1910 Stevens Duryea Model X Touring

1910 Stevens Duryea Model X Touring

After parting ways with his brother Charles at the Duryea Motor Wagon Co., J. Frank Duryea set off on his own to form Hampden Automobile & Launch Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts. Soon after setting up shop, with the very first prototype just completed, the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company acquired a controlling interest in the business and the Hampden car was renamed Stevens-Duryea. The original Hampden prototypes were simple, 2-cylinder runabouts with tiller steering, and once they were refined for production, sold for about $1200 under the Stevens-Duryea name. Rapid development saw the Stevens-Duryea range gain a 20hp four-cylinder engine with unique three-point engine mounting system in 1905, which the company touted as providing superior protection to the drivetrain on rough roads. Period advertising boasted their success at hillclimb events against cars of twice the horsepower output and claimed “In order to get all of your engine power to the rear wheels, you must have a STEVENS-DURYEA THREE POINT SUSPENSION”.

As early as 1906, Stevens-Duryea offered both four and six cylinder models that helped the company quickly move up market. By 1915, financial troubles had struck and despite selling off the armament side of the business to raise capital, banks and creditors demanded J. Frank Duryea build less expensive models if he were to receive any more capital – a condition that he refused to accept. As a result, the plant was sold to Westinghouse to support domestic efforts for World War I.

In 1919 a group of former employees led by Ray S. Deering bought the rights to the Stevens-Duryea name and revived production. Incidentally, Mr. Deering later went on to purchase Rauch and Lang, makers of electric cars. Unfortunately for Mr. Deering, the refreshed and updated version of the old Model S was not enough to keep the business afloat, especially considering inflation caused the price to climb to an astounding $9500 in 1920. Stevens-Duryea entered receivership in 1922 emerging only to build cars to special order until 1927 at which time the doors were closed for good, the final chapter for this prestigious early American marque.

This lovely 1910 Stevens-Duryea Model X tourer was restored beginning in 2003 and completed in 2010 and has since proven itself as both a worthy show car and an outstanding tour car. The Stevens-Duryea Model X was a prestigious automobile in its day; the 124” wheelbase machine costing $2850 in basic specification for 1910.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams

Production Start 1910
Country of origin USA