Duesenberg J-254

1930 Duesenberg Model J Imperial Cabriolet by Hibbard & Darrin

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is a wonderful Model J Duesenberg. The profile view of this car screams “stately, high-quality automobile.” Introduced in 1929, the Model J was the crowning achievement of American motorcars up to that time (and for decades afterward).

It’s powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine that puts out 265 horsepower. Every Model J’s body was custom built, and this car was bodied by Parisian coachbuilders Hibbard & Darrin. It’s a big, opulently-appointed car with an over-sized trunk out back to carry the luggage of the original owners: William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies. They carted this car all over the world with them on their travels.

This car has known ownership history more or less going back to when it was new. It’s been owned by famed members of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and was restored by a master Model J restorer. It was freshened after 2003 and hasn’t really been shown since. It’s a well-known Model J that has one of the most-famous first owners imaginable. You can find out more here and see more from RM here.

Four Racers from Artcurial

Four Racers from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018


1949 Simca 8 Barquette by Motto

Photo – Artcurial

The Simca 8 was a family car built by Simca in France between 1937 and 1951. It was offered in a variety of body styles and two engines were offered, one before 1949 and a slightly larger one after 1949. This 1949 car originally featured a race-prepped version of the earlier, 1.1-liter straight-four.

It was originally a road car, but was transformed into a racing barquette by a racing driver in 1950. The body was built in aluminium by Motto, an Italian coachbuilder. Once race-ready, the owner promptly registered it for the road! It was entered for the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans but never showed up, though it did compete in some other French sports car races in the early 1950s.

Discovered again after 2000, it was restored and the engine was redone and enlarged to 1.2-liters. It’s just destined for the historic circuit with its new owner. It’ll likely bring between $275,000-$335,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1930 Chenard et Walcker 1500 Type Y8 Tank

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s my pick of these four. The Chenard & Walcker Y8 was introduced at the 1927 Paris Motor Show and was built through 1930. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four and it’s called a “Tank.” Chenard & Walcker were famous for their tanks, which were kind of squared off yet aerodynamic cars that were mainly destined for the track. Bugatti also built some racing “tanks” around this era as well.

This is a two-seat convertible and it probably doesn’t have racing history, but plenty Chenard tanks saw track action. It’s been in collections for decades and is largely original. No one knows how many of these were built, but there aren’t that many around. This one should bring between $85,000-$160,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $94,913.


1963 Rene Bonnet Aerodjet LM6

Photo – Artcurial

When Rene Bonnet left Deutsch-Bonnet in 1961, he set up shop building cars under his own name. His first new model was the Djet and what we have here is a racing version of the road car. It’s powered by a Renault-Gordini 1.1-liter straight-four and the body is fiberglass.

This car was raced at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans with Bruno Basini and Robert Bouharde behind the wheel. It finished the race, but did not complete the minimum distance, ultimately resulting in an official “Not Classified” result, but more realistically they were 14th.

The current owner bought the car in 1989 and it was restored, with a 1.3-liter Gordini striaght-four installed in place of the original. Only three of these longtail LM6 Aerodjets were built and this is the nicest, most original one left. It should sell for between $300,000-$425,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1956 Riffard-Renault Tank Record

Photo – Artcurial

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: this looks like one of those tin toys that kids played with in the 1950s. In reality, it started life as as one of two custom-built Guépard race cars that were built in 1952 and 1953. Both competed in a race in 1954 and this one crashed.

The owner took it and while repairing it, decided to turn it into a World Speed Record car. Designed by Marcel Riffard, it’s a sleek, Renault-powered streamliner with a body by Heuliez. The engine is a 750cc four-cylinder and it’s unknown if it ever attempted any records, but it did do a speed run in 1998 after decades in a private collection. It’s a unique car and should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $70,090.

Gardner 140

1930 Gardner 140 Sport Roadster

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

Russell Gardner founded the Gardner Motor Company in St. Louis in 1920. The company did pretty well right off the bat, moving nearly 4,000 cars in 1921 and more than double that the year after. They began with four-cylinder cars and expanded to six and eight-cylinder engines later on.

In 1930 the company offered three models: the Model 136, Model 140, and Model 150. The mid-level Model 140 is powered by a 90 horsepower, 4.1-liter Lycoming straight-eight. It was an evolution of 1929’s Model 125 (not to be confused with the 120).

The 140 could be had in eight body styles, with this Sport Roadster among the least expensive options, priced at $1,645 when new. Restored in 2016, this ex-Harrah car is one of about 1,100 Gardners produced in 1930 (the company folded after 1931). It’s also one of two Model 140 Sport Roadsters known to exist. It should sell for between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,000.

Delage D8 by Vanden Plas

1930 Delage D8 Tourer by Vanden Plas

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | June 24, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

The D8 was Delage’s eight-cylinder car that was in production between 1929 and 1940. If that seems like a long time, keep in mind that the Great Depression wasn’t exactly a great time to engineer and take to market a brand new, high end luxury car. That said, Delage did improve the car incrementally over the years, offering no less than five sub-models to the D8 line.

Produced in 1930, this is one of the original line of D8 cars. D8s were powered by 4.1-liter straight-eight engine making 120 horsepower. This car is listed as being powered by a 4.4-liter unit, its origin unknown. However, the body is the original body supplied to this chassis, having been bodied by Vanden Plas in Belgium.

