Solid As Sears: 1910 Sears Motor Buggy

1910 Sears Motor Buddy

After featuring the 1911 Buick earlier today, I started looking around for something even older. Strange I know, but with aspirations of someday participating in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the Buick was too new to qualify. Well, a little further down the page on the Horseless Carriage Club site, I found this 1910 Sears. There isn’t a price listed, but I doubt this little runabout could be too expensive. Right?

Two-Cylinder'

Hopefully not because this was a mail order car. You could actually order this thing right out of a Sears catalog! They would crate it up and stick it on a train headed your way. After a little assembly, you’d be cruising around town in your own automobile! Cruising slowly that is. With an air-cooled two-cylinder and a friction-drive transmission, you weren’t going to get anywhere fast.

Where To Start

Heck, it was probably quicker to just take the horse to the store. Two people were able to ride in comfort though and it was probably some folk’s first taste of the open road. You can read more about how these little cars worked here on Vermont Automobile Enthusiasts. This seems like a reasonable project to take on and I just discovered that we have a London to Brighton rally right here on this side of the pond!

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Comments

  1. Scotty G Staff

    I would absolutely love to have this car!

    • Ron

      I’m trying to sell a 1909.

      Like 1
  2. MG's

    Bet I could even get my wife into this gem!

  3. grant

    A lot of cool old cars and a 1912 Harley on that page, thanks for the link Jesse.

  4. Dolphin Member

    Since Sears was a retailer, this car was built by some other firm. Of all the many firms operating back then I wonder which one it was….and whether it would sound familiar.

    • Dave Wright

      Lincoln motor car works

    • Lee

      The Sears cars were built by a company in Chicago called Lincoln Motors. Not the same as Ford’s Lincoln Division. The two cyl.air cooled engine propelled the car through 7 forward “gears” to a top speed of 25 mph. In the 60’s there were 48 known Sears cars. Half of them were owned by MGM Studios.

      • MikeH

        In a recent orphans car meet in Granbury, TX, we had TWO 1909 Sears motor buggies. I don’t know what model they were. In the early 50s, Sears also sold Henry Js, rebadged as Allstates. As I recall, there were only 600 or so, of those made. We had one of those as well.

    • Keith Kinney

      Some of the early Sears Motor Buggy cars were built by the Hercules Buggy Company in Evansville, Indiana. They were the supplier of the Buggys sold by Sears and from 1914-1934 they supplied gas engines to Sears who sold them under their “Economy” brand.

    • Matt Tritt

      My dad’s company, (Glasspar), made boats for Sears in the 50’s. According to him, they were a real pain to work with; always trying to “cheap it down” to the point where it was just operable. “We love your product and want to offer it, but can you leave off all the things that make it attractive and/or completely useful?” I’m not even exaggerating. Still, I really would like to have an Allstate branded Steyer-Puch 250 cc “twingle” from the late 50’s.

  5. Matt Tritt

    If you’ve never driven a car with tiller steering, you just haven’t lived. Love the open chain. No long scarves please!

  6. Dave Wright

    I was introduced to this type car when I bought my first Carriage museum many years ago. There as a Dureya included with the horse drawn vehicles. It was very orignal and in good shape but the Central Valley heat had shrunk the wooden wheels so much they had to be rebuilt. No problem……..my carriage wheel guy had them done in a week. The tiller steering is an adventure. I sold the car to a Hollywood collector that did a lot of work with his cars for the movies. I always wondered if it was the car driven by Richard Boone in the Shootest……..

  7. Charles

    Sears sold everything.

  8. Howard A Member

    This appears to be the model “G”, ( as in Scotty G) which was the barest bones Sears motor buggy they had. ( no fenders) Here’s a cool site that describes these cars. They offered a “H”, “J”, “K”, “L”, and “M” , all with different features, but I believe the same basic car. It seems 1911 had several more models. You can see the difference between this and the Buick, not even close. Never drove a car with “tiller” steering, but have driven construction equipment, with tiller-like steering, and it is a handful. Cool find. http://searsmotorbuggy.com/Sears_photos_1910.php

  9. Mike

    The seller is asking $15000

    • Dave Wright

      I think that is crazy money

  10. Matt Tritt

    Compare this buggy to the 1910 Packard model 30, which had 50 HP and carried 7 passengers…. This was still a horseless carriage, and was undoubtably meant for people just getting to accept that vehicles without horses might be worth trying – like the telephone. On the other hand, a Packard cost around $5,000.00 – as much as a good house! – and the Sears was only $370.00 (The Packard also went from 0 to 60 in just 30 seconds!)

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Matt, I think you are right. The automobile was only around, what, 10 years? With the Sears car at $370, it was still $8,861 in today’s money, so still not cheap. The Sears 0-60 time? Forgetaboutit.

      • Brakeservo

        Actually, it would generally be considered about 24 years, not ten by 1910 as it was 1886 that Benz (or was it Daimler) first patented the gasoline automobile.

  11. Ian

    Have ridden in one. It was a real hoot. About as fast as a moderate jog.

  12. Matt Tritt

    Brakeservo is right about the Benz patent, but they weren’t what you could exactly label as road worthy until the mid-1890’s. Benz’ wife, Bertha, is the real story though. She made the world’s first long distance road trip in an auto – about 120 km – with the couple’s 2 teenage sons. There were NO filling stations and she refueled at two drugstores using some kind of combustible liquid from the shelf. She also “invented” the first replaceable brake lining by having a shoemaker make new leather pads for the friction brake en-route. It was also her family’s money that financed Karl’s work and her own work in promoting the venture that got the company going. Not only that, and not to be sexist, but she was very attractive. I’m sure it didn’t hurt in advertising. I remember this stuff from my tour of the Daimler-Benz factory museum in Stuttgart where they had “the first automobile” and the Blitzen Benz, along with so many other things that were Firsts and Bests!

    • Dave Wright

      Mercedes made a run of there first car model a few years ago. I think 1000 of them. They run pretty well and do come on the market from time to time. Even though they were older than these early American cars, they look much better, less carriage like.

      Like 1
      • Matt Tritt

        Only Mercedes could do something like this. :-)

  13. Bill McCoskey

    1910 is still too late for the London to Brighton run. The cut-off date is 1905.
    Any car built between 1885 & 1905 is eligible to be inspected to determine if it’s an authentic pre-1906 car. If approved, it can be run in the L to B event every fall.

    • Matt Tritt

      Are there any clips of this run on youtube? I’d suspect that any self-powered vehicle made in 1885 would have to be steam or hamsters running in a wheel.

  14. Dave Wright

    The Mercedes was a 3 wheeler with a big horizontally mounted flywheel. It stored energy to make the car run smoother. The wheels are more bicycle like than carriage wheels used on this car.

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