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.

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018


1918 Ford Model TT Fuel Tanker Truck

Photo – Bonhams

Ford wasn’t big on commercial vehicles when they were first founded. There was a Model E (a delivery van from around 1905) and there were work vehicles created using Model T chassis. But, their first true commercial vehicle was the Model TT that went on sale in 1917 and lasted through end of T production in 1927. These were sold as chassis only and were bodied by many other companies and even by some individuals.

It was a one-ton chassis that was longer than a traditional T and it also featured lower gearing for hauling heavier loads (and limited top speed to between 15 and 22 mph). It probably still uses the same 2.9-liter straight-four from the T which would’ve made 20 horsepower. The catalog lists this as a “circa 1917” but 1917 TT production was extraordinarily low, so it’s likely this is actually from 1918 or even a little later.

Bodied as a fuel tanker (in Supertest Petroleum livery), this truck has been on longtime museum display but does sport 1925 Canadian plates. It should sell for between $29,000-$41,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $21,432.


1929 Ford Model AA Bus

Photo – Bonhams

The Model AA was Ford’s commercial chassis based on the Model A road car. It was a significant upgrade over the TT and uses a 3.3-liter straight-four good for 40 horsepower, double that of the outgoing model.

Again sold as a bare chassis (though there were some Ford body designs that could be ordered from outside manufacturers), the AA was bodied to be what the owner needed. This one carries a bus body that has doors down the driver’s side for access to the rows of bench seats. In all, it will hold between 7-11 people, including the driver.

It has canvas windows down the sides that can be rolled up and stowed. It also has the luggage rack on the roof, which gives it the appearance of a vehicle used in exotic locales. This example came to the Netherlands in 1995 and has been on museum display for a while. It should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,506.


1930 Ford Model AA Platform Truck

Photo – Bonhams

This is another example of the Model AA. When commercial vehicles are sold as a bare chassis, the possible body combinations are essentially limitless. If you can imagine it, someone probably had it built.

This one wears a platform truck body and is stacked with barrels to compliment its amusing “Capone Distributing” livery. It sits on the medium wheelbase AA chassis but still uses the 40 horsepower, 3.3-liter straight-four engine. The best part about this truck? Those 1930s-era commercial vehicle wheels.

This one should bring between $18,000-$29,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,185.


1934 Ford Model BB 82 Stake Bed Truck

Photo – Bonhams

The Ford Model B replaced the Model A and was sold between 1932 and 1934. When they replaced the A, they replaced the Model AA commercial chassis too, dubbing the new one – wait for it – the Model BB.

The Model B finally gave its customers some options – namely that they could choose a four-cylinder or V8 engine. And the trucks had the same option. This truck carries the 3.3-liter straight-four that, in Model B form, makes 50 horsepower.

This dually is a stake bed truck and it looks like it was used for quite some time (it carries Dutch registration from 1957). With a little love, it can still be a usable piece of history for $7,000-$9,300. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,395.


1937 Ford 950 Autobus

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Ford bus. I don’t have much information about the model, the Type 950. But it’s got swoopy windswept lines and nice paint (and those great 1930s commercial vehicle wheels).

It’s powered by a V8 engine and has an entrance door on the rear passenger side. There’s a ladder out back that goes over the built-in spare tire to reach to luggage rack on the roof. This would’ve been an ideal intercity bus for the 1930s. It was most recently road-registered in 1937 and the interior looks to be in pretty nice shape. It’s an interesting vehicle and should bring between $35,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,976.

Duesenberg J-187

1929 Duesenberg Model J Clear-Vision Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

You might think that a sedan version of a Model J Duesenberg would be less desirable than any of the big convertibles or touring cars and, for the most part, you’d be right. Now that isn’t to say they aren’t desirable, but they tend to be on the cheaper side of the Model J spectrum.

But this is a special kind of sedan. It is one of six such examples constructed and one of five that remain. Murphy’s “Clear-Vision” consisted of skinny pillars around all of the car’s windows, increasing sight lines and decreasing blind spots. It’s a very pleasing design.

This example, if course, is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine good for 265 horsepower. This car retains its original body, engine, and firewall and has known ownership history from new (which included a stint as a Duesenberg company car). It was restored while part of the Imperial Palace collection and has been preserved in a private museum for almost the last decade. It should bring between $750,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Stearns-Knight Seven-Passenger Touring

1929 Stearns-Knight J-8-90 Seven-Passenger Touring

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.

Update: Sold $132,000.