1920 Stevens-Duryea Model ERoadster
Year of manufacture1920
Stevens-Duryea of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, marketed their first automobile—a two-cylinder, 5-horsepower runabout—in 1901. They sold 61 cars in their first year, with sales growing exponentially afterward. Larger and more powerful models soon followed, and Stevens-Duryea was quickly established as a leading producer of high-quality, high-performance, high-cost motorcars. The bulk of Stevens-Duryea production occurred before World War I, with production averaging about 1,500 cars per year. In 1915, both J. Stevens Arms and Frank Duryea sold their adjoining factories to the Westinghouse Corporation, which needed the factory space to support the war effort.
Following the Armistice in 1919, Ray S. Deering purchased the rights to Stevens-Duryea and resumed production in the same factory. A series of highly prestigious six-cylinder models followed, although sales never matched pre-war levels and only a few hundred cars were built before the doors were shut permanently in 1927.
This grand and imposing Model E roadster is one of the scant few survivors from the approximately 200 Stevens-Duryeas produced in 1920. While in the care of its previous owner, it received an exhaustive, ground-up, nut-and-bolt restoration, attractively finished in a period-appropriate livery of light tan with vivid orange accents. It has seen only limited use in the time since it was completed and remains in excellent order throughout, with real presence thanks to its impressive size.
Authentic touches include nickel drum headlamps, dual drum-style search lamps, and dual rear-mounted spares for a sporty look. The driver’s compartment and rumble seat feature chocolate-brown leather trim, with satin-finished wood cockpit rails and a period-correct thick-rimmed steering wheel. Powering the handsome roadster is a massive 80-horsepower T-head inline-six, restored and detailed to a high standard.
Post-WWI examples of the Stevens-Duryea are incredibly rare, and this splendid Model E Roadster, a Classic Car Club of America (CCCA) Full Classic, will undoubtedly take a place of pride in its next owner’s collection. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf21.