Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021
A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.
This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.
It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 17, 2020
Steyr is a name that has been associated with the automotive industry since the 1920s. Steyr-branded passenger cars remained on the market through the 1950s, and there were even Steyr-Fiats sold as well. In 1934, Steyr merged with Austro-Daimler and Puch to form Steyr-Daimler-Puch, which was eventually dissolved by spinning off its different divisions in the late 1990s. Steyr-branded trucks continued to be built into the 2000s.
The XII was launched in 1925 with input from legendary designed Hans Ledwinka. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter inline-six rated at 30 horsepower. They offered different body styles, including the Commercial Car, which featured a front bench seat and a rear area that could be converted into a loading area. Think of it as a primitive version of Chrysler’s Stow-n-Go seating.
Only 11,124 examples of the XII were produced through 1929. Steyr cars in general don’t show their heads often at public sales. This one carries a pre-sale estimate of $41,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Sports Tourer by Sindelfingen
Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
What would become the Mercedes-Benz 630K actually started out as the pre-merger Mercedes 24/100/140 in 1924. Beginning in 1926, the line was renamed the 630, and short-wheelbase K variants went on sale later that year.
They were powered by a supercharged 6.3-liter inline-six that made 138 horsepower with the supercharger engaged, which was done by matting the gas pedal. It was an expensive car, and not all that many were sold before the model went away at the end of 1929. Only 377 630Ks were built after the merger.
This example was bodied by the factory and was first used as a Mercedes-Benz display car. It’s first owner used it competitively until the Nazis came to power, causing him to flee to Finland, where he would later crash the car. It remained in its wrecked state until 1989, when it was discovered and brought back to Germany to be restored.
The work wrapped up in the 1990s, and the car is now being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $680,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | May 1-2, 2020
The Elcar was a descendant of Pratt-Elkhart and went on sale in 1916. It was built in Elkhart, Indiana, where this collection is being sold out of. The brand actually continued on through 1930, making them both a victim of the stock market crash and one of a fairly limited number of companies that actually lasted as long as they did. Remember, most of the brands that outlived Elcar are household names today.
In 1928, Elcar offered four models, with the 8-91 being the cream of the crop. It’s powered by a 115 horsepower Lycoming straight-eight. The Roadster was the least expensive variant of the 8-91, priced at $1,995 when new.
This car actually reminds me of the 1930 Willys-Knight Great Six, a six-cylinder roadster that played in a similar pricing bracket as the car you see here. This Elcar is selling at no reserve, and you can check out more about it here. See more from RM here.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020
Bugatti’s Type 35 line of Grand Prix cars were some of best racing cars of their era. Their design has held up well, and this car has about every bit of patina you could ask for, wearing a repaint from approximately 1932.
The 35C is powered by a supercharged 2.0-liter inline-eight capable of 125 horsepower. It features four-wheel drum brakes and a four-speed transmission. This particular example was entered by the Bugatti factory in the 1928 Targa Florio. Results are unknown, but Louis Chiron drove one of the team’s two 35C entries, Gastone Brilli-Peri the other. They finished 40th and 50th, respectively.
Only 50 examples of the 35C were built, and this one has known ownership history since new, including three Belgian owners spanning the last 60 years. Mechanically restored, the car otherwise remains as it was in the 1930s. Gooding expects this to bring “more than $4 million.” Click here for more info and here for the other lots from this interesting sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 18, 2020
Marmon is an automobile marque that usually summons images of fancy speedsters, 16-cylinder coachbuilt classics, or the yellow Wasp that won the first Indy 500. But they also had to churn out cars like this, the Model 68, to stay afloat.
It was the “baby” Marmon for 1928, slotting in below larger, more powerful cars like the Model 78 and Model 75. It was powered by a 42 horsepower inline-eight, and only three factory body styles were offered, including this sedan that was advertised for $1,395 when new. It was the least expensive Marmon that year.
The Model 68 remained in production for 1929, but that car received a big power boost. This right-hand-drive example has been in the U.K. for a long time, probably since new. It should now sell for between $40,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019
Erskine was introduced by Studebaker in 1927 as a low-priced brand and was named for company president Albert Erskine. It lasted through the 1930 model year when Studebaker dumped the idea and absorbed the line into its own.
What Erskine didn’t really do was commercial vehicles. Yet here we are. This is believed to be the only example of the Erskine Panel Truck produced, and it was built in 1928 as part of the Model 51 line, which was powered by a 43 horsepower 2.6-liter inline-six.
The truck was discovered in a warehouse in 1962 and later restored. It’s now being offered as part of Mecum’s “Antique Trucks” day at their massive tractor auction in Iowa. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 15, 2019
James Cunningham founded a carriage-building business with his songs in Rochester, New York in 1882 and then died in 1886. His son Joseph ran things from then on, and by 1911 they were in the automobile business. By 1916 they were selling V8-powered cars. Never inexpensive, the Cunningham car disappeared after 1929, with a few leftovers completed during the 1930s.
Cunningham also had a very confusing naming convention for their cars. It started innocently enough, but when the five-year-old Series V gave way to the V-4 in 1922, things got weird. All powered by the firm’s V8 engine, the models would be named V-4, V-5, V-6, V-7, and apparently even V-8. Things started to make sense just in time to go out of business.
The engine in this car is a 7.2-liter V8 rated at 106 horsepower when new. It likely would’ve cost its new owner in the neighborhood of $8,500 in 1928 – quite a sum. Later, this car was owned by Bill Harrah and remained in his collection until his death. The restoration is fresh as of 2016, and the car should now bring between $150,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 23, 2019
D’Yrsan was a manufacturer of small cyclecars that was founded in 1923 by Raymond Siran de Cavanac. The company built three and four-wheeled light cars and remained in business through 1930. They even entered a car in the 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans. It did not do well.
A 972cc Ruby inline-four is mounted up front and requires a hand-cranked start to get going. The car has chain drive powering the lone rear wheel. The bodywork is interesting, as the driver sits slightly forward of the passenger, and the rear of the car tapers to a nice point. Do not rear end this car, or you will be speared.
This example was sold new by the company’s British importer and was recently restored. Only 530 three-wheeled cars were built by D’Yrsan (and only 50 four-wheelers). This one actually looks really nice and should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
The C11 was Voisin’s best selling-model and was offered between 1926 and 1929. What is neat about this particular car is that it is a two-door convertible with a rumble seat. So many Voisins received sedan or streamlined coachwork that it’s almost weird to see a “sporty” looking variant.
Power is from a 2.3-liter sleeve-valve straight-six, and this car is said to be heavily optioned with mechanical equipment from the factory. The body is a one-off from Lyon-based Simon Pralavorio. It should bring between $105,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.