Matheson Touring

1907 Matheson 50HP Four Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Frank and Charles Matheson hopped around a bit with their company, which they founded in 1903 – first in their hometown of Grand Rapids for a year, then to Holyoke, Massachusetts until 1905, then finally on to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where they built cars through 1912. After their luck ran out running their own firm, both men remained in the industry for decades to come.

In 1907, Matheson offered two different four-cylinder model lines. This “Big Four” is the larger of the two, and it is powered by a 50 horsepower, 8.0-liter inline-four and bad ass double chain drive. A shaft-driven six-cylinder car would arrive in 1909.

This car wears a large seven-passenger touring body, one of four styles offered in 1907 (though this body is a recreation constructed in the 1980s). The price when new would’ve been $5,500 – a fraction of the $250,000-$350,000 it is expected to bring later this week. Fun fact: William Randolph Hearst owned a pair of Mathesons. Only four Wilkes-Barre-built cars are known to exist today, and this is a pretty nice one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $212,800.

Columbus Autobuggy

1907 Columbus 10HP Twin-Cylinder Autobuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

There were quite a few Columbus and Columbia-branded automobiles in the early days of motoring. The Columbus Electric was a fairly popular one, and there was another, completely separate “Columbus” that operated in 1913 and 1914. But this car was built by the Columbus Buggy Company, who could trace their history as a buggy manufacturer back to the Civil War-era.

This car is actually a relative to the Columbus Electric, as a few investors purchased the gasoline-powered side of the business in 1905. They sold gasoline-powered Columbus highwheelers like this in 1907 and 1908. The cars were engineered by none other than Eddie Rickenbacker and are powered by a 1.6-liter twin-cylinder engine making 10 horsepower.

They sold these for $750 before moving on the Firestone-Columbus, a more modern automobile. This car has rope drive and, it would appear, a whip in case it all goes to hell and you need a horse to pull you. That, or to scare children and/or peasants out the way. This car should sell for between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $62,750.

1907 Tincher Touring

1907 Tincher Model H Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Thomas Tincher sold some seriously expensive cars between 1903 and 1909 (their 1904 90hp race car model cost $12k… in 1904!). Up until the formation of the South Bend-based Tincher Motor Car Company in 1907, his cars were all built by the Chicago Coach & Carriage Company.

The Model H was the only Tincher offered in 1906 and 1907. At $6,000 it was extremely pricey and was powered by a monstrous 60 horsepower, 7.7-liter inline-four. The company never built more than six cars in a single year and closed their doors in 1909 after being unable to make a profit with such a low production volume.

This is the only Tincher known to exist, and it’s going to be one of the more expensive brass era cars sold from this collection, with an estimate of $500,000-$700,000. Be sure to go to the catalog to check out the amazing paintwork. Click here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $423,000.

Thomas-Detroit Tourer

1907 Thomas-Detroit Model C Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Thomas-Detroit was a short-lived marque founded in 1906 after two former Oldsmobile employees had a chance encounter with E.R. Thomas of the Thomas Motor Company. The two ex-Olds employees, engineer Howard Coffin and salesman Roy Chapin, convinced Thomas to help fund their building of a slightly smaller car than Thomas was currently offering out of his Buffalo-based enterprise.

So Thomas-Detroit was set up in Detroit to build a 40HP car. It was offered in 1906, 1907, and 1908 only because Chapin and Coffin became tired of being managed from afar. They convinced Hugh Chalmers to buy out Thomas and the marque became Chalmers-Detroit for 1909 before becoming just Chalmers in 1911.

This Model C is powered by a 5.8-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower. It was offered as a Runabout, Touring car, Limousine, or Landaulette. This Touring would’ve cost $2,750 when new. Very few Thomas-Detroit motorcars were ever completed and sold before the company’s name changed. This one has been wonderfully restored and should bring between $125,000-$175,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,600.

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 10, 2018


1907 Chameroy Tonneau

Photo – Artcurial

What? Never heard of a Chameroy Tonneau? Artcurial is presenting a collection of true oddball cars at Rétromobile and I love it. Automobiles Chameroy of Le Vesinet offered automobiles for only four years, from 1907 through 1910.

