1909 Washington Model A-1 Touring

At the dawn of automobile production, before the maturing of a steady production flow of reliable products, auto-builders sprouted from every corner of nearly every town and city. Reputations were still being forged and product features were still being perfected. Sales were often limited to a small region, town, or just to a handful of people. One of those small pioneering companies was the Washington Automobile Company. There were many companies that used this name; from Chicago to Washington, DC. Two different cities in Ohio used the name, and another one in Maryland. The Washington Automobile Company of Hayattsville, Maryland was started in 1909 by the Carter Motor Car Company. The individual behind both of these companies was Howard O. Carter. He had produced the Carter Two-Engine car which was produced from 1907 to 1908. This very unique creation had two engines - one was a spare.

The Washington Company of Hayattsville was so-named after the company's location in the nation's capital. It had a conventional design and was powered by a single four-cylinder engine mated to a three-speed sliding gear transmission. Their product for 1909 was called the Model A-1 and it rested on a 112-inch wheelbase and came in either a roadster or touring body. Both sold for $1,750. A 4-passenter Touring and a Baby Tonneau were added a year later and with a few modifications, the engine horsepower rose to 35 HP. Another Model - the Model B-1 - was also added this year and offered in four body styles. Though it shared the same 112-inch platform, the four-cylinder engine was rated at 45 horsepower.

For 1911 and 1912, the wheelbase measured 118-inces and the powerplant was rated at 40 horsepower. Production ceased in 1912.

This particular example is a 1909 Model A1 that was purchased in September of 1936 by Francis George duPont, whose father, Eleuthere Paul duPont, had been the driving force behind the duPont luxury car. In the late-1950s, George duPont rebuilt the car mechanically and completed a cosmetic restoration. Mr. duPont sold the car in February of 1980 to Connecticut collector Robert Sahl. In the 1990s, he treated the car to a thorough body-off restoration. It was painted in red with black moldings. The upholstery is black leather, and there is a tan canvas top.

Since restoration, it has won Junior and Senior First Place awards from the Antique Automobile Club of America, as well as AACA's W. Emmert Swigart Memorial Cup in 1995. In 1997, it was named Best Brass Auto at Connecticut's Greenwich Concours d'Elegance. The car joined the O'Quinn Collection in 2004. It has since twice been invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance but has never been shown on the West Coast.

Descriptions & pictures by conceptcarz & en.wheelsage

Production Start 1909
Country of origin USA