A Spanish Hispano-Suiza

1933 Hispano-Suiza T56 Bis Berline by Fiol

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Cernobbio, Italy | May 25, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Hispano-Suiza was founded in Barcelona by a Spaniard and a Swiss engineer he met in Paris. In 1911, the company opened a factory near Paris, and most of the company’s well-known and lusted-after cars were produced by the French arm of the company, which became a semi-autonomous company in its own right after 1923.

What we have here is a rare example of what is probably the grandest car produced by the Spanish arm, the 1928 through 1936 T56. It is essentially the same chassis as the H6C that was built in Paris, but these were marketed under the T56 name and built in Spain.

It is powered by an 8.0-liter straight-six that developed somewhere in the neighborhood of 190 horsepower. This, a T56 Bis, is one of about 200 produced, a smaller number than the H6C. It was bodied by Fiol in Barcelona and recently restored. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Duesenberg J-547

1934 Duesenberg Model J Prince of Wales Berline by Rollston

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

A car museum closing is never a good thing as it deprives people to see great automobiles they would otherwise never have a chance to see. But, sometimes it’s kind of nice to see some long-term vehicles put back into circulation.

This Duesenberg has been in this collection since 1996. It has known ownership history since 1950 and was partially restored many decades ago. Power is from a 6.9-liter straight-eight making 265 horsepower.

It retains its original one-off Rollston body, its chassis, and engine. One of the centerpieces of its current collection, it should bring between $500,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $450,500.

Three Voisins

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


1929 Voisin C16 Berline by Ottin

Photo – Artcurial

The C16 was a model produced by Voisin between 1929 and 1932. However this car left the factory, the current body was added by Ottin of Lyon in 1932 and it’s a four-door sedan. The style is somewhat sedate by Voisin standards, but then again the wildest designs always came from in-house.

This car is powered by a 5.8-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and it was expensive when new, costing three times as much as the 2.3-liter variant. That said, this is the only known 5.8-liter C16 known to exist. It is listed as the “flagship” of the collection from which it is being sold – a family that has owned a handful of Voisin cars since new. Fun fact, this car (as are the others we’ll feature from this collection) are listed as national French monuments and as such, are unable to leave the country. This one should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $128,471.


1928 Voisin C11 Cabriolet by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

The C11 was Voisin’s best selling-model and was offered between 1926 and 1929. What is neat about this particular car is that it is a two-door convertible with a rumble seat. So many Voisins received sedan or streamlined coachwork that it’s almost weird to see a “sporty” looking variant.

Power is from a 2.3-liter sleeve-valve straight-six, and this car is said to be heavily optioned with mechanical equipment from the factory. The body is a one-off from Lyon-based Simon Pralavorio. It should bring between $105,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1926 Voisin C3L Berline by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

The C3L, which is different from the C3C (though I’m not exactly sure how), was offered by Voisin between 1922 and 1928. It is described by the auction catalog as the “car used by Presidents” which I guess means these were quite stately in their day.

They are powered by a 4.0-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and were capable of speeds over 75 mph. This car was also bodied by Palavorio and is said to have been the family’s favorite of all of their Voisin cars. It has a chauffeur’s compartment and an all-original interior. The price should be in the neighborhood of $80,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale, including more Voisins.

Update: Sold $60,885.

Duesenberg J-546

1932 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline by Rollston

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 15-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Rollston was a coachbuilder based in New York City between 1921 and 1938. It was founded by Harry Lonschein, Sam Blotkin, and Julius Veghso. So what’s with the name? Well Lonschein was a former Brewster employee, a company strongly associated with Rolls-Royce of America. So he named his new company after Rolls-Royce. Fun fact.

This Model J is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine that makes 265 horsepower. A 3-speed manual transmission sends power rearward, and this car wears a one-off convertible sedan body by Rollston. It was restored in the 1990s.

This car has known ownership history from new, as it was purchased new by a member of the Vanderbilt family. Other owners included Dean Kruse from 1998 to 2007, John O’Quinn from 2007 until 2010, and the Academy of Art University Collection since 2010. It’s an immaculately-clean example and should bring about a million bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

Update: Sold, Mecum Phoenix 2019, $880,000.

Voisin Lumineuse

1927 Voisin C11 Berline Lumineuse

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

Photo – Artcurial

Gabriel Voisin’s cars are usually a little on the wild side, this one being no exception. Dubbed “Lumineuse,” or light, you can see from just the lone picture above how strange this car appears. The greenhouse bows inward as it rises and the use of glass on this car is one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The front windscreen folds outward, the windows retract inside the car (but not inside the door). It makes it look like the top just lifts right off (but it doesn’t).

The engine is a 2.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six. The interior is, of course, some strange pattern that suits the car perfectly. The exterior is done in an almost-military-brown and it’s quite understated as well. The wheels sit at the four corners of this car, with practically no overhang from the body, which is all aluminium, making it very light. And I love the weird forward-facing spotlight hanging off the rear of the car.

