Three Hispano-Suizas

Three Hispano-Suizas

Offered during Rétromobile 2018 | Paris France


1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe De Ville by Kellner

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The H6 was a line of Hispano-Suiza automobiles that were built in France (for the most part) between 1919 and 1933. The H6B was introduced in 1922 and could be had through 1929, even though the more powerful H6C was also on sale for most of that time.

The H6B features a 6.6-liter straight-six making 135 horsepower. This car was bodied by Kellner of Paris and sold new to a Parisian owner. In 1967, it was discovered in a French warehouse in all-original condition and was then restored. Refurbished in Switzerland in 2003, the current owner has had the car since 2008. Tell your chauffeur to get their hat ready, because this car is expected to bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $411,472.


1937 Hispano-Suiza J12 Sedan by Gurney Nutting

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

Photo – Artcurial

Imposing. That’s the word I would use to describe this beautiful Hispano-Suiza. And imposing was probably the point as it was ordered new by a Maharaja. This was Hispano-Suiza’s grandest automobile, produced in limited numbers between 1931 and 1938. How limited? They only made between 100 and 120 of these cars – all sold as bare chassis only. The owner got to have the car’s body custom built.

This one wears a huge, sweeping sedan body by Gurney Nutting. The J12 is powered by a massive 9.4-liter V-12 that normally makes 220 horsepower. An upgraded engine displacing an additional 1.9-liters was available and it brought an additional 30 horsepower. It is believed that this car carries one of those very rare engines.

Formerly part of the Blackhawk Collection, it is being sold with a beautiful restoration. The interior on this thing is mint: the front bench seat is pristine black leather and the rear passenger compartment looks like a red velvet bordello. Listed as “one of the most desirable examples of the Hispano J12 in the world,” it should bring between $730,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $788,508.


1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 Pillarless Sedan by Vanvooren

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

Photo – Artcurial

Hispano-Suiza’s H6C was last produced in 1929. The massive J12 could be had between 1931 and 1938 and the K6 was introduced alongside the J12 in 1934. It was built through 1937 with just 204 examples produced.

Vanvooren actually bodied nearly half of all K6s built and this Pillarless Sedan is quite beautiful. It actually almost requires a double take to see that it is in fact a four-door sedan with those tight rear doors hugging the rear fenders. The engine is a 5.2-liter straight-six good for 120 horsepower.

This was one of the last K6s built and one of the last cars to leave Hispano-Suiza’s factory before they closed and turned to military production. Hidden during the war, it changed hands first in the 1950s before making its way to Sweden and then it’s next owner put it in a museum. Restored after 2010 in Germany, this well-traveled Hispano-Suiza has been on museum duty for the last few years. But it should still bring a healthy $220,000-$315,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $350,448.

Phantom III Pillarless Saloon

1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Pillarless Saloon by Vesters & Neirinck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

By definition, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III was not a sporty automobile. It was a huge car, introduced by Rolls in 1936 and it lasted through 1939. The bare chassis alone weighed in at just over two tons. It featured a big, 7.3-liter V-12 making about 160 horsepower, which was a decent amount of power, but not enough to scoot the pure massiveness of this car along at any decent clip.

But, I suppose, that has never been the point of a Rolls-Royce, V-12 or otherwise (the Phantom III was the first V-12 RR and the last one until 1998). Because these were sold as bare chassis, it was kind of up to the coachbuilder of your choice to make it seem sporty and that is where Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels succeeded wildly with this car. The low, extremely solid-looking roof, swoopy fenders and two-tone paint really do make this car look sporty. And the fact that it lacks B-pillars is icing on that design cake.

Now let’s talk about this car’s downright bizarre ownership history. It is said that during WWII this car was used by the King of Belgium and Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. In the late 1950s the car was in Germany and a decade later it was in the U.S. where it had a series of owners. Then, in the 1980s, it was purchased by G. Gordon Liddy (of Watergate infamy). He sold it to Charles Nelson Reilly, who, because he was way before my time, became known to me thanks to Alec Baldwin’s not-as-over-the-top-as-you-might-think impression of him on Saturday Night Live.

Restored between 1992 and 1994, this car won its class at Pebble Beach and has been in the same collection for nearly 20 years. Only 727 Phantom IIIs were built and this is, so far, the best-looking example I’ve seen (though we featured another wild one a few weeks ago). It should bring between $550,000-$750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $593,500.

