1894 Peugeot

1894 Peugeot Type 5 2½HP Twin-Cylinder Two-Seater

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

Photo – Bonhams

This is the type of car I love to write about. It is right up there among the oldest cars ever featured on this site (though Bonhams refers to it as an “1894-5”). Peugeot built their first car in 1889. This car carries chassis number 164, making it a pretty early car. They built 40 cars in 1894, and 72 in 1895. This sounds basic, but they were the first company to put rubber tires on their cars.

The Type 5 is powered by a 1.0-liter V-twin making 2.5 horsepower – a Daimler design built under license by Panhard et Levassor. It is believed that Peugeot retained this car for over a year before selling it and it could’ve actually been completed sometime in late 1893, but it wasn’t officially sold until 1895. It is also thought that this could be one of five famous Type 5 cars used in a Paris-Rouen race in 1894.

Only 14 examples of the Type 5 were built. This one still runs, drives, and is used – as it is entered in this year’s London-to-Brighton run. This is as much a piece of history as it is a usable car. It’s the type of thing you only see in factory museums. This car is estimated to bring between $400,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $463,202.

The Oldest British Car

1894 Santler 3½HP Dogcart

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

And now on to the most interesting sale of the year, Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale. It never disappoints, this year especially. What you’re looking at here is believed to be the oldest surviving car built in Britain. The Santler brothers, Charles and Walter, were building bicycles in the 1880s in Worcestershire. They completed their first vehicle, a steam car, in 1889.

Unfortunately there were some weird laws on the books in 1889 and two-seat self-propelled cars were illegal. So they parked their experimental vehicle and only came back to it a few years later when they took the chassis (this one) and installed a two-cylinder gasoline engine. It was used briefly and wasn’t rescued until the 1930s. A fan of old cars bought it in the 1950s and restored it, using a period-correct 3.5 horsepower single-cylinder Benz engine, which it still carries today.

The Santlers built a few one-off cars up through 1922 which included a brief run of cars they actually offered for sale. This may be the only surviving example from Santler and with its chassis dating to 1889, it’s one of the oldest cars in the world. It has been prepped and is ready to take part in this year’s London-to-Brighton run. As a piece of history, it should bring between $260,000-$330,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Roper Steam Motorcycle

1894 Roper Steam Motorcycle

Offered by Auctions America, Las Vegas, January 12-14, 2012

You know a motorcycle sale is serious when you see Henderson, Cleveland and Excelsior, among the Indians, Velocettes, and vintage Harleys. But every once in a while something amazing appears in that amazing company. Take this: the 1894 Roper Steam Motorcycle.

Sylvester Roper began building steam cars in the 1860s in New England (the 1860s!). He built a total of 10 vehicles before his death in 1896, two of which were motorcycles. The first motorcycle – and it very may well have been the first motorcycle – is located at the Smithsonian. The second motorcycle is the one seen here. Strangely, Roper himself died will riding it (heart attack) and it was sold to a series of museums, where it has spent most of its life. Passing between two private collectors since the 1980s, this marks the first time this historical important vehicle comes up for public sale.

“Record price” is a phrase I’ve seen associated with this bike numerous times. The current records for a motorcycle at auction is $520,000, a 1915 Cyclone Board Track Racer sold in 2008. We’ll see.

To read more about the lot, click here. For more info on the Auctions America Las Vegas Premier Motorcycle Auction, click here.

Update: Not Sold.