1908 Holsman HighwheelerSOLD

Runabout

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Henry K. Holsman, along with his partner C.H. Bryan, formed the Holsman Automobile Company in Chicago in 1903. They set about producing a high-wheel automobile which was an immediate hit with buyers, particularly Midwestern farmers, as the high clearance allowed them to traverse all sorts of terrain and even ford through high water. Early Holsmans curiously used a manila rope for drive belts which proved quite problematic in adverse weather, so a canvas-covered chain was devised to improve its usability in all conditions. Unlike other manufacturers of similar high-wheeled vehicles, Holsman did not evolve his designs to keep up with popular convention ľ such as the fitment of smaller pneumatic tires and more fully enclosed bodies. Henry Holsman instead stuck to his high-wheelers exclusively, and as a result his company was in receivership by 1910. Though his cars were popular for a brief period and they were considered well-built, the high-wheeled did not prove popular enough with the general public, and even after a second attempt at a similar vehicle in 1911, Holsman was out of the automobile business in under a decade. This exquisitely prepared high-wheel Holsman was originally delivered to a doctor in Penn Yann, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Presumably, the doctor required an automobile that could traverse the rugged terrain of what was then a very rural area and the Holsman would have been very well suited to the task. Rather incredibly, this example has had just 3 owners in 107 years. The most recent owner purchased it about 20 years ago from the second owner in Cortland, New York, which is only about 40 miles east of its original home. Shortly after the 3rd owner acquired it, it was thoroughly and meticulously restored, and it remains in beautiful condition today, benefiting from a careful detailing by our in-house experts. There is little to compare with the presence of an early high-wheeler, with its immense wheels standing near shoulder height, and with the top of the roof towering over them, these really are Horseless Carriages in the truest sense. The tires are thin, solid rubber bands, which leave the springs to soak up most of the road shocks. The hand-operated brake shoes rub directly on the tires. The body is painted rich, warm black lacquer, with deep maroon striping that is carried over on the wheel spokes. The lighting is all brass and comprised of a single center-mounted headlight, two high-mounted carriage lights, and a single taillight. Brass also adorns the horn, tiller handle, trunk hardware and wheel caps. Mechanically it is very sound, and the 12.5 horsepower horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine wears the desirable later drive belts made of chain with a canvas covering. It is fitted with its original, primitive two-speed gearbox that curiously requires the vehicle to be stopped to swap ratios. An electric starter has been unobtrusively installed, but it is easily removable should the new owner prefer to be a purist. Although on museum display for the last few years, it has recently been recommissioned for reliable operation. High Wheel automobiles are few in number today and are rarely seen even at shows and concours. They demonstrate what it was like in the very early days of motoring history and are a fascinating part of the early automotive history. This Holsman Runabout is an excellent example, and would make a fine entry and a real challenge in one of the many early car tours now taking place.á áBut whatever its next keeper decides to do, this Holsman will turn heads wherever it goes.

Reference Number 385739

as of 3/17/2016

Overview
Car 1908 Holsman Highwheeler
VIN 2478V 
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