1904 Rambler Model H

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1904
  • Chassis number 
    3561
  • Lot number 
    654
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Offered with an entry to the 2019 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
1904 Rambler 7hp Model H Tonneau
Registration no. BS 8472
Chassis no. 3561

Producers of bicycles under the 'Rambler' brand name, partners R Philip Gormully and Thomas B Jeffery diversified into automobile manufacture as early as 1897 with a single-cylinder gasoline engined car. Thomas's son Charles then built two cars of improved design and the company exhibited at the Chicago and New York auto shows in the autumn of 1900. These first Jeffery-designed cars were of front-engined, left-hand drive configuration, marking them out as advanced among contemporary American automobiles.

Following the death of Philip Gormully, the Jefferys sold their bicycle business and set up as automobile manufacturers in a new state-of-the-art factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, producing the Charles Jeffery car in revised form. Doubtful that the public would accept a front-engined, left-hand drive vehicle with wheel steering, Thomas Jeffery opted for conventionality in the form of a right-drive, tiller steered car with its engine mounted beneath the seat, the first of these new Ramblers being sold in February 1902. A high quality vehicle offered at a value-for-money price of $750, the Rambler was an instant success, selling 1,500 units in its first year of production, a figure bettered only by Ransom Eli Olds' curved dash Oldsmobile. Larger, twin-cylinder models followed - some with front engines - and wheel steering had been reinstated by 1904, in which year 2,342 Ramblers were sold.

Moving up market, Rambler had discontinued its single-cylinder models by 1906 and introduced a brace of fours. The 1910 range consisted of four-cylinder models only and by this time Rambler was established as one of the US auto industry's leading firms. Following Thomas Jeffrey's death that same year, the company continued with Charles at the helm, but from 1914 onwards its products would be badged as 'Jeffery'. A famous name had gone.

The Rambler offered here is a 7hp Model H: a right-hand drive, single-cylinder, 'light touring' model equipped with all-round elliptic springing, throttle control, from-the-seat starting, detachable tonneau, brass side lamps and horn, and all for a price of only $850 when new in 1904. Restored in the late 1970s, the car previously belonged to a senior national officer of the Horseless Carriage Club of America, who had just completed a 150-mile tour in it before the car was sold and imported into the UK in 2007. Since arriving in this country the Rambler has taken part in several London-Brighton Runs and has a VCC dating certificate. During the present ownership a new crankshaft and electric starter have been fitted. Offered with an entry into the 2019 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, as well as restoration invoices and a V5C Registration Certificate.