Duesenberg SJ-512

1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Beverly Berline by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1933 Duesenberg Model SJ-512 Beverly Berline by Murphy

This is one beautiful Duesey. The SJ variant of the Model J was first available in 1932. It offered a factory supercharger for the Lycoming straight-eight. Horsepower jumped to a whopping 320. There was nothing else like it.

There have been a number of normal Model Js that have been upgraded over the years to SJ specification. But this is the real deal. This is one of just 36 factory SJs built and one of only five that has an enclosed body on it. The body in this case is from Murphy and it’s a stunner.

This car was delivered new to Powell Crosley, Jr. in Cincinnati. He would later build his own cars – but they were no match in size or power. More recently, this car was restored by RM and is being sold from the ownership by Joseph Cassini (who has won top honors at Pebble Beach twice). This will be a very pricey car. You can check out more here and see more from this impressive sale here.

Update: Pre-sale estimate $2,000,000-$2,500,000.

Update II: Sold $1,760,000.

Duesenberg JN-500

1935 Duesenberg Model JN LWB Berline by Rollston (and Bohman & Schwartz)

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2013

1935 Duesenberg Model JN (500) LWB Berline by Rollston (and Bohman & Schwartz)

This Duesenberg is a Model JN – that is, it is one of 10 Rollston-bodied cars produced in 1935 with modern updates to the front of the car along with smaller wheels. They were among the last Duesenberg’s built at a time when the company was desperately trying to stay afloat and keep its aging flagship car relevant.

As was the case with JNs, this one came equipped with Rollston bodywork. This chassis and body originally had engine J-559 underhood, but that was replaced in the 1950s when its owner consolidated two different Duesenbergs. This car also received the larger Model J wheels at that time. The engine was unchanged – a 6.9-liter straight eight making 265 horsepower.

This car was delivered new to Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, the famous Hollywood tap-dancer who appeared alongside Will Rogers and Shirley Temple onscreen. When he took the car to California, he sent it to Bohman & Schwartz for some updates (only a year after purchase). When he passed, the car bounced between owners – its engine being swapped out along the way. It was restored in 1970 and has been maintained since, which is kind of remarkable considering its fairly nice condition and the fact it has covered more than 100,000 miles in its well-used life. It should sell for between $500,000-$700,000. You can read more about it here and check out the rest of Gooding’s auction lineup here.

Update: Sold $594,000.

1913 Brasier Berline

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013

1913 Brasier 16hp Berline

Henri Brasier joined the Georges Richard’s automobile company and the new Richard-Brasier company began to produce cars in 1902. That only lasted through 1905, when Richard left the company. So the company that started out with Georges Richard’s full name as the marque, gradually decreased until it was just “Brasier” left.

Brasier started building cars in late 1905/early 1906 and lasted through 1926, after which they were called Chaigneau-Brasier, until the company ultimately closed in 1930. This particular Brasier is a 1913 Sedan with coachwork by Marcel Guilloux of France (if you couldn’t tell where he was from based on his name). It uses a 3.2-liter four-cylinder making 16 horsepower.

The car was bought new by a gentleman in France who walled it up when the First World War broke out. The man perished in the war and the car wasn’t discovered again for 70 years, when the wall he built was demolished during a home redesign. It’s bounced around since, having appeared in a few movies along the way. It is entirely original – a great example of “time warp” condition that makes it perfect for high-class car shows all over the world. It runs well and everything works. It should sell for between $100,000-$130,000. Click here to read more and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Microcar Mondays Pt V

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

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1953 Ardex

1953 Ardex

Ardex was originally founded in France in 1934 but by the time war broke out in 1939, production stopped. But in 1952, it sprang back up out of nowhere, producing two (as seen here) or four seat microcars using single-cylinder engines of 100cc or 125cc. Production lasted until 1955 and only a few were built. This one should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,800.

 

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1953 Messerschmitt KR 175

Messerschmitt KR 175

We already featured a Messerschmitt KR 200, which was the successor to this car, the original Kabinenroller, the KR 175. Introduced for 1953, the Fend Flitzer offshoot used a rear-mounted 174cc single-cylinder making nine horsepower. Top speed was 50 mph and the bubble canopy was used instead of a door. As production only lasted through 1955, total output was much smaller than the KR 200, with about 15,000 KR 175s built. They cost 2,100 DM back in 1953 but today should sell for $35,000-$45,000 USD. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $23,000.

