Unrestored Locomobile

1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series VIII Sportif by Bridgeport Body Company

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1923 Locomobile Model 48 Series VIII Sportif by Bridgeport Body Company

Locomobile started producing cars in 1899 with production focused on steam cars. They were one of the leading motorcar manufacturers in the early days but they switched to internal combustion power in 1903. Competition was fierce and in 1922 they were taken over by Durant Motors.

Prior to that, in 1911, they introduced the Model 48 – a benchmark model in their history. It lasted through to the end of the company in 1929. It was overbuilt and out of date by 1923 as the model never really had any major updates. But the motorcar was still in its relative infancy and modernity didn’t matter to all customers. The engine is a 95 horsepower 8.6-liter straight-six. The body is the “sports” body offered from Locomobile at the time, the four-door convertible Sportif.

This car cost $9,900 when new. All owners have been known from that time. And what is most amazing about this car is that it is a survivor. It has less than 25,000 original miles and won Best in Class at Pebble Beach in the Pre-War Preservation Class in 2002. Since that time it’s won other awards for its remarkable condition. It is expected to bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $176,000.

Hispano-Suiza Torpedo

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1928 Hispano-Suiza H6C Transformable Torpedo by Hibbard & Darrin

Photo – RM Auctions

We featured a Hispano-Suiza H6C fairly recently and while that car was certainly cool, it really can’t match this one for looks. Check out the rounded fenders, swooping lines and the soft cream color scheme. It’s beautiful.

The body is by Hibbard & Darrin, a company comprised of two Americans living in Paris. Four-door convertibles really need to make a comeback (I’m looking at you, Cadillac) as the style is really elegant and imposing, something often not found on modern cars. The sweeping fenders on this car were actually added in the late-1930s after the car had seen a few owners. The engine is a 160 horsepower 8.0-liter straight-six.

This car was one of very few Hispano-Suizas delivered new to the U.S. And it’s also one of only a few H6Cs that are still around. Luckily, it happens to be one of the best looking as well. It can be yours for between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $495,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2018.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2019.

Benjamin Cyclecar

1922 Benjamin Type B

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | March 2, 2013

1922 Benjamin Type B

Benjamin was a French marque, founded in 1921 by Maurice Jeanson. The company built light cars until 1926. After that they were known as Benova. Benova was gone after 1931. This car is from the second year of Benjamin manufacture.

It uses a 750cc straight-four. It has an interesting history – being driven in the 1922 Bol d’Or by Violette Morris – a renowned French athlete of the 1910s and 20s and Nazi collaborator who was killed by the French resistance during the war. This car didn’t leave France until the 1980s, when it was imported into the U.K. It hasn’t been restored as much as “refurbished” as needed.

This car has taken part in many classic car events in the U.K. and France and appeared in numerous articles. It was even owned by the V.P. of the Vintage Sports Car Club of the U.K. You don’t see Benjamin’s everyday – but you could see this one everyday for between $14,000-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Oxford.

Update: Sold $29,500.

Saoutchik-bodied Pegaso

1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet by Saoutchik

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet by Saoutchik

Wow. Pegaso, the Spanish truck manufacturer, produced a line of sports cars in the 1950s and, boy, are they lookers. They are also highly desirable. The best-looking (and meanest) versions of the Z-102 I’ve ever seen have all been bodied by Saoutchik. This Cabriolet tops them all for beauty.

The Pegaso Z-102 was introduced in 1951 and lasted through 1958. Only 84 were built. This uses a 2.8-liter V-8 making 165 horsepower (other cars have other engines). Pegaso went the interesting pre-war route of offering different engine combinations with their chassis’ and then sent the cars to coachbuilders for interesting – sometimes one-off – bodies.

Saoutchik bodied some of the most flamboyant cars of the 1930s and 40s. When the last of the great coachbuilt cars (Talbot-Lago) stopped production, the great coachbuilders that were still around really didn’t have a lot going on. Some of them bodied a few Pegasos – Saoutchik bodied 18 Z-102s. Only one is a Series II Cabriolet (there were three Series I Cabriolets) and this is it. This car spent most of its life in its home country of Spain. At some point, an owner but a coupe body on it but it has been restored to original condition. It’s gorgeous and extremely rare – the most sought after post-WWII Spanish automobile ever built. It should sell for between $1,250,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Did not sell.

