Bellanger Torpedo

1920 Bellanger Type A Series 1 17CV Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Bellanger was founded just outside of Paris in 1912 by Robert Bellanger and his brothers. The company only lasted until 1925, when Robert entered politics and sold the factory to Peugeot, who later sold it to Rosengart.

Early Bellanger cars used sleeve-valve engines, but the Type A is powered by a 3.2-liter straight-four rated at 17 taxable horsepower in the day. A four-door Torpedo touring body is fitted.

This particular example is coming out of a collection that Bonhams began liquidating last year. It’s full of rare French and Belgian marques from this era. A recommissioning is recommended as the car has not been used in recent years. When was the last time you saw one? It should sell for between $30,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Lone Star Touring

1920 Lone Star Beauty Four 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Lone Star was a short-lived brand of automobile that was, in one very specific way, ahead of its time. Sold by the Lone Star Motor Truck and Tractor Association of San Antonio, Texas, the Lone Star was actually just a Piedmont (built in Virginia) with a different badge. You know, kind of like how the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon are the exact same truck with different badges and marketing?

The Lone Star was sold from 1919 through 1922, and it’s thought that only 12 examples were produced (maybe shoppers in 1920 were able to see through the “buy Texas-made stuff” B.S. that people today so readily jump at?).

The Beauty Four is powered by a Lycoming inline-four making 35 horsepower. The 5-Passenger Tourer was the only body style offered. Restored, this is the only Lone Star thought to survive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Four Cars From RM in Auburn

Four Cars From RM in Auburn

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 30-September 2, 2018


1913 Maxwell Model 25 Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Maxwell was founded in 1905 by Jonathan Dixon Maxwell and Benjamin Briscoe in Tarrytown, New York. It was the only surviving marque of Briscoe’s disastrous United States Motor Company conglomerate and would become known as Chrysler in 1925.

The Model 25 was actually sold in 1914 through 1924 but this car is apparently titled as a 1913. Power came from a 21 horsepower straight-four backed by a 3-speed manual transmission. This car is unrestored and would make a great driver. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,200.


1914 White Model Thirty G.A.H. Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The White Motor Company was around for 80 years, but only produced passenger cars for the first 18 of those. And the earliest examples were powered by steam before they focused on gasoline power (and ultimately diesel trucks).

White had a very strange model naming system going from about 1910 through 1916. Take for instance, this Model G.E.D. Touring. The 1914 model range consisted of the Model Thirty, the Model Forty, and Model Sixty. The Model Thirty was broken down as the G.A.F. Touring, Roadster, and Coupe. G.A.H. cars were actually built in 1916 so it’s hard telling why this is titled as a 1914. At any rate, it should bring between $45,000-$65,000 and you can read more here.

Update: Sold $29,700.


1919 Cole Aero Eight Sportster

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Cole Motor Car Company was founded by Joseph Cole in Indianapolis in 1909. Their claim to fame was that they were one of the first companies to offer a V8 engine in their cars. It debuted in 1915 for the 1916 model year and would last through the end of Cole production in 1925.

1919 Coles were dubbed the Series 870 and featured a 39 horsepower version of the company’s V8. In 1920, the “Aero Eight” moniker was introduced and the $2,750 4-passenger Sportster would’ve featured an upgraded 80 horsepower version of the engine. If this is a true Sportster, it’s going to have the big engine. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $28,600.


1920 Buick Model K Roadster

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Buick only offered six-cylinder cars between 1919 and 1921. 1919’s Model H would become 1920’s Model K. For 1921 Buick moved to the Series 21 and would continue with numerical sequencing through 1924.

A 4.0-liter straight-six created 27 horsepower in the Model K and this 2-door, 3-passenger Roadster was the cheapest model offered at $1,495. About 19,000 of them were made in 1920 and this one should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,300.

1920 Stearns-Knight

1920 Stearns-Knight L4 Touring

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

Photo – Bonhams

F.B. Stearns and Company set up shop in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1898 (when Frank Stearns was only 19 years old). Production really got under way in 1901 and their cars were like most others of the time. In 1912 the company began using Knight sleeve-valve engines in their cars. It was from this point, until new corporate overlord Willys-Overland dissolved the marque 1930, that the company would be part of a handful of Knight-suffixed marques.