It sounds as if there has been ongoing work on this car since 1973. It certainly isn’t fresh but it does look quite nice and is evidently quite usable. The C11 was the most-produced Voisin product but only three Lumineuse-bodied examples are known to exist. It’s quite creative and very cool. It should bring between $305,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $365,050.

Duesenberg J-259

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

To the knowing eye, it seems like this 1929 Model J is actually a little newer than it’s listed as being. Most 1929 Model Js are a little boxier and this one seems… well-rounded and a little smoother. That’s because the coachwork was updated in period by Bohman & Schwartz, the coachbuilder who did a lot of Duesenberg updating in the mid-1930s.

The Model J was built between 1929 and 1937… though the last engines and chassis were all built prior to then as it was difficult to sell the most glamorous automobile in American history at the height of the Great Depression. All Model Js were speedy, powered by a 265 horsepower Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight.

This numbers matching car was ordered new by an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Bodied by Murphy with some one-off features, the coachwork was updated by Bohman & Schwartz in 1934 at the owner’s request. The second owner acquired the car in 1959 when it showed an impressive 66,000 miles. Well cared for its entire life, this car should bring between $800,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

Bugatti 44 Berline

1930 Bugatti Type 44 Berline by Alin & Liautard

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Most of Bugatti models are all part of a line of cars that trace back to an earlier model. In this case, the Type 44 can trace its heritage back to the Type 30 of 1922. The Type 44 was built between 1927 and 1930 and was the most popular series of all of the “8-cylinder line” of 1922-1934.

It’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-eight making 80 horsepower. This car was sold new in Paris and was sent to Alin & Liautard to be bodied as a sedan, a body style not many Bugattis still exist as. The large roof has a big piece of fabric that can be rolled back like a giant cloth sunroof.

Ownership is known back to the 1950s, but it is known that the car was registered in Pairs up until that point. Any restoration this car has ever underwent is extremely old and predates the current owner who acquired the car some time ago. The Type 44 was one of the most popular Bugattis sold, with production totaling 1,095 cars. This one should sell for between $200,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $321,130.

Voisin C14

1930 Voisin C14 Berline

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Make sure to head over to Gooding & Co.’s site and check out the interior on this car. Like many other Voisin automobiles, it’s wild. If you take a quick glance at this car, it looks like an old, boring, upright sedan. But then you look closer and start to notice all the quirky little details: the weird positioning of the doors, the fender-to-radiator connectors, the strange proportions. And that’s just the exterior.

Under the hood is a 2.3-liter straight-six sleeve-valve engine making 66 horsepower. This certainly isn’t the most intensely Art Deco Voisin ever built but it’s still super rare. This car was discovered in the 1990s in France and the restoration was finished before 2007.

Like most Voisin’s, the body is lightweight aluminium. Only 1,795 C14s were built between 1927 and 1932 – making it one of the company’s most popular models. This one should sell for between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Amelia Island.

Update: Not sold.

Métallurgique Berline

1921 Métallurgique 12/15HP Berline

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2014

1921 Metallurgique 12-15HP Berline

Métallurgique was a Belgian automobile manufacturer that existed in its automotive form between 1898 and 1928 (they made locomotives prior to cars). They would become known for their sports cars much like Mercer in the U.S. and they had 100 horsepower cars prior to WWI.

But they also built bigger cars that became very popular in the U.K. after WWI. This model uses a 2.0-liter straight-four making 15 horsepower. All four-door cars built by the company were bodied by Vanden Plas, including this one.

The company was acquired by Belgian rival Minerva in 1927 and phased out the following year. Not a ton of them still exist and the ones that do tend to reside in long-term ownership. This is a rare opportunity to grab one for between $27,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Paris lineup.

Update: Sold $35,903.

Duesenbeg J-391

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible by Murphy

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 24, 2014

1930 Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Berline Convertible by Murphy

Duesenbergs were cars for the rich – and famous. This is one of many Duesenbergs that had famous owners. It was sold new to the undersecretary of the Navy, Gene Markey (he isn’t the celebrity I was thinking of, however).

It passed through a number of owners in the 1940s and by the end of the decade it had been acquired by James Talmadge – son of Buster Keaton. In 1952, he traded the car straight up for an MG to famous actor Tyrone Power. Power owned it until his death, at which point it ended up in the hands of J.B. Nethercutt. From his collection it found its way into Bill Harrah’s.

The restoration was carried out in 1986 by a private owner in Indianapolis. He sold it to the Imperial Palace Collection in 1991. The engine is the standard Duesenberg straight-eight making 265 horsepower and 374 lb-ft of torque. The convertible sedan body is by Murphy. This car can be yours for over a million dollars. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Kissimmee.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,400,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Monterey 2014: $1,425,000.