Clement-Talbot

1903 Clement-Talbot Type CT4K 18hp Four-Cylinder Roi-d’Italie Tonneau by Rothschild

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1903 Clement-Talbot Type CT4K 18hp Four-Cylinder Roi-d'Italie Tonneau by Rothschild

This is one of the stars of the show at what has become one of my very favorite auctions of the year. One thing that makes me happy about this car is that it comes from one of the most confusing car company histories ever: the Clement and Talbot mess. I find it fascinating. Continue reading

1901 Georges Richard

1901 Georges Richard 3.5hp Single-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau by Vedrine

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1901 Georges Richard 3.5hp Single-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau by Vedrine

Sometimes early cars don’t really have model names – or maybe that have model names that we just don’t know. So instead, we call them by every conceivable descriptive attribute we can see – hence the somewhat ridiculous-in-name name of this car above. And sometimes, there are car companies that sound like a guy’s full name, but aren’t. This time, Georges Richard was an actual person.

Richard worked in a bicycle shop with his brother and by 1897, he and his brother had branched out on their own and began building cars under Georges’ name in a shop north of Paris. In 1901, an engineer named Henri Brasier joined the company and after 1903, the cars were re-branded Richard-Brasier (and just plain old Brasier in 1905 after Richard left the company).

The car you see here was built by Georges Richard in 1901 – during the time when the company was building the Belgian Vivinus car under license (so it is very similar). The engine is a 785cc single-cylinder putting out 3.5 horsepower. It tops out near 25 mph.

This car has been in the same ownership for the last quarter-century, but not much is known of it prior to that. Fun note: this car has a reverse gear that you can’t use because the original owner was too cheap to tick the box for the lever that engages reverse. In any case, this is a neat old car from a short-lived marque that should bring between $89,000-$97,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Update: Sold $91,571.

Warwick Stanhope

1902 Warwick 6hp Four-Seat Stanhope

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1902 Warwick 6hp Four-Seat Stanhope

Warwick was a very short-lived automobile marque. They introduced their first car toward the end of 1901 and were out of business by 1905. The company was based out of Springfield, Massachusetts, which was kind of a hot bed for early automobile manufacturers.

In 1902, Warwick introduced their most powerful car, the six horsepower model powered by a 700cc De Dion engine. This example was a barn find of the late 1980s and was restored in the U.K., where it has resided since. Yes, the third and fourth seat are rear-facing, for those of you wondering how this is a “four-seat” Stanhope.

Only being in production for a little over three years will make any car rare. It was once noted that this may be the only surviving 6hp Warwick. It should sell for between $97,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ariel Quadricycle

1901 Ariel 375cc Quadricycle

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1901 Ariel 375cc Quadricycle

Diversifying your business is a good way to stay in business. Many early motorcycle manufacturers started out life as bicycle manufacturers. When it became feasible, they added engines and went into the motorcycle business.

But what do you do if you’re already a motorcycle manufacturer? Well, you build cars – or, at least, you try. This Ariel Quadricycle is about as much bike as it is car. The driver sits out back on a motorcycle seat, straddling the engine and tank. The passenger sits up front, acting as both windscreen and front bumper.

Actually, this car can be easily converted to a tricycle – and was sold as such with a “Quadricycle attachment.” I guess you just scoot the front wheel over, add another wheel and a seat and boom! you’ve got a car. This particular example has known ownership history from new and has been exquisitely restored.

1901 Ariel 375cc Quad-Tri-Cycle

Ariel would offer more traditional cars here and there until they focused solely on motorcycles beginning in 1925. Motorcycle production ceased in 1970. The Quadricycle is very rare but not unheard of. This one could bring between $40,000-$56,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this cool Bonhams sale.

Update: Sold $73,401.

Lacoste & Battmann

1903 Lacoste et Battmann 12hp Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1903 Lacoste et Battmann 12hp Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

I’ll start by saying that this car is described as “believed 1903 Lacoste et Battmann” – meaning no one’s really sure what this is. It was believed to be a Regal for many years until 2000 when an expert said it might actually be a Lacoste et Battmann. But if it were a Regal, it would still be a Lacoste et Battmann.

Here’s why: Lacoste & Battmann was founded in 1897 by Jacques Lacoste in Paris. But they rarely sold cars under their own name. In fact, they built cars for other companies – as many as seven different marques. Regal was one of those seven companies.

This car was purchased by its second owner at auction in 1908. It was worn out and restored (after only five years!) and put back on the road in 1910. The car has been in the same family since. The second restoration (which was mechanical in nature only) was completed in 2001.

The engine is a 2.4-litre two-cylinder making 12 horsepower. If this truly is a Lacoste et Battmann, it is very rare. Even if it isn’t, it is very likely one of their cars that was marketed under a different name – and the rarity remains. The company closed up shop in 1913. This example – with 1908-era interior and exterior – should sell for between $210,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $123,920.

CLK GTR Roadster

2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster

Offered by RKMCCA | Charlotte, North Carolina | November 1-2, 2013

2002 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster

The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR is one of the most outlandish road cars ever built. It was a byproduct of the FIA GT1 class homologation rules of the late-1990s that stated any car competing in the class must be available for purchase on the street. The class was cancelled for 1999, but Mercedes decided to build some road cars anyway.

