1907 Stoddard-Dayton Model K Runabout
Year of manufacture1907
- One of three Model Ks known to exist
- Photo-documented restoration by noted experts
- Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) First Junior Award in 2017
- Spectacular example of a Brass Era sports car
Stoddard-Dayton was arguably one of the great American cars of its era. Beginning in 1904, the first models were designed by Englishman J.S. Edwards, using 26-hp, four-cylinder Rutenber engines. In 1907, both four- and six-cylinder engines were employed as models grew in size, stature, and price. The Model K, like this example, was Stoddard-Dayton’s most sporting model. Such a car finished the 1907 Glidden Tour with a perfect score. This Model K is one of three known to survive today.
For 1910, a total of 12 models were offered on three different chassis, including a 50-hp model on a 128-in. wheelbase. One year later, a six-cylinder Knight engine was introduced while three conventional four-cylinder models continued through 1913. A Stoddard-Dayton paced the inaugural Indianapolis 500 and was also the first car to win a race at Indy (a 300-mile race that preceded the first 500). Stoddard-Dayton became part of the U.S. Motor Co. in 1912 and ceased to exist with the collapse of the company one year later.
Prior to its meticulous restoration, this Model K was discovered as a bare frame with multiple mechanical components purchased from a South Dakota farm in 2001. It is the beneficiary of a multi-year, photo-documented restoration completed in the mid-2000s by noted expert Dave Noran, with additional input from Greg Cone. More recently, it benefits from a thorough mechanical sorting and engine rebuild by Brass Era specialist Mike Grunewald, who addressed the ignition system, rear axle, brakes, transmission, and wiring. The Model K runs beautifully and is exceptionally tight and virtually free of leaks and drips common to cars of the era.
According to the consignor, the black paintwork remains in excellent condition and is highlighted by subtle dark green coach stripes on the body, fenders, and wooden wheels. Lustrous brass adorns the radiator shell, wheel caps, Solar Parabolens headlights, dual cowl lights, steering column, and Solar acetylene tank. The leather seats have been painstakingly crafted and show little signs of use since restoration. The wood scuttle is highly polished and embellished with brass for the cockpit surround and operating controls.
The Stoddard-Dayton lapped the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2016 and received its AACA First Junior at Auburn the following year. Imposing, impressive, and beautifully presented, this is a stunning example of a rare and highly desirable performance sports car of the Brass Era.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/am19.