A Late Stanley Steamer

1925 Stanley Model SV 252A Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Stanley Steamer is one of the most beloved American automobiles of all time. Beginning in 1897, the Stanley brothers (who were actually twins) began producing steam automobiles in Watertown, Massachusetts. They were the #1 American automobile manufacturer in terms of production through 1899. The sold the early company to Locomobile and moved on to build the coffin-nose Stanleys everyone recognizes leading up to WWI.

Steam-powered cars didn’t do so well after about 1910, but Stanley soldiered on, sticking with the propulsion that got them that far. In 1923, bankruptcy came calling and the company was reorganized as the Steam Vehicle Corporation of America (SVCA). In 1925, they introduced the Model SV which uses a 20 horsepower, two-cylinder steam engine.

SVCA only built five Model SV Sedans and 48 Touring models in 1925. The car here is the only surviving unrestored 1925 Touring car. There are a couple restored cars out there and only one of those approaches factory-correct. This is thought to be the SV prototype that was built in 1924 before being re-bodied and sold to the public a year later.

It is unrestored, original, and running. Stanley only completed a handful of cars in 1926 and 1927 models may or may not have actually been built (if you have proof, we’d love to see it). At any rate, this car should sell for between $70,000-$90,000, which seems like a bargain. Read more here and see more from this sale here.

1909 Staver

1909 Staver Model ER Roadster

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Staver Carriage Company was founded in Chicago in 1907. They started by building highwheelers – and theirs were one of the largest and priciest around. In 1909, they started building more traditional four-cylinder cars. And the one you see here is the oldest known in existence.

The engine is a 3.3-liter straight-four making 25 horsepower. Staver only built one model for 1909, and this is the best example there is. Staver only lasted until 1914 before they went under. This car was purchased around 1930 by the Waukesha Motor Company in Wisconsin (they were the company that built the engine for it, and it has one of the earliest Waukesha engines known).

The company kindly gifted it to their President in 1935 and it bounced between a few company employees until the current owner acquired it in 1975. It is one of only five Stavers that are known to survive with a four-cylinder engine and it is the oldest of those. Only one highwheeler is known to be older. This car can be yours for between $50,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

An Early Taxi

1923 Yellow Cab Model A-2 Brougham Taxi

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Here’s a car I’ve always wanted to feature, but I was starting to wonder, “Just how many are left?” Not a whole lot, as it turns out, but some are still around – thankfully. What I love about these cars is what they represent. Ever watched some black and white video clip of New York City during the Roaring 20s? A video shot at night, among the brightly lit theater facades of Broadway? There are quite a few little cabs like this running around those streets at a sped-up frame rate.

It’s a time period that’s always fascinated me and this is among the best examples – and among the least seen – of everyday urban life in the 20s. Anyway, the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was founded by John D. Hertz (yes, of that Hertz fame). It was founded in 1920 to build taxis for his Yellow Cab Company in Chicago. In 1925, it was acquired by GM and the brand name disappeared after 1929.

The engine is a 2.9-liter Continental straight-four making 18 horsepower. Yellow built mostly taxis – but not all of them left yellow and some may have been used as passenger cars. This example is ex-Harrah and ex-Imperial Palace and is wonderful. It should sell for between $40,000-$60,000. Quite a few were built, but very few remain. Check out more here and see more from this sale here.

National Highway Six

1918 National Highway Six Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Nowadays when companies choose their names they have to think about thinks like “search engine optimization.” Obviously, back in 1900, SEO wasn’t a thing – otherwise the National Automobile & Electric Company may have chosen a different brand name to take to market, as “National” is pretty generic and doesn’t produce great Google results.

But anyway, I am a big fan of cars from about 1916 through the early 1920s. They more or less all look the same: four door tourers with wooden spoke wheels and a nice big radiator cap and MotoMeter out front. National built cars in Indianapolis between 1901 and 1924. The Highway Six was built between 1916 and 1920 and used a 5.0-liter straight-six making 41 horsepower.

This car is mostly original and has been restored “as-needed.” Bonhams sale at the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia has been an awesome source of unrestored old cars for a few years now. This is a nice find. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

1896 Armstrong Phaeton

1896 Armstrong Phaeton

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

This is one of the oldest cars we’ve ever featured and it’s apparently the only car ever built by the Armstrong Manufacturing Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut. This car was completed in 1896 but was likely built between 1894 and 1895. It’s huge – a literal horseless carriage. And frankly, it’s kind of scary looking. But I love it.

The engine is a 6.0-liter twin and the car features a number of ingenious features that wouldn’t be found on cars for at least another 20 years – such as a silent, electromagnetic starter. It’s fascinating. It competed in a race shortly after completion and was placed on sale in New York City after the race. It didn’t sell, and Armstrong took it back to Connecticut.

