Atalanta Sports

1937 Atalanta 2-Litre Sports

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The British sports car, exemplified by post-war cars from Triumph, MG, and the like, was not something new that appeared in the 1950s. The British liked the idea for decades before that. Tiny, short-lived marques like Atalanta, Arab, Frazer Nash, and Squire were the forefathers of the TR6, MGB, and Austin-Healey Sprite.

The Atalanta was built between 1937 and 1939 in Middlesex, England. The company was founded by Alfred Gough, an engine-builder for Frazer Nash, as well as Peter Crosby, Peter Whitehead, and Neil Watson. They hand-built their cars, and they were expensive. But look at it. It has all of the style of an SS Jaguar.

Only 20 cars were built in total, and three engines were offered, including a Lincoln-Zephyr V12 in 1938. Most cars had a Gough-designed 1.6- or 2.0-liter inline-four, and this car has the latter. It made 98 horsepower when new. This car is one of only two short-chassis examples produced. It’s also one of only two 2.0L Atalantas built.

This is a great little car and is welcomed at events such as the Le Mans Classic. It is expected to bring between $400,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bugatti 57S Atalante

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…

Photo – Gooding & Company

Gooding & Company calls this “the most desirable of all road-going Bugattis,” which seems a tad hyperbolic considering some of the other Bugattis out there. The Type 57 S was a lowered version of the already-great Type 57, which was introduced in 1934.

This car was built with a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter inline-eight, but after Bugatti sold a few Type 57 SCs with superchargers, most of the base 57 S cars came back to the factory to get fitted with a supercharger, which this car has (though it was added much later on). Output is rated at 220 horsepower.

Jean Bugatti was company founder Ettore’s son and designed an aluminum body for the 57 S dubbed “Atalante.” It’s a low two-door coupe very similar to the famed Atlantic. Only 17 were built, four of which are locked away in a French museum that I don’t much care for. This one carries a pre-sale estimate “in excess of $8,500,000”. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale, whenever it ends up being held.

Update: Sold $10,016,185.

Cord 812 SC Sportsman

1937 Cord 812 SC Sportsman

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the ultimate iteration of the Cord 810/812. Introduced in 1936, the front-wheel-drive 810 was styled by Gordon Buehrig and featured an independent front suspension and a design like nothing else in the world at the time. The car was renamed the 812 for 1937, which was more-or-less an attempt to spruce up the fact that they had a lot of leftover 810s from the year before. Supercharging also became an option in 1937.

The supercharger bumped power from the 4.7-liter Lycoming V8 to 170 horsepower. Two different wheelbases were used in ’37, and four body styles were offered on the shorter of the two, including the $2,585 Sportsman two-door cabriolet. The supercharger bumped the price by another $2,000, which is insane. Imagine adding 77% of the car’s price back on as options. Oh wait, you can probably do that on a Porsche.

Reliability issues early in production really put a wet blanket over the initial enthusiasm for the model, which was originally envisioned as a “baby Duesenberg.” About 3,000 examples were built in total, only 64 of which were reportedly SC Sportsmans. This one is now going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $257,600.

Wendler-Bodied MB 320

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet by Wendler

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | April 11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are two very interesting things about this car. First, quite obviously, are its looks, as it resembles nothing else Mercedes has ever built. Second is that the looks are very 1950s and the chassis is very 1930s. That’s because it was bodied in the early-1950s by Wendler, the company most famous for building the bodies for the Porsche 550.

The Mercedes W142 was also called the Mercedes Type 320, and it was produced between 1937 and 1942. In all, 7,017 examples were built in a wide variety of body styles. Power is from a 3.2-liter inline-six making 77 horsepower.

The post-war body features three headlights, which is certainly unusual. You could drive this car rather anonymously through a Mercedes-Benz festival and no one would be the wiser. That’s what I love about it – it is uniquely coachbuilt and removes all brand pretense from the equation. Believed to be one of four “Ponton” cabriolets built by Wendler, it is a one-off and should bring between $125,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bugatti 57SC by Corsica

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Type 57S and Type 57C were the ultimate versions of Bugatti’s long-lived Type 57. This marks the second Type 57SC we’ve featured, and both cars look as if they were bodied much more recently with replica coachwork. I guess there’s something just too low and sporty about these cars to believe that they could’ve possibly been designed in the 1930s.

The 57S was the lowered version and the 57C was the supercharged version. Only 40 57S cars were built, and most of them carried closed coachwork. Only 16 were drop-tops, including this one. What isn’t clear is when the supercharger was added to this car’s 3.3-liter straight-eight. What is for sure is that only two cars were built by the factory to 57SC specification. Most owners of 57S cars had superchargers fitted afterward, to bump power to that magical 200 horsepower mark.

Speeds of 120 mph were quoted in the day, making these as quick of cars as money could buy before WWII. This car was supercharged early in its life but was not originally built that way. The body is by Corsica, and it was separated from the chassis for 43 years before it was reunited and restored.

The rarity and beauty factors have the ability to push this car to near eight-figure territory. It’ll be interesting to see where this one ends up… if it sells. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the lineup from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Not sold.

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $962,000.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,277,500.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

540K by Mayfair

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,277,500.

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Ford Commercial Vehicles

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018


1918 Ford Model TT Fuel Tanker Truck

Photo – Bonhams

Ford wasn’t big on commercial vehicles when they were first founded. There was a Model E (a delivery van from around 1905) and there were work vehicles created using Model T chassis. But, their first true commercial vehicle was the Model TT that went on sale in 1917 and lasted through end of T production in 1927. These were sold as chassis only and were bodied by many other companies and even by some individuals.

