1917 Milburn Electric

1917 Milburn Electric Model 27 Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Milburn Wagon Company had been around in Toledo since 1848. In 1914 they decided to start building electric cars. Over a thousand were built in 1915 but the factory suffered heavy losses in a fire in 1919. By 1921, 75% of the employees were building bodies for GM cars while only 25% were building electric cars. General Motors bought the plant outright in 1923 and this early electric car manufacturer was gone.

This car featured a 60 mile range when it went on sale, with a top speed of 19 mph. It was one of many such cars with stodgy, upright bodies, but they sold relatively well while electric cars were hot. They were lightweight and this one has been well restored and converted to run on 12-volt batteries.

Milburn built over 4,000 cars in their short lifespan. Survivors are sought after and don’t change hands often. This one should bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $63,250.

Scripps-Booth Type C

1917 Scripps-Booth Type C Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

If you drive a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile and think “man, GM really abandoned the car I drive” well, spare a thought for Scripps-Booth, one of the first marques that General Motors phased out.

Founded in Detroit in 1913 by James Scripps Booth (of the wealthy publishing family), Scripps-Booth was absorbed by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in 1917 after the company switched to using Chevy engines and away from the Sterling engine that proved problematic in this, the Model C. The Model C was introduced in 1915 and for 1916 (when this particular car was probably built) used a 1.9-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower.

But that Sterling engine proved very unreliable and saddled the Scripps-Booth with some unsavory nicknames like “Scraps-Bolts” and “Slips-Loose.” This car was sold new in Colorado and now resides in the U.K. It has known ownership history from new and was restored in Indiana before crossing the Atlantic. GM shuttered Scripps-Booth after the 1922 model year, making it an early casualty of their empire. Not many are left and this one should bring between $26,500-$30,500. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Not sold.

Mack AB

1917 Mack AB C-Cab Stake Bed

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

There are few companies more American than Mack Trucks. With their big, recognizable trucks and bulldog mascot, Mack was been producing the commercial vehicles that provide the backbone of American commerce since they were founded on June 11, 1900.

The AB was a model introduced in 1914 and produced through 1937. Over 55,000 were produced in varying configurations over the course of the production run. This one has a fairly lengthy wheelbase and a stake bed for hauling lumber. All that mass is moved by a 30 horsepower four-cylinder engine. Top speed is probably minimal, which is good because this truck features only mechanical rear drum brakes.

This stylish C-Cab truck has been well restored and is coming out of long-term ownership. The engine has been freshly rebuilt, making this the perfectly impractical vehicle for your Home Depot 2×4 runs. It should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Classic commercial vehicles are always interesting, so grab this one while you can. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,800.

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.

5 American Classics from Bonhams

1923 Dort 25-K Five-Passenger Sport Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Like Moon, Dort was an automobile manufacturer from the 1920s that featured solid rims on a lot of their cars. It was a company that was co-founded by Billy Durant (and Josiah Dort) as the Flint Road Cart Company in the 1880s. Dort started building cars in 1917 (Durant had already jumped ship). Josiah Dort died in 1923 and 1924 was the final year for Dort automobiles.

The 25-K is powered by a 3.2-liter straight-six. It was Dort’s big car and the five-passenger Sport Touring was one of eight body styles offered. This particular car was once owned by William Harrah and JB Nethercutt. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1917 Briscoe Model B 4-24 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Benjamin Briscoe was a big name in the early days of the automotive industry. He was the first major shareholder of Buick. He was half of Maxwell for a time as well. He founded his own car company in 1914 after the failure of the United States Motor Company – an early conglomerate of manufacturers, a sort of precursor to General Motors.

Briscoe built four-cylinder cars through 1921. This 24 horsepower example sports five-passenger touring body style that is simple yet attractive. Briscoes are pretty rare today and for $18,000-$24,000, this is a good chance to acquire a piece of motoring history. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $28,600.


1908 International Model A Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

International Harvester is best known for their agricultural equipment and tractors. Today, as Navistar International, they build trucks. But when they first got in to road-going vehicles, high-wheelers were their strong suit. Their 1907 vehicles were very basic, but this 1908 is a little more advanced.

The Model A was the only model offered in 1908 – in runabout form only (be it two or four passenger, like this one). This car uses a flat-twin making 14 horsepower. It’s all original, which is amazing because these cars were popular in the most rural of areas. This one should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,800.


1919 Cleveland Model 40 Two-Passenger Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

There have been more than a handful of automobile companies that carried the name “Cleveland.” All of them were based in – you guessed it – Cleveland, Ohio. This Cleveland (the longest-running company with that name) built cars that were essentially smaller versions of the Chandler (and Chandler denied any relation). The company popped up in 1919 and lasted through 1926.

