1910 Simplex 50HP
This Simplex is a car with known continuous history, one that has been a visible part of the collector car hobby for well over half a century. Early photos of the car show its discovery during the 1950’s by Long Island resident Leo Peters. Like many powerful cars of the era it had been modified to serve a commercial role after the war, and a small tow arm had been skillfully fitted to the back of the car. Fortunately, this work was carefully done and much of the original coachwork remained unaltered.
The car was looked after during its commercial use and was easily restored back to its original appearance. Still in unrestored condition, the Simplex was sold in 1957 to George Gentsch of Amherst, Massachusetts foe $4000. Gentsch apparently never got around to the project, as the Simplex was again sold in 1963, still in unrestored and partially dismantled condition, to James Bragg of New York City and Woodbury, Connecticut. Mr. Bragg then had the car fully restored by Andy Anderson in Massachusetts with technical advice from Simplex expert Edgar Roy.
By the mid 1970’s, the Simplex was being offered for sale by Ed Jurist’s Old Car Store in Nyack, New York, who found a new home for it with noted collector Rick Carroll. Carroll reportedly paid $60,000 for the car at the time, a huge sum in the nascent days of serious car collecting. After an appraisal by Henry Austin Clark in 1977, the car found a long-term keeper in prominent HCCA member Dr. F. M. Brunemeier, who purchased the Simplex in 1978 from Carroll, assisted by Leo Gephart.
Thus began a wonderful two-decade ownership period during which the Simplex was used and toured on the West Coast extensively by Dr. Brunemeier. After Brunemeier’s ownership the car passed to prominent Connecticut brass era collector Richard King in 1998. By the late 1990’s its years of enviable touring since the initial restoration were starting to show and the mighty Simplex was ready for some refreshing.
Under King’s ownership the Simplex was treated to an extensive restoration. Under the direction of noted brass era restorer Stu Laidlaw, the Simplex was brought up to high cosmetic standards throughout, while a great deal of attention was given to the drivetrain. The engine was fitted with a much needed electric starter and charging system, and rebuilt with the intention of making a reliable and strong performing tour car, meanwhile many small refinements were made to improve its mechanical components.
The resulting restoration returned the mighty Simplex to its original glory. The brass has been beautifully restored and the car is fitted with an original set of the highly prized Solarclypse headlamps. All of the canvas work including a full set of side curtains and top boot are present.