1897 Daimler

1897 Daimler Twin-Cylinder 4HP Rougemont Wagonette

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler, which is technically a “dormant” brand as of 2008, was founded in Coventry in 1896 by Frederick Simms. He acquired the rights to build Gottlieb Daimler’s cars in the U.K. Eventually they’d move away from the German designs and by the time the end came, their cars were just badge-engineered Jaguars.

This car is powered by a 1.5-liter straight twin rated at four horsepower. Apparently, they were able to increase the power rating by two the following year. This car is a performer: it is described as a “reliable early finisher on the London-Brighton Run.” This is the sort of prototypical vehicle we imagine taking part in that event.

Ownership history is known back to 1905 (which is pretty incredible) and the current owner has had the car for nearly 20 years. This car has never been restored, but just repaired and redone as needed. It’s remarkable. As one of the earliest known surviving British Daimlers, it should sell for between $240,000-$270,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $295,661.

Hart Steam

1897 Hart Steam Victoria Four-Seater Dos-à-Dos

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Frederick Hart was born in England but he and his family moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1880s. He worked for a farming machinery company and built his own lab at his home to experiment with steam engines.

He built his first steam vehicle in 1895 (a tricycle) and built a four-wheeled vehicle, this car, shortly after. Bonhams lists this as a “circa 1897” and I’ve seen it listed elsewhere as a 1903/1904. It is powered by a twin-cylinder vertical engine that is driven by steam. This photo needs someone standing in it for scale: this car is huge at nearly six feet tall and riding on 46 inch tires!

Hart’s family owned this car until 1946 when they donated it to a museum. The museum was shuttered in 1990 and the car went to the U.K. where it was taken apart. The next owner acquired it in 2002 and restored the car to the condition you see here in 2004. It has only been started once since 2004, when there was a small issue and no one has tried again. The paint on this is original, but most everything else has been restored and the car has only covered 200 miles in its life. It’s a one-of-one car and one of two vehicles produced by Hart Steam. It should sell for between $77,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $76,020.

Vallée Vis-à-Vis

1897 Vallée Vis-à-Vis

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 3, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Vallèe is a name that pops up a few times during the course of automotive history. For instance, Paul Vallèe built microcars in the 1950s. Henri Vallèe, however, is the man behind this car. He got his start working with Amadée Bollée in the 1880s, building a steam car. Vallèe set up shop as a bicycle manufacturer shortly thereafter and built his first car in 1895.

Production followed in 1897 and offered a range of four different models. This is a four horsepower (second from the smallest) model powered by a 2.2-liter flat-twin. Production continued until 1902 when the company shifted focus to motorcycles before shutting down a few years later.

This is one of two known Vallèe automobiles in existence. This car is all original except for it’s paint and top. It’s pretty interesting and is coming from a Swiss collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $93,700.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s, London 2016 $114,061.