It’s known to have been involved in an accident in the 1950s, but an enthusiast owner acquired it in the 60s and brought it back to proper form. It spent two decades in a collection and the current owner bought it in 2007, bringing it back to roadworthy condition after it suffered gearbox trouble while on a set for a film. It is expected to sell for between $190,000-$215,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bugatti 44 Berline

1930 Bugatti Type 44 Berline by Alin & Liautard

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Most of Bugatti models are all part of a line of cars that trace back to an earlier model. In this case, the Type 44 can trace its heritage back to the Type 30 of 1922. The Type 44 was built between 1927 and 1930 and was the most popular series of all of the “8-cylinder line” of 1922-1934.

It’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-eight making 80 horsepower. This car was sold new in Paris and was sent to Alin & Liautard to be bodied as a sedan, a body style not many Bugattis still exist as. The large roof has a big piece of fabric that can be rolled back like a giant cloth sunroof.

Ownership is known back to the 1950s, but it is known that the car was registered in Pairs up until that point. Any restoration this car has ever underwent is extremely old and predates the current owner who acquired the car some time ago. The Type 44 was one of the most popular Bugattis sold, with production totaling 1,095 cars. This one should sell for between $200,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $321,130.

Bugatti 46 by Weymann

1930 Bugatti Type 46 Sportsman’s Saloon by Weymann

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

In 1929, Bugatti introduced a new road car dubbed the Type 46. It would spawn a very rare supercharged variant the following year (the Type 46S) and a short-wheelbase cousin called the Type 50. The Type 50B was the only racing version of the Type 46 family. Production on the Type 46 ended in 1936.

These cars are powered by a 5.4-liter straight-eight making 140 horsepower. It was a pretty large and heavy chassis at 138 inches (eight inches longer than a modern Chevy Suburban), so it’s no wonder Bugatti chose the short wheelbase version for the race car.

This car was one of 35 Bugatti chassis ordered by its London distributor and was bodied in the U.K. by Weymann. It’s history goes back to new but the current family has owned it for 42 years. The Type 46 was a popular Bugatti, with 400 built. This one should bring between $210,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # 46219

Update: Sold $365,332.

Talbot M67 Sedan

1930 Talbot M67 11CV Sedan

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot marque has one of the messiest histories of any automobile brand in history. There were British and French Talbots and they manufactured cars simultaneously. And there were numerous prefixes and suffixes attached to the name. What we have here is a French Talbot, from the brand that sold cars from 1922 (prior to this they were sold as Darracq-Talbots) through 1936 (after which they were badged as Talbot-Lagos).

Yeesh. Anyway, the M67 was built between 1927 and 1930. It was a relatively nice car in its day and is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 38 horsepower. Different body styles were offered, but this car wears a fairly standard sedan body.

The restoration on this particular example is about 10 years old but this is the same body, engine, and chassis combination from when it was new. It kind of reminds me of a taxi, based on its livery (which is the color it was when new) – but it isn’t. It’s a driver and should bring between $21,700-$32,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,263.

Duesenberg J-237

1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 14-22, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Model J Duesenberg has always been a collectible car. People started buying these up when they were just 10-year-old cars and hoarding them. This action saved many of them and they have a fantastic survival rate for their age. Prices have undergone fluctuations, as this car sold in 2011 for just $363,000.

They were powerful cars in their day, with a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight providing the motivation. All sorts of body styles were offered by coachbuilders (as Duesenberg only sold the bare chassis/engine combination… you had to provide your own body). Among the most popular bodies was the Dual Cowl Phaeton seen here.

This car is far from original, unfortunately. It’s composed of original, period parts, but it was more or less assembled that way. For instance, it rides on a replacement chassis, the body was crafted in the style of LaGrande – but the engine is real. At any rate, it is wonderfully presented and should top the price it brought five years ago. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: $880,000.

Duesenberg J-347

1930 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Duesenberg Model J – which is beautifully photographed, despite the fact that geese are evil – is one of the more desirable body styles that was ever produced in a more-than-one-off quantity. The Dual Cowl Phaeton is one of the most interesting bodies you can have on an old touring car because it’s not something you can find and any new car. Anywhere.

The second windshield provided some wind and weather protection for backseat passengers (and notice just how far back they really are). On this car, Murphy has actually angled the rear glass like the front, making the rear seat compartment look quite sporty if taken alone. And, as is the case with all Model Js, this car is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight making 265 horsepower.

Murphy only built three Dual Cowl Phaetons and this is one of those cars. It is numbers matching from new (which is rare in itself). The car was restored in the early 1960s and has been maintained since. There’s an interesting history here, too: J-347 was sold new in Massachusetts but the owner moved to Mexico and in 1945, sold the car to a Mexican businessman. It was later featured in a film and then walled up in an airport parking garage by its next owner for years until being discovered and relocated to America.

The same family has owned this car for 54 years meaning this will be the first time it has changed hands in the modern era. It’s a stunning design on an incredible chassis and should bring big money. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $2,090,000.

Hispano-Suiza H6B

1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe Chauffeur by Binder

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Hispano-Suiza was a combination of the Spanish and Swiss… so it only makes sense that a number of their greatest cars were actually built by the French. Many of the models were Spanish built, but the French firm was responsible for the H6B, H6C, HS26, K6, and J12 models.

This H6B differs from the later H6C in that it has a smaller, less powerful engine and a lower top speed. It is powered by a 135 horsepower, 6.6-liter straight-six with a top speed of 85 mph. This model was available from 1919 through 1929.

The business-like Coupe Chauffeur was a car built just for that – to be chauffeured around in. The body is by French coachbuilder Henri Binder and the restoration is described as “older.” What that means I’m not sure, but the car has been in the same collection since 1962. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $120,340.