Bugatti Brescia Modifie

1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Modifie Torpedo by Lavocat et Marsaud

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bugatti Brescias are so tiny. They’re like pocket-sized exotics. The “Brescia” name was applied to post-WWI Bugatti Type 13s. The Type 13 entered production in 1910 and went on hiatus for the First World War. Post-war, it soldiered on through 1926.

In 1920, Bugatti debuted the Type 23 Brescia, which had a longer-wheelbase. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four that made enough power to propel this car to approximately 70 mph (!). The body is a racy torpedo from coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud. It’s such a tiny car that the two seats contained within are offset, so the passenger sits slightly behind the driver.

Remarkably, this car retains its original bodywork and most of its original components, something that not many Brescias do (mostly because many of the Type 23 cars were later shortened to Type 13 configuration). The third (and most recent) restoration was completed in 2010. Only about 200 of these were built and only 19 are known to remain, with this being among the most original. It should bring between $710,000-$840,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Rickenbacker Model B

1923 Rickenbacker Model B6 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 4, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Recently I was able to spend some time at America’s Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and, in their really cool building, they’ve restored a Packard sales manager’s office as it would’ve looked in the 1920s. Within the office sits a book – the actual Dayton, Ohio, automobile register from 1923(ish), open to a random page. I was reading it, looking at the different marques of cars registered in the area that year, and among the many Fords and Maxwells was a lone Rickenbacker. And it blew my mind.

There were so many auto manufacturers operating in America in the 1920s (not to mention the oddball import). They were around. They aren’t nearly as rare as they are today. They were just another car. But the odds of seeing one in Dayton, Ohio, seems really small. Just think, maybe people in 60 years will wonder “what did America’s roads look like when they were populated with Merkurs and Geos?”

Anyway, it was mind-blowing because Eddie Rickenbacker, man among men, had a little car company that only existed between 1922 and 1927. His cars were excellent but not well received (Eddie’s competition did their best to shut him down). This car is powered by a 58 horsepower, 3.6-liter straight-six. It has four-wheel brakes – the Rickenbacker was the first car in its class with this now-standard feature.

This example has been restored and is probably the only Rickenbacker currently on the market, as they are quite sought after. It should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Australian-Bodied Rolls

1923 Rolls-Royce Twenty Open Tourer by Smith & Waddington

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | April 12, 2017

Photo – Coys

The Rolls-Royce Twenty was introduced in 1922 and it was Rolls-Royce’s “small car” – if you can consider something that is as large as this as “small.” In its early years, Rolls-Royce built gigantic cars, so really, anything less than gargantuan could be considered small. It was their first new model since 1907.

The Twenty is powered by a 3.1-liter straight-six making, presumably, 20 horsepower. With the correct (read: lightweight) body work, the car could attain 60 mph. The simple yet sporty body on this car was constructed by Smith & Waddington of Sydney, Australia.

That’s right, this British-built Rolls was sent as a bare chassis to Australia where its first owner chose to have it bodied locally. Smith & Waddington were the premier Australian coachbuilder for Rolls-Royces. At one point, they were building bodies for 85% of the Rolls-Royces coming into Australia. This car came back to the U.K. in 2013 and has covered 13,000 miles since the engine was rebuilt in 1990.

When production ended in 1929, only 2,940 Rolls-Royce Twenty models had been produced. This one should bring between $56,500-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Delahaye Torpedo

1923 Delahaye Type 87 Torpedo

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 8, 2017

Photo – Coys

Known for their exotic coachbuilt cars of the 1930s and 40s, Delahaye cars date back to the 1890s and up until the 1930s, they resembled many other large, well-built cars. Take, for example, this Type 87 Torpedo. Looking at it in near-profile, it’s pretty hard to distinguish it from a Hispano-Suiza, Mercedes, or any number of large American touring cars also built in 1923.

The Type 87 was introduced at the 1921 Paris Auto Salon and was one of the first new Delahayes introduced after WWI. It’s powered by a 1.8-liter straight-four and it was sold in the 10CV class. This model was produced through 1926 and in total about 3,800 were built.

This particular example was discovered in the south of France in 1989. It has since undergone a complete restoration and is a solid driver, having participated in quite a few historic car driving events. It should bring between $48,500-$70,250. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Stutz Speedway Four

1923 Stutz Speedway Four Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 6-8, 2017

Photo – Mecum

The Speedway Four was a model produced by Stutz in 1923 and 1924. This car is titled as a 1922 and is listed in the catalog as such, but Stutz’s 1922 line consisted solely of the 80 horsepower Series K.

Stutz produced two Speedway models – the Four and the Six. Which one do you think was larger and more powerful? You’re wrong, it’s the Four. It’s powered by a 5.9-liter straight-four making 88 horsepower and rides on a 130″ wheelbase. That compares to the Six’s 70 horses and 120″ wheelbase.

Eight body styles were offered and this Roadster looks the part of the performance car it was – and still is. Stutz motorcars are sought after for their power, build quality, and modern day usability. This well restored car is coming out of a decent-sized collection and you can find out more here. And for more from Mecum, click here.

Update: Sold $35,000.

Bugatti Brescia Torpedo

1923 Bugatti Type 27 Brescia Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Bugatti Brescia was the marque’s first true road car. It was introduced as the Type 13 in 1910. More “Types” would follow, such as the Type 15, 17, 22, and 23. Production of the Brescia lasted through 1926 and their racing counterparts scored victories across Europe, lending some real credibility to the Bugatti brand.

The little-seen Type 27 was a development of the Types 22 and 23 (which different only slightly from earlier cars). The engine in the Type 27 is a 1.5-liter straight-four making 50 horsepower. The sporty Torpedo coachwork is thought to be the work of coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud.

This example had eight owners in its first three years! In the 1930s, it is said that it was used as a getaway car for robberies in Paris. Most of its ownership history is known and the famous automotive hoarders known as the Schlumpf brothers attempted to purchase this car in 1959. Luckily for enthusiasts everywhere, they were rebuffed. This car was mechanically restored in 2006 and is ready to drive. It should bring between $410,000-$580,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $541,015.

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 it’s 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.

Dort Touring

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.

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.

An Early Taxi

1923 Yellow Cab Model A-2 Brougham Taxi

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Here’s a car I’ve always wanted to feature, but I was starting to wonder, “Just how many are left?” Not a whole lot, as it turns out, but some are still around – thankfully. What I love about these cars is what they represent. Ever watched some black and white video clip of New York City during the Roaring 20s? A video shot at night, among the brightly lit theater facades of Broadway? There are quite a few little cabs like this running around those streets at a sped-up frame rate.

It’s a time period that’s always fascinated me and this is among the best examples – and among the least seen – of everyday urban life in the 20s. Anyway, the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was founded by John D. Hertz (yes, of that Hertz fame). It was founded in 1920 to build taxis for his Yellow Cab Company in Chicago. In 1925, it was acquired by GM and the brand name disappeared after 1929.

The engine is a 2.9-liter Continental straight-four making 18 horsepower. Yellow built mostly taxis – but not all of them left yellow and some may have been used as passenger cars. This example is ex-Harrah and ex-Imperial Palace and is wonderful. It should sell for between $40,000-$60,000. Quite a few were built, but very few remain. Check out more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $33,000.