Project Description

1909 Winton Model 17

1909 Winton Model 17 Restoration

Best of Class 2009 Amelia Island Concors – Remodeled by Stu Laidlaw

This 1909 Winton Model 17 is a California car from new. It was purchased from Bill Harrah and restored by Stu Laidlaw in the early 1990s. This vehicle features full pressure oiling – dry sump, with a four-speed gearbox with overdrive, and is the first car with a clutch fan. The car starts on pressurized air. The original body was made of wood.

1909 Winton Model 17 Gallery

About the Winton Motor Carriage Company & the 1909 Winton Model 17

Alexander Winton, a Scottish immigran, opened the Winton Bicycle Company upon arriving in America. His background also included working a an engineer on a steamship. The Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland, Ohio is credited with being the first U.S. company to sell a motor car. These vehicles were referred to as “horseless carriages” and included gas lamps, padded seats, and rubber tires.

By the end of the 19th, Winton Motor Carriage Company was among the world’s largest manufacturers of gas-powered automobiles. A dealership operated by H. Koler was established in Reading, PA. Koler’s early auto sales success was partly because of his racing and endurance challenge success. This racing success proved that the Winton vehicles were capable, competitive, and durable.

Winton’s quest for competition led him to create an automobile specifically prepared for racing, which he dubbed the ‘Winton Bullet.’ It was powered by a 492 cubic-inch four-cylinder engine that produced 57 horsepower. The vehicle immediately proved its potential by claiming numerous unofficial world records. On the newly paved Clifton Boulevard the ‘Bullet’ achieved 70 miles per hour. Another unofficial timed speed trial at the oval racetrack at Glenville had the Bullet averaging 55.38 mph.

The defeat of the Winton Bullet by Henry Ford’s ‘Old 999’ in 1902 sent Winton went back to the drawing board. He soon emerged with a new, more powerful vehicle called “Bullet No. 2” followed by “Bullet No. 3.” Both of these automobiles continued the tradition of the original Bullet, Bullet No. 1. These cars were specifically designed and built for racing. Bullet No. 3 was equipped with a powerful four-cylinder engine while Bullet No. 2 had a ‘straight eight.’

Alexander Winton handed the duties of driving to others, such as Barney Oldfiled who drove his Bullet No. 2 to many world records in races. Automobile racing is dangerous under the best of circumstances and made more so by there being few safety regulations at the early stages of the sport, something that often resulted in tragic accidents. In 1905 at Glenville Bullet No 3, driven by Earl Kiser, was involved in an accident, leaving Kiser without legs. Barney Oldsfield was also injured in a crash. The result was Winton withdrawing from automobile competition completely.

The ‘Six-teen-Six’ was introduced in 1908 and powered by a six-cylinder engine. The name was a play on words for the company’s 16th model. The six-cylinder engine was cast in pairs and produced 48 horsepower. A total of four bodystyles were available, all were mounted on a 120-inch wheelbase. The cost to own was between $4,500 to $5,750.

For 1909 this 48 horsepower car became the Model 17 that would be in production for five years. It was later joined by a Model 18 that featured a 130-inch wheelbase and 60 horsepower engine. The Model 17 now featured seven body styles consisting of six open cars and a limousine. The Model 18 had two open styles, a limousine and a landualet. The price was from $4,500 to $6,000.

About Laidlaw Antique Auto Restoration

Laidlaw 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.

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