Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Weybridge, U.K. | November 26, 2022
The Renault35CV range of cars took the place of the 50-60-horsepower cars that ended production in 1910. These were large Renaults, especially compared to the two-cylinder cars that dominated the sales charts for the company.
The DQ is powered by an 8.5-liter inline-four rated at about 45 horsepower and was only built in 1913. This one was restored in the U.K. in the 1990s. There are always these “bare chassis” finds of pre-WWI cars, and I’ve always wondered who buys them and turns them into cars like this.
Not to say this was one of those cases, as the car had been known in the U.S. prior to it being restored. What’s interesting about this one is that it has a wooden boattail in addition to its two-seat raceabout configuration. But it looks like the entire boattail raceabout body was dropped onto a truck chassis (the body was actually built in the 2010s). It’s a big car and is said to be capable of cruising at 60 mph.
The pre-sale estimate is $66,000-$77,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Societa Piemontese Automobili was founded in Italy by Matteo Ceirano and Michele Ansaldi in 1906. The Ceirano family was involved in various early Italian marques, including Itala, SCAT, Ceirano, and others. S.P.A. was taken over in 1925 by Fiat, who phased the marque out.
S.P.A. had some sporting credentials, winning the Targa Florio in 1909. This 25HP model is powered by a 4.4-liter inline-four. The bodywork, while sporty, is described in the auction catalog as a passenger car with a speedster-style body. The coachbuilder is unknown.
This car was delivered new in France and later spent time in the Le Mans Museum before being purchased by its current owner in the 1990s. Not many S.P.A. cars still exist, and this one appears rather nice. It is expected to sell for between $230,000-$270,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Newport, Rhode Island | October 1, 2021
The Silver Ghost was the first giant Rolls-Royce. It’s the car that put them at the top of the heap when it came to luxury and engineering. It was produced between 1907 and 1926, and the company churned out 7,874 examples in that time.
This car is powered by a 7.4-liter inline-six rated at 40/50 horsepower. 1913 was the first year that a four-speed manual transmission was offered. The “London to Edinburgh” name is tied to a test the company undertook in ~1907 when they drove a 40/50HP (before the Silver Ghost name came about) from London to Edinburgh in top gear the whole way, stopping at Brooklands on the way back to hit 78 mph.
The London-Edinburgh model specified an enlarged fuel tank and radiator, lightweight pistons, and an increased compression ratio. Rolls-Royce sold 188 examples in this spec, and this is one of very few with a four-speed gearbox.
The original coachwork (a Torpedo Tourer by Connaught) was removed during WWI and replaced by a wagon body for use during the war. The car was sold at a military surplus auction at the end of the war. It later made its way to Australia where it was rebodied as a tourer. Later in the decade, the car was used as a tow truck before being purchased by a Silver Ghost collector, who rebodied it in 1964 with the current body, which was originally fitted to a Sunbeam.
It was restored between 2001 and 2017 and now looks pretty menacing. The solid black disc covers over the black wire wheels are the best touch of them all. The pre-sale estimate is $1,450,000-$1,850,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1913 Sizaire-Berwick 60HP Limousine by Labourdette
Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | June 20, 2021
Sizaire-Berwick was founded in Paris but was financed in England. The chassis and engines were manufactured in the Courbevoie factory, and they were bodied in England, where most of the cars were to be sold. Maurice and Georges Sizaire had previously founded Sizaire-Naudin, and they teamed up with Frederick Berwick (the British importer of CorreLa Licorne) in 1913 (the year after they left Sizaire-Naudin).
The company managed to churn out 139 examples before WWI started. They were powered by a Maurice Sizaire-designed 4.1-liter inline-four that made 60 horsepower when new. Those 139 chassis built before the war? Well most ended up bodied for the British military as armored cars.
This one, by some miracle, ended up bodied by Labourdette. It’s never been restored and has spent time on museum duty after staying disassembled with its first owner (at a castle, naturally) until 1968. It’s kind of unusual for its time in that it has an electric starter and completely closed bodywork.
After WWI, there ended up being British and French-built Sizaire-Berwick cars. Things got confusing and messy, and the marque disappeared after 1927. This car is expected to sell for between $100,000-$145,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 11, 2020
There’s nothing quite like a big WWI-era touring car. Especially when it comes from a company like Locomobile, who built some of America’s best cars prior to World War One. This is a Model 38, which was produced between 1913 through 1918.
