Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 4-5, 2023
The White Motor Car Company existed for 80 years – from 1900 through 1980. But passenger cars disappeared after 1918. In the early years, the company also dabbled in steam propulsion before going exclusively to gas-powered cars in 1912.
This car is from 1913, partially. The 1913 Model Forty was powered by a G.E.B. 40-horsepower inline-four. But this car actually has a G.E.C. engine from 1915, which made 45 horsepower.
The car would’ve retailed for about $3,500 when new, which means they didn’t sell many. But White cars were good, so its no surprise it’s still around. And it remains not cheap: the estimate is $70,000-$90,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18-19, 2023
Henry Lozier founded his namesake automobile company in Plattsburgh, New York, and moved it to Detroit in 1910, five years after selling their first cars. Loziers were among the best cars you could buy in America – and some of the most expensive.
The Type 72 of 1913 was the most powerful the company offered during their 13-year existence. The Type 72 is powered by a 9.1-liter inline-six rated in period at 51.6 horsepower (but actually probably closer to 90). The Meadowbrook Runabout was the sports car among the body style offerings, and very limited quantities of the Type 72 were built in total.
This is the only surviving runabout example with its original (aluminum!) body. It was restored in 1953-’54 and was acquired by its late owner in 1959. It’s a top-rate classic car, and the estimate is $1,000,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info.
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.