San Francisco, California – (January 27, 2010) – On the heels of the “call for consignments” for Bonhams’ renowned summer auto auction in Carmel, Bonhams & Butterfields is extremely proud to announce the consignment of one of the very few remaining Thomas Model F 4-60 “Flyer” cars.

This rare pioneering American automobile dates from 1908, the very year that the Thomas Motor Company of Buffalo, New York, won the epic New York to Paris Race – history’s first around-the-world automobile endurance challenge.

Considering that it took a Thomas Flyer 169 days in 1908 to circumnavigate the globe by driving 22,000 grueling miles (35,000 km), mostly on routes that consisted of dirt tracks if there were any roads at all, is a feat that cannot be underscored strongly enough. This enormous accomplishment is owed to the indefatigable quality of the car as much as the skill and stamina of its drivers. As a result of this prestigious and hard-earned title, Thomas proudly marketed their cars as “The car that defends America against the world.”

This particular Thomas Flyer tourer has a vertically-mounted, water-cooled straight 4-cylinder engine producing 60hp, capable of achieving a consistent speed in excess of 60mph.

It was supplied new to J. Herbert Carpenter Jr. in October of 1908, a founding member of the Automobile Club of America and one of the hemisphere’s earliest proponents of the motorcar. It remained in his family until the mid-1940s when it passed to the Western Reserve Historical Society. It was de-accessioned by them in the early 1950s, restored, and then re-acquired by them where it remained until 1990 when it was purchased at auction. Changing hands just once more to the present owner, this 102-year old car has, amazingly, had just four owners.

One of the finest performance automobiles of its day, this chain-driven car with its rakish body is the era’s definition of durability and quality and would make a stellar addition to any automobile collection.

Bonhams’ Auction of Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia takes place mid-August, during the internationally renowned Monterey Car Week celebration, in conjunction with The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The location is the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California.

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