Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
For many years I have found this car to be remarkable. And I never thought I’d see the day where it changes hands publicly. Let’s start with the boring: Hispano-Suiza’s H6C debuted in 1924 and was the ultimate iteration of Hispano’s six-cylinder line of the 1920s. Production ended in 1933.
Power is from an 8.0-liter inline-six made about 195 horsepower. But forget mechanicals. This car is all about the body. This is the second H6C chassis, and it was built for Andre Dubonnet, who was one of those guys from that era who did it all. He was a flying ace in WWI, an Olympic bobsledder, a racing driver, and a lover of fine cars. He was like the French Eddie Rickenbacker, if Rickenbacker came from an extremely well-to-do family.
This car is one of three H6Cs with a factory-lowered chassis. Dubonnet sent it to French aircraft builder Nieuport-Astra for a body, and they used 1/8″-thick strips of mahogany (though people have long referred to the wood as tulipwood) to body the car, a process that used thousands of rivets. The body is said to weigh 160 pounds. Which is insane. It was even raced. The car’s competition history includes:
1924 Targa Florio – 6th (with Dubonnet)
He later used it as a road car before selling it. It was discovered in 1950 with shrapnel damage on the tail caused by a WWII bomb. The car was later refreshed and then restored in the 1980s. It’s been at the Blackhawk Collection for a while, and they are presumably getting rid of some stuff. It has an estimate of $8,000,000-$12,000,000.
The car is just magnificent. So much so that I am considering making this the last [regular] post on this site, because really, where can you go from here? We’ll see. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2021
Sidney Horstmann and his brothers founded a company producing transmissions and other automotive components in 1904. In 1913 they branched out into automobiles… like fully assembled ones.
At the end of WWI, the company dropped the final “N” from their name to make it look less German. Automobile production continued through the end of the 1920s. Approximately 3,000 cars were made by the firm in that time.
This rare survivor features body-color disc wheels and a 995cc inline-four. The car is said to require a little TLC, but it’s a good chance to acquire a rare, nearly-100-year-old car that appears to be in decent shape. It is expected to sell for between $19,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
One of the grand French “Ds”, Delaunay-Belleville was one of the more expensive options when shopping for a French car, pretty much from their inception in 1904 on into the 1920s. The P4B was introduced in 1922 and would last until 1927, which was about the time the company started to fade away.
It is powered by a 2.6-liter inline-four, and the car retains the company’s signature circular grille, although by this point it was more of an oval. Though a two-door, this car is likely larger than it looks and has sort of a Bugatti-ish feel when looked at from the front.
Delaunay-Belleville cars were expensive when new and were not sold in the largest of numbers. They remain rare today – and expensive. This car carries an estimate of $71,000-$94,000, which is significantly cheaper than other cars from this marque that we’ve featured. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…
Lancia’s Lambda was a groundbreaking car. It was the first unibody production car and featured an independent front suspension and a narrow-angle V4 powerplant. The Lambda was produced in nine series between 1922 and 1931. Lancia also produced a “Dilambda,” which was less interesting.
The 3rd Series Lambda was built in 1924 and featured an updated 2.1-liter V4 that produced 49 horsepower. This Torpedo-bodied roadster was sold new in Uruguay and later spent time in Briggs Cunningham‘s museum.
About 800 examples of the 3rd Series were built. This example looks incredibly sporty for 1924, and it’s burgundy finish is quite striking. Gooding lists a pre-sale estimate of $405,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1924 Delahaye Type 97 Double Phaeton Skiff by Labourdette
Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | December 4, 2019
The best-known Delahayes are from the 1930s and 1940s. These would mainly be derivatives of the 135. Earlier Delahayes are less fondly remembered, but, as you can see here, they still had the ability to be somewhat fantastic.
I don’t have a lot of info on the Type 97, but it appears to be a descendant of the post-WWI Type 84 and Type 92, the latter of which was powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four.
This car supposedly features a wood skiff body by Labourdette. The well-restored interior features green buttoned leather and an engine-turned dash panel. The car should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019
The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.
It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.
Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | May 29-June 1, 2019
Haynes, which got its start as Haynes-Apperson, was actually around for quite a long time, considering their rarity today. Haynes-Apperson sold their first car in 1898 but parted ways in 1904. Haynes soldiered on alone for another 21 years until they went bankrupt in 1924 and were liquidated in 1925 – the same year company founder Elwood Haynes died.
The Model 60 five-passenger touring car was actually the most inexpensive car the company ever built. And look at it – it’s a big, imposing thing. Power is from a 50 horsepower straight-six. Five body styles were offered, and this one cost $1,295 when new. A 1925 Model T would’ve run you $290, for comparison.
This car is an AACA award-winner (1993) and exists as a rare example of one of America’s pioneering automobile marques. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019
The Smith Flyer went on sale in 1916, and it was a two-seat buckboard driven by a fifth wheel located out back. Briggs & Stratton bought the design in 1919, and it was sold as the Briggs & Stratton flyer thereafter. In 1924, they sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Corporation, who began to market the cars as the Red Bug (and sometimes the Auto Red Bug).
Between 1924 and 1928, two versions were offered: a gas-powered single-cylinder car and an electric one. They were more or less identical in looks and both cost $150. This 12-volt electric-powered version has only four wheels and was restored by its current owner.
Yes, these are real cars that you should be able to register for the road. The Indian motorcycle company allegedly bought the design in 1930, but no one really seems to know what happened, and they disappeared from the automotive landscape (though I couldn’t imagine driving one in the 1930s with a huge Duesenberg bearing down on you, much less an SUV today). This one should sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Portland, Oregon | June 22-23, 2018
Photo – Mecum
Based in St. Louis, Gardner got their start as a car company by first building bodies for Chevrolet before become a satellite Chevy manufacturing plant. After WWI, Russell Gardner and his sons, Russell Jr. and Fred, sold the Chevy business to GM and set up the Gardner Motor Company to build their own cars.
Early Gardners were nothing special and fell in the mid-range of cars on sale in the early 1920s. The Model 5 was built between 1923 and 1925. It’s powered by a 43 horsepower, Lycoming straight-four. The Radio Special was a trim package on the Model 5 that came with some extra equipment, namely a nickel-plated radiator shell, aluminium step plates on the running board, steel wheels, and a tan leather interior. All of those things this car appears to still have. There are a number of things, like a front bumper, cowl lights, and a fender mirror, that appear to be missing.
The Radio Special was announced as early as March of 1923 and apparently could still be had in 1925. It was the top of the four-cylinder line and even out-priced Gardner’s 1925 six-cylinder entry by a not-insignificant $200. To find one today is pretty rare but it’s an early insight into Gardner’s later, more upscale offerings. The last Gardners rolled off the line in 1931 and here’s your chance to get one. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $6,000 (dear owner: I don’t know what your reserve was but I have $8,000 cash if you want to make the sale!)
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018
Photo – H&H Classics
LaFayette has an interesting history. Founded secretly by Charles Nash and staffed with ex-Cadillac designers and engineers, the first LaFayettes hit the market in 1921. It was a full-on luxury car aimed squarely at Cadillac. At first, it was a completely separate endeavor from Nash Motors.
After a slow start, LaFayette was reorganized and moved from Indianapolis to Milwaukee with Nash Motors as the largest shareholder, effectively making it a Nash subsidiary at last in 1923. Later that year Nash introduced the Ajax at the low end of the market and LaFayette became part of that division.
This car is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 good for 100 horsepower. Seven body styles were offered in 1924, which was the final year for production as Nash sort of gave up on the venture. This four-door coupe (that’s right, LaFayette was almost 100 years ahead of the times) was a four-passenger car. The only two-passenger LaFayette was the Roadster. When new, this car cost a not-insignificant $6,300. Only 2,267 LaFayette motorcars were produced (with just 441 of those being produced in 1924) making this extremely rare. This car, which is selling in England, sports a claimed $200,000 restoration and is expected to bring between $35,000-$48,000. If you want to make a quick buck, buy this for even the upper end of that estimate, ship it to the U.S. and take it to auction at Hershey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.