Copper-bodied Rolls-Royce

1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville by Freestone & Webb

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 13-21, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Phantom III was the third (obviously) Phantom model introduced by Rolls-Royce and the final large car introduced by the company before WWII. First shown in 1936, the company built just 727 examples before production was suspended in 1939. It did not return after the war.

The body that this car carries was actually custom built in 1946 for the car’s second owner, as it was originally supplied with a limousine body. Freestone & Webb of London built this over the top, yet still gorgeous Sedanca de Ville body in a style that could’ve certainly been built in 1937. The windswept fenders and running boards are brushed copper over steel, as is the radiator and other trim pieces.

The Phantom III was the first Rolls-Royce to be powered by a V-12 engine – and the last until the Silver Seraph went on sale in 1998. That V-12 is a 7.3-liter unit that makes an “adequate” amount of power (though in reality it was about 160 horsepower). This is a very striking automobile that has been making concours appearances since it was essentially new. It will be one of a few cars offered at Barrett-Jackson this January with a reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Autovia Saloon by Mulliner

1937 Autovia Saloon by Mulliner

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 25, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

It took me a while to figure out it, but no, the picture is not blurry – it’s the paint on the car. It’s not a bad thing, this car has serious patina. And you won’t find a better one anywhere on the market, because this is the only Autovia on the market. It’s only the second one to come up for sale since 2013.

Autovia was founded in 1935 as a subsidiary of Riley. It was created to build fancy cars to compete with the other big British names of the day. This car sports a four-door body from Mulliner, one of the preferred coachbuilders for Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much room for another luxury marque in Britain during the 1930s. Riley went bankrupt and was absorbed by another company and Autovia was dissolved in 1938, after barely a year of production.

Autovias are powered by a 99 horsepower, 2.9-liter V-8. This example cost £975 when new and Autovia only built 44 cars in total. Only 11 still survive today. This one is all-original and has only covered 1,000 miles since the end of WWII. It should bring between $110,000-$135,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $98,463.

1937 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus

1937 White Model 706 Yellowstone Park Tour Bus by Bender

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Cleveland, Ohio’s, White Motor Company was the Chosen One when it came to being the National Park Service’s vehicle of choice for toting tourists through America’s parks in the pre-WWII era. We’ve featured an earlier version of the White Yellowstone Park Bus before, and it too was quite interesting.

Like its predecessor, this Model 706 is also a convertible, with a giant canvas top that can be peeled back. It does not retain its original engine, but instead has been updated with a 4.9-liter Ford straight-six and some other modern running gear. But it does retain one excellent piece of originality: a ridiculous number of doors!

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

White built 500 examples of this bus for the National Park Service. Yellowstone was given 98 of them and eight of those have been restored and are still in service (Glacier National Park still operates 33 of their original 35 White Model 706s).

This one escaped government service and can be yours. As a piece of American history, it will be a talking point wherever it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,000.

Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe

1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here we go. It seems like 10 years ago cars like this were winning every major show and bringing the top money at every big sale. Then it sort of cooled off. We’re glad to see something this exotic back on the big auction stage.

Talbot-Lago introduced the T150 in 1937. They produced a competition model, which appended a “C” to the T150 model designation. Some of these were competition cars sold to the public which were bodied by coachbuilders as road cars (see photo above). The “SS” signifies a short-wheelbase car, which was even more desirable. This car is powered by a 140 horsepower, 4.0-liter straight-six.

This is one of two “Goutte d’Eau” coupes bodied by the legendary Figoni et Falaschi. What that means is it’s a Teardrop Coupe and the front fenders are enclosed. Those wheel covers make the entire car look extremely aerodynamic. The design is one of the best of the era and this car would be a centerpiece to any collection.

Hidden during WWII, it was re-bodied as a convertible in Switzerland in the late 1940s. The current owner acquired the car in 1987 and in 2000 had it brought back to original specification. The result is fantastic. It should bring between $3,500,000-$4,150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,757,824.

Bugatti 57S

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Some of the highest-dollar Bugattis come from the Type 57 family of cars that was produced by the firm between 1934 and 1940. In 1936 they introduced a few updated versions of the model, among them the Type 57S – a lowered variant that gave the car a sportier stance.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-eight making 170 horsepower. The 57S was successful on the European racing circuit and about half of the cars were bodied by the factory. There were 22 chassis that were unsold by mid-1938, when the 57S was killed off. Most of these ended up in coachbuilders’ hands and this car is one of four Vanvooren Cabriolets built in Paris (three of which are known to still exist).

