494ci T-Head Dual Camshaft Inline 4-Cylinder
Single Updraft Carburetor
3-Speed Sliding Gear Manual Transmission with Cone Clutch
Front Semi-Elliptic and Rear ¾ Elliptical Leaf Spring Suspension
2-Wheel Rear Drum Brakes – Hydraulic Retrofit
*In the care of the current owner since 2002
*Previously part of the William Ullom Collection
*Hugely powerful, massive four pot motor
*The distillation of a sports car—an engine with seats
The National Motor Vehicle Company of Indianapolis Indiana commenced business building electric runabouts at the outset in 1900s. As the industry evolved, so did National. By 1905, the company had designed and built perhaps the first 6-cylinder engine in a production auto in America. Their developments paved the way for their future racing successes. At the new Indianapolis Speedway, National and their big 50HP cars placed well and by 1911 National would field three cars. The inaugural Indy 500 race in 1911 saw them finishing seventh. 1912 would be their pinnacle success winning the second Indy in 1912 with Joe Dawson at the wheel. His average speed during the 500 miles was 78.22mph.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The early history of this stunning National is not recorded, but it was previously part of the William Ullom Collection in Ohio, where it was one of a matched pair of Semi-Racing type roadsters.
In the mid-1990s, the car found its way to Oklahoma City where it was completely restored by experienced enthusiasts. It was restored on what the seller reports to be a reconstructed frame in factory semi-racer trim, complete with fenders, running boards, and full folding top. To go racing, one would simply strip the car down to its minimalist state just as the factory intended.
Following the acquisition by its current owner, it made its show debut at the famed Old Car Festival weekend at The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village at Dearborn, Michigan 2002. Sparingly toured and enjoyed, it made its next appearance in March 2003 at the Birthplace of Speed Centennial Celebration at Ormond Beach, Florida. Here the car performed on the beach and at one point famed drag racing legend Big Daddy Don Garlits took the passenger seat and experienced a spirited ride, later exclaiming that, it was the most terrifying ride of my life
For the past decade and a half, the National has called the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum its home, occasionally making appearances on the back roads during veteran automobile events. Most recently, in 2016, it was driven at the Ontario region HCCA summer tour. Its veteran drive described it as, handling as if it were riding on rails. In further describing the experience, he continued that its power is unceasing and it gives the feeling of stability and security that both belies and emphasizes its enormity.
The truest distillation of what an early race car should be, it does away with all the frivolities in the interest of speed and power. Promising a thrilling and engaging, open air experience not too different from flying in an open cockpit aircraft. It would be a welcome entrant on any number of desirable and exciting Veteran and Brass auto events.