1907 Friswell

1907 Friswell 6HP Two-Seater

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 25, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Louis Delage was a Frenchman who ended up founding one of France’s snazziest automobile manufacturers in 1905. Around that same time, a company called Friswell popped up in London and they sold the Peugeot Bebe.

Those single-cylinder cars were replaced for 1906 with a car that they sold under the Friswell marque. The design utilized an 885ccc single-cylinder engine that makes 6.5 horsepower. It features a three-speed transmission and shaft drive. Oh, and it was likely designed (at least in part) by Louis Delage.

Friswell disappeared after 1907. This car is one of what has to be only a few survivors (if that number is greater than one) from a two-year-only marque. The pre-sale estimate is between $23,250-$28,500. Click here for more from this sale.

Wolfe Touring Car

1907 Wolfe Four Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

Maurice Wolfe, a car dealer in Minneapolis, lent his name to this automobile, which was produced by the H.E. Wilcox Motor Car Company. The company was founded by Wolfe and brothers John F. and H.E. Wilcox. It built a few hundred cars between 1907 and 1909.

For the first two years of Wolfe production, their cars used a 24 horsepower straight-four engine from Continental. Only Five-Passenger Tourers were offered, though in 1909 you could get a four-passenger Roadster. When new, this car commanded a price of $1,800.

After 1909, the Wolfe became the Wilcox, which lasted through 1911. Maurice Wolfe moved to Indiana and built the Clark and Meteor automobiles. This car is one of about 30 built in 1907 (an additional ~170 cars would be built between 1908 and 1909). Restored in 2010, it is in running condition and is being sold to benefit a cancer research center in Seattle. It should sell for between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $49,500.

Stoddard-Dayton Runabout

1907 Stoddard-Dayton Model K Runabout

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 21, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

I’m trying to think of a good comparison… what company from today is the modern equivalent of Stoddard-Dayton? They were sporty, luxurious cars but not extraordinarily extravagant. If they were still around they would probably compete against the likes of Maserati or Cadillac. Somewhere in there.

In 1908, Stoddard-Dayton would move to a number/letter model name combination (think the last number of the year in front of the model letter, like Model 8-H, for a 1908 Model H). But in 1907, the models were standalone, and the Model K was the top of the range. It was only offered in this three-passenger Runabout form.

The engine is a 30 horsepower 5.5-liter straight-four. The Model K, new for 1907, would continue on through 1911 (albeit, with a numerical prefix). This example was discovered in a barn in South Dakota and the engine was overhauled in 2015. It’s a quick, rare early sporting machine (with white tires!) and is one of three known to exist. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $200,000.

Update II: Sold, Worldwide Auctioneers, Auburn 2017, $118,800.

Five Pre-1910 Cars

1909 Sears Model H

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If you didn’t know that American’s legendary department store catalog offered automobiles, well here’s your history lesson. Between 1908 and 1912, Sears sold cars (high wheelers for the most part because the target audience were rural Americans who ordered things from catalogs). They did it again for a few years in the 1950s with the Allstate.

The Model H uses a 10 horsepower flat-twin and was identical to the 1908 model. The lineup started at model G and ran to the Model L, with each successive letter adding a few more creature comforts and/or styling bits. The restoration here is over a decade old but it is a perfect runner, as Sears’ cars were definitely rugged and reliable. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $24,750.


1907 Victor Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Here’s an interesting one. The lot description makes it seem like there is a little uncertainty as to which of the many Victor automobile marques this is actually related to. Some historical work was carried out and it was determined that this is related to the Overman company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, who produced the Victor Steam car between 1899 and 1903. Our sources don’t show production after 1903, so I’ll take RM’s word for it (they’re pretty smart).

It is powered by a 15 horsepower flat-twin and the restoration dates back to 1967. An early car without a crystal clear birth certificate is always interesting. This car will be a talking point wherever it goes and the new owner will have something absolutely unique and fun. It should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,000.


1903 Pierce Model 6.5 Stanhope

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This pre-Arrow Pierce is one of the oldest cars on offer during the Hershey festivities this year. This car is concurrently referred to as a “Fourth Model”, a Model 6-6½, and a Single-Cylinder Stanhope. Pierce offered three models in 1903, and this was the mid-range product.

The engine is a single-cylinder, 6.5-horsepower unit. It has single-family ownership back to 1948. The car was never completely restored, just brought up to good-looking usable condition around 1948. It is usable today. Less than 150 off these were built and this one could bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,750.


