Amilcar M2

1929 Amilcar M2

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau | July 2024

Photo – Osenat

I think it’s fair to say that, when most car people hear “Amilcar“, they think of sporty voiturettes from the late 1920s. But the company, during its 18 or so years of existence, they did build slightly more pedestrian vehicles. Even before they introduced the ahead-of-its-time unibody Compound.

The “M” series of cars was around for a while, from 1928 through 1935. The first three, the M, M2, and M3 saw power from a 1.2-liter inline-four. Output was rated at 27 horsepower. What body style did you want? A boxy four-door sedan? Good. Because that was the only option.

This is the type of model that kept the lights on so they could keep building sports cars. Or that was the theory anyway. They didn’t sell enough to really make it work. Only about 2,650 M2s were built between 1928 and 1931. And it appears this one may be a bit of a project, but it’s a rare one. The estimate is $11,000-$16,000. More info can be found here.

Hudson Sport Phaeton

1929 Hudson Model L Dual-Cowl Sport Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 2024

Photo – Bonhams

Hudson was one of a very small percentage of U.S. automakers to make it both through the Depression and come out the other side of WWII. In fact, they lasted from 1909 through 1957, by which time they had merged with Nash to form AMC. Hudsons were never top-tier luxury cars, but during the ’20s and ’30s, they introduced entry-level brands, which allowed Hudson to inch farther upmarket.

Which is how this coachbuilt Model L came to be. The Sport Phaeton bodywork is from Biddle & Smart, who built all bodies for the Model L, which was Hudson’s flagship offering in 1929. Power is from a 4.7-liter inline-six rated at 92 horsepower. Hudson was America’s #3 automaker behind Chevrolet and Ford in 1929.

Only 17 Phaetons were built in 1929, and just seven remain. The car has been restored to, interestingly, colors from a period Hudson advertisement. It’s a pretty slick car, and head and shoulders above what you could’ve got from Chevy or Ford in the same year. The estimate is $150,000-$180,000. Click here for more info.

Duesenberg J-121

1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton by LeBaron

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Miami, Florida | March 2, 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are not many cars better than a sweep-panel dual-cowl phaeton. This one carries a relatively low engine number and was delivered new to Philip K. Wrigley, he of gum fame. It was originally delivered with Murphy convertible coupe coachwork, to which Mr. Wrigley added over 10,000 miles before deciding he wanted a dual-cowl phaeton.

But not just any such phaeton, he wanted the specific body on a family friend’s Duesenberg. But he didn’t want their car. So a body swap was arranged. Oh to be rich during the Great Depression. This chassis retains its original 265-horsepower, 6.9-liter inline-eight.

The Wrigleys sold it back to Duesenberg in 1936. The current restoration was completed in 2004, and it’s finished in all black, which is an interesting choice (but apparently the original look). It has an estimate of $2,650,000-$2,850,000. More info can be found here.

Lanchester Straight Eight

1929 Lanchester 30HP Straight Eight Landaulette

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Broadway, U.K. | August 4, 2023

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

After World War One, Lanchester decided to focus on building one great model at a time. Their cars were expensive and cross-shopped against the likes of Rolls-Royce. In 1928 they introduced the 30HP Straight Eight, the last car designed by company co-founder George Lanchester.

It was powered by a 4.4-liter inline-eight rated at 30 horsepower. This car is bodied as a landaulette, with a rear convertible portion for the passengers. The timing of this grand car was not great, and the economic downturn spoiled the party. Just 126 were produced before Lanchester was sold to Daimler in 1930.

Restored years ago, this car represents an opportunity to acquire a car that is rarely seen. And it’s already ready to use. The estimate is $36,000-$44,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Vermorel Type L

1929 Vermorel Type ZX Torpedo

Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | April 2, 2023

Photo – Aguttes

Vermorel exhibited their first car in 1899, but production didn’t start until 1908. After just a few years they were a fairly sizable company. Passenger-car production ceased in 1930, and commercial vehicles soldiered on until 1932.

The Type ZX was introduced in late 1928 and was offered in a few different submodels through the end of Vermorel production in 1930. It’s powered by a 1.7-liter inline-four.

