1923 Crossley

1923 Crossley 19.6HP Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Crossley Motors was founded in Manchester, England, in 1906. Passenger car production lasted through 1938, while commercial vehicles (and military trucks) were produced through 1945. After the war, the company focused on buses before being bought by AEC and phased out.

This inter-war “two-seater’ (it has a dickey seat in the back as well) was returned to the U.K. from Australia in 1990 and restored. Power is from an inline-four rated at approximately 20 horsepower when new.

Crossleys are around, but they aren’t super common. This one has a sporty body style with a 30-year-old restoration. It should bring between $27,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Zedel Type P Torpedo

1923 Zedel Type P 15HP Torpedo

Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | March 21, 2021

Photo – Aguttes

Ernest Zurcher and Herman Luthi founded Zedel in Switzerland in 1896. In 1903, they set up a second manufacturing location in France, and it was successful enough that the Swiss location eventually closed, making Zedel a predominantly French marque thereafter. It was taken over by Donnet in 1919, and the marque was changed to Donnet-Zedel in 1924.

The Type P is said to feature a “large displacement” inline-four that was rated at 15 taxable horsepower when new. The body is the story here, though. It looks long and low. It is long, but I think the shadows are making the roof look much more “chopped” than it really is. It makes it look menacing.

The pre-sale estimate on this car is $12,000-$18,000. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $21,429.

1923 Willys-Knight

1923 Willys-Knight Model 64 Tourer

Offered by H&H Classics | Online | July 22, 2020

Photo – H&H Classics

Willys-Overland hopped on the sleeve-valve-engine train in 1914 when they launched the Willys-Knight brand. It came to be after Willys purchased New York’s Edwards Motor Car Company and moved their operations to the old Garford plant in Elyria, Ohio.

The Knight was available through 1933, and it was the only Willys-branded product offered between 1921 and 1930. Power is from a 3.0-liter Knight sleeve-valve inline-four rated at 40 horsepower when new. Sleeve-valve engines were expensive to produce, yet Willys built nearly half a million Knight-branded cars during the marque’s run.

This example presents well with shiny black wire-spoke wheels, nice blue paint, and a retractable black top. It is said to have remained with its original-owning family for about 90 years before being purchased by the consignor in 2015. It is now expected to fetch between $17,500-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, H&H Auctioneers online, August 2020.

Update: Not sold, H&H Auctioneers, August 2021.

Five Cars from RM in Hershey

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019


1906 White Model F Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Thomas White‘s sewing machine business gave way to steam cars in 1900. The company was a pioneer in their field, but they ultimately saw the light and phased out steam cars in favor of gas-powered vehicles in 1912.

This 1906 Model F Touring was the second-cheapest car White offered in 1906 after the Model F Runabout. At $2,800, it wasn’t cheap. But the White was one of the more popular – and more well-built – steam cars of their day. This one looks great but would look better with a convertible top. It should bring between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $96,250.


1917 Chandler Type 17 Seven-Passenger Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frederic Chandler worked for Lozier before he jumped ship in 1913 with a few of his fellow employees to form his own company. The Chandler was a hit and lasted through 1929, when it was acquired by Hupmobile and quickly phased out.

There were a lot of cars “in the middle” of the American market in the 1910s and 20s. Chandler was one of the better ones in that class. This 1917 model is powered by a 27 horsepower 4.4-liter inline-six. Five body styles were offered, and the seven-passenger touring sold new for $1,395. This time around it should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1923 Gardner Model 5 Five-Passenger Sedan

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The most interesting thing about this Gardner sedan, to me, is thinking about who purchased it in 1923. No one in 1923 knew that GM, Chrysler, and Ford would still be around 100 years later. But surely someone assumed Gardner would’ve been. After all, it was a well-regarded company from St. Louis that built a fair number of cars. It’s just hard to imagine someone wandering down to their local Gardner dealer and plunking down the cash.

Gardners were built from 1920 through 1931, and the company sort of inched upmarket each year, with their final offerings bordering on luxury cars. Kind of like Chrysler. But back in ’23, they were just another middle-class marque. The Model 5 could be had in a few styles, the sedan selling for $1,365. It kind of looks like a taxi and is powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. But I bet it goes cheaper than that. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,200.


1930 Marquette Model 35 Five-Passenger Phaeton

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

GM’s “companion make” philosophy in the 1920s and 1930s gave us Pontiac and LaSalle. Both of which were relatively successful. In fact, Pontiac was so successful that GM killed off the brand that spawned it, Oakland. So they figured they’d give Buick a companion. And they did: Marquette.

It only lasted for a single model year. Six models were offered, all priced right at about $1,000. All Marquettes are powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six good for 67 horsepower. The Model 35 Phaeton sold for $1,020, and this is one of 889 such cars built.

In all, Marquette production totaled 35,007 before GM killed it off. This rare survivor should bring between $15,000-$25,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $15,950.


1933 Terraplane Deluxe Six Model KU Sedan

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I was excited to feature an Essex. But I forgot that Hudson killed off the Essex marque in favor of Terraplane beginning in 1933. So instead of featuring a final-year example from Essex, we’re featuring a launch-year example of the Terraplane.

