9-10 October 2014

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Lot 153

1899 Crouch Steam Runabout

  • Chassis no. 3

Sold for $93,500

8 hp, twin-cylinder double-acting steam engine, tiller steering, solid front axle with a transverse semi-elliptic spring, live rear axle with full-elliptic leaf springs and single chain drive, and differential brake. Wheelbase: 62 in.

  • Offered from a prominent steam car collection
  • A pioneering Maryland-built steam car; the only survivor of three built
  • Formerly owned by Sterling Walsh
  • Beautifully restored and fully functional

In 1899, machinist W.E. Crouch built himself a steam-powered automobile in New Brighton, Pennsylvania. It is believed that he built three automobiles, with the first two probably used to provide parts for the third, which was made in Baltimore. That final vehicle, shown here, was remarkable in the details of its construction, as it included an advanced enclosed crankcase with a jackshaft and an offset differential and a steam engine that is believed to have been converted from one built in Baltimore for marine use. The body was built of angle iron and clad in aluminum.

During World War II, this third, final, and sole extant Crouch was discovered in the basement of its original factory and sold by scrappers to Ed Hook. It later passed to Henry Gottshalk, who would own it for many years, and then it passed to well-known AACA member and past president Sterling Walsh. Mr. Walsh owned the Crouch for three decades before selling it to the present owner, a prominent steam car expert and mechanic who oversaw a painstaking restoration. The owner notes that the steam car was restored to a high standard, while still maintaining the integrity of the original construction. The restoration was a multiple AACA award winner, which includes a National Award in Philadelphia in 2011.

The owner has offered to travel to the new owner’s home and instruct them in the car’s operation, waiving his fee if they will pay his travel expenses.

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