Lot 68

1923 Brewster Model 91 Town Brougham

Coachwork by Brewster & Co.

Register to Bid


$60,000 - $80,000| Without Reserve





Car Highlights

Rare Surviving Example of the Brewster Automobile in Unrestored Condition

Elegant Formal Design Specially Built for the 1924 New York Auto Show

Formerly Part of Henry Austin Clark Jr.’s Famous Long Island Auto Museum

Technical Specs

276.5 CID Knight Sleeve-Valve Inline 4-Cylinder Engine

Single Zenith Updraft Carburetor

53 HP at 2,200 RPM

3-Speed Manual Gearbox

Rear Mechanical Drum Brakes

Front Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Rear Live Axle with Cantilever Leaf Springs

Brewster & Co., the most trusted name in American custom coachbuilding during the horse-and-buggy days, made a successful transition into the horseless carriage era. Based in New York City and boasting a peerless reputation for its build quality and elegant designs, this renowned firm produced custom automobile bodies for an elite clientele that included names like Astor, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Woolworth.

Not only did Brewster build custom coachwork for prestige marques, for a brief period following WWI they also manufactured their very own automobile, the Model 91. The car featured the near-silent Knight sleeve-valve four-cylinder engine, an electric starter, and an oval radiator, perhaps inspired by the French-built Hotchkiss or Delaunay-Belleville. In typical Brewster style, the Model 91 was understated yet distinctive, built to the highest standards by experienced craftsmen, and priced accordingly at around $10,000. Most Brewsters were intended to be chauffeur-driven town cars for the East Coast’s elite and were fitted with formal coachwork.

That is certainly the case with this magnificent Town Brougham, chassis 02380, which features a 19th century carriage-style design painted in a traditional Brewster Green and black color scheme with hand-applied caning on the passenger’s compartment. According to the Brewster & Co. journals, this car was completed in November 1923, specially built for the New York Auto Show held at the Bronx Armory in January 1924. The passenger compartment is luxuriously equipped with a Motor Dictograph, window shades, broadcloth upholstery, and a heated footrest. The monogram applied to each door is thought to be that of Henry Middleton Crane, who founded the Crane Motor Car Company of Bayonne, New Jersey in 1915 and was a well-established Brewster patron.

Another prominent New Yorker, Henry Austin Clark Jr., later acquired the Brewster for his growing collection of classic cars. Throughout his ownership, the Town Brougham was a fixture of his Long Island Auto Museum in Southampton, open from 1948 to 1979, and was among the cars chosen to illustrate the museum’s famous postcards.

Acquired by Mark Smith in October 1998 from the Imperial Palace Auto Collection, the Brewster remains in remarkably original, unrestored condition, a credit to its many decades spent as a museum display. Presented here is a rare opportunity to acquire a brilliant expression of Brewster’s limited automobile production – one which possesses an appropriately glamorous New York City provenance.

*Please note that this Lot, like all vehicles in this Auction, has been in long-term static storage and may not be currently operational. It will require mechanical attention prior to any road use.

Gooding & Company presents and conducts the Estate of Mark Smith Auction under the authority of John J. Rendemonti, Executor of the Estate of Mark J. Smith, duly appointed by the Circuit Court of the State of New Hampshire, Probate Division, Case Number 312-2022-ET-00072. The Estate has compiled available title and/or registration paperwork for the Vehicles offered in the Auction and will provide such paperwork to the Buyer if it is available. However, as set forth more fully in the Conditions of Sale, neither the Estate nor Gooding makes any representation or warranty with respect to any existing certificate of title or registration with regard to any Lot in the Auction. Any Lot may be sold on a Bill of Sale. By participating in this Auction, all bidders and buyers recognize that Estate and Gooding have expressly disclaimed all such warranties concerning the availability or sufficiency of any title or registration documentation.


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