1908 Stanley H-5 Gentlemens Speedy Roadster
1908 Stanley H-5 Gentlemen Speedy Roadster
20 hp, double-acting two-cylinder steam engine, solid front axle and live rear axle with full-elliptic leaf springs, and mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 100 in.
Undoubtedly the most famous of the Marques to power an automobile by steam, Stanley was the brainchild of twin brothers F.E. and F.O. Stanley. But like all others, the brothers would be pushed in the quest for greater speed. Therefore, the Stanley Model H-5 would have to be considered the greatest of all the Stanley Steam Cars. By 1908, the Stanleys were manufacturing a full line of models, from family touring cars to limousines to fast roadsters. The Model H-5 is the sports car of the line, advertised as “intended for those who wish to hit up a speed of 65 or 70 miles an hour on a good, safe road.”
The Model H-5 Gentleman’s Speedy Roadster offered here is one of the sportiest and most powerful early Stanleys, and it is a car deserving of its charming factory name. Only a handful of this body style has survived, and none of them have their original bodywork. This car, however, is distinguished by having an original dry-running, 20-horsepower engine, which was factory-equipped with “hookup,” a feature that allows for conservation of steam.
This Stanley H5 will need a bit of freshening up. My first suggestion is to re-plumb the whole car. It’s not all that nice to look at and some of the plumbing is in need of correction. The boiler holds steam pressure to 600 lbs and the engine functions and sounds nice, however I have never driven the car. The boiler water level gauge will need a cleaning/service as I cannot determine how much water in in the boiler. I was planning on rebuilding/replacing all the power-pumps and replacing the fuel pressure regulator, as it leaks very badly. The steam hookup is not properly connected and will need to be remedied. This Stanley has a water automatic plumbed, but not original to this vintage It does have a steam automatic, neither have been tested. This is an older cosmetic restoration that still holds up well, however close inspection of the pictures here will show many chips and areas of paint coming off. The left rear fender also has a crack where someone leaned on it.
This is a rare opportunity to get into an early Stanley that is reasonably priced which allows the new owner to continue sorting and knowing the car.