1920 Brewster Knight Town Landaulette
Convertible Car for sale by Harwood Motors in Macedonia, Ohio 44056
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If you're thinking about buying a classic car, you should know where to look for rust and how extensive the repair might be.
Classic Car Overview
Incredible survivor with just 11,715 original miles. Three
owners from new, one repaint in the 1950s. One of 473 built and fewer than 25
remain. Recently serviced, runs very well, beautiful in every detail!
This 1920 Brewster-Knight Town Landaulet is a remarkable
piece of history that demonstrates the remarkable quality and style that was
unique to Brewster & Co. It was repainted once in the 1950s, when the
second owner purchased it from the estate of the first owner, apparently an
industrialist from Pittsburgh, PA. His name is lost to the sands of time, but
the car remained in the second owner’s possession for nearly 50 years before
being sold to the most recent owner in the early 2000s. That second owner
repainted the car in its original dark blue livery, which accurately replicates
the bespoke colors and varnishing techniques Brewster used. There are, of
course, some minor signs of age but the 70-year-old lacquer is holding up
beautifully and could almost pass for original itself. Of course, they
replicated the original white pinstripes that outline the ornate coachwork and
highlight the “Brewster curve” ahead of the rear doors. The round radiator
shell is practically a carbon copy of the Delauney-Belleville, and for an
expensive car, the use of bright trim is restrained. A few nickel fittings such
as door handles and headlight rings dress up the Brewster, but this was a
vehicle that didn’t need to call attention to itself with excessive jewelry.
The interior is a familiar combination of utilitarian and
lavish. Up front, the driver was treated to black leather, which was durable
and weatherproof, while the rear compartment is trimmed in expensive wool
broadcloth that could be tailored to each client’s individual tastes. The
100-year-old leather in the front compartment is obviously showing its age and
has been amateurishly repaired using black duct tape, and that might be the
biggest demerit on the entire car. There’s a full array of instruments, from
the Warner speedometer and 8-day rim-wind clock to an ammeter, temperature
gauge, and oil pressure gauge. The roof over the driver—in fact both front and
rear roofs are collapsible—tucks into the header above the driver’s seat, but
there is no other weather protection for the front seat occupants. The rear
compartment is lavishly appointed with expensive looking and feeling wool
broadcloth and it’s in remarkable condition with few signs of age. Brewster is
largely credited with inventing roll-down windows as we currently know them,
and there are cranks in the doors plus one for the divider between front and
rear compartments. The well-finished headliner neatly disguises the fact that
the top does indeed fold fully and the window frames are hinged to swing out of
sight, making this an open 4-door touring car (obviously we did not attempt to
fold either of the 100-year-old leather tops). Other accoutrements include a
speaker system for communicating instructions to the driver, an overhead
reading lamp, and a Waltham clock.
Brewster licensed the Knight sleeve valve engine design but
the 276.5 cubic inch 4-cylinder engine was of their own specifications and
manufacture. Not designed for speed, it is nonetheless smooth and torquey,
requiring minimal shifting and the sleeve valve engine is as smooth and quiet
as you would expect. Thanks to a 12-volt electrical system, this Brewster spins
to life almost instantly and settles into a smooth, quiet idle without a lot of
drama. On the road it pulls nicely, but again it is important to remember that
this was a city car and effortlessness was the goal. As a result, it is
comfortable at about 35 MPH—there’s more on tap, but it settles in nicely at
cruising speed and pulls easily from low RPM in high gear.
The 3-speed manual transmission is not synchronized, so it
requires some familiarity and a quick double-clutch to master it, and it seems
to work better as it warms up. The steering is shockingly precise and it tracks
straight with minimal corrections required to keep it on course. Brakes are
effective and more than adequate for the car’s modest performance. It does emit
a wisp of smoke at speed, but it is well within acceptable levels for a sleeve
valve engine, and it has been recently serviced by early car expert David
Heinrichs. It does run a little hot after a longer drive, so we might recommend
servicing the cooling system before using it for extended touring, and those
35x5 tires are probably 70 years old themselves, so replacements might be in
We did not expect to like this car as much as we do. It’s
presence is imposing—it is not another one of those spindly, delicate-looking
early cars. The craftsmanship is tangible in every single part and the driving experience
is far less primitive than you would expect. Master its idiosyncrasies and it
is a delightful machine that will always attract attention, regardless of the
event. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.
Classic Car ID101414955
While we do our best to present all vehicles as honestly and accurately as possible, Harwood Motors Ltd. cannot guarantee the veracity of the information contained herein. This site and all advertising information may be updated without notice whenever new information is obtained and may contain mistakes and inaccuracies. Information is provided to the best of our knowledge and that of the owners of the vehicles, and we make no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, truth, suitability, or reliability of such information. We cannot be responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies contained in information provided by third parties. Harwood Motors Ltd. is not an expert in the construction, metallurgy, engineering, finishes, materials, and componentry of every single vehicle ever made. Harwood Motors Ltd. strives to perform extensive visual inspections on all vehicles we represent but we do not disassemble vehicles or components for inspection purposes and therefore it is always possible that there is hidden damage that is not readily apparent. We cannot guarantee the fitness of any components beyond a visual inspection and normal operation of the vehicle. We do not perform internal examinations, so we cannot guarantee the condition of unseen internal components such as crankshafts, bearings, gears, and other mechanical equipment. This also applies to electronics such as radios, clocks, gauges, light fixtures, switches, or other electrical devices. Buyer should personally inspect the vehicle and satisfy himself as to its mechanical and cosmetic fitness. We always welcome inspections by Buyers and/or third parties who wish to undertake such examinations at their own expense. Harwood makes no warranty or representation regarding mileage unless otherwise stated. Listed prices do not include additional fees, state, federal, or local taxes, or shipping and delivery costs. Harwood Motors Ltd collects a $150.00 documentation fee on every vehicle purchase. Buyer is entirely responsible for satisfying himself that the car is as-represented prior to purchase and there are no warranties, expressed or implied, involved in the sale of any motor vehicle represented by Harwood Motors Ltd.
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