In 1913, it was the company’s largest offering. Power is from a 7.0-liter inline-four that was rated at about 50 horsepower when new. At least seven body styles were offered by the factory, and this large touring car (its wheelbase is just two inches shorter than that of a 2020 Suburban) seats five.
It was restored in the 1960s and has been used extensively since, including on a 600+ mile event in 2017. It is now expected to bring between $240,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Power is supplied by a 3.6-liter inline-four good for 64 horsepower. This car rides on the long-wheelbase chassis and carries a reproduction boattail body. A two-seater body dating back to at least the 1920s accompanies the car and is believed to be the car’s original.
Ownership history is known back to the early 1920s, when it was bought by a university student in England, who would own the car until his death in 1978. It’s only had three owners since. This is one of the best cars of its era, and it’s rare to see such a fine example changing hands. You can see more about it here and more from RM in Paris here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2019
Autocar remains the oldest surviving vehicle brand in the United States, but they haven’t built a passenger car in over 100 years. It’s been heavy trucks for most of that time. Well, since 1907 to be exact.
This stake-bed truck is powered by a two-cylinder engine and has solid 35″ rubber tires, no weather protection, and a giant ship-like headlight. It’s basic. But that’s exactly what trucks were in 1910. They served a purpose – and it’s amazing that this one is still around. Look for a price between $20,000-$25,000 next week. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $33,000.
1912 International Model AW Auto Wagon
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10, 2019
It’s hard to really draw a line in the sand as to when International switched from cars to trucks, as all of their high-wheeled cars were sort of truck-like from the start. In a way, 1911 was the last official year for passenger cars, as their 1912 announcement centered on delivery wagons (though you could get car-like appointments by request on their smallest commercial chassis for years afterward).
The difference between the AW and MW was their cooling systems. This is where it gets weird. The AW was the air-cooled car, and the MW was water-cooled. The red car above is listed as an AW in RM’s catalog and is clearly water-cooled. The blue car below is listed as a 1913 Model MW. But it is air-cooled. Something is wrong here, or these cars got their running gear swapped at some point.
Both engines were 3.2-liter flat-twins, but the air-cooled version was good for 18 horsepower, three more than its water-cooled sibling.
Regardless, both cars are expected to fetch between $20,000-$30,000 each. So pick one and then rename it. More info on the red car is available here, and you can see the blue one here. Check out more from this sale here.
Update: Sold (red one): $33,000. (Blue one): $28,600.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16, 2019
We’re kind of saving the best for last for this year’s Monterey auctions. What we have here is an early Isotta Fraschini… with period Indianapolis 500 race history. Isotta was founded in 1900, and most of their surviving cars in private hands tend to be the big, beautiful ones from the late 1920s and early 1930s.
To see one this “early” – 13 years into their production – is pretty rare. The engine is a 135 horsepower, 7.2-liter inline-four. A monster. The Tipo IM was built specifically to compete at Indy at a time when many manufacturers were hoping for glory at the Brickyard for the promotional benefit that would surely follow. If only Indy still had that kind of manufacturer pull and aura of innovation. The racing history for this chassis includes:
1913 Indianapolis 500 – 17th, DNF (with Teddy Tetzlaff)
1914 Indianapolis 500 – 27th, DNF (with Ray Gilhooey)
Only six examples of the Tipo IM were built. This one DNF’d at Indy twice, first with a broken drive chain and again in 1914 after a blown tire resulting in a driver-ejecting spin and subsequent rollover. Gilhooey and his riding mechanic survived.
By 1917 it had been re-bodied in New York and sold to a private owner as a road car. It was restored by a later owner in the 1960s and was purchased by the consignor in 1995. Since then, the car has been restored again, this time to its 1914 Indy 500 specification. Many early 500 cars didn’t survive. This one has, and it’s wonderful. The pre-sale estimate is $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
Burton J. Westcott began building assembled cars (using parts from other manufacturers) in Richmond, Indiana in 1909. He moved the company to Springfield, Ohio in 1916 and continued to build cars through 1925.
The 1913 model range consisted of the four-cylinder Model 4-40 and six-cylinder Model 6-50. This 4-40 two-passenger roadster was one of two body styles offered on the model line, the other being a 4/5-passenger touring. The 5.2-liter inline-four was rated at 40 horsepower.
This car has known ownership history to new and was acquired for the Harrah collection in 1964. From there, it made its way to the current museum in 1986. Impressively, prior to 1953 when it was first put on museum display by its second owner, the car had only 4,900 original miles. Rare today, this Westcott should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019
1908 Clement-Bayard AC4I Tourer
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
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
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
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
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.