9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 121

1904 Orient Buckboard

  • Engine no. 1525

Sold for $30,250

4 bhp, 35.3 cu. in. air-cooled single-cylinder engine, two-speed planetary transmission, front and rear leaf-spring suspension, and cable-operated rear-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 80 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • An enchanting American veteran automobile
  • Largely original and well-preserved condition
  • Eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

“The cheapest automobile in the world. Everybody should have one.” So read the advertisements for the Orient Buckboard, which was manufactured by the Waltham Manufacturing Company, of Waltham, Massachusetts. The company had been originally organized to build bicycles by Charles Metz, who in 1899 arranged with De Dion-Bouton et Cie to sell their powered tricycles and quadricycles in the United States. He also built some of his own trikes and quads with Aster or de Dion engines.

By 1902, Waltham was building its own engines, and it soon came out with an eight-horsepower runabout that sold for $875. The Buckboard, taking the bicycle’s name of Orient and being developed under the leadership of Leonard Gaylor, featured a remarkably simple steel chassis with no meaningful suspension, a natural wood-finish body and fenders, and wire wheels, which were powered along the road by an air-cooled, single-cylinder engine. It was, indeed, one of the least expensive automobiles available anywhere, and it was the very embodiment of a horseless carriage.

John Moir’s Orient Buckboard was acquired for the collection in the United Kingdom, where it had reportedly participated in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. It has been officially dated as a 1904 by the Veteran Car Club, as noted by the plaque mounted on its floorboard, thus qualifying it for future runs. The wooden bodywork appears original, while the upholstery on the seat was replaced many years ago. The car would respond well to a thorough cleaning, and sorting it for continued road use, given the simplicity of its components, should be a simple effort. It is offered with a copy of an instruction book for the model, as well as an original sales brochure.

This is a charming example from an era in which American automakers were trying every new idea. It is simple, effective, and a lot of fun to own.

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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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