Duryea Four Wheeled Gasoline Surrey
Frank Duryea’s designs expressed the fact that he was a very religious man. The side of the car is carved in the shape of a fish, the symbol of Christ.
Duryea’s cars also reflected the fact that he was a Trinitarian; many of them had three wheels and almost all of them had a three-cylinder engine.
This ‘Gasoline Surrey’ is equipped with a 3.5-litre, three-cylinder engine. The central lever was multifunctional: it controlled the steering and throttle as well as the transmission, and could be operated from either the left or the right-hand seat.
The first recorded car accident was caused by a Duryea in 1896 when the New Yorker Henry Wells hit a cyclist. The cyclist broke his leg and Wells had to spend a night in jail.
Frank Duryea and his brother Charles built the first petrol car in the US in 1893. A Duryea won the Chicago Times Herald Race in 1895, covering 87 kilometres and averaging 12 km/h. Production started that same year and the Duryea became America’s first commercially produced car.