1908 Welch

1908 Welch Model 4-L Seven-Passenger Touring

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

Photo – Bonhams

Brothers Fred and A.R. Welch built their first automobile in 1901 and entered production in 1903 in Chelsea, Michigan. The company moved to Pontiac, Michigan in 1904 and in 1909 they spun off a subsidiary producing a small car called the Welch-Detroit. General Motors acquired Welch in 1910 and quickly phased it out.

The 5.5-liter inline-four was rated at 50 horsepower and features an overhead camshaft and hemispherical combustion chambers. The OG Hemi. Only four “hemi-head” Welch cars are known to survive, and in 1908, this was the only body style you could get on a Model 4-L.

This car has known ownership history back to about 1910, and it was co-acquired by Henry Austin Clark Jr. in 1951. Restored prior to the early-1970s, it has been a mainstay in its current collection for decades. The Welch was one of the best cars in America in 1908, and this one should bring $250,000-$320,000 today. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Five Old Convertibles from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019


1908 Clement-Bayard AC4I Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has a great number of interesting, early cars in their Retromobile catalog this year. We’ll be featuring five of the most interesting pre-WWI tourers (okay four, and one landaulette). Clement-Bayard was founded by Adolphe Clement, whose career is worthy of its own post.

I usually picture smaller cars, or very early cars, when thinking of Clement-Bayard, but this car proves that they also built quite large, expensive tourers as well. This car is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four. It is said to be original and unrestored, which is pretty impressive. It should sell for between $86,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1911 Renault Type CC Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

The Type CC was a mid-sized Renault built in 1911 and 1912. It is sometimes referred to as the 14CV and is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 16 horsepower. I’ve seen one of these in person (or a model very similar) and they’re a little smaller than you might think. But they make great old car noises.

This one carries a body from Million-Guiet that has some nice details. Check out the shape of the lower part of the windshield, for instance. Good luck finding replacement glass. Partially-restored, this car should bring between $69,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1912 Hupmobile Model 32 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

In a sea of old French cars offered by Bonhams in Paris, here’s an American one. The Hupp Motor Car Company of Detroit built cars from 1909 through 1940. They didn’t make it to the other side of WWII, but their cars were well-known and respected for many years prior.

The Model 32 went on sale in 1912 and is powered by a 32 horsepower straight-four engine. Production continued through 1915. This one was exported to Ireland in 1990 and was restored there in 2009. It’s a perfect example of an early American touring car and should sell for between $17,000-$23,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,267.


1913 FN Type 2700 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Gotta love the lighting assistant standing to the side in the photo above (though I’d gladly take that job). FN was a Belgian company, and quite a few of them have been sold from this very collection. Here’s a smaller Model 2000 version, for example.

While that car may physically look larger, it has a smaller engine. The car you see here is powered by a 2.7-liter straight-four. The 2700 was introduced shortly before WWI broke out, and it is thought that only 16 examples were produced before the company’s focus shifted to the war. This one doesn’t wear its original body (it was used as a fire engine at one point) but should still bring between $29,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,181.


1912 Berliet Type AM 15HP Brougham de Ville

Photo – Bonhams

And finally, we have a Berliet – another French car. Not a full convertible, this car is described as a Brougham de Ville, which means the owner got to ride in the covered section out back while the chauffeur sat up front, exposed to the elements.

This car is powered by a 15 horsepower straight-four engine and was acquired by the collection from which it is being sold in 1963. The body was fitted during this time but is pretty accurate to what a car would’ve looked like in 1912. This one should command between $52,000-$63,000. More can be found here, and more from this sale can be found here.

Update: Sold $43,058.

Black High-Wheeler

1908 Black Surrey

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 15-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Black Manufacturing Company of Chicago had a short but interesting life. Their first cars went on sale in 1908 and they were all high-wheelers. But they sold them under two different brands. There was the budget-minded Chicago Motor Buggy and the slightly nicer but still built-for-rough-conditions Black. The Chicago Motor Buggy was only available in 1908 and 1909.

The 1908 Black lineup consisted of four models, three of which were Surreys. There was the Type 18, Type 118, and Type 20. I have no idea which version this is, but I do know the engine should be a 20 horsepower, 2-cylinder and it would’ve cost somewhere between $575 and $650.

