1911 Rochet-Schneider

1911 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Torpedo 10 200

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Rochet-Schneider was one of France’s oldest carmakers. Edouard Rochet’s bicycle company was joined by Theophile Schneider in 1894 and cars followed the next year. Into the 1920s they began to focus more on commercial vehicles and their last passenger car debuted in 1931. Berliet bought them out in 1932.

This example is powered by a 12 horsepower straight-four engine and wears a nicely-painted green Torpedo touring body. The story on this car is that its first owner was killed during WWI, and the car remained in the barn he had left it until the 1980s when it was rediscovered. The next owner took 10 years to track down the rightful inherited owners and finally bought it in the 1990s.

It was restored to the condition you see here, with the work wrapping in 2003. It is now being offered at no reserve with a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$55,000. Find out more about it here and see more from this auction here.

Update: Sold $35,160.

1902 Liberia

1902 Liberia 12HP Twin-Cylinder 2/4-Seater Detachable Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 2, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Gustave Dupont founded his car company in 1900 near Paris, in a commune of which he was the mayor. Dupont himself drove his cars in competitive events and rallies, never doing well, but always finishing. Liberias were on display at 1901 Paris Motor Show, but the company was bankrupt before the end of 1902.

All Liberia automobiles used one of two Aster engines. This car uses the larger, 12 horsepower Aster twin-cylinder unit. The body was built by the little-known Carrosserie L. Barjou. The catalog calls this a c.1902 Dupont-Liberia, but reference materials list it simply as “Liberia,” with Dupont being the man behind the curtain, as it were.

This example is one of two known examples of the marque to still exist, and as you can see it is in a condition that certainly looks original, even though it may have been repainted at some point in the past and wears replacement tires. As a rare survivor, it should bring between $160,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $149,420.

Métallurgique Cabriolet

1912 Métallurgique 12HP Cabriolet by Vanden Plas

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Existing companies who decided to get into the burgeoning automobile business around 1900 came from all lines of work: there were a lot of bicycle manufacturers, some buggy companies, and, in the case of SA L’Auto Métallurgique, manufacturers of railway locomotives. Métallurgique built cars in Marchienne-au-Port, Belgium between 1898 and 1928, when they were acquired by Imperia and shut down.

This rare model is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-four engine that drives the rear wheels via a four-speed transmission – the standard for all Métallurgique cars beginning in 1911. The French-looking but Belgian-built body is by Vanden Plas, an offshoot of which would later become part of the Austin Motor Company in the U.K.

Métallurgique sold cars in the U.K. when new, and this vehicle was likely bought new there as it was first registered in England in 1913. It is said that it runs and drives well and is a mix of original and redone parts (for instance, the hood was replaced at some point). It should bring between $27,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $46,475.

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016


1913 Chalmers Model 17 36HP Five-Passenger Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Chalmers was formed in 1908, sort of, when Hugh Chalmers bought out ER Thomas from Thomas-Detroit. Early cars were badged Chalmers-Detroit, before becoming just Chalmers in 1911. The marque lasted through 1924 after merging with Maxwell in 1922. This merged company is known today as “Chrysler.”

The 1913 Model 17 was the mid-range model, offered in six body configurations with the Five-Passenger Tourer being the least expensive at $1,950. It is powered by a 36 horsepower straight-four. This example was imported into the U.K. in 2005 and mechanically restored shortly thereafter. It’s a runner and driver, with a lot of original pieces left, like the interior. It should sell for between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,879.


1908 Clyde 8/10HP Silent Light Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyde is a very interesting automobile manufacturer from Leicester that was founded by George Wait as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. Automobiles came in 1901. Remarkably, by the time the company closed up shop in 1930, only about 260 cars had been produced.

This car is powered by a twin-cylinder White & Poppe engine and was owned by the company founder in the 1950s. It was restored in the early 1960s an then put on display in a museum from 1962 through 2003, when it went to America. Now it’s back in the U.K., having covered only about 100 miles since its restoration. It is one of three Clydes known to exist and should bring between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1909 Briton 7HP

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Briton Motor Company was based in Wolverhampton and was founded as an offshoot of the Star Cycle Company under the direction of Edward Lisle, Jr. The first cars appeared in 1909 and the marque lasted through 1928, although it was dormant for a few years in between.

Among the first models the company produced was the 7HP “Little Briton” – a seven horsepower, twin-cylinder runabout that seats two. It was a light car and it was cheap. Only five of these remain and this is the oldest, having been delivered new to Ireland. Forty years ago it was stashed in a barn and only discovered again in 2015, when it was restored to running condition and refurbished as needed. It should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1904 Garrard Suspended Forecar

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

While this car is technically being sold as a restoration project, it is still very interesting. Charles Garrard started importing Clement engines from France in 1902. His idea was to attach them to tricycle frames and build Forecars, a popular, if not dangerous, style of transport in England in the day (nothing like having your passenger be your front bumper!).

They were originally called Clement-Garrards, until 1904 when he dropped the Clement part. Garrard ceased production shortly thereafter, making this 1904 model very rare. This tricar is powered by a four horsepower v-twin and should sell for between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

Lacoste & Battmann

1903 Lacoste et Battmann 12hp Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1903 Lacoste et Battmann 12hp Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

I’ll start by saying that this car is described as “believed 1903 Lacoste et Battmann” – meaning no one’s really sure what this is. It was believed to be a Regal for many years until 2000 when an expert said it might actually be a Lacoste et Battmann. But if it were a Regal, it would still be a Lacoste et Battmann.

Here’s why: Lacoste & Battmann was founded in 1897 by Jacques Lacoste in Paris. But they rarely sold cars under their own name. In fact, they built cars for other companies – as many as seven different marques. Regal was one of those seven companies.

This car was purchased by its second owner at auction in 1908. It was worn out and restored (after only five years!) and put back on the road in 1910. The car has been in the same family since. The second restoration (which was mechanical in nature only) was completed in 2001.

The engine is a 2.4-litre two-cylinder making 12 horsepower. If this truly is a Lacoste et Battmann, it is very rare. Even if it isn’t, it is very likely one of their cars that was marketed under a different name – and the rarity remains. The company closed up shop in 1913. This example – with 1908-era interior and exterior – should sell for between $210,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $123,920.

Argyll Torpedo Tourer

1913 Argyll 12hp Torpedo Tourer

Offered by H&H Auctions | Duxford, U.K. | October 16, 2013

1913 Argyll 12hp Torpedo Tourer

I’ve literally been waiting months to feature this car. I saw it pop up in H&H’s catalog early on and have been excited about it since. Argyll was a Scottish marque that was founded in Glasgow in 1899 by Alex Govan.

Right around 1913 was when Argyll really hit their stride. Business was expanding – in fact, this car was sold new in Sydney, Australia. It didn’t re-arrive back into the U.K. until 2001. I’m not sure about the John Deere paint scheme, but I kind of like it. I also like the upright windshield and pillarless sides when the top is stowed back.

The engine is a 12 horsepower (presumably taxable) four-cylinder. The “artillery” look of the wheels is one of my favorite early wheel styles (yes, I have multiple categories for favorite wheel styles). This just looks like a fun, usable car from what was once Scotland’s largest automobile manufacturer. It is expected to sell for between $48,500-$56,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $56,250.