White Model G Roi Des Belge`s Touring

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Model G Roi Des Belge`s Touring





White Steamers were manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1900 until 1910 by the White Motor Company. Thomas White and William Grout had gone into business as a manufacturer of sewing machines in Massachusetts before the Civil War, later moving the firm to Ohio. Around 1900, White's sons Rollin, Windsor, and Walter entered the steam automobile industry, producing four automobiles and one truck. Rollin White had already invented the semi-flash boiler, at that time an important advancement in steam technology. According to the Standard Catalog of American Cars, the firm had produced 193 vehicles in 1901.

In 1906, White patented the flow motor, an important technological development that allowed a steam car to be driven automatically for the first time. The following year, the company debuted the immense Model G at the New York International Auto Show, a car that marked the beginning of modern regulation in steam car technology. It featured a 30 hp two-cylinder compound engine; factory sales literature boasted of its “absolute noiselessness of operation” and “genuine flexibility of control.”

Primarily designed to provide generous passenger capacity and comfort, the Model G was typically built in touring and limousine body styles. These imposing cars – nearly nine-feet-tall with the top raised – appealed to an elite clientele who demanded the ultimate luxury conveyance. Original Model G owners included millionaire industrialist John D. Rockefeller and Wild West showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody. Even President William H. Taft purchased several White steamers for the White House fleet. In total, White built 902 examples of the Model G.

In 1906, White's automobile division began operating separately from its parent sewing machine business. White steamers were of excellent quality, and many were purchased by prominent individuals, including President Taft and John D. Rockefeller. In fact, a White was the only automobile present in the 1905 inaugural parade of President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1910, White made a successful foray into the manufacture of gasoline-powered vehicles, selling nearly as many of those as it had of steam cars. The numbers were fairly even again in 1911, but that was the final year for White steamers. By 1911, White had handily surpassed Stanley as the largest manufacturers of steam automobiles, delivering over 9,000 examples to Stanley's total of 5,200, despite costing significantly more.

White steamers featured a complex, "Compound" two-cylinder system in which water was flash-heated in a boiler, then compressed in one cylinder, and then injected into a second cylinder at high pressure. White steamers also used a rear transaxle that incorporated two forward speeds plus neutral; the neutral allowed an operator to warm up the car at rest. In 1918, when White ceased production of automobiles to concentrate on commercial trucks, it had produced more than 9,000 steam-powered cars. Although many were built, White steamers are rarely seen today. Whites are viewed by many as the finest of the early steam cars, well-built and costly when new, and greatly appreciated today.

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