Phoenix Tricar

1904 Phoenix 4.5HP Tricar

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. |  October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Remember when cars were simple and passengers rode in wicker baskets in front of you, acting as both windscreen and front bumper? Well, yeah, it was a little before my time, too, but isn’t it interesting? Luckily it has three wheels, so you can register it as a motorcycle and you won’t have to worry about any of those pesky crash test standards.

The Phoenix Motor Company was founded by J. Van Hooydonk in London in 1903. They built bicycles, motorcycles and even a few more standardized motor cars through 1925. This tricar is powered by a 477cc twin making 4.5 horsepower.

Ownership history goes back a decade or two and it’s eligible for nearly all early car events and runs. It stands as an interesting insight into what once was thought as practical transport. It can be yours for between $24,000-$32,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Sperry Electric

1900 Cleveland Sperry System Electric Stanhope

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Elmer A. Sperry invented some electric arc lamps and electric mining equipment before he moved to Cleveland in the 1890s. He was there to help establish an electric railway company, but started fooling around with automobiles and produced his first electric car in 1898. The Sperry Electric went on sale in 1899 under the name Cleveland Sperry System. In the car’s final year, 1901, they were just called “Sperry.”

They are powered by a 3.5 horsepower electric motor and could be had in one of eight body styles. This is a three-seat stanhope. Sperry sold their patents to the Cleveland Machine Screw Company in 1901 and they produced the car under the Cleveland marque from 1902 through 1904. Part of Sperry’s electric engineering company still exists today as part of Honeywell.

This car is one of two Sperrys known to exist. It has known history for the last 25 years and has been run in many rallies and shown at many shows around the U.K. It should sell for between $77,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1899 Peugeot

1899 Peugeot 3CV Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Peugeot is one of, if not the, oldest continuously operating automobile manufacturer in the world. The company goes back to 1810, when they were producing coffee mills. They started building cars in 1890 and Armand Peugeot left the family company in 1896 to found the automobile company we know today.

I find it amusing that Peugeot designated this the Type 26 – many decades after it was built (like they went back and gave their early nameless models official names). It was new for 1899 and uses a rear-mounted flat-twin.

It’s known when and where this car was bought new but most of its history really isn’t known until about 2001. It’s a great car for old car rallies, and that’s where this car sends most of its time. It’s interesting to see a car from a modern manufacturer that is so old. It should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Malicet et Blin

1903 Malicet et Blin 8HP Four-Seater Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Cars like this are the reason that Bonhams’ London to Brighton sale is one that I look forward to every year – more than most other sales. They find some really obscure, really old cars that have beautiful, exotic names. Malicet et Blin does not even appear in Georgano’s Encyclopedia of Motorcars. That’s how obscure it is.

The company was an old engineering firm out of Paris that made automobile parts, mainly. They built chassis and everything except complete cars – although it would seem at least one escaped from their premises. This car uses an single-cylinder eight horsepower De Dion engine that drives the rear wheels through a Malicet et Blin transmission.

The car was discovered in Belgium in 1966 and it wasn’t pretty. But someone knew they had something rare and a restoration was carried out of the next 23 years. The company only built a handful of cars and only two are known to survive, this being the only conventional motorcar. It’s an amazing opportunity and it can be yours for between $120,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

CGV Side-Entrance Phaeton

1904 CGV 6.25-Litre Type H1 Four-Cylinder Side-Entrance Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

CGV started in 1901 in France. It was founded by three men: Fernand Charron, Leonce Girardot, and Emile Voigt. As you can see, they built some pretty impressive cars (compare this 1904 model to some of the other, much more basic pre-1905 cars from this sale). But in 1906, Girardot and Voigt left the company and, impressively, Charron continued to produce cars under his own name until 1930.

The Type H1 seen here uses a 6.25-litre straight-four making almost 33 horsepower. This car was purchased new by a wealthy champagne baron who died later that year. The history of the car is unknown after that until 1968 when it was brought to the U.K. and sold the following year to a collector who had it until 2000.

The original body was gone by the end of the 1960s and the replacement body was sold in 1972. So this body was commissioned in the style of a period phaeton. Everything was overhauled in 2000 and it has been used extensively since.

