Mercedes-Benz SS

1929 Mercedes-Benz SS 27/140/200 Sport Tourer by Fernandez & Darrin

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

Before there was the S-Class, there was the S-Series, which started with the Model S, which was a nice, big car introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1926. This line of cars was responsible for the best Mercedes cars before things like the 540K rolled out.

It was topped by the SS in 1928, as shown here. This car is believed to wear a body from Fernandez and Darrin and was sold new in New York. Three versions of the SS were offered between 1928 and 1934. This is an example of the early, entry-level model, which is powered by a supercharged 7.1-liter straight-six that made 140 horsepower in normal mode and 200 with the supercharger engaged. This power rating was only available through 1930.

Things got even more intense with the SSK, but that’s another story for another day. Only 111 examples of the SS were built, and this example should bring between $6,500,000-$8,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Not sold.

Supercharged Alfa 6C 1750

1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Supercharged Super Sport Spider

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Alfa 6C 1500 gave way to the 6C 1750 in 1929. Displacement, obviously, increased and the straight-six engine jumped to 1,752cc. Six different series of the 1750 were produced between 1929 and 1933.

Within those six series were an array of different models. The Super Sport, which was available in both supercharged and non-supercharged form, was only available in 1929 as a “Series III” model. For 1930, it became the Gran Sport, all of which carried a supercharger. This Supercharged Super Sport made 85 horsepower when new.

This car carries coachwork from Zagato and it does not appear to have been fully restored. This 6C 1750 Series III Super Sport is one of 112 built and should bring between $1,000,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ballot Sedan

1929 Ballot RH3 Sedan

Offered by Osenat | Chassieu, France | November 10, 2019

Photo – Osenat

Edouard Ballot got his start building engines. He even worked with Ettore Bugatti early in Bugatti’s career. Maurice Ballot later joined his brother, and Etablissements Ballot SA was formed in 1910. Engines were their main business until 1919 when they started building cars.

The company went racing right off the bat, competing in the 1919 Indy 500, as well as the Targa Florio, French Grand Prix, and more. More luxury-oriented cars followed, including the 1927 Type RH, which became the RH3 in 1929. The engine is a 3.0-liter inline-eight. This one was sold new in Marseilles and carries a fabric sedan body, which may be from Weymann.

Ballots are around but aren’t very common – especially those with big engines and nice coachwork. This example should sell for between $70,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $79,374.

1929 Dennis Flatbed

1929 Dennis 30 CWT Flatbed

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 10, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Prior to becoming a major player in the British commercial vehicle industry with vehicles like buses and firetrucks, Dennis was actually a passenger car manufacturer for a few short years between 1898 and 1904.

It was in 1904 they went full-truck and never looked back. They remained independent until the 1970s when they went through a series of ownership changes. As the years wore on, their products became more specialized, but they still made buses. In 2004, after 100 years of truck manufacturing, the brand ceased to exist when it was merged with Alexander to form Alexander Dennis.

This particular truck started life with a dairy company and was later used as a promotional vehicle. It’s powered by a 3.1-liter inline-four and should bring between $12,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Bugatti Type 35B

1929 Bugatti Type 35B

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 15, 2019

Photo – Osenat

I love how old Bugattis always look like they just finished running a few hundred miles. There’s grease and imperfect paint – and this car is parked in a puddle. It’s amazing that these cars still get so much use. And the fact that they are up for it in the first place. They were well-built, solidly engineered race cars.

The Type 35 line of cars were Bugatti’s most successful racers. Introduced in 1924, the Type 35B followed the 35A in 1927. Power is from a supercharged 2.3-liter inline-eight making 138 horsepower. It was the most powerful of the Type 35 line. One of them won the 1929 French Grand Prix.

Only 45 examples were built, and this car – just since 2005 – has competed in rallies in New Zealand, the US, and Europe, making it quite the well-traveled example. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $445,000-$670,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $455,822.

Three Voisins

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019


1929 Voisin C16 Berline by Ottin

Photo – Artcurial

The C16 was a model produced by Voisin between 1929 and 1932. However this car left the factory, the current body was added by Ottin of Lyon in 1932 and it’s a four-door sedan. The style is somewhat sedate by Voisin standards, but then again the wildest designs always came from in-house.

