Early Four-Wheel-Drive Truck

1918 FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 22, 2014

FWD Model B 3-Ton Truck

In 1908, Otto Zachow and William Besserdich built a four-wheel drive car they called the “Battleship.” This led to the more-or-less immediate founding of their Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company. In 1909 they began producing cars under the FWD (for “Four-Wheel Drive”) marque. They dropped “Badger” from the company name in 1910.

The military loved four-wheel drive trucks so the company, sensing a huge opportunity (and perhaps an oncoming war) switched to just truck manufacture. They introduced two prototypes as war started raging in Europe. The U.S. didn’t place any orders, so FWD demo’d the truck for the U.K. where they did get an order. By 1916 the U.S. had come around and placed huge orders for a company that, up to this point, had only built about two dozen vehicles.

The Model B was one of the workhorses of the Allied powers during WWI. Production was about 3,000 for the U.K., 82 for Russia, and 14,473 for the U.S. They are powered by a 36 horsepower, straight-four engine. On the correct solid rubber tires on which this example rides, the truck could reach speeds of 16 mph.

After the war, many of these trucks were sold as surplus and entered service doing just about everything else in the civilian realm. That’s how awesome examples like this managed to survive. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $23,000.

1918 Cadillac Coupe

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 7, 2013

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Coupe

I think this is a very good-looking car. Cadillac has long touted that they are the “Standard of the World” and it’s early cars like this that make you believe it. Yes, they produced cars with twice as many cylinders, but this was one of the first big-engined road cars you could buy.

Cadillac’s L-Head V-8 engine was introduced in 1914 and became the first mass-produced V-8 engine in Cadillac’s 1915 models. It featured 5.2-liters of capacity and made 70 horsepower. The Type 51 was the first model to carry this motor and it evolved over the years, with the Type 61 ending the model’s run in 1923.

The Type 57 was available in the late Teens and this Victoria Coupe was an attractive, if not restrained design that offered a lot of power for those who wanted luxury without all the flash. I’m estimating that this car sells for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more from Mecum and here for more on this car.

Update: Sold $29,000.

Nagant Berline

1918 Nagant Four-Cylinder Berline

For sale at Retrolegends | Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Tell me “Valkenswaard” isn’t the most fearsome sounding name for a northern European city. It sounds like a battle in Norse mythology involving a giant anthropomorphic bird and a giant invincible sword. Anyway, this 1918 Nagant has been on sale for a while, and I really like it.

Nagant was an arms manufacturer founded in Liége, Belgium in 1859. The name is probably most familiar to firearms types because of the famous Mosin-Nagant rifle that was put into use by the Russian Empire 1891.

Nagant wasn’t the only firearms manufacturer to turn to automobiles (BSA comes immediately to mind). Cars were introduced in 1900 and they were mostly licensed copies from other manufacturers. Later cars of their own design used high-revving (for the time) engines capable of up to 4,000 rpm. I’m unsure as to the power output of this car, but it may have the sidevalve 14/16hp engine introduced by Nagant in 1913.

These were known to be well-made, fast and highly durable cars. The company was acquired by Imperia in 1931 but production had wrapped up in 1928. Price is “available upon request,” which probably means it is too high, as it hasn’t sold in the years it has seemingly been sitting there. Click here for more info (well okay, less info, but it is the site where it is for sale).

1918 Roamer Touring

1918 Roamer Model C6 Four-Passenger Sport Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012

I’ve seen the Roamer described as a “cheap Rolls-Royce” and if you look at the radiator grille, you can kind of see a resemblance. Maybe “more affordable Rolls-Royce” is a better way of putting it. The Roamer was introduced in 1916 by the Barley Motor Car Company of Streator, Illinois. The company was founded by Albert C. Barley, Cloyd Y. Kenworthy and Karl H. Martin and as moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1917. They would also built cars under the Barley and Pennant names.

The 54 horsepower model you see here was introduced in 1918. It uses a Continental Red Seal straight six. The four-passenger convertible body style is quite attractive – especially in white with bright red interior and wire wheels. Roamer built about 12,000 cars until they closed up shop in 1929 and they are rather rare today.

This one is expected to sell for between $70,000-$90,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM, here.

Update: Sold $93,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016, $66,000.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2020, $95,200.

1918 Hahn Pickup

1918 Hahn 3/4 Ton Pickup

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2012

Old commercial vehicles are really interesting because so few of them have survived until today. Yeah, there are some very rare passenger cars – but as a percentage of the total number built – commercial vehicles are far rarer than cars. Especially from this era.

W.G. Hahn & Bro. built their first motorized vehicle in 1907 at their Hamburg, Pennsylvania wagon manufacturing plant. By 1913, they had changed their name to the Hahn Motor Truck & Wagon Co. as trucks were their primary business – from the smaller 3/4 Ton (like this one here), to trucks upward of 5 Ton payload capacity. Hahn built commercial trucks up until 1933, when they turned to fire trucks (they did offer trucks again for one year in 1941). The company continued with limited production of fire apparatus until it shut down in 1989.

This truck here is of the lighter variety, using a Continental 4-cylinder engine. It runs and drives. The bodywork is not original but is period correct. For being as rare (when was the last time you saw one?) as it is, the price is rather affordable, with an expected sale price between $10,000-$15,000. For more information, click here. And for the rest of Bonhams lineup at their Preserving the Automobile Sale at the Simeone Foundation, click here.

Update: Not sold.