The Canda Manufacturing Company was based in Cartaret, New Jersey, and they produced railroad hand carts. In 1896 they acquired the rights to the Duryea Brothers gasoline engine. But Charles Duryea bailed on the partnership shortly thereafter, so Canda decided to go it alone.
Their first car was produced in 1900, and it looked like this. The Auto-Quadricycle was a four-wheeled forecar with a single-cylinder engine. Production continued through 1902, but they offered a more traditional “Spider” runabout in 1901, which probably meant that the Quadricycle was phased out before 1902, when Canda folded.
This car features a De Dion-Bouton single-cylinder engine rated at 1¾ horsepower when new. It’s been part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum since 1957. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020
Well here’s a car that probably shouldn’t still exist. Mignonette-Luap was a short-lived product of Jiel-Laval et Cie of Bordeaux, France. Produced only between 1899 and 1900, this small voiturette could potentially be the only remaining example of the marque.
Power is from a 2.25-horsepower De Dion-Bouton single-cylinder engine mounted at the rear. In a case of making customers feel good about their purchase, the car was also equipped with pedals should you need to bike it the rest of the way home after the engine failed.
But no fear, it has completed the London-to-Brighton three times since 2011. It has tiller steering, a two-speed gearbox, and an Amal carburetor from a much later motorcycle. It also has a pre-sale estimate of $65,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2019
The Great Horseless Carriage Company was founded by Harry J. Lawson, who would end up in prison by the time MMC, The Great Horseless Carriage Company’s successor, went out of business (for the first time) in 1904.
MMC staggered around until 1908, but it was the early years that they did their best work. Lawson had managed to get his hands on the Daimler patent, and this car’s six horsepower, 1.5-liter inline-twin was a Daimler engine.
The original owner of the car is known, and it remained with his family for 53 years. During WWI, the body was removed and the car was hooked to a bandsaw. In 1927, the original owner’s sons put the car back together and hoped to partake in the 1930 London-to-Brighton run with their “1897 Daimler.”
They didn’t make it, but the car did compete in 1931 – and by this point, they realized it was an MMC. It continued to compete through the 1930s, and in 1953, with its next owner, it completed a 10-day, 870+ mile trek. It was restored in 1996 and was purchased by the current owner in 2005.
MMCs are rare, but not unheard of. This one has great history and should sell for between $280,000-$340,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019
This interesting car is described as the first motorized (non-electric) taxicab in New York City. But something is a little odd. The Rockwell was a car named for Albert Rockwell, who sold the car under the Connecticut Cab Company banner with Charles Treadway, Ira Newcomb, T.H. Holdsworth, and Ernest Burwell. But they didn’t build the cars. The Bristol Engineering Company of Bristol, Connecticut did.
Moreover, they didn’t actually found the company until 1910. The story goes that in 1909 there were 11 of these on the streets, replacing the electric cab business that went under in 1907. By 1910, 200 Rockwell cabs were roaming Manhattan. Shortly after, a new taxi company took over and imported cabs from France.
Furthermore, this car is believed to have been electrically-powered at first, before being converted to its current water-cooled gasoline engine in 1910 for Mr. Rockwell himself. So was it actually built in 1900, a full decade before Rockwell (the company) got off the ground? Or was it built circa 1909? Who knows. The car has spent most of its life in a serious of museums and is seriously interesting, regardless of when it was built. This is what NYC taxis looked like 110 years ago.
It’s unclear how many are left, or if this is the only one. It will sell without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019
How Harry A. Knox became to be an automobile manufacturer probably has something to do with how this car looks. His neighbor happened to be J. Frank Duryea, who along with his brother, was one of America’s first automobile producers. And their early cars looked a lot like this (three-wheelers included).
The auction catalog lists this as a c.1899, but my information says that Knox built their first 15 3-wheelers in 1900. Another 100 were built in 1901, and a 4-wheeler was added in 1902. This car is powered by a five horsepower, 1.6-liter single-cylinder engine.