Terraplane offered six and eight-cylinder cars in 1933 that were essentially down-market Hudsons. A slew of body styles were offered, and the sedan cost $655 when new. A 3.2-liter inline-six good for 70 horsepower provided the oomph. This is a handsome car in good colors. It’s well-trimmed, with chrome bumpers and four suicide doors. The best part is it is usable and is expected to fetch only $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $18,700.

A.B.F. Prototype

1923 A.B.F. Boattail Prototype

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

If you were to say “there are zero automakers that can claim a 100% survivability rate among their cars (one-offs notwithstanding),” I think it would be easy to agree. And then A.B.F. comes along. Albert Ford was born in Canada but resided in England when he tried to get a company called All-British Ford off the ground in the 1920s.

It didn’t go great, but he did manage to complete two cars. Both of which still survive. This was the first of the two examples, and it is powered by a 1.2-liter V4. The body was actually purchased by Ford from the owner of a racing Alvis who was looking for something different. A.B.F. closed down shortly after, as the owner changed course to hospital furniture manufacturing.

Both cars were rescued from Mr. Ford’s garage after WWII. This one was restored in the 1950s and again in the late 1970s. It’s a pretty cool little car with great period bodywork. It is expected to bring between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Gwynne Eight

1923 Gwynne Eight

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

October in Pennsylvania is a great place to buy an old American car. But it should take no more than a quick glance to notice that this car is from the other side of the pond. It looks like an Austin or Morris of the same period but was built by Gwynnes Limited, an engineering company that dated back to 1856. They built a few thousand cars between 1920 and 1929.

The Eight was powered by an 850cc inline-four capable of 24 horsepower. About 2,250 examples were built, and it is said that this is the only example wearing this body. It is currently not in running order but is complete.

It’s been in the U.S. since 1975 and should bring between $15,000-$25,000 in 2019. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: $8,680.

1923 H.C.S.

1923 H.C.S. Series IV Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Harry C. Stutz resigned from Stutz in 1919 after losing control of the company. He then very quickly shuffled across town, in this case, Indianapolis, and launched the H.C.S. Motor Car Company. His first cars were delivered in 1920, and they were somewhat similar to the cars from his earlier venture.

An emphasis on the sporting nature of H.C.S. automobiles was important to the company, and an H.C.S. won the 1923 Indy 500. Production lasted through 1925. About 2,175 cars were produced in that time.

Between 1923 and 1925, the company offered the Series IV and Series VI. The IV, as seen here, was available in four body styles, with the 5-passenger “Model 4” touring car costing $2,200. Power was from a 52 horsepower straight-four. This one is expected to bring between $50,000-$75,000 at auction today. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $49,840.

1923 Itala Tourer

1923 Itala Tipo 50B Tourer

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 28, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Itala was founded in 1904 by the Ceirano brothers (who founded quite a few other early Italian marques as well). The company was known early on for their awesome racing cars, but their post-WWI days were not as fondly remembered.

Once the war broke out, the company built airplane engines, but did so unprofitably. So when automobile production resumed, they were building older designs, such as this Tipo 50B which, while launched in 1919, was based on a much earlier design. By 1924, Itala was in receivership with production ceasing in 1934. Fiat scooped up the remnants.

The car is powered by a 2.8-liter straight-four that made 41 horsepower. This example was delivered new to Australia where it was bodied by James Flood Coachworks of Melbourne. Restored in the 1980s, it was imported into the UK from New Zealand in 2017, and the engine was rebuilt. It’s a rare later car from an already rare marque and should bring between $35,000-$39,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Palladium

1923 Palladium Victory Super Sports

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

Photo – Brightwells

Palladium was a British car company that got their start in 1910 importing and selling French commercial vehicles as their own. Cars followed in 1912 and they were still largely French though they sported English coachwork.

After WWI, Palladium got back into the commercial vehicle business but this time they were building trucks of their own design. When they needed something more profitable, they reintroduced cars to their range in 1922. This model, likely a Victory tourer, features a Dorman 1.5-liter straight-four rated at 12 horsepower. In Victory form it was capable of 60mph – which, while scary, wasn’t so bad as these cars were fitted with front brakes.

This car is listed as “largely complete” and it has been partially restored but it’s not quite done. As you can probably see, the interior is mostly absent. Palladium cars are rare, even in this condition (only 280 were built between 1922 and 1925 when the company closed). This project is expected to bring between $10,000-$13,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,342.

1923 Léon Bollée

1923 Léon Bollée Type M Roadster

Offered by Leclere MDV | Avignon, France | March 25, 2018

Photo – Leclere MDV

The Bollée name is a very important one in the history of French automobiles. Amédée Bollée built some of the earliest steam cars beginning in 1873. Léon, his son, began building gasoline-powered cars in 1893. His Voiturettes are some of the best pre-1900 vehicles built.

And those are what people usually think of when they hear the name Bollée. But his company actually lived on for a few more decades (Léon died in 1913). In fact, in 1924, the company was purchased by Morris Motors of the U.K. as a way for Morris to break into the French market. It went just okay and production ended in 1928 and the French company closed in 1931.

This four-cylinder Type M is a four-door, five-passenger Roadster. If the entire car was restored (the interior definitely has been) it was done long ago, as the paint is showing its age. But where are you going to find another one? In the last decade, give or take, this is the first post-WWI Léon Bollée car that I can recall seeing (actually, it’s the first post-1900 Léon Bollée car that I can recall seeing). It should bring between $30,750-$37,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.