6-7 October 2011
1910 Otto Speedster
To be auctioned on Friday, October 7, 2011
Sold for $60,500
- Chassis no. 210
- Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn
- One of only two examples known to exist
- Formerly in the Midlands Motor Museum Collection
- Featured in AACA magazine article
- Special body with double rumble seat
The Otto Gas Engine Works of Philadelphia billed itself as “The Largest and Oldest Builders of Gas and Gasoline Engines in the World,” playing off Nicholas Otto’s 1867 invention, albeit in Germany. In any case, the Otto company embarked on automobile manufacture in 1910. They were, according to the late historian Beverly Rae Kimes, “handsome cars, long and low, and sturdily built.”
The Otto we have the pleasure of offering here is one of only two examples known to exist. According to a copy of a 1959 article in the AACA’s Antique Automobile, which featured the stories of both surviving cars, both cars were “owned by AACA members and [were] restored to prize-winning condition by their owners.” This particular example was owned by John William Kurtz of New York, who acquired it from its second owner and who, in describing the nut-and-bolt restoration he carried out in the 1950s, stated, “the body on the Otto was different from any of those that were in the catalog but I was told by Mr. Cole from whom I purchased the car that it was made specially for Mr. Burns, the original owner.”
Following Kurtz’s ownership, the car wound up in the ownership of the Midlands Motor Museum in the UK, from where it was sold in 1988 to the Mallya Collection and subsequently displayed and used in Europe and Africa. It finally returned to the United States in 2002 and today is presented in older restored condition. The cream finish, red accents and red upholstery all exhibit a handsome patina. Of particular note are the interesting double rumble seats, which Antique Automobile described as a $25 factory option. A rare early brass era car with a powerful 30-horsepower four-cylinder, this Otto is perfect for driving events.
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