The L4 (or SKL4) was introduced in 1918 as a model name and it lasted through 1923. For 1920, it was the only Stearns-Knight offered and it could be had in eight different body styles. It would appear that this is a five-passenger touring, the slightly smaller alternative to the $225-more-expensive seven-passenger touring that was also offered. The engine is a 23 horsepower, 4.1-liter straight-four.

This well-patina’d and all-original example was discovered in a barn in 2003 in West Virginia. It is believed to be the only surviving 1920 Stearns-Knight Touring car out of a total 1920 production run of 3,850. It still runs and drives, having covered only 23,934 miles in the last nearly 100 years. This is a fantastic chance to get behind the wheel just like someone did 97 years ago. It should bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

ReVere Touring

1920 ReVere Model A Four-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Named for Paul Revere, the ReVere Motor Car Corporation of Logansport, Indiana, was founded in 1918. It sprung up with a lot of fanfare and its chassis engineer was none other than Gil Andersen, the Norwegian-born pole sitter for the second running of the Indianapolis 500.

The first ReVere models were built in 1919 and the 1920 models were exactly the same. The Model A featured a marvelous engine from Duesenberg. It’s a 5.9-liter straight-four making 106 horsepower. It is touted as the most powerful American car of its day. The body is aluminium – it was made to go fast. And why wouldn’t it? It had three keys of speed going for it: an engine designed by the Duesenberg brothers, a factory within an hours drive of Indianapolis, and two race car drivers on the development payroll. Demonstration runs in the cars were performed by Cannonball Baker.

Unfortunately, the people at the top of the managerial heap at ReVere were more interested in robbing investors. The company was more or less a front to sell stock and rip people off. It worked and they raised a lot of money – but only built a few cars. The company was shut down in 1922 and one of the early founders (Adolph Monsen) tried to relaunch it, but ReVere was gone for good after 1926.

It is believed that only six ReVere automobiles exist today. Despite being run by con artists, the company managed to build great cars. This one is mostly original and does run and drive. It should bring between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $137,500.

1920 Detroit Electric

1920 Detroit Electric Model 82 Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 30, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Some things come back around and right now, thanks to Tesla, electric cars are hot. But back in the early days of the automobile, when different propulsion systems were fighting for supremacy, electric cars were fairly popular as well.

Part of the reason for their popularity was the ease with which one could operate such a car. There was no crank, no warming up. You just got in and went. This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor.

Only 95 of this type were made, making it quite rare today. Remarkably, this example has known ownership history from new and was originally purchased in Canada. Today, it should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $66,000.

1920 Franklin Sedan

1920 Franklin 9-B Sedan

Offered by Mecum | Anaheim, California | November 12-14, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The great air-cooled Franklin was one of those early automobile companies that lasted quite a number of years and built quite a number of automobiles – but did so on their own terms, like Stanley or Detroit Electric, to name a few. Air-cooled engines were simpler – less parts. And that’s what Franklin bet their company on. And it worked: they were in business for over 30 years.

The 1920 range consisted of two models: the 9 and 9-B. They both uses a six-cylinder engine making about 25 horsepower. The 9-B was slightly more upscale and expensive. This car is a rare “V-windshield” model, which is a pretty unusual feature. The body is also made out of aluminium.

Only six 9-Bs are known to have the V-windshield (the 9-B was built for three years: 1920-1922). Only 10,552 Franklins were built in 1920. This is a very nice example that was in a recent collection for 35 years. You can be next. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $13,500.

Five Cars from the 1920s

1927 Whippet Model 96 Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

General Motors wasn’t the only American automaker expanding its brands in the 1920s. Willys-Overland was one of a number of other companies to get in on the game. Whippet was a marque introduced for the 1926 model year. It didn’t last long – it was gone after 1930 – but it did have an impact: boosting Willys into third place in the U.S.

The Model 96 was the smaller option in the Whippet line and was produced in every model year. It is powered by a 30 horsepower 2.2-liter straight-four. This car looks great. It was formerly part of the AACA Museum and has been used in Boardwalk Empire – which is something we’ve talked about in other posts. Interesting. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $23,100.


