|Roper Steam Car (1863)|
The Veteran Auto Era is part of the Brass Era, and refers to automobiles manufactured before 1905. The latter part of the Brass Era for autos manufactured between 1905 and 1914 is called the Edwardian Auto Era.
At the end of the 19th century, hundreds of manufacturers all over the western world started producing a wide variety of vehicles powered by technologies including steam, electricity, and internal combustion engines. The fuels used varied, from kerosene and coal oil, to petrol and diesel.
|Columbia Electric Landaulet (1899)|
Dual and even quad-engine cars were designed, and engine displacement ranged from tiny to more than a dozen litres of displacement. Many modern advances, including gas/electric hybrids, multi-valve engines, overhead camshafts, and four-wheel drive were attempted, and discarded at this time.
Innovation was rapid and rampant, with no clear standards for basic vehicle architectures, body styles, construction materials, or controls. Many veteran cars use a tiller, rather than a wheel for steering. During 1903, Rambler standardized the steering wheel, and moved the driver's position to the left-hand side of the vehicle.
|De Dion Bouton (1901)|
Most cars were operated at a single speed. Chain drive was dominant over the drive shaft, and closed bodies were extremely rare. Drum brakes were introduced by Renault in 1902.
Throughout the Veteran car era, however, automobiles were seen as more of a novelty than a genuinely useful device. Breakdowns were frequent, fuel was difficult to obtain, roads suitable for travelling were scarce, and rapid innovation meant that a year-old car was nearly worthless.
|Leon Bollee (1896)|
Vehicle architecture and technologies didn't change overnight, so in my previous article I showed cars that were more typical of the Edwardian Era, while in this article I'm showing cars with the more experimental looks. However both styles co-existed for a number of years at the end of the Veteran Era and start of the Edwardian Era. Enjoy the photos of these antique cars!
|Roper Steam Cycle (1894)|
|De Dion Tricycle (1887)|
|Salvesen Steam (1896)|
|Automoto De Dion (1899)|
|Virot Steam Carriage (1887)|
|De Dion Bouton Steam Quadricycle (1890)|
|Riker Electric (1900)|
|Success Model B Runabout (1907)|
|Toledo Steam (1902)|
|Tricycle - Quadricycle Evolution|
Part I of this article series - Edwardian Era Cars