The Model 40 was built in 1919 and 1920 and uses a six-cylinder engine making 45 horsepower. That’s a lot, actually, considering that this example exists in two-passenger Roadster form. It’s a hot rod – tiny and powerful. Only 4,836 examples of the Model 40 were built and this one should provide its new owner with some inexpensive fun for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,700.


1916 Mecca Thirty Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Jackpot. We love when cars like this come up for sale. If you’ve been following along, we’ve featured a couple of batches of rare, old American cars from manufacturers that weren’t around for very long. And this one was not around long at all – just two model years. The first year was a stillborn cyclecar. Series production occurred in 1916 only.

This car, with its 3.1-liter straight-four making 23 horsepower, sports a five-passenger touring body style – the largest offered by Mecca. This is thought to be the only surviving Mecca automobile. A rare treat indeed. It should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $13,200.

1917 Briscoe Touring

1917 Briscoe Model B 4-24 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Benjamin Briscoe was a big name in the early days of the automotive industry. He was the first major shareholder of Buick. He was half of Maxwell for a time as well. He founded his own car company in 1914 after the failure of the United States Motor Company – an early conglomerate of manufacturers, a sort of precursor to General Motors.

Briscoe built four-cylinder cars through 1921. This 24 horsepower example sports five-passenger touring body style that is simple yet attractive. Briscoes are pretty rare today and for $18,000-$24,000, this is a good chance to acquire a piece of motoring history. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $28,600.

A Pair of Old Heavy Trucks

1917 Saurer Four-Cylinder Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adolph Saurer AG was around from 1903 through 1982. That’s a pretty good run, especially considering they abandoned the passenger car business more or less before the company got going.

What’s great about this truck is that it is WWI-era. So many of these trucks were either 1. destroyed during the war itself or 2. scrapped to make newer, more reliable, quicker, and efficient trucks and other equipment for WWII. So to have one that has survived is amazing. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-four.

While it might be slow as dirt, it’s exceptionally interesting and carries a nice restoration and relatively recent mechanical freshening. It should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,020.


1909 Ariès 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Ariès was a French vehicle manufacturer and we’ve featured a couple of their cars here on the site – but this is the first heavy commercial vehicle from the firm that we’ve seen. Ariès existed from 1902 through 1937 and commercial vehicle production began with the model above (some sources list 1910, which would make this a very early example).

What’s great about this truck is that it is pre-WWI. Sure, it was probably used by the French Army, but it pre-dates required harsh military wartime treatment. It could’ve delivered produce in the early days of the automobile. Plus, it’s a dually.

The engine here is a 5.0-liter straight-four and everything has been restored. It is described as “a joy to drive” and while I’m sure it’s interesting, it’s probably a little terrifying as well. At any rate, it should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,518.

1917 Saurer Truck

1917 Saurer Four-Cylinder Truck

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Adolph Saurer AG was around from 1903 through 1982. That’s a pretty good run, especially considering they abandoned the passenger car business more or less before the company got going.

What’s great about this truck is that it is WWI-era. So many of these trucks were either 1. destroyed during the war itself or 2. scrapped to make newer, more reliable, quicker, and efficient trucks and other equipment for WWII. So to have one that has survived is amazing. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-four.

While it might be slow as dirt, it’s exceptionally interesting and carries a nice restoration and relatively recent mechanical freshening. It should bring between $25,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,020.

More Awesome Classic Commercial Vehicles

The Michael Banfield Collection

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014


 1922 AEC S-Type Open Top Double Deck Bus

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

AEC is known as the double-decker bus company. Their Routemaster double-decker is one of the most famous of the type. But their double-deckers go back to before WWI. The S-Type was built between 1920 and 1927, with 849 (double-deckers) built for the London General Omnibus Company – for which this example was built.

The engine is a 35 horsepower 5.1-liter straight-four and it is said that this was as good as public transport got in London back in the day. It can transport up to 54 people – 26 inside and 28 up top in the weather.

This is thought to be one of only two S-Type double-deckers in existence. And it had a really cool story, which you can read more of here. The price? $130,000-$150,000.

Update: Sold $477,481.


1914 Hallford WD

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

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Maxwell Van

1917 Maxwell Commercial Delivery Car

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Maxwell was founded by Jonathan Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe. They mainly built cars during their existence between 1904 and 1925. They weren’t just some small company – at its height, Maxwell was selling over 10,000 cars a year. Which was a lot for the 1910s. Maxwell lives on today under its new name: “Chrysler.”

Although less well-known, Maxwell did build commercial vehicles their entire existence. The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-four. It’s a nice delivery vehicle that can be yours for between $34,000-$42,000. Click here for more info. And here for the rest of this awesome auction lineup.

Update: Sold $37,062.