9-10 October 2014

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Lot 157

1913 American Underslung 22-B Scout Roadster

  • Chassis no. X590

Sold for $115,500

30 hp, 251 cu. in. inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and expanding rear brakes. Wheelbase: 105 in.

  • Rare example of a classic early American sports car
  • An older restoration that is fully operational and ready to tour

Fred I. Tone, of the American Motor Car Company of Indianapolis, Indiana, got the idea of building a lower, sportier roadster when he observed a conventional automobile frame being unloaded into the factory “upside down.” Tone conceived the idea of placing the frame beneath the axles and the semi-elliptic springs on top, and in effect, he created America’s first sports car. Ground clearance was not reduced, as the engine and body were positioned within, rather than on top, of the chassis.

The Scout 22-B Roadster, priced at $1,475 when new, was American’s least expensive car in 1913. It was fitted with seating for two and minimal coachwork, along with American’s signature chassis, huge 36x3.5 tires, a 30-horsepower, 251-cubic inch, four-cylinder engine, and three-speed selective shift transmission, and it was the definitive sports car in 1913.

This example is appropriately painted in American Wine with grey running gear, and it is believed to have been restored in the early 1980s. It participated in the Great American Race in 1988 and has not been restored since retaining the charm and character of a well-worn, rugged campaigner. It hasn’t been polished in years, inviting the new owner to use and enjoy the roadster rather than put it away. Its consigner describes it as “dead straight…runs like a train and is a relic of the sixties, when cars like this didn’t get primped and polished. Owners then exulted in their gutsy performance, elemental design, and choice details.”

It was not formally called the Underslung until many years later, but its importance lies in defining a new genre of automobile, while at the same time flaunting the automotive establishment by defining a new level of performance.

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