1903 Columbus Electric Folding-Top Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

One great thing about the early days of automobiles is that there were just so many companies. And some names re-appear multiple times but separately. Columbus is one such name. There were at least four different Columbus makes (not including Columbia). At least two of them built electric cars at some point. This Columbus, Ohio-built example is from the Columbus Buggy Company who built electric cars between 1903 and 1915.

The 1903 through 1905 Folding-Top Runabout was the only model offered by the company. It is powered by a low-power DC electric motor. It’s simple, pretty, and basically, an historical artifact. Only bits of this car have actually been redone, meaning it is partly original. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1908 Holsman High-Wheel Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Holsman of Chicago built high-wheelers between 1902 and 1910. Quite a few of them remain, which is fortunate because as you can see, they can actually be quite pretty. Look how big those wheels are! The black paint is nice and shiny with gorgeous red pin striping.

Holsman offered four models in 1908, all high-wheelers. They were all powered by a 12.8 horsepower 1.6-liter flat-twin. Three of the models were Runabouts – models 5, 9, and 10. It is unclear which of these models this car represents, as well as what the difference between those model designations even is. What a good-looking car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $38,500.

Victor Runabout

1907 Victor Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Here’s an interesting one. The lot description makes it seem like there is a little uncertainty as to which of the many Victor automobile marques this is actually related to. Some historical work was carried out and it was determined that this is related to the Overman company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, who produced the Victor Steam car between 1899 and 1903. Our sources don’t show production after 1903, so I’ll take RM’s word for it (they’re pretty smart).

It is powered by a 15 horsepower flat-twin and the restoration dates back to 1967. An early car without a crystal clear birth certificate is always interesting. This car will be a talking point wherever it goes and the new owner will have something absolutely unique and fun. It should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,000.

Thomas Flyer Runabout

1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If this car looks familiar that’s because it’s the exact same year, make, and model of the famous Harrah-owned New York-to-Paris race-winning car. That car is one of the most famous cars in the world (and it’s priceless). This car is your best bet at getting to drive it – and own it.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 uses an 8.6-liter straight-four making 60 horsepower. This car has an original Thomas chassis and engine but the body was constructed to match the Harrah car when it was restored. Thomas Flyers were some of America’s greatest cars in the early days and this one would be a blast to own. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.

Five Pre-WWI Cars

1912 Stearns-Knight Toy Tonneau Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

F.M. Stearns began building cars n 1901 in Cleveland. The company built big, luxurious cars for a number of years. In 1912, they adopted the Knight sleeve-valve engine – the first automobile manufacturer to do so – and used it until the company went under in 1929. 1912 was also the year that the company became known as Stearns-Knight.

Only one model was offered in 1912 – in two wheelbases. This is the short-wheelbase version and uses a 5.1-liter sleeve-valve straight-four originally rated at 28 horsepower (although 40 horsepower is more likely). The car was original until 2011 when the mechanicals were restored and the body was “restored” to look like a barn find. It’s a very nice, big touring car. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $115,500.


1913 Jackson Sultanic Five-Passenger Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Many earlier car makers labeled their models such as “Model 1” or “Model A”, etc. Very few had actual names. In 1913, the company founded by Byron J. Carter and named after its home of Jackson, Michigan, started using words to name their models. The Sultanic was the top of the line model. It was offered as a five-or-seven-passenger tourer or as a Duck – which had bizarre rear-seat steering.

The Sultanic (which is definitely not the same as “Satanic”) was built between 1913 and 1914. The engine is a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-four. This car is all original and has somehow only covered less than 2,400 miles in its 102 years of life. Incredible! Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If this car looks familiar that’s because it’s the exact same year, make, and model of the famous Harrah-owned New York-to-Paris race-winning car. That car is one of the most famous cars in the world (and it’s priceless). This car is your best bet at getting to drive it – and own it.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 uses an 8.6-liter straight-four making 60 horsepower. This car has an original Thomas chassis and engine but the body was constructed to match the Harrah car when it was restored. Thomas Flyers were some of America’s greatest cars in the early days and this one would be a blast to own. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.


1916 White Model Forty-Five G.E.D. Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The White Motor Company was around for 80 years. They started building cars in 1900 and did some pioneering work with steam power. Passenger car production lasted through 1918 but the company continued to build heavy trucks until being phased out by new corporate overlord AB Volvo in the 1980s.