The engine number is 28, which might mean this was actually built in 1901. In any case, it’s one of the earliest Knox cars around, and it is really, really cool. It should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $106,400.
1910 Knox Model R Seven-Passenger Touring
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019
Here’s a later Knox, and a much larger, more traditional example. When I think of this marque I think of tiny, early runabouts like this one. But later on, they certainly built big tourers as well.
The Model R was sold in 1910 through 1912 and it is powered by a 40 horsepower, 6.1-liter straight-four. It has shaft drive and is finished in an attractive combo of blue with red wheels. The restoration is described as older, but with big power on tap, it should be a nice, usable car.
The seven-passenger touring body style was only available on the Model R in 1912, after the wheelbase was extended to 122″. But who knows, anything is possible with old cars. This one should bring between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
1900 Panhard et Levassor 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019
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.
1900 Clement-Panhard 4½HP Type VCP Voiture Légère Vis-a-Vis
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017
There have been so many great pre-1905 cars for sale lately! This car is from the mini-empire of marques featuring Adolphe Clément’s name. Clement was on the board at Panhard et Levassor and when the company’s factory was found to not be adequate enough to build a run of a 4.5hp “dog carts” that were designed by Arthur Krebs, Clement set up his own concern to build them.
Clement-Panhards were available between 1898 and about 1900. They featured a rear-mounted single-cylinder engine that made 4.5 horsepower and drove the rear wheels through an exposed-gear transmission. The three headlights and center-pivot steering give it an unusual face that only its mother could love.
In the U.K., these were called Clement-Stirlings or Stirling-Panhards. Only about 500 were built and body styles differed wildly from chassis to chassis. This car has two bench seats that face each other, which was a weird fad among early cars. This one hasn’t been used in a while but it was well kept for the last many decades. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
This Gasmobile is a great example of early American motoring. This car was built by the Automobile Company of America, which was founded in New York City in 1899 by John H. Flagler. The cars were marketed under the “American” brand name for 1899 and Flagler changed the name to Gasmobile for 1900 because it was “more descriptive.”
Cars built in 1899 and 1900 were identical except for the badging. The final cars were built in 1902 (which included a 35 horsepower six-cylinder car shown at the New York Auto Show). That six-cylinder car was a long way from this three horsepower, single-cylinder Runabout built only two years earlier.
This chassis was discovered in a warehouse in the 1950s and restored. No word on if the current restoration dates to the 1950s or not, but it looks quite nice, if a little dated. It’s something you could use (lightly) and show – and draw a crowd wherever you go. The Gasmobile was considered one of America’s finest early cars but the company folded anyway (Flagler moved on to the short-lived Panam car). This is one of only a few survivors and you can check out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
The corporate history of the Mobile Company of America is very confusing. It was founded in Tarrytown, New York, by John B. Walker. Originally, Walker and his business partner (who, together, had bought the rights to the Stanley brothers’ first steam car design) were going to call the car something else. But they ended up fighting over it and Walker ended up with the Stanley rights. The Mobile was born.
Mobile only sold cars between 1900 and 1903. Most looked something like this Model 4 “Solid Seat Runabout” that originally retailed for $750 – among the cheapest cars the company offered. This car is powered by 5.5 horsepower two-cylinder steam engine.
Only about 600 Mobile Steam cars were built and it is thought that only about 10-12 survive. This one has been well-restored and does run and drive. It should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 3, 2016
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
Louis Bardon founded his automobile company in 1899 in Puteaux, France. The company produced cars up through 1903 when Georges Richard took over the plant and used it to manufacture Unic cars.
Bardon built a number of different cars over the short lifespan of the company. This car is powered a 4/5 horsepower 1.2-liter opposed-piston single-cylinder engine. That means that there are two pistons that share the same cylinder. It’s a really strange and interesting powerplant.
Only three Bardon cars are known to exist and the other two are in long-term collections, unlikely to come up for sale in the near future, if ever. The restoration on this car was completed a while back but is still a good runner, driver, and shower. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.