Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023
Hispano-Suiza’s French arm opened as a remote factory in 1911, and by the end of WWI, it was their main production facility, especially for their largest, most expensive cars. In 1931, the company took over Ballot, and with that, they introduced a model called the Ballot HS26, except that the departing Ernest Ballot objected to his name being used. So the Hispano-Suiza HS26 was born.
Also referred to, at least in Artcurial’s catalog, as the “Junior”, it was smaller than the company’s concurrent models in 1931: the J12 and T56. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-six good for 96 horsepower. Just 124 examples were built through 1934.
This car was bodied as a four-seat, four-door pillarless sedan by French coachbuilder Vanvooren. Its interior was upholstered by its first owner, a leather company. The car was hidden during WWII and wasn’t really recommissioned until the 1960s. Only 13 HS26s are known to still exist, and despite their “junior” status, their still command a big price. In this case: $305,000-$395,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023
Rohr was founded by Hans Gustav Rohr, a WWI fighter pilot. Since Germany really wasn’t allowed to be too pro-military after the war, Rohr turned his focus to automobiles beginning in 1927. Their first car, the Type R sold in okay numbers, but the Depression really took the wind out of their sails. Mr. Rohr himself left the company to join Adler in 1931. The final Rohr cars were built in 1935.
This particular prototype started out as a 1933 Rohr Junior, which was actually a Tatra T.57 built under license. It features an air-cooled 1.5-liter flat-four and a body designed by Rohr engineer Karl-Wilhelm Ostwald. It features a streamlined sheet metal body with wood sides and floors.
It was used by the designer’s family for nearly 40 years before being laid up and later discovered by the consignor. It’s in original condition and carries an estimate of $54,000-$87,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2022
I can’t believe it’s taken this long for this site to feature one of these little trucks. They are a lot smaller in person than you’d think, even though the door makes it pretty obvious that they aren’t that large. Twin Coach existed from 1927 through 1955 in Kent, Ohio.
The company was actually formed by Frank and William Fageol after they left their eponymous company. In addition to their delivery vans, Twin Coach also made buses. Flxible acquired them in 1955 and continued marketing vehicles under the Twin Coach name through 1963.
The delivery trucks are most famous in the Helms Bakery livery, but they were used by other companies as well. It’s powered by a Hercules inline-four, and the driver can operate the vehicle either standing or sitting. This one is selling without reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
We’ve featured our fair share of Alfa 6C cars, but the 8C is much less common. Part of that is because it was a more racing-focused chassis and part is because the 8C did not return after WWII like the 6C did. This is the most common version of the 8C: the 2300.
Introduced in 1932, it featured a Vittorio Jano-designed inline-eight displacing 2.3 liters. Most of these were race cars, but, during a production run that lasted until 1935, there were 188 road-going examples made.
This car features a swoopy two-tone body by Figoni from his pre-Falaschi days. It’s got known ownership history back to new, including time spent with two-time Le Mans-winning racing driver (both wins in Alfa 8Cs, but not this one), Raymond Sommer. Now it’s got an eye-watering price estimated in the $4,000,000-$6,000,000 range. Click here for more info.
1933 Lincoln Model KB Dual Cowl Phaeton by Dietrich
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 3, 2022
Before the Continental arrived, Lincoln’s K series of cars was the best thing they offered. The first K arrived in 1931, and 12-cylinder cars followed in ’32. The Model KB was sold in 1932 through 1934. A variety of factory body styles were offered along with standard coachbuilt styles from the likes of LeBaron, Willoughby, Brunn, Judkins, and Dietrich.
This Dietrich-bodied dual cowl phaeton is one of nine produced for the model year, and it’s a pretty car, especially in these colors. When new, the car would’ve cost $4,200. Which was not cheap. The 6.8-liter V12 was rated at 220 horsepower, which put it near the top of American cars of its day.
It’s an older restoration and is a CCCA Full Classic. This one comes from long-term ownership. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Brougham by Brewster
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Eschen, Liechtenstein | June 19, 2021
The Phantom II was Rolls-Royce’s follow-up to the, wait for it, Phantom I. It was the “big” Roller, more powerful and greater in stature than the smaller 20/25 and 25/30 models offered during the 1930s. The Phantom II was sold between 1929 and 1936. Only 1,680 were made.
It is powered by a 7.7-liter inline-six that made approximately 120 horsepower. This particular car carries a one-off body by Brewster featuring an open driver’s compartment with a raked, vee’d windshield as well as a closed passenger’s compartment. A removable roof panel over the driver continues the rake of the windshield for a very aerodynamic front end. Well, a very aerodynamic middle section of the car, because that hood is long.
The rear of the body featured caning on the exterior as well as a sunken floor, gold-plated hardware, and wood trim. It was ordered new by the wife of a wealthy architect and spent time between their Washington D.C. and Newport, Rhode Island, homes. Quite the life.
This magnificent Rolls is estimated to sell for between $1,450,000-$1,950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1933 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | May 20, 2021
There are quite a few striking Duesenberg Model J bodies that were offered by various coachbuilders. In fact, just about every one of them is pretty striking. But none more so than the in-house dual-cowl phaeton penned by Gordon Buehrig.
The LeBaron dual-cowl phaeton was one of the first body styles introduced on the Model J after its introduction. Buehrig improved it a bit for those produced by LaGrande, which was actually a pseudonym for the Union City Body Company – a Cord subsidiary. They called it LaGrande, I guess because it sounded fancier. The only thing that would make this car better is to change the red to green.
