International Auto Buggy car

Made by International Harvester Co in Ohio, United States of America, 1910.

Motoring was still in its infancy when this International Auto Buggy was manufactured in 1910 by the US farm machinery manufacturer International Harvester Company (I.H.C.) of America Incorp., at Akron, Ohio. The most striking thing about this car is its tall wheels fitted with solid rubber tyres, which gave this type of vehicle the name “high wheeler”. Essentially, the car is a standard horse-drawn buggy modified and equipped with a simple motor and transmission. At the time, eighteen manufactu...


In appearance the International Auto Buggy resembles the high-wheel horse-drawn buggies of the same period with four, large, timber-spoked wheels, a piano-box body and a collapsible hood. The wheels are shod with 1 5/8 inch solid rubber tyres. The engine, made by the International Harvester Co., is an air-cooled, four-cycle, two-cylinder horizontally-opposed type, with trembler coil ignition and side draught Schebler carburettor. The engine is mounted on the left side of the car and a large flywheel is keyed and clamped by a bolt to the crankshaft on its right side. Two fans, one for each cylinder, are driven by a flat belt. A starting handle projects from the left side of the car and is connected by reduction gearing and a ratchet. The running board is hinged to allow access to the handle. The external pressure lubrication is achieved with a Type H oil pump by the Precision Appliance Co., No. 4659, patented in November 1908 in Chicago, USA. The automatic oiler operates ten small plunger pumps supplying oil to the engine bearings, cylinder walls, cooling fan spindles and transmission gear. The magneto is the Star brand K, No. 1368 made by the Hercules Electric Co., of Indiana, Ohio. The drive is taken from the 2-speed epicyclic gearbox by roller chain to the countershaft. A separate chain then takes the drive to each rear wheel. The car has a right-hand steering wheel, unlike other Auto Buggies from this period which had tiller steering. The footbrake is an external contracting type and operates on the differential, while the hand brake is an internal expanding type and operates on the rear wheels only. The gear/clutch lever is located on the driver's right, the spark and throttle lever below the steering wheel, and the brake pedal beneath the right foot. The instruments on the dashboard a speedometer and odometer, which are driven from the front wheel. The body is finished in green with red trim, the wheels are maroon with black trim, the front and rear mudguards are black, and the folding hood is made from black canvas. Four to six passengers were carried on two leather upholstered and heavily-buttoned bench seats. The 'IHC' monogram logo is attached to the radiator of the small dummy bonnet which in fact acts as the petrol tank.

Model: D
Body: No. 1074
Engine: two-cylinder horizontally opposed (No. 54 on side of engine block, No. 39E on top of block)
Bore & stroke: 5 inch x 5 inch (12.7 cm x 12.7 cm)
Capacity: 3,218 cc
Ignition: coil
Clutch: band, dry type
Lubrication: external pressure
Oil pump: Precision Appliance Co.
Transmission: 2 forward gears, 1 reverse (epicyclic)
Maximum speed: 20 mph (32.2 kph)
Drive: ratchet and pawl
Carburettor: side draught by Schebler
Steering gear: No. E927
Gearbox: No. E99
Magneto: Hercules Electric Co., No. 1368
Springs: full elliptic, 36 inches (91.4 cm) x 1 3/8 inches (3.5 cm) (at each corner)
Wheels: Sarven pattern with roller bearings
Rear wheel: 44 inch (111.8 cm) in diameter
Front wheel: 40 inch (101.6 cm) in diameter
Wheelbase: 85 inches (215.9 cm)
Track: 60 inches (152.4 cm) (wide track type)
Weight: 15 cwt (0.75 ton)

Automobile, International Auto Buggy
Sparkplugs (2 sets)
Valve springs (4)
Hood saddle straps (3)
Wiring harness
Spare valve
Crankshafts (4)


1800 mm
1800 mm


The International Harvester Co. was established in the USA in 1902 after the amalgamation of five agricultural machinery manufacturing companies including the McCormick Harvesting Co. and the Deering Harvester Co. In 1906 the first tractor was produced and in that year E.A Johnston, an employee of the company, designed a high wheeler auto buggy by adding one of the firm's engines to a buggy-style vehicle. The prototype first ran in October 1906 and production began in February the following year at McCormick's Chicago, Illinois, factory. This model had a 14/16 hp flat two-cylinder engine with a 2-speed friction transmission and block chain drive. Only 100 vehicles (serial numbers 101 to 200) were made before production was moved in October 1907 to Akron, Ohio, in the former factory of the Buckeye Mower & Reaper Co. Body styles included 2 and 4 passenger auto buggies and a delivery truck (called an auto wagon). The rear seat of the 4-passenger buggy could be removed to allow it to be used as a delivery wagon which made it popular with farmers and peddlers. From October 1907 to 1 March 1910 the serial numbers ranged from 201 to 2972. Two models were then produced: the Model C in standard track of 56 inches (142.2 cm) and the Model D in a wide track of 60 inches (152.4 cm). The Model C auto buggy had the serial numbers 2973C to 3341C in 1910 and 3342C to 3428C in 1911. The Model D models had the numbers 101D to 978D from 1908 to 1 March 1910, 979D to 1194D in 1910, and 1195D to 1288D in 1911.

The 1908 model auto buggy reverted to a roller chain and the crankcase was higher with the lid well above the cam follower. In 1909 a brake was fitted to the differential on the jack shaft. By 1910 the vehicle began to look heavier with 5 inch (12.7 cm) wooden chassis rails while a bonnet was introduced which housed the fuel tank and batteries. In that year the firm added conventional touring and roadster cars with standard wheels. In 1911 the ignition was changed to a magneto and timer mounted on top of the crankcase. Production of auto buggies finished in 1911 after 4,510 had been manufactured.

Contemporary advertisements run by the International Harvester Co. of America in Australia in 1910 advised that "More than 7,000 I.H.C.s are already in successful use", and that the vehicle was "cheaper, quicker, and more comfortable than horse vehicles; the simplest, handsomest and most reliable Auto Vehicle ever offered at anywhere near the price".

Georgano, N. "The Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile", The Stationery Office, London, 2000.

"The High Wheeler Register", Warrnambool, Victoria, August 1991

Historical Facts About Early International Harvester Automotive Vehicles, International Harvester Company, Chicago, Illinois, USA, n.d.

"The Weekly Times", [Victoria], 26 February 1910.
International Harvester Co 1910


Gift of Mr Claude Kellion, 1950
30 November, 1950

Cite this Object

International Auto Buggy car 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=International Auto Buggy car |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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