1900 Panhard

1900 Panhard et Levassor 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The setup of the modern cars we drive can trace their roots back to something designed by Panhard et Levassor around the turn-of-the-century. Their system was simple: four wheels, engine up front, rear-wheel drive, and a transmission. Yeah, they were the first company to use a gearbox… and a steering wheel… and a front-mounted radiator. You get the idea.

This car is powered by a 4.4-liter straight-four engine that was rated at 16 taxable horsepower when new. Only eight of these cars were built between 1899 and 1900. Then, the engine was updated for 1901, and Panhard cranked out 153 additional examples through 1903.

It was restored during British ownership, where it remains, and it has been updated with modern conveniences like an electric starter. It’s a great London-to-Brighton car and should cost its next owner between $315,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Darracq Touring

1914 Darracq Model V-14 16hp Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Alexandre Darracq founded his automobile company in Suresnes, France in 1896. In 1903 he sold the controlling interest in his company to a bunch of Englishmen. Darracq still ran the company from Paris, but things were going poorly by the time WWI broke out. By 1920, the company had purchased Clement-Talbot and Sunbeam and was renamed STD Motors – now a fully British company.

After that, French-built Darracqs were called Talbot-Darracqs for a brief bit before the Darracq name was dropped altogether. The two different companies have a convoluted history thereafter.

This French-built Model V-14 is powered by a 16 horsepower straight-four engine and was delivered new to Ireland. It looks much sportier than it probably is, but the car was once driven by Phil Hill, so who knows. It should bring between $46,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Hanomag Kommissbrot

1928 Hanomag 2/10PS Kommissbrot

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Hanomag actually dates back to the 1830s when they were making steam engines and eventually farm equipment. In 1871 the company name became Hannoversche Maschinebau AG, which is where “Hanomag” comes from.

Their first true “vehicles” were built in 1905 and they were steam powered trucks. Their first automobile was the 1925 2/10PS, the car you see here. The nickname “Kommissbrot” translates to “loaf of rye bread” because of its shape, which, let’s be honest, is kind of alien. You can tell it’s old. But can you really place a date on a car that looks this unique?

Power is from a 503cc single-cylinder engine that was connected to the rear wheels via chain drive. They were produced through 1928 and could be had as a coupe or convertible, and 15,775 were built, though there aren’t many left. Hanomag continued to build cars up until WWII, when they turned to trucks, and truck production continued under the Hanomag-Henschel brand through 1974.

This example was restored as needed over time and has been in a Belgian collection since 1991. It should sell for between $17,000-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Sears Model K

1909 Sears Model K

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

It may seem strange today in a world of store closings and impending bankruptcies, but Sears was once a titan among businesses. So big, in fact, that they decided to sell cars under their own name between 1908 and 1912.

Highwheelers were their specialty and this 1909 Model K is likely identical to the Model K they offered in 1910 through 1912. The major difference being that the 1.8-liter flat-twin only produced 10 horsepower in this early form.

Model differentiation came in the form of options. In this case, the Model K received mudguards, a convertible top, running boards, and cushioned tires. Price when new? $475. Price today? Between $21,000-$28,000. This one has been in a Belgian collection since 1978. You can find out more about it here and more from Bonhams here.

Paige Ardmore

1916 Paige Model 6-46 Ardmore Roadster

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Paige-Detroit was a short-lived car company that sold what was essentially a crap-box car. So much so that the owner rebranded the company to “Paige” after two years. Ultimately the company merged into Graham Brothers in 1927.

Paige is interesting because, from the outset, they gave their models names. They all had boring “model names” much like other manufacturers (this car is a Model 6-46) but the body styles had fancy names like Brunswick Touring, Westbrook Runabout, and Dartmore Raceabout. This is an Ardmore Roadster.

