VIN: #1319 Engine: 4cyl. OHV Horsepower: 35/40 Transmission: Manual
At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the automobile was born and with it came a wave of new entrepreneurs trying to get in on the action of this new technology and business. Out of so many new automobile companies and designs being created at this time, few were of high quality and of a good design. One of the most celebrated industrialists of the late 1800’s was Colonel Albert Pope, who was highly successful in the bicycle business, joined many others in the Automobile business. At the height of the bicycle craze of the late 1800’s, Colonel Pope actually consolidated over 40 bicycle manufacturers into his American Bicycle Company so the manufacturing and design capabilities of these companies gave him a great basis to enter the automobile business where he would create some of the greatest and highest quality motorcars of the early days of motoring. He created several different cars in different places including; the Pope Toledo, the Columbia, the Pope Waverly, the Pope Tribune and of course, his greatest creation, the Pope Hartford. Like Locomobile, the Pope Hartford was manufactured in Connecticut and was on the same level in both price and quality. Although Locomobile had its first four cylinder car in 1904, by 1906 the public wanted more power and more speed out of their cars, so Pope would create its first four cylinder, but with a much more exotic engine than the average car.
With its four cylinder, overhead valves, 4 1/4 inch bore and a 5 1/4 inch stroke and 35/40 horsepower, Pope Hartford came out very strong with their first four cylinder car in 1906. With its large valves and long stroke mated to a very well designed three speed progressive gearbox, the powerful four cylinder Pope would beat anything else around.
Today, there is only one remaining 1906 Model F and this is it, #1319. Sold new in Providence, Rhode Island and later found in the 1930’s by one of the greatest collectors of the 20th century: George Waterman of Rhode Island. Mr. Waterman found this car in completely unrestored original condition as it would remain until sometime in the 1950’s when he sold it to another early east coast collector, Leslie Taylor of Connecticut. It stayed with Mr. Taylor in unrestored condition until 1968 when the Pope would find its way into the Hands of the great Connecticut collector, Louis Biondi, where it would remain until our recent acquisition of the car. Louis finally got around to restoring it in 1996 and it would be one of his greatest restorations in his lifetime. Done to the most unbelievable standards, every little detail was attended to; from custom molded running board mats as original, special Grey Michelin tires, to even a polished aluminum crankcase and transmission, the restoration is nothing short of incredible. It won him his AACA Senior Award and made it onto the cover of the Antique Automobile Magazine and the cover of the Horseless Carriage Club Gazette in 1998 (my personal all time favorite Gazette cover). Besides having a perfect restoration, the Pope was a perfect original car to begin with as found by George Waterman. Everything from the body and fenders to even all of its original accessories including all of its original Pope Hartford script Solar lamps, original Solar carbide generator and special Pope Hartford oiler are all original to this car. It also still retains its original Pope Hartford plate and original 1906 Seldon patent plate registered to this car. The overhead valve Pope engine is incredibly detailed and can be compared to a high quality piece of jewelry. When running it sounds like a perfect delicate sewing machine, open the exhaust cutout and the incredible roar the engine makes resonates through your heart.
#1319 is the earliest four cylinder Pope Hartford in existence and it is most likely one of the most original Pope Hartfords in the world today, with a fantastic provenance to boot. If you are looking for a powerful high speed, high quality original early car with a fantastic restoration and provenance than it doesn’t get much better than this. Out of sight for the past 25 years, this Pope has never been shown at any Concours and could be driven right onto the field at Pebble Beach the way it is and win an award. This is the earliest four cylinder Pope Hartford and one of the best Pope Hartfords in the world on offer for the first time in almost 60 years. This is a chance to be a part of the historic and significant list of owners this car has has and to be a part of the exclusive and also historic list of past Pope Hartford owners according to E.R. Bourne's 1968 Pope Hartford Registry such as; Henry Austin Clark Jr., Bill Harrah, E.R. Bourne, Dr. Samuel L. Scher, Les Taylor, Herb Prentice, Phil Andrews and even the Henry Ford Museum. Contact us for more information.