1912 Benz Tourer

1912 Benz 8/20HP Tourer

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 17, 2017

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Do you think that when Karl Benz was born in 1844 he – or anyone else alive at the time – had any idea that he would be building attractive touring automobiles at some point in his life? The Benz 8/20HP was one of the more important models the company produced, as it sold well and helped keep them financially stable, especially considering the model was built between 1912 and 1921 – years interrupted by a particularly intrusive World War.

The 8/20 is powered by a 20 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-four. The body is good-looking and was built in Australia. There is enough brass here to really drive home the fact that it is indeed a Brass Era car. Of course, Benz would merge with Daimler’s Mercedes marque in 1926 to form Mercedes-Benz.

Supposedly, this car was one of three delivered to Australia in 1913 for a cross-continent endurance race. That race never happened (you know, the war and all). One of the cars was wrecked, another is now in the M-B museum in Stuttgart, and one is being sold by Worldwide Auctioneers in a few weeks (yes, this car). The restoration was completed last year and it is expected to bring between $175,000 and $225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $121,000.

1912 Cadillac

1912 Cadillac Model 30 Four-Passenger Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Arlington, Texas | April 21, 2017

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Model 30 was introduced by Cadillac in 1909 and it was the first model that really pushed Cadillac to the top of the heap among American automakers. The model underwent slight changes (and engine enlargements) year after year until it was ultimately replaced for 1915.

Over the years, a variety of body styles were offered and this car sports a Four-Door Touring body which was the entry-level style offered in 1912. The price would’ve been $1,800. It’s powered by a 4.7-liter straight-four making more than 40 horsepower. That engine, famously, has a built-in starter. No crank required! If only modern IndyCars could figure out how to use that same, 100-year-old technology.

Let’s talk appearance: this car has a wonderful patina and is all-original. We’ll call it “time warp condition.” And it has an amazing story: last used on the road in 1923, a man bought it from a used car dealer in 1935 for $10! It’s amazing and will sell without reserve. If you have the know-how (or resources) to get this back to roadworthy condition, it’s a must-buy. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Worldwide’s lineup.

Update: Sold $36,300.

Métallurgique Cabriolet

1912 Métallurgique 12HP Cabriolet by Vanden Plas

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

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Existing companies who decided to get into the burgeoning automobile business around 1900 came from all lines of work: there were a lot of bicycle manufacturers, some buggy companies, and, in the case of SA L’Auto Métallurgique, manufacturers of railway locomotives. Métallurgique built cars in Marchienne-au-Port, Belgium between 1898 and 1928, when they were acquired by Imperia and shut down.

This rare model is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-four engine that drives the rear wheels via a four-speed transmission – the standard for all Métallurgique cars beginning in 1911. The French-looking but Belgian-built body is by Vanden Plas, an offshoot of which would later become part of the Austin Motor Company in the U.K.

Métallurgique sold cars in the U.K. when new, and this vehicle was likely bought new there as it was first registered in England in 1913. It is said that it runs and drives well and is a mix of original and redone parts (for instance, the hood was replaced at some point). It should bring between $27,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $46,475.

Oakland Touring

1912 Oakland Model 30 Touring

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Oakland Motor Car Company was founded 1907 by Alanson Brush (founder of Brush and inventor of the planetary transmission and the Cadillac one-cylinder car) and Edward Murphy (owner of the Pontiac Buggy Company). Oakland was based in Pontiac, Michigan – foreshadowing of its future. In 1909, after only a single model year’s worth of cars, Murphy sold half the company to General Motors.

In the 1920s General Motors introduced its Companion Make program to fill price gaps between its existing brands. In 1926, Oakland got its partner brand: Pontiac. In 1931, GM announced that it would be discontinuing Oakland – and continuing with Pontiac, giving Oakland the dubious distinction to be the only GM brand to be swallowed and outlived by its companion make.

This early GM-era Oakland is powered by a 30 horsepower 3.3-liter straight-four engine. The Model 30 was Oakland’s entry-level model for 1912 and the five-passenger Touring was one of two body styles offered. It carried an as-new price of $1,250 and 104 years later, well restored, it should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $44,000.

An Underslung Regal

1912 Regal Model T Touring

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Detroit’s Regal Motor Car Company isn’t the most remembered automobile manufacturer to come out of Michigan, but boy did they produce some attractive cars. Brothers Charles, J.E., and Bert Lambert teamed up with Fred Haines to form the company in 1907. In their 11 years they produced some more traditional-looking (for the day) cars as well as this hot new thing called the Underslung.

An Underslung chassis is defined as a chassis where the chassis itself is suspended from the axles which lowers the car dramatically. Improvements from this include a lower center of gravity and awesome handling (for 1912 anyway). Because roads were more of an afterthought in the  day, larger wheels could be fitted to maintain ground clearance. The most famous example of these cars are the beautiful American Underslungs. Regal’s version went on sale in 1910.

