1911 Delaunay-Belleville Phaeton

1911 Delaunay-Belleville HB4 22CV Phaeton

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 4, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Yes, please. What’s not to love about a round grille, pre-WWI French touring car? Especially one that is finished in red, green, wood, and brass. Delaunay-Belleville was founded in 1903 and they quickly became a premier French luxury marque. They were the choice cars for some of Europe’s top kings of the time.

Power is from a 4.8-liter straight-four rated at 22 taxable horsepower when new. It’s a big tourer, but the French weren’t exactly known for stuffing big engines in their cars (then or now). Gotta love a car whose windshield doesn’t extend up to meet the top, so the top is instead anchored to the front fenders with leather straps.

Only about 100 HB4 cars were produced by the factory and only a handful remain. This one has known history back to the 1970s. Delaunay-Belleville actually lasted until the late 1940s, but cars from this pre-WWI era were their finest work. This one should bring between $105,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Breese Teardrop Roadster

1911 Breese Paris Teardrop Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Robert Breese worked at De Dion-Bouton and Renault, among others, before deciding he wanted to build his own cars. He wanted to produce them in America, and he managed to make a few prototypes while still in Paris that he was going to take home with him to begin production.

It’s thought that he managed to produce three examples, two of which survive (and they’re both in this sale). Breese would produce other cars in the U.S. later, but this was his start. While this example is powered by a lowly 7.5 horsepower straight-four, this car can hit 70 mph. It’s that light.

This example has known history back to 1927 and was restored in the early 1960s. It shows pretty well for a 55-year-old restoration, signs of care by the family that has owned it since the work was completed. This car is expected to bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $78,400.

American Eagle Touring

1911 American Eagle Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There were a lot of car companies before 1920 that had the word “American” as part of their name. There was American, who was famous for their Underslung models, and then there were European marques like Austin, Fiat, and De Dion-Bouton, who all had American arms and thus named them separately.

What we have here is a one-off car built in 1911 by Martin Burzynski of Detroit, Michigan. He never wanted to produce cars and never even bothered setting up a company to do so. Instead, Burzynski had a patent on an aluminum-sidewalled tire with spring-loaded canvas and rubber treads. This car was built as a test vehicle for those tires.

Ultimately unsuccessful, this car only saw about 200 miles through the mid-1940s. It features a 60hp Wisconsin straight-six and a bunch of other off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers. Perhaps the most interesting bit is that three of the original aluminum tires are included. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $242,000.

1911 De Dion-Bouton

1911 De Dion-Bouton DE1 Two-Seat Tourer

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 11, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

De Dion-Bouton was the first automotive giant. By 1900 they were producing 400 cars a year and over 3,000 engines that were used by car makers all over the world. Single-cylinder De Dion engines were ubiquitous in the early days of the automobile.

In 1911, the DE1 was the entry-level De Dion-Bouton offering and it’s powered by one of those legendary single-cylinder engines. In this case, a 720cc unit capable of six horsepower. It was among the final cars to carry their famous single-cylinder as the company moved toward larger cars. Ultimately the company ceased car production in 1932.

The history of this model is known back only a few decades. Within the last ten years the car has been repainted and the engine rebuilt. It’s well-optioned for a car of its age, carrying many period accessories. Brightwells took this car to auction a few months ago and we regrettably failed to feature it. Lucky for us it didn’t meet its reserve and it’s back for us to oogle. It should bring $35,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Four More from Artcurial

Four More from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018


1931 Villard Type 31A

Photo – Artcurial

Sté de Automobiles Villard existed in France between 1925 and 1935. They were primarily known for building a three-wheeled cyclecar. They sold some four-wheeled cars in 1927 and in 1931 introduced this as their “export” model. The intent for this particular model was to be sold in the United States, but it seems unlikely Villard ever moved many of them there.

It’s powered by a 500cc V-4. It’s said that this is the only such Villard known to exist, which might mean that it is the original prototype (which was known to have survived after successfully finding its way to the U.S.). In all, only 20 Villard automobiles of any type are known to exist. This one, in relatively good shape, should bring between $9,500-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $21,903.


1922 EHP Type B3

Photo – Artcurial

EHP, which stands for Établissememts Henri Precloux, after the man who founded it, built cars out of La Garenne-Colombes, Paris, between 1921 and 1929. EHP cars are notable for being shaft-driven and also for their competition outings, something many cyclecar manufacturers did not do.

This Type B3 is powered by a 893cc SCAP straight-four. A tiny, two-seat coupe, this car is in need of a full restoration. EHP cars aren’t seen often and this one should bring between $7,000-$12,000. Interesting note… there were all these guys who founded car companies before 1930 and when they failed, no one really knows what happened to them. Well it turns out that, in the 1960s, Henri Precloux was working as a welder in Paris. Fun fact. Click here for more about this car.

Update: Sold $26,284.


