Salvesen Steam Cart

1896 Salvesen Steam Cart

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s Halloween and what’s scarier than a big, loud steam engine? I’m not so sure I’d call this a car so much as a locomotive that can be driven on the street. I mean, look at the crew involved to operate it. It’s incredible!

This vehicle was designed by a member of the Salvesen family, a wealthy Scottish family involved in shipping and transport since the 1870s. It is powered by a coal-fired boiler, two-cylinders and chain drive. The photo above shows a pull cart behind but the catalog photography does not. It has two rows of seating.

It was part of two large collections spanning many decades. The current owners bought it in 2004 and it has competed in every London-to-Brighton run since, failing to finish only once. This one-of-a-kind vehicle from Victorian England is truly awesome. That it still runs and is driveable is icing on the cake. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it’ll take between $200,000-$270,000 to take it home. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $207,516.

Two Almost-Cars

1901 Royal Enfield 4½HP Forecar Quadricycle

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Royal Enfield was, primarily, a motorcycle manufacturer that was born out of a company that made bicycles. The company lasted until about 1970, though new bikes from the marque can still be acquired as the Indian arm of the company has remained active since 1949.

What we have here is a “Forecar” – meaning that the vehicle’s passenger doubles as the front bumper and crumple zone. The quadricycle portion essentially means that they strapped two motorcycles together (sort of). Enfield’s first true vehicles were in fact quadricycles and tricycles. Motorcycles didn’t technically enter the picture until 1900, so this design actually predates Royal Enfield motorcycles. This one is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion-Bouton engine.

Having resided in an Italian museum for many decades, the current owner bought this in 2007. The restoration dates to the 1950s so it definitely needs a little attention before use. It should bring between $33,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,332.


1904 La Libellule V-Twin Tricar

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Every year at this sale it seems like Bonhams manages to consign at least one car from a marque that has such an obscure history that no one really knows anything about it.

Enter La Libellule, or The Dragonfly. These early three-wheeled forecars were available from a number of manufacturers. It was essentially a motorcycle with two wheels at the front that support a wicker basket that you could plop an easily-influenced friend (or enemy) into. It’s like having a sidecar, but in front of you.

Not much is known about this company other than no records of it really exist prior to 1906, which is why this is listed as a “circa 1904” in the catalog. It’s had three owners since 1921 and has been in the same collection since about 1960. The restoration dates to the 1980s, when it first competed in the London-to-Brighton run. It should bring between $27,000-$33,000 today. Click here for more info and here for more from this amazing sale.

Update: Sold $42,211.

The Dragonfly

1904 La Libellule V-Twin Tricar

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Every year at this sale it seems like Bonhams manages to consign at least one car from a marque that has such an obscure history that no one really knows anything about it.

Enter La Libellule, or The Dragonfly. These early three-wheeled forecars were available from a number of manufacturers. It was essentially a motorcycle with two wheels at the front that support a wicker basket that you could plop an easily-influenced friend (or enemy) into. It’s like having a sidecar, but in front of you.

Not much is known about this company other than no records of it really exist prior to 1906, which is why this is listed as a “circa 1904” in the catalog. It’s had three owners since 1921 and has been in the same collection since about 1960. The restoration dates to the 1980s, when it first competed in the London-to-Brighton run. It should bring between $27,000-$33,000 today. Click here for more info and here for more from this amazing sale.

Update: Sold $42,211.

October 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re leading off with another Bonhams sale. This one, The Zoute Sale, was held in Belgium. The top sale was the Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet for $1,404,840 (and the Aston Martin DB AR1 failed to meet its reserve). We’ll give Most Interesting to this 1928 Rally ABC Sports that sold for $168,288. Click here for more results.

Photo – Bonhams

Next up, another sale from Mecum, this time from Chicago. The top sale here was a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427/400 Convertible that brought $115,000.

Photo – Mecum

A previously-featured Stellite sold here for a frustrating $3,500 (frustrating because I should’ve bought it. Attention new owner: I’ve give you $4,500 for it). Click here for everything else.

Artcurial held an all-Mercedes-Benz sale (or at least, an all-Daimler AG sale) at the Mercedes-Benz Center in Rueil-Malmaison, France. The ’68 600 Pullman Limousine we featured failed to sell. The top sale was this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,670,228. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Artcurial

Next up, Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We featured an Evante Mk II that failed to sell. The top sale was this 1987 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth for $51,304. All of their other lots can be found here.

Photo – Brightwells

Finally, Silverstone Auctions’ Porsche sale. We didn’t get to feature anything from this sale, but this 1998 Porsche 911 Turbo S brought the most money: $333,913. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Eldredge

1903 Eldredge 8HP Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale is always full of interesting veteran cars – but most of them are usually European. But here we have an interesting American automobile. The National Sewing Machine Company began building bicycles in 1894 and followed it with cars from 1903 to 1906. The Eldredge name comes from the president of the sewing machine company that was based in Belvidere, Illinois.

This wonderfully brassy runabout is similar to others of the day with one major exception: it has a steering wheel on the left-hand side of the car. The first few Eldredges had tiller steering but the company became one of the first to feature LHD steering wheels. It’s kind of amazing to think today that this was something that someone actually had to be the first to do.

The engine is an eight horsepower flat-twin. This was the only body style that Eldredge ever offered and about 600 were sold over four years. This is one of three examples from the marque that are known to exist and it has known history going back to the 1960s. It should bring between $60,000-$73,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Schaudel Tonneau

1901 Schaudel 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Charles Schaudel’s little French car company lasted a very brief time. He built his first car in 1900 and by 1902 he had sold out to his brother-in-law, who changed the name of the company to Motobloc (which lasted until 1931).

