In 1899, the Stanley brothers sold their fledgling business to John B. Walker and Amzi L. Barber, but the latter partnership immediately fell apart, with Barber launching the Locomobile Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Walker starting Mobile Company of America in Tarrytown, New York. Both manufactured vehicles of Stanley design. Mobile’s manufacturing ended just a few years later, about the same time Locomobile switched to building high-quality gas cars.
Purchased new in 1901 by the Hodgetts family, this Mobile received an aftermarket modification in 1903 that lengthened its wheelbase and added a front seat, and changed the steering from the center to the side. Soon after, Edwin Hodgetts drove with three passengers from Wallingford, Connecticut, to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and back—an astonishing feat for such a delicate machine on the roads of that era.
Alexis I. du Pont purchased the car from Edwin Hodgetts in 1945. He made it operational and gave it a quick cosmetic restoration. After 60 years of care, du Pont sold the car to the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve, which became only the third owner. It is the oldest car in the collection and remains the only one that uses the chain drive of the Stanley company’s earliest design.
Capacity: 2/4 passengers
Engine: 4½ horsepower
Weight: 900 pounds
Wheelbase: 65 inches
Cost: $650 in 1901; today’s equivalent: $17,000