Bombardier B-7

1940 Bombardier B-7 Snowmobile

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | May 20, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Joseph-Armand Bombardier invented the snowmobile in the 1930s. This model was the first such creation. It was a hit, and the Bombardier business blossomed and would eventually produce trains, jets, and off-road vehicles.

The B-7 was the first snowmobile. It seated seven passengers, and this one is powered by a 3.6-liter Ford flathead V8 rated at 90 horsepower. It has tracks out back and skis up front. Twelve were sold in the first year – 1937. They moved more than 100 in 1939.

This one spent time on duty at a ski resort before it came to its current museum home. A restoration was performed at some point, and it’s now going under the hammer with an estimate of $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $67,200.

The Best BMW 335

1940 BMW 335 Four-Door Cabriolet by Autenrieth

For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California

Photo – Fantasy Junction

The modern BMW 335 is a six-cylinder car and a member of BMW’s 3-Series lineup. It’s a popular model, but it sits sort of near the bottom of the BMW range. But in 1940 the 335 was as good as it got (unless you hopped up to the sports car-only 328). Introduced in 1939, this model didn’t really get a fair shot with the war about to break out. It was produced into 1941 before passenger car production was halted.

This car is powered by a 90 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six (hey look at that, BMW’s model name numbering system used to make sense!). Top speed, dependent on body style, was up to 90 mph. This model could be had as a four-door sedan, two-door cabriolet, or, as you see here, a stately four-door cabriolet.

It seems like Mercedes-Benz (and even Horch to a lesser extent) always gets all of the spotlight when it comes to these Reich-era open-top Autobahn cruisers. Pre-war, BMW rarely enters the conversation unless you’re talking about the 328. Part of the reason is scarcity. Only 415 examples of the 335 were built. Only five four-door cabriolets still exist (of the 40 built by this coachbuilder). Compare that to some of the Mercedes survival numbers and it’s easy to see why the Benzes always show up in films.

This example was restored in 2007 and it still looks fresh. You have to wonder who was in a position to buy such an extravagant car in 1939 and what life it lived during the war. It was brought to the U.S. by a member of the military and it remained here pretty much ever since. This car marked a high point for BMW that they wouldn’t equal for quite some time. It’s currently for sale in California for $495,000. Click here for more info.

International D2

1940 International D2 Pickup

Offered by Mecum | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | July 21-23, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

This gorgeous Art Deco pickup truck hails from the days of International Harvester’s “passenger car” production. While they never actually built cars, they did offer light duty trucks – as opposed to their modern, exclusive focus on large commercial vehicles.

The International D1 series dates back to 1933. The updated, Art Deco D2 came about in 1937 and lasted through the first half of the 1940 model year. The D2 was the ½-ton truck and was available in two wheelbases. This is a short-wheelbase variant (as the LWB version was designated the D2H). It is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six making 78 horsepower.

This example has been beautifully restored and features a wonderful color combination. It was an AACA award-winner in the late-1990s. While Ford and Chevrolet trucks from this era are ubiquitous, this will turn heads when people realize what it is. It will bring more than it’s original sticker of $620. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $26,500.

Cadillac Town Car

1940 Cadillac Series 75 Town Car by Brunn

For sale at The Auto Collections | Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo - The Auto Collections

Photo – The Auto Collections

The second generation of the Cadillac Series 70 (and its derivatives) was introduced in 1938 and lasted through 1940. This series was Cadillac’s mid-level model in 1940, being flanked on either side by the entry-level Series 40 and the top-of-the-line Sixteen. For 1940, this series included the Series 62, Series 60 Special, Series 72, and Series 75.

The engine in the Series 75 is a 5.7-liter V-8 making 140 horsepower. Cadillac and their in-house coachbuilder Fleetwood offered a bunch of different bodies for the Series 75. But for a wealthy Ohioan, these options were not enough. So he went to The Brunn Company and ordered what was to be the final Brunn Town Car ever produced. The body is all aluminium and almost all custom from Brunn, save for the hood and front fenders.

The car is said to drive splendidly and it has been winning awards for decades. It is all-original and well-preserved and can be yours for $175,000. Click here for more info.

Aston Martin Speed Model

1940 Aston Martin Speed Model Type C

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This car looks like the grandchild of those early speed trials cars (like the Beast of Turin, the Fiat S76). While the rear is streamlined and racy, it has an abrupt shape at the front and a tall engine compartment. The headlights seem like an afterthought, located in the grille – and perhaps this is the singular feature that gives us this impression. The passenger compartment is just a way to attach a human to an otherwise monstrous machine. I think it can best be described as “chunky.”

