Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Frank Stearns sold his company to John North Willys in 1925. From 1925 through 1930, when the Stearns-Knight brand was shuttered, it operated under the corporate umbrella of Willys-Overland.
This 1929 model, one of the last Stearns-Knight cars built (as 1930 production was minimal if it occurred at all), is an example of what is probably the greatest car the marque ever sold. It looks like a large Packard of the era and is powered by a 112 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-eight sleeve-valve engine.
Only 388 of this model were built between 1928 and 1929 – only 11 survive today. This chassis originally sported a sedan body, but by the time the restoration began, the body was in too bad of shape to restore. So a factory-correct seven-passenger touring body was constructed for it. And it’s gorgeous. The J-8-90 was the pinnacle (and sort of the end of the line) for the decades of Knight-engined automobiles in the United States. You’re unlikely to come across one of these for sale in the wild because they are that good. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
Does this Duesenberg look a little like a… Cadillac? If you think so, there’s a good reason: this car was bodied by Fleetwood, as in the Fleetwood Metal Body Company. Founded in 1909, Fleetwood built bodies for many companies in its early days. But in 1925 it was acquired by Fisher and it became part of General Motors in 1931. A lot of Cadillacs bodied after 1931 wore Fleetwood bodies much like this one.
In fact, this is the second Fleetwood body that this car wore. The original owner swapped out the first body for this one, which he lifted from a Cadillac V-16. It wasn’t the only thing he changed, this chassis is currently on its third engine, J-417. The 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight that originally powered this chassis racked up 200,000 miles before being replaced. A second engine came and went as well. This car was used and enjoyed and didn’t find its second owner until the late 1950s.
Since then it has had a few other owners and was restored about 30 years ago. It’s a unique Model J with known history from new (the first owner ordered the car from Fred Duesenberg on the New York Auto Show stand in 1929). It should bring between $950,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy
Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
To the knowing eye, it seems like this 1929 Model J is actually a little newer than it’s listed as being. Most 1929 Model Js are a little boxier and this one seems… well-rounded and a little smoother. That’s because the coachwork was updated in period by Bohman & Schwartz, the coachbuilder who did a lot of Duesenberg updating in the mid-1930s.
The Model J was built between 1929 and 1937… though the last engines and chassis were all built prior to then as it was difficult to sell the most glamorous automobile in American history at the height of the Great Depression. All Model Js were speedy, powered by a 265 horsepower Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight.
This numbers matching car was ordered new by an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Bodied by Murphy with some one-off features, the coachwork was updated by Bohman & Schwartz in 1934 at the owner’s request. The second owner acquired the car in 1959 when it showed an impressive 66,000 miles. Well cared for its entire life, this car should bring between $800,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Soilhull, England | June 2, 2017
Photo – H&H Classics
H&H Classics’ sale at the National Motorcycle Museum in Soilhull, West Midlands, features a quite a few interesting cars, but this Rover 10 was by far the most interesting looking. Rover was a British marque that built cars between 1904 and 2005. Technically Land Rover (and by proxy, Tata) owns the Rover marque, even though the “Roewe” marque is active in China.
The 10/25 was introduced by a still-independent Rover in 1927. It’s powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four making 25 horsepower. Different bodies were offered, including a few by coachbuilder Weymann. This car sports the four-door version with a body in fabric. The roof is fabric as well, and it can be pulled back like the world’s largest sunroof.
The first generation of the 10 lasted through 1933 with approximately 15,000 produced. This one looks really nice and can be yours for between $7,750-$10,350. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 13, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
Some people think hearses in general are creepy. I don’t. But this one is. It’s that ornate, Victorian-like coachwork that makes it look like it should be driven by a ghost in a tuxedo and a top hat. Cunningham built attractive passenger cars from 1911 through 1929. From 1929 through 1936, they concentrated on hearses, ambulances and other car-based commercial vehicles (something they’d been building since practically day one).
This car is powered by a 45 horsepower, 7.2-liter V-8. That’s an embarrassing amount of power from such a big engine, considering Duesenberg’s eight-cylinder engine from 1929 was making 265 horses. But who cares, really, because as heavy as this car looks, it’s enough power to cruise at parade speed, which is really the only thing you’re going to do with it unless you own a funeral home and a time machine.
