A Pair of Benzes

1897 Benz 10HP Mylord-Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Let’s start with the fact that this car is listed as a “circa 1897” in the catalog, which is interesting because it is powered by a 2.7-liter flat-twin. This 10 horsepower engine was first found in the Benz Dos-a-Dos of 1899. Earlier in this car’s life, before its late-1980s restoration, it was registered as an 1895. So who knows.

This Mylord-Coupe is one of three known examples. These early twin “contra-motor” Benzes are highly sought after for their increased power. The Dos-a-Dos was gone by 1902, giving way to more modern vehicles. This incredibly rare early car is expected to fetch between $500,000-$750,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

1911 Benz 50HP Victoria by Demarest

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

And here we have a larger, “modern” Benz. The 50HP model was introduced in 1906 and was only available to American customers here and there. According to the auction catalog, it was almost a special-order occasion in order to get one stateside.

This particular car was sold new in the US and wears American coachwork from Demarest. Power is from a 7.4-liter inline-four good for, you guessed it, 50 horsepower. It was near the upper reaches of the Benz model line, but by 1911 it had effectively been replaced. This is likely one of the last 50HP models produced, and it cost $10,000 when new.

And it’s the only known survivor of the model. Its first owner perished on the Titanic, and the car was restored in 2014. The pre-sale estimate is $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold for unknown amount.

Matheson Touring

1907 Matheson 50HP Four Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Frank and Charles Matheson hopped around a bit with their company, which they founded in 1903 – first in their hometown of Grand Rapids for a year, then to Holyoke, Massachusetts until 1905, then finally on to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where they built cars through 1912. After their luck ran out running their own firm, both men remained in the industry for decades to come.

In 1907, Matheson offered two different four-cylinder model lines. This “Big Four” is the larger of the two, and it is powered by a 50 horsepower, 8.0-liter inline-four and bad ass double chain drive. A shaft-driven six-cylinder car would arrive in 1909.

This car wears a large seven-passenger touring body, one of four styles offered in 1907 (though this body is a recreation constructed in the 1980s). The price when new would’ve been $5,500 – a fraction of the $250,000-$350,000 it is expected to bring later this week. Fun fact: William Randolph Hearst owned a pair of Mathesons. Only four Wilkes-Barre-built cars are known to exist today, and this is a pretty nice one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $212,800.

1910 Kissel Kar

1910 Kissel Kar Model D-10 50HP 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 15, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Kissel is well known among automotive enthusiasts for their Roaring-20s Gold Bug Speedster sports car. But before that, they actually produced cars under the Kissel Kar marque (the “Kar” was dropped for 1919, the debut year for the Gold Bug).

Throughout its existence, Kissel was known for high-quality automobiles and this 1910 Model D-10 was no exception. Priced as the second-cheapest of four models offered that year, the D-10 features a 50 horsepower 8.7-liter straight-four.

This car uses the 5-Passenger Touring body and has been used regularly for years. So if you’re in the market for a rare, usable, and interesting old car, here you go. It is said that this car can cruise at highway speeds. Only a few hundred Kissels are known to exist, and this is likely one of the earlier models. It can be yours for between $60,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $140,800.

1910 Simplex

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau by Holbrook

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau

Simplex is a name that was used a lot in the early days of motoring. There were numerous companies with similar sounding names – and why not, the Simplex you see here was one of the standards of the world. Why not try to get someone confused and end up buying your off-brand Simplex instead?

Simplex began life as Smith & Mabley in New York – importing European cars for sale. Then they tried building their own car based on the Mercedes-Simplex – which didn’t work either. 1907 brought a change at the top of the company and a new model was designed. It was still similar to the Mercedes-Simplex, but had a bigger engine. This car uses a monstrous 9.8-liter T-head straight-four making 50 horsepower. It features dual-chain drive which is a sight to behold if you’ve never seen a car like this in action.

Simplex was one of the very top cars ever built. They had power, luxury, comfort, and speed all wrapped into one expensive package (about $6,000 in 1910). This car apparently has known ownership history from new and has been owned by some major collectors. Bonhams calls it “the definitive” Simplex. It’s certainly impressive. Only about 250 of these were built and this one should bring a big $1,000,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Did not sell.