The First American Racecar That Exceeded 100mph Is Going On Sale

The fabled 1904 Napier Samson L48, the first car in US history to reach 100 mph, is up for auction, and the automotive industry is agog with expectation. This historic car, with a storied history spanning more than a century, is expected to bring in an incredible amount of money—roughly $1 million. What, though, is so unique about this vintage racer?

When the Napier Samson L48 broke speed records in January 1905, it was driven by British technician Arthur Macdonald and achieved an astounding top speed of 104.651 mph. This achievement was a significant turning point in the history of automobiles. Its powerful 15-liter, six-cylinder gas engine allowed it to accomplish this feat and set other speed records.

However, the Napier’s voyage continued after that. Known for its track prowess, it experienced a number of changes, one of which being a major engine swap to make room for a large 20-liter powerplant. More record-breaking performances followed this metamorphosis, solidifying the Napier’s reputation as a genuine racing marvel.

Famous people like Dorothy Levitt and Walter Thomas Clifford-Earp contributed to the Napier’s legendary status by establishing records for decades with their risk-taking driving adventures. The Napier persevered over heart-stopping obstacles and exhausting races, cementing its reputation as a representation of strength and speed.

Despite facing adversity and eventually being sold for scrap after years of hard racing, the Napier’s story didn’t end there. Resurrected from obscurity by Alan ‘Bob’ Hawker Chamberlain in the 1980s, the car underwent a painstaking restoration process, breathing new life into its iconic frame.

Now, with only four owners in its illustrious history, the Napier Samson L48 is poised to embark on yet another chapter as it graces the auction block once again. As enthusiasts eagerly await its fate at the Amelia Island Auction in Florida, one thing is certain: the legacy of the Napier Samson L48 will continue to captivate automotive aficionados for generations to come. So, buckle up and watch as this timeless treasure transitions into the hands of its next fortunate custodian.

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