Documented to be one of only five ever built and the only remaining Gatts in existence!
In 1905, machine shop manager Alfred P. Gatts produced five highwheeler motor buggies in his Hamersville, OH facility and gave them his name. The vehicles were very similar to the popular designs of the day, featuring power from a 12 HP single cylinder engine utilizing a chain drive to the rear wheels. The Gatts was somewhat unique in that the starter crank was located at the rear of the vehicle as opposed to the traditional front crank.
The Gatts was among the many marques that produced a very limited number of vehicles for a short period of time, in this case being only one year. It is not known why vehicle production was limited to one year only, but one could surmise that the machine shop was kept busy with other endeavors considering the agricultural interests of Brown County, OH in the early days of the 1900’s.
This particular vehicle came into possession of J. William Goodwin of Frankfort, IN sometime in the mid to late 1950’s. Goodwin was an avid collector of automobiles whose collection at one time included a 1932 Dusenberg, 1904 Haynes-Apperson, 1927 Buggati, the only 1900 Frisbie ever made, a 1915 Briscoe, 1934 Dusenberg coupe convertible with rumbleseat, a 1914 Stutz Bearcat and, in keeping with his profession as a funeral director, a 1940 LaSalle handcarved hearse. The J. William Goodwin Auto Museum was housed in a building on the property of his funeral home.
In a letter dated June 23, 1959 addressed to Goodwin, Gatts confirmed that only five vehicles had been produced in the shop and all were manufactured in the 1905 calendar year. Three of those were sold to residents of the area and Gatts retained two for himself. In that letter, he confirmed that Goodwin’s vehicle was the third car built and the only remaining example of the Gatts. That message was passed forth in an article on the car in the Sept.-Oct. 1959 issue of the Horseless Carriage Gazette.
Bill Miller, the grandson of the late J. William Goodwin, said his grandfather sold the Gatts in the early 80’s to the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas, as that business was in the process of creating an automobile museum in their facility. The Imperial Palace later became the Linq Casino and the auto museum was closed permanently in early 2018.
The vehicle’s provenance indicates that the Gatts was sold at a collector car auction in the mid 90’s where it was purchased by a classic car dealership in Colrado. The present owner purchased the car from that dealer in May 1995 and it has been a part of his portfolio since that time, having been stored in a humidity-controlled environment. Miller says the vehicle was black at the time of its sale to Imperial Palace, and it is believed that the present restoration in two-tone grey with red accents was performed while in their ownership. The Gatts still presents very nicely and appears to be mechanically sound.
Evergreen Digital Showroom offers this car for sale at a price of $44,900 USD. This is an opportunity to add an exceptionally rare highwheeler to your collection. If you are a collector/investor who values the rare and obscure, they do not get much more rare than this! For additional information or to discuss purchasing the only remaining Gatts, call sales manager Steve Russell at 417-532-8000.
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