1913 Pathfinder Model 40 TouringSOLD

RM Auction - Vintage Motor Cars at Amelia Island - March 10, 2007

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ESTIMATE: $110,000 - $150,000

$87,000 Sold

40hp, 281 cu.in. four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, semi elliptic rear springs, mechanical rear wheel brakes. Wheelbase: 120"

The Parry brothers were carriage builders and the Parry Manufacturing Company was considered one of the largest in the world when David Parry began experimenting with horseless carriages in 1892. Parry’s earliest attempts at building an electric car failed miserably. However, he would give it a second go in 1906, when one of his carriage wheel suppliers, having decided the motor car had no future, sold him his automotive interests (51%) in Overland.

The Overland Automobile Company proved to be a disastrous venture and put the Parry Manufacturing Company out of business. John North Willys bought the Overland factory for pennies on the dollar and quickly managed to turn the company around. However, for David Parry the damage was done; he had lost everything.

Still determined to succeed in the automobile business, Parry managed to find some investors and established the Parry Automobile Company in 1909. In 1910, some 900 Parrys were built, but he was overextended financially and forced into receivership in 1911.

Creditors reorganized the company and called it the Motor Car Manufacturing Company because they could not think of a name to call the cars they would be producing. Former Parry employee, W. C. Teasdale, was assigned presidency and resumed production of the Parry designs. In 1912, a new model called the Pathfinder phased out the old Parry automobiles. Four years later the Motor Car Manufacturing Company was renamed Pathfinder; unfortunately in 1917, just one year later, the company went out of business. All assets were sold, and the factory was converted to produce shoe polish.

In 1913, the Pathfinder Model 40 was offered in six different body styles: Touring car, Phaeton, Armored Roadster, the beautifully appointed Martha Washington Coach, Cruiser and Delivery Wagon. Nine different color options were offered to the public; of those, four colors were made available for the Touring Car.

The 40 horsepower Touring Pathfinder presented here is the only example of its kind known to exist. The car was ordered new in 1913 by Clark and Laura Rice. Of the available options, they chose the top of the line package, aptly named “Option #1”. Nothing short of spectacular, Option #1 consisted of full electric equipment including five lamps, a dynamo, an electric self-starter, a storage battery, and ammeter. Also included in Option #1 was a silk mohair top, storm curtains, a top boot, a Bair auto top holder, a rain vision and ventilating windshield, a Stewart and Clark speedometer, robe rails, foot rests, a horn, an extra demountable rim, a rear carrier and a complete set of tools which included a pump, jack and tire repair kit. Certainly not cheap, Option #1 cost a whopping $2,185 in 1913.

The original owners, Clark and Laura Rice would pass the Pathfinder Model 40 on to their son Earl B. Rice. Remarkably, the 1913 Pathfinder would remain in the Rice family for over 90 years. Earl B. Rice would regularly entertain guests by taking them on tours of the family farm in the Pathfinder. In the summer of 1980, Earl Rice took the car to Memory Ville, USA in Rolla, Missouri, where it was treated to a three-year, ground up, nut and bolt, concours quality restoration by George L. Carney.

Following the extensive restoration, the Pathfinder has been trailered to and from events, rarely being driven. The original matching numbers 40hp four-cylinder engine reads 11,495.2 miles on the odometer, which is believed to be correct. The Pathfinder is adorned with extensive nickel plating and like its exquisite dark blue paint, displays virtually no wear. The luxurious interior is upholstered with rich black leather; it, along with the brown trim and painted white wooden wheels, contribute generously to the Pathfinder’s commanding and stylish look.

A consistent show winner, this one of a kind Pathfinder comes complete with all ownership history, restoration documentation and original factory brochures; only a second, very fortunate owner is required.

Reference Number 7413

as of 2/20/2007

Car 1913 Pathfinder Model 40 Touring
VIN 1331 
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