The Model Forty-Five was built in 1915 and 1916 only. This all-original example is powered by a 5.9-liter straight-four making about 29 horsepower (although the factory rated it at 45). Click here for more info and yes, I know this chunk of cars is titled “Pre-WWI” but technically this is pre-end-of-WWI. So there.

Update: Sold $36,300.


1909 Stoddard-Dayton Model 9-A Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This nicely restored touring car is from one of America’s best manufacturers of nice, early cars. The Dayton, Ohio-area was responsible for some great cars – and motorcycles, with the Flying Merkel being built not too far away.

Stoddard-Dayton’s catalog of cars for 1909 was impressive. The Model 9-A fell in the middle of their range with a 35 horsepower 4.1-liter straight-four under the hood. It was available in three body styles (the most of any car they offered that year). The Five-Passenger Touring is a very attractive style. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Update: Not sold.

Five More Cars from Bonhams

1907 Stearns 60HP Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We will be featuring a Stearns-Knight in a few days. Stearns-Knight is the company that Stearns became in 1912. Stearns started building cars back in 1901 when company founder Frank Stearns wanted to build the best cars in the world. He did it: Stearns cars were big from the get-go and this car is no exception.

This 1907 Stearns is powered by a 8.7-liter straight-six making 60 horsepower. It’s a big car – really big – but it’s perfectly proportioned. It was restored a while ago but looks great. It’s an ex-Harrah car and should sell for between $650,000-$850,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1913 Napier Type 44 Touring by Cunard

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a lot of cars from the Hershey-area auctions this year (as in the most we’ve ever featured from a single week’s worth of auctions). This is because there have been so many rare cars – most of which have been American. But here is a British tourer. Napier built cars and seriously powerful engines for both marine and aircraft use.

They even had an American arm for about a decade. But this is a British-built Type 44 that features a 4.7-liter straight-six making 35 horsepower. While this car looks nicely patina’d, it has actually been restored (back in the 1960s). It has a great look to it and is a complete driver. It should bring between $150,000-$180,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1908 Rainier Model D 45/50HP Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Do you find this car to be in terrible shape or in great shape? I guess that’s a matter of perspective. It’s almost 110 years old and although it doesn’t currently run or drive, getting it to that point would win you awards in any preservation class anywhere. Rainier (originally of Flushing, New York, later of Saginaw, Michigan) built cars from 1905 through 1911. It was short-lived, for sure, but the cars were big – and powerful.

The engine in the 1908 and 1909 Model D is a 6.8-liter straight-four making 45/50 horsepower. John T. Rainier’s company was swallowed by General Motors in 1911 but they quickly phased it out in favor of Marquette. This is the only surviving Rainier Model D and it should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $253,000.


1910 White Model GA 20HP Tourer

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve become a fan lately of early White motorcars. Steam cars are always interesting, something White heavily invested in for most of its passenger car-building life, but the gasoline cars are interesting too, as they are a little less remembered.

The Model GA was built for 1910 and 1911. It was the entry-level gasoline model and was offered in a variety of body styles. The engine is a 3.7-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower. It’s a nicely-finished driver, perfect for tours. It should sell for between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,400.


1910 Buick Model 16 Toy Tonneau

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

David Dunbar Buick is one of our automotive heroes. He created what is now the oldest active American automobile manufacturer. It’s because the company started building quality products and continued doing so for decade after decade. Sure, they’ve had their issues in the past thirty years building anything remotely exciting (GNX aside), but these early cars are interesting.

The Model 16 was built 1910 only, smack in the middle of what would even today qualify as a full model range. The engine is a 5.2-liter straight-four making 48 horsepower – which is actually quite a lot for a car in this class in 1910. The restoration is relatively new and very nice. This is a quick car and would be a lot of fun to own. It can be yours for between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $68,200.

Five Pre-1920 Cars from RM’s Hershey Sale

1911 Stanley Model 63 Toy Tonneau

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

It’s everyone’s favorite steam car – the Stanley steamer. The company’s 1911 range was robust, with the Model 63 being one of two 10 horsepower models offered. It was available only in this body style with seating for five.

