In 1893, brothers J. Frank and Charles E. Duryea built what is considered one of the first American gasoline automobiles. Two Duryeas competed in the very first London-to-Brighton Emancipation Run in 1896, with J. Frank taking first place.

Built as part of the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts; this five-passenger car has Westinghouse air shock absorbers and a spring-loaded front bumper, and when introduced was the only car with a one-piece windshield.

This 1913 Model C was donated by noted painter and renowned illustrator Melbourne Brindle, and represents his sixth Stevens-Duryea. Despite his love affair with Rolls-Royce, the Stevens-Duryea captured a special place in the artist’s heart.

The car, affectionately nicknamed “Stevie” by its former owner, was donated in 1986, following a meticulous five-year restoration that included stripping the car to its bare aluminum body. So beloved was Stevie that it made a final visit to his former owner in 1995 when the car was requested to participate in Brindle’s funeral procession.

Specifications: Model C-six; engine six-cylinder in-line, water-cooled; bore 4 9/16 in., stroke 5-1/2 in., displacement 495 cu. in., 48 hp.

Price new, $4,500.

Accession no. 1986G20

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