But unlike the ridiculous 28-liter engine in the S76, this pre-war Aston uses a 2.0-liter straight-four rated at 125 horsepower. This was a competition car and the first examples were built in 1936. The last were built in 1940 – and this car is believed to be the final Aston Martin sold before the outbreak of WWII.

Of the 23 Speed Models built, only the final eight had the Type C streamlined body. This car has known ownership since new and has been restored in the past five years. When you see one of these in person, it will stand out because it’s rather different from other cars of similar vintage. This one is the prettiest I’ve seen. You can read more here and see more from RM in Monterey here.

Update: Sold: $1,155,000.

Packard Super Eight

1940 Packard Custom Super Eight One-Eighty Convertible Sedan by Darrin

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Packard 180, as it is sometimes known, is more correctly called a Custom Eight Super One-Eighty. The model was new for 1940 and was Packard’s top-of-the-line offering. The chassis and engine were the same as the One-Sixty, but the One-Eighty was more luxurious. It was essentially a replacement for the ultra-grand Twelve.

The engine is a 5.8-liter straight-eight making 160 horsepower (which was more than Cadillac’s V-8 in 1940). A number of different bodies were offered, but Howard “Dutch” Darrin’s are perhaps the nicest of all Packards produced immediately prior to WWII. This four-door Convertible Sedan is quite a bit rarer than any of its two-door counterparts. It is estimated that less than 20 Convertible Sedans like the one you see here were built and only nine remain.

This car was sold new in Illinois. The restoration was completed in 1994 and the car was soon acquired by Otis Chandler. It now comes from the Richard & Linda Kughn collection with a pre-sale estimate of $225,000-$300,000. It’s incredibly rare and one of the more gorgeous four-door sedans you will ever see. You can see more here and check our more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $236,500.

Humber Hexonaut

1940 Humber Hexonaut GS 6×6 Amphibious Prototype

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | December 8, 2012

Here’s another amphibious vehicle – although it’s much smaller than the Duck above. And it’s much rarer, being the only one in existence as the vehicle never entered production as it was “not fit for duty.” It could hold eight men or 1-ton of supplies and has two engines (of 14 horsepower each) and transmissions – one for each side/set of three wheels. This is also how it turned (operating them at different speeds), as you can see how close the wheels are to the body. Unpopular in 1940, this style would become more popular decades down the road on some ATVs. The estimate is $30,000-$50,000. More info here.

Update: Sold $47,500.

Breda Artillery Tractor

1940 Breda 40 4×4 Artillery Tractor

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | December 8, 2012

Photo – Auctions America

This relatively uninteresting-looking vehicle is an artillery tractor. It is pure function. Built in Italy, this little brute could pull 7.75-tons of artillery over all kinds of terrain, using huge tires and high ground clearance in place of tracks. It uses a 110 horsepower 9.4-liter six-cylinder diesel but it will only do a blistering 11 mph on the road. Talk about low gearing! It can be yours for $25,000-$35,000. More info here.

Update: Sold $37,000.

Hanomag Half-Track

1940 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C Sd.Kfz. 251/1

All offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | December 8, 2012

Photo – Auctions America

This massive Hanomag is technically a 3/4-track. Whatever. I don’t like fractions. The Sd.KFz. 251 was one of the more popular German vehicles with 15,252 built by various manufacturers, with Hanomag being the most prolific. It uses a 100 horsepower 4.2-liter Maybach straight-six. This is a Model C (they made them in A through D configuration) so it had many improvements over earlier models, such as better engine ventilation. More here.

Update: Sold $160,000.

Half-Track Mania!

Half-Tracked Vehicles from The National Military History Center

All offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | December 8, 2012


1943 Ford Maultier

This Ford “Maultier” (or “Mule”) is one of quite a few half-tracks going under the hammer from the National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana. I’m not sure of the story behind this sale. The collection is quite astounding and it’s a shame that it’s being broken up and sold off, especially considering they are all available for the public to see. Half-tracks are some of my favorite WWII vehicles because… well they’re just so awesome. I’m unaware of the condition of these vehicles. The paint looks fresh but they are museum pieces so they might not be in the best shape mechanically (some even lack engines). But who cares – they are all rare and all really, really cool.

This one was built by Ford of Germany (this collection includes an impressive number of rare “Axis” vehicles). It’s powered by a 3.9-liter V8 making 95 horsepower. It will do 25 mph with those big tracks on the back. More here.

