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We sold this incredibly rare motor car in 2011 to a relatively local customer who has 50 years of business experience in the engineering sector. He has been totally meticulous with the Durant, taking it to an exceptionally high standard spending £35,000 on the car during his six years of ownership. The Durant has covered 3400 faultless miles during his ownership, the headline trip being a 1500 mile journey to Angouleme in Bordeaux and back for the cars 90th birthday. The Durant is in exceptional condition and is totally reliable and ready to go.
Expenditure on the Star includes over £6,000 on re-upholstery work, £9,000 on bodywork and paintwork and major mechanical work to the engine, rear axle and fuel system (re-conditioning auto-vac). Further works includes new windscreen glass, re-lined clutch, re-cored radiator and huge lists of detail mechanical works are detailed on the £35,000 of invoices. As a result of the careful ownership and improvements carried out, this is a wonderful opportunity to own a pre-war car that really has been prepared with no expense spared.
On the road the Star is lovely to drive with lots of power and a smooth gearbox and axle and besides its long trip to France, the Durant has attended many show such as Newby Hall, Croft Nostlagia weekend and the Honey rally in the Dales. Clearly in very strong mechanical order, we are also pleased to report stunning paintwork and bodywork, a high quality expensive re-trimmed upholstery and excellent hood and sidescreens. The Durant is a stunning motor car and an ideal collectors piece that is capable of long distance touring as proven. Adding to the extensive invoices is a notebook documenting every journey over the past six years.
William C Durant was an unusual car designer and unlike most car manufacturers of the time, he was not mechanically inclined. However, in 1904, just a year after having learned to drive, he bought out Buick - a leading manufacturer of that time. He quickly turned Buick into what became the core brand of General Motors. In 1921 he founded Durant motors, of which the Star model C was the most popular product, being a light and inexpensive competitor for Ford's Model T.
The Star was constructed from bought-in components and featured a 'Continental' four stroke engine. Similar in many ways to the Overland Model 4, the Star, like the Overland was very simple to operate and 'with conventional' controls unlike Ford's epicyclic drivetrain equipped Model T
The range of Star cars was described as "cars with backbone" since they were fitted with the famous Durant tubular backbone chassis. By the time the star Model C was developed, Durant motors had spread across America having plants in Long Island City, Bridge Port, New York, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, where this particular car was manufactured. From the launch of the Star Model C the company grew quickly. It was said that Durant Motors did over $91 million worth of business in their first 15 months of trading, and accepted orders for 231,000 cars in this same time period.
Interest in the Model C enhanced the Company's stock value. Between 1923 and 1924 Durant shareholder numbers increased from just 68 to 54,000. Durant was described by a stock analyst in 1923 as "one of the leading experts in the motor industry and his shares are attracting speculation"
Base price for the Star Touring Car was $348 but it had many optional extras.
Star gave a notable contribution to automotive history and was described by Mr William Durant, whilst persuading his friends to become shareholders as "Just a real good car"
This example was imported to the UK in 1992. There is little information of its early American history but the history file includes a brochure from W.G Reynolds Motor Co of Fort Scott Kansas, who were agents for Durant and Star cars. It was imported from Tennessee and had been previously used in Virginia and Kansas. On arrival in the UK the car was sent to North Wales where the new owner carried out an extensive refurbishment of the car which is detailed in the history file and as stated, the recent refurbishment programme has been very well documented.