1911 Lozier Touring Car

1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1911 Lozier Model 51 Seven-Passenger Touring

Lozier built big, expensive cars first in Plattsburgh, New York, and then in Detroit. They didn’t build many but the ones that they did make are majestic. They were some of the most expensive cars available in their day. This one cost a whopping $5,995 in 1911 – about $150 more than the price of the average house.

The engine is a 51 horsepower (hence the model name) 9.1-liter T-head six-cylinder. But it’s no ordinary 1911 car. This car was once in the Henry Ford Museum before being sold to a private collector in 1968. That collector, Ken Pearson, restored the car for the first time – but he upgraded it along the way. He wanted to be able to drive this thing across the country without worrying about reliability – so he rebuilt it “to modern tolerances.”

With only a few thousand Loziers built, they’re certainly rare. Finding one that has been restored to a state like this one is even harder to do. The restoration is older and has had “tens of thousands of miles” put on it since, but shows near-new. A luxury car through and through, this car should sell for between $400,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $1,100,000.

Update II: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016, $990,000.

Duesenberg J-530

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe by Walker-LaGrande

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1935 Duesenberg Model SJ 530 Convertible Coupe by Walker LaGrande

This awesome – and awesome is the correct word – Duesenberg Model J is actually an SJ – it has a factory supercharged engine. But it is not the original engine for this car. Let me try and trace this out…

Engine J-530 has an origin I am unfamiliar with. This car is on chassis 2405, which originally had a very cool Rollston Town Car body on it. This incredible Walker-LaGrande Convertible Coupe body was originally on chassis 2563. The bell housing is from engine J-515, the engine that was originally with this body on 2563. So at some point in time, the Rollston Town Car body disappeared and this body was separated from its original chassis. The body and bell housing came with it and was put on chassis 2405. Engine J-530 was brought in to get the thing running. And remember: this is the supercharged 320 horsepower version.

The Walker-LaGrande body is one of three like it built and the only one with a supercharger on it. It’s actually one of only seven bodies built for Duesenbergs by Walker-LaGrande in total. This car was delivered new to a banker in Chicago before going through the hands of several well-known collectors. Among Model Js, this is one of the big ones. It should sell for between $3,500,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,510,000.

Duesenberg J-255

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Phaeton by Fran Roxas

Offered by Bonhams | Boca Raton, Florida | February 23, 2013

1930 Duesenberg Model J255 Torpedo Phaeton by Fran Roxas

Photo – Bonhams

Back-to-back Dueseys. This Model J has the special distinction of being used by the wife of Duesenberg owner E.L. Cord. The car was delivered to a customer in 1930, but was returned for whatever reason and used by Mrs. Cord. She used it for two years before it went to Hollywood.

That’s right, this car – which is the original chassis/engine combination, although not the original body – was in some movies. It was part of the Pacific Auto Rental fleet (which loaned cars to movie studios) for 48 years and appeared in numerous films.

The body was originally a Judkins Limousine. When Pacific Auto Rental closed up and sold off their cars, this one went to a new home in St. Louis. The new owners removed the original body (the horror!) and sent the chassis and 265 horsepower engine to Fran Roxas in Chicago and asked him to build this stunning Torpedo Phaeton body in the style of Walker LaGrande. The Judkins body also found a new home on a different chassis. This car spent time in the Blackhawk Collection on its way to being sold at a Bonhams auction in 2010. The sale price is unlisted for that sale, as I guess it didn’t meet its $800,000 reserve. The market has improved since then and it should do okay this time around.

Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Boca.

Update: Sold $698,500.

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Monterey 2013 (high bid of $800,000).

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Dallas 2013 (high bid of $950,000).

Update: Failed to sell at Mecum, Kissimmee 2014 (high bid of $1,100,000).

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2016, high bid of $800,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2018, high bid of $900,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2019, $935,000.

