Project Description

1916 Brewster Town Landaulet

The Brewster Company began in 1810 as a producer of high-quality horse-drawn carriages for wealthy clients. They made their first auto body in 1896, and continued building car bodies for American and imported European chassis until the outbreak of World War I in Europe. With their supply of chassis threatened, Brewster turned to making their own complete automobiles.

Thanks to their smooth and quiet sleeve valve engine, Brewsters were an excellent choice for city driving. They were recognizable by their distinctive oval radiator shape, leather fenders, and cane work on the body. The three fender design is reminiscent of horseless carriages, protecting passengers from mud on the streets. Notice the speaking tube that allowed the passengers to communicate from their enclosed seating area with the chauffeur. Because the driver sat in the open this vehicle was nicknamed “the pneumonia special.” The museum’s Brewster has received the least restoration of any car in the collection.

  • MANUFACTURER: Brewster & Co., Long Island City, NY (1915-1925)
  • PRICE NEW: $7,500
  • AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME 1916: $708
  • PRICE TO BUY 2019: $173,421
  • ENGINE: 4-cylinder Knight patent sleeve valve configuration, 276 cu. in. / 4.5 l.
  • HORSEPOWER: 30

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In our current exhibit, From Carriage to Classic: How Automobiles Transformed America, we present the origin story of the American automobile through 23 cars from Heritage’s permanent collection of antique and classic automobiles. Come along for a ride from the late 1800s to the 1960s and watch the car evolve from a horseless carriage to a streamlined symbol of freedom and independence.

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