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Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society caters for veteran cars, vintage cars & classic cars, as well as commercials and motorcycles.


:: [ cca 1902 Toledo Steamer Model A ] ::

Original entry for this vehicle is on Help Page 118 and was captioned as follows:

Another interesting photograph well worth sharing on our Help Pages as a vehicle identification aid, and found while surfing the internet in the process of researching ancient machinery. Can we name the make?

  Made in USA in Toledo, Ohia, by the American Bicycle Company (see HP 03), then one of USA's largest cycle manufacturers. This is a cca 1901 Toledo Model B Steamer 6.24HP Twin, with unusual condensing radiator. Condensing radiators were compulsory in the UK, not standard in USA.


On HP118 we identified the car as a cca 1901 Toledo Model B Steamer.  We were contacted by Nick Howell of Penzance (UK) that it is in fact a Model A and probably a 1902 car.  We have put a correction on Help Page 131  which was summarised as :

-- Have now been advised by Nick Howell (UK), who has a Toledo, that this is a cca 1902 Toledo Model A Steamer as  it has curved back to the rear corner of seat, the top half of which carries forward around the corner. Nick also advises that American Bicycle Company was started by Pope 1900, bought rights to the steam car  from Mr Billings; formed International Motor Car Co 1901, changed to Pope Manufacturing 1903.

The full text of Nick's comments were too big to fit the normal Help Page window but as the information may help others researching Toledos, we are publishing the full text below.

Firstly thanks you for the wonderful research and images that goes into your site, it's great.

I've had a Toledo steam car for about 15 years now, the one that went to The Grand Canyon in January 1902, and so my over biding interest  has been Toledo's. The two photos of Toledo's that you have on the SVVS site I had never seen before and though the photo taken in Britain is not very clear,  the side shot of the one with a condenser is much better.

May suggest a couple of corrections to the text on the condenser photo. The car is a Toledo Model A not a Model B; the differences are that the Model A has a curved back to the rear corner of the seat, the top half of which also carries forward around the corner, and the Model B has a sharp bent to the seat corner and is fitted with a hood. Ref: the Toledo sales catalogue of 1902.  It more likely that your photo is of a 1902 car with a condenser than a 1901 as condensers came as later extras. There are 14 surviving Toledo steam cars that I know of and one Model B is in this country but at least 8 of the Model A's have been modified to be fitted with hoods by later owners.

The other correction to the text is that it gives the impression that the American Bicycle Company was a separate business that was bought by Pope and then the steamer production was stopped. Colonel Albert Pope's Manufacturing Corporate Genealogy show that the American Bicycle Company was incorporated in 1900-by Pope, and it bought the steam car design and Patents from Mr Billings; the automobile manufacturing affiliates of the company were formed into the International Motor Car Company in December 1901 whose name was changed to the Pope Motor Car Co in 1903 -and then into the Pope Manufacturing Co later that year. Lots of spurious company changes and new share issues in between did not save it and it first went onto receivership between 1907 and 1909 and was finally dissolved in 1914. Pope died in 1909.

Regards, Nick Howell

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