Gardner-Serpollet

1904 Gardner-Serpollet 18hp Type L Phaeton Steamer by Kellner

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Leon Serpollet is sort of the father of steam automobiles. He invented the flash boiler that made steam vehicles practical and he began building cars under his own name in Paris in 1897. Similarly, American Frank Gardner was also building cars in Paris, although gasoline-powered. Gardner’s company lasted from 1898 to 1900, when he joined Serpollet.

Gardner-Serpollet built cars from 1900 through 1907. They were fancy things and among the best-engineered steam cars ever built. They were reliable and won many races and competitions in their day. The Type L seen here was introduced in 1904 and uses a rear-mounted boiler and a front-mounted straight-four engine making it look like a normal gasoline-engined car.

The history of this car is known back to WWII, when it was used to get around gasoline rationing. This is the only shaft-driven Serpollet in existence and one of only two Type Ls in the world. It’s a good runner and an amazing piece of history. It should sell for between $510,000-$560,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $592,624.

1915 Fiat Box Van

1915 Fiat 18P Box Van

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

One of the coolest parts of owning a classic commercial vehicle is that it is probably pretty easy to get it cast in a movie set sometime in the past. This thing looks like it drove straight out of the flashback scenes in The Godfather Part II. It’s amazing how beautiful old trucks can be. There are new cars out now that don’t have this much style. It’s all in the details.

The Fiat 18P was built between 1915 and 1920. They are powered by a 4.4-liter straight-four. Only 6,354 were built – many of which were for the Italian Army. This one was acquired by Banfield as a chassis and restored as a box van. It should sell for between $37,000-$51,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $52,667.