9-10 October 2014

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Lot 179

1907 Holsman Model 3 High-Wheel Runabout

  • Chassis no. 2374V

Sold for $52,250

10 hp, 100.5 cu. in. air-cooled horizontally opposed two-cylinder engine, two-speed transmission with reverse, front and rear leaf-spring suspension, and hand-operated brakes. Wheelbase: 65 in.

  • America’s pioneering high-wheeler
  • One of 618 Holsmans produced for 1907
  • An AACA Grand National Award winner in 1988
  • Sparingly used since restoration

The high-wheeler is a uniquely American vehicle, as it was essentially a horseless carriage that was built to adapt to the deplorable road conditions common at the time. Ground clearance was at a premium. While high-wheelers looked like the good ole’ buckboard buggy that had been meeting the needs of farmers for years, they had the ability to function…horseless.

Henry Holsman, the founder of the Holsman Automobile Company of Chicago, Illinois, was on to something, and his design was an exercise in simplicity. Initially, the driveline was ?-inch manila rope, which proved unsatisfactory after it sustained wet-weather use. Later, Holsman and his associate, C. H. Bryan, devised a chain braided over with manila and steel wire, and then they finally adapted to the chain alone. Steering is by a right-hand tiller, while its brakes are hand-operated and applied directly against the solid rubber tires.

This 1907 Holsman High-Wheel Runabout is described by its consigner as a superb older restoration. It received its AACA Senior National First Prize in 1986 and a Grand National Award in 1988. Since that time, it has been maintained in a private museum and has received little use, but it runs and drives as expected. The consigner further describes its black body, dark green chassis with red coachlines, black upholstery, and elegant yet simple brass trim to be in excellent condition throughout.

As one of the few surviving Holsman Runabouts known to exist, this is the perfect vehicle for the High Wheeler races held annually at the AACA Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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