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FOR SALE pair Circa 1904 Original Rear Tonneau Body baskets

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These are ORIGINAL and hard to find in this condition automobile baskets that came from the Harrah car collection 45 years ago that they maybe bought in the 1950s or 1960s and offered for the first time now. They are are near perfect for their age and are ready to go on a quality restored or original condition car. The pair of small baskets ( sold together) measure 25" long,12" wide on big part & 4 1/2" at the bend, 9 1/2" tall made by Royal Hampers Hartford Conn.  Contact me at my email durocar@aol.com for info and prices.


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Edited by durospeed (see edit history)
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Durospeed, Beautiful baskets! I wish I could afford to have a car they fit on, But, I can't even afford the baskets these days.


GregLaR, They were a very popular accessory in the early days of the automobile, About 1900 through 1905. They were mostly used on detachable tonneau cars where the rear seat was removable leaving a rear deck behind the front seat. Most of these cars were quite small compared to something like a model T. Most were either one or two cylinder automobiles. The tonneau could be removed for local errands use, helping the car by reduced weight. And then put on for family use, and touring (hence the development of the term "touring car" ) with the rear seat installed. These cars were generally small, and under-powered. With the family occupying the rear seat, the baskets were a light weight space to carry supplies, lunch, or even a spare coat.

The longer one is almost certainly for use on a "rear entrance" tonneau. The two shorter ones may be for a side entrance tonneau, however may also be for a rear entrance given the extreme shape.

Google "model C Ford". You may have to look at a lot of pictures to find one with the baskets. But the tonneau cars will become clear quickly. And you should be able to find a few that will explain in a thousand word what I meant by "extreme shape".


The survival rate on these baskets is very low. Very difficult to find a decent one available and not on a car today. A matching pair is even more rare. Some were reproduced back in the '50s and '60s. Even the reproductions are rare and expensive today.

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These seem to have been used on Cadillacs quite a bit, although of course other cars used them too.  That's just the first car that came to mind, attached picture of 1904 Cadillac.


At the time, a trip of any distance at all was quite the adventure, and supplies and a picnic had to be packed.  Very little room in an early car for such things, thus the baskets added.


I remember my mother talking about, in the teens, taking trips from Natchez Ms. to Baton Rouge La.  What now is less than 2 hours, was then a major trip, and they'd pack a lunch for along the way.......


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Beautiful Cadillac trimacar! I have seen side baskets on several early Cadillacs, as well as a French-front Oldsmobile, a Knox, and several others. Ford is what came to my mind first, and specifically the model C, because I recently finished reading Carl Pate's book, and the model C was the one model that came in both side entrance and rear entrance versions.

Rear entrance tonneau is generally found on earlier cars (1900 through 1904). While a side entrance tonneau is more likely found on car from about 1903 through about 1907. A few cars continued with quick detachable rear seats (tonneau) even later, sometimes under other names (marketing has always been marketing). As with most things, there are many exceptions, both earlier and later. Accessory side baskets became lees common and less needed as cars became larger. When the back seat and rear floor became large enough for a picnic basket of tool box, people stopped hanging baskets outside the car.

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