1902 Yale Rear-Entrance Tonneau
Engine: 196 CI 2-Cylinder Engine. Single Carburetor
Transmission: 2-Speed Manual Planetary Transmission, Chain Drive
Brakes: Rear Disc Brakes (Modern Addition)
Suspension: Front and Rear Semi-Elliptical Leaf-Spring
Built by the Kirk Manufacturing Company of Toledo, Ohio, the Yale was produced from 1902 to 1905. The history of this lovely example was painstakingly researched by the consignor’s father. According to his findings, Arthur Kirk, son of the company president, drove this car, chassis 1002, out West as part of a promotional tour. In the New Mexico territory, Mr. Kirk ended up in a poker game with lawman Pat Garrett, renowned for emerging victorious over outlaw Billy the Kid. Garrett also got the best of Mr. Kirk, leaving the table as the owner of this Yale. Garrett met an untimely end in 1908, however, and the Yale was used in his funeral procession. His widow, Apolinaria, held the car until 1933.
That year, it was acquired by Paul Murray, who later told the consignor’s father that the “scraps of the car were purchased from widow Garrett…dug the parts out of the dirt floor of the chicken house.” In the 1950s, Henry Dodge acquired the car and devoted years to its restoration. The consignor’s father acquired the Yale in 1992, and his considerable research into its provenance accompanies the sale. He also added an electric starter and a set of rear disc brakes for safety.
This rare two-cylinder Yale, which has been dated by the VCC and twice participated in the London-to-Brighton Veteran Car Run, has remarkable connections to both the dawn of the Auto Age and the sunset of an Old West legend.