 

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1956 Paul Vallée Chantecler

1956 Paul Vallée Chantecler

SICRAF (Société Industrielle de Construction et de Racherches Automobiles de France) – yeah, that’s one hell of an acronym – produced scooters in Aubervillers, France, from 1947 through 1953. In 1955, Paul Vallée, the head of SICRAF, introduced a three-wheeled micro-bubble of a car using a frame from one of his scooters as a base. Engines were either 125cc or 175cc. Not many were made. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $98,900.

 

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1950 Rolux Baby

1950 Rolux Baby

The Rolux Baby was identical to the New-Map Baby. New-Map reintroduced their pre-war “Baby” design in 1946 but the following year the company relocated and was renamed Société Rolux. The model remained unchanged from the pre-war design. It uses a rear-mounted 125cc single-cylinder engine. Rolux lasted until 1952 and about 300 cars were made. Three of them are offered in this sale. This is the nicest one and it should bring between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $48,875.

 

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1959 Nobel 200

1959 Nobel 200

The Nobel 200 was a licensed copy of the Fuldamobil. While the Fuldamobil was built in Germany, the Nobel was built in the U.K. – Northern Ireland to be exact. They were available from 1958 to 1962 and it uses a 191cc single-cylinder making 10 horsepower (the same one used the Messerschmitt KR 200). It could do 55 mph. This one is obviously in need of a restoration – but it is in better condition than the other Nobel 200 offered in this sale. This one is estimated to bring somewhere between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $10,350.

 

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1955 Inter 175A Berline

1955 Inter 175A Berline

The Inter was built by S.N.C.A.N. of Lyons, France from 1953 to 1956. As its name suggests, it uses a 175cc engine. Only about 300 were built. What I like about it is the boat-ness of it. It has that one headlight poking out the front and that lone windshield wiper that comes down from the roof of the car. That and how the body is narrow with a chrome belt line (or water line) and the wheels are located outboard – it kind of looks like the Reyonnah we featured a few weeks ago. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $161,000.

 

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1953 Champion 400H

1953 Champion 400H

If this looks like the Maico MC 400 we featured a month or two ago, that’s because it is pretty much the same car. Champion Automobil presented the 400 in 1951. It was a two-door saloon with a folding canvas roof – not a complete convertible, but more like a giant cloth sunroof. In 1953, the 400 became the 400H. The engine was a two-cylinder of about 400cc making 16 horsepower, an increase of two horses over the 400. Only 1,941 were built in 1953 before the company collapsed and was purchased by Maico. This one should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.

 

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1958 Brütsch Mopetta

1958 Brütsch Mopetta

Egon Brütsch founded the company that bore his name in 1950. By 1958, he had designed and produced 11 different models of microcars, perhaps none more “micro” than this Mopetta. It rocks a single seat and a 50cc engine but it’s actually (a little) bigger than it looks. While I don’t think I’d fit comfortably in this thing, I might be able to actually squeeze into it. Its only about five feet long, so maybe I couldn’t. Maybe Germans in 1958 were just tiny. Only 14 were built. This one should bring $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $66,125.

 

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1950 Bond Minicar Mk A

1950 Bond Minicar Mk A

The Bond Minicar (retroactively given the “Mk A” identifier) was introduced in 1949 and was sold through 1951. The body, as you can see in this unpainted example, is aluminium and the whole car weighed in at 308 pounds. This non-Deluxe model uses a 122cc single-cylinder making five horsepower. In total, 1,973 were made and it was deemed successful enough to spawn six successors with a total combined production of over 20,000 cars. This was the one that started it all for Bond. It should sell for between $10,000-$15,000, much more than the about £260 it originally cost. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $10,350.

 

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1953 BMA Hazelcar

1953 BMA Hazelcar

The BMA Hazelcar was constructed by the Battery Manufacturing Association, a company located in Hove, England. They introduced the Hazelcar in 1952 and made them into 1954. It’s an electric car, powered by a 1.5 horsepower electric engine. It has a range of 60 miles and a top speed of 20 mph. The price was rather steep for 1953, at £535 and only about 25 were built. This one should go for between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,200.

Inter 175A

1955 Inter 175A Berline

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1955 Inter 175A Berline

The Inter was built by S.N.C.A.N. of Lyons, France from 1953 to 1956. As its name suggests, it uses a 175cc engine. Only about 300 were built. What I like about it is the boat-ness of it (don’t be fooled, it is not amphibious!). It has that one headlight poking out the front and that lone windshield wiper that comes down from the roof of the car. That and how the body is narrow with a chrome belt line (or water line) and the wheels are located outboard – it kind of looks like the Reyonnah we featured a few weeks ago. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $161,000.

