5-6 October 2017

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Lot 239

1922 Stanley Model 735B Touring

  • Chassis no. 22009

Sold for $36,300

  • One of little more than 1,700 Model 735s produced
  • Veteran of an around the world driving tour
  • Boiler upgraded to gasoline operation

Though Stanley Steamer has become a part of American automotive language, Stanley Steam Car is the preferred nomenclature of any Stanley owner. The Stanley brothers, identical twins who went by their initials, F.E. and F.O., set about building what was without a doubt the most famous automobile that used steam power to propel itself down the road. The Stanley was built in Massachusetts from 1899 to 1927, although the brothers retired from the company in 1917 while in their sixties. The Stanley was a beautifully engineered car that operated in virtual silence compared to gasoline-engine cars. It was the invention of the electric self-starter on gasoline automobiles more than any single item that spelled doom for the steam car.

The Stanley Model 735 was introduced in 1918. It brought to market a condensing boiler that offered greater range prior to having to stop for a refill—an obvious disadvantage to earlier models. Coils located in a traditional-style front-mounted radiator were part of a closed loop system whereby steam was returned to the boiler instead of being released into the atmosphere. The Model 735 became the most successful of all Stanley models with more than 1,700 sold over the model run.

This 1922 Stanley Model 735B touring is both a rare and interesting car . . . with a legend to match! Eric Massiet du Biest, a Frenchman, was determined to circumvent the earth while driving a steam car. As such, he selected this steamer, which was mechanically restored in 1992. He christened it “Passepartout” as an homage to the valet who accompanied Phineas Fogg in Jules Verne’s epic novel Around the World in 80 Days. He successfully completed his adventure, which is chronicled in the January–March 1993 issue of Bulb Horn. In 2009 the car was sold to a French engineer who completed a cosmetic and mechanical restoration, including improving upon the original boiler system to operate on gasoline, thus rendering the car more drivable and reliable.

Despite having abundant nicks and chips, the patina of this worn but proven Stanley is both appealing and charming. While no show queen, it will no less be the star wherever it appears while providing fun for both the driver and six of his or her friends.

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


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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


+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


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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


+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


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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


+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


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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