1914 Rhodia 16HP Ambulance
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2023
So what is this exactly? Well, it’s described as a Rhodia – and that’s what the badge on the radiator surround says. But even browsing some fairly comprehensive automotive encyclopedias won’t help you find any info about the company.
Bonhams doesn’t provide much insight either, but they do mention that it was built in the U.S. and is “one of a few” exported to the U.K. for use as an ambulance during WWI. But, if you consult the Beaulieu Encyclopedia, there is a mention of Rhodia as a British manufacturer that existed sometime between 1914 and 1922. It notes that the ambulance you see here is the only evidence of its existence.
This truck, which is powered by an inline-four engine, is said to have been discovered in a garage in 1977, having been shut in there since 1939. It was previously registered as a taxi in Scotland in the 1920s, and it was restored by the current owner, with work wrapping in 2016. If you’re in the market for a mystery – and have the money/skill to build your own replacement parts from scratch, this is the historic WWI ambulance for you. It has an estimate of $18,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.