Classic Van Auction Talk

Thursday 18 April 2019

1911 Brush Model E Runabout - BONHAMS AUCTIONS TUPELO AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM 1 Otis Boulevard Tupelo, Mississippi 38804 USA 26th - 27th April 2019


1 Otis Boulevard Tupelo, Mississippi 38804
26th - 27th April 2019

1911 Brush Model E Runabout
Chassis no. 16484

62.5ci L-head Single Cylinder Motor
Single Carburetor
2-Speed Planetary Transmission
Front and Rear Coil Sprung Live Axle Suspension
Mechanical Brakes

*Fully restored
*Complete with folding top 
*The "Everyman's Car"


When in 1907 Anson P. Brush witnessed the birth of the first car to bear his name, he was already a veteran of the fledgeling American automobile industry. Brush had been part of the design team for the first Cadillac in 1902 and had also designed the earliest of the Oaklands and been involved with General Motors through Billy Durant.

When the time came to form his own automobile firm, the backing was provided by Frank Briscoe, brother of would-be empire builder Benjamin Briscoe. In 1910, Brush was absorbed into Ben Briscoe's conglomerate, the United States Motor Company. But when US Motors failed, so did Briscoe.

Good times remained for Brush, sales were brisk, and the reputation of his little single cylinder cars was very good. That first 1907 Brush was powered by a modest six-horsepower single and rode on a 74-inch wheelbase. The chassis and axles were of wood and suspension was by coil spring. According to the late Beverly Rae Kimes, top speed was in the neighbourhood of 35 mph for this dual chain-driven, $500 car. Gradually, horsepower and wheelbase increased slightly. Briefly, in 1908 there was a twin offered on an 88-inch wheelbase, but it only lasted for the year before the business reverted exclusively to one lungers.

By the time this example was built in 1911, the little single was good for 10 horsepower and the wheelbase had been stretched to 80 inches. Prior to Mr Spain's ownership, this example was under the care of a Mr Bill Bennet. He had found the car for sale at an Estate Auction in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and at this point, it was merely loose parts sitting inside an orange crate. Luckily, Mr Bennet was quite handy and had also worked for Republic Steel which had made fabricating new pieces much easier. Photos on file show some of the restoration work, and ultimately, the car was pieced back together. Consequently, the vehicle now shows in wonderful condition with bright green paint, and with a bit of tinkering should be good for many more miles of driving.


Disclaimer:  Whilst Classic Chatter ("we") attempt to make sure that the information contained in this website is accurate and complete, we are aware that some errors and omissions may occur from time to time. We are not able, therefore, to guarantee the accuracy of that information and cannot accept liability for loss or damage arising from misleading information or for any reliance on which you may place on the information contained in this website. We highly recommend that you check the accuracy of the information supplied. If you have any queries with regard to any information on our website, please contact us at

Powered by Dragons

No comments:

Post a Comment