1904 Pope Toledo

1904 Pope Toledo driven by Secretary of State Hay (?) - (photo credit: Library of Congress)

While digging for another post, I came across this photo of a 1904 Pope Toledo in the collection of the Library of Congress. The picture is titled: Chilean Minister and Secretary (posed in open automobile, Washington, D.C.). The gentleman driving looks very much like US Secretary of State, John Hay. The passenger may be the Chilean Minister of Foreign Relations at the time, Senor Don Emilio Bello Codecido - I was unable to find a good period photo to compare too.

John Hay hailed from Ohio and had a long and distinguished career in service to the country. Best know as President Lincoln's personal secretary, Hay would serve as Secretary of State in the McKinley and Roosevelt administrations - dying in office in 1905. Whether this was a government vehicle or a personal choice (He was an Ohio man after all) is not clear. However, it is known that early in 1905, President Roosevelt would order five Pope Toledo's (through the Navy) for government use at the Russo/Japanese Summit hosted in Portsmouth, NH.

In 1903, Col. Albert Pope bought out the International Motor Car Company, of Toledo Ohio - who had introduced a gasoline touring car in 1902 named the Toledo. The 1904 Pope Toledo is the first car designed and introduced as a Pope Toledo. The 1904 model is a 24 hp (4 cylinder) touring car offered at $3500.00 - they also continued to sell a 14hp (2 cylinder) car for $2000.00. In 1909, the Pope Motor Car Company went bankrupt and the Toledo manufacturing facilities were sold to John Willys for the Overland production (by way of Richard Apperson - no relation to the car company of the same name).

Charles Soules, a race driver of the period, had great success campaigning Pope Toledo's right up to their demise (Soules would move to CA after Pope went bankrupt and continue to race brands such as Cadillac).

photo credit: The Horseless Age, February 10, 1904

Charles Soules drive a 1904 Pope Toledo (photo credit: The Automobile, October 1, 1904)

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