Peugeot L45 Grand Prix

1914 Peugeot L45 Grand Prix

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Over the past year I’ve done some (super nerdy) analytical statistician-type stuff around the Indy 500. During the course of that research, I found some interesting things and this car features prominently among them. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first let’s say that yes, this is the coolest Peugeot you’re likely to ever see up for sale.

As one of the oldest car companies in the world, Peugeot has been involved in racing longer than most companies have existed. The L45 was one in a series of purpose-built racing cars that started with the L76 shortly after 1910. It became the L56 for 1913 and those were raced around Europe. For 1914, the car was updated again, this time to the L45 specification you see here. Peugeot built four of them for the 1914 French Grand Prix (three competed and this was the spare).

It features four-wheel brakes, shaft-drive, and a 112 horsepower, 4.5-liter straight-four. While racing in Europe was big business for Peugeot, there was this little race on the other side of the Atlantic that was getting a lot of attention. They sent one of their premier drivers, Jules Goux, there in 1913 and he was the first to take the checkered flag at the third Indianapolis 500. Keeping in mind there were no Indy 500s in 1917 or 1918, the race history for the chassis you see here includes:

  • 1916 Indianapolis 500 – 3rd (with Ralph Mulford)
  • 1919 Indianapolis 500 – 19th, DNF (with Art Klein)
  • 1919 Sheepshead Bay board track race – 4th (with Klein)
  • 1919 Cincinnati board track race – 2nd (with Klein)
  • 1923 AAA dirt championship – 2nd (with Joe Boyer)
  • 1949 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Lindley Bothwell)

Wait, what was that last one? This car was owned by Peugeot and passed to a few owners including Lutcher Brown, Frank Book, Ralph Mulford, Art Klein, and finally to Lindley Bothwell. Bothwell’s legendary collection of early racing cars featured this among others. Feeling sporty, he took the car to the 1949 Indy 500 and bested the qualifying speed that the Peugeots posted in 1916. Unfortunately, it was far too slow to make the race. But it makes for a pretty interesting, if not bizarre story. Imagine someone showing up at the 2019 Indy 500 trying to qualify in Bobby Rahal’s race-winning car from 1986.

Not many of these Peugeot racing cars survive and this is supposedly the only one with Grand Prix history (even if it was a spare car). It is largely original, though the engine has been rebuilt since 2000 – but it is still capable of 100 mph. It’s one of the most interesting cars to come up for sale in some time. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

MB 600 Pullman

1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limousine

Offered by Artcurial | Rueil-Malmaison, France | October 15, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The 600 (which sported the internal Mercedes code name of W100) was the replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer. Introduced in 1963, the 600 was offered through 1981, which is quite a long time as the cars sold in the 80s still sported late-60s Mercedes styling. Mercedes didn’t build a true replacement for this car until the 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (though I guess the Maybachs of the 2000s kind of count).

All 600s were powered by a 250 horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8. It pushed a lot of mass around – especially on this long-wheelbase version (the “short” wheelbase sedan was the standard model). The much-sought-after long-wheelbase Pullman Limousine that you see here seats eight and has six doors (three on each side). An even more extravagant Landaulet (which sported a convertible top for the rear passengers) was also available.

This particular car was one of three purchased by the government of the Congo. Two were sent to Africa while this one remained in Germany to be used by embassy staff. Many governments bought 600 Pullmans – in fact, it was the car to have if you were a dictator. These were the favored cars of such beloved dignitaries as Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, and even Pablo Escobar. Oh, the Pope had one too, I guess. Intensely restored, this car – one of just 428 LWB examples built – should bring between $475,000-$595,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

DB AR1

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB7 went on sale in 1994 with a straight-six engine. The V-12 arrived in 1999. By 2003, when the variant you see above was introduced, the DB7 was pretty long-in-the-tooth. Before this, there was a DB7 Zagato Coupe built from 2002 and 2003 that helped spice up the range. This is essentially the roadster version of that car.

