Filed under: Luxury Cars & Autos
The car is believed to be one of only 10 of its kind in the world and once belonged to George Vanderbilt. Guests will not be able to touch the vehicle, but they will be able to see it up close and get a sense of the Vanderbilts as a family who enjoyed one of the most exciting new inventions of the late 19th and 20th centuries – the automobile. Records at the estate show that the Vanderbilts were first exposed to the wonders of automobile travel in the early 1900s. An excerpt from a letter dated Aug. 23, 1903, that Mr. Vanderbilt wrote to his friend William Field while traveling in Europe read in part that automobiles made "travelling a different thing and simply a natural transition instead of an effort."
Vanderbilt bought several cars before the eventual purchase of the 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model "C-Six" and traded in his 1912 Stevens-Duryea Model "Y" for a 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model "C-Six" seven-passenger touring car, the first Stevens-Duryea offered with electric lights and a starter. Most of the time automobile owners in the early years had chauffeurs to drive them about but records show that Mr. Vanderbilt did sometimes drive himself and was issued a drivers license for a Stevens-Duryea by the state of North Carolina in 1913. (At that time, the state required that drivers be licensed separately for each automobile that he or she drove.) By 1919, both Mrs. Vanderbilt and Cornelia, George and Edith's only daughter, were driving, somewhat unusual for the era since women rarely drove in those days.