1909 Zedel

1909 Zedel Type CA 10HP Double Phaeton

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

Photo – Bonhams

Zedel was actually a Swiss company when it incorporated in 1901. In 1902, they opened a factory in France and in 1906 they produced their first vehicles. The Swiss arm of the company was gone by 1908 and Zedel was primarily a French concern thereafter – until the entire company shut down in 1923 (though they had been selling cars as Donnet-Zedel since 1919).

This, the 10 horsepower Zedel, was in production at least from 1908 through 1910. It’s a four-cylinder engine and it moves a pretty large touring car body that was built for this chassis by Henri Gauthier.

Zedel never built cars in large numbers and this is the first non-Donnet Zedel that I can recall coming up for sale in the past few years. It is coming out of a decent-sized collection of French and Belgian cars that Bonhams has on offer. This one should bring between $36,000-$48,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $53,917.

Sears Model J

1909 Sears Model J

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you think it’s crazy that people ordered a car from a catalog, it isn’t – people buy cars sight unseen on the internet every day. And don’t worry, Sears had a 10-day return policy on their rugged automobiles. Sears sold cars between 1908 and 1912 and most of them looked pretty similar, but there were a number of different models.

This Model J looks similar to this Model H we’ve featured before. It, like all other 1909 Sears motor buggies, is powered by a 10 horsepower, flat-twin. What separates the J from lesser models is the fact that it has running boards.

When new, this car cost $395 – or roughly 51 shares of modern day Sears stock. They sold nearly 3,500 cars in that five model year period and quite a few are still around as they were relatively well-built and sturdy. Unfortunately, the entire experiment was a financial failure for Sears. You can click here for more info on this car and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $35,200.

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016


1913 Chalmers Model 17 36HP Five-Passenger Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Chalmers was formed in 1908, sort of, when Hugh Chalmers bought out ER Thomas from Thomas-Detroit. Early cars were badged Chalmers-Detroit, before becoming just Chalmers in 1911. The marque lasted through 1924 after merging with Maxwell in 1922. This merged company is known today as “Chrysler.”

The 1913 Model 17 was the mid-range model, offered in six body configurations with the Five-Passenger Tourer being the least expensive at $1,950. It is powered by a 36 horsepower straight-four. This example was imported into the U.K. in 2005 and mechanically restored shortly thereafter. It’s a runner and driver, with a lot of original pieces left, like the interior. It should sell for between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,879.


1908 Clyde 8/10HP Silent Light Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyde is a very interesting automobile manufacturer from Leicester that was founded by George Wait as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. Automobiles came in 1901. Remarkably, by the time the company closed up shop in 1930, only about 260 cars had been produced.

This car is powered by a twin-cylinder White & Poppe engine and was owned by the company founder in the 1950s. It was restored in the early 1960s an then put on display in a museum from 1962 through 2003, when it went to America. Now it’s back in the U.K., having covered only about 100 miles since its restoration. It is one of three Clydes known to exist and should bring between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1909 Briton 7HP

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Briton Motor Company was based in Wolverhampton and was founded as an offshoot of the Star Cycle Company under the direction of Edward Lisle, Jr. The first cars appeared in 1909 and the marque lasted through 1928, although it was dormant for a few years in between.

Among the first models the company produced was the 7HP “Little Briton” – a seven horsepower, twin-cylinder runabout that seats two. It was a light car and it was cheap. Only five of these remain and this is the oldest, having been delivered new to Ireland. Forty years ago it was stashed in a barn and only discovered again in 2015, when it was restored to running condition and refurbished as needed. It should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1904 Garrard Suspended Forecar

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

While this car is technically being sold as a restoration project, it is still very interesting. Charles Garrard started importing Clement engines from France in 1902. His idea was to attach them to tricycle frames and build Forecars, a popular, if not dangerous, style of transport in England in the day (nothing like having your passenger be your front bumper!).

They were originally called Clement-Garrards, until 1904 when he dropped the Clement part. Garrard ceased production shortly thereafter, making this 1904 model very rare. This tricar is powered by a four horsepower v-twin and should sell for between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

Dart Highwheeler

1909 Dart

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 4, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Dart Manufacturing Company was a very short-lived automobile marque from Anderson, Indiana. And by short-lived, we mean short: the Dart was available for about a year between 1909 and 1910.

