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Fair value on 1922 Stanley Steamer Express?


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Hi all,

I've often thought about steam cars but figured they were out of my reach financially. I stumbled across an ad in hemmings (listed under trucks and commercial and under the heading of "steamer" rather than Stanley) for this vehicle:

Legendary Motorcar - Home of Dream Car Garage

mid 20s is something I could possibly do for the right vehicle and I guess I assumed that steam cars would not be available at this price point.

That being said, since I am a total newbie to steam cars can you tell me whether the asking price for this one is reasonable? Any feedback on condition etc? Keep in mind that I don't really know what all I'm looking at under the hood on this one. If the boiler needs to be replaced, what is ballpark cost for such a major component?

Thanks!

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Boilers are running around 5K. This car is basically a 735 or 740 Stanley chassis with a pretty crude body. Mid 20's would be a pretty big price especially if you had to replace the boiler. Plus I think it would be a hard one to sell if you evey needed to. There is just too much that is not Stanley.

Alan

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Hi Alan,

this is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for, thank you!

When you say "There is just too much that is not Stanley" do you mean the vehicle is very non-original, or that this particular one being a truck is just not going to hold a candle to the far more popular Stanley touring cars?

I've been poking around looking for more info on this model and can barely find anything, the only documentation of any sort I could find was on the Stanley Registry site where they list the Express model as being made only through 1917... who knows. They do have a picture of the express made in 1916, which has the cooler hood.

1916_825_expr.jpg

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Strongly suggest you do some more research. The picture you show is of an earlier non-condensing model as opposed to the one for sale. There are some good Stanley people in your area who I'm sure could assist you. The previous poster has brought up some good points. Perhaps, the chassis is Stanley but the body does not match.

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Just FYI I am a Stanley owner and have been playing with them for 25+ years. The vehicle shown in the ad appears to be built on a 735 or 740 Stanley chassis. The body is something someone created and it is not even a good representation of an express body. Plus there were no express trucks built with flat front condensers. Also the express trucks had 30hp engines. I feel pretty confident the car shown is a 20hp chassis.

The Stanley express trucks were the same as Mountain Wagon without the seats. Mountain Wagons were built through 1915 or 16 and all that exist are non-condensing even though Stanley built touring cars and roadsters starting in 1915 with condensers.

There are more places to look for information. I will offer some links below. Pay particular attention to the Stanley Online register. He has lots of info and pictures and some current sales information.

Stanley Register Online

Stanley Motor Carriage - Stanley Steam Cars - Stanley Steamers

steam car club

Alan

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Hi all,

again, thanks for all of the info. I guess comparably low price point had me a bit blinded, in the light of day I don't think I will pursue this one any further... I'll just keep on saving my money, at this point I should be able to buy a more legitimate Stanley sometime around 2050 ;-P

Thanks again for the feedback, I truly appreciate it.

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That looks an awful lot like a Stanley that was advertised in Old Autos, a Canadian weekly paper for the old car hobbyist. The ad appeared about 5 years ago. I noticed it at the time, the price looked like a good deal to me - $2250. The next week the same ad appeared with a price of $22500 LOL. It was being sold by a small town museum someplace in Canada, I don't remember the details.

The fact that it is being sold by a dealer in Halton Hills just west of Toronto Canada tends to support this.

Does anyone know what this vehicle ought to be worth considering? I thought it might be a fun thing to own for a steam enthusiast who was more concerned with having fun than authenticity.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Henry C. Palmer had a traveling steam car museum in the 1960s - an article about it appeared in The Steam Automobile, 1967, v9 #4, page 20. http://www.steamautomobile.com/archivepdf/SAv9n4.CV01.pdf

In addition to Model 63 #6354 (Stanley Register Online - 1912), which Palmer told me was the best-running Stanley he had ever seen, he had a 740 chassis and engine. It's barely visible in the corner of the picture in the Steam Automobile article. Palmer advertised the chassis for sale in 1971 with an uninstalled water tube boiler as an available extra. Apparently he went ahead and installed the boiler, built the wagon body, and made the car operational, because Deane Glover purchased it from Palmer in that state. Glover drove it numerous times, and sold it to Erlyn Wilker in 1984.

Wilker wrote an odd article about the car for The Steam Automobile,1985, v26 #3, page 8. http://www.steamautomobile.com/archivepdf/SAv26n3.pdf A good bit of the article is sentences copied from George Woodbury's The Story of a Stanley Steamer, without credit being given. It is unknown how much Wilker operated the car. Legendary Motorcar appears to have acquired it from the Wilker estate.

My semi-educated guess is that it will stay on their lot for a while at that price, then somebody will buy it for less than that and have an affordable entry into a steam car - one that they can rip & tear & learn on without worrying about ruining a complete factory car with historical value.

Kelly

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