And it’s a true roadster – there is no top. And I guess, technically, it’s not even a DB7 at all, since that “7” doesn’t appear in the car’s name. “AR1” stands for “American Roadster 1” and just 99 examples were produced. This is #23.

The DB AR1 is powered by a slightly tweaked version of the DB7 Vantage’s 6.0-liter V-12 that, in this car, makes 435 horsepower. All that power helped set a record of sorts – this is the world’s fastest true roadster, with a top speed of 186 mph.

The first owner of this car was American. Then it made it’s way to it’s third owner in Luxembourg by way of its second owner in Switzerland. It’s a 2,000 mile car and a gorgeous one at that. Aston and Zagato go hand in hand and this car is drivable proof. It is expected to sell for between $300,000-$420,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1904 Stanley

1904 Stanley Model C Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Stanley brothers founded their first car company in 1897 but ended up selling the rights to that design to someone else. In 1902 they were back with a new, more modern-looking design. This 1904 Model C is a pretty early Stanley, but it’s not the earliest we’ve featured here on this site.

The Model C was offered in 1903 and 1904. It features a 6.5 horsepower twin-cylinder steam engine. It was the only 1903 model listed, but was the baby Stanley for 1904 (as there were two more powerful cars offered). The Model C cost $695 in 1904.

This particular car is fairly original. It has been repainted and a new boiler was installed within the last five years. It’s been sitting idle for almost that entire time, but with little effort it should be made roadworthy by its new owner. This car is expected to bring between $45,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Hershey lineup.

Update: Sold $55,000.

Adler Trumpf Junior

1935 Adler Trumpf Junior

Offered by Coys | Berlin, Germany | October 7, 2017

Photo – Coys

Adler was a German automobile manufacturer that got its start in 1900. Based in Frankfurt, the company introduced a pair of front-wheel drive models during the 1930s. They were the Trumpf and the smaller Trumpf Junior.

Introduced in 1934, this Junior model is powered by a 1.0-liter straight-four that makes 25 horsepower – enough to push the car to 56 mph. It was a popular model that performed and sold well.

Unfortunately for Adler, WWII came and their factory was destroyed by Allied bombs. Production did not resume after the war ended (though Adler did join with Triumph to build some motorcycles through the 1950s). This example was restored in 1992 and has been on museum duty since 2000. It should sell for between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Stearns-Knight Seven-Passenger Touring

1929 Stearns-Knight J-8-90 Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frank Stearns sold his company to John North Willys in 1925. From 1925 through 1930, when the Stearns-Knight brand was shuttered, it operated under the corporate umbrella of Willys-Overland.

This 1929 model, one of the last Stearns-Knight cars built (as 1930 production was minimal if it occurred at all), is an example of what is probably the greatest car the marque ever sold. It looks like a large Packard of the era and is powered by a 112 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-eight sleeve-valve engine.

Only 388 of this model were built between 1928 and 1929 – only 11 survive today. This chassis originally sported a sedan body, but by the time the restoration began, the body was in too bad of shape to restore. So a factory-correct seven-passenger touring body was constructed for it. And it’s gorgeous. The J-8-90 was the pinnacle (and sort of the end of the line) for the decades of Knight-engined automobiles in the United States. You’re unlikely to come across one of these for sale in the wild because they are that good. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $132,000.

September 2017 Auction Results, Pt. II

We’re back, this time starting with Mecum’s Dallas sale. The top sale was this 2006 Ford GT for $270,000.

Photo – Mecum

We featured a big Cadillac from this sale and it sold for $130,000. Check out everything else that sold (or didn’t) here.

Bonhams held their Chantilly sale in Paris in September and the top sale was this pretty 1953 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Cabriolet for $485,415.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured Horch failed to find a new buyer at this sale, but the Frazer Nash Shelsley did, selling for $242,707. And that crazy Ferrari 328 Conciso sold for $138,690. Click here for more results.