Not only that, but the company didn’t actually sell complete cars. The specialized in building gasoline engines, but because every other company on earth was getting into the car business, they tried their hand at it too. A running chassis/engine combo was available to the public, but the owners had to find their own body. In this case, a Highwheeler-type carriage was mounted to the chassis. The 10 horsepower engine sports two cylinders and drives the rear wheels via twin chains.

It looks identical to many other highwheelers of the era and carries an older restoration that isn’t perfect, but good enough that you can both show and drive it. It may be the only remaining Dart in existence and it should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

Update: Sold $14,300.

Brush Runabout

1909 Brush Model B Runabout

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 7, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Brush Motor Car Company was founded in 1907 on the basis that a light car didn’t need as much power to do things just as well as big, heavy, powerful cars. So, you know, like a Lotus.

The problem became that Brush was backed by Benjamin Briscoe’s brother. And when Briscoe went marque collecting for his United States Motor Company, he grabbed Brush. But Briscoe’s venture was doomed and Brush went down when its parent company did in 1913.

In 1909, Brush offered a Model A and a Model B. The Runabout was the only body style offered on the Model B. It is powered by a 20-ish horsepower single-cylinder engine and cost $500 when new. Everything on this car is bright red and it just looks like a museum car – which it is. It should sell for between $20,000 and $30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $9,900.

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.

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.B. 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.

1909 Stoddard-Dayton

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.

5 Great Classics

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine. His shop sold roasted peanuts but he wasn’t satisfied with the machine he had, so he built his own. His company started building horse-drawn popcorn wagons and for a brief time, actually offered motorized popcorn wagon trucks.

This truck features a Cretors chassis and a 4.0-liter Buda straight-four making 22.5 horsepower. The Harrah Collection acquired this example in 1963 and restored it to working perfection. It’s the ultimate toy/promotional vehicle/historical artifact. Only eight or nine of these were built and less than five survive. It’s really cool and will cost its new owner between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $231,000.


1916 Winton Six-33 Seven-Passenger Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Alexander Winton should be one of everyone’s automotive heroes – he’s definitely one of ours. Winton cars were always reliable, attractive, and well-built. The cars deserved to be around a lot longer than 1924, but the marque lived on in one form or another as a producer of engines until the 1960s.

The six-cylinder Winton Model 33 was built between 1916 and 1919. It uses a 5.7-liter straight-six making almost 34 horsepower. Body style could be had just about any way you wanted it and this seven-passenger touring was the largest of the four touring styles offered. It’s great and should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1909 Petrel 30HP Roadster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Petrel was a very short-lived automobile make from Wisconsin. Initial production in 1909 took place in Kenosha but by later that year they had relocated to Milwaukee, where they stayed until the plant closed in 1912. A six-cylinder car was offered in 1909 alongside the four, but the smaller cars were the sweet spot for the company.

This 30 horsepower straight-four is of 4.7-liters in displacement. It resembles a lot of other, early roadsters but that vibrant purple really sets it apart. And yes, that is the original color, although it was exquisitely restored 50 years ago. Less than 1,000 Petrels were built and it is thought that this is the only survivor. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Landaulette by Barker

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This is a huge car. And it’s gorgeous, too. The Landaulette body by Barker offers a downright cavernous passenger compartment fitted with all the luxuries available to the British motoring public on the dawn of WWI. The engine, chassis, and coachwork are all the matching originals. The car was restored between 2004 and 2005.

The 40/50HP Silver Ghost still stands as one of Rolls-Royce’s finest achievements. The engine is a 7.4-liter straight-six. While maybe not a fun driver’s car, it seems more fitting as one to be chauffeured around in. It has known ownership history since new and should bring between $500,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $577,500.

Renault Cape Top Victoria

1909 Renault Series B V-1 20/30 Cape Top Victoria by Brewster

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Louis Renault and his brothers started building cars right before the turn of the century. They built a lot of cars early on, using De Dion engines at the beginning before switching to their own engines in 1903. Shortly after that, their range expanded and they built both small and large cars.

This Series B Type V1 was on the larger side, using a 4.4-liter straight-four making 20/30 horsepower. This large French tourer was actually bodied in America – on Long Island, in fact, by Brewster. The rear passenger compartment is enormous.

This car has known history back to the 1970s when it was an unrestored, low-milage car. It was restored in the late-1990s. It’s a beautiful, rare early Renault. A lot of smaller Renaults exist from this period, but the larger cars are much rarer. This car was undoubtedly owned by someone fairly rich when new and you can now feel just like them. It should sell for between $180,000-$230,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $120,333.