December 2018 Auction Highlights

The second of Bonhams’ early December sales was their London Olympia sale. The top sale was this 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer that sold for $352,292.

Photo – Bonhams

The Talbot Tourer we featured brought an also-impressive $242,200, as did the other Rolls-Royce at $176,146. The Healey Abbott failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.

Onward to RM Sotheby’s sale held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The top sale was the huge price paid for this 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti: $22,005,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Mochet microcar we featured sold for $25,200, and a previously-featured Ferrari wagon sold for $313,000. Final results can be found here.

Aguttes held a sale in December that had a few cars sprinkled in, the most expensive of which ended up being this 1994 Ferrari 348 GTS for $74,305. Full results can be found here.

Photo – Aguttes

And now we’re into 2019, beginning with Mecum’s epic Kissimmee sale that lasted for almost two weeks. Somehow, a LaFerrari Aperta we featured failed to meet its astronomical, irrational reserve at a bid of over $6 million. However, its sister car from the same collection, a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari was the overall top seller at this sale for $3,300,000. Which was below the pre-sale estimate. Go figure.

Photo – Mecum

Here’s a rundown of other feature cars from this sale that failed to find new homes: Pontiac El Catalina Prototype, Tramontana GT, Corvette ZR2, McLaren 675LT Spider, and the Brumos Edition Porsche (yet again).

Now onto some better news. The previously-featured Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold here – for almost double what it brought in 2013: $2,200,000. Other big dollar cars included Duesenberg J-255 for $935,000 and a Ford Torino King Cobra for $192,500.

The other two feature cars we have – both factory prototypes – both sold. The Ford Forty-Nine Convertible went for $51,700, and the Pontiac Trans Am Kammback sold for $40,700. Click here for complete results.

And finally, we move to another early January sale: Silverstone Auctions’ Autosport International sale. The Griffith we featured sold, but is still listed as “result to follow.” Once it’s posted we’ll update our Griffith page, so check back if you just have to know. The top seller was yet another Ferrari, this time a 1970 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 for $257,360. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Five Old Convertibles from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019


1908 Clement-Bayard AC4I Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has a great number of interesting, early cars in their Retromobile catalog this year. We’ll be featuring five of the most interesting pre-WWI tourers (okay four, and one landaulette). Clement-Bayard was founded by Adolphe Clement, whose career is worthy of its own post.

I usually picture smaller cars, or very early cars, when thinking of Clement-Bayard, but this car proves that they also built quite large, expensive tourers as well. This car is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four. It is said to be original and unrestored, which is pretty impressive. It should sell for between $86,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.


1911 Renault Type CC Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

The Type CC was a mid-sized Renault built in 1911 and 1912. It is sometimes referred to as the 14CV and is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 16 horsepower. I’ve seen one of these in person (or a model very similar) and they’re a little smaller than you might think. But they make great old car noises.

This one carries a body from Million-Guiet that has some nice details. Check out the shape of the lower part of the windshield, for instance. Good luck finding replacement glass. Partially-restored, this car should bring between $69,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.


1912 Hupmobile Model 32 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

In a sea of old French cars offered by Bonhams in Paris, here’s an American one. The Hupp Motor Car Company of Detroit built cars from 1909 through 1940. They didn’t make it to the other side of WWII, but their cars were well-known and respected for many years prior.

The Model 32 went on sale in 1912 and is powered by a 32 horsepower straight-four engine. Production continued through 1915. This one was exported to Ireland in 1990 and was restored there in 2009. It’s a perfect example of an early American touring car and should sell for between $17,000-$23,000. Click here for more info.


1913 FN Type 2700 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Gotta love the lighting assistant standing to the side in the photo above (though I’d gladly take that job). FN was a Belgian company, and quite a few of them have been sold from this very collection. Here’s a smaller Model 2000 version, for example.

While that car may physically look larger, it has a smaller engine. The car you see here is powered by a 2.7-liter straight-four. The 2700 was introduced shortly before WWI broke out, and it is thought that only 16 examples were produced before the company’s focus shifted to the war. This one doesn’t wear its original body (it was used as a fire engine at one point) but should still bring between $29,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.


1912 Berliet Type AM 15HP Brougham de Ville

Photo – Bonhams

And finally, we have a Berliet – another French car. Not a full convertible, this car is described as a Brougham de Ville, which means the owner got to ride in the covered section out back while the chauffeur sat up front, exposed to the elements.

This car is powered by a 15 horsepower straight-four engine and was acquired by the collection from which it is being sold in 1963. The body was fitted during this time but is pretty accurate to what a car would’ve looked like in 1912. This one should command between $52,000-$63,000. More can be found here, and more from this sale can be found here.

1900 Panhard

1900 Panhard et Levassor 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The setup of the modern cars we drive can trace their roots back to something designed by Panhard et Levassor around the turn-of-the-century. Their system was simple: four wheels, engine up front, rear-wheel drive, and a transmission. Yeah, they were the first company to use a gearbox… and a steering wheel… and a front-mounted radiator. You get the idea.

This car is powered by a 4.4-liter straight-four engine that was rated at 16 taxable horsepower when new. Only eight of these cars were built between 1899 and 1900. Then, the engine was updated for 1901, and Panhard cranked out 153 additional examples through 1903.

It was restored during British ownership, where it remains, and it has been updated with modern conveniences like an electric starter. It’s a great London-to-Brighton car and should cost its next owner between $315,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Darracq Touring

1914 Darracq Model V-14 16hp Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Alexandre Darracq founded his automobile company in Suresnes, France in 1896. In 1903 he sold the controlling interest in his company to a bunch of Englishmen. Darracq still ran the company from Paris, but things were going poorly by the time WWI broke out. By 1920, the company had purchased Clement-Talbot and Sunbeam and was renamed STD Motors – now a fully British company.

