Call:  216-496-9292
1911 Marmon Model 32 Speedster - Sold
VMC Stock ID: 132094
Mileage: 64482
VIN: 3-speed manual
Engine: 318 cubic inch inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Exterior Color: Cream
Interior Color: Brown Leather
  • Vehicle Details & History
  • Photo Gallery

1911 Marmon Model 32 Speedster

One of only a handful in existence today, it represents the pinnacle of road-going performance in 1911.
J. J. Best Banc & Co.

One of the biggest names in early motorsports, Howard Marmon’s 1911 Wasp was the winner of the very first Indianapolis 500. Based on the Marmon Model 32, the Wasp featured a six cylinder engine that added two cylinders to the Model 32’s inline-four, and circled the track at an average speed of more than 74 MPH for 500 miles. With Ray Harroun at the wheel, the Wasp was also notable for its other firsts: it was a single-seater in a field of cars that carried riding mechanics and as a result used what many regard as the world’s first rear-view mirror.

The Wasp’s impressive achievements would not be possible without vehicles such as this lovely and quick 1911 Model 32 speedster. One of only three or four in existence today, it represents the pinnacle of road-going performance in 1911, and served as a template for many of the big names that would follow, most notably Stutz and Mercer. A former AACA Grand National First Prize winner, it has been restored to better-than-new condition in every way, and is ideally set up to be driven and enjoyed with a few clever and well-engineered modifications.

With its cream bodywork beautifully restored, this speedster looks highly authentic and projects an air of performance, even when sitting still. All the original bodywork remains with the car—nothing was reproduced during the restoration—and suggests that this car has always been treated as an object of great value. With detailing typical of the era, it is exactly the kind of car that invites second and third looks, and onlookers will be delighted by items such as the trunk that looks like a second fuel tank, the delicate pinstripes throughout the body and chassis, and, of course, the monocle windscreen. All the brass was refinished when the car was restored, and today carries a light patina that is entirely appropriate, with only the faintest signs of age, all of which could be erased with an afternoon of light buffing. The Gray and Davis headlamps and single taillamp remain acetylene-fired, and there’s a wonderful python horn fitted to the driver’s side. Dual rear spares carry the Marmon name proudly and give the speedster a purposeful look.

Accommodations for two are handsomely trimmed in brown leather, with matching brown floorboards trimmed in brass. Built for speed, there’s an elemental feel to riding in this Marmon that is perhaps more akin to a motorcycle than an automobile, and the experience is thrilling at any speed. A full complement of instruments, including a Warner speedometer, a fuel level gauge, and an oil pressure gauge, as well as a rim-wind clock offer a surprisingly complete look at the vehicle’s vitals on the road. A 12-volt battery that spins the modern electric starter has been stashed in the dashboard’s storage compartment (without an on-board generator, periodic charging is required), while the ignition continues to use a magneto system. The pedals are arranged with the accelerator between the brake and clutch, and there’s a surprising amount of room once you’re settled behind the wheel. A massive wooden steering wheel holds throttle and spark controls and telegraphs the front wheels’ intentions directly to your palms. Despite its age, it’s obvious that Howard Marmon and Ray Harroun knew how to build a first-rate performance car, and it’s quite easy to drive this one quickly.

Make no mistake, this is truly a high-performance machine. The Model 32’s 318 cubic inch inline-four cylinder engine was rated at a modest 32 horsepower, but between the massive pistons, the long-stroke crankshaft and the car’s relatively light curb weight, acceleration is more than impressive. Easily able to keep up with modern traffic, with a top speed somewhat above 70 MPH if you have the courage, this is an exceptionally potent 100-year-old machine. The engine was fully rebuilt and starts quickly using either the hand crank or (preferably) the electric starting system, which was neatly and cleverly integrated into the exposed flywheel, made possible by Marmon’s use of a technologically-advanced rear mounted transaxle. The underhood area is beautifully detailed, with clear, shiny black porcelain on the manifolds and cylinder jugs themselves, and a massive aluminum crankcase. Exposed valve gear, polished brass hardware, and lovely copper and brass water jackets make it as beautiful as it is functional, and correct details include the cloth-wrapped ignition wires (with two plugs per cylinder), brass priming cups, and original Rayfield carburetor. In 1911, it was the pinnacle of automotive evolution, and incorporates features that would still appear on cars more than two decades later. Impressive is an understatement.

The chassis is beautifully finished, as most of it remains exposed thanks to the minimalist bodywork. The Model 32 demonstrates almost neutral handling thanks to the transaxle, which shifts weight rearward, and two massive brake drums with internal shoes were most certainly designed with the race track in mind. Note the quality of the finish on even the underside of the wood floors, the pinstriping on the leaf springs, and the original style muffler with cut-out, which barks and belches fire at speed, just like a real race car. However, thanks to outstanding engineering and an impeccable restoration, this speedster remains docile enough to tour at low speeds, and the controls are impressively light and easy to handle.

This wonderful speedster hails from the collection of a noted Marmon collector, and has been in his care for decades. The restoration is now several years old, but the car needs little to be competitive again, and would be a very welcome addition to any driving event or show. Get out your goggles and best duster, climb behind the wheel, and light the fires on this extremely fast and fun Marmon, a car with few equals in terms of performance.

Contact Us

30325 Solon Industrial Parkway
Solon, Ohio 44139

Email: Click Here
Phone: 216-496-9492
FAX: 609-594-8511

Mailing List

Sign up today and get new vehicle listings, news, and updates delivered to your inbox.

Join Mailing List
Like Us on Facebook Follow us On Twitter Connect on LinkedIn
Home | About Us | Sell With Us | Current Inventory | Recently Sold | Vehicle Search | Wanted | Financing | Contact Us | Privacy | Admin
Vintage Motor Cars USA
All images & content copyright © Vintage Motor Cars USA
DISCLAIMER: While we do our best to present all vehicles as honestly and accurately as possible, Vintage Motor Cars cannot guarantee the veracity of the information contained herein. Vintage Motor Cars uses reasonable efforts to ensure that the information presented here and in our advertising is as accurate as possible. This site and all advertising information may updated without notice whenever new information is obtained and may contain mistakes and inaccuracies. Information is provided to the best of our knowledge and that of the owners of the vehicles, and we make no warranty or representation regarding the accuracy, truth, suitability, or reliability of such information. Vintage Motor Cars is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies contained in information provided by any third parties. Vintage Motor Cars is not an expert in the construction, metallurgy, engineering, finishes, materials, and componentry of every single vehicle ever made. Vintage Motor Cars strives to perform extensive visual inspections on all vehicles we represent but we do not disassemble vehicles or components for inspection purposes and therefore it is always possible that there is hidden damage that is not readily apparent. We cannot guarantee the fitness of any components beyond a visual inspection and normal operation of the vehicle. We do not perform internal examinations, so we cannot guarantee the condition of unseen internal components such as crankshafts, bearings, gears, and other mechanical equipment. This also applies to electronics such as radios, clocks, gauges, light fixtures, switches, or other electrical equipment. Buyer should personally inspect the vehicle and satisfy himself as to its mechanical and cosmetic fitness. We welcome inspections by Buyers and/or third parties who wish to undertake such examinations at their own expense. Vintage makes no warranty or representation regarding mileage unless otherwise stated. Listed prices do not include additional fees, state, federal, or local taxes, or shipping and delivery costs. Vintage Motor Cars collects a $250.00 documentation fee on every vehicle purchase. Buyer is entirely responsible for satisfying himself that the car is as-represented prior to purchase and there are no warranties, expressed or implied, involved in the sale of any motor vehicle represented by Vintage Motor Cars.