Reo The Fifth

1914 Reo The Fifth 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by Mecum | Schaumburg, Illinois | October 6-8, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

As of 1975 (when the Reo brand finally bit the dust as a truck manufacturer), Ransom Eli Olds was one of two men in America to have both of the automobile companies they founded still producing vehicles (the other being Henry Leland). He founded Reo immediately after leaving Oldsmobile and the company set out to build the best cars they could at specific price points.

In 1912, Reo launched a model called “The Fifth” – it was an evolution of his previous cars and he called it the best car he knew how to build. It was his “farewell” car – the last one he would design before handing over the reigns to his company. It is powered by a 3.7-liter straight-four making about 30 horsepower. The car was interesting in that it introduced a center gearshift instead of those old externally mounted brass sticks everyone else was using.

This car, during a partial restoration at some point, had an electric starter added (though the original crank is included). The interior, which shows nicely, is original. While it might look like a run-of-the-mill WWI-era touring car, it really is a landmark automobile from one of America’s automotive greats. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Chicago.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $9,000.

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016


1913 Chalmers Model 17 36HP Five-Passenger Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Chalmers was formed in 1908, sort of, when Hugh Chalmers bought out ER Thomas from Thomas-Detroit. Early cars were badged Chalmers-Detroit, before becoming just Chalmers in 1911. The marque lasted through 1924 after merging with Maxwell in 1922. This merged company is known today as “Chrysler.”

The 1913 Model 17 was the mid-range model, offered in six body configurations with the Five-Passenger Tourer being the least expensive at $1,950. It is powered by a 36 horsepower straight-four. This example was imported into the U.K. in 2005 and mechanically restored shortly thereafter. It’s a runner and driver, with a lot of original pieces left, like the interior. It should sell for between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,879.


1908 Clyde 8/10HP Silent Light Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyde is a very interesting automobile manufacturer from Leicester that was founded by George Wait as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. Automobiles came in 1901. Remarkably, by the time the company closed up shop in 1930, only about 260 cars had been produced.

This car is powered by a twin-cylinder White & Poppe engine and was owned by the company founder in the 1950s. It was restored in the early 1960s an then put on display in a museum from 1962 through 2003, when it went to America. Now it’s back in the U.K., having covered only about 100 miles since its restoration. It is one of three Clydes known to exist and should bring between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1909 Briton 7HP

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Briton Motor Company was based in Wolverhampton and was founded as an offshoot of the Star Cycle Company under the direction of Edward Lisle, Jr. The first cars appeared in 1909 and the marque lasted through 1928, although it was dormant for a few years in between.

Among the first models the company produced was the 7HP “Little Briton” – a seven horsepower, twin-cylinder runabout that seats two. It was a light car and it was cheap. Only five of these remain and this is the oldest, having been delivered new to Ireland. Forty years ago it was stashed in a barn and only discovered again in 2015, when it was restored to running condition and refurbished as needed. It should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1904 Garrard Suspended Forecar

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

While this car is technically being sold as a restoration project, it is still very interesting. Charles Garrard started importing Clement engines from France in 1902. His idea was to attach them to tricycle frames and build Forecars, a popular, if not dangerous, style of transport in England in the day (nothing like having your passenger be your front bumper!).

They were originally called Clement-Garrards, until 1904 when he dropped the Clement part. Garrard ceased production shortly thereafter, making this 1904 model very rare. This tricar is powered by a four horsepower v-twin and should sell for between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

Rochet-Schneider Limousine

1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016

Photo - Bonhams
Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

1914 Saxon

1914 Saxon Model A Roadster

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 10, 2016

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

The Saxon was a car that was originally conceived by Hugh Chalmers, who had been successfully producing cars under his own name for some time. The cars went on sale at the tail end of 1913, being built in Detroit (the company would move to Ypsilanti in 1922 as a last-ditch effort to save the company, which failed later that year).

1913 through 1915 Saxon production consisted of a single model, the Model A, and it was offered as a two-passenger Roadster only. Costing $395 when new, the car is powered by a 1.4-liter straight-four making 12 horsepower.

This example is thought to be the second-oldest Saxon in existence and was restored in the late 1970s for Don “Big Daddy” Garlits. This is not the type of car I picture Don Garlits driving around in. Anyway, it’s been in the U.K. since 2011 and was once owned by the grandson of the Saxon Motor Company founder. It should sell for between $15,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,953.

SCAT Torpedo

1914 SCAT Tipo 14-1 Torpedo by Solaro

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Ceirano Brothers were pretty big players in the early days of the Italian automobile industry. They were responsible for the birth of the following brands: Ceirano, S.T.A.R., Itala, S.P.A., Fiat (technically), and SCAT. Societa Ceirano Automobili Torino (SCAT) was founded in 1906 by Giovanni Ceirano. It lasted through 1929.

