6-07 October 2011

Lot 233

1910 Otto Speedster

To be auctioned on Friday, October 7, 2011

Sold for $60,500

  • Chassis no. 210

30/35 hp, 241 cu. in. inline four-cylinder engine, three-speed transmission solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 123"

- Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn
- One of only two examples known to exist
- Formerly in the Midlands Motor Museum Collection
- Featured in AACA magazine article
- Special body with double rumble seat

The Otto Gas Engine Works of Philadelphia billed itself as “The Largest and Oldest Builders of Gas and Gasoline Engines in the World,” playing off Nicholas Otto’s 1867 invention, albeit in Germany. In any case, the Otto company embarked on automobile manufacture in 1910. They were, according to the late historian Beverly Rae Kimes, “handsome cars, long and low, and sturdily built.”

The Otto we have the pleasure of offering here is one of only two examples known to exist. According to a copy of a 1959 article in the AACA’s Antique Automobile, which featured the stories of both surviving cars, both cars were “owned by AACA members and [were] restored to prize-winning condition by their owners.” This particular example was owned by John William Kurtz of New York, who acquired it from its second owner and who, in describing the nut-and-bolt restoration he carried out in the 1950s, stated, “the body on the Otto was different from any of those that were in the catalog but I was told by Mr. Cole from whom I purchased the car that it was made specially for Mr. Burns, the original owner.”

Following Kurtz’s ownership, the car wound up in the ownership of the Midlands Motor Museum in the UK, from where it was sold in 1988 to the Mallya Collection and subsequently displayed and used in Europe and Africa. It finally returned to the United States in 2002 and today is presented in older restored condition. The cream finish, red accents and red upholstery all exhibit a handsome patina. Of particular note are the interesting double rumble seats, which Antique Automobile described as a $25 factory option. A rare early brass era car with a powerful 30-horsepower four-cylinder, this Otto is perfect for driving events.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo

Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick


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Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

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Augustin Sabatié-Garat


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Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener


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Don Rose


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Max Girardo


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Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

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As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

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Rob Myers

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As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

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Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak


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Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more