Ford Commercial Vehicles

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018


1918 Ford Model TT Fuel Tanker Truck

Photo – Bonhams

Ford wasn’t big on commercial vehicles when they were first founded. There was a Model E (a delivery van from around 1905) and there were work vehicles created using Model T chassis. But, their first true commercial vehicle was the Model TT that went on sale in 1917 and lasted through end of T production in 1927. These were sold as chassis only and were bodied by many other companies and even by some individuals.

It was a one-ton chassis that was longer than a traditional T and it also featured lower gearing for hauling heavier loads (and limited top speed to between 15 and 22 mph). It probably still uses the same 2.9-liter straight-four from the T which would’ve made 20 horsepower. The catalog lists this as a “circa 1917” but 1917 TT production was extraordinarily low, so it’s likely this is actually from 1918 or even a little later.

Bodied as a fuel tanker (in Supertest Petroleum livery), this truck has been on longtime museum display but does sport 1925 Canadian plates. It should sell for between $29,000-$41,000. Click here for more info.


1929 Ford Model AA Bus

Photo – Bonhams

The Model AA was Ford’s commercial chassis based on the Model A road car. It was a significant upgrade over the TT and uses a 3.3-liter straight-four good for 40 horsepower, double that of the outgoing model.

Again sold as a bare chassis (though there were some Ford body designs that could be ordered from outside manufacturers), the AA was bodied to be what the owner needed. This one carries a bus body that has doors down the driver’s side for access to the rows of bench seats. In all, it will hold between 7-11 people, including the driver.

It has canvas windows down the sides that can be rolled up and stowed. It also has the luggage rack on the roof, which gives it the appearance of a vehicle used in exotic locales. This example came to the Netherlands in 1995 and has been on museum display for a while. It should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.


1930 Ford Model AA Platform Truck

Photo – Bonhams

This is another example of the Model AA. When commercial vehicles are sold as a bare chassis, the possible body combinations are essentially limitless. If you can imagine it, someone probably had it built.

This one wears a platform truck body and is stacked with barrels to compliment its amusing “Capone Distributing” livery. It sits on the medium wheelbase AA chassis but still uses the 40 horsepower, 3.3-liter straight-four engine. The best part about this truck? Those 1930s-era commercial vehicle wheels.

This one should bring between $18,000-$29,000. Click here for more info.


1934 Ford Model BB 82 Stake Bed Truck

Photo – Bonhams

The Ford Model B replaced the Model A and was sold between 1932 and 1934. When they replaced the A, they replaced the Model AA commercial chassis too, dubbing the new one – wait for it – the Model BB.

The Model B finally gave its customers some options – namely that they could choose a four-cylinder or V8 engine. And the trucks had the same option. This truck carries the 3.3-liter straight-four that, in Model B form, makes 50 horsepower.

This dually is a stake bed truck and it looks like it was used for quite some time (it carries Dutch registration from 1957). With a little love, it can still be a usable piece of history for $7,000-$9,300. Click here for more info.


1937 Ford 950 Autobus

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Ford bus. I don’t have much information about the model, the Type 950. But it’s got swoopy windswept lines and nice paint (and those great 1930s commercial vehicle wheels).

It’s powered by a V8 engine and has an entrance door on the rear passenger side. There’s a ladder out back that goes over the built-in spare tire to reach to luggage rack on the roof. This would’ve been an ideal intercity bus for the 1930s. It was most recently road-registered in 1937 and the interior looks to be in pretty nice shape. It’s an interesting vehicle and should bring between $35,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Venturi 400 GT

1996 Venturi 400 GT

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

As Venturi is among our favorite exotic marques, this 400 GT was an easy pick from Artcurial’s upcoming Le Mans Classic sale. It’s a rare bird too, with just 13 examples produced between 1994 and 1996. It was much rarer than its racing counterpart, the 73 unit 400 Trophy.

Because it was based on the 400 Trophy race car, the GT shares the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. In street form, it’s good for 408 horsepower. Top speed is 180 mph – pretty good for a V-6 street car from 1996. In fact, upon introduction, this was the fastest French production car in history.

