1914 A.c. Gilbert, Clockwork Stutz Racer With Original Driver For Sale
A.C. Gilbert, Clockwork
Stutz Racer with Original Driver
their earliest years the A.C. Gilbert company produced a "plethora" of
toys in addition to their popular Erector and Mysto Magic
Sets. For four short years they made a variety of lightweight
mechanical tin toys known as Gil-Motor Toys. Each was powered by a
unique spring driven motor which ran the entire length of the vehicle.
Turning the crank in front would drive the rear wheels of the toy.
These toys are all unmarked and difficult to identify, however no other
company produced this type of drive mechanism, thereby permitting a
precise and easy identification.
The very first toy produced in the series was this Clockwork Stutz
Racer. It's a sturdy vehicle despite the slight resemblance to some of
the more "tinny" flywheel toys (mfgd. by other company's). The body is
lithoed yellow with
black trim. The driver is dark green, while the radiator is nickel
plated. The motor housing underneath the car is raw steel which
accounts for the light surface rust on the bottom. It also has a plated
gear shift lever on the right side of the body, but it's not a
The red stamped spoke wheels, including the rear mounted spare, are
unusual. In addition to some mild chipping and rim wear they exhibit
"alligatoring". This is typically seen with enamel painted toys,
particularly cast. iron, and not lithographed tinplate. They're not
cast iron, but both sides were completely painted red. Almost always
the inside of a tin lithoed wheel is left as the raw metal, but in this
case it appears that the wheels were actually enamel painted on both
sides and not lithographed. It also means that the paint is original.
A couple turns on the front crank gets 'er going. After that the rear
wheels spin freely and uniformly.
toy is infrequently seen especially in higher grade. I recall an
example in the Kaufman collection, as well as an occasional toy show.
Quite often the driver is
missing. It's also commonly misidentified. Of the few I've seen over the
years this particular example by
far grades the highest.
Size: 9¾". Condition: Excellent! The litho on the driver is nearly
intact. Nothing has been repainted, repaired, or touched up. There are only a couple of chips on the center and left of
center on the front hood. The driver has just some minute scratches
that are very difficult to see. And surprisingly most of the fender and
running board edges have complete litho as well; indicating that it was
handled very infrequently. The only true wear is on the tire rims. The
front radiator shows just a trace of overall light rust. The underside
chassis motor housing has more rust, but it's still very light (no
corrosion or anything severe). It's normal for exposed metal that's
almost 100 years old. Oh, and again it works great! It's not going to
run laps, but it definitely works well.
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