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1912 Lambert For Sale in BAT


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With so many views, I'm surprised no one has commented about it.  Is this an example of what has been discussed in multiple threads as a dwindling interest in brass cars?  I thought someone, somewhere would have some knowledge or insight on such a rare and beautiful car.  There can't be that many of them left.  Looks like it would be an extremely enjoyable brass car to take touring.  After seeing it up close last year and now up for auction, my wife told me to bid on it.  But I have far too many irons in the fire, with no relief in the foreseeable future.  No doubt I may kick myself in the future for passing it up.

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The Lambert is an interesting car for sure and there are no lack of people interested in it. Being Built in Indiana (where I live) and friction drive (I have a lot of Cartercar miles under my belt) this car really calls to me, but I am focused on finishing the brass car I have and getting a child through college that starts in less than a year. 
 

Also, brass is still a small community and anyone looking at the car on BAT has already seen it and knows the price point the seller is after. Many people are scared of friction drive, so the unique system is not a selling point over a standard transmission.  Most importantly, there is a lot of competition in the 40k neighborhood for brass era cars. 
 

Getting back to the idea that there is a dwindling interest in brass cars: not a chance. There is a dwindling group of people with the financial resources to own several of them or to keep large numbers of them on the road.  Lower prices would bring some people in, but they will never get low enough for the majority. Saying there is a lack of interest in brass is like saying there is a lack of interest in Model J’s because a dumpy one with issues sold for under a million and a half. 
 

This Lambert will get bid up considerably from where it is now, and likely not sell, assuming a reserve north of 35k. If a price in the teens of thousands would actually buy the car... there would be quite a line.  At the 11k, I will take it.... and figure out how to pay for it later.  My guess on where the money should be: something hovering on top of 30k.

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While I am not familiar with the car,  it sure looks very nice.......... small horsepower cars and friction drive restrict it to a much smaller segment of the hobby. The high bid is probably fair market value.....although I would have advertised it differently. The car is compeating against T's that have easy parts availability, and other standard transmission cars of the era. The most intresting thing is to see what it will actually end up selling for............my guess is they may regret turning down the number that had in hand. All they did was prove most people weren't willing to pay their reserve number.........and people as well as the internet have long memories. They did themselves a disservice.

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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

While I am not familiar with the car,  it sure looks very nice.......... small horsepower cars and friction drive restrict it to a much smaller segment of the hobby. The high bid is probably fair market value.....although I would have advertised it differently. The car is compeating against T's that have easy parts availability, and other standard transmission cars of the era. The most intresting thing is to see what it will actually end up selling for............my guess is they may regret turning down the number that had in hand. All they did was prove most people weren't willing to pay their reserve number.........and people as well as the internet have long memories. They did themselves a disservice.

I dunno Ed.  This is a significantly more upscale brass car than a T.  According to the Standard Catalog, they sold new for almost 150% higher.  Yes, parts would be limited, but that's the benefit of having a unique car...it's not run-of-the-mill...like the Great White.  No, it's not a race car, but it wasn't built to be.  Just from looks alone, it's head and shoulders above a T.  Given a choice between this or a T for comparable prices, I'd definitely go for this one and never look back.  But at least for now I'm not in the market for either.  I'm just glad it didn't sell for $15k.  If it had, I'd have kicked myself royally for not bidding.  It's been for sale for over a year, so yes I'm extremely curious of what the reserve was, and what it will eventually sell for.  But we may never know, if it eventually winds up in someone's private stash.  I'm thinking it's most likely owned by an AACA member who wants to stay anonymous. 

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The T’s are going to be a bigger part of the brass future than many realize. Affordable, easy to service, unlimited parts. Off brand stuff that you need to know what your doing is going to become a big issue. You can’t hurt a T, and fixing it is almost free. 

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I appreciate how nice this car is and the amount of work that it took to get it into this condition. Perhaps the $45K price tag is the biggest hindrance. I would suspect that most vintage car buyers with $45K to spend, would prefer to buy a car that is a lot more user friendly than something like this.  I mean no disrespect to the brass era collectors but a car with roll up windows, a heater, good brakes, realistic road speeds, etc. has to have a much broader appeal. These brass cars are probably more saleable to someone who can afford to let it sit in his garage until the perfect sunny day comes along.  Less return on drive days vs. investment. 

Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

I appreciate how nice this car is and the amount of work that it took to get it into this condition. Perhaps the $45 K price tag is the biggest hindrance. I would suspect that most vintage car buyers with $45K to spend, would prefer to buy a car that is a lot more user friendly than something like this.  I mean no disrespect to the beass era collectors but a car with roll up windows, a heater, good brakes, realistic road speeds, etc. has to have a much broader appeal. These brass cars are probably more saleable to someone who can afford to let it sit in his garage until the perfect sunny day comes along.  Less return on drive days vs. investment. 


actually a buyer at 45k is either going to get something a little bit bigger with none of the refinements you listed, or something similarly sized but a couple years older and no front doors, an aesthetic difference that people, myself included, tend to like. 


I very much so agree with Ed that Model T’s are where it is at for brass touring. Even the guys with big collections of big boy cars tend to show up on many tours in a model T. Ever try to get a locomobile stopped at the bottom mountain?  A side note on that taking us back to the Lambert, friction drive cars can be put in reverse to aid in braking.... a 35 horse engine can provide a lot of braking. 

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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

All they did was prove most people weren't willing to pay their reserve number.........and people as well as the internet have long memories. They did themselves a disservice.

I agree 110%

Just my thought but the number of youth seriously interested in these old cars appears to be in the decline. With the population becoming more and more recent imports who these cars mean nothing to, I can't help but wonder where most of them are going to end up in 50 years.  

 

 

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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Interest in brass era cars is very high. However, with the middle class losing about eighty percent of their real worth over the past thirty years? Having the means to not only purchase, but properly house and care for something that is absolutely not a necessity is the big problem. I see that as the greatest threat our hobby faces today. The six figure and up cars are not facing a serious risk, yet. But the lower end of the hobby in a couple decades could see thousands of once beautiful restorations left outside to rot.

 

The Lambert is a very interesting car. The owner of this car has been a semi-regular on this forum, and although I do not personally know him, we have traded comments on the forum a few times.

Friction drive in general. The Metz model 22 can be a wonderful tour car for two people when they are properly sorted. Unfortunately, most of them are not properly sorted. I suspect Lambert would be the same. The best friction drive automobile of the brass era is the Cartercar. Byron Carter was a good engineer and designed a very robust drive system eliminating most of the nagging issues found on other cars, especially if those cars were not properly adjusted and maintained. Had he not died too young from a freak injury, it is quite possible that his system could have become a major competitor to the gearshift.

Lambert made quite a variety of models over several years, ranging from high wheelers and two cylinders on up to a large and powerful touring car. While this car is not one of the largest models, it is one of the bigger and better models for Lambert. I wish I were in a better position to know and/or learn more about them. I suspect this car would be a good car to enjoy on brass tours and a real kick to drive!

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