1910 Stanley Model 71 Roadster-Toy Tonneau
The history of the Stanley Brothers and the cars has been well documented, most recently in The Stanley Steamer: America’s Legendary Steam Car by Kit Foster. After selling their dry plate film business they ventured into automobiles. Steam was their choice. One of their most significant achievements was the wire wound boiler. This innovation greatly decreased the boiler weight from more conventional ones and thereby reduced the boiler to chassis ratio. So successful was this car that by 1899 they had buyers for their new company and its patents. The sale resulted in the Locomobile and later the Mobile steam car. The new partners disagreed over the future development of their cars and sold the patent rights back to the Stanley brothers. A new and improved Stanley was introduced in 1904. Most noticeable was the introduction of the horizontally mounted engine, this feature as well as the wire wound boiler would last till the end of production.
The Model 71 Stanley of 1910 is referred to in Stanley Literature as a Roadster, Toy Tonneau. It has been speculated by some Stanley aficionados that this was the next progression from the legendary Model H followed by the popular Model R of 1909. Stanley literature states “the Model 71 is a Roadster that is smart, high powered for four people”. It also states “it is intended for those who wish to hit up a speed of 60 to 70 miles per hour on good safe roads”. Remember this is 1910 with almost no paved roads. It may be noted that a Model 71 differs from other Stanleys in its tank configuration, the water tank being under the rear seat, fuel tank and pressure bottles under the front seat. This allows for more water storage thereby increasing the range. The water tank is filled from a cap located on the deck behind the rear seat. Although the Model 71 is built on the same base as the Model 70 the use of the smaller rear seat enables the close coupled design which gives this car a very sleek and sporty look.
This Stanley Model 71 serial number 5614 engine number 7-177 was as the Stanley Register would say “assembled from parts”. The remains of this car were found eleven years ago in a partially collapsed saw mill once owned by the famed Packard Bros. of Mass. The first five years were spent acquiring missing parts and the last six spent restoring this car. New wood for the wheels was done by Bill Calimer of Waynesboro, Pa. Modern bearings were fitted to both the front and rear axle and modern seals installed. Stanley brakes leave much to be desired when driving on present day roads. This car has been upgraded to hydraulic brakes for added safety. Very little of the original body was found but enough to determine the serial number stamped in the frame. A new body was fabricated using the very best ash for framing. Detailed drawings were made from an unrestored original example located on the west coast. The trim work was done by Christian Petersheim using the finest leather; horsehair used for the tufting complete the authentic look. The top is black canvas. The headlamps are Rushmore. The side lamps the very rare and correct large body two tier by E&J. All bright parts are nickel plated giving this car an overall elegant appearance. All pumps, valves and automatics were rebuilt, a new boiler, Baker Burner and Maxwell pilot completed the restoration. The addition of a fire up valve makes the firing process a bit more user friendly.
The restoration was completed in the spring of 2018 and on its first outing was awarded an Antique Automobile Club of America National First Prize. Overall a Stanley living up to its legacy.