Update: Sold $42,500.


1945 Daimler-Benz DB10 Sd.Kfz. 8

Daimler-Benz was the name of the company that owned Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s. Instead of badging their Sd.Kfz.8s as “Mercedes-Benz,” they went ahead and just called them “Daimler-Benz”es – as were most of their heavy machinery during the war. The front is adorned with the three-pointed Mercedes-Benz star, but lacks the ring around it.

These were in production from 1937 until 1945 and used a Maybach 8.5-liter V12 making 185 horsepower, although this particular truck is engine-less. It has a 12-ton payload capacity – in other words, it’s a monster. About 4,000 were built in total by various manufacturers making this one of the most desirable half-tracks you can get. More here.

Update: Sold $200,000.


1941 Autocar M3

This is, by far, one of my favorites of this sale. It has that classic look – as did most of the vehicles produced by White, Autocar and Diamond T. That slanted front where a radiator would usually be. And whatever that thing is hanging off the front. Classic.

About 12,000 of these were built for the U.S. war effort (about 41,000 half-tracks were built in total of all kinds for the U.S.). This one has a 148 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-six. It’s quick too, capable of 40 mph. More here.

Update: Sold $38,000.


1940 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C Sd.Kfz. 251/1

This massive Hanomag is technically a 3/4-track. Whatever. I don’t like fractions. The Sd.KFz. 251 was one of the more popular German vehicles with 15,252 built by various manufacturers, with Hanomag being the most prolific. It uses a 100 horsepower 4.2-liter Maybach straight-six. This is a Model C (they made them in A through D configuration) so it had many improvements over earlier models, such as better engine ventilation. More here.

Update: Sold $160,000.


1944 Auto Union HL kl 6p

This Auto Union model was the final evolution of the 3-ton half-track. They were made for a short time in 1944 only and, due to material shortages in Germany at the time, the cabs were mostly finished with wood and/or cardboard. Classy. It’s powered by a 100 horsepower 4.2-liter Maybach straight-six. More here.

Update: Sold $75,000.


1943 Opel Maultier

This 2-ton Opel Maultier is one of about 4,000 built. It has a 75 horsepower 3.6-liter straight-eight. Opel was a curious case during the war. They  have been a General Motors subsidy since 1929. When the war broke out, Opel’s automobile production ceased so they could help with the war effort. Meanwhile, back in Detroit, GM was building airplanes that could have possibly flown missions in Europe, essentially bombing their own factories. More here.

Update: Sold $65,000.



1939 Unic Kegresse P107/U304(f)

Unic, the French automobile manufacturer that turned to trucks in 1938 – which was highly convenient when war broke out the following year. Military vehicles are usually an extension of the heavy-truck business. Unic was bought by Fiat in 1966 and was merged into Iveco in 1975.

This Kegresse tracked tractor uses a 60 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-four. Kegresse means that the tracks are made out of rubber or canvas and not metal like most tanks and other half-tracks. I guess it’s gentler on the roads… or enemy soldiers. Strangely, all of these vehicles were built before the Germans took over France – but Germany used them anyway. More here.

Update: Sold $20,000.


1942 Borgward H kl 6

Carl Borgward’s little (okay, it wasn’t that little) automobile company was drafted into producing vehicles for the Reich. This truck has a 3-ton payload capacity and entered production in 1937. This particular vehicle does not have an engine – it’s more of a static display piece – but back during the war it likely had a 100 horsepower 4.2-liter Maybach straight-six. More here.

Update: Sold $145,000.



1944 White M16

Here’s another good-lookin’ White half-track, this one an M16. The M16 was essentially an M3 (like the Autocar above) but it has a powered, armored turret with up to four .50 caliber machine guns. As with all of the items offered in this sale, the guns have been demilitarized – meaning, they no longer work as guns. But this is what makes something like this legal to own… and drive down the street. Engine-wise, this is powered by a 148 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-six. More here.

Update: Sold $95,000.



1943 Opel Maultier Panzer-Werfer 42 Rocket Launcher

This Opel Panzer-Werfer is a tracked rocket launcher. It’s pretty mean looking, isn’t it? It has one 10-barreled rocket launcher mounted in the back – of course it no longer works, so you won’t be able to blast traffic jams out of your way. This piggish brute is powered by a 75 horsepower 3.6-liter eight-cylinder engine. It weighs about 7-tons, so that is probably no where near enough horsepower. Only 300 of these were built. More here and the rest of the auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $60,000.