 

Nagant Berline

1918 Nagant Four-Cylinder Berline

For sale at Retrolegends | Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Tell me “Valkenswaard” isn’t the most fearsome sounding name for a northern European city. It sounds like a battle in Norse mythology involving a giant anthropomorphic bird and a giant invincible sword. Anyway, this 1918 Nagant has been on sale for a while, and I really like it.

Nagant was an arms manufacturer founded in Liége, Belgium in 1859. The name is probably most familiar to firearms types because of the famous Mosin-Nagant rifle that was put into use by the Russian Empire 1891.

Nagant wasn’t the only firearms manufacturer to turn to automobiles (BSA comes immediately to mind). Cars were introduced in 1900 and they were mostly licensed copies from other manufacturers. Later cars of their own design used high-revving (for the time) engines capable of up to 4,000 rpm. I’m unsure as to the power output of this car, but it may have the sidevalve 14/16hp engine introduced by Nagant in 1913.

These were known to be well-made, fast and highly durable cars. The company was acquired by Imperia in 1931 but production had wrapped up in 1928. Price is “available upon request,” which probably means it is too high, as it hasn’t sold in the years it has seemingly been sitting there. Click here for more info (well okay, less info, but it is the site where it is for sale).

1915 Crane-Simplex

1915 Crane-Simplex Model 5 Sport Berline by Brewster

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2012

Tell me that isn’t a beautiful car. Quite a number of cars of this vintage have upright grilles that lead the cowl straight back to the firewall and passenger compartment. It’s like somebody fitted two rectangles together and called it a day. But look at the flow of the front of this car – how the cowl sweeps right into the windshield. It’s one of my favorite early automotive design touches. The roof rack completes the picture of this car, full of a wealthy family, their belongings strapped to the roof, travelling on to some Gilded Age vacation home on the New England coast.

Crane-Simplex is one of those marques that went through quite a few different names and owners over the years. A brief history: The Smith & Mabley Manufacturing Company began building the S&M Simplex in 1904. Two years later the company was broke and it was absorbed by the Simplex Automobile Company, the badging was shortened to “Simplex.” In 1915, the Crane Motor Car Company purchased Simplex and Crane-Simplex was born. In 1920, Mercer (and the ill-fated Hare’s Motors corporation) acquired Crane-Simplex for two years before Henry Crane (who founded the Crane Motor Car Company) bought it back after Hare’s Motors went bust. He tried to revive the company but it was gone from the marketplace by 1924.

The car featured here has a six-cylinder engine displacing 9.24-liters and it is from the first year of production. The body is by Brewster and, because the engine puts out significant power, it’s big. Crane-Simplex cars were for the very wealthy – John D. Rockefeller had one. They were well built and expensive. The one seen here sold for $13,800 in 1915. Only 121 Crane-Simplex cars were made in total.

The car is presented as “original” while having been “worked over” (which I take to mean “restored as needed”) so it can be driven long distances. Original or not, this would be one hell of a car to drive on a classic car tour. It’s one of the most exclusive pre-war American automobiles. It is exceptional.

The pre-sale estimate is $100,000-$140,000, and after looking at it, this sounds remarkably fair. To read the complete lot description, click here. And for more from Bonhams in Connecticut, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg J-103

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by LeBaron

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2012

LeBaron-bodied Duesenbergs are my favorite, although not necessarily Convertible Sedans. This one has an interesting history, having been owned first by Canada’s first and only Duesenberg dealer, Billy Van Horne. J103 was one of the first cars built (it was the fourth engine and third chassis constructed). It was the first long-wheelbase chassis.

The original body on this car was a Holbrook Seven-Passenger Limousine, which was fitted when the car sat on the Duesenberg stand at the 1929 New York Auto Show. The current body was fitted in 1935 when the third owner shipped the car back to Indiana to get  a more sporting body mounted on chassis 2127.

This car was restored for the first time in the early 1960s before it found its new home in the Midwest. The restoration has been “upgraded” twice since, in order to keep the car fresh. Ownership is known from new and this is a Duesenberg with no “stories.” There was no storage in a barn for 40 years. Someone has been enjoying this car since it left the factory. Now it is being sold out of the collection of John O’Quinn.

There were only three of these LeBaron Convertible Berline bodies built. RM estimates the sale price of this car to be between $800,000-$1,000,000. To read the complete description, click here and for the rest of RM in Florida, click here.

Update: Sold $803,000.