They built a solid reputation for sportiness and power: between 1911 and 1914 the company won the Targa Florio twice. This is a Model 18/30 HP and it was built between 1914 and 1916. It is powered by a 38 horsepower, 3.6-liter straight-four. The car is a Torpedo tourer with seating for five, six, or seven.

It is not original but whatever work has been done (including the paint) was done long ago. It still looks great and would likely be a lot of fun. It has serious pedigree and is from a mostly forgotten manufacturer. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $48,135.

One Expensive Adler

1914 Adler 35/80HP Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adler was a German car and motorcycle manufacturer that really hit their stride in the 1930s with the small front-wheel-drive car they called the Trumpf. But the company started 30 years earlier built a bunch of other stuff along the way.

For example, in 1911 they introduced this, the 35/80HP that features a massive 9.1-liter straight-four engine making 80 horsepower. It was their largest car and one of the most expensive cars – or things – you could buy in Germany at that time. Top speed is 71 mph.

But WWI came trundling along and production ceased. Remarkably, in a four year span, it is believed that only four of these were made. Economies of scale need not apply. This is the only survivor of the model. It was used by the German military during the Great War and has spent many decades in a Swiss museum. All original and mostly unmolested, it should bring between $140,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

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.

Case Demonstrator Delivery Truck

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.

5 Great Classics

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine. His shop sold roasted peanuts but he wasn’t satisfied with the machine he had, so he built his own. His company started building horse-drawn popcorn wagons and for a brief time, actually offered motorized popcorn wagon trucks.

This truck features a Cretors chassis and a 4.0-liter Buda straight-four making 22.5 horsepower. The Harrah Collection acquired this example in 1963 and restored it to working perfection. It’s the ultimate toy/promotional vehicle/historical artifact. Only eight or nine of these were built and less than five survive. It’s really cool and will cost its new owner between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $231,000.


1916 Winton Six-33 Seven-Passenger Touring

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Alexander Winton should be one of everyone’s automotive heroes – he’s definitely one of ours. Winton cars were always reliable, attractive, and well-built. The cars deserved to be around a lot longer than 1924, but the marque lived on in one form or another as a producer of engines until the 1960s.

The six-cylinder Winton Model 33 was built between 1916 and 1919. It uses a 5.7-liter straight-six making almost 34 horsepower. Body style could be had just about any way you wanted it and this seven-passenger touring was the largest of the four touring styles offered. It’s great and should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1909 Petrel 30HP Roadster

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Petrel was a very short-lived automobile make from Wisconsin. Initial production in 1909 took place in Kenosha but by later that year they had relocated to Milwaukee, where they stayed until the plant closed in 1912. A six-cylinder car was offered in 1909 alongside the four, but the smaller cars were the sweet spot for the company.

This 30 horsepower straight-four is of 4.7-liters in displacement. It resembles a lot of other, early roadsters but that vibrant purple really sets it apart. And yes, that is the original color, although it was exquisitely restored 50 years ago. Less than 1,000 Petrels were built and it is thought that this is the only survivor. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Landaulette by Barker

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This is a huge car. And it’s gorgeous, too. The Landaulette body by Barker offers a downright cavernous passenger compartment fitted with all the luxuries available to the British motoring public on the dawn of WWI. The engine, chassis, and coachwork are all the matching originals. The car was restored between 2004 and 2005.

The 40/50HP Silver Ghost still stands as one of Rolls-Royce’s finest achievements. The engine is a 7.4-liter straight-six. While maybe not a fun driver’s car, it seems more fitting as one to be chauffeured around in. It has known ownership history since new and should bring between $500,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $577,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2019, $665,000.

Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

1914 Mercedes 28/95 Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

No single photo can sum up the amazing look and detail of this fine, 100-year-old automobile. The Mercedes 28/95 PS was introduced in 1914 and it lasted through 1924. Only 590 were built in that ten year span – although half of that time was a world war. In fact, only 25 examples were sold during the first year. It was the flagship for Mercedes in 1914.

The car makes an impressive 95 horsepower from its 7.3-liter straight-six. I mean this thing was serious in its day. Dating this particular example is a bit tough, however. The chassis was ordered – and cancelled – twice, with the first one in 1914. The war didn’t help. It is known that this car was was shipped to New York City in 1920 as a bare chassis – and a Sindelfingen tourer was shipped separately.

This is not that body. The plaque on this body dates it to around 1910 and it was applied sometime after arriving in New York, but no one knows when. Anyway, this car magically survived unrestored in some major collections including that of Tom Barrett (of Barrett-Jackson). Fortunately, it was acquired in 1993 by a major Mercedes collector and he recognized how great this car is and decided to preserve it. So he soaked the wooden skiff body in linseed oil – for three years! It worked. This thing is all original and it’s incredible.

It should bring between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,401,031.