1907 American Underslung roadster makes $1.4m in Philadelphia auction

A 1907 American Underslung 50hp roadster, the oldest sports car in the US, has sold for $1.4m at Bonhams' Preserving the Automobile sale in Philadelphia.  

The auction took place at the Simeone Automotive Museum on October 6, with the lot achieving an increase of 7.6% on a $1.3m estimate.

Underslung Deemer
The American Underslung was discovered in storage during the 1960s 

The American Motor Car Company built the first Underslungs in Indianapolis in the early 1900s. The roadsters were introduced shortly afterwards and feature a lowered centre of gravity, allowing them to reach high speeds.

Dr Frederick Simeone of the Simeone Foundation commented prior to the sale: "In 1907 the American Motor Car Company made only the Underslung Roadster.

"No other car was listed and, furthermore, after a review of hundreds of other contemporary sales catalogs, no other US manufacturer offered a gasoline car for speed and sport."

Oil baron FC Deemer was the car's first owner. He bought it new to drive on his honeymoon.  

Unfortunately, it was damaged in a barn fire in Pennsylvania while he and his wife were exploring the US - however Deemer was a man of means and swiftly bought a new one, shipping the burned specimen back home.

It remained in storage until professional restorer Walter Seeley discovered it during the 1960s.

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