Thomas Flyer Roadster

1912 Thomas Flyer Model MC 6-40 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a number of Thomas Flyer motorcars over the years but all of them have been massive touring cars. What we have here is a sporty – but still quite large – two-seat roadster. Thomas Flyer touring cars are famous because of their win in the 1908 New York to Paris race.

Thomas built automobiles between 1903 and 1918. Their sweet spot was right around 1906 through 1912, and I would consider this a “later example” of the marque as their offerings really tapered off after 1912. The Model MC 6-40 was offered in 1912 only and it was the smaller of the two models Thomas sold that year. It’s powered by a 7.2-liter straight-six making 64 horsepower.

The two-passenger roadster (or runabout) was the entry-level Thomas Flyer for 1912. It cost $4,000 when new and should bring between $175,000-$225,000 at auction. The first time it was shown after the restoration was complete was in 2015. It hasn’t been used much since then and is ready for the new owner to use and show. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $196,000.

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.

Panhard by Vanvooren

1912 Panhard et Levassor X14 20CV Torpedo by Vanvooren

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

Photo – Artcurial

Artcurial is offering a collection of Vanvooren-bodied automobiles at their Rétromobile sale. It’s one of the most packed auction catalogs I’ve ever seen and we will be featuring more cars from this sale than just about any other sale in the past seven years.

This big, beautiful Panhard is a Type 14, which was introduced in 1911. It features a 4.4-liter straight-four which was rated at 20 taxable horsepower. It’s a big Torpedo tourer and one of the earliest Vanvooren-bodied cars in the world.

Sold new to a customer in Buenos Aires, this car later made it’s way back to Europe. Unbelievably, it is 100% original (the up-close patina is incredible) and since 1995, it has been either in large private collections or museums. Because of it’s museum stints, it has not seen the road in quite some time and will require a little work to get it roadworthy. It should bring between $215,000-$315,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $365,050.

1912 FN Tourer

1912 FN Model 2000 Five-Seat Tourer

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

Photo – Bonhams

FN – short for Fabrique Nationale – still exists as an arms manufacturer, the industry with which the company began in the 1880s. They branched into bicycle manufacturing (and were a long-running motorcycle manufacturer) before they built their first automobile in 1899.

Full-on production of cars didn’t start until 1906 and those first examples were Rochet-Schneiders built under license. This model, the Model 2000, (which was introduced in 1908), is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-four engine and has a five-seat open-tourer body. Driving this car is a daytime-only experience as this car does not have headlights.

Not much is known about the history of this particular example (including things like, when the last time it was started), but FN cars are pretty nice and they were Belgium’s longest-lived auto manufacturer, existing until 1935. This one should bring between $30,000-$42,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $35,471.

Austro-Daimler

1912 Austro-Daimler Touring Victoria

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

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler was a German marque (there was also a British one) who set up an Austrian subsidiary in 1899 (it became independent around 1905). These cars were built under the Austro-Daimler marque until 1934 when Austro-Daimler AG merged with Steyr, becoming Steyr-Daimler-Puch. During the 1930s, the company produced some very nice, large cars. As you can see above, they were doing the same thing before WWI.

The weird thing about this car is that it carries no chassis plate and the only markings on the car at all are on the radiator, which appears to be British. It is thought that this might be one of very few Austro-Daimlers built in and/or for the U.K.

The engine is not native to this car, but it has probably been in it for most of its life. It’s a Wisconsin M-Series, an 11.9-liter straight-four monster. The bodywork is British and likely from a major coachbuilder, but no one knows which one. The stuffing is coming out of the front seats, making it a prime candidate for restoration. Oh, and this car has appeared in a couple of films, namely Chaplin and Titanic. It should bring between $120,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $176,000.

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.