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 Model  H4 Gentlemen's Speedy Roadster
Year built  1907
Power  20hp
Chassis No.  3708
Fuel  Kerosene
Pilot  Hexane
Top Speed  75-80mph
Reg No.  SV 8775
Boiler Test  Current
Asking Price  £150,000

A unique opportunity to own one of the rarest Stanley Steam Cars and, in 1907, the fastest production car in the world.

We are delighted to be advertising for sale one of the best Stanley Steam Cars in the UK, a beautifully presented 20hp H4 Gentlemen’s Speedy Roadster.

Take yourself back to the year 1907; the dawn of the motorcar has truly broken, and an array of fantastically unique motorcars are entering production using both steam and petrol for power. Twins E. O. Stanley and F. O. Stanley have, at this point, been producing steam propelled motor carriages for 10 years, their first produced in 1897. By 1907, the company had an array of steam cars on the books at a range of power ratings, most targeted as touring or runabout cars with plenty of seats and for ambling with passengers to their destination. Famously, their most popular was the Stanley 10hp arrangement, examples of which currently for sale can also be found on our website.

At this time, the Stanley Motor Carriage Company saw an opportunity to produce something more and so designed a fast production car aimed at the young American gentleman seeking to impress. The Stanley H4 Gentlemen’s Speedy Roadster filled this vacancy and boasted a lightweight, nimble set-up, powered by the 20hp boiler and twin acting engine. The H4 was the fastest production car in the world at the time and could achieve speeds of up to 80mph! The 1906-7 Stanley catalogue explicably states, ‘Our Gentlemen’s Speedy Roadster is a light car for two people, and is the fastest stock car in the world… It is indeed a gentlemens’ speeding car, and is intended for those who wish to hit up a speed of 75 or 80 miles an hour on a good safe road, without going to the expense of importing a $10,000 racing machine with its noisy cylinders and high expense for tires and maintenance.’

Exactly where one would be able to open up their H4 to 80mph in 1907 we cannot begin to imagine but that was a moot point for those seeking to impress! The H4 remained on Stanley’s advertising for one year only and two examples were produced, selling new for $1,200. Only one of those two still exist and it is that example which we have the pleasure of listing here for sale.

Stanley H4 chassis number 3708 is a truly sorted example. The boiler is in excellent condition, and fully ticketed as would be expected. The look of the machine is fantastic and as it should be, full of character yet well looked after. Respectfully, it must be considered that over the course of 112 years this car has, at some point or another, ended up having most parts replaced. However, all work done over the years has been carried out sympathetically to a high standard. The brakes act on the rear wheels and are hydraulic to aid stopping at those speeds discussed above! Firing takes around 20 minutes and uses hexane (brake cleaner is good modern-day substitute) as a pilot and kerosene for running, on kerosene it will run at around 7 mpg – a far cry from modern cars but an achievement for a ‘sports’ car of such an age. The engine is the correct “Dry” type meaning oiling up is recommended when waiting for the boiler to warm. Cleverly, an owner of the car in its life has fitted a pump set up alongside the driver seat to feed the motion during use.

It has, in recent years, had a new boiler, new cylinder block and frames. On top of this, it has been cared for in a meticulous fashion. The dash is simple in steam car terms, featuring the correct taps and gauges with no extra above the bare minimum allowing for easy use; this results in a steam car which is hassle free to run and relatively simple to use – a real bonus when driving such a machine and allows the driver to experience that exhilarating rush of cold air through their hair without concern. And when we say rush of cold air, we mean it! This is one which throws you back in your seat. Note the lack of windscreen, roof and rear seats; this is a race car of its day and such extras were considered a frivolous weight addition so don’t expect comfort on a rainy day.

The Gentlemen’s Speedy Roadster is a unique car and one which will bring joy to any owner as well as being the crowning jewel to all but the most illustrious of vehicle collections. The paint can be described as good and in keeping with the theme of the car. The brass is fantastic and polishes beautifully. The head lamps are genuine Rushmore of the correct era.

This is a one-off opportunity to own a terrific piece of motoring history, which incidentally had a recent feature in Octane magazine (Issue 169, July 2017). Arguably one of the fastest steam cars currently in preservation in the UK and certainly one of the most sorted. This is a chance to imitate those young American gentlemen of 1907 in a truly outstanding Stanley H4 of excellent background and which originated in the workshops of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company.

 

Asking Price - £150,000

 

As with all our vehicles advertised for sale, we always recommend coming to view in person where possible. This Gentlemen’s Speedy Racer is based at our premises near Exeter. We do ask that all viewings are made by prior appointment by giving us a call on 01392 833301. Following purchase, training in the use of this car is available - do ask for details if needed.

Export and shipping can be arranged for this steam car, as it can with any of our vehicles offered for sale. Do ask about our competitive rates of shipping by the safest means possible, even if you are contacting from overseas.

 

Looking to sell?

MAVWe specialise in the sale of steam engines, both full-size and miniature, as well as the sale of classic motorcycles and cars. 

If you are looking to sell your steam engine or classic vehicle, we make both cash offers and sell on commission and we would be more than happy to discuss the sale of your vehicle with you. 

 

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We specialise in selling steam engines, both full-size and miniature, classic motorcycles, cars and similar vehicles.

If you are looking to sell your steam engine or classic vehicle, we make both cash offers and sell on commission. 

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Berrybrook Motors Ltd
Dawlish Road
Exminster
Exeter EX6 8DN

Call us on +44 (0)1392 833301

For Steam enquiries: steam@berrybrook.co.uk 

For Classic Car & Motorcycle enquiries: classics@berrybrook.co.uk

 

Our other sites
Berrybrook Morgan | Berrybrook Compacts

 

01392 833301

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