1905 Rambler Touring

1905 Rambler Type One Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 4, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Rambler is an American marque with an interesting, if not confusing, history. Founded in 1900 by Thomas B. Jeffrey (who also founded the Jeffrey marque, which would later become Nash), Ramblers were built through 1913. In 1914 the Rambler was rolled back into the Jeffrey line. Nash would later produce a model called the Rambler, which debuted in 1950. More confusingly, it was spun off as its own marque again in 1958 and then sold as an AMC model sometime thereafter.

The original 1900-1913 Rambler was a very well-built automobile and the marque became one of the most respected in the U.S. The 1905 model line consisted of four confusingly named models: the Model G, Model H, Type One, and Type Two. Models G and H were single-cylinder cars, while the Types One and Two were both two-cylinder cars. The Type One is powered by a 3.9-liter flat-twin making 18 horsepower. The Type Two offered an additional two ponies. The Type One was only available as a five-passenger Touring car.

Ramblers would get much bigger shortly after this, even though this car is already pretty large. This particular example was restored in the early 2000s but it still looks great. Ramblers are accessible from a usability perspective, even if the estimated $45,000-$65,000 it will take to buy this one might not be. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $73,700.

One of the First Riley Cars

1905 Riley 9HP V-Twin

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 5, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

In 1896, William Riley Jr. bought and renamed the Bonnick Cycle Company and began building bicycles under his own name. In 1898, his 16-year-old son Percy built his first automobile, which is pretty incredible. William wanted no part of this, so Percy and two of this brothers started their own company in 1902. Four-wheeled vehicles first appeared in 1905, making this one of the first Riley cars ever built. The last Riley car was sold in 1969 and BMW owns the dormant marque today.

Powered by a nine horsepower, 1.0-liter V-twin, this early Riley is thought to have been sold new in New Zealand. It wasn’t until 2009 that it returned home to England. Its restoration was completed over a 30 year period (!) that ended in 2004.

Only three 1905, 9HP Rileys are known to exist and with the lack of records kept, this could be the earliest known survivor. It could even be the first Riley built. It does run and drive and is being sold with its own covered trailer included. It should bring between $57,000-$63,500. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,196.

1905 Daimler Tourer

1905 Daimler 30/40HP Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This Daimler is one of the British Daimlers – you can tell that because the original Daimler Company (the German one) stopped building passenger cars under the Daimler marque by 1905 as the Mercedes had already been introduced. This car was delivered new to an British Countess in 1905.

Luckily for the Countess, just introduced by Daimler was this 30/40HP model that sported a 7.2-liter straight-four. These were powerful, fast cars that were popular among early hill climbers and time trialers. Originally bodied by Rothschild et Fils of Paris as a landaulette, the body you see here was fitted in the 1970s.

Unfortunately the original body was lost after the car was left to sit unprotected in the elements for about five years during WWII. Luckily, the lamps and wooden wheels were preserved. Ownership of this car has bounced all over the world, from the U.K. to Hawaii to Japan and back. It’s a good driver with good power and would make a usable Edwardian tourer. It should bring between $68,000-$80,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $72,618.

1904 Pope-Hartford

1905 Pope-Hartford 20HP Model D Two-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a number of Pope-related automobiles lately. The Hartford was one of five Pope-branded automobiles, the others being the Tribune, Waverley, Toledo and the very short-lived Robinson. The Columbia from last week was also originally a Pope-owned company.

This Model D was built at the end of 1904. The Model D was only built for the 1905 model year and uses a two-cylinder engine making 20 horsepower. This was the only body style offered.

The current owner acquired the car in 2005 and restored it that year as well. The paint and interior were refreshed in 2014 when the car took part in the London-to-Brighton run. This car looks great and is a fine example of pre-1905 American motoring. It should bring between $120,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $126,000.

Thomas Flyer Model 25

1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Five Final Cars from RM in Hershey

1911 National Model 40 Speedway Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1911 National was offered as a single model – the Model 40. The Speedway Roadster was the smallest and most affordable style. Its name is a reference to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a nearby motoring landmark, as National was based in Indianapolis. In fact, Arthur Newby, who founded National, also co-founded the Speedway – and 1911 was the inaugural year of the Indy 500.

This car is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.3-liter straight-four. National won the 1912 Indy 500 with a car closely resembling this one. Discovered in Atlanta in the 1950s, this car has been restored twice, the most recent of which was in the last 10 years. It should bring between $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: $385,000.


1914 Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Case automobile was produced by the same company that made agricultural equipment in Racine, Wisconsin, between 1911 and 1927. The 1914 Case Model 35 was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. This is obviously not one of those. John Dorton was an inventor and salesman from Kansas. He invented the Human Eye Auto Lamp, a kind of headlight that steers with the car. This was his demonstrator vehicle.