It was a one-ton chassis that was longer than a traditional T and it also featured lower gearing for hauling heavier loads (and limited top speed to between 15 and 22 mph). It probably still uses the same 2.9-liter straight-four from the T which would’ve made 20 horsepower. The catalog lists this as a “circa 1917” but 1917 TT production was extraordinarily low, so it’s likely this is actually from 1918 or even a little later.

Bodied as a fuel tanker (in Supertest Petroleum livery), this truck has been on longtime museum display but does sport 1925 Canadian plates. It should sell for between $29,000-$41,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $21,432.


1929 Ford Model AA Bus

Photo – Bonhams

The Model AA was Ford’s commercial chassis based on the Model A road car. It was a significant upgrade over the TT and uses a 3.3-liter straight-four good for 40 horsepower, double that of the outgoing model.

Again sold as a bare chassis (though there were some Ford body designs that could be ordered from outside manufacturers), the AA was bodied to be what the owner needed. This one carries a bus body that has doors down the driver’s side for access to the rows of bench seats. In all, it will hold between 7-11 people, including the driver.

It has canvas windows down the sides that can be rolled up and stowed. It also has the luggage rack on the roof, which gives it the appearance of a vehicle used in exotic locales. This example came to the Netherlands in 1995 and has been on museum display for a while. It should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,506.


1930 Ford Model AA Platform Truck

Photo – Bonhams

This is another example of the Model AA. When commercial vehicles are sold as a bare chassis, the possible body combinations are essentially limitless. If you can imagine it, someone probably had it built.

This one wears a platform truck body and is stacked with barrels to compliment its amusing “Capone Distributing” livery. It sits on the medium wheelbase AA chassis but still uses the 40 horsepower, 3.3-liter straight-four engine. The best part about this truck? Those 1930s-era commercial vehicle wheels.

This one should bring between $18,000-$29,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,185.


1934 Ford Model BB 82 Stake Bed Truck

Photo – Bonhams

The Ford Model B replaced the Model A and was sold between 1932 and 1934. When they replaced the A, they replaced the Model AA commercial chassis too, dubbing the new one – wait for it – the Model BB.

The Model B finally gave its customers some options – namely that they could choose a four-cylinder or V8 engine. And the trucks had the same option. This truck carries the 3.3-liter straight-four that, in Model B form, makes 50 horsepower.

This dually is a stake bed truck and it looks like it was used for quite some time (it carries Dutch registration from 1957). With a little love, it can still be a usable piece of history for $7,000-$9,300. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,395.


1937 Ford 950 Autobus

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Ford bus. I don’t have much information about the model, the Type 950. But it’s got swoopy windswept lines and nice paint (and those great 1930s commercial vehicle wheels).

It’s powered by a V8 engine and has an entrance door on the rear passenger side. There’s a ladder out back that goes over the built-in spare tire to reach to luggage rack on the roof. This would’ve been an ideal intercity bus for the 1930s. It was most recently road-registered in 1937 and the interior looks to be in pretty nice shape. It’s an interesting vehicle and should bring between $35,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,976.

Brough Superior 3.5-Litre

1937 Brough Superior 3½-Litre Saloon by Atcherley

Offered by Bonhams | Chicester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

From the straight-on front view of this car, you find that it is rather imposing. This is probably quite intentional as George Brough, the designer of this car, is known as the builder of the some of history’s greatest, high-end motorcycles. So why wouldn’t his cars be just as high-end and intimidating?

Those cars, though much rarer, were built to a high standard – some so high they never made it past prototype stage. His first car was the 4-Litre, which featured a Hudson chassis. Railton, one of Brough’s chief competitors who also happened to use that same chassis, put a stop to it.

This left Brough with a single model: the 3.5-litre. It’s powered by a 107 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 90 mph and the cars were competitively priced. But with a war looming, six-cylinder production ended in 1939 and only about 60 3.5-litres were built since they went on sale in 1936. Most of these were convertibles, but this Atcherley-bodied Saloon is one of three such examples known to exist.

It was restored over a three year period and sat in storage since completion. It will need freshening before use – use it deserves. It should bring between $33,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $42,367.

Australian Terraplane

1937 Terraplane Series 71 DeLuxe Utility Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Terraplane was a marque introduced by Hudson as a standalone brand in 1934 (in ’32 and ’33 they were called Essex-Terraplane). As an entry-level car on the pricing scale, for a brief period during the Depression, Terraplane outsold its parent, Hudson.

Unfortunately, the lifespan of Terraplane was short and 1937 was the final year the cars could be had. Two models were available for ’37: the Series 71 DeLuxe and the Series 72 Super. Both were virtually identical to the Hudsons of that year with just slight trim changes. The DeLuxe differed from the Super in that it only had one taillight and no vents on the front windows.

This well restored example (the restoration cost $263,000 – quite a bit for a car that cost about $600 when new) is likely powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six that makes 96 horsepower. What’s interesting about this particular car is that it is an Australian example, hence the “Utility” or pull-out pickup bed out back. Terraplanes were sold in Australia when new but were all bodied locally, hence the Aussie take on an American export.

A rare body style stateside, and one of only a few known to exist worldwide, this entry-level Hudson should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Auburn.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s, Auburn Fall 2018.