Duesenberg J-444

1931 Duesenberg Model J Tourster by Derham

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1931 Duesenberg Model J-444 Tourster by Derham

This is the second Derham Tourster (of the eight originally built) to be offered at an RM auction in 2013. The other one, J-423, sold for $1.32 million. That one had kind of an interesting history, being owned by an Italian Count and all. This one is slightly more interesting.

J-444 was delivered new to film comedian Joe E. Brown, who was known for his comedic roles in the 1930s-1950s (and he was the rich gentleman who hilariously courted Jack Lemmon (in drag) in the near-perfect film Some Like It Hot. He delivered the classic line “Well, nobody’s perfect”). By the time World War II came around, the car was passed around before it came into the hands of a Mr. Howard Hughes.

Hughes liked powerful things and the Duesenberg Model J fit that bill. A 265 horsepower straight-eight engine was about as good as you were going to do in the day. He, apparently, wasn’t so concerned with the gorgeous Derham Tourster body on the car – as he cut the rear half of the car off and used the car to tow gliders up and down a runway – aircraft, after all, were his business.

The car was later in the Otis Chandler collection and then the John McMullen collection and a replica of its original body was fitted at some point. This is a real Derham Tourster, but it just doesn’t have the original Derham Tourster body it came with. It is remarkable to look at nonetheless. John O’Quinn acquired it after that.

This car has been in the hands of some seriously famous people and well-respected car collectors who obviously didn’t let its “replica” body scare them (as it shouldn’t). This car sold in 2007 for $1.35 million. It won’t bring less than that this time around but that is, apparently, the going rate for a Derham Tourster today. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $825,000.

1953 Connaught Formula One Car

1953 Connaught Type A

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23, 2013

1953 Connaught Type A

Old race cars can be quite interesting. Especially when they competed at the highest level of motorsport and in the “heyday,” as it were – Formula One in the 1950s. Connaught Engineering was founded by Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver in Send, England, in 1950.

They made their debut at the 1952 British Grand Prix with a four car effort. In total, the team competed in 18 races over eight seasons, contesting every British Grand Prix and other assorted races. 1953 was their hallmark season, the one where they entered the most races (4).

The Type A was run for four seasons (1950-1954). The cars used a 2.0-liter Lea Francis straight-four making 145 horsepower. With the right gearing, it could do 160 mph. I’ve really tried to do some research to find out who drove this car and in what races, but I’m just not finding what I want. Silverstone lists it as having been driven by Roy Salvadori, John Coombs, Kenneth McAlpine, Ron Flockhart and Bill Whitehouse, with Whitehouse having the most success as a privateer. It has been active in historic racing for some time.

Packaged with a bunch of spares, this historic race car is expected to sell for between $315,000-$395,000. It is one of nine built. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s lineup.

Update: Sold $296,400.

Artcurial Retromobile 2013 Highlights

Artcurial’s sale at Retromobile in Paris had way too many interesting cars to be able to feature them all here on this site. We covered some of them – the Talbot-Lago T150C we featured was the stop sale at $1,861,738. The second-highest selling car was the Duesenberg we featured from this sale at $1,319,888. The oldest car in the sale, our featured 1898 Fisson, sold for $311,050. The second-oldest car in the sale was this 1908 Hispano-Suiza 12/15HP Double Phaeton for $72,831.

The other Hispano-Suiza in the sale, our featured H6C by Saoutchik, sold for $424,849. The only other million-dollar car was this 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet for $1,077,481.

One exceptionally rare car was this 1975 Bentley Corniche Convertible. While the Rolls-Royce Corniche is well-known, the sister Bentley version is very rare, with only 77 convertibles built. It sold for $133,524.

Other interesting cars included two wonderful French cars from the 1940s. First, a 1949 Citroen 15-Six Traction Avant Cabriolet by Worblaufen (below). It sold for $242,771. Then there was the 1946 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet (second below) for $455,195.

The coolest American car in this sale (of the few that were offered) was a 1955 Chrysler ST Special Coupe by Ghia. It sold for $273,117.

The rest of our highlights are French cars (French auction house + French auction location = lots of French rarity). Our feature C.G. 548 failed to sell. This 1928 Voisin  C11 (below) did sell – for $103,177. And finally, this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Vanvooren (second below) brought $746,472. Check out complete results here.