Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII

1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Boattail

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Hispano-Suiza had only been around for about eight years when they introduced the Alfonso XIII in 1912. Named for the King of Spain (who enjoyed and purchased their cars), the Alfonso is considered to be one of the first sports cars. Not all of them were sporty, however.

Power is supplied by a 3.6-liter inline-four good for 64 horsepower. This car rides on the long-wheelbase chassis and carries a reproduction boattail body. A two-seater body dating back to at least the 1920s accompanies the car and is believed to be the car’s original.

Ownership history is known back to the early 1920s, when it was bought by a university student in England, who would own the car until his death in 1978. It’s only had three owners since. This is one of the best cars of its era, and it’s rare to see such a fine example changing hands. You can see more about it here and more from RM in Paris here.

Update: Not sold.

A.B.F. Prototype

1923 A.B.F. Boattail Prototype

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

If you were to say “there are zero automakers that can claim a 100% survivability rate among their cars (one-offs notwithstanding),” I think it would be easy to agree. And then A.B.F. comes along. Albert Ford was born in Canada but resided in England when he tried to get a company called All-British Ford off the ground in the 1920s.

It didn’t go great, but he did manage to complete two cars. Both of which still survive. This was the first of the two examples, and it is powered by a 1.2-liter V4. The body was actually purchased by Ford from the owner of a racing Alvis who was looking for something different. A.B.F. closed down shortly after, as the owner changed course to hospital furniture manufacturing.

Both cars were rescued from Mr. Ford’s garage after WWII. This one was restored in the 1950s and again in the late 1970s. It’s a pretty cool little car with great period bodywork. It is expected to bring between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Purple Isotta Boattail

1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Boattail Tourer

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19-20, 2012

Look. At. This. Car. It’s mindblowing. First of all, how many two-tone purple cars do you see? Now, how many two-tone purple cars do you see that grab and hold your attention quite like this. Look at that grille!

This is the second Tipo 8A that we’ve featured that’s being offered in Arizona this January. It is by far the more awesome. The car is immaculate and I’d by dying to put a bid in on it, had I not been aware that RM sold this car back in 2007 for a touch over $390,000. At that time, it undercut the lower end of the estimate by a cool $60,000 – so, by definition it’s a steal. (The car lacked the current grille-work that it has now at that time).

It’s got a 135 horsepower, 7.4 liter Straight 8 engine which isn’t Duesenberg power but it’s no slouch, able to hit 100 mph. The Boattail bodywork is by Carrozzeria Italiana Cesare Sala (not a household name by any means) and it cost $6,000 back in 1927 – on top of the $8,500 chassis price. They weren’t exactly giving these cars away.

RM doesn’t have an estimate handy as of this writing, but $400,000 sounds about right, we’ll see. I’d pay it, conditions willing. More info can eventually be found here and more about RM in Arizona here.

Update: Sold $407,000.