Owen Magnetic Touring

1916 Owen Magnetic Model O-36 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Owen Magnetic was a technical marvel of its day. Designed by engineer Justus B. Entz and produced by Raymond and Ralph Owen beginning in 1915, the car was famous for using an early series electric hybrid drivetrain.

Basically, the 34 horsepower straight-six powered a generator that turned the driveshaft, and in turn, the rear wheels. Speed was controlled by a selector on the steering wheel. It’s a pretty complicated set up, which made the cars super expensive when new. This one, for instance, would’ve cost $3,750. And it was the cheapest one you could get.

Between 1916 and 1919, the Owen Magnetic was actually built by the people behind the Rauch & Lang as well as the Baker Electric cars. It outlasted them, but ultimately folded in 1921, and the last two years’ worth of production were all headed overseas. This rare example should bring between $80,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

April 2019 Auction Highlights

We’re already in April, and we start as we often do: with a leftover from the month before. In this case, it is Leclere-MDV’s sale. We didn’t get to feature anything, but the top sale ended up being this 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster for $248,014. Click here for more results.

Photo – Leclere-MDV

And on into April we move, with Mecum’s Houston sale. This 2014 Ferrari F12berlinetta brought the most money: $203,500. More results are available here.

Photo – Mecum

The top seller at Bonhams’ Goodwood sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that has been updated to Vantage spec. It sold for $832,103.

Photo – Bonhams

Feature cars that failed to find new homes included the Miller Shooting Brake, the Bristol 403, the Larrousse F1 car, and the Trumbull cyclecar. Those that sold were led by the Columbia Electric Phaeton, which sold for $76,661, while the Adams Two-Seater brought $22,547. Click here for complete results.

Onward to Brightwells’ Bicester sale. No feature cars here, unfortunately, but this 1924 Lancia Lambda Series 3 was the top seller at $146,522. More results can be found here for a time.

Photo – H&H Classics

Finally, we remain in Europe and move to Germany for the RM Sotheby’s Techno Classica sale in Essen. A few no-sales to get out of the way: the Italdesign Zerouno and the Wendler Mercedes. The #1 seller was $2,542,848 paid for this 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Sales included a previously-featured Morgan Aero SuperSports for $99,853 as well as the Voisin for $310,103 and the Monteverdi sedan for $197,113. Click here for everything else.

Haynes & Apperson

1912 Haynes Model 19 Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Elwood Haynes teamed up with Elmer and Edgar Apperson in 1894 to build one of America’s first gasoline-powered automobiles. They began selling their cars in 1898, and the Apperson brothers left the company in 1904 to form their own venture.

Haynes soldiered on under his own name through 1925. Two possibilities exist with this car: A. It is a 1910 Model 19, the only model offered by Haynes that year. B. It is a 1912 Model 20 Roadster. It is powered by a 4.6-liter inline-four that would’ve made 36 horsepower in 1910 and 30 horsepower in 1912, the latter of which is listed in the catalog. Who knows? We’ll go with the combo of facts stated in the catalog.

Either way it, bizarrely, carries a wicker body. So it would be right at home in your grandmother’s living room. It’s certainly unique in that regard, and it is also a nice piece of American history. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.


1920 Apperson Model 8-20 Anniversary Tourster

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

When the Apperson brothers parted ways with Elwood Haynes in 1904, they remained in Kokomo, Indiana and built their own cars through 1926. The fun thing about Apperson was that they were one of the first American car companies to apply “names” to their cars other than “Model X, Y, and Z.” The Jack-Rabbit put them on the map.

They were also early adopters of the V8, selling their first such example in 1915. The Anniversary model was sold in 1919 in celebration of the company’s 15th anniversary. It became a mode unto itself in 1920, and the Tourster variant was again available in 1921.