The Black would be available through 1910, but the company also sold a more traditional car under the Black Crow marque in 1909 and 1910. It was a licensed version of the Crow-Elkhart. The high-wheeler example above has only been owned by two families since new and is a pretty rare early American automobile. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $7,700.

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 1, 2018


1909 Alldays & Onions 10/12HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Alldays & Onions is one of my favorite automotive marque names. It just sounds funny. It was actually two people’s last names from their respective companies that merged in 1889. Cars were available from 1898 through 1918.

This, the 10/12HP was their most successful model, built from 1905 through 1913. Power came from a 1.6-liter two-cylinder engine and this example has been in the same ownership since 1971. A longtime museum car, it does get driven annually, but you might want to check it out a little more thoroughly before planning any road trips. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,513.


1905 Corre Type F Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Photo – Bonhams

Corre was founded in 1901 by Jean-Marie Corre in Levallois-Perret, France. The company actually lasted until 1949, but the name had changed to La Licorne. Corre-branded cars were only produced through 1907 when the company became known as Corre-La Licorne.

This Type F was Corre’s single-cylinder model in 1905. It’s a De Dion engine and the body is by Delalande. Not much about this car is known prior to 1957 and the current owner acquired the car in 2005. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,215


1910 Paige-Detroit 25HP Challenger Open Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Paige-Detroit has an amusing early history. Harry Jewett bankrolled a car built by Andrew Bachle and promoted by Fred O. Paige in 1909 in Detroit. The Page-Detroit went on sale in 1909 and after 1910 production was halted because Jewett thought the cars were terrible. He forced Paige (company president) out and dropped the “Detroit” suffix and re-launched Paige, which lasted until he sold it to the Graham Brothers in 1927.

This “Model No. 1” is one of those early “terrible” cars. This was the first – and only – model sold by Paige-Detroit and it’s powered by a kind of weird two-stroke, 2.2-liter three-cylinder engine that was somehow capable of 25 horsepower. Only two of these are thought to still exist and this one was reportedly part of the Henry Ford from 1930 until 1985. It’s been in Belgium since 1993 and probably hasn’t been run since it went to the Ford Museum way back when. Completely original, it should bring between $57,000-$83,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Retromobile 2019, $37,838.


1908 Phoenix 10HP Sports

Photo – Bonhams

The Phoenix Motor Company, originally of London, was founded in 1903 by one of the great names in automobiledom: Joseph van Hooydonk. Their original products were tricars, then quadcars that looked like tricars. “Real” cars were introduced in 1908.

The company soldiered on until 1926 and the first traditional car they built was a 10hp model introduced in 1908. It lasted until 1915 and the car you see here is an example of this model. It’s powered by a two-cylinder engine and features a wooden skiff boattail body. It was made roadworthy again in 1997 and it can be yours for $15,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $32,768.


1905 Reo 16HP Five-Passenger Touring

Photo – Bonhams

Ransom Olds is one of only a few people to have independently founded more than one successful automobile company. August Horch and Henry Leland come to mind, but I’m not sure who else. This 1905 Touring is from the second year of Reo production.

The 16HP was Reo’s two-cylinder model and it was offered in four body styles, with this being the largest. Four-cylinder and single-cylinder models were also offered. This largely original car comes from a Belgian collection where it has remained since 1994. 113-years-old, it should bring between $26,000-$38,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,831.

Five Pre-War Sedans from Bonhams

Five Pre-War Sedans from Bonhams

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


1908 De Dion-Bouton Type AX 15HP Double Berline

Photo – Bonhams

De Dion-Bouton was arguably the first automotive giant. Founded in 1883, they (and more specifically, their single-cylinder engines) were a mainstay in the earliest days of the automobile industry. The company declined significantly after WWI and they were gone by 1932.

This is a Model AX and it was part of De Dion’s first line of four-cylinder cars. It’s powered by a 15 horsepower four-cylinder unit. The body is a Double Sedan, which means it has two passenger compartments attached. It’s a great early body style and kind of looks like one of those Model T House Cars that are out there. The body was built by Roussille & Fils. This car had an active life in collector circles until recently but it’s a pretty nice example of a big, early car. It should sell for between $110,000-$130,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $227,019.