This car has known ownership history since new and was on long term display. RM has brought the car back to being a runner and driver, but it’s not quite ready for long distance trips. Only 42 Type 57S chassis were built and this is, again, one of just three Vanvooren Cabriolets remaining. It’s a matching-numbers, unrestored car (though it has had certain mechanical elements rebuilt for functional purposes). It’s fantastic. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Amelia Island.

Update: Sold $7,700,000.

Matford Cabriolet

1937 Matford V8 Model 72 Cabriolet by Antem

Offered by Artcurial | Château-sur-Epte, France | October 9,  2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Ford Motor Company set up shop all over the world after conquering the United States. They had arms in Brazil, Australia, Germany, Britain, and even France (and for the most part, still do). The history of Ford in France is probably the most unusual – founded in 1916, the original company didn’t fare so well because the cars were too pricey.

Enter Émile Mathis, who started building cars under his own name in 1910. At the onset of the 1930s, his fortunes waned and his company was pretty much finished. But Ford, who was also struggling, partnered with the beleaguered French firm and formed Matford (it was technically a joint venture tilted 60/40 in Ford’s favor). Matford copied British Fords, but were British Fords ever this stylish?

The V8 was a 2.2-liter unit that made 60 horsepower. Matford built cars between 1934 and 1942, with the final two years churning out only a few cars as the Germans controlled the factory and focused on trucks. After the war, Mathis was not invited by the French government to continue production, but Ford reformed its company as Ford SAF and built stylish cars until 1954 when it became part of Simca (which later became part of Chrysler until Chrysler sold its European brands to Peugeot).

This pretty 2/3-seater cabriolet was restored in the 1960s. Ford didn’t offer a cabriolet in 1937, so this car was actually bodied by Antem. It’s a rare style that isn’t seen often but it is well done. It has spent a long time in the present collection and is not roadworthy (and doesn’t even have a battery in it). Slight recommissioning is required before enjoyment. It should bring between $20,250-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $20,010.

Horch Stromliniencoupe

1937 Horch 853 Stromliniencoupe

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | September 3, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The 853 is the grandest car that August Horch’s company ever produced. It was also one of the last models that the original, pre-war, Horch marque produced – even though they had already become a part of Auto Union five years prior to this car’s introduction in 1937.

The 853 is powered by a 4.9-liter straight-eight making 100 horsepower. They weren’t the most powerful or fastest cars of their day, but with the right coachwork, they could compete, beauty-wise, with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz 500/540K. This car sports a very fancy streamlined coupe body – a style that is not seen often.

But that’s partly because Horch cars aren’t seen that often to begin with. This car spent its post-war life in Belarus and the Ukraine until 2005 when it was restored in Germany. It is likely to be one of those rare European cars that makes waves at Pebble Beach sometime in the future and everyone will wonder where it came from and where it has been hiding all these years. Well here’s your chance to grab it – for a cost between $670,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

Update II: Not sold, Bonhams Paris, September 2017.

57SC by Vanden Plas

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Bugatti Type 57 was introduced in 1934 and lasted in some form or another until WWII broke out. The Type 57S – which was a lowered version of the Type 57 – was more like a race car for the street than anything else. Then Bugatti took it a step further with the Type 57SC – it was supercharged and the fastest car money could buy.

Bugatti only built two Type 57SC examples, but many of the 46 other Type 57S examples were later upgraded by Bugatti (or their owners, as is the case here) to SC specification. This car began life as a 57S and when it traded hands in the 1950s it had a supercharger from a Type 35B affixed to the engine. When it was restored in 1985, a correct Type 57 supercharger was fitted, so now the car was fully brought up to Type 57SC spec – which means it is powered by a 200 horsepower 3.3-liter supercharged straight-eight engine.

The beautiful one-of-a-kind body was created by Vanden Plas of Belgium. Very few Type 57 Bugattis were bodied outside of Bugatti’s favored coachbuilders. This car is very Vanden Plas – it sort of looks like a windswept Jaguar SS. It’s fantastic – and that color is gorgeous.

This car is extremely rare – one of only 46 built. No pre-sale estimate has been made available… so if you have to ask, as the saying goes, you can’t afford it. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $9,735,000.