This car is powered by a 5.8-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and it was expensive when new, costing three times as much as the 2.3-liter variant. That said, this is the only known 5.8-liter C16 known to exist. It is listed as the “flagship” of the collection from which it is being sold – a family that has owned a handful of Voisin cars since new. Fun fact, this car (as are the others we’ll feature from this collection) are listed as national French monuments and as such, are unable to leave the country. This one should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $128,471.


1928 Voisin C11 Cabriolet by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

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.

Update: Not sold.


1926 Voisin C3L Berline by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

The C3L, which is different from the C3C (though I’m not exactly sure how), was offered by Voisin between 1922 and 1928. It is described by the auction catalog as the “car used by Presidents” which I guess means these were quite stately in their day.

They are powered by a 4.0-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and were capable of speeds over 75 mph. This car was also bodied by Palavorio and is said to have been the family’s favorite of all of their Voisin cars. It has a chauffeur’s compartment and an all-original interior. The price should be in the neighborhood of $80,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale, including more Voisins.

Update: Sold $60,885.

Chenard et Walcker Y7 Grand Sport

1929 Chenard et Walcker 1500 Type Y7 Grand Sport Torpedo

Offered by Osenat | Chassieu, France | November 11, 2018

Photo – Osenat

Cars built by the company founded by Ernest Chenard and Henri Walcker always appear to be quite heavy, as if carved from a single block of lead. Or maybe I just get that impression because of their association with the so-called Tanks they built.

The company has some racing heritage, winning the first 24 Hours of Le Mans. So there is some sporting pedigree, adding a degree of legitimacy to calling this Torpedo-bodied automobile a sports car. It’s no lightweight French cyclecar. This thing was meant to move. Power is from a 1.5-liter straight-four and top speed is about 83 mph.

This example has known history back to the 1960s and was on museum duty until the early-1990s. It was restored in the last five years and is thought to be one of three known Torpedo-bodied examples. It should sell for between $115,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg J-118

1929 Duesenberg Model J Sedan by Derham (and Bohman & Schwartz)

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 30-September 2, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Duesenberg Model J was introduced in 1929, and the car you see here is a very early example, carrying engine number J-118, or the 18th example built. But this is not how a normal 1929 Duesenberg would have looked.

Originally bodied as a Derham Sedan, this car was the first Duesenberg bodied by that firm. Sometime in the 1930s, the car ended up in the Santa Barbra Channel and was then sold to a new owner. As some of the car was ruined, he sent it to Bohman and Schwartz to update the bodywork and interior. So it now carries a mid-30s streamlined design.

The 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight is original, however. Part of the Blackhawk Collection in the mid-1990s when it was last repainted and freshened, this car has been the same collection for the better part of a decade and should bring between $750,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $737,000.

Duesenberg J-262

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 23-25, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California, was the most prolific of all Duesenberg Model J coachbuilders. They built more bodies for these cars than any other company. In fact, they built 31 Convertible Sedans alone, which is what this car is.

Finished in black with a black top over a beautiful tan interior, this Model J – like all Model Js – is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine capable of 265 horsepower. It’s got a 3-speed transmission that would easily pull this car to speeds over 100 mph.

This was a late-add to Mecum’s Monterey sale and it is coming from the Academy of Art University Automobile Museum in San Francisco. They are thinning their collection a bit, and somebody is going to be lucky enough to walk off with this Duesey. Restored in 1991, it is expected to bring between $1,000,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,155,000.

Dover Mail Truck

1929 Dover Super-Six Mail Truck

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Dover was a short-lived brand of commercial vehicles introduced by Hudson in the summer of 1929. Not great timing. On the plus side, they were based on their Essex line of entry-level cars. So at least they were affordable.

The light-duty trucks were all Essex-based, so they used the same running gear, chassis, and bodywork from the firewall forward. The radiators were different and the commercial bodies were built by Biddle and Smart of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Dover scored a big sales win when the U.S. Postal Service ordered 500 examples for use as mail trucks. They were well-built enough that the USPS was still using some of them into the 1950s.

This example is powered by a 55 horsepower, 2.6-liter straight-six. It was discovered in Wyoming in the 1970s and purchased by the Harrah Collection (and then restored). It has spent time on display at NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana, and since then has been on display in the Hostetler Hudson Museum. Dovers were pulled from the market in late 1930 or early 1931 and they are extraordinarily rare today. Click here for more info and here for more Hudsons.

Update: Sold $55,000.