Let’s go to Italy for RM Sotheby’s all-Ferrari sale held at Ferrari. Ferrari actually auctioned off some stuff they had lying around (like a LaFerrari Prototype and a wind tunnel model of their newest model). The top sale was actually a 2017 LaFerrari Aperta – a car I was excited to feature, but Ferrari didn’t release what it was going to look like until right before the sale, so there weren’t any available photos. It brought an eye-watering $9,947,425. To be fair though, it was sold to benefit charity, so someone probably bought a nice, big tax write-off (depending on where the buyer was from).

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Two cars sold at this auction that we’d featured: a 195 Inter (for $1,078,636) and a one-off 250 Europa by Vignale for $3,440,850. Click here for complete results.

Moving on to Historics at Brooklands September sale, we’ll find that the Allard M-Type we featured sold for $29,097. The top sale was this 1966 Maserati Sebring Series II for $364,284. Click here for more results.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Finally, the Aguttes sale held at Montlhéry. The Georges Irat Cabriolet we featured failed to sell, but this 2003 Maserati 4200 Trofeo brought more money than anything else – $324,471. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Aguttes

The Most Ridiculous Mercedes

2017 Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz built a six-wheeled version of their iconic G-Class a few years ago. It was pretty intense and easily one of the most over-the-top cars money could buy. And it sold out quickly. So in 2017, Mercedes, with their bizarre new marque structure where luxury models lose the “Benz” and get appended with the halfway resurrected “Maybach” name, decided to try and one-up themselves in the ridiculousness category: they built an extended-wheelbase Landaulet version of one of the world’s most capable off-roaders.

The current generation of the G-Class dates to 1990, though the exterior has been tweaked over the years to give every buyer that true “Russian Mob” feeling. The G650 Landaulet gets the AMG treatment under the hood (I guess luxuriousness trumps power when it comes to the car’s name). It’s powered by a 621 horsepower, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. That’s almost as much power as a McLaren F1.

That tan part of the roof at the back folds down to give the rear passengers the open-air experience while fording rivers – which it can do because this car is also equipped with portal axles lifted from the super-macho 4×4² version of the G-Class. Oh, and those rear passengers are coddled in the same seats from the near-limo Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. This convertible luxury truck is basically the ultimate Daimler Parts Bin Special.

And it is being sold by Daimler. It’s a zero-owner car whose proceeds will benefit charity. Only 99 of these have been/will be built and they will all sell – mostly, I’d guess, to wealthy Middle Eastern oil barons. No estimate has been published, but the base price for one of these is supposed to be around $550,000. We’ll see what this one brings. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,404,840.

1937 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus

1937 White Model 706 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus by Bender

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Cleveland, Ohio’s, White Motor Company was the Chosen One when it came to being the National Park Service’s vehicle of choice for toting tourists through America’s parks in the pre-WWII era. We’ve featured an earlier version of the White Yellowstone Park Bus before, and it too was quite interesting.

Like its predecessor, this Model 706 is also a convertible, with a giant canvas top that can be peeled back. It does not retain its original engine, but instead has been updated with a 4.9-liter Ford straight-six and some other modern running gear. But it does retain one excellent piece of originality: a ridiculous number of doors!

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

White built 500 examples of this bus for the National Park Service. Yellowstone was given 98 of them and eight of those have been restored and are still in service (Glacier National Park still operates 33 of their original 35 White Model 706s).

This one escaped government service and can be yours. As a piece of American history, it will be a talking point wherever it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,000.

Sears Model J

1909 Sears Model J

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you think it’s crazy that people ordered a car from a catalog, it isn’t – people buy cars sight unseen on the internet every day. And don’t worry, Sears had a 10-day return policy on their rugged automobiles. Sears sold cars between 1908 and 1912 and most of them looked pretty similar, but there were a number of different models.

This Model J looks similar to this Model H we’ve featured before. It, like all other 1909 Sears motor buggies, is powered by a 10 horsepower, flat-twin. What separates the J from lesser models is the fact that it has running boards.

When new, this car cost $395 – or roughly 51 shares of modern day Sears stock. They sold nearly 3,500 cars in that five model year period and quite a few are still around as they were relatively well-built and sturdy. Unfortunately, the entire experiment was a financial failure for Sears. You can click here for more info on this car and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $35,200.