This car comes from a Detroit-area funeral home and before that it was used in Chicago. The wooden carvings on the side are very intricate. It’s an interesting enough automobile that it was on display for a time at the Henry Ford Museum. Only 5,600 Cunninghams were produced over 30 years – so good luck finding another one like this. It should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Lorraine-Dietrich Type B 3/6 Sport by Gangloff
Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017
Photo – Osenat
Lorraine-Dietrich just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This automotive marque began in 1896, founded by their namesake, a railway locomotive manufacturer. Cars were available through 1935, manufactured at two different plants in France. At one point, a young Ettore Bugatti worked there, designing engines.
They built racing cars (they won Le Mans with this model) as well as luxurious tourers like the one you see here. The Type B 3/6 is powered by a 115 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-six.
This car was bought new in Geneva and bodied by Gangloff in Bern. It was restored in 1993 – after nearly 50 years of sitting. The current owner acquired it in 2011 and has used it extensively. It is one of 65 Sport models built but only 15 remain – with this one being the only Cabriolet. It should bring between $543,000-$760,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The 1929 Stutz line consisted of a single model, the Model M, and ’29 was the only model year that the company built a car by that name. Quite a few body styles were offered, and I’m talking like more than 30, but this one carries very sporty Coupe coachwork by Lancefield of London.
Stutz’s standard straight-eight engine would be produced by the firm from 1928 through the end of production in 1934. All Model Ms were powered by this 5.3-liter unit – but a select few were equipped with a supercharger that bumped power up to 185. This supercharged power plant was the result of a 2nd place finish for the marque at Le Mans in 1928. Bentley upped their game for 1929 and Stutz couldn’t afford to build a new engine, so they strapped a centrifugal supercharger to the one they had and sent it back to Europe where the best result attained was 5th at Le Mans in 1929.
Only three supercharged Stutz cars are known to exist and I’ve managed to see two of them in person, this car included. It is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s been restored and freshened multiple times in the past 20 years and in that time has sported owners such as Skip Barber and John O’Quinn. It is being sold out of a prominent Stutz collection based in Texas. The best way to describe this car is that it’s just one of those cars – an incredible automobile that has the engine, chassis, and body it was delivered with. An award winner all over the U.S., it will remain a prized possession among whoever is lucky enough to acquire it next. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 30, 2016
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
This is one of the earliest Model J Duesenberg’s we’ve yet featured. The car that took the world by storm in late 1929 still gets people’s attention today. The Model J is undoubtedly one of America’s greatest automotive achievements.
This is a “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupe, built by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California. They built 60 Convertible Coupes, with only 25 of those being of the Disappearing Top variety. As a Model J, it is powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight engine.
This car was sold new with a Derham Sedan body attached to it. The original owner in Chicago sent it back to Duesenberg to have this body installed. This happened in 1934 and then it was resold. It has had many owners, but the current owner has had it for many years and used it often. In fact, he has driven this car round trip from Florida to Auburn, Indiana. The car’s second restoration was completed under his care and is being sold to benefit a liberal arts college. Read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 6, 2016
Photo – Artcurial
Everything we’ve ever written about half-tracks on this site has become quite popular, so here you go: a 1929 non-military Citroen half-track. Or Snowcat. Citroen actually built half-tracks (or Kégresse, for the name of the man who patented the tracks) throughout the 1920s and 30s. The French Army used them, but they were also sold to anyone who wanted one. Andre Citroen used one to cross the Sahara.
This model is a P19 – it uses a 2.5-liter straight-six, making it more powerful than most other half-tracks built by Citroen. And rarer too. The rear end is a flatbed, which isn’t that exciting – but at least it’s functional.
In fact, this whole thing is very functional and could be a lot of fun. It’s certainly different. Strangely, Kégresse production ceased in 1940 (when Germany took over), but there are a number of these out there. Here’s your chance to get one for between $43,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s auction lineup.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
We should all know by now that cars don’t get better than Duesenberg Model Js. The Walter M. Murphy Company was the most prolific body supplier for the Model J and their Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe is one of the most popular body styles. But this is a little different.
This is a Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe. That means it is a convertible where the top is completely hidden when retracted and it has a pinched rear end like a boattail speedster. It even has a one-passenger rumble seat. It’s an awesome combination of design. And as this is a Model J, the 265 horsepower 6.9-liter straight-eight is standard.
This car originally was fitted with engine number J-178 but that engine was removed from the car at some point (likely in the 1940s as a source for parts). In the 1950s, the new owner acquired engine J-414 and put it in this car – that’s why the engine number is so high and the model year is so early. The body work had slight updates in the late-1930s to the “JN” style.
This car has been with its present owners for over 20 years. It is one of six Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupes ever built and one of four to actually still have their original coachwork. They never come up for sale and it should be pricey. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.