Buffum Four Cylinder Stanhope
This is the first four-cylinder car in the world.
Henry Buffum did not want to fit an existing engine to a carriage so he designed his own compact and advanced engine with four individual cylinders. Coachbuilder George Pierce, who would later manufacture cars of his own, constructed the strong but elegant tubular frame in which the engine was mounted, and also supplied the Stanhope body.
The knob at the base of the seat is for selecting gears, but is in fact a shoemaker’s last. Buffum originally manufactured machines for the shoe industry.
Over a period of 13 years, Henry Buffum produced just seventy cars, yet he was responsible for a number of important milestones: in addition to this first four-cylinder engine, he manufactured America’s first production racing car and the first production car fitted with a V8 engine. He was a very innovative designer and had various patents to his name.