Like other Js, this car is powered by a 6.9-liter inline-eight capable of 265 horsepower. It’s one of 12 such examples built with this bodywork, all of which survive. However, this chassis was originally delivered with engine J-334 and a Murphy convertible sedan body. J-281 was from a Rollston town car and was swapped into this car during original ownership. This body was added later on but is the real deal.
You can read more about this car here and see more from Bonhams here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021
The Audi Front was the first front-wheel-drive European car with a six-cylinder engine. The “UW” part was a sort of German abbreviation denoting that this Audi used a Wanderer engine that was flipped 180 degrees to drive the front wheels. The cars were also built in a Horch plant, making it a real Auto Union effort. Two different engines were offered during a production run that lasted from 1933 to 1938.
This car was in Russia during WWII, and it’s owner kept it hidden in his basement to avoid it be confiscated by Soviet authorities. It was purchased by the current owner in 1984 and relocated to Armenia, where it sat in storage until a restoration began in 2012.
Of the two Wanderer engines offered in the Audi Front (220 or 225), this car has neither. It has a 3.0-liter inline-six and some one-off features that have led people to believe it was some kind of prototype fitted with a four-seat, two-door convertible body by Glaser. Historics hypothesize that it was ordered by a high-ranking German military official. The pre-sale estimate is $480,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
Update: Not sold, Historics Auctioneers, July 2021.
Offered by Artcurial | Gibel, France | May 2, 2020
Jean-Marie Corre began building cars under his own name in 1901. Early in the company’s history, the cars became successful in competition, and one of their drivers used a crest with a unicorn on it. So they adopted the name La Licorne (or unicorn, in French).
So from about 1908 until production ceased in 1939, the cars carried the La Licorne name. When the non-French think of French cars of the 1930s, they usually picture Delahayes and the like, but there were other popular brands churning out cars for the masses that didn’t survive the war. La Licorne was one of them.
The L760 was produced between 1931 and 1935 and is powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four. This “S” model featured a lower suspension. The car was restored many years ago and has been in a museum since 1972. It should now bring between $4,300-6,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019
1906 White Model F Touring
Thomas White‘s sewing machine business gave way to steam cars in 1900. The company was a pioneer in their field, but they ultimately saw the light and phased out steam cars in favor of gas-powered vehicles in 1912.
This 1906 Model F Touring was the second-cheapest car White offered in 1906 after the Model F Runabout. At $2,800, it wasn’t cheap. But the White was one of the more popular – and more well-built – steam cars of their day. This one looks great but would look better with a convertible top. It should bring between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $96,250.
1917 Chandler Type 17 Seven-Passenger Touring
Frederic Chandler worked for Lozier before he jumped ship in 1913 with a few of his fellow employees to form his own company. The Chandler was a hit and lasted through 1929, when it was acquired by Hupmobile and quickly phased out.
There were a lot of cars “in the middle” of the American market in the 1910s and 20s. Chandler was one of the better ones in that class. This 1917 model is powered by a 27 horsepower 4.4-liter inline-six. Five body styles were offered, and the seven-passenger touring sold new for $1,395. This time around it should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $18,700.
1923 Gardner Model 5 Five-Passenger Sedan
The most interesting thing about this Gardner sedan, to me, is thinking about who purchased it in 1923. No one in 1923 knew that GM, Chrysler, and Ford would still be around 100 years later. But surely someone assumed Gardner would’ve been. After all, it was a well-regarded company from St. Louis that built a fair number of cars. It’s just hard to imagine someone wandering down to their local Gardner dealer and plunking down the cash.
Gardners were built from 1920 through 1931, and the company sort of inched upmarket each year, with their final offerings bordering on luxury cars. Kind of like Chrysler. But back in ’23, they were just another middle-class marque. The Model 5 could be had in a few styles, the sedan selling for $1,365. It kind of looks like a taxi and is powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. But I bet it goes cheaper than that. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $13,200.
1930 Marquette Model 35 Five-Passenger Phaeton
GM’s “companion make” philosophy in the 1920s and 1930s gave us Pontiac and LaSalle. Both of which were relatively successful. In fact, Pontiac was so successful that GM killed off the brand that spawned it, Oakland. So they figured they’d give Buick a companion. And they did: Marquette.
It only lasted for a single model year. Six models were offered, all priced right at about $1,000. All Marquettes are powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six good for 67 horsepower. The Model 35 Phaeton sold for $1,020, and this is one of 889 such cars built.
In all, Marquette production totaled 35,007 before GM killed it off. This rare survivor should bring between $15,000-$25,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $15,950.
1933 Terraplane Deluxe Six Model KU Sedan
I was excited to feature an Essex. But I forgot that Hudson killed off the Essex marque in favor of Terraplane beginning in 1933. So instead of featuring a final-year example from Essex, we’re featuring a launch-year example of the Terraplane.
Terraplane offered six and eight-cylinder cars in 1933 that were essentially down-market Hudsons. A slew of body styles were offered, and the sedan cost $655 when new. A 3.2-liter inline-six good for 70 horsepower provided the oomph. This is a handsome car in good colors. It’s well-trimmed, with chrome bumpers and four suicide doors. The best part is it is usable and is expected to fetch only $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.