1900 Panhard

1900 Panhard et Levassor 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The setup of the modern cars we drive can trace their roots back to something designed by Panhard et Levassor around the turn-of-the-century. Their system was simple: four wheels, engine up front, rear-wheel drive, and a transmission. Yeah, they were the first company to use a gearbox… and a steering wheel… and a front-mounted radiator. You get the idea.

This car is powered by a 4.4-liter straight-four engine that was rated at 16 taxable horsepower when new. Only eight of these cars were built between 1899 and 1900. Then, the engine was updated for 1901, and Panhard cranked out 153 additional examples through 1903.

It was restored during British ownership, where it remains, and it has been updated with modern conveniences like an electric starter. It’s a great London-to-Brighton car and should cost its next owner between $315,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Darracq Touring

1914 Darracq Model V-14 16hp Torpedo

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

Photo – Bonhams

Alexandre Darracq founded his automobile company in Suresnes, France in 1896. In 1903 he sold the controlling interest in his company to a bunch of Englishmen. Darracq still ran the company from Paris, but things were going poorly by the time WWI broke out. By 1920, the company had purchased Clement-Talbot and Sunbeam and was renamed STD Motors – now a fully British company.

After that, French-built Darracqs were called Talbot-Darracqs for a brief bit before the Darracq name was dropped altogether. The two different companies have a convoluted history thereafter.

This French-built Model V-14 is powered by a 16 horsepower straight-four engine and was delivered new to Ireland. It looks much sportier than it probably is, but the car was once driven by Phil Hill, so who knows. It should bring between $46,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 1, 2018


1909 Alldays & Onions 10/12HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Alldays & Onions is one of my favorite automotive marque names. It just sounds funny. It was actually two people’s last names from their respective companies that merged in 1889. Cars were available from 1898 through 1918.

This, the 10/12HP was their most successful model, built from 1905 through 1913. Power came from a 1.6-liter two-cylinder engine and this example has been in the same ownership since 1971. A longtime museum car, it does get driven annually, but you might want to check it out a little more thoroughly before planning any road trips. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,513.


1905 Corre Type F Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Photo – Bonhams

Corre was founded in 1901 by Jean-Marie Corre in Levallois-Perret, France. The company actually lasted until 1949, but the name had changed to La Licorne. Corre-branded cars were only produced through 1907 when the company became known as Corre-La Licorne.

This Type F was Corre’s single-cylinder model in 1905. It’s a De Dion engine and the body is by Delalande. Not much about this car is known prior to 1957 and the current owner acquired the car in 2005. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,215


1910 Paige-Detroit 25HP Challenger Open Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Paige-Detroit has an amusing early history. Harry Jewett bankrolled a car built by Andrew Bachle and promoted by Fred O. Paige in 1909 in Detroit. The Page-Detroit went on sale in 1909 and after 1910 production was halted because Jewett thought the cars were terrible. He forced Paige (company president) out and dropped the “Detroit” suffix and re-launched Paige, which lasted until he sold it to the Graham Brothers in 1927.

This “Model No. 1” is one of those early “terrible” cars. This was the first – and only – model sold by Paige-Detroit and it’s powered by a kind of weird two-stroke, 2.2-liter three-cylinder engine that was somehow capable of 25 horsepower. Only two of these are thought to still exist and this one was reportedly part of the Henry Ford from 1930 until 1985. It’s been in Belgium since 1993 and probably hasn’t been run since it went to the Ford Museum way back when. Completely original, it should bring between $57,000-$83,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Retromobile 2019, $37,838.


1908 Phoenix 10HP Sports

Photo – Bonhams

The Phoenix Motor Company, originally of London, was founded in 1903 by one of the great names in automobiledom: Joseph van Hooydonk. Their original products were tricars, then quadcars that looked like tricars. “Real” cars were introduced in 1908.

The company soldiered on until 1926 and the first traditional car they built was a 10hp model introduced in 1908. It lasted until 1915 and the car you see here is an example of this model. It’s powered by a two-cylinder engine and features a wooden skiff boattail body. It was made roadworthy again in 1997 and it can be yours for $15,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $32,768.


1905 Reo 16HP Five-Passenger Touring

Photo – Bonhams

Ransom Olds is one of only a few people to have independently founded more than one successful automobile company. August Horch and Henry Leland come to mind, but I’m not sure who else. This 1905 Touring is from the second year of Reo production.

The 16HP was Reo’s two-cylinder model and it was offered in four body styles, with this being the largest. Four-cylinder and single-cylinder models were also offered. This largely original car comes from a Belgian collection where it has remained since 1994. 113-years-old, it should bring between $26,000-$38,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,831.

Premier Tonneau

1904 Premier Model F 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

George B. Weidely sold his first car in 1902 and his Premier Motor Manufacturing Company continued to build four, and primarily six, cylinder cars through 1925. Based in Indianapolis, the brand was at the heart of one of America’s major early automobile manufacturing cities.

The 1904 Premier range was the first year they offered multiple models. This, the Model F, was the mid-range model and the top trim four-cylinder car the firm sold, priced at $1,400 when new. It’s powered by a 16 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The only body style offered was the Rear-Entrance Tonneau you see here.

