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