Flint Roadster


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1902/3 Flint Roadster Project

The Flint Roadster was the brainchild of Alexander Hardy, formerly with the Durant-Dort Carriage Company of Flint, Michigan. His former associates had not been convinced of the horseless carriage's future, so the far-sighted Hardy decided to go it alone, launching the Flint roadster towards the end of 1902. Priced at $850, the 'Touring Car For Two' was a tiller-steered runabout of 72" wheelbase powered by a 142.6ci (2.3-litre) single-cylinder engine rated at 8½hp. Descriptions of the Flint first appeared in 'The Horseless Age' magazine of 24th December 1902 followed by 'The Automobile' on 21st February 1903, though technical details and illustrations varied from publication to publication. Hardy then fell foul of the infamous 'Selden Patent', granted in 1895 to George Selden for an internal combustion powered carriage, which severely hampered the development of the US auto industry prior to WWI. Hardy was sued by the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers, and although he won the resulting court case, ceased manufacture of the Flint Roadster in 1904 after 52 examples had been built. He returned to Durant-Dort, which had acquired the fledgling Buick concern, and would later serve as general manager of both Marquette and Chevrolet.

This rare American Veteran is believed to have spent much of its life in storage in New York and comes with a 1904 licensing receipt and a letter from the original owner stating that while in storage the engine was used to power a mill. The car is offered for restoration. It retains its original paintwork and the engine turns freely, while the steering may be installed for either left- or right-hand drive. A radiator, gearbox and driving chains come with it also, though it should be noted that the carburettor, ignition system and wings are missing. Nevertheless, restoration should be relatively straightforward and not too expensive. The Flint was acquired by the vendor in its current state in 2010 and has carefully conserved to retain its original patina. A potentially most rewarding project. Sold strictly as viewed.