1925 Monet & Goyon Type VM2 Cyclecar

Photo – Artcurial

Here is a cyclecar from a cycle manufacturer. Monet-Goyon was founded in 1917 by Joseph Monet and Adrien Goyon in France. As a motorcycle manufacturer, the company existed until 1959 – which is a fairly long time and their post-war bikes are fairly common. But few remember that for a few years in the 1920s they experimented with light automobiles.

The Type VM2 is powered by a 350cc single-cylinder Villiers engine making six horsepower. It has chain-drive and is apparently very light. Not many examples of Monet & Goyon’s four-wheeled vehicles still exist and few are as complete (if not as original) as this. It should bring between $7,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,301.


1911 Renault CB Surbaisse

Photo – Artcurial

We’ve done a couple of these posts the last few weeks featuring really obscure marques of cars. While this may be a Renault, it is too bizarre to pass up. The Type CB was introduced in 1911 and was Renault’s mid-range model, featuring a 12 horsepower straight-four.

The body is a Victoria-type with an uncomfortable front bench for the chauffeur (featuring no seat back… good posture required). The rear has a convertible top, which only does you any good if the sun is behind you. Otherwise you’re A) still getting burned by the sun; B) still getting wet and; C) still getting hit with bugs. This honestly just looks like a horse-drawn carriage you’d find in Central Park but with a big air-cooled motor up front. It’s unusual and should bring between $42,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $36,505.

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.

1911 Mercedes 28/50

1911 Mercedes 28/50 PS Roi des Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

What’s not to love about a big, pre-Benz Mercedes touring car? The Mercedes marque dates back to about 1900 when Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach came together to produce what would ultimately become the template for all modern cars. Of course, in 1926, Mercedes merged with Benz to become the company we all know today.

This is the 28/50 PS model and it’s powered by a 50 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four engine. This particular car was originally bodied in France but, because of its hearty engine and chassis combination, had at some point been converted into a bus. The current family who owns the car acquired it in 1957 and had it restored in the early 1960s.

During that restoration, the current body you see above was constructed and done so convincingly in the style of something available in 1911. It remains in running condition, having been used sparingly over the past few years. It is expected to bring between $390,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $467,080.

Delahaye Charabanc

1911 Delahaye Type 413a Charabanc

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Émile Delahaye’s automotive concern was founded in 1894 in Tours, France. The company is primarily known for their beautiful, windswept, coachbuilt beauties of the 1930s. But the company built more than just luxury cars, in fact in the early 1900s they began building heavy commercial vehicles and fire trucks.

This, the Type 413a, was originally built as a fire truck and and was used in southeast France. It didn’t last long, as newer, better equipment quickly came along. So the fire truck made its way to a museum where it stayed until 1973. It was purchased out of the museum by collector Michael Banfield, the liquidation of whose collection we featured prominently here on the site.

The present owner acquired it at that sale and replaced the fire engine with this 12-seat Charabanc body. The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-four and the restoration is fresh, having been completed earlier this year. While the loss of an original 100-year-old fire engine isn’t great news, the new body this car carries makes it more functional and likely to survive another 100 years. It’s very cool and reminiscent of those Stanley Mountain Wagons. It should bring between $75,000-$99,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $78,276.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s, Hershey 2018.

Chalmers Pony Tonneau

1911 Chalmers Thirty Pony Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

1911 was the first year that Chalmers built cars under the “Chalmers” marque. Prior to that, all of the cars were badged as Chalmers-Detroit, referencing the Thomas-Detroit automobile company that Hugh Chalmers purchased in 1908.

But that doesn’t mean the model was new – the Thirty was introduced in 1909 (and lasted through 1913). A 30 horsepower, 3.7-liter straight-four powers this car and when carrying this attractive and borderline-sporty Pony Tonneau body, the new owner would’ve been set back $1,600 in 1911. It was a mid-range price for the Thirty.

This is a great brass era car that can be driven and used (it had an electric starter and other bits added to it during its most recent restoration to make it livable). It should bring between $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this car in person:

Update: Sold $71,500.

1911 Packard Limousine

1911 Packard Model 30 Limousine

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Model 30 Packard was new for 1907 and lasted through 1912. It was their stalwart and most popular model. This particular car is listed as a “UEFR” – which likely means it was a 1912 model – but production of the UE series Model 30s actually began in the summer of 1911. Make of that what you will.

It is powered by a 7.1-liter straight-four putting out about 60 horsepower. Eight body styles were offered for 1911 and this open-drive Limousine was among the most expensive, costing its owner approximately $5,450 when new. This car was sold new to a lady in New Orleans where it remained until 1947.

In 1947 the car was in the possession of the chauffeur of the original owner and he traded the machine to a 19-year-old college student for a bottle of whiskey. Yeah. Good luck making that deal today. That 19-year-old, exhibiting a case of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” drove the car back to Houston from the French Quarter. It’s been in Texas since and has never been restored but has been used gently over the years. It’s an amazing survivor. Only 1,250 “UE” Model 30s were built and the Limousine is rare. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $137,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2018, $71,500.