Model H-5 Gentleman’s Speedy Roadster
Engine: Double-acting two-cylinder steam engine
Top Speed: 70 MPH
Suspension: Solid front axle and live rear axle with full-elliptic leaf springs.
After twins Francis and Freelan Stanley sold their photographic dry plate business to a certain Eastman Kodak – yes, that Mr. Kodak – they subsequently made their first car in 1897. Between 1898 and 1899, the company sold more cars than any other U.S. automobile maker. Freelan and his wife Flora made history in 1899 when they drove a Stanley to the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire to generate publicity for the brand.
The Model H-5 Gentleman’s Speedy Roadster seen here is one of the sportiest and most powerful early Stanleys, and it is a car deserving of its charming factory name. Only a handful of this body style has survived, and none of them have their original bodywork. This car, however, is distinguished by having an original dry-running, 20-horsepower engine, which was factory-equipped with “hookup,” a feature that allows for conservation of steam.
The wooden bodywork has been completely rebuilt and features beautifully finished paint and buttoned leather upholstery, as well as glistening brass trim. A new boiler and Baker burner were installed, but the engine and many other mechanical parts remain original. The car is mounted on new wheels built by Bill Calimer. This H-5 has garnered AACA First Junior, Senior, and Grand National Awards, and it was a National Award winner at Philadelphia in 2011. Simply put, it is one of the finest, most authentically restored Stanleys known.