1945 Surlesmobile Streamliner
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019
This bubble was designed by Don Surles in the 1930s and was built in the Tokyo Bus Works. So it is technically Japanese. The prototype was built to showcase innovative features such as doors that split in the middle, sliding up and down to allow entry. It also has bench seating that folds into a bed, shatter-proof glass, and a shape that would allow the car to roll over in an accident with a “90% chance” that it lands back on its wheels.
It features four-wheel-drive and is powered by a 50 horsepower, 1.5-liter Continental inline-four. Within hours of its arrival in San Francisco, it was hit while driving. It was later repaired and was last repainted in 1966.
The car has resided in a museum since 1966 and is now being sold at no reserve. Looking it at, the only place I can imagine it ending up is in the Lane Motor Museum. We’ll see in a week or so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $30,800.