This particular example was restored in 1999 and is finished in Brewster Green and Canary (yellow). Only two 1904 Premiers have survived, the other being the more-expensive-when-new Two-Cylinder model that is in possession of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Even though this is an American automobile, it is London-to-Brighton eligible and should sell for between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $341,000.

1902 De Dietrich

1902 De Dietrich Type 8 “Paris-Vienna” Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

In Alsace, De Dietrich is more than just a short-lived, early car manufacturer. It’s an old family that owned lots of land and had lots of titles. They entered industry in the 1840s and in 1897 they sold their first automobiles. Strangely, as beautiful and well-engineered as these cars were, the De Dietrich marque would be gone after 1905 as the cars were then sold as Lorraine-Dietrichs.

This particular car has an interesting history – it was discovered during WWII when a German bomb blew apart the barn that this thing had been stored in since 1912. This model is identical to those that De Dietrich entered in the 1902 Paris-Vienna race. It uses a 4.1-liter straight-four that puts out 16 horsepower. It can power this fairly large car up to speeds of 55 mph on level roads.

This car was bought new by a member of the Guinness brewing family. He sold it and it was parked in 1912. In the 1940s, after it was unearthed by the aforementioned German explosive, the car was rescued from outdoor deterioration and a restoration was started in 1946. It has had a few owners since (and spent time in a museum) and a second restoration. This thing is beautiful. I wish I had the $1,300,000-$1,400,000 necessary to acquire it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,700,349.

Sunbeam Tourer

1919 Sunbeam 16/40 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | December 9, 2013

1919 Sunbeam 16HP Tourer

Sunbeam is one of the oldest names in automobiles. Of course, they aren’t around anymore, but the company did date back to 1888, when it was founded as a bicycle manufacturer by John Marston. In 1902, the first cars appeared, under the Sunbeam-Mabley marque, and 1905 brought Sunbeam as a standalone make.

In 1919, the company merged with Talbot and Darracq. That didn’t go so well, and in 1935 the trio became part of the Rootes Group. The final Sunbeam-branded cars rolled off the assembly lines in 1978 and the name continued on as a Talbot model into the 1980s.

The Sunbeam 16/40 was re-introduced in 1919 after WWI ended. It was a slightly updated version of the pre-war 16/20 that dated to 1912. It uses a 3.0-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower.

This Sunbeam is the oldest-known example of the marque backdated to the end of the Great War (in other words, one of the earliest cars made after the armistice). It was parked sometime around 1928 and entered the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in 1957. It spent 11 years on display before re-entering private ownership and being restored.

This is a good-driving old touring car that can be bought for somewhere in the neighborhood of $73,000-$89,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ auction lineup.

Update: Sold $60,369.

1913 Brasier Berline

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Henri Brasier joined the Georges Richard’s automobile company and the new Richard-Brasier company began to produce cars in 1902. That only lasted through 1905, when Richard left the company. So the company that started out with Georges Richard’s full name as the marque, gradually decreased until it was just “Brasier” left.

Brasier started building cars in late 1905/early 1906 and lasted through 1926, after which they were called Chaigneau-Brasier, until the company ultimately closed in 1930. This particular Brasier is a 1913 Sedan with coachwork by Marcel Guilloux of France (if you couldn’t tell where he was from based on his name). It uses a 3.2-liter four-cylinder making 16 horsepower.

The car was bought new by a gentleman in France who walled it up when the First World War broke out. The man perished in the war and the car wasn’t discovered again for 70 years, when the wall he built was demolished during a home redesign. It’s bounced around since, having appeared in a few movies along the way. It is entirely original – a great example of “time warp” condition that makes it perfect for high-class car shows all over the world. It runs well and everything works. It should sell for between $100,000-$130,000. Click here to read more and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1904 Richard-Brasier

1904 Richard-Brasier Four-Cylinder 16HP Side-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, England | November 2, 2012

No, the guy who started this company was not that full of himself that he thought his first and last names needed to be on the company letterhead. Richard Brasier was not a person – in fact, Richard-Brasier (that hyphen is important!) was actually founded by two people: Henri Brasier and Georges Richard. (Ironically, Georges Richard sold cars under the name “Georges Richard” before Brasier joined him, so yeah, maybe he was a little full of himself).

Henri Brasier left Mors in 1901 and cars were offered as Richard-Brasiers beginning in 1902. It was short-lived, however, as Georges Richard left the company in 1905 to found Unic. Beginning in 1905 the cars were known simply as “Brasier.” And here is an rare example of this very fleeting marque.

This model, from the last year of production before switching names, uses a 2.3-liter straight-four making 16 horsepower (rated by the factory at the time it was built). It’s a large car for such a small power rating, as the company offered models up to 40 horsepower as well. The history of this car is known from 1975, when it entered display at a Dutch museum. It is definitely a driver, having run London-to-Brighton every year since 2000 (with one exception).

This is a truly glorious automobile from the pioneering days of motoring and it would be worth any serious collector’s time to think carefully about acquiring it. It is expected to sell for between $350,000-$480,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Bonhams’ Veteran car sale, click here.

Update: Sold $358,000.