Stanley Steamer

1903 Stanley CX 6.5HP Steam Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Stanley is an iconic American automobile. The Stanley brothers built one of America’s largest early automotive manufacturers and they did it on the basis of steam. While the coffin-nose Stanleys are quite famous, it’s these earlier, simpler-looking cars that helped make the company what it became.

1903 was the third year for Stanley production and three models were offered, with the two-cylinder Model CX being at the top of the heap. The CX was an eight horsepower car and the Model C was the 6.5 horsepower car. Both had identical bodies. So take your pick as to what this car really is.

The car is in great shape and has had work done recently to keep it going. It’s a runner and a driver that can be used with pride. Steam cars take a special sort – as well as $54,000-$62,000. Click here for more info and here for more from one of our favorite sales of the year.

Update: Sold $61,742.

1901 Darracq

1901 Darracq 6.5 Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Hendon, U.K. | April 30, 2012

Earlier this week we talked about Alexandre Darracq and how he founded the company that would ultimately become Gladiator – and how that company was intertwined with Adolphe Clément’s automotive exploits as well as those of Charles Chetwynd-Talbot. Well, after Darracq left Gladiator, he founded Société A. Darracq near Paris. The first car designed and built in-house by Darracq arrived in 1900 which was a 6.5 horsepower single-cylinder car of 785cc, such as the 1901 model you see here.

This car was found in France in the 1960s and brought to England where it was restored and has been well known in Veteran car circles since. The body is a period style, but not original. It’s been well kept and is eligible for the all-important London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

So, knowing that this company was founded by Alexandre Darracq, what other names did it go by during it’s existence? Good question. In 1902, the cars were introduced in Germany where they were sold as an ‘Opel Darracq’, in conjunction with Adam Opel and his company. This partnership lasted for but a few years and Darracq began looking for other markets, particularly car-hungry England.

In 1919, Sunbeam merged with Clément-Talbot, the English importer of the French Clément-Bayard cars (see the Gladiator post from Monday for more on this). This created Sunbeam-Talbot, and cars were sold under this name. In 1920, Darracq merged with Sunbeam-Talbot to form Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (or STD Motors, which is a less-than flattering name). There were cars badged as ‘Talbot-Darracq’. When STD went bust in 1935, the factory and company was acquired by A.F. Lago, beginning the Talbot-Lago make. The name of Alexandre Darracq, who had cashed out in 1913, slowly evaporated from the automotive landscape and was long gone by the time Simca swept up Talbot-Lago in 1958.

The detailed history of the early automotive industry is fascinating and this is a car from a company that played a pivotal role. The pre-sale estimate is $87,000-$100,000. For the complete description, click here and for the rest of Bonhams at the RAF Museum, click here.

Update: Did not sell.