Between 1998 and 1999, 26 road cars were built (25 were promised by Mercedes with regards to the rules). This car is titled as a 2002, but was likely built in 1999 (at the time of construction, these were the most expensive cars in the world and moving them was no small feat). The cars use a 6.9-liter V-12 making 604 horsepower and could hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds on their way to a top speed of 199 mph.

The final six cars were built sans roof. This is the third roadster constructed (and the one most often seen for sale). A solid million dollars isn’t out of the question by any means for this ultra-limited edition supercar. You can read more here and check out the rest of RKMCCA’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $1,300,000.

IKA Torino Sedan

1970 IKA Torino 380S

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 15-16, 2013

1970 IKA Torino 380S

It’s not often you see Argentinian cars come up for sale. Most people probably don’t even realize there are cars native to Argentina. Here’s the brief history of IKA: in the early-1950s, some Argentinians met with U.S. automakers, hoping to lure some production to South America. The only manufacturer to take the bait was Kaiser and they created a wholly-owned subsidiary known as Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA).

They built mainly Willys and Jeep products in the early days before becoming a joint venture with Renault in 1959. In 1962, they formed another joint venture – this time with AMC and they built Rambler-based cars, such as this Torino. 1975 was the end of the road for IKA, when it was absorbed entirely into Renault.

The Torino was introduced in 1966 and built as an IKA model through 1977 (and as a Renault-badged vehicle from 1978 through 1982). This is a very famous car in Argentina. Why? Because in 1969, IKA sent three cars to the 84 race at the Nürburgring. The team’s manager was none other than Juan Manuel Fangio himself – the most famous Argentine racing driver of all time. One of the Torinos finished first but was not awarded the win due to penalties. It was a big deal in Argentina.

This particular car was Fangio’s personal ride. It’s all original and is being sold by his family. The engine is a 3.8-liter straight-six making 215 horsepower. There is no pre-sale estimate available, but you can read more here and check out the rest of Silverstone’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $45,644.

Lotec C1000

1995 Lotec C1000

Offered by RKMCCA | Charlotte, North Carolina | November 1-2, 2013

1995 Lotec C1000

The Lotec C1000 is a fairly famous one-off supercar from the 1990s. It was so radical at the time that most supercar fiends heard about it through whatever we did pre-internet to learn about crazy, new cars. It was built by race car constructor Lotec in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz (hence their logo on the front of it).

It was built at the request of a very wealthy individual from the UAE who wanted something quicker than a downright pedestrian McLaren F1. This thing ending up costing him $3.4 million (the F1 would’ve been a better return on his investment… but I don’t think he needed to worry about that).

It uses a rear-mounted twin-turbocharged 5.6-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 that makes 1,000 horsepower. The body is all carbon fiber (which was ridiculously expensive in 1995). The top speed? 268 MPH. It isn’t slow. But it’s also not the world’s fastest production car, because it was never put into production and only this one was built. The pre-sale estimate is between $1 million and $1.3 million (which is reasonable because I’ve seen it sell for about that previously). You can read more here and check out more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

One-off Mills Busy Bee

1919 Mills Busy Bee

Offered by H&H Auctions | October 30, 2013

1919 Mills Busy Bee

What, you’ve never heard of a the Mills Busy Bee? Well maybe that’s because there is only one of them. It’s interesting to me how a company could build hundreds or even thousands of cars and only one or two (and sometimes zero) remain almost 100 years later. And here’s this thing – the only one constructed and it’s still around.

I’ll bet this phenomenon has to do with the fact that J.A. Mills of Mansfield, England, built this car himself for his own personal use. In fact, it was his own personal driver from the time of its completion in 1920 until he died. It has covered over 100,000 miles! Then it was probably passed down or sold to someone who loves the unusual aspect of it.

The original engine is long gone, but in 1928 the current 6 horsepower AJS V-twin was installed. The body is plywood and held on with only 10 bolts. It seats one and has a three-speed transmission that drives the lone rear wheel. It’s a lot like a Morgan of the time. It’s also likely the only shot you’ll ever have at owning this. H&H estimates a selling price between $16,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s October 30th lineup.

Update: Sold $15,100.

A Brough Superior Road Car

1935 Brough Superior 4-Litre Drophead Coupe by Atcherely

Offered by H&H Auctions | Buxton, U.K. | October 30, 2013

1935 Brough Superior 4-Litre

George Brough built, perhaps, the greatest motorcycles of all time. Brough Superior motorcycles are the most sought-after collector bikes out there and with good reason: they were the result of fantastic engineering and incredible build-quality. They were the most expensive motorcycles you could buy and were the equivalent of a two-wheeled Rolls-Royce.

Motorcycle production started in 1919 and continued to 1940. In 1935, George Brough decided to produce a few cars as well. The first model used a Hudson-sourced 4-litre straight-eight engine making 125 horsepower. They offered quick acceleration and a 90 mph top speed. The 4-Litre lasted only through 1936 before it was replaced by a six-cylinder model. Most had this bodywork from Atcherley.

Only about 20 4-Litre cars were built and only eight are known to survive (Brough Superior only built about 85 cars total). This car is “described as ‘restored.'” What’s interesting to me is that Brough Superior motorcycles, while very rare, outnumber cars by a lot to a few and bring prices very similar to the $110,000-$130,000 that this car is supposed to bring. I’ve just always assumed cars would be more expensive than motorcycles. I guess that’s not always the case, but it sure makes this car seem like a bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H.

Update: Sold $107,800.