This 1907 model features a V-4 engine making “at least 9 horsepower.” It is likely an Aster engine and probably the largest car Chameroy built (which would likely make it the Type D, but that’s just an inference on my part). Chameroy was apparently more famous for their own special “non-skid tires” and may have had more success with them. As it is, this is the only known example of their cars to survive. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.


1907 Louis Pouron 8HP

Photo – Artcurial

This little two-seat French roadster was not built by an automobile company. Instead, it was built by a French railway employee, likely while he was on strike (just kidding!).

It’s powered by an eight horsepower De Dion single-cylinder engine from 1903. Not much else is known about the car’s history or its builder. The collection of Michel Broual, of which this is being sold from, acquired it after many years of waiting as the car wound up in a shed that had sort of been made smaller around the car so it could not be removed. The owner refused to allow anyone to trample his garden and someone else snuck in and bought it out from under Broual who would have to wait years to buy it from that gentleman. Kind of weird story. But hey, it’s kind of a weird, one-off car. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $16,062.


1907 Contal Mototri Type B

Photo – Artcurial

Camille Contal’s Mototri was a forecar built in France. Unlike many of its counterparts, this was not a motorcycle fitted with a front-facing chair. It was designed from the ground up as a tri-car.

First introduced at the 1905 Paris Auto Salon, the Contal would be sold to the public in 1907 and 1908. 1907 was a good year publicity-wise for the firm as one of their Mototris competed in the Peking-Paris race (even if it didn’t do very well). The Mototri could be had as you see here or as a delivery wagon. Compared to many of the cars in this collection, this one seems to be in quite decent shape. It should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $65,709.


1925 SIMA-Violet Type VM

Photo – Artcurial

Ah, the SIMA-Violet. When I think “cyclecars” this is one of the first cars to come to mind (this is a close second). SIMA-Violet’s name comes from SIMA (Société Industrielle de Matériel Automobile) and the last name of the company’s founder: Marcel Violet.

The company produced their unique take on the cyclecar between 1924 and 1929. Most are two-seaters with the seats offset so that the driver sat farther forward than the passenger. They were all powered by a 497cc two-stroke twin designed in-house that was geared to do 60+ mph (no thank you). If you ever want to see a great example of one of these up close, head to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. The blue example on offer here should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,124.

Chameroy Tonneau

1907 Chameroy Tonneau

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 10, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

What? Never heard of a Chameroy Tonneau? Artcurial is presenting a collection of true oddball cars at Rétromobile and I love it. Automobiles Chameroy of Le Vesinet offered automobiles for only four years, from 1907 through 1910.

This 1907 model features a V-4 engine making “at least 9 horsepower.” It is likely an Aster engine and probably the largest car Chameroy built (which would likely make it the Type D, but that’s just an inference on my part). Chameroy was apparently more famous for their own special “non-skid tires” and may have had more success with them. As it is, this is the only known example of their cars to survive. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.

Contal Mototri

1907 Contal Mototri Type B

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 10, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Camille Contal’s Mototri was a forecar built in France. Unlike many of its counterparts, this was not a motorcycle fitted with a front-facing chair. It was designed from the ground up as a tri-car.

First introduced at the 1905 Paris Auto Salon, the Contal would be sold to the public in 1907 and 1908. 1907 was a good year publicity-wise for the firm as one of their Mototris competed in the Peking-Paris race (even if it didn’t do very well). The Mototri could be had as you see here or as a delivery wagon. Compared to many of the cars in this collection, this one seems to be in quite decent shape. It should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $65,709.

4 Pre-WWI Minervas

Pre-WWI Minervas

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Transformable Open-Drive Limousine Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams managed to snag an unreal collection of Minerva automobiles for their Rétromobile sale. This is the oldest of the bunch, dating to 1907 – which was just five years after the Belgian firm built their first cars.

The Type K features a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-six. This car was aimed squarely at the top of the market – right at Rolls-Royce. It’s a gigantic car, with an open (or covered) driver’s compartment and an enclosed limousine rear (but also with a removable top… which I guess makes this entire car technically a convertible). The body is by Belvallette et Cie. It was purchased new off of Minvera’s stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.

