Founded in 1906 in Indianapolis, the American Motor Car Company endeavored to provide fast and powerful cars to the richest clients. A first chassis designed by Harry Stutz was still classic. Stutz quickly left that company where the technical initiative went to the chief engineer Fred Tone.
To improve the performance, Tone wants to reduce the weight and lower the center of gravity. He develops the underslung chassis whose level is lower than the axles. The direct consequence of this innovation is an enlargement of the diameter of the wheels, spectacular whatever the body type. The Underslung becomes a specialty of the company and its official trademark in 1912 just before the final bankruptcy.
The high-end underslung is equipped with an engine of 7.8 liters for a rated power of 50 hp. One of the first cars, built in 1907, was sold for $ 1,43M including premium by Bonhams on 6 October 2014. This vehicle that anticipated the official release of the model is elegantly bodied as a roadster and is a precursor of the US sports cars.
Bonhams sold for $ 1.75M including premium on March 12, 2015 an American Underslung 50 hp made in 1908 which had attracted the attention of Sam Mann by its remarkable overall condition. Its ex factory roadster bodywork brings the exuberant and rare appearance of a genuine survivor of the brass era.
To keep it in operating condition, Mann fabricated new wheels. His car is now estimated $ 1.4M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 20, lot 231.
Stutz, who had not wanted to follow the adventure of the Underslung, created in 1912 another roadster named the Bearcat which was the first real success of American sports cars along with Mercer's Raceabout.