This car is powered by a 25 horsepower 3.3-liter straight-four. The Model T (Ford’s trademark lawyers were apparently not quite as ruthless in 1912 as they are today) was the Touring model, although you could get a Roadster or Coupe with this engine. This is one of two survivors of this model and would be about as much fun as you can have driving a car from 104 years ago. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s and here for more about this car.

Update: Not sold.

K-R-I-T Roadster

1912 K-R-I-T Model A Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 5, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

If you’ve even ever heard of the K-R-I-T Motor Car Company of Detroit, the one thing you probably know about them is that their emblem was a swastika. Fun fact. Fortunately, K-R-I-T, which was founded in 1909, went out of business in 1916 – well enough in advance of the downfall of the original meaning of the swastika, which means lucky or auspicious.

Krit (as the marque was spelled from 1913 onward) offered four different models of its four-cylinder model in 1912. The Model A was the short wheelbase version and the least expensive. It was the Roadster form and cost $800 new. It’s powered by a 22.5 horsepower 2.9-liter straight-four.

It’s an attractive and sporty early American car from a little-known, short-lived manufacturer. This example was actually used in Boardwalk Empire, which is pretty cool. It should sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,200.

Flanders Touring

1912 Flanders Model 20 Touring

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

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Walter Flanders was one third of the automobile company E-M-F (along with Bernard Everitt and William Metzger). Studebaker acquired E-M-F in 1910 (and phased it out in 1913). So Flanders set up shop producing a car under his name. This too was part of Studebaker and it was gone after 1912.

Interestingly enough, Flanders started another company after this one. It lasted only a brief time because Flanders himself went to help Benjamin Briscoe and his United States Motor Company. Walter Flanders started killing off weak brands (including Flanders). Only Maxwell survived that fiasco.

This is a 1912 Model 20 (the final year for the model and marque). It is powered by a 20 horsepower straight-four. The Touring model cost $800 when new and 31,512 Model 20 cars were built over three years. This one presents nicely and should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: $6,600.

Mitchell Baby Six Roadster

1912 Mitchell Model 5-6 Baby Six Roadster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Case, Mitchell was also from Racine, Wisconsin. The company was founded as a wagon maker by Henry Mitchell and his son-in-law (William Lewis) would help steer the company toward automobile production in 1903. Mitchell would produce cars for the next 20 years.

The 1912 catalog offered five modes, with the Model 5-6 Baby Six as the second most powerful. The engine is a 6.0-liter straight-four making almost 34 horsepower. The Roadster was one of two body styles offered and this one is mostly original (although it had been repainted). It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Five Final Cars from RM in Hershey

1911 National Model 40 Speedway Roadster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1911 National was offered as a single model – the Model 40. The Speedway Roadster was the smallest and most affordable style. Its name is a reference to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – a nearby motoring landmark, as National was based in Indianapolis. In fact, Arthur Newby, who founded National, also co-founded the Speedway – and 1911 was the inaugural year of the Indy 500.

This car is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.3-liter straight-four. National won the 1912 Indy 500 with a car closely resembling this one. Discovered in Atlanta in the 1950s, this car has been restored twice, the most recent of which was in the last 10 years. It should bring between $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: $385,000.


1914 Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Case automobile was produced by the same company that made agricultural equipment in Racine, Wisconsin, between 1911 and 1927. The 1914 Case Model 35 was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. This is obviously not one of those. John Dorton was an inventor and salesman from Kansas. He invented the Human Eye Auto Lamp, a kind of headlight that steers with the car. This was his demonstrator vehicle.

It’s fitted with a bunch of other one-off features including a steam organ that could be operated from the driver’s seat. It’s a really interesting one-of-a-kind truck and is powered by a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info. It’s really worth checking out.

Update: Sold $47,000.


1912 Mitchell Model 5-6 Baby Six Roadster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Case, Mitchell was also from Racine, Wisconsin. The company was founded as a wagon maker by Henry Mitchell and his son-in-law (William Lewis) would help steer the company toward automobile production in 1903. Mitchell would produce cars for the next 20 years.

The 1912 catalog offered five modes, with the Model 5-6 Baby Six as the second most powerful. The engine is a 6.0-liter straight-four making almost 34 horsepower. The Roadster was one of two body styles offered and this one is mostly original (although it had been repainted). It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1916 Republic Beer Truck

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Microbreweries are everywhere these days. If one of them were looking for an absolutely great promotional vehicle, this would be that. This is an all-original truck from the Republic Motor Truck Company of Alma, Michigan. They built trucks from about 1913 through 1929 (at which point they merged with American-LaFrance).

The engine in this beast is a 3.6-liter Continental straight-four. The truck has not run in a long time so it would require a pretty hefty mechanical overhaul to be usable. And those solid rubber tries are probably older than just about anybody reading this. Which is pretty amazing. This is one of two known 1916 Republics to survive and this one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,800.


1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

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.