was acquired by its current owner.

This rare Model CX features the factory-installed 16-inch diameter boiler, eight-horsepower engine and 48-gear ratio within the 78-inch wheelbase chassis. The runabout body maintains its original exterior, interior, lights and dual Ashton Valve gauges with Stanley Motor Carriage labels. The car's folio even includes operation papers from 1910 and original license plates from 1912 – its last year registered for use on public roads. The current owner has installed a new boiler so that the car is useable, however, the original boiler and burner are included with the sale.

Since acquiring it, the car's third owner has presented it in one concours d'elegance, where attendees and judges alike appreciated its barn-find patina and historical importance.


Please note that this lot is being sold on "Bill of Sale Only". Contrary to the catalogue, the car still has the original boiler intact and fitted to the car. Also included is a new boiler and burner if the new owner chooses to run the car.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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