1902 Thomas Model 17 Restoration
2016 Pebble Beach winner
Winner of the Pebble Beach Concours 2016 Preservation Trophy
At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, August 21, 2016, FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens) awarded its preservation trophy to the 1902 Thomas, Model No. 17, owned by Kirk Bewley of Sacramento, California and Stewart Laidlaw of Redding, Connecticut. The FIVA preservation award recognizes vehicles that retain much of their original components, materials and finishes and as such are important cultural artefacts. The 2016 awards are part of the FIVA World Motoring Heritage Year celebration under the patronage of UNESCO.
According to co-owner Stewart Laidlaw, this 1902 Thomas Model 17 is believed to be the oldest complete Thomas motor car known to exist. Several years earlier, it had been purchased from the Wells Museum collection in Maine, which had owned it for more than 60 years. While the precise history is not known, the car is thought to have resided in Maine from new, with only one owner prior to Mr Wells.
According to Stewart Laidlaw, who has collected and sold early brass era cars for more than 50 years, this car is the best original early car he has ever seen. Over the last decade, Mr Laidlaw’s cars have won the pre-War preservation class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance a record five times. Co-owner Kirk Bewley is a longtime friend and both men are members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America.
Mr Laidlaw noted that when they received the car, they removed varnish on the fenders to uncover the original japan (black paint). An amazing feature is the leather straps in the rear seats which are still intact and typically never survive. The wood body retains its original green/grey paint, a color known as London Smoke, with gold leaf pin-striping. The pin-striping on the springs is interesting because of the repeated ‘T’ outline pattern for Thomas.
1902 Thomas Model 17 Restoration Gallery
About Laidlaw Antique Auto Restoration
aidlaw Restoration has primarily specialized in Brass Era Vehicles, we have extensive experience with vehicles of any age. >Our portfolio spans three generations of fine auto restoration and some of the most elegant vehicles to win the Concours. Vehicles we’ve restored can be found in all corners of the globe, and we are well-known within the industry for providing services for the most discriminating attention to detail. We enjoy our work, and the vehicles we work on. We also personally own several brass era and steam cars.