St. John's

28 July 2012

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Lot 121

1909 Washington 30HP Five-Passenger Touring

  • Chassis no. 592

Sold for $71,500

Model A1. 30 hp, four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with three-quarter elliptic leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 112"

• Rare survivor of short-lived make

• Long documented duPont family history

• Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn

The Washington automobile was launched in 1909 by the Carter Motor Car Company, of Hyattsville, Maryland. Howard O. Carter had produced the Carter Two-Engine car, which as the name implies, had a spare engine, from 1907 to 1908. Unlike the Carter, the Washington, so-named after the company’s location in the nation’s capital, was comparatively conventional, with a single four-cylinder engine and three-speed sliding gear transmission. Production ceased in 1912, and with such a short production run, surviving examples are extremely rare.

This rare Model A1 Washington has a long and interesting history. It was acquired in September 1936 by Francis George duPont, whose father, Eleuthere Paul duPont, had been the driving force behind the duPont luxury car. In the late-1950s, George duPont rebuilt the car mechanically and completed a cosmetic restoration.

In February 1980, he sold it to Connecticut collector Robert Sahl, who toured with it extensively, including a week on the island of Bermuda. In the 1990s he embarked on a thorough body-off restoration effort, with emphasis on authenticity. One of the more uncommon brass era cars extant today, this Washington touring car presents well in red with black moldings. The upholstery is black leather, and there is a tan canvas top.

Since restoration, it has won Junior and Senior First Place awards from the Antique Automobile Club of America, as well as AACA’s W. Emmert Swigart Memorial Cup in 1995. In 1997, it was named Best Brass Auto at Connecticut’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. The car joined the O’Quinn Collection in 2004. It has since twice been invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance but has never been shown on the West Coast, leaving this tantalizing potential for its next enthusiast owner. Although an older restoration, it is an eye-catcher and will be in demand on the show and tour circuits.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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