It’s got a 29 horsepower straight-six engine and looks to be quite nice. It is selling in Scottsdale at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Jordan 196

1996 Jordan-Peugeot 196

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Last May, RM Sotheby’s sold a copy of Jordan’s 199 F1 car that was photographed in a very similar position to this car. I’m not sure whose collection these are coming out of (and frankly I really don’t feel like trying to figure it out), but one wonders if there will be more to come.

Jordan’s first year in F1 was 1991, and this was their 1996 car. Power is from a 3.0-liter Peugeot V10, an example of which this care retains. The team’s 1996 drivers were Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle, and the race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1996 European Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 British Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)

It was raced in a few other races as well, but those were the highlights. Trackable cars from F1’s V10 era are hard to come by, and you can read more about this one here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in Paris here.

1912 Pilain

1912 Pilain Model 4S Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Pilain is a name that most old car folks usually associate with Rolland-Pilain, a company founded by Emile Pilain and business partner Francois Rolland. Emile gained some automotive background knowledge under the tutelage of his uncle Francois Pilain, who, in 1896, founded the company that built the car you see here.

Pilain was based in Lyon and built cars from 1896 through 1920 (sort of, see below). In 1904 the Model 4A was introduced and was powered by a 6.1-liter straight-four, and this Model 4S is probably more closely related to the 1912 Model 4T that was powered by a 4.2-liter straight-four. The catalog listing has very little information (and seems to insinuate that this car was built by Rolland-Pilain – though it was not).

Pilain went bankrupt in 1908 and resumed production in 1909. During WWI, their factory was used by Hotchkiss to build trucks. After the war, the company was liquidated and their assets were used to found the company S.L.I.M.-Pilain, meaning that the last real Pilains were built around 1914. This one should bring between $34,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Boattail Auburn V-12

1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

While skimming Worldwide’s Scottsdale catalog, I realized we’ve never featured an Auburn, which is a shame as they were great cars. Worldwide have a few on offer, so I picked the most beautiful one I could find, which happens to be a real 12-cylinder Auburn wearing a real Boattail Speedster body, that just so happened to have been transferred to this car from an 8-cylinder Auburn.

So the body isn’t original to this chassis, big deal. The 12-cylinder Auburn went on sale in 1932 and would last only through 1934. It’s a 6.4-liter Lycoming V-12 that makes 160 horsepower. It was the prime example of “cheap” performance of its day, coming in at almost a third of the price of Caddy’s V-12.

These disappearing-top boattail speedsters are the best of the bunch, body-style-wise. New, this car would’ve cost $1,275. Today, even with a non-original period-correct body, it should cost $250,000-$350,000. But it is selling at no reserve, so who knows? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bellanger Torpedo

1920 Bellanger Type A Series 1 17CV Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Bellanger was founded just outside of Paris in 1912 by Robert Bellanger and his brothers. The company only lasted until 1925, when Robert entered politics and sold the factory to Peugeot, who later sold it to Rosengart.

Early Bellanger cars used sleeve-valve engines, but the Type A is powered by a 3.2-liter straight-four rated at 17 taxable horsepower in the day. A four-door Torpedo touring body is fitted.

This particular example is coming out of a collection that Bonhams began liquidating last year. It’s full of rare French and Belgian marques from this era. A recommissioning is recommended as the car has not been used in recent years. When was the last time you saw one? It should sell for between $30,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

250 GT Speciale

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Pinin Farina was responsible for what we’ll call the “base” Ferrari 250 GT Coupe. Produced from 1958 through 1961, these cars were the volume-leader model among so many special, limited-edition 250 GTs.

The car pictured here is about the farthest possible thing from a “base” model. This particular car was built specially for a Belgian Princess by Pinin Farina and has known ownership history from new. A restoration was completed in 1997 and it’s been on the show field at Pebble Beach.

Somehow, RM’s catalog entry is completely devoid of any technical information on the car. Power is likely from a 3.0-liter V-12, and this is thought to be one of four Coupe Speciales bodied by Pinin Farina, though the coachwork is unique. It should sell for between $11,000,000-$13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.