1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

This 4-60 Model 35 is a sister car to the winner of the 20,000-mile 1908 New York to Paris race. This car looks like the winner as it was taken off the assembly line in Buffalo, NY, to start the race, except for the racing modifications. The 1907 model was chosen for the race because the newer 1908 model was not as good a hill climber, and was suffering from teething problems. According to George Schuster, the Thomas Flyer Company's chief road tester, each car produced had to prove itself capable of climbing Brewery Hill in Buffalo in top gear, and of achieving 55 to 60 mph on the road before being handed over to its new owner. The first restoration of this example was done by Wolfgang Gauch on the island of Guernsey, C.I.

This Model F has seating for four and dual spare tires located at the rear of the vehicle. The Thomas Flyer's were very impressive machines. The early examples were powered by four-cylinder engines that were capable of producing an astonishing sixty-horsepower and could propel the cars to speeds of 60 mph. At around $4,000, they were among the most expensive machines on the market, but well worth the price.

This car is in similar configuration to the vehicle that was taken off the show-room floor and driven from New York to Paris in 'The Great Race'. The car was basically stock, except it was given extra gas tanks, additional spare tires, and a few other minor modifications. The car was driven 12,427 land miles in 170 days and straight into the history books. The car had proven reliability and the Thomas marque took full advantage of this wonderful accomplishment, advertising it in sales literature and using it as a tool to promote their product.

This car was purchased in 2004 from the estate of Wolfgang Gawor by Harold Coker. Mr. Gawor had searched for original Thomas vehicles and parts and meticulously assembled this 1907 example to a very high standard. The body was constructed for Wolfgang's restoration, but nearly all chassis components are of genuine Thomas design and construction. The exceptions include the cylinder castings and the transmission, which were newly made. When Mr. Coker acquired the car, he had it sent to Paul Vaughan in Pennsylvania for additional work. After the work was completed, it received an AACA National First award, medallion number W20290, in 2007. In 2009, it was shown at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, where it was named People's Choice. It was also shown at the former Concours d'Elegance of the Eastern United States in Pennsylvania. It subsequently achieved AACA Senior status.

The car is painted in French Grey with black and gold pin-striping. The upholstery is done in burgundy leather. It has brass Dietz Majestic headlights, brass carbide generator on the right running board, an eagle mascot, and a center-mounted Rushmore searchlight on the cowl. The engine has an electric starter, and the spark gap ignition has been replaced by a modern battery-coil system. In the back are three spare tires and a 45-star American flag complete the period motif.

The engine is a T-head four-cylinder unit displacing 522.7 cubic-inches and offering 60 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes.

Production Start 1907
Country of origin USA