1924 Turcat-Mery 15/25HP Model SG Saloon

Photo – Bonhams

Some of the best Turcat-Mery’s are sporty tourers. The company was around from 1899 through 1928 and they had to produce a few more standard designs, you know, in order to keep income flowing in.

Before disappearing in 1928, they had financial issues (actually, back in 1921). Once they got production running again, the Model SG was among the first cars rolling back out of the factory. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-four rated at 16 horsepower. This particular example has been on museum display since 1987. It’s not quite roadworthy at the moment, but it does look really good. It should bring between $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $29,796.


1928 Minerva Type AK Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

We featured a number of Minervas recently and here’s a slightly newer one. The Type AK was available from Minerva for a decade: 1927 through 1937. This example is in fairly original shape (or at least sporting an older restoration). The rear compartment seats up to five, which makes this pretty limousine-ish.

It’s powered by a 6.0-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six making 150 horsepower. It’s described as a Landaulette, which may mean that the top can be removed from half of this car, but no mention is made of that in the lot description, nor are there photos of the car in this state. Either way, it’s a pretty desirable car from a rare exotic make and it should bring between $85,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $78,037.


1910 Renault 35CV Type AIB Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another Double Sedan from another early French automotive powerhouse (that is, remarkably, also green). It’s actually a little more complex than the De Dion-Bouton offered above. The rear compartment is large and has limousine-quantity seating. The driver’s compartment has a removable hard-top if you wish to subject your chauffeur to the elements.

This model from Renault was new for 1907 and features a 7.4-liter straight-four making 30 horsepower. This car was delivered new to the U.S. and spent nearly 40 years on display at the Henry Ford Museum before making it’s way to the U.K. in the 1970s. It’s been on display in Ireland for about the last 25 years and it is almost entirely original. Even in its current not-running condition, it should bring between $85,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $195,385.


1938 Minerva Type F/M8 Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s yet another Minerva, this one much closer to WWII than any of the others. This was actually from the final year of Minerva passenger car production. They weren’t building many cars per year by this point, which makes this pretty rare. It would have been called a Type F in Belgium, but when imported to the U.K. the importer decided to call it an M8.

It’s powered a 4.0-liter straight-eight and has a big limousine body. This would have been a pretty nice car for whatever Londoner purchased it new (and perhaps purchased it off the stand at the 1938 London Motor Show). It has had a light restoration but could probably use a good looking-over before use. It should bring between $49,000-$58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $99,320.

De Dion Double Berline

1908 De Dion-Bouton Type AX 15HP Double Berline

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

Photo – Bonhams

De Dion-Bouton was arguably the first automotive giant. Founded in 1883, they (and more specifically, their single-cylinder engines) were a mainstay in the earliest days of the automobile industry. The company declined significantly after WWI and they were gone by 1932.

This is a Model AX and it was part of De Dion’s first line of four-cylinder cars. It’s powered by a 15 horsepower four-cylinder unit. The body is a Double Sedan, which means it has two passenger compartments attached. It’s a great early body style and kind of looks like one of those Model T House Cars that are out there. The body was built by Roussille & Fils. This car had an active life in collector circles until recently but it’s a pretty nice example of a big, early car. It should sell for between $110,000-$130,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $227,019.

Mercedes-Simplex Raceabout

1908 Mercedes-Simplex 65HP Two-Seater Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Daimler marque became “Mercedes” in 1902 and the Mercedes-Simplex is largely considered to be the first “modern” car – a departure from the horseless carriages that preceded it. Available as a number of models between 1902 and 1910, the Simplex had engines ranging from 18 horsepower all the way up to 65 – as in the beast you see here.

The 65 horsepower (which is available at a rumbling 1200 rpm) comes from a very large 9.4-liter straight-four that. A normal 65HP Simplex would only have 9.2-liters, but this one has probably had many engine rebuilds over the course of its life, thus slightly increasing its displacement.

The biggest of all Simplexes, this model was offered between 1903 and 1909. The chassis you see here originally sported a 40/45HP engine when it was sold new in New York. It was acquired by Lindley Bothwell in the 1930s or 40s already sporting this… sporting body. What the original coachwork looked like is a secret lost to time.