The engine is a 10 horsepower two-cylinder unit that is mounted transversely (and, with its gearbox configuration, it is noted in the catalog that this car sports the same drivetrain layout as the original Mini). The engine was rebuilt in 2016 after taking part in 12 London-to-Brighton runs, which means it is fresh and ready to go this year.

Only two Schaudel-branded automobiles are known to exist and this one has appeared on British television on multiple occasions. This is a pretty awesome find from a really obscure company. There’s really no reason something made in such limited numbers should still exist, but we’re sure glad it does. This one should bring between $170,000-$210,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $192,834.

Update: Sold, Bonhams London-to-Brighton 2018, $156,891.

1902 Ader

1902 Ader Twin-Cylinder V-Twin Four-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

France really was at the center of the early days of the automobile industry. While the U.S. and the U.K. also produced many different brands of cars, France had the first giants. While Clément Ader’s may not have been a giant, it did produce a range of vehicles between 1900 an 1907.

The first Ader’s were powered by the 904cc V-twin engine that this car likely shares (Ader offered a 1.6-liter V-twin as well). Ader also built four-cylinder cars and even an early V-8. This sort of technical prowess is understandable from a guy who set up the Parisian telephone system and designed a steam-powered airplane.

This example was discovered in the 1960s, rescued, and restored. The current owner acquired the car from the rescuer and “refurbished” it again. The body is not original, but it is period-correct. Ready to run, this Ader carries a pre-sale estimate of $110,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $117,221.

Calthorpe Drophead Coupe

1923 Calthorpe 10-15 Drophead Coupe by Mulliner

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 25, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Founded in Birmingham in 1904, the Calthorpe Motor Company produced cars until about 1928. You’d think, having existed for over 20 years, we would have featured an example from this marque before, but we haven’t (more on that in a bit).

In 1917, Calthorpe acquired Mulliner, the famed coachbuilder of Bentleys and such. When Calthorpe failed in 1924, Mulliner was spun off and survived. Guess who built the body for this car. That’s right, Mulliner! It’s powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four making 10 horsepower. Only two models were offered in 1923 and this was the baby of the two. The 10-15 was available from 1922 through 1926.

Restored in the 1980s, this is believed to be one of about 10-12 Calthorpes that still exist even though they built roughly 5,000 cars after WWI (so no wonder we haven’t featured one: they never come up for sale). This is an affordable British classic rarer than just about everything else at its price point. It should bring between $15,600-$18,300. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $27,569.

1898 Germain

1898 Germain 6HP Twin-Cylinder Open Drive Limousine

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured an impressive amount of pre-1900 automobiles on this site and this car looks many years newer than some of them. Ateliers Germain was founded in 1897 in the Belgian town on Monceau-sur-Sambre. They specialized in building other cars under license, such as those from Renault and Panhard et Levassor.

This car is similar to a Panhard of the day, which isn’t surprising as Germain was one of a few Belgian companies who bought some early cars (among them, a Panhard) to study them in order to launch Belgium’s own automobile industry. This car was the company’s prototype and it’s powered by a six horsepower, two-cylinder engine.

They stopped building cars after WWI and turned to railcars. They merged into another company in the 1960s and ceased to exist thereafter. But until they became defunct, they managed to hang on to this car, their first. It’s first owner acquired it in 1964 and the current owner bought it about 20 years ago. Restored as needed over time, this car is a miraculous survivor. It should bring between $200,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $295,610.

October 2017 Auction Highlights

Welcome to October, though we’re starting in September with Mecum’s Louisville sale. We didn’t get to feature anything from this one, but this 1968 Shelby GT500 was the top sale, bringing $90,500. Click here to see what else sold.

Photo – Mecum

Onward to Bonhams’ sale at the Simeone Foundation in Philadelphia. This is always a good one, and their top sale here was $1,001,000 paid for this 1913 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Sports Tourer by Reuters.

Photo – Bonhams

We featured a number of cars from this sale and some of those failed to sell, including this Stearns-Knight, the Mobile Steam car, and a previously-featured Humber. The Stoddard-Dayton Raceabout sold for $106,700 and the 1917 Mack C-Cab truck was a steal at $8,800 (because that’s probably about what the paint on it cost). Click here for everything else.

RM Sotheby’s was also in Pennsylvania in October, in Hershey to be exact. Sadly the most interesting car of the entire auction, the Gasmobile, was withdrawn (as was the Derby). The top sale was this 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow for $2,310,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Some big dollar feature cars included the Belgian-bodied Duesenberg for $1,485,000, the other Duesenberg for $549,000, the White Yellowstone Bus for $165,000, and the Stearns-Knight Touring for $132,000.

Other feature cars that sold included a pair of Stanleys, with the older one bringing $55,000 and the newer one $36,300. The Moon Roadster sold for $66,000. The Apperson Touring sold for $24,750 and the Sears Motor Buggy $35,200. Click here for complete results.

How about some results from Coys? This 1926 Bugatti Type 37 was the top seller at their Blenheim Palace sale back in July. It brought about $968,950. We didn’t feature anything from this sale but you can see more from it here.

Photo – Coys

Finally, Motostalgia’s McPherson Collection sale in Texas. We featured a Zimmer Quicksilver that ended up selling for $15,400. The top sale was this 1958 Facel Vega FVS Series 4 for $190,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia