1935 Armstrong Siddeley Special Mk II Touring Limousine
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017
Photo – H&H Classics
Armstrong Siddeley was a company that came together when two other companies merged. Those companies were Armstrong Whitworth and Siddeley-Deasy. Each of those companies were the result of a merger of two other companies. Basically Armstrong Siddeley was the culmination of four different, earlier, automotive companies.
Armstrong Siddeley began in 1919 and produced cars until 1960. From that point on, they focused on aircraft and aircraft engines. Through a series of mergers, they are now part of Rolls-Royce (the aircraft company).
This Special is one of the rarest Armstrong Siddeleys ever built. It was introduced in 1932 and went on sale for 1933, being sold through 1937. Only 253 were built. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-six that offered pretty good performance for its day. This would’ve been their attempt to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce.
This particular car was a factory demonstrator and is one of about 30 cars that are still in existence. Recently, it was owned by the a trustee of the National Motor Museum and the head of the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust. It runs and drives, but needs a little work to be roadworthy. It will sell at no reserve and you can find more about it here (and more from H&H Classics here).
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
Charles Godsal was the son of an inventor and in 1930s Britain, he decided to put some of that inherited mechanical know-how to work and designed his very own automobile. The final product would cost him over £3,000 but would result in a well engineered, stylish sports car.
He built his own chassis and got the rear end from Bentley. For the engine, he took an 85 horsepower, 3.6-liter Ford Flathead V-8. The body was done by Corsica of London and the car itself was actually constructed by a London-based company and not by Godsal himself. Unfortunately, as well-built as the car may have been, Godsal was unable to raise any funding to begin production, so only this prototype was ever built.
He sold the car to a friend and its history from that point on is unknown until it appeared in a movie in 1969. A man in England purchased the car in 1977 but at that point, no one knew what it really was. Luckily for us, he did the research and it’s here still today. The next owner acquired it later that year and had it in storage in the U.S. for the past 24 years. It’s mostly original and should bring between $225,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams auction lineup.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Avions Voisin was Gabriel Voisin’s car company that he set up in 1919. He had already sort of conquered the air with his planes, so he switched his focus to the earth and its roads. If Voisin built cars today, they’d be called wildly impractical and flashy. But because he did it in the 1930s, they are called gorgeous. All of these words are correct, but gorgeous is the most correct.
Interestingly, Voisin chose the Knight-type sleeve-valve engines for use in his cars – the true engineer’s choice. This car uses a 3.3-liter straight-six making 102 horsepower. This was not the fastest car of its day (it’ll do 90+), but good lord, once you start looking at the details and the flawless design, power and speed cease to matter.
Something to note about Voisin’s cars: there aren’t a lot of them that have some fancy coachbuilt body. In fact, Gabriel himself designed this body and it exceeds what you will find from most coachbuilders. It’s Art Deco from front to rear and this two-door sedan has an unbelievable retractable sunroof that opens the entire top above the driver and front-seat passenger. As is the case with most Voisin’s, the interior is outstanding.
This was the first of two C28 Aerosports built. This one was actually damaged in WWII and rebuilt as a four-door sedan afterward. Discovered in 1980, the car was restored to its original glory after the current owner acquired it in 1998. With this car you are buying a moving, driving, piece of art. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | April 23, 2016
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
If you think of Mercedes-Benz and the 1930s, you might come up with big, beautiful cars like the the 500/540K or something even larger. But Mercedes had a full range of cars on sale, including this, the 130H.
This range represented the smallest cars available from Mercedes-Benz in the day. The 130H was offered alongside the 150H and 170H (both of which had more power) – making this the baby. It is powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four making 25 horsepower. The engine was mounted in the rear, driving the rear wheels. The suspension was such that the car rode very well, but handled extremely poorly. This is the sedan model (other body styles were also offered).
It was only produced between 1934 and 1936, with just 4,298 cars built in total. It’s a very rare model today and this one, while restored a while ago, has had recent engine service. This was a German every man’s car for the 1930s and it should bring between $35,500-$37,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | March 19, 2016
1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet by Saoutchik
Photo – Bonhams
The fact that this car looks so fresh as if the body was constructed during a restoration – but wasn’t – signifies that it is something special: it is entirely unique to this model. Jacques Saoutchik is responsible for some of the most beautiful designs of his era. And to have one of those stylish bodies on one of the greatest chassis of the era is quite a feat.
The Mercedes-Benz 500K is one of their most sought-after models with only 354 built. They are powered by a 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the supercharger engaged. This particular chassis was displayed as a bare chassis at the 1935 Paris Salon.
It was sold new to California and remained there until the current owner acquired it in 1989. It has been restored but it hasn’t really done the show circuit. It’s quite the ticket and should bring between $6,600,000-$7,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Sports Roadster by Sindelfingen
Photo – Bonhams
This is a slightly more “standard” 500K – even though it is so beyond most of its 1936-era contemporaries. Most of the 354 500Ks built fall into specific categories such as Cabriolet A, Cabriolet B, Cabriolet C, Special Roadster, etc. This is a Sports Roadster and is one of somewhere between seven and 12 such examples built. There is a category of “other open cars” with regards to 500K body styles and this would fall in there.