Power is from a 60 horsepower, 5.4-liter V8. Apperson built a lot of cars back in the 20s, but it’s through that less than 25 remain. This one, with its body-color disc wheels that really sell the whole Jazz Age look, should sell for between $25,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Westcott Roadster

1913 Westcott Model 4-40 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Burton J. Westcott began building assembled cars (using parts from other manufacturers) in Richmond, Indiana in 1909. He moved the company to Springfield, Ohio in 1916 and continued to build cars through 1925.

The 1913 model range consisted of the four-cylinder Model 4-40 and six-cylinder Model 6-50. This 4-40 two-passenger roadster was one of two body styles offered on the model line, the other being a 4/5-passenger touring. The 5.2-liter inline-four was rated at 40 horsepower.

This car has known ownership history to new and was acquired for the Harrah collection in 1964. From there, it made its way to the current museum in 1986. Impressively, prior to 1953 when it was first put on museum display by its second owner, the car had only 4,900 original miles. Rare today, this Westcott should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Du Pont Convertible Victoria

1930 Du Pont Model G Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Du Pont name has been around in America since the mid-1800s. They started with gunpowder and moved to dynamite and now are a huge chemical conglomerate. But the name was also been associated with automobiles shortly after WWI. Pierre S. Du Pont was once head of General Motors. But this car has nothing to do with that.

Instead, the Du Pont family set up Du Pont Motors to build marine engines during the war and afterward, with a factory and all, E. Paul Du Pont decided to build an automobile. So between 1919 and 1931 they sold some really fantastic cars, namely the 1929-1932 Model G. The Depression did the company in after 1932.

The Model G is powered by a 125 horsepower, 5.3-liter straight-eight. Only 273 examples were built in the 3.5-year span, and while factory body styles were offered, there were coachbuilt cars, too… like this Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse, which is the only remaining Waterhouse Du Pont of the six built.

Du Pont only built 537 cars in total. Very few are around today. And they all command a hefty sum, especially these later Model Gs. This one was rescued from a junkyard and restored after WWII. A more recent restoration was completed in the early-2000s. I couldn’t tell you the last time one sold at auction, so it should be interesting to see what the open market has to say about its value. Click here for more info and here for more from this collection.

Jet Electrica 007

1982 Jet Electrica 007

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

No one may look back at the Dodge Omni and think “sporty,” but that didn’t stop Chrysler from trying when they introduced the Omni 024 3-door hatchback in 1979. Built through 1982, the car and its Plymouth counterpart, the Horizon TC3, were supposed to be an early-80s sports hatch. There was even a De Tomaso trim level.

Meanwhile, during the energy crisis, the U.S. Department of Energy started handing out money to companies that said they would develop and sell electric cars. Jet Industries, primarily known for their snowmobiles (even though they were based in Texas), actually ended up producing about 3,000 “Electrica 007s,” which were just altered Omni 024s.

The Chrysler engine was replaced with a 23 horsepower direct-current electric motor. The hatchback area was full of batteries, and the car could hit 70 mph and attain 60 miles of range (though not at the same time). This would’ve been the perfect Back to the Future car. Only 50 are known to exist, and this one should bring between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-547

1934 Duesenberg Model J Prince of Wales Berline by Rollston

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

A car museum closing is never a good thing as it deprives people to see great automobiles they would otherwise never have a chance to see. But, sometimes it’s kind of nice to see some long-term vehicles put back into circulation.

This Duesenberg has been in this collection since 1996. It has known ownership history since 1950 and was partially restored many decades ago. Power is from a 6.9-liter straight-eight making 265 horsepower.

It retains its original one-off Rollston body, its chassis, and engine. One of the centerpieces of its current collection, it should bring between $500,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

March 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We pick up in March at Mecum’s Phoenix sale. They took to the desert a few months after everyone else and managed to move this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T/ Hemi Convertible for $1,430,000.

Photo – Mecum

The 1910 Kenmore we featured sold for $23,100, while previously-featured sales consisted of this Delage which also sold for $23,100, the Ford EX concept truck at $99,000, and the #2 overall seller, this Duesenberg Rollston Sedan. No-sales included the Chrysler ST Special and the Apollo 3500 GT. Click here for complete results.

