St. John's

28 July 2012

From the Collection of William Ruger Jr.

Previous Next

Lot 134

1911 Stanley Model 63 Toy Tonneau

  • Chassis no. 6076
  • Engine no. 6-685

Sold for $165,000

10 hp, two-cylinder double-acting steam engine, solid front axle with full elliptic leaf spring suspension in the front and rear, and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 104"

• One of the most authentic examples available

• Restoration and maintenance by Stanley experts

• Offered from the collection of William Ruger Jr.

The Fodor family, of Norwalk, Connecticut, is well-known in Stanley circles; one of the elder Fodors assembled a collection of cars and other oddities in the early part of the 20th century, which were inherited by his nephews and retained until the early-1990s. Chassis 6076 was liberated from its half-century slumber in the barn and was reported to have spent most of this time “buried in a pile of straw.” In 1994, the Dragone brothers, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, purchased the Stanley along with a Midland and a Rambler. Mr. George Dragone recently related that the car was still running in the 1940s and may have been owned in the family as early as the 1930s. He also stated that the Fodor family had letters from early collector James Melton, who made multiple unsuccessful attempts to acquire the car.

Mr. Christopher Hutchins, of Brewer, Maine, purchased 6076 and entrusted Paul Russell Co. to return her to original specification. Research and analysis of the best examples extant was performed, and the expertise of the most respected Stanley experts was utilized: coachwork was entrusted to Mark Herman, the boiler to Don Bourdon, upholstery to Mike Curley, and plumbing assistance was provided by Charlie Johnson. The original toy tonneau body was finished in Brewster Green with yellow wood-spoke wheels, chassis, and suspension. Original equipment includes Rushmore Searchlight headlamps with the correct Prest-O-Lite acetylene tank; the original E&J side lamps, taillight, and instrument light are powered by kerosene. The four passenger seats were reupholstered to the original pattern in black leather, and the top was recovered. Great resources were expended in ensuring that this example was finished as closely as possible to the way it was when it left the Stanley factory in Newton, Massachusetts 101 years ago.

In 1997, the Pebble Beach judges awarded 6076 a Second in Class, and in 1998, it successfully competed in the ‘Steaming through The Rockies’ rally, completing the tour without difficulty. After Bill Ruger Jr. acquired the car, he returned it to Don Bourdon for installation of a new superheater, boiler resealing, and reversible installation of an engine “beef up kit,” which included heavier connecting rods, crank throws, piston rods, and wrist pins, which corrected some inherent weaknesses in the 10 horsepower engines. Also installed by Don Bourdon was an invisible upgrade called an economizer, which builds steam faster by utilizing exhaust heat, and a new exhaust duct feedwater heater, which was not originally used in 1911 but was incorporated by Stanley in 10 horsepower cars by 1914.

Mr. Ruger states that he’s enjoyed driving this Stanley, especially because of its “light, easy handling.” This Stanley Model 63 retains its original single-fuel system for the pilot and main burner, which is simpler than later dual-fuel models and uses regular unleaded gasoline. Due to the care received since restoration, the finish of the upholstery, top, and paint, right down to the leaf spring pinstriping, remains exceptional. This Stanley is accompanied by written fire-up instructions and presents a plethora of concours and tour opportunities for its next owner. Thanks to Susan Davis and Jim Merrick from the Stanley Museum, Kelly Williams of the Stanley Register, and Kit Foster for their research assistance.

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