It was discovered in 1966 and immediately placed in a museum. In 1981 it changed hands again and the collection it is coming out of acquired it in 1995. Did I mention that this 111-year-old car is entirely original? It’s been expertly preserved and it should bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $744,906.


1910 Minerva Model S 26HP Open-Drive Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

The 1910 Minerva range consisted of three models, the entry-level 16HP, the top-of-the-line 38HP, and this, the mid-range 26HP Model S. The engine is a Knight sleeve-valve 4.1-liter straight-four. The body looks extremely complicated with a retractable top out back and a removable hardtop for the driver, which when both are down, leaves a little piece of roof sticking up in the middle.

This car was delivered new to France and returned to Belgium in 1918. The current collection acquired the car in 1999 and there was a restoration, but no one seems to know when it was performed. At any rate, it’s aged nicely and should bring between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $205,736.


1911 Minerva Model Z 38HP Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

This Minerva looks a little bit newer than 1911, which I guess is a testament to its great design. The Model Z was the “big” Minerva for 1911, powered by a 6.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-four making 38 horsepower. The body almost has a “C-Cab” look to the driver’s compartment, which is very stylish. Unfortunately, the coachbuilder is unknown.

This car was delivered new to Spain and entered the current collection more than 30 years ago. It’s thought to be mostly original, but it will require some freshening as it’s been sitting for a few years. Compared to some of the other Minervas in this sale, this car is on the cheap side, with a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $87,969.


1912 Minerva Model CC 38HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Just like in 1910 and 1911, the 1912 Minerva line consisted of three models of differing power outputs with this, the 38HP model being the largest. It’s powered by a sleeve-valve 7.2-liter straight-four rated at 38 horsepower. That large displacement coupled with the Knight engine made for exceptionally smooth running.

This is a big touring car equipped with a second windshield for the rear passengers. Delivered new to the U.K., this car was pulled from a Scottish barn in the 1960s and restored as-needed before the end of the 1970s. It’s been on static display in this collection for up to the last 15 years, which means it’ll need a little TLC if you want to take it out on the road. It should sell for between $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $156,075.

Ford Model K

1907 Ford Model K Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before Henry Ford conquered the world with basic, affordable transportation, he spent the early years in his company just trying to keep it going (after two failed attempts). In 1904, he introduced the Model B which was Ford’s “upscale” model (because it had brass and wood trim and a decent engine). In 1906, it was replaced by the Model K, which was positioned at the top of the automobile market.

Ford didn’t really want to build this car, but his investors did. Featuring on the first  commercially available six-cylinder engines, the Model K is powered by a 6.6-liter straight-six that makes 40 horsepower. Priced at $2,500, it was the most expensive Ford product to date. Different body styles were offered and it was available through 1908. In 1907, the Model K was the best-selling six-cylinder car in the world, with nearly 500 sold.

Ford offered three other models in 1907: the Model N, Model R, and Model S. Come 1909, they would be selling only one model: the Model T. About 1,000 Model Ks were built in total and only 10 Roadsters are known to exist. This one has been only owned by two different families in the past 110 years. It was restored – nearly half a century ago. It’s a really cool, rare Ford from the pre-T era. In this barn-find condition, it should bring between $175,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Arizona lineup.

Update: Sold $252,000.

Cadillac Model M

1907 Cadillac Model M Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Early Cadillacs were actually designed by Henry Leland, as he had yet to sell the company to General Motors (which would happen in 1909). So this early Caddy is one from their brief independent era. The Model M was introduced in 1906 and lasted through 1908, though the models from the final year were sold as delivery vans only.

Cadillac offered two different one-cylinder cars in 1907: the Model K and Model M. The M differed from the K in that the wheelbase was an inch longer and you could purchase a few additional body styles. The engine was the same: a 1.6-liter single-cylinder, mounted horizontally that made an advertised 10 horsepower.

When new, this would have been a $1,000 car. Today, it should bring between $80,000-$100,000. The restoration is so fresh that the car has yet to be shown at any major shows. It’s an interesting – and rare – model from Cadillac’s pioneering era. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $93,500.