It is powered by a two-cylinder steam engine making 10 horsepower. The 60-Series cars from Stanley were in production from 1910 through 1913. In all, 1,165 were built with 219 of those being the Toy Tonneau. Steam cars aren’t everyone’s thing as they take special dedication and know-how to operate. But those that love them really love them. This car sort of defines early steam motoring and it has been fully restored. Check out more info here.

Update: Sold $115,500.


1907 Procter Two-Passenger Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Procter is a marque that doesn’t appear in most automotive history books (and if it does it is often misspelled as “Proctor”). That’s because the company was more of a person than an actual company. And Albert Procter only built one car. This one.

Originally fitted with a single-cylinder engine, the car was later upgraded to use 1.6-liter twin-cylinder engine from a 1903/4 Ford Model A. It produces eight horsepower. Procter built the car for himself, instead of purchasing another man’s product. He only ever wanted to build one car. So that’s what he did.

Procter’s daughter sold the car before WWII and the engine was stripped out of it. But the car survived and passed between collections before finally being given a new engine. It’s not road-worthy as it is all-original, but it could be made to run. Click here for more information.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1914 Cadillac Four Speedster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Cadillac offered only one model line in 1914 – the Four, so named because of it’s mighty 6.0-liter straight-four engine that pumped out 40/50 horsepower. The Four was offered in a variety of body styles (seven to be exact), none of which was a Speedster

This car was sold new in Jersey City, New Jersey and has known history back to 1979 when its then-owner fitted this racy two-passenger Speedster body on it. The car looks quite sporting and rather imposing. The body is described as “Mercer-style,” but if I were to hazard a guess I would say that if this car were bearing down on you, you would notice it is quite a bit larger than a comparable Mercer. It needs a quick mechanical freshening to go motoring but is otherwise excellent. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $46,750.


1910 Cameron Model 24 Open-Back Runabout

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Cameron was one of what has to be quite a limited number of automobile manufacturers to set up shop in Rhode Island. They operated there from 1902 through 1906 before moving to Massachusetts (before finally settling on Connecticut until they went out of business in 1920). The company was founded by the Everett and Forrest Cameron.

Early cars had twin-cylinder engines, but a large number of four-cylinder models would be offered – and even some sixes. This car is powered by a 2.9-liter straight-four making 24 horsepower. The Model 24 was only offered in this basic body style and only for one model year (which may have been 1911). This example is in great shape and is ready to go. Click here for more information.

Update: Sold $55,000.


1915 Studebaker Model SD-4 Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Studebaker was one of America’s great companies. With roots back to the 1850s, the company adapted and lasted through 1967 when times just got too rough. But back in earlier, happier days, their products were sought-after by the masses. And that’s why I like this car so much. If you’ve ever seen footage shot in a big city, like New York, sometime around 1920, give or take, you may have noticed the abundance of automobiles swarming the streets. And they all look more or less the same from a distance. Quite a large number of them are probably Model T Fords. But then you have to realize that some of them are very rare cars today.

This Studebaker looks like it could’ve been used in an episode of Boardwalk Empire or something. It’s generic enough without being too generic. This was an everyday car. And that’s why it’s so interesting. The SD-4 was powered by a 3.2-liter straight-four making 30 horsepower. Studebaker’s four-cylinder model was renamed with every year, so the SD-4 was for 1915 only. It was available as a two-passenger Roadster or a this four-passenger Touring. You know this was somebody’s family sedan – 100 years ago. Think of the stories… and check out more here from RM.

Update: Sold $16,500.

Victor Electric Highwheeler

1907 Victor Electric Runabout

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

1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout

There is some confusion as to the origin of this car, but one thing is certain: it is called Victor. It has electric power and it is also a highwheeler of American origin. There was a company in St. Louis which operated from 1907 to 1911 called the Victor Automobile Manufacturing Company and they specialized in highwheelers for the first two years of their existence.

Coys mentions that this is the only Victor ever produced (there is even a tacky homemade plaque on the side of the car proclaiming this “fact”). They mention that the car could’ve been a one-off built in Nebraska, but that there isn’t any proof.

I offer a third possibility: Victor of St. Louis built highwheelers in 1907 that used a two-stroke engine. Perhaps they experimented with an electric drivetrain on one? Who knows. At any rate, the electric system has been completely redone lately and this thing will do about 70 miles on a charge and tops out around 30 mph.

It’s in the U.K. now, but it is available for purchase. It should sell for between $61,000-$88,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in London.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Historics at Brooklands, June 2016, $54,145.