1929 Roosevelt Eight Sedan by Hayes

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Roosevelt is a very rare American automobile make. It was built by Marmon and introduced in 1929 – great timing. It was a smaller version of the larger Marmons and was the first American car with a straight-eight engine to be offered for sale for less than $1,000. The engine is actually a 3.3-liter straight-eight, making 77 horsepower.

The Eight (Roosevelt’s only model) was offered in four body styles with the Sedan being the cheapest and least fanciful. Named for Teddy Roosevelt, this rare survivor would be an awesome addition to a collection. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $10,450.


1924 Oldsmobile Model 30-B Turtle Deck Speedster by Schutte

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1924 Oldsmobile line consisted of a single model offered in a range of factory body styles and apparently coachbuilt ones as well. The engine is a 2.8-liter straight-six making 42 horsepower.

The story here is this awesome bod. The aluminium radiator looks like it was milled out of a solid block of metal. The solid metal wheels are amazing. The car only has a single door – on the passenger side of the car. It is full of special one-off features with an unusual body style from a smaller coachbuilder. It is thought that less than 10 Schutte-bodied cars exist and we’ve now featured two of them. Check out more on RM’s site.

Update: Sold $71,500.


1923 Wills Sainte Claire B-68 Gray Goose Special

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Roosevelt, Wills Sainte Claire was another short-lived American automobile manufacturer of respectable quality. This car, which is all-original, is a 68-series car. The variations of the Model 68 were built from 1922 through 1926. 1927 was the only year it wasn’t built.

It was Wills Sainte Claire’s largest model, using a 4.4-liter V-8 making 67 horsepower. In 1924, the Model 68 was offered in a bunch of body styles with the most interesting being the Gray Goose Special seen here (which is essentially a four-door touring car). This one has known ownership history from new and has only been owned by two different families in that time. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,200.


1920 Rauch & Lang Electric Model C-45 Dual Drive Coach

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Rauch & Lang traces its history back to Jacob Rauch, a blacksmith in Cleveland who opened his shop in 1853. Charles Lang was a real estate man from nearby and moved the company toward wagon building. In 1905, they turned to electric cars and became one of America’s premier electric car builders in the early days of automobiles.

They built cars through 1928 and this 1920 Model C-45 is how most of them looked. The company moved from Cleveland to Massachusetts in 1920 (after having merged with Baker Electric in 1917) and this car was the final example produced in Cleveland. It uses a three horsepower electric motor. This car can be driven from the left hand seat either in the front or rear, which is pretty interesting. Try that in your Buick. Click here to see more about this car.

Update: Sold $66,000.

1920 Rauch & Lang

1920 Rauch & Lang Electric Model C-45 Dual Drive Coach

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Rauch & Lang traces its history back to Jacob Rauch, a blacksmith in Cleveland who opened his shop in 1853. Charles Lang was a real estate man from nearby and moved the company toward wagon building. In 1905, they turned to electric cars and became one of America’s premier electric car builders in the early days of automobiles.

They built cars through 1928 and this 1920 Model C-45 is how most of them looked. The company moved from Cleveland to Massachusetts in 1920 (after having merged with Baker Electric in 1917) and this car was the final example produced in Cleveland. It uses a three horsepower electric motor. This car can be driven from the left hand seat either in the front or rear, which is pretty interesting. Try that in your Buick. Click here to see more about this car.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Packard Grocery Truck

1920 Packard Model E Truck

For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo - Hyman Ltd.

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

Packard, which stands as one of America’s greatest automobile manufacturers of all time, was also quite the commercial vehicle manufacturer in their day. This behemoth was one of many such trucks built by the company between 1905 and 1923.

It’s powered by a four-cylinder engine and has a 3-ton capacity. The truck is fabulously restored and has been painted with the name of a grocer in Pennsylvania who found the truck and had it restored. The grocer had their own fleet of similar trucks in the 1920s.

Commercial vehicles tend to cease to exist after 30 years or so, so to find one that is almost 100 years old is incredible. It was restored to perfection about 25 years ago but it still looks amazing. If you own a grocery store, this is the vehicle for you. It is for sale in St. Louis for between $70,000 and $80,000. Click here for more info.