Armstrong built products until 1950 when it was purchased by Capewell Manufacturing. The car was moved and in 1963 found its way into a Capewell employee’s garage. In 1995, it was discovered by the outside public and has had a few owners since. It’s a remarkable automobile that has been sorted and works. It should bring between $550,000-$700,000 and it’s worth every penny of that. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Cunningham V-6

1925 Cunningham Series V-6 Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Cunninghams were exclusive cars built in Rochester, New York, between 1911 and 1930 by James Cunningham, Son & Company. Their target audience were wealthy individuals who cared for quality – something Cunningham could deliver.

The company built mainly four and eight-cylinder models, and despite its name, the Series V-6 was actually an eight-cylinder car. Makes perfect sense, right? The Series V-6 was built for 1925, 1926 and 1927 and all used a 7.2-liter straight-eight engine originally rated at 90 horsepower, but now estimated to be around 100. The bodies were always built in-house by Cunningham.

The car has known history back to prior to WWII and has only had three owners since the 1930s. It has under 40,000 original miles and has been repainted, although it was never completely restored. Cunninghams don’t come up for sale often, and this one should bring between $135,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Zoe Zipper

1984 Zoe Zipper

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9-10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

We’ve featured our fair share of microcars around this place, but here’s one we haven’t captured yet: the Zoe Zipper. Zoe Motors was a start-up from California that got into the microcar game in the early 1980s.

The Zipper is the product they are remembered for. The car was actually manufactured by Mitsuoka in Japan and went on sale in the U.S. in 1983. It uses a 49cc single-cylinder Honda scooter engine that put out all of five horsepower. They are registered as motorcycles for road use.

The price when new for a hardtop model (this is a convertible) was $3,785 – but it only had one seat. It was not a commercial success, as it is thought that as few as 50 of these actually sold in the U.S. – with only a handful left. This is your chance to get one! The estimate is only $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mustang Boss 302

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Fastback

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 25-27, 2014

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Everybody loves the first generation Mustang. GM and MOPAR guys, even if they don’t love them, have to at least respect them. Ford offered some serious muscle in the Mustang line alone in the late-60s. Like this Boss 302.

There were two 302 cubic inch engines available on the 1969 Mustang. The 4.9-liter Windsor V-8 and the Boss V-8. Those who bought the Windsor must’ve felt shortchanged with only 220 horsepower. The Boss 302 was built for 1969 and 1970 only and was underrated at 290 horsepower.

It was sort of a homologation model so Ford could run this engine in the Trans Am series. They had flat black graphics that clearly screamed “Boss 302″ on the fender. Only 1,628 Boss 302s were built for 1969 and over 7,000 for 1970, making the ’69 much rarer. There was also a badder Boss – the 429 that was also offered. This car is correct in every way and should top the $100,000 mark. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this auction’s lineup.

Update: Sold $88,000.

Orient Buckboard

1904 Orient Buckboard

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9-10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Buckboards were a style of automobiles that had a very limited market and a limited run of practicality (if ever), as well as success, and safety. This example was built by the Waltham Manufacturing Company in Waltham, Massachusetts. They also sold cars under the Waltham and Waltham-Orient brands.

The buckboard style was essentially a piece of wood with a seat on top of it and rudimentary controls and engine. At least in the case of this car, the engine powers the rear wheels (four horsepower, 578cc single-cylinder). The engine here is a single-cylinder making four horsepower. There is no suspension (other than your spine). See any brakes? Me neither (they’re there: just in the back only). They cost $425 when new – the cheapest car you could buy – and it could do 30 mph. There are four-year-olds with go karts that can outperform this car. And they’re probably safer.

It’s a super-interesting car and a number of companies sort of copied the design years later with mixed success. But this is the original. It would be fun in limited use. Go ahead and buy it! It’ll run you between $40,000-$60,000. You can find out more here and see more from this sale here.

Ginetta G15

1971 Ginetta G15

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | September 20, 2014

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ginetta Cars has been around since 1958 when it was founded by four brothers with the name Walklett in Suffolk. The company began by building kits to turn boring, high-production automobiles into sports and race cars. As time went by, they turned to building complete road-and-race-ready cars.

The G15 was launched in 1967 and is based around a Hillman Imp. As time went on, you could buy a G15 as a kit or as a completed car. About 800 were built before Ginetta moved on in 1974. The engine is an 875cc straight-four making 51 horsepower.

This car won the 1977 Silverstone Production Sports Car Championship, winning 17 of 19 races that year (among other career triumphs). The G15 was the first Ginetta to really sell in serious volume and it allowed the company to grow. This would be a very fun car to acquire for only $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Sold $21,557.