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Big Red

Big Red at Lowell Observatory

Big Red

Big Red was Percival Lowell's state-of-the-art "horseless carriage," transporting him in style all over northern Arizona. It still resides on the Mars Hill campus, currently in the Putnam Collection Center, and is still in working order!

Year: 1911
Make: Stevens-Duryea
Model: Y "Big Six"
Style: Coupe
Color: Mulberry red
List Price in 1911: $4,300
Nickname: Big Red

Description: The Stevens-Duryea Model "Y" touring car was and still is a spectacular sight. Big Red's wheels are set 58 inches apart and its front axle is spaced 142 inches from the rear. The car body itself is a full 76 inches wide and 193 inches front to rear. There were no bumpers in those days, so the initial points of impact were the front bushings of its leaf springs. Its massive, gas-fired headlamps (12 inches in diameter), are 36 inches above the pavement and set 32 inches apart. The driver's seat is 47 inches above the roadway and the extra-wide rear seat is 55 inches across. The top of its windshield reaches 84 inches – the top of its canvas roof, however, rises another six inches higher. The six cylinders of its 40 horsepower engine are very distinguishable and extend cumulatively a total of 54 inches from the flywheel to the end of the crankcase. Measure your car's comparable dimensions and you'll see how much things have changed!

The description is taken from Percival Lowell's Big Red Car (2002, McFarland & Co.), written by our Sole Trustee, William Lowell Putnam III. For more about Big Red, you can buy this book at Lowell's Starry Skies Shop.

 Visitor Info


Covers day and evening programs; reservations not needed.

Adults: $12

Seniors, AAA, college students: $11

Ages 5–17: $6

Under 5: Free

Members: Free

For general questions about our day and evening programs, call the Visitor Center at (928) 233-3212 during open hours (listed below).

Groups of 15 or more are eligible for a group discount; to qualify, you must make reservations at least 3 weeks in advance. Contact Samantha Flagg by email or phone at 928-856-9484.

2015 Hours

Monday through Saturday
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time year round.
Click here
for the current time in Flagstaff, AZ.

Special Closures in 2015

Jan 1, 2015 - Closed all day

Nov 26, 2015- Closed all day

Dec 25, 2015 - Closed all day