The engine is the standard supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower or 160 with the kompressor engaged when the throttle is held wide open. This car was delivered new to London and later ended up in Florida. In 1989, it returned to Europe – this time Sweden. It’s a wonderful example of one of MB’s all-time great models. It should bring between $3,900,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 9-11, 2015
Photo – Mecum
The Stewart Motor Corporation of Buffalo, New York, began building commercial vehicles in 1912. For 1915 and 1916 only, they offered a passenger car, before returning to what they did best. In 1926 they introduced the “Buddy” – a light truck with road-going performance.
What you see here is just such a model, which was likely produced up through 1937 (Stewart folded in 1940). It’s powered by a 2.7-liter straight-four. Today, this wouldn’t be considered a commercial vehicle, but an everyday pickup truck.
And that’s why this is so interesting. This is a relatively late example (most car companies that the Depression was going to kill were already dead by this point and the only survivors are the ones that are household names today). So here’s a light pickup that would’ve competed against Ford and Chevrolet from a company you’ve probably never heard of. Check out more here and see more from Mecum here.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $37,500.
Update II: Sold, Auctions America, Auburn Fall 2015, $20,350.
1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Town Car by Bohman & Schwartz
Offered by RM Auctions | Ft. Worth, Texas | May 2, 2015
Photo – RM Auctions
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done a write-up on a Duesenberg. This is an SJ, a factory supercharged example. What’s even better is that it has it’s original chassis, engine and body – there aren’t many SJs (or any Duesenbergs) that can say that.
The SJ was a supercharged version of the standard 6.9-liter straight-eight that pumps out a still-impressive 320 horsepower. The history of this car is interesting: it was a bare chassis sitting in a Duesenberg warehouse after the great clamor for these cars had passed. Designer Herb Newport of Bohman & Schwartz penned this body and the car was to be built for Mae West, who bought another Model J before this one was done.
Instead, this car was sold to Ethel Mars, of the Mars Candy Company. She was chauffeured around Chicago in this car for years. The car then had a string of Chicago-area owners into the 1960s before Bill Harrah got his hands on it. When his collection was dispersed, this car had a few more owners before RM sold it in 2007 for $4.4 million.
So how rare is this combo? Well, it’s a one-of-one design and it’s one of only 36 factory supercharged Model Js built (less than 30 remain). Only 10 have one-off bodies on an original SJ chassis. Bohman & Schwartz only bodied nine Duesenbergs and five of those were rebodies – making this one of four Bohman & Schwartz originals.
It has known ownership history since new and could top $5 million. Check out more here and see more from The Andrews Collection here.
Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014
Photo – RM Auctions
So there’s really nothing super exotic about this Packard. But when I looked through the catalog for this sale, it caught my eye. It’s just pretty, isn’t it? Packards are quite stately as-is, but this one – and maybe it’s that deep ruby red paint – I really like.
The Super Eight appears to have been new for 1933 as a deviation of the then-three-year-old Eight. The engine is a 150 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-eight. These are still usable cars… although the wonderfully styled rear-hinged doors aren’t something you see much of anymore.
The car was actually restored decades ago but has been freshened and detailed more recently. It still looks excellent. This Series 1204 Coupe Roadster should sell for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Michigan.
The Ulster is one of Aston Martin’s most sought-after and glorious models. It’s also quite manly, isn’t it? It just looks like to takes serious brawn to slide over that big exhaust and into the car. What’s even better is that this car competed in some of the biggest races of its day as an Aston factory racer.
The Ulster was built between 1934 and 1936 and only 21 were constructed, making it extremely rare. It was essentially a lightened version of the Aston Mk II and uses a 1.5-liter straight-four making 80 horsepower (although a one-time owner and specialist said that number is more like 120). It could do 100 mph.
This one has some pretty serious race history, including:
1935 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Eddie Hall and “Marsden”)
1935 24 Hours of Le Mans – 8th (with Maurice Faulkner and Tom Clarke)
1935 Targa Abruzzo – 5th, 1st in class (with Count Giovanni Lurani and Ermengildo Strazza)
The first actual owner of this car was an Aston factory driver, Ian Porter-Hargreaves. Marque specialist Derrick Edwards bought it in 1963. It’s been restored to its former glory. Bonhams says that this might be the “most revered” Ulster there is. That’s a big statement. And it carries a big price: $2,400,000-$2,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Birmingham Small Arms Company began motorized vehicle production in 1907 with some prototype cars. Motorcycles arrived in 1910 and would become the company’s signature product through the 1960s and into the 1970s. BSA motorcycles are some of the most classic British bikes from the era.
Early BSA cars were kind of a mess and it wasn’t until their fourth attempt at automobile production that they finally got it right (or as close to right as they would before realizing that maybe they should stick with motorcycles). The Scout was introduced in 1935 and used a 1.1-liter straight-four engine making 9 (RAC) horsepower (which I think is around 30hp in today’s terms).
The Scout was available in six series through 1939 and established BSA as a builder of reliable automobiles. Unfortunately the War killed any hopes of them continuing after the Scout ceased production. It’s a small, light car with really good looks. This one was a basket case when it was found in the 1970s and eventually restored to great condition. It’s a cool little car from a company better known for their two-wheelers. It should sell for between $10,000-$13,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ Oxford sale.