1920 Essex A Series Touring

For consignment, a barn found condition Essex A Series Touring car from 1920 that has been in dry storage for the last 35 years.  This example will be in need of TLC for all aspects, but the car is far from a lost cause, appearing as a partial restoration was started some time ago.  The engine turns free with compression, the miles read 30,501 and that is believed to be actual but not documented so you can let your imagination run wild…Will you go back to factory stock? Perhaps a mechanical once over and drive this 103 year young tourer as is, or maybe the resto-mod bug has bit you.  Regardless of the outcome, the finished product will make your blood, sweat and tears all worth it.



All steel showing some surface rust, dents and dings, and the paint has been covered with an amateur application of black primer with areas of green showing through.  Amazingly though, there is almost no invasive rust to speak of without one crawling around with their face pressed against the steel.  A corralled grille, red Essex emblem, cowled hood, 4 doors, running boards and fenders make up this long car.  The convertible top and its wooden frame remain intact, but not without some soiling, staining and a few tears in the vinyl around the glass rear window.  32-inch red painted wire spoke wheels are on all 4 corners and dual spare tires are strapped to the back of this car.


More TLC is needed on the interior, but not as much as one would assume for a 103 year old automobile.  Nicely redone black tuck and roll leather makes up the expansive front bench seat, which has a distinct wrap around carriage style design.  The rear bench, in the same style, shows discoloration and tears in the leather allowing the padding to show through.  Padded tuck and roll leather covers the rear side panels and the 4 door panels present with varying stages of wear.  We note map pockets in these doors, with the driver’s door missing its cover flap.  Worn and stained tan carpeting is in for the rear seat passengers and up front is a simple black rubber mat.  The dash has all the original parts and looks more like an old control panel for a power plant than a dash, but it’s all there.  As is the original wooden steering wheel with spark advance and throttle lever, although it has suffered slight wear from water damage.  


Under the sides of the cowled hood resides the 179ci F-head 4 cylinder capable of producing 55hp.  It has a 1-barrel carburetor and a 3-speed manual transmission sending power to a 5.09 geared rear axle. This engine appears to have been restored with all parts present and accounted for.  Our consignor notes that the engine does turn over by hand and makes compression.


A mix of patina, road dirt and surface rust is abundant underneath this car.  Structural stability remains intact for the frame, flooring and under sides of the running boards.  A single exhaust system is on for the exhale with surface rusted piping and a like new muffler.  Mechanical drum brakes are only on the rear and leaf sprung suspension is seen all around.

A barn find from 1920 making this car over 103 years old!  Amazingly for 1920, this car has a lot of positive attributes like the intact drivetrain, partially restored seating, and a convertible which most of the cars of the era did have except for Henry’s Model T.  It will need to be worked on very diligently, however, when you are complete, you will have something nearly no one else possesses.


Price: Auction

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