This is going to be one of the more expensive cars to find a new home at this sale and no pre-sale estimate is available. These big horsepower, early German machines are incredibly hard to come by today. This is a rare chance to acquire one with known history going back 80 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,072,500

Barney Oldfield’s Benz

1908 Benz 75/105HP Prinz-Heinrich Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Benz has some automotive connotations, namely its current existence as half of Mercedes-Benz. But if you think back about Benz and know enough to know that Benz sort of started this whole car thing, you probably think of the Benz Patent Motorwagen. But they also built some amazing sports cars. Two engineers working for Benz in the early days developed what is, perhaps, the world’s first road-going sports car. It was built to compete in the Prinz-Heinrich Tour – a demanding 1,200 mile rally.

Hans Nibel and Georg Diehl created this car to compete in that race (note: this car is listed as a “circa 1908” but the catalog makes it seem like this model was first shown closer to 1910). It features a live rear axle and shaft drive (most big power cars from this era sported two semi-frightening chains that drove the rear wheels). The engine is fantastic for 1908: it’s a 7.3-liter straight-four that made 105 horsepower, which is a lot for the time. A team of three of these competed in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup.

This model was only available through 1912 and very few were made as they were quite expensive. Only a handful survive – including, probably, the three Vanderbilt Cup cars. We pick up the history of this car around 1915 when it was being used by Barney Oldfield in appearances all over the country. He eventually sold it to a brewer in L.A. before it made its way into the Lindley Bothwell collection in the 1930s (where it’s been since).

Restored in 2006, just in time for the 2006 Goodwood Revival, this is an incredible piece of history with just three known owners going back 100 years. This is the type of car that only exists in one of three places: 1. museums 2. historical photos or 3. long-term European collections that are rarely, if ever, broken up. But here it is, straight from Los Angeles for you to bid on. No estimate is being provided because it’s one of the big money cars from this sale (which is likely to be remembered for some time). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,870,000.

Sheffield-Simplex

1908 Sheffield-Simplex 45HP Model LA2 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Simplex was a popular word in the early days of the automobile. Famously, there was the Mercedes-Simplex, the Crane-Simplex, the plain-old Simplex and the American Simplex aka Amplex… among others. The Sheffield-Simplex was from, guess where, Sheffield, England. The company was founded in 1907 with financial backing from Earl Fitzwilliam, a man who made his fortune in coal. The last cars rolled off the line in 1920 and motorcycles continued on through 1927.

The first car produced in 1907 was the LA1 and the LA2 followed in 1908. It’s powered by a rather large 45 horsepower, 7.0-liter straight-six. When new, the LA2 was advertised as being sold without a gearbox, though it did actually have one. This is the only surviving Model LA2.

Re-imported into the U.K. from Australia in the 1970s, this example was thoroughly restored and has taken part in many rallies in the U.K. over the years. It is thought that the company only turned out about 1,500 cars in their 13 years of production (and most of those were built before WWI started). Only three are known to survive, with this being the oldest. It should bring between $190,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Big, Early Hotchkiss

1908 Hotchkiss 16/20HP Type T Roi des Belges by A. Descoins & Fils

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Hotchkiss began life as an arms manufacturer and moved into cars in 1903. They survived WWII and some of their post-war cars are pretty attractive. They merged with Delahaye in 1954 and passenger car production stopped the following year. The marque soldiered on with commercial vehicles until 1971.

Hotchkiss was one of a few fairly large French automakers that existed prior to the outbreak of WWI that built properly large touring cars. This is not a small automobile. It seems like that the larger the company in France in this period, the smaller the cars. De Dion-Bouton, Renault, and Panhard et Levassor all produced relatively small cars at this time (sure, they made some large ones too).

What’s remarkable is that the Type T was the company’s smallest model for 1908! It’s powered by a 3.1-liter straight-four rated at 16/20 horsepower. The Type T was not built in large numbers and this example was discovered in a barn. The restoration finished up in 1998 and it’s still spectacular. The current owner bought it in 2000 and has taken pride in driving it thousands of miles in rallies. It’s the oldest Hotchkiss known to have its original body and it should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $212,710.