THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1903 Oldsmobile doctor's coupe owned by Samuel Greco Jr. and family
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
The Oldsmobile brand, founded by Ransom E. Olds, was only five years old when Greco's rare prototype coupe was built and put on display at a Michigan auto show in 1902 along with another prototype -- a two-cylinder, four-passenger touring car - and a curved dash model. "The doctor's coupe was originally designed for a doctor to make house calls and stay out of the weather, as almost all cars of the day were open," Greco said.
"Unfortunately, this also caused the car to be quite small inside and that, I believe, was the reason why it did not go into production." Greco said he is also restoring the four-passenger touring car prototype, which also never reached mass production. "I can only guess it was just a little too ahead of its time and the consumer wasn't quite ready yet."
HOW LONG THEY'VE OWNED IT
The Greco family has owned the doctor's coupe for approximately 18 years.
WHERE THEY FOUND IT
"The car was found in several pieces," Greco said. "Through the help of people in the hobby and clubs, we were able to rebuild this piece of history."
"The doctor's coupe had to be completely restored," he said. "The body is made completely of wood and was rebuilt."
TIPS FOR OWNERS
"It is always a great reference to talk to people in the hobby and business of cars" Greco said. "They can be an invaluable tool in your restoration or maintenance of your car. There are also car clubs that are always eager to help."
"It is very hard to estimate the value, since it is a one of a kind," he said. A 1902 Oldsmobile curved dash runabout - a mass-produced car that helped to make Olds one of the nation's largest auto manufacturers around the turn of the century -- sold at auction for $51,700 last March.
"The car has a lot of sentimental value to our family and especially to me, as my father and I both enjoyed the hobby together," he said. "Working on antique cars was a great passion for us both, whether it was touring all around the world with them or just working on them at the shop together."
If you want to show off your car, e-mail your information and a jpg photo (at least 200 dpi) for consideration to David Fluhrer, Newsday Wheels; firstname.lastname@example.org or fax: 631-843-3146.