1907 American Underslung roadster to headline automotive sale at Bonhams

A 1907 American Underslung 50hp roadster, the oldest sports car in the US, is expected to make between $900,000 and $1.3m at Bonhams' Preserving the Automobile sale.

The auction takes place at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia on October 6.

Underslung Deemer
The American Underslung roadster features a 50hp engine 

Underslung roadsters are the first sports cars ever built in America. They were designed by the American Motor Car Company in Indianapolis in the early 1900s and named for their lowered chassis, which offered an improved centre of gravity.

FC Deemer, an oil mogul, bought the car new in 1907 and drove it on his honeymoon. Unfortunately, it was caught in a barn fire in Pennsylvania, effectively curtailing the couple's celebrations.

He had it shipped home and interred in storage, where it would remain until 1960 - when professional restorer Walter Seeley rediscovered it.

Dr Frederick Simeone, who runs the Simeone Foundation, commented: "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."

Other high profile lots include a 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Piccadilly roadster, which is expected to make around $200,000-250,000.

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