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.

Mercedes-Simplex

1905 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32 Phaeton

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | December 3, 2013

1905 Mercedes-Simplex 28-32 Phaeton

Daimler was one of the first automobile companies founded anywhere in the world. It was started in 1890 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach. In 1902, they introduced a model called “Mercedes” and it soon became the name under which Daimler sold cars. In 1926, Daimler would merge with Benz and Mercedes would become Mercedes-Benz.

One of the first Mercedes models was the Simplex. Shortly after its introduction, they followed it with a number of other Mercedes Simplex models (hence I classify it as a separate, short-lived marque).

This model is powered by a 5.5-liter straight-four making 35 horsepower. The 28/32 model was in production from 1902 through 1909. This regal Phaeton was delivered new to the U.S., spending time in the Arturo Keller collection and was restored under his ownership. The restoration still looks outstanding and the mechanicals have been rebuilt more recently.

The Simplex was an important automobile – as it made often-clunky early automobiles easy to operate and standardized the way in which their controls were laid out. These are very rare today and this one is one of the best examples still around. You can read more here and check out the rest of Coys’ lineup here.

Update: Sold $1,174,900.

Pierce “Great Arrow”

1905 Pierce 28/32 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2013

1905 Pierce 2832 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges Great Arrow

George N. Pierce’s automobile company began building internal-combustion automobiles in 1901. In 1903, a two-cylinder model was introduced and it was known as the Arrow. In 1904, Pierce shifted focus to larger, more luxurious cars – these were referred to as Great Arrows and, initially, they used four-cylinder engines. In 1908, Pierce became Pierce-Arrow.

This Great Arrow uses a 24/28hp straight-four of 3.8-liters. Six-cylinder engines would be used from 1907. This is an early Great Arrow with cast aluminium bodywork that was at least five years ahead of its time.

This particular car was discovered during World War II and restored – or “recommissioned” – under the ownership of Henry Austin Clark. In the 1990s, he sold it to another owner via the Imperial Palace Collection. This is the first time this car has ever come up for public sale. The car is in its 1950s restoration state. The seats are original, the paint 60+ years old. The engine was overhauled in the last 15 years.

The Great Arrow is the car that set Pierce on the path to becoming one of the most legendary luxury car manufacturers of all time. It is expected to sell for between $170,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Connecticut.

Update: Sold $243,100.

1905 Fiat Touring Car

1905 Fiat 60HP Five-Passenger Touring by Quinby & Co.

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1905 Fiat 60HP Five-Passenger Touring by Quinby & Co.

This car is massive in so many ways. One: it’s huge. Two: 60 horsepower in 1905 was a ton (or more specifically, add the expletive of your choice as a prefix to the word “ton”). The engine was massive. And the price? When new, in 1905, this thing – a rolling chassis only (without bodywork) – cost $13,500. Holy crap!

I guess it’s no surprise who owned these things then. Kaiser Wilhelm II bought two of them. This one was bought new by August Anheuser-Busch Sr. This is the short-chassis version. The engine is a whopping 10.6-liter straight-four (two pairs of two) making, well, 60 horsepower. It idles at 70 rpm! You can count each turn of the engine.

The car was delivered to the sole FIAT importer – in New York City – and then it was shipped to Newark, New Jersey, where J.M. Quinby & Co. applied this five-passenger touring body to it. It’s aluminium over wood with brass fittings. The price for the body? $4,000. Busch kept it for 30 years until his death and then the car started passing through hands of collectors, being acquired in 1973 by Louis Biondi of Connecticut who owned it until he passed away in 2012. The current owner had the car returned to running order. Other than that, it is entirely original.

Early, big horsepower cars like this are almost impossible to come by. This is the only example like this in existence (of about 20 produced, according to the lot description, which is possibly referring to the first generation of this model line – 1904/1905). The 60HP model was produced until 1909 and there were probably more made – as in an additional 66 over the final four years.

At any rate, this car is unbelievable. It is almost 110 years old and is entirely original and it runs and looks fantastic. Not to mention it is one of the most desirable early cars – restored or not. A huge opportunity. The price? No idea, as it is “estimate upon request.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, RM Auctions, Hershey 2014: $825,000.

Tribelhorn Electric

1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2013

1905 Tribelhorn Electric Brougham

Sometimes, with electric cars, it can be difficult to extract horsepower and performance figures. This is even more difficult when the car is almost 110 years old. It is an electric car, built by A. Tribelhorn & Cie AG, in Feldbach, Switzerland. And I have no idea what kind of power it makes. Probably not a lot.

The company was founded by Johann Albert Tribelhorn in 1899. The company built electric cars exclusively up until they were acquired by a rival in 1919. For another year or so after that they built a few electric commercial vehicles. This is a passenger vehicle with wood bodywork and tiller steering.

It was offered by RM at Hershey in the fall of 2011 fresh from the estate of John O’Quinn. It sold there for $35,000. Now it is being offered for sale again, less than two years later. It makes you wonder why – did the new owner run out of money? Hate the car? Did it not work? In any case, this is a good chance to grab up a rare Swiss electric vehicle. And you know what was paid for it a year and a half ago, so they can’t exactly be asking for the moon this time around. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $77,000.