The Grand Canyon Toledo Steam Car adventure!
In 2004, I purchased a Toledo with a six-inch longer than standard wheelbase at a farm auction in Tawas City, Michigan. With the car came a short article about a similar car slated to drive through the Rocky Mountains. Over the last few years, I have managed to track down thirteen Toledo Steamer Cars around the world, and I have been in correspondence with most of the owners, and so far none of the other cars have the longer wheelbase chassis as this one does. Neither is this configuration listed in any of the contemporary catalogues.
Half restored back in the UK
After eight years of on and off research and restoration, Toledo No. 259 (it is the only car known that has serial numbers) has been finished, and it completed the 2013 London to Brighton Run last fall. The car was very original and complete and only three pieces of wood in the body needed to be replaced, two because they were split and one, which holds the engine, because it was scorched. Mechanically it has also been completely rebuilt. The leather upholstery is original and has been conserved rather than restored.
The Automobile late in 1901, told of a Toledo built for Mr. Oliver Lippincott, a Los Angeles photographer, who was to undertake a trip through the Rocky Mountains. This car differed from the regular stock model by having bigger water tank, which necessitated a six-inch longer wheelbase with a different chassis and the addition of extra chassis tubes. A trailer was also added to carry more fuel and water. My Toledo appears not to have been altered in any way after it was constructed and seems to match and could possibly be the Lippincott car.
The original car poised overlooking the canyon
After an invite to bring the car to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year, my brother and I will both attend with the Toledo. We have also decided that this would also be a good opportunity to re-run the January 1902 trip of Lippincott. After the Concours, we have made plans to make the run on the 26th and 27th August. Thanks to the help of people who have kindly offered assistance, we hope to cover as much of the original route as possible.
In 1902, Lippincott forged a trail to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff instead of the earlier proposed Rocky Mountain trip. Full details of that journey have been found in the Los Angeles Herald. The center photo above shows Lippincott and Al Doyle, the Flagstaff guide who accompanied him along with Winfield Hoggaboon and T.M. Chapman, both reporters from the Newspaper. The right hand photo shows Al Doyle gazing out at the canyon.