Ariel Quadricycle

1901 Ariel 375cc Quadricycle

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 1, 2013

1901 Ariel 375cc Quadricycle

Diversifying your business is a good way to stay in business. Many early motorcycle manufacturers started out life as bicycle manufacturers. When it became feasible, they added engines and went into the motorcycle business.

But what do you do if you’re already a motorcycle manufacturer? Well, you build cars – or, at least, you try. This Ariel Quadricycle is about as much bike as it is car. The driver sits out back on a motorcycle seat, straddling the engine and tank. The passenger sits up front, acting as both windscreen and front bumper.

Actually, this car can be easily converted to a tricycle – and was sold as such with a “Quadricycle attachment.” I guess you just scoot the front wheel over, add another wheel and a seat and boom! you’ve got a car. This particular example has known ownership history from new and has been exquisitely restored.

1901 Ariel 375cc Quad-Tri-Cycle

Ariel would offer more traditional cars here and there until they focused solely on motorcycles beginning in 1925. Motorcycle production ceased in 1970. The Quadricycle is very rare but not unheard of. This one could bring between $40,000-$56,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this cool Bonhams sale.

Update: Sold $73,401.

2012 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance

The 2012 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, held in one of Cincinnati’s most beautiful parks in one of Cincinnati’s most uppity neighborhoods, was held two weekends ago. The show was full of some of the finest cars from around the mid-west. This year’s featured marque was “A Century of American Power.” Classic Car Weekly was in attendance and here are some of our favorites.

Our pick for best in show was this 1929 Stutz Model M Lancefield Supercharged Coupe.  It came out of the Mitchell Collection in Texas and is the only surviving example of the five originally built. The low roof-line and gives this car a truly sporting presence.

One of the other awesome rides was this 1910 Oldsmobile Autocrat Prototype Race Car built for the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup. Old race cars like this are fascinating – they’re as big as trucks and the driver and riding mechanic were just hanging on, completely exposed to the elements in tiny little seats with absolutely no protection whatsoever. Also, don’t forget about the 7.7-liter four-cylinder hanging out front.

Oh, and check out these exhaust, which look like something of a battle tank:

I really enjoyed this 1911 Lozier Briafcliff, as it was gigantic. A gentlemen hanging around it all day tried to convince me that it was worth $40 million. I nodded and smiled but politely declined to tell him he was insane.

This 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 Spyder is one of three 5300 Spyders built. It has a 327 Corvette engine making 350 horsepower and a stunning interior.

One of the most mind-blowing aspects of this show, was that, on either side of the Stutz mentioned above, there was an SJ Duesenberg. Not a bad day when there are multiple SJ Duesenbergs vying for your attention. This one is a 1929 Bohman & Schwartz Disappearing Top Roadster. 320 horsepower and 140 mph in 1929 must have been incredible.

Another exotic was this 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, one of 338 built. Only when standing next to one of these do you realize how impossibly low they sit to the ground. What a wonderful machine.

MG was a featured marque this year. Two cars that really stood out included this brilliant blue 1934 NA Evans-Wilkinson Special, one of three built.

There other super-cool MG was this crazy 1985 Metro 6R4 Group B Rally Car from the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. It was built by Williams F1 for the rally circuit and, yes, crazy is the correct word.

Some other interesting, newer cars include this 1991 BMW Z1, a car you don’t see often, especially in America.

This track-day special (although it was listed as “street-legal”) 2009 Ariel Atom 3 drew a crowd, as you could look around it and see just about every part on/in/within it.

American classics (and muscle cars) were prevalent, with muscle cars being part of the featured “American Power” motif. Easily the most interesting among them was this 1964 Studebaker Commander Super Lark – the only production steel-bodied R-3 package car with the 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which was built for Studebaker by the Granatelli Brothers. It was the fastest compact car in the U.S. when it was built, turning sub-13 second 1/4 miles in excess of 110 mph.

Other fantastic American (or semi-American) classics include this 1957 Dual-Ghia D-500 Convertible. Dual-Ghias are simply beautiful cars and this one in red was no exception.

And finally, this 1964 Buick Riviera looked amazing in Coral Mist, my new favorite automotive color. It has the 425 cubic inch Super Wildcat V8, making 360 horsepower.

And what would any good car show rundown be without a trip through the parking lot, a car show in itself. Some of the more impressive cars I saw included a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible. It looked mean, and made me wonder why GM hadn’t built these before.

This Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster was pretty classic and it looked fun, as it drove past me with four people packed in and on it, having a good time.

This Lamborghini Diablo SV got the attention of the high-school student within me – and plenty of others.

And finally, from the environmentally responsible crowd, this Fisker Karma gathered a lot of interest from onlookers saying things like “What is that?” and “I’ve never seen one of these.” While this car might look like some kind of extended coupe, it is actually a very long car in person – much bigger than you’d think.

Bonhams’ Shepton Mallet Motorcycle Highlights

Bonhams recent (okay it was the 18th of February) motorcycle sale in Shepton Mallet, England featured a number of affordable bikes – a majority of all sales were of the sub-$7,000 type. The top sale was this 1932 Brough Superior Black Alpine 680:

It’s a good bet that when a Brough Superior shows up in an auction catalog that it will be the top seller of the sale. This time that was certainly true, selling for about $100,500 – more than double the price of second-highest seller. This is a time-capsule version that has never been restored and is not running. And the second-highest selling bike was a 1955 Vincent Rapide Series D for about $43,000.

The 1938 Ariel Square Four that we featured last month sold for a couple dollars under $19,000, which, I think, makes it the first motorcycle featured on this site to actually sell.

There were a ton of scooter or scooter-type… things (there was a Honda trike that looked like a toy) selling at this auction. Our picks for the coolest bikes sold were a pair of green ones. First, this 1957 Douglas 348cc Dragonfly:

It brought about $5,800 (I say “about” because the auction was in GBP and I have to do my own currency conversion). I just like the way it looks. Same with this 1978 Benelli 125 Turismo. There isn’t anything spectacular about it. I guess it’s because the paint is so nice.

Anyway, I wish I would’ve been there to buy it for its $1,082 selling price. For complete results, click here.

995cc “Squariel”

1938 Ariel 995cc Model 4G “Square Four”

Offered by Bonhams, Shepton Mallet, U.K., February 18, 2012

The Ariel Square Four was a four-cylinder motorcycle introduced in 1930 as a 500cc motorcycle. In 1937 the model was updated to the “4G” with a 955cc OHV engine. It’s a powerful 1930s motorcycle with similar displacement to a 1960s-era Mini (which weighed a lot more). This isn’t a Vincent and doesn’t pretend to be but, on the plus side, it’s way more affordable.

Ariel was absorbed by BSA in 1944 and continued production until 1970. But their heyday was the 1930s when models like the Square Four and Red Hunter were serious bikes.

This particular bike was acquired in 1947 by the most recent owner (who is deceased). It also comes with a sidecar, but from the pictures it would appear that the sidecar needs some serious work. This one hasn’t been ridden in 40 years and hasn’t been started in 10. It is in original condition – and it doesn’t look too bad. It’s a restoration project and for the estimate of $11,000-$16,000, it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other restoration projects that we’ve seen at auction recently. Then again, it’s priced higher than many of the running bikes in this sale, which makes me feel better about talking this up as a desirable model.

For the complete catalog description, click here.

Update: Sold $19,000.