’42 Continental Cabriolet

1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hampton, New Hampshire | June 23-24, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It all changed for Lincoln in 1940. They were among the first to really move into the “modern” era of automobiles. The Model K that dated to 1931 was out of production and the Lincoln-Zephyr and Continental were on sale. These were clean, modern-looking designs and the Continental was just stellar.

In December of 1941, everything changed. America was at war and automobile production was about be put on hold for years. Very few 1942 model year cars were built in the U.S. The 1942 Continental was the rarest of the pre-war Continentals with just 136 Cabriolets and 200 Coupes built.

All were powered by a 4.8-liter V-12 that made 130 horsepower. The restoration on this car is described as “older” but “well-preserved.” It’s known to have been part of quite a few collections over the years and comes out of the Dingman Collection after only about 18 months as a part of it. See more about this car here and more about this collection here.

Update: Sold $60,480.

Alfa 6C 2500 Speciale

1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Cabriolet Speciale by Pinin Farina

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

Photo – Artcurial

The 6C was a long-lasting Alfa Romeo model, having been built in a variety of different series between 1927 and 1954. What we have here is a 6C 2500, which were built between 1938 and 1952. It was the ultimate 6C model as the 6C 3000 never really went beyond the prototype stage.

This 6C 2500, which is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six making 90 horsepower, was delivered as a bare chassis to Pinin Farina in 1942 (along with 13 other chassis). The first owner, a wealthy Milanese woman, had Pinin Farina body it for the first time in 1946. The body was an instant hit, winning awards at car shows upon introduction.

It had a slew of American owners later on before being faithfully restored between 2008 and 2013. This is an extremely stylish car wearing a unique, one-off body that was way ahead of its time (for comparison, here is what the standard Pinin Farina Cabriolet looked like from this same era). As a rolling piece of art, this car is expected to bring between $1,225,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Not sold.

320 Cabriolet F

1942 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet F

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This wartime Mercedes-Benz might look big and imposing (and it is), not unlike a certain other large Mercedes touring sedan we recently featured, but it is, in fact, the smaller 320 model (W142, in internal MB-speak). The 320 was the replacement for the 290, which it took over duties for in 1937. It lasted through 1942, when Germany was forced to focus all of its production might on military needs.

The 320 was offered in two wheelbases, short and long. This is a long wheelbase car and it could’ve been had with a variety of bodywork, including bodies from outside coachbuilders. The base model was a four-door limousine, but there were four convertible versions offered from in-house coachbuilder Sindelfingen as well: Cabriolets A, B, D, and this, the seven-seater Pullman Cabriolet F.

The other thing this car has going for it is that it is equipped with the optional (beginning in 1938) engine with increased cylinder bore. It’s a 3.4-liter straight-six that makes 77 horsepower (which is actually the same rating the smaller, standard engine offered). This car, which looks very much like an Indiana Jones chase vehicle, has an older restoration. Mercedes pushed out 7,017 320s in total and I’m not sure how many carried this rare body style. It should bring between $130,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $197,262

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.

Breguet Electrique

1942 Breguet Type A2 Electrique

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

Breguet Aviation was, primarily, a manufacturer of aircraft founded by Louis Charles Breguet in 1911. They built planes up until 1971 when they merged with Dassault. However, during World War II, the French were unable to produce automobiles and, despite being at war, there was still some market for them. The major problem was that the Germans weren’t allowing the sale of gasoline.

So there were a couple of enterprising manufacturers (including Peugeot and Pierre Faure) that thought “well then we’ll just build electric cars instead” – and, with limited success, they did. Breguet got in on the action and this aircraft-influenced design (it’s pretty easy to picture it with wings) went on sale in 1941. The motor was powerful enough to scoot the car to 25 mph, though range suffered at such insane speeds, limiting it to a 40 mile range.

The small scale production did not help the high price, which was listed for more than a new Citroen Traction Avant. One of these is known to be in a museum, while the three others (including this one) are still owned by the Breguet family. Last driven in the 1990s, this well-preserved example should bring between $42,350-$63,525. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $44,204.

Cadillac Town Car

1942 Cadillac Series 60 Special Town Car by Derham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

At first glance, this car screams “owned by the head of a movie studio but never actually driven by that person.” Taking a step back and thinking about the larger story of the time, we see that America had just been attacked and that this was one of the final new cars built by Detroit prior to the war.

