19-20 January 2012

Previous Next

Lot 146

1915 Brewster-Knight Model 41 Landaulet by Brewster

  • Chassis no. 41042
  • Body no. 1630

Sold for $88,000

40 bhp, 276.5 cu. in. Knight four-cylinder inline sleeve-valve engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 125"

• Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn

• A wonderful early example of Brewster’s own automobile design

• Documented early history

• Shown at 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Despite being one of America’s most respected coachbuilders, Brewster & Co. is not well known as a manufacturer of complete automobiles. When its supply of Rolls-Royce and Delaunay-Belleville chassis declined with the outbreak of World War I and halted after the 1915 Lusitania sinking, the company built a prototype powered by the quiet and expensive Knight sleeve-valve engine with a 125-inch wheelbase. Suspension and braking were quite similar to contemporary Rolls-Royce designs.

The cars were available with a variety of elegant and expensive Brewster bodies. Although it was aimed at an extremely affluent and discerning clientele, the Brewster-Knight offered surprising ease of operation, practicality and excellent value. All Brewster-Knights were built at Long Island City, New York through 1925, shortly before Rolls-Royce of America acquired Brewster, and as many as 500 were produced in all, with as few as 13 known to exist today.

According to research by a highly knowledgeable marque enthusiast using original Brewster journals, this Model 41 from 1915 was catalogued as a “Round-Cornered Falling Front Landaulet.” It was originally purchased by Richard M. (Marsh) Hoe of 11 East 71st Street, New York City, a banker believed to be the son of Richard M. Hoe, the inventor of a revolutionary printing-press design. It is known that the car was sold in New York in 1999 and was restored some time prior to its showing at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. In 2006, it was acquired by the next owner from the noted James C. Leake collection. A beautiful blend of materials, shapes and colors, it is a very rare and wonderful representative of the Golden Age in American coachbuilding.

Please note that while this vehicle was most likely manufactured in 1916, based upon its chassis number, it is currently titled in Oklahoma as a 1915 model and listed in the auction catalogue accordingly.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more