1907 Success Model B RunaboutSOLD
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Estimate: $25,000-$30,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

$9,625 Sold

Specifications: 4 hp, single-cylinder engine, two-speed transmission, front and rear transverse leaf spring suspension. Wheelbase: 62"

The origins of the Success Auto-Buggy Manufacturing Company effectively date back to 1896 when John C. Higdon of St. Louis, Missouri produced the first car to bear his name. Although Higdon reportedly had no intentions of continuing such projects and invited anyone to draw freely from his new developments, full-scale production of his auto-buggies picked up in earnest by 1906 and continued through 1909.

Known for producing some of the most affordable and economical high wheelers available, Success ’ s first product was the Model A, a runabout fitted with a single-cylinder, air-cooled engine mounted on the right side of the body. Producing between two and three horsepower, the Model A ’ s transmission was comprised of a two-speed planetary gear and a sprocket on the rear left wheel. Steel wheels were standard, although rubber tires added an additional $25 to the modest $250 price tag. Just one year after its introduction, however, the Model A was replaced by a four-horsepower Model B and a two-cylinder Model C Runabout. Shortly after the 1909 introduction of a four-cylinder Model F and despite the company ’ s optimistic name, Success failed, having produced only 600 vehicles.

This particular 1907 Success Model B is believed to be the only one of its kind in existence. Previously in Arizona, it was acquired by Mr. Wiseman in 2000. The quality of the black paint on the wooden body is quite good all around although certain minor flaws are evident. Two kerosene-type lamps are mounted to the front of the vehicle and the tall carriage-style wheels are fitted with optional solid rubber tires. The seat upholstery appears to be somewhat older and exhibits certain signs of aging, as does the single-cylinder engine, which, although clean, is unrestored and shows evidence of road use. The suspension, frame, wheels, and steering linkage are very presentable and have all been refinished in black, although this was evidently done some time ago.

The auto-buggies produced by John Higdon offer the enthusiast a unique insight into pioneering automotive technology. As only a limited few have weathered the last one hundred years, Mr. Wiseman ’ s lovely Model B represents a very unique ownership opportunity of one of America ’ s earliest autos.

Reference Number 14920

as of 11/3/2007

Car 1907 Success Model B Runabout
VIN 843 
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