In fact, this car is one of just two Derham-bodied Town Cars on Cadillac’s Series 60 Special chassis for 1942. The engine is a 150 horsepower 5.7-liter V-8. The car started life as a Series 60 Special Imperial Sedan (which was a mid-range Caddy for ’42) and then it was shipped to Derham in Pennsylvania to be converted to this chauffeur’s machine you see here.

It was delivered new to someone in New York and the present owner acquired it in 1974 and restored it. It’s a fairly unique machine in that most Cadillacs were bodied in-house by this point – and most Post-War Cadillacs were too, making this the last of its kind. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $79,750.

Five Additional Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014


 1973 Alvis FV721 Fox Prototype

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Fox was Britain’s replacement for the Ferret armored scout car. It was designed and manufactured by Alvis, beginning in 1973. The final Foxes were withdrawn from service in 1994.

The Fox here is one of the original prototypes and remains in original condition. The engine is a 4.2-liter straight-six from Jaguar making 190 horsepower. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.


1942 Baldwin M3A5 Grant II

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The M3 Lee was designed prior to America’s entry into WWII. They were operational around the time Pearl Harbor was attacked. In 1942, a new variant, the M3A5 was introduced. The “Grant II” – as it was called – used a GM engine and was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works.

This tank was shipped new to Australia and uses a 12-cylinder diesel making 375 horsepower. It will do 25 mph and cost the new owner between $300,000-$400,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $276,000.


ca.1963 Panhard EBR-90

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Panhard EBR (which is the French abbreviation for “Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle”) was designed prior to World War II but didn’t actually go into production until 1950. It was produced in three versions, with the 90-mm cannoned version you see here starting production in 1963.

It’s an impressive setup: eight-wheel drive. It’s powered by a 200 horsepower Fiat 6.0-liter flat-12. About 1,200 were built and the last ones left the French military in 1987. This one should cost between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $28,750.


ca.1960 ZiL BTR-152

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The BTR-152 was built by ZiS (from 1950 until 1956) and later by ZiL (through 1962). In total, about 15,000 were built. It’s an armored personnel carrier from the Soviet Union. The engine is a 107 horsepower straight-six.

This example isn’t in the best of shape, but it does run and drive “very well,” according to the auction catalog. This one wears Egyptian Army markings and should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $34,500.


1945 ACF M37 105-mm Howitzer Motor Carriage

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This beautiful HMC (basically a motorized Howitzer… artillery on wheels) was built in late 1945 and therefore didn’t see action in WWII. It was built by the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF for short). It was based on the American M24 Chaffee tank.

The engine is actually two Cadillac 8-cylinder engines – making it a 16-cylinder monster putting out a combined total of 220 horsepower. Only 316 were delivered out of a total of 448 orders. Everything on this one still works – so if you’re celebrating the 4th of July today, here’s your firework machine. It’ll cost you between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this amazing collection.

Update: Sold $195,500.

Another Batch of Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014


 1942 Cadillac M5 Stuart

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Labeling this as a Cadillac might be a little misleading, but Cadillac did build it – so why shouldn’t they get the credit? The M5 was a version of the M3 Stuart – one of the most popular light tanks of the Second World War. General Motors was behind it and the M5 was basically an M3 with upgraded armor.

In all, 2,074 M5s were built – only 1,470 were built by Cadillac in Michigan. This tank has been given a new engine and fresh restoration. It runs and drives wonderfully and is usable. The engines are twin 8-cylinders from Cadillac making a combined output of 220 horsepower. It can do 36 mph and be yours for $100,00-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $310,500.


ca.1975 Panhard M3

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

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Cadillac Tank

 1942 Cadillac M5 Stuart

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Labeling this as a Cadillac might be a little misleading, but Cadillac did build it – so why shouldn’t they get the credit? The M5 was a version of the M3 Stuart – one of the most popular light tanks of the Second World War. General Motors was behind it and the M5 was basically an M3 with upgraded armor.

In all, 2,074 M5s were built – only 1,470 were built by Cadillac in Michigan. This tank has been given a new engine and fresh restoration. It runs and drives wonderfully and is usable. The engines are twin 8-cylinders from Cadillac making a combined output of 220 horsepower. It can do 36 mph and be yours for $100,00-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $310,500.