11-12 October 2012

Collection of John O’Quinn

Previous Next

Lot 186

1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges Touring

  • Engine no. 1783

Sold for $110,000

35/40 hp, 336 cu. in. L-head four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs in the front and rear, with rear transverse leaf spring, and rear mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106 in.

• Ex-Dr. Samuel L. Scher and Richard C. Paine Jr.

• Harry C. Stutz-engineered chassis

• From the estate of John O’Quinn

Before Harry C. Stutz founded his namesake automobile firm, one of his earliest stepping stones was at American of Indianapolis, Indiana. Most remembered today for their underslung chassis, the company also produced an earlier chassis and four-cylinder motor developed by Stutz. An example of the Stutz engineering, this 1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges has a lengthy known history and was formerly the property of noted early collector Dr. Samuel Scher, who was responsible for saving so many important early classics. This American was part of a group of 41 automobiles that were sold by Dr. Scher to fellow pioneer collector Richard C. Paine Jr. The history file includes a copy of Dr. Scher’s original sales proposal to Paine, dated May 25, 1965, and an acknowledgement from Paine, dated April 25, 1967, regarding the final payment. The file further includes the original bill of sale from Schers to Paine.

The 1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges Touring offered here is an excellent and rare example of the Harry C. Stutz designed chassis. Powered by Stutz’s 35/40 hp L-head inline four, it is bodied with handsome and practical Roi des Belges style touring car coachwork finished in dark red with black fenders and upholstered in rich red leather. A black cloth top completes its presentation, along with Rushmore acetylene headlights, Gray & Davis kerosene sidelights, a Castle kerosene taillight, and an imposing Rushmore acetylene spotlight mounted on the wooden dashboard. A single spare wheel with a rearview mirror strapped to its top is installed on the right running board, and the Rubes-style trumpet bulb horn completes the ensemble.

This example is elaborately trimmed in brass throughout, except for nickel plating on some operating controls, such as the gearshift and brake lever, and an elaborate border trim where the hood meets the firewall. An elaborate brass eagle radiator cap mascot, along with the brass radiator ornamentation depicting an eagle perched atop the Earth with script reading “THE AMERICAN,” completes its proud and patriotic presentation. In the offer letter to Paine, the American Tourist is listed as an AACA National First Prize winner; the plaque affixed to the car is undated and therefore a very early example. The doors still bear the stylized “S” monogram of Dr. Samuel Scher. The condition is appropriate to a 1960s period restoration, which Dr. Scher or one of his contemporaries would have had done, and it has aged but is very well maintained and in museum display condition.

The engine is lightly oiled, the brass is well maintained and free of corrosion, the leather upholstery is sound and attractive, and the top and boot are in good order. The Rushmore speedometer shows only 48.2 miles, mileage which is consistent with its age, restoration, and condition. It was acquired by the O’Quinn Collection from Richard Paine’s Seal Cove Museum and now presents the opportunity for another collector to add their name to the roster of stewards that will have the privilege of continuing to preserve this important motor car, along with its important collection of documentation.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more