Charron automobiles are seen relatively regularly, but CGVs, not so much. Only 79 examples of the Type H were built between the end of 1903 and all of 1904. This one should sell for between $630,000-$710,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

1902 Rochet

1902 Rochet Type D

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Rochet name shows up in a few places in the early days of motoring, most notably as Rochet-Schneider, of which this car has no relation. Rochet (and later, Rochet-Petit) was active in Paris from 1899 through 1905.

At the turn of the century, Rochet built front-engined cars that followed the current trends of popular automobiles, but in 1902 they introduced a retro model, the Type D seen here. It was a vis-a-vis style arrangement (where the driver and passengers faced each other). You see a fair amount of De Dion-Boutons from this era in this configuration.

The engine is also at the rear. It’s a single-cylinder making 4.5-horsepower. This car has twice completed the London to Brighton run and is entered this year. It’s a well-presented veteran car that is usable from a short-lived manufacturer. It should sell for between $80,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Gardner-Serpollet

1904 Gardner-Serpollet 18hp Type L Phaeton Steamer by Kellner

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Leon Serpollet is sort of the father of steam automobiles. He invented the flash boiler that made steam vehicles practical and he began building cars under his own name in Paris in 1897. Similarly, American Frank Gardner was also building cars in Paris, although gasoline-powered. Gardner’s company lasted from 1898 to 1900, when he joined Serpollet.

Gardner-Serpollet built cars from 1900 through 1907. They were fancy things and among the best-engineered steam cars ever built. They were reliable and won many races and competitions in their day. The Type L seen here was introduced in 1904 and uses a rear-mounted boiler and a front-mounted straight-four engine making it look like a normal gasoline-engined car.

The history of this car is known back to WWII, when it was used to get around gasoline rationing. This is the only shaft-driven Serpollet in existence and one of only two Type Ls in the world. It’s a good runner and an amazing piece of history. It should sell for between $510,000-$560,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1902 Panhard et Levassor

1902 Panhard et Levassor 15hp Model KB Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Panhard et Levassor was one of the first automobile manufacturers in the world. They’re still around, too, even if they haven’t built passenger cars in decades. They began selling cars in 1891 – becoming the first company to offer a production model. And they sort of came up with the whole “put the engine in front and have it drive the rear wheels via a transmission” thing.

This car uses a 3.3-liter straight-four and has a four-speed transmission, which seems pretty cool for 1902. It was purchased new from Panhard’s Paris showroom by Ricardo Soriano, a Spaniard who would later have his own car company (for a few years, anyway). It was the 18th car ever registered in Madrid.

It remained with that family until 1945, when they had the car moved to a collection – where it stayed until 1975. It was restored in ’75 and it passed into another collection that year. The new owners held onto it until 2007. It is being offered from the third owner. It’s a very early, running, driving, and complete automobile. Many parts are entirely original, which is incredible. It can be yours for between $960,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

EJS Special

1956 EJS Climax Special

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 2, 2014

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

This is a one-off racing special built in the 1950s, when many cars like this were being constructed by creative engineers all over England and the U.S. Edwin Joseph Snusher was the man behind the EJS. It took him over two years to build this, starting in 1954 and finishing it in 1956.

He entered the car at Goodwood and Brands Hatch in 1956, and finished 4th at Crystal Palace that season. After the race, he put the car in storage. He sold the Climax engine and the Aston Martin gearbox. The car sat until 2001.

It was restored after its discovery and fitted with a correct 1.1-liter Climax straight-four and a transmission from an MGA (a far cry from the Aston Martin DB3 unit it once had). It was sold to the current owner in 2010 and is eligible for historic events, including Goodwood. It should sell for between $158,000-$183,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Laperrelle Tonneau

1901 Laperrelle Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Voitures Légères, F de Laperelle, Mottereau-Brou (E&L) was the name of an otherwise unknown company that existed around the turn of the century in France. No record of it exists anywhere in the known realm of automotive literature. Or even the internet, for that matter. In fact, the lot description spells the name of the car two different ways.

This car is powered by a single-cylinder engine and is all original except for the paint (which was redone in 1960). Literally nothing else is known. The chassis number is 96, which suggests they built a hundred cars, yet no one recorded it anywhere. It’s kind of strange that a brand new, unheard of marque from 115 years ago just pops up out of the blue. Automotive archaeology at its finest.

This car has been owned by the same family since new, which is astounding. It also runs and drives. This is a remarkable car and perfect for someone who wants a challenge and something interesting, historical, and unique. The estimate is $96,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.