© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
|1899 Hertel, #28|
|1898 Hertel (#37) sold by Christie's in 2002|
|John Pender's 1897 Hertel at the Melbourne Museum|
In an interesting twist to the story, one resource I came across claim that John Pender actually designed this car, and then collaborated with Max Hertel to build it in Chicago. Could that explain the differences between his car and ours? A Wikipedia entry states that Pender only built the transmission in his "Pender-Hertel":
John Pender had visited Chicago in 1896, and witnessed the Chicago Times-Herald automobile race where he was impressed by a car built by Max Hertel. After returning to Australia, Pender designed a new type of transmission and sent the details to Hertel. Hertel fitted one of his cars with Pender's transmission and shipped it to Australia.During a parade in December of 1897, Pender's Hertel broke down and caught fire, suffering severe damage. It's unclear if he drove it again before he donated it to the Melbourne Museum in 1914. We would love to examine this Hertel and do a thorough comparison to ours. If you are going to Melbourne, please let us know.
The most interesting part of this story to me is that only about a dozen Hertels are believed to have been built, and yet three of these fragile cars still exist. That is a remarkable survivor rate!
Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying at one of the Fountainhead Hotels. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!