1906 Pungs-Finch

"Finch Limited Touring"

Specifications

Engine: SOHC inline four-cylinder engine with hemispherical combustion chambers

Horsepower: 50

Transmission: Three-speed selective-shift manual transmission

Top Speed: 55mph

Brakes: Front and rear semi-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel drum brakes.

Pungs-Finch was the ill-fated partnership of Detroit gasoline engine manufacturer Edward B. Finch and his father-in-law, carriage builder William A. Pungs. In 1906 Henry Ford was quoted saying this Pung was the best made car in America. The partnership had built its first automobile in 1902 and moved, like many companies of the era, quickly and audaciously. They adopted a propeller shaft and bevel gear drive the following year and by 1906 were ready to build their masterpiece.

The Pungs-Finch is the ultimate early American Brass era automobile. The beautifully restored “Iron Butterfly” has four cylinders which were displaced as many cubic inches as two Smart car engines! The engine has inclined overhead valves in hemispherical combustion chambers and is operated by a single gear-driven overhead shaft which crossed on top of each of the individually cast cylinders. The 1904 models came with 14 hp cylinder engines. The following year, the Model 35 Runabout of 5808 cc, as well as the Model 50 of 6435 cc, replaced these earliest models. Continued production of the Finch Limited never progressed beyond a single prototype. Not surprisingly, the in-laws who decided to build a car together wound up not getting along, and the partnership dissolved along with any hope for the company.

Sold to Henry Austin Clark Jr., shortly thereafter, it was restored with a new runabout body which was completed by Richard Teague and Leonard Davis. The car soon after appeared in Automobile Quarterly in 1969. In 2008, the car was displayed at Pebble Beach and then shown at the 2009 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, winning the Racetoration Award.

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