Next up we have a sale from Aguttes in Paris. The Salmson we featured didn’t sell (perhaps it was the scandalous model name), though this swoopy 1935 Fiat 508 CS Balilla Aerodinamica managed to squeeze $225,620 out of someone in the audience. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Aguttes

Onward now to H&H Classics’ sale at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford. The Bristol 406 we featured sold for $44,045, and the 1939 Imperial brought $14,681. The top sale was $579,934 for this barn find-condition 1936 Bentley 4.5-Litre Vanden Plas Tourer. More results are located here.

Photo – H&H Classics

Now we hop back across the channel for Osenat’s March sale, where the top overall sellers were two of our feature cars: the Gardner-Serpollet at $282,946 and the early Delahaye at $175,157. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1951 Simca 8 Sport that could’ve been yours for $33,684.

The D’Yrsan three-wheeler sold for $58,610. Complete results can be found here.

We wrap up in Ft. Lauderdale with RM Sotheby’s where this 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari sold for $3,080,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Our feature cars all found new homes, with the Stutz Blackhawk leading the way at $55,000. The Lotus Esprit was next, selling for $50,600, and both the Biscuter and Goggomobil microcars sold, at $4,675 and $20,350 respectively.

Feature cars from auctions past included this Packard Clipper station wagon that sold for $56,100 and this Mochet microcar for $7,590. Click here for final results.

Two Old Cars from Bonhams

1921 Wasp Model 211 Rickshaw Victoria

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Karl Martin was at first an oil man, then a coachbuilder, and then, in 1919 when he ended up in Bennington, Vermont, an automobile manufacturer. The Martin Wasp Corporation built cars from 1920 through 1924. Not very long. The catalog has this listed as a “Martin Wasp” but the cars were sold under the “Wasp” name.

They were powered by relatively ordinary 72 horsepower, 5.8-liter Wisconsin inline-fours (and later sixes), but the styling was quite unique. These were long, low cars that wore touring coachwork Martin described as “rickshaw phaetons.” Douglas Fairbanks bought one as a gift for his wife, Mary Pickford.

The cars were very expensive – this one would’ve cost $5,000 when new. Only 14 four-cylinder – and three six-cylinder – cars were built. The one you see here was actually assembled in the 1940s from leftover unused new parts that Martin retained after the factory had closed. Still, with only two other “real” Wasps in existence, it is pretty special. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


1931 Detroit Electric Model 99 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Electric cars have always had this weird “science fair project” look about them. Even from the beginning. Part of it is because of packaging – they have different things they have to carry, necessitating different designs. Part of it is function – modern cars are trying to show they are eco-friendly with weird hubcaps, etc.

But this looks like a Ford Model A coupe. Or, as it was bodied by Fisher, a period Chevrolet. You would have no idea it was powered by a 15 horsepower DC electric motor if it didn’t say “electric” in the name.

It was part of the Harrah collection for many years and remains in original condition. The company only built 131 cars in 1931, and this is the only survivor. It may be the “newest” Detroit Electric in existence, as production petered out pretty dramatically after 1932. It should bring between $30,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Paterson Touring

1910 Paterson Model 30 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Born in Canada, William A. Paterson moved to Flint, Michigan in 1869 to build carriages. In 1908 he built a prototype automobile, and by 1910, cars were his only line of business. There were a lot of car companies in America in the 1910s. Some were big and are still around today. Some were small and only lasted a few years. And then were companies like Paterson who fell right in the middle: they built a fair number of cars and lasted, as Paterson did, for a solid 15-ish years (until 1923, in this case).

The 1910 Paterson model range consisted of the Model 30, the company’s first four-cylinder car. It is a 30 horsepower, 3.3-liter inline-four. Three body styles were offered, each costing $1,400. Only 450 cars were built in 1910.

This car was once owned by the director of Dumbo and was then acquired by the Harrah collection. The Tupelo museum bought it from a Harrah’s dispersal sale in 1986. It should now sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.