Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Munich, Germany | November 25, 2023
BMW’s 303 line of cars was their first with a six-cylinder engine, and they helped cement the kidney grille design language that persists today. The original 303 launched in 1933, and a slew of spin-off models followed. The 319 was sold from 1935 to 1937.
The big difference here was the engine. The 319 is powered by a 1.9-liter inline-six rated at 45 horsepower. It was BMW’s largest car until the 326 debuted a year later. Various body styles were offered, and of the 6,646 built, just 238 were two-seat sport cabriolets.
This car was sold new in Mainz, Germany. The current owner bought it as a project in 2018 and turned it into the concours class winner it is today. The estimate is $130,000-$170,000. More info can be found here.
1936 Alvis Speed 20 SD Sunshine Coupe by Vanden Plas
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | June 14, 2023
The first Alvis cars were sold in 1920, and a series of models were churned out over the course of that decade. In 1932, they introduced the Speed 20, which would be offered in four different series through 1936.
The final of these series was the SD, which was sold for 1936 only before the Speed 20 was replaced by the 3.5-Litre. The SD was only slightly revised from the earlier SC – the bodywork was a bit wider, and the fuel tank was larger. The SC had brought changes over the SB including a 2.8-liter inline-six and chassis revisions.
Only 149 examples of the SD were built, and just 12 of those were bodied as a “four-light” two-door sedan by Vanden Plas. Only two are known to exist, and this one was restored in the 1990s. The estimate is $100,000-$115,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | November 17, 2022
Guess where this company was based. Indiana? Yes… well, for part of the run anyway. By the time this truck was built, the Indiana Motors Corporation was actually based in Cleveland, Ohio, as a subsidiary of White, who phased it out around 1940.
Indiana trucks were produced initially by the Harwood-Barley Manufacturing Company of Marion, Indiana. They built trucks and buses and were eventually acquired by Brockway before becoming part of White.
The Model 86 featured a Hercules inline-six engine. And that’s about all of the technical details I have. This is said to have been originally built as a fire truck for use in Delaware. Now it’s offered at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | August 3, 2022
Here’s one you may not be familiar with. Railton was founded by Noel Macklin, who previously founded Invicta. He named his next company after Reid Railton, a British world speed record holder. The kind of weird part was, Macklin used American Hudson powertrains for his British-built cars (initially inline-eights).
The Cobham, of which this appears to be an early example, was the “small” Railton at this time of its introduction, with power from a 2.7-liter Hudson inline-six. An even smaller Railton would debut in 1938 and was based on Standard mechanicals instead of those from Hudson.
Just 81 examples of the Cobham were produced, either as a sedan or drophead coupe. This is one of about six that remain. It was repainted in 1993, receiving mechanical repairs and upgrades as needed over the years. The pre-sale estimate is $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold. Offered for sale at half it’s lower estimate above.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | September 8, 2021
This one-off single-seater special is sort of like the British version of an early-1930s “junk formula” Indy car. Except that instead of having history at Indianapolis, this car has history at Brooklands. But first, the story of its creation.
It was built by Rodney Stafford between 1936 and 1938 utilizing a specially built Blaker Engineering Company chassis and a supercharged 1.5-liter Meadows inline-four. The aluminum body work was shaped in the aerodynamics of the day and is pure function.
It competed at Brooklands, before the war broke out, against the likes of Bugattis, Maseratis, and Altas. Its competition history picked back up after the war and continued throughout the 1940s. This one-of-one period race car carries a pre-sale estimate of $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We’ve featured a few Albion commercial vehicles in the past, including a truck from about this era. This delivery van carries a livery for a producer of Swiss Rolls and was apparently delivered new to this company. It was restored between 2005 and 2008 and has been fitted with overdrive, allowing it to hit about 55 mph. This makes it somewhat usable, especially if you’re a business owner looking to advertise (though it would be a shame to lose this livery). Power is from an inline-four of unknown displacement or output.
Bonhams sold this truck in 2013 for $26,000, and it now carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1936 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Rollston
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021
The 6.9-liter Lycoming straight-eight that powers this Model J Duesenberg is the third-to-last “J” engine by number. Only J-587 and J-588 are later. This is the final Rollston-bodied Model J, and Mecum states that it was the last completed car to leave the Duesenberg showroom. It was shown at the 1936 New York Auto Show with a price tag of $17,000.
The 265-horsepower car rides on a long-wheelbase chassis and was purchased new by the then-president of Coca-Cola. It was later owned by jazz musician Charles Kyner for 46 years. The restoration was completed in 1990.
These later Model Js have such different bodywork than the earlier cars. It seemed like there was more “freedom” for the designers to rework the area forward of the cowl. This one is striking from the head-on view, and the interior looks like a nice place to be. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020
We’ve featured five examples of the 500K – one of the finest automobiles to ever have been produced by Mercedes-Benz. Four of them were cabriolets, and there was one Sports Roadster. What they all have in common is that they are sporty drop-tops. They may have had back seats, but the focus was on making them look like convertible coupes.
Not this car. While it may have two doors, it also has a long convertible top so that rear-seat passengers still had an open view to the outside world. This was the autobahn cruiser for someone who regularly took his friends out to show off. Imagine taking three of your friends and blasting down the highway with the top down in one of these. Incredible.
Power is from a 160 horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter inline-eight (100 horsepower without the supercharger engaged). Bonhams’ catalog description refers to this as a Cabriolet A and an Offener Tourenwagen, and it is most definitely the latter. It also claims that only 16 such cars were built on the 500K chassis, but the number 28 is reported elsewhere.
The takeaway is that it’s rare. It’s also one of the best 500Ks, apart from the Autobahnkuriers. This one should bring between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet B by Sindelfingen
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Of the three in-house cabriolets offered on Mercedes’ 500K chassis, the four-seater Cabriolet B is the most common, with 296 examples produced (between the 500K and 540K). Why is it then that this is the first 500K version I can remember coming up for sale? I mean there were more than double the number of these made compared to the Cabriolet A and Cabriolet C – and those are both better-looking cars.
The 500K was built between 1934 and 1936 and is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This particular car was one of the final 500Ks built and was actually equipped from the factory with the 540K’s 5.4-liter, 180 horsepower engine.
This car, which was once owned by Donald Healey, features a rebuilt engine with its original body and interior. It is one of 342 500K examples built and should bring between $675,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
The English arm of the Talbot company came under the control of the Rootes Group in 1935. The new owners began axing Talbot historical models and introducing replacement models. And before long, all of the cars were branded as Sunbeam-Talbot.
One of the last such models to be axed – in 1937 – was the BG110, which began life as the 110 in 1935. Power is from a 120 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 95 mph, and the car was sort of the pinnacle of pre-Rootes English Talbot design.
What’s semi-unique about this car is that it is one of 13 or 14 BG110s that were bodied by Vanden Plas in aluminum. The rest of the cars were all bodied in-house, and only 89 examples of the 110/BG110 were produced in total between 1935 and 1937. This restored example has had three owners since new and should bring between $120,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.