1900 Smith Runabout

Third Floor - History

The experimental Smith was built from scratch by brothers Alonzo F. and Reuben Stanley Smith in Los Angeles, California. It was fitted with a two-cylinder, air-cooled engine of the Smiths’ own design and a rudimentary belt and pulley drive system. The elaborate stanchions upon which the headlights were mounted served as attachment points for a horse harness in the event the car became mired in mud or experienced engine failure. The Smith is the oldest surviving gasoline-powered vehicle built in Los Angeles.

Collection of the Petersen Automotive Museum

Image by: Jacob Nuibe Photography