After that, French-built Darracqs were called Talbot-Darracqs for a brief bit before the Darracq name was dropped altogether. The two different companies have a convoluted history thereafter.

This French-built Model V-14 is powered by a 16 horsepower straight-four engine and was delivered new to Ireland. It looks much sportier than it probably is, but the car was once driven by Phil Hill, so who knows. It should bring between $46,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Hanomag Kommissbrot

1928 Hanomag 2/10PS Kommissbrot

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Hanomag actually dates back to the 1830s when they were making steam engines and eventually farm equipment. In 1871 the company name became Hannoversche Maschinebau AG, which is where “Hanomag” comes from.

Their first true “vehicles” were built in 1905 and they were steam powered trucks. Their first automobile was the 1925 2/10PS, the car you see here. The nickname “Kommissbrot” translates to “loaf of rye bread” because of its shape, which, let’s be honest, is kind of alien. You can tell it’s old. But can you really place a date on a car that looks this unique?

Power is from a 503cc single-cylinder engine that was connected to the rear wheels via chain drive. They were produced through 1928 and could be had as a coupe or convertible, and 15,775 were built, though there aren’t many left. Hanomag continued to build cars up until WWII, when they turned to trucks, and truck production continued under the Hanomag-Henschel brand through 1974.

This example was restored as needed over time and has been in a Belgian collection since 1991. It should sell for between $17,000-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Sears Model K

1909 Sears Model K

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

It may seem strange today in a world of store closings and impending bankruptcies, but Sears was once a titan among businesses. So big, in fact, that they decided to sell cars under their own name between 1908 and 1912.

Highwheelers were their specialty and this 1909 Model K is likely identical to the Model K they offered in 1910 through 1912. The major difference being that the 1.8-liter flat-twin only produced 10 horsepower in this early form.

Model differentiation came in the form of options. In this case, the Model K received mudguards, a convertible top, running boards, and cushioned tires. Price when new? $475. Price today? Between $21,000-$28,000. This one has been in a Belgian collection since 1978. You can find out more about it here and more from Bonhams here.

Paige Ardmore

1916 Paige Model 6-46 Ardmore Roadster

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Paige-Detroit was a short-lived car company that sold what was essentially a crap-box car. So much so that the owner rebranded the company to “Paige” after two years. Ultimately the company merged into Graham Brothers in 1927.

Paige is interesting because, from the outset, they gave their models names. They all had boring “model names” much like other manufacturers (this car is a Model 6-46) but the body styles had fancy names like Brunswick Touring, Westbrook Runabout, and Dartmore Raceabout. This is an Ardmore Roadster.

It’s got a 29 horsepower straight-six engine and looks to be quite nice. It is selling in Scottsdale at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Sold $16,500.

Jordan 196

1996 Jordan-Peugeot 196

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Last May, RM Sotheby’s sold a copy of Jordan’s 199 F1 car that was photographed in a very similar position to this car. I’m not sure whose collection these are coming out of (and frankly I really don’t feel like trying to figure it out), but one wonders if there will be more to come.

Jordan’s first year in F1 was 1991, and this was their 1996 car. Power is from a 3.0-liter Peugeot V10, an example of which this care retains. The team’s 1996 drivers were Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle, and the race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1996 European Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 British Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)

It was raced in a few other races as well, but those were the highlights. Trackable cars from F1’s V10 era are hard to come by, and you can read more about this one here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in Paris here.

1912 Pilain

1912 Pilain Model 4S Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Pilain is a name that most old car folks usually associate with Rolland-Pilain, a company founded by Emile Pilain and business partner Francois Rolland. Emile gained some automotive background knowledge under the tutelage of his uncle Francois Pilain, who, in 1896, founded the company that built the car you see here.

Pilain was based in Lyon and built cars from 1896 through 1920 (sort of, see below). In 1904 the Model 4A was introduced and was powered by a 6.1-liter straight-four, and this Model 4S is probably more closely related to the 1912 Model 4T that was powered by a 4.2-liter straight-four. The catalog listing has very little information (and seems to insinuate that this car was built by Rolland-Pilain – though it was not).

Pilain went bankrupt in 1908 and resumed production in 1909. During WWI, their factory was used by Hotchkiss to build trucks. After the war, the company was liquidated and their assets were used to found the company S.L.I.M.-Pilain, meaning that the last real Pilains were built around 1914. This one should bring between $34,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Boattail Auburn V-12

1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

While skimming Worldwide’s Scottsdale catalog, I realized we’ve never featured an Auburn, which is a shame as they were great cars. Worldwide have a few on offer, so I picked the most beautiful one I could find, which happens to be a real 12-cylinder Auburn wearing a real Boattail Speedster body, that just so happened to have been transferred to this car from an 8-cylinder Auburn.

So the body isn’t original to this chassis, big deal. The 12-cylinder Auburn went on sale in 1932 and would last only through 1934. It’s a 6.4-liter Lycoming V-12 that makes 160 horsepower. It was the prime example of “cheap” performance of its day, coming in at almost a third of the price of Caddy’s V-12.

These disappearing-top boattail speedsters are the best of the bunch, body-style-wise. New, this car would’ve cost $1,275. Today, even with a non-original period-correct body, it should cost $250,000-$350,000. But it is selling at no reserve, so who knows? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.