This example is the fourth 400 GT built and the catalog lists it as a 1998 but says it was first registered in 1996. It’s a 43,000 km car with two owners since 2002. It’s been well-preserved and taken care of – not something you can say about all high-end sports cars of this era. It should bring between $210,000-$280,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Gardner Radio Special

1924 Gardner Model 5 Radio Special

Offered by Mecum | Portland, Oregon | June 22-23, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Based in St. Louis, Gardner got their start as a car company by first building bodies for Chevrolet before become a satellite Chevy manufacturing plant. After WWI, Russell Gardner and his sons, Russell Jr. and Fred, sold the Chevy business to GM and set up the Gardner Motor Company to build their own cars.

Early Gardners were nothing special and fell in the mid-range of cars on sale in the early 1920s. The Model 5 was built between 1923 and 1925. It’s powered by a 43 horsepower, Lycoming straight-four. The Radio Special was a trim package on the Model 5 that came with some extra equipment, namely a nickel-plated radiator shell, aluminium step plates on the running board, steel wheels, and a tan leather interior. All of those things this car appears to still have. There are a number of things, like a front bumper, cowl lights, and a fender mirror, that appear to be missing.

The Radio Special was announced as early as March of 1923 and apparently could still be had in 1925. It was the top of the four-cylinder line and even out-priced Gardner’s 1925 six-cylinder entry by a not-insignificant $200. To find one today is pretty rare but it’s an early insight into Gardner’s later, more upscale offerings. The last Gardners rolled off the line in 1931 and here’s your chance to get one. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Bitter SC 3.9

1985 Bitter SC 3.9 Coupe

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | June 24, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Erich Bitter began producing his own cars in 1973. The first car, the Opel-based CD, was offered through the end of the decade. He followed it up with another Opel-based sports car, the SC.

Launched in 1979, the SC Coupe was built through 1985. There was a limited edition convertible and an ultra-exclusive sedan as well. Two different engines were available: a 3.0-liter straight-six and the hot version: a 3.9-liter straight-six that this car carries. It’s good for 207 horsepower – up from 177 in the base car.

Personally, I think the SC is the best-looking of all of Bitter’s cars. He managed to make just 461 Coupes total and this is one of just 31 right-hand drive examples made. Rare, this car is expected to bring between $24,000-$30,000, which is about the right price. Perhaps, as 80s stuff becomes more collectible, these will rise in price. Who knows. You can see more from Brightwells here.

Whippet Coupe

1928 Whippet Model 98 Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 21-23, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Whippet was a small car built by Willys-Overland between 1926 and 1930. Upon its introduction, it was the smallest car on sale in America. The Model 98 was Whippet’s six-cylinder model that went on sale in 1928, replacing 1927’s Model 93A. The Model 98 would evolve into the Model 98A for 1929 and 1930.

The Model 98 is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six (even though the catalog description says it’s a four-cylinder… there are clearly six spark plugs present. So that makes me question the displacement too). It was available in five different body styles for 1928 and the cheapest one cost just $615. The advertisements read “the world’s lowest price six!”

Well, it won’t be the world’s lowest price six when it sells at no reserve at auction this week because this thing looks mint. It’s beautifully presented and you can read more about it here. Click here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Ford Model C

1904 Ford Model C Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

This is the final missing piece as far as pre-Model T Fords go. We’ve featured every other model, beginning with the Model A and Model AC, the Model B, Model F, Model K, Model N, Model R, and Model S. This is a fine example of the 1904 and 1905-only Model C.

The Model C uses the same engine as did the AC: a 10 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-twin. Though 1904 was only the second year for Ford production, the Model C was a leap forward from the Model A. Mechanically similar to the AC, it is a more “modern-looking”  car (you know, for 1904) with a more conventional layout. Though it was sold side-by-side with the Model F in 1905, the F would ultimately replace the C in 1906.

This was a $950 car when new and only 870 examples were built between the two model years. It is thought that only about 20 remain. This particular example was built in Canada. It should sell for between $41,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Mini Marcos

1962 Marcos Mini Marcos

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Marcos Engineering Ltd., founded by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin in 1959, built sports cars originally in North Wales before moving to Wiltshire and then to Westbury. In 1965 they introduced the Mini Marcos, a small front-wheel drive sports car based around the Mini.

Marcos supplied the body as a kit. The owner could take a Mini and swap out the body and some other bits, ending up with a sports car that had international racing pedigree. That’s right, the Mini Marcos ran at Le Mans, among other places. These were offered in five different series between 1965 and 1970 (this car is based on a 1962 Mini). A different company sold them between 1974 and 1981 and Marcos re-entered the picture in 1991, offering them through 1996.

This car is powered by an 848cc straight-four. These are screaming little machines and about 1,340 of them were built in total by all companies. This three owner car was recently recommissioned after nearly two decades in storage. It should sell for between $13,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.

Coachbuilt Plymouth

1935 Plymouth Deluxe Model PJ Cabriolet by Tüscher

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

When you think coachbuilt classics of the 1930s, Plymouth is likely not the first brand that comes to mind. When Chrysler introduced the Plymouth brand in 1928, it was a budget brand – the entry point into the marketplace for the Chrysler Corporation.

The 1935 line was called the Model PJ and it was available in three trims: the Standard Six, the Business Six, and the Deluxe. There were nine body styles offered on the Deluxe trim. Some of them were quite common, and others quite rare. But for the day, they were all inexpensive.

This particular car found its way to Switzerland where it was bodied by Tüscher in Zurich (they’re still around, building bus bodies). This was not the only 1930s Plymouth that they turned into an opulent convertible, either. You have to admit, this car looks downright diplomatic. I don’t have the exact history of its use or ownership, but the catalog listing does say it was very expensive when new, so it probably went to someone special.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six that makes 82 horsepower. The restoration looks fantastic and is 10 years old. It should bring between $86,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Matra 530LX

1972 Matra 530LX

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 17, 2018

Photo – Osenat

Matra was more than just a car company. In addition to automobiles, they built missiles, computers, boats, and satellites. Their first car was the Djet, an evolution of the earlier Rene Bonnet Djet. New for 1967, the 530 series was their next automotive endeavor.

If you’ve never seen one of these in person, they are quite striking. They look so unusual – even at car shows when surrounded by other rare vehicles. This car features a mid-mounted, 78 horsepower 1.7-liter V-4 from a Ford Taunus that drives the rear wheels. It is a targa, meaning the roof section is removable, leaving both front and rear glass in place. It does have room for four, though rear seat passengers better be small or very understanding.

The 530LX was produced from 1970 to 1973, when the entire line was discontinued. It differed from earlier models in that it featured a slight re-design from Michelotti. This was the most popular 530 model built, with 4,731 units produced. This rare yellow bird should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,462.

Brough Superior 3.5-Litre

1937 Brough Superior 3½-Litre Saloon by Atcherley

Offered by Bonhams | Chicester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

From the straight-on front view of this car, you find that it is rather imposing. This is probably quite intentional as George Brough, the designer of this car, is known as the builder of the some of history’s greatest, high-end motorcycles. So why wouldn’t his cars be just as high-end and intimidating?

Those cars, though much rarer, were built to a high standard – some so high they never made it past prototype stage. His first car was the 4-Litre, which featured a Hudson chassis. Railton, one of Brough’s chief competitors who also happened to use that same chassis, put a stop to it.

This left Brough with a single model: the 3.5-litre. It’s powered by a 107 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 90 mph and the cars were competitively priced. But with a war looming, six-cylinder production ended in 1939 and only about 60 3.5-litres were built since they went on sale in 1936. Most of these were convertibles, but this Atcherley-bodied Saloon is one of three such examples known to exist.

It was restored over a three year period and sat in storage since completion. It will need freshening before use – use it deserves. It should bring between $33,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.