This particular example wears torpedo tourer coachwork with two windscreens and rear jump seats. It was restored decades ago and has not been used recently. It will need some work. It also has a pre-sale estimate of $21,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $34,202.

Duesenberg J-239

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1-3, 2022

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Another week, another great Model J. This one is not a sedan, but instead is a very desirable convertible coupe by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California. About 25 such bodies were applied to Model J chassis by Murphy.

The car features a naturally aspirated 6.9-liter inline-eight that was rated at 265 horsepower. The most interesting aspect of this car is one of its previous owners: Maurice Schwartz, of Bohman & Schwartz, a coachbuilder that had their fair share of Model Js come through their studios. Prior to his own company, Schwartz worked for Murphy. He owned it in the 1950s while working for Bill Harrah.

This particular chassis remained with a single owner for almost five decades. It was restored after he sold it in 2014 and went on to win various awards. Read more about it here.

Update: Sold $3,305,000.

Duesenberg J-189

1929 Duesenberg Model J Brougham by LaGrande

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo – Mecum

There are a fair number of Model Js up for grabs in Monterey this year. We’ve featured a few of them in the last few weeks, and there are still more that we’ve featured in years past. More recently we talked about how closed cars are usually on the cheaper end of the entry into Model J ownership. But once again, this car doesn’t quite fit that bill.

It was originally bodied as a Weymann sedan but was sent back to Duesenberg in 1933 to get a factory (LaGrande) “blind quarter brougham” body put on. Still a sedan with a cloth roof, but no rear 3/4 windows at the back. The engine is a 6.9-liter inline-eight that was rated at 265 horsepower when new.

This car has known ownership history back to new and was restored in 1994. It has been in German ownership since 2007 and is now up for auction in California. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,100,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Indianapolis 2023, high bid of $850,000.

Ruxton Model A

1929 Ruxton Model A Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The front-wheel-drive Ruxton was designed by William Muller at Budd. A board member of Budd, a coachbuilding company, was also on the Hupmobile board. But no one else at Hupp wanted any part of the car. So that board member, Archie Andrews, set up New Era Motors, which traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon. Then Muller was installed as Moon chairman.

Moon then went out business, and next came down Kissel. And before long, the Ruxton was gone. The cars were powered by a 4.4-liter Continental inline-eight that made 100 horsepower. This example is said to be the first sedan built by the company and was used as a promo car. It features the well-known graduated/rainbow paint scheme. It also has Woodlite headlights. So major bonus points there.

Most Ruxtons are known as Model Cs. Why this one is a Model A is not laid out in the catalog, but maybe because it was the first one. It’s got an estimate of $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $313,000.

Diamond T Tanker

1929 Diamond T Model T4D 1.5-Ton Tanker

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T built some beautiful trucks in the 1930s and ’40s. But the company was actually founded by C.A. Tilt in 1905, back when things were more… functional. This is the earliest Diamond T we’ve featured.

At the end of the 1920s, trucks were big, heavy, slow, and purposeful. Styling hadn’t entered the arena yet. This tanker truck is powered by a Hercules 4.1-liter inline-four paired with a four-speed transmission. In thinking about why this truck survived scrap drives during WWII, I’d guess it was used as a water truck on a farm or something where it was relied upon.

This truck was part of the Hays Antique Truck Museum, which Mecum liquidated earlier this year. So why is it back at auction (and with the same pics)? Either it didn’t sell, it got pulled from the catalog at the last second, or the winning bidder flaked. In any event, glad it’s back so we could feature it this time around. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Mecum East Moline 2022, $22,000.

Duesenberg J-394

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Victoria by Rollston

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Well this is awkward. We’ve already featured a Model J Duesenberg with an engine carrying number J-394. Apparently that J-394 featured a re-stamped engine, making this the actual J-394. Or who knows. All of these old cars are just a pile of parts put together over the last ~100 years.

J-394, of course, is a 265-horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight. And it’s fitted to a short-wheelbase Model J, which are not tiny by any means, but the Henry Ford Museum has one very similar to this parked next to a Bugatti Royale and it looks downright tiny.

The Rollston body was originally fitted to this chassis but was previously removed and mounted to a different chassis. The body itself was later restored before being reunited with this chassis in the 1970s. It’s been in the same family for 17 years and now has an estimate of $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,066,500.