It’s fitted with a bunch of other one-off features including a steam organ that could be operated from the driver’s seat. It’s a really interesting one-of-a-kind truck and is powered by a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info. It’s really worth checking out.

Update: Sold $47,000.


1912 Mitchell Model 5-6 Baby Six Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Case, Mitchell was also from Racine, Wisconsin. The company was founded as a wagon maker by Henry Mitchell and his son-in-law (William Lewis) would help steer the company toward automobile production in 1903. Mitchell would produce cars for the next 20 years.

The 1912 catalog offered five modes, with the Model 5-6 Baby Six as the second most powerful. The engine is a 6.0-liter straight-four making almost 34 horsepower. The Roadster was one of two body styles offered and this one is mostly original (although it had been repainted). It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1916 Republic Beer Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Microbreweries are everywhere these days. If one of them were looking for an absolutely great promotional vehicle, this would be that. This is an all-original truck from the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. They built trucks from about 1913 through 1929 (at which point they merged with American-LaFrance).

The engine in this beast is a 3.6-liter Continental straight-four. The truck has not run in a long time so it would require a pretty hefty mechanical overhaul to be usable. And those solid rubber tries are probably older than just about anybody reading this. Which is pretty amazing. This is one of two known 1916 Republics to survive and this one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,800.


1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Woods Electric

1905 Woods Electric Queens Victoria Brougham

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was founded by a group of rich guys in Chicago. Among them were executives from Standard Oil, so it is odd that the company specialized in electric cars for nearly 15 years. But I guess the another board member (a co-founder of General Electric) got his way instead. The Woods name comes from Clinton Edgar Woods, the holder of the patent that the company purchased.

The first car was built in 1899 with series production beginning in 1903 and lasting through 1915 before the company switched gears and became Woods Dual Power (and building gas-powered and hybrid cars) before going out of business after 1918 (though, strangely, there was a gasoline-powered “Woods Electric” offered between 1905 and 1907).

The 1905 model line offered an electric car of varying wheelbases – 13 body styles in all. This car features Style 214A (which wasn’t actually introduced until 1906 – so this car may actually be a 1906). But it is listed as the only surviving 1905 Woods Electric. It can do about 30 mph and the closed body is removable if you want the air in your face as you drive. It’s super interesting and should bring between $82,000-$97,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $94,548.

Cupelle Open Touring

1905 Cupelle 8HP Two-Seater Open Touring

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29, 2015

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Cupelle is a very rare automobile marque. In the early years of automobile manufacturing, there were companies that specialized in different things. De Dion-Bouton, for example, was a prolific engine builder. And there was another French company, Lacoste et Battmann (of Paris), who built entire cars – for other companies.

Lacoste et Battmann built cars but didn’t want the hassle of marketing them, so they delivered them to other companies who badged, marketed, and sold them. Cupelle was one of those makes. Built by Lacoste et Battmann, this Cupelle uses an eight horsepower single-cylinder engine.

This example was restored in the 1950s and has been in a museum for a while. 1905 was the only year the Cupelle was manufactured, which makes this car mind-blowingly rare. It is thought that it may be the only one in existence. It can be yours for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $45,100.

Queen Runabout

1905 Queen Model B Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9-10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Queen was a short-lived automobile make from Detroit, Michigan, that was produced between 1904 and 1906. The company was founded and run by C.M. Blomstrom – but the company was one of those early manufacturers that was backed with dubious money. Thus it only lasted three years.

The Model B was only built in 1905 and it uses a 12 horsepower 4.7-liter twin (them are some big cylinders!). This car has never had a full restoration, but the interior has been re-done and it has been repainted. I think that means it qualifies as a survivor.

It is estimated that only 1,500 Queens were built in total, making this a very rare car. It will need a quick mechanical refreshening before it is road-worthy. It should sell for between $25,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $52,250.

1905 De Dion-Bouton

1905 De Dion-Bouton Model Z 8hp Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 1, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

De Dion-Bouton was the world’s first great automobile manufacturer. They built an empire starting in 1883. They became a huge supplier of engines and parts – selling far more engines to other manufacturers than they did cars of their own. Even so, by 1900 they were the world’s largest auto manufacturer.

Their brightest spot were these pre-1910 cars… really anything 1905 and prior is where they were at their best, even though passenger car production lasted until 1932. The Model Z was new for 1905 (introduced at the tail end of 1904). Not much is known about this rare model but it does have an eight horsepower single-cylinder engine and very big body.

The history on this example is known back to about the 1950s in the U.K. The body is likely not original, having been replaced at least once since 1905 (it was known as a two-seater shortly after WWII). It came to the U.S. in the 1990s and was restored near the end of that decade, winning an award at Pebble Beach in 2001. It’s a pretty awesome car and should bring between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Greenwich lineup.

Update: Sold $93,500.