Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe

1954 Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Arnolt-Bristol was the result of a collaboration between Stanley Arnolt’s company of Chicago, Illinois, Bristol Cars of England, and Bertone of Italy. Bristol supplied the engine and chassis, Bertone the body, and Arnolt the money, spirit, and marketing.

The cars use the chassis and the 130 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-six from the Bristol 404 (okay, the engine actually could trace its roots back to BMW). Bertone designed the two-door body. Three trims were offered: Bolide, DeLuxe, and Competition. The DeLuxe was similar to the Bolide except it brought side windows, a convertible top, a glovebox, and instrumentation behind the steering wheel.

These cars were serious racers in their day, taking class victories at Sebring and Le Mans. Only 130 examples were produced, and this one was delivered new in Mexico. Restored, it is eligible for historic events such as the Mille Miglia. It should bring between $320,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Saurer M4

1954 Saurer MH4 Mannschaftstranporter

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | March 30, 2019

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

We haven’t featured a military vehicle in some time, so I thought this slightly Axis-esque troop transporter would be a good fit. It was built by the Swiss company Saurer, a truck and bus manufacturer that existed between 1903 and 1982.

The MH4, as it was known to Saurer, or M4, as it was known to the Swiss army, was a troop transporter used between 1945 and 1985. Quite a long time, but I guess the Swiss really aren’t fighting that many wars, now are they?

Power here is from a 5.8-liter inline-four that should make about 75 horsepower and a lot more torque. They topped out at a little over 40 mph. You aren’t likely to run into another one when you’re out at the hardware store or toting the entire soccer team around. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Miller Shooting Brake

1954 Miller Shooting Brake

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | April 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Geoffrey Miller of Cornwall, England was a craftsman who had earlier built his own motorcycle when he decided to build himself a station wagon. This is the result, and it is the only such example. Most homebuilt cars look, well, home-built. However, this has all of the look of a series production car from 1950s England.

Somewhat Allard-like in its appearance, the four-door woodie wagon is powered by a 2.9-liter Austin-Healey straight-six. He used some production parts that were readily available but is said to have actually done the body and woodwork by hand.

With only three owners since new – including its creator – this is the time to get it if you want a car that is an original design. It’s quite interesting and should bring between $59,000-$72,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Salmson 2300 S

1954 Salmson 2300 S EX

Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | March 17, 2019

Photo – Aguttes

Well apparently somethings don’t translate well from French to English. Perhaps “EX” isn’t the best trim level to add to a car called the 2300 S. At least there’s a space, right? Or is this just some romantic French thing?

Salmson is actually still around, though they haven’t produced a car since 1957 when they went bankrupt and Renault bought their factory. Today they’re an engineering firm that produces industrial products like hydraulic pumps. Exciting stuff.

Their last automotive hurrah was the 2300 Sport Coupe. Built between 1953 and 1957, Salmson entered sporting versions of the car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans three separate times. They were powered by 2.3-liter inline-fours capable of 103 horsepower.

Only 217 examples of the 2300 were built, and only 121 of those were the Sport models, like the one you see here, which is eligible for such events as the historical Mille Miglia. It should sell for between $75,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Chantilly 2019, $57,183.

Two Racing Cars from Artcurial

1958 Talbot-Lago T14 America Barquette

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Fun fact: Talbot-Lago won Le Mans outright in 1950. Anthony Lago entered two sporty cars again in 1956 but didn’t pull off the victory. So he went back and tried to build some more road cars, though the company would ultimately be taken over in 1958.

A Talbot-designed inline-four was put into a new car called the T14 and it was not very good. So they turned to BMW, who supplied a 138 horsepower, 2.5-liter V8. The steering wheel was moved to the left side, for the first time in company history, as they were aiming to move these cars in North America. They even renamed the export model the America.

When the company was taken over by Simca in 1958, there were some unfinished T14s lying around. Former factory driver Georges Grignard scooped them up – along with some spare engines. With funding from a pair of French brothers, a short run of six Talbot Sports were finished much later on. This car is one of those and it was completed in the 1980s with a hand-crafted bare aluminum body in the style of those 1956 Le Mans-losing racers. It’s road-legal and pretty cool. It should sell for between $160,000-$205,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1954 Panhard X86 Dolomites by Pichon Parat

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

The Panhard Dyna was not an inherently sporty car. It was a front-wheel drive subcompact powered by a two-cylinder engine. It was very French. But the French love their racing, and the car you see here is proof that anything can become a pretty bad-ass looking race car.

