Throwback Thursday 9/29/16: Holland Special

Published 09/29 2016 07:55AM

Updated 09/29 2016 07:55AM

"The Holland Special is a car that was built home-made in 1904, I don't know if a lot of people know this but in the early days of automobiles many of them were homemade, there weren't, or they were purchased in kits and made in people's garages. There weren't the huge manufacturers like that we know, Ford or GM or things like those, so the Holland Special was made by a Norwegian immigrant named Samuel Holland, and from about 1898 to 1908 he hand-made six cars, what was kind of interesting about Samuel is he was a blacksmith and machinist so while some people would make the frames and then order an engine to put in, he actually machined, and made the engines themselves.
In fact his first vehicle that he made in 1898 was steam-powered, which is kind of interesting, but we have one 1904, it's also known as a run-about, and it has kind of an interesting feature in that instead of a normal steering wheel that we're all used to, it actually has a tiller stick, so it has two passenger seating so if we were both sitting here, the driver would have a stick that moves back and forth, it had four-horse power engine so ya know, very speedy...
Well in 1905 the North Dakota state legislature got involved and decided to put some regulations down, so there was a limit on how fast these vehicles could go, the in town speed limit was eight miles an hour because it was frightening horses and they were running and hitting children...
But out of town you can go 25-30 miles per hour.
But the speed, it sounds to us, maybe not so much, but especially for people like doctors where getting to a patient is really important, they were some of the first purchasers of these home-made vehicles because it was very expensive and out of the price range of a lot of people like the Holland Special was 700 dollars," says Genia Hesser, Historical Society.
The Holland Special is on display at the Heritage Center in Bismarck.
It's open seven days a week and is free to the public.

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