This X86 is based on the Dyna 120 and was built as a Dolomites race car by coachbuilders Pichon and Parat. It was campaigned around France in period and was at one point damaged in an accident. The large front grille opening the car now wears is the result of crash repairs.

The engine was updated by a later owner to an 851cc flat-twin. It’s probably eligible for a bunch of historic events and should sell for between $115,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $108,186.

Mochet CM-125

1954 Mochet CM-125 Luxe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Los Angles, California | December 8, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Georges Mochet built microcars in Puteaux between 1946 and 1958. Prior to that he built pedal-powered cars under the Velocar name. But when he started powering them (even in desperate, post-war Europe, people weren’t necessarily thrilled with having to pedal), sales took off.

Early cars were kind of bizarre, but the company hit their stride once the Mochet Type K gave way to the CM-125. Power in this little runabout is from a 125cc single-cylinder engine that made five horsepower. That may sound sad, but in France at the time that meant you didn’t even need a driver’s license to operate one (and they are street legal). It would even evolve a commercial variant.

This example was part of the Bruce Weiner collection, where it was restored. It is now offered with an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Find out more here and see the rest of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen lineup here.

Update: Sold $25,200.

Bristol 404

1954 Bristol 404 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

A 404 error is what you get when a server can’t find what you’ve asked it for. The Bristol 404 was not an error, but it’s pretty hard to find when you go looking for one: between 1953 and 1958 the company only built 52 examples.

The 404 and 405 were two models manufactured side by side. The 404 was a two-door coupe with a very short wheelbase, whereas the 405 was a longer wheelbase four-door sedan that could also be had as a two-door convertible. These were the first Bristol cars to completely break away styling-wise from their predecessor’s BMW lineage.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter straight-six that could be had in 105 or 125 horsepower versions. This car was restored some years ago and is being sold out of a collection of Bristol road cars. It’s a nice example of one of the rarer models from one of Britain’s rarest automobile manufacturers. It should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

375 America

1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The first America model from Ferrari went on sale in 1950. Ferrari stuffed their largest V-12 engines into these big (for the day) GT cars. Many of them were coachbuilt. And very few were built. The third model in this line was the 375 America, built in 1953 and 1954 only.

A 4.5-liter V-12 provided power. Rated at 296 horsepower, it could propel the car to 160 mph. This particular car was bodied by Vignale and is finished in burgundy with a silver greenhouse, the original colors it came with.

It was purchased new by an American and spent many years in the U.S., making up part of the Blackhawk Collection at one point. It found itself in the Netherlands for a while, again coming stateside in 2009 before being refinished in its original paint scheme. Only 12 examples of the 375 America were built and this is the first up to come up for sale since 2011. It’s a big money Ferrari and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Not sold.

1954 Kaiser Special Club Sedan

1954 Kaiser Special Club Sedan

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 12-15, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The name of the entry-level Kaiser automobile seemed to change every year. In 1953 it was the Deluxe. In 1954 it was the Special (it was different in ’52 and ’55 too). And some of those 1954 Specials were just rebadged 1953 Deluxes that were left over (they also had some styling tweaks applied as well). The Special could be had as a four-door sedan or a two-door Club Sedan.

The Special is powered by a 3.7-liter straight-six making 118 horsepower. This car is one of the 1953 carry-over cars. It still sports the “jet airscoop” front grille that marked all 1954 Kaisers (which was added by the factory before sale) but you can tell it is a “first series” car because the rear glass is a single piece that does not wrap around to the sides.

About 3,500 1953 Kaisers were carried over and sold as 1954 Specials. The number of actual 1954 cars is much, much lower. But the Club Sedan is definitely the rarer of the two body styles. This car has had a cosmetic restoration and an engine rebuild, but the interior is original. These Kaisers are beautiful and rare cars that will stand out at any cruise-in you attend. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach lineup.

Update: Sold $44,000.

Lotus Mk VI

1954 Lotus Mk VI

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Mk VI was the first production car built by Colin Chapman’s Lotus. That’s right – there were five cars before this one that never made it to production, including this one (though to be fair, the Mk V was never actually built).

Introduced in 1952, the Mk VI was available through 1957 when it was replaced by the legendary Lotus Seven. It’s powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four from an MG TA that makes 50 horsepower (though other engines with similar outputs were also used). Top speed was about 93 mph.

These were mostly sold as kits (which explains the engine differences) and made for great track cars, though anything requiring a pit stop was probably out as those rear wheels are pretty much covered up. Only about 110 of these were sold and this one should bring between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $30,240.