Mercedes-Benz 300D Adenauer

1961 Mercedes-Benz 300D Adenauer

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | March 20, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

This four-door Mercedes-Benz luxury car shares its three numerical digits with the legendary 300SL “Gullwing” sports car. But both cars share the “300” with Mercedes’ 1951-1957 W186 300 series, of which the 300D seen here was the successor.

Introduced in 1957, the 300D shared a version of the Gullwing’s fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six that, here, produced 178 horsepower (thus the “300” designation for “3 liters”, back when such things made logical sense). The 300D was available as a four-door sedan or a cabriolet. The cars were nicknamed “Adenauer” after Konrad Adenauer, who was the first Chancellor of West Germany and a fan of this series of cars.

Only 3,077 hand-built examples of the 300D sedan were built through 1962. This one isn’t a show winner, but it’s a driveable example of one of Germany’s greatest cars of the 1950s. It is expected to sell for between $68,000-$82,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Runge RS010

2017 Runge RS010

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

I’m not sure I would classify Runge Cars as a manufacturer… they’re more of a combination coachbuilder and tuner, building modern Porsche-derived outlaws. The cars are all vaguely 356/550/RSK-esque, but with modern touches. They’re just custom cars, but all with a similar theme, which makes them identifiable as Runges. They are not an exact replica of anything… kind of like art you can drive, but based on this one going up for sale two years after completion, they are probably the kind of art that is more comfortable to just look at.

This is the RS010, a one-off that was built between 2017 and 2019 but is titled as a 1960, the latter part of which is eye-roll-inducing thus why I labeled it as a “2017.” Power is from a mid-mounted 2.3-liter flat-four good for 195 horsepower. I’m unclear as to what chassis this rides on, and the gauges and switches are from 1950s-era aircraft.

According to their website, and the naming convention, this is the 10th Runge car built, and the most recent. I can’t recall seeing many other change hands publicly, and Bonhams hasn’t listed a pre-sale estimate yet. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Fiat 1100 Charmant Coupe

1954 Fiat 1100/103 TV Charmant Coupe by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat 1100 was a small family car built between 1953 and 1969. At the 1953 Paris Motor Show, they introduced the TV, or Turismo Veloce, variant (and for some reason, Bonhams insists on spelling it out, even though it was called the TV. I guess it sounds sexier spelled out like it’s some rare sports car… which it isn’t).

The TV did receive an upgraded engine: a sporty 1.1-liter inline-four good for 57 horsepower. There were also styling tweaks that were done in-house. This car, however, is one of 12 bodied by Vignale as a “Charmant Coupe.” Styling was actually penned by Michelotti.

The standard 1100, or even the TV, did not have fastback styling, Borrani wire wheels, or an Abarth intake manifold. This one was stored for a long time and supposedly has very few miles on it. No estimate is available yet, but you can read more about it here. Check out more from Bonhams here.

Mini Pickup

1976 Mini Pickup

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The classic Mini has been sold under a variety of marques, including Austin, Morris, Innocenti, Authi, Leyland, Rover, and of course, Mini (to say nothing of its Wolsely and Riley cousins). Mini, as a marque, began in 1969, replacing the Austin and Morris brands.

The pickup truck body style was offered between 1961 and 1983. This one is powered by a 1,275cc inline-four. I like the bed cover – as if there is sufficient cargo beneath that needs protection.

There were 58,179 pickup variants built, and this one has been restored. They aren’t nearly as common as the coupes and are rarely seen at auction. This one carries an estimate of $20,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $22,172.

1907 Darracq

1907 Darracq 10/12HP Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

A Darracq et Cie was founded after Alexandre Darracq sold his Gladiator bicycle company to Adolphe Clement. His first factory was in France, but in 1902, he sold his French company to a new British company called A Darracq and Company Ltd. That’s right, he shifted his business to England to take advantage of some financial laws.

So the company was now British. Except that there were still French Darracqs, and they would eventually be produced under the Talbot-Darracq marque (the two Darracqs would split during WWI). We could go down this rabbit hole for the 15th time, instead, we’ll just point out that this appears to be a French-built car powered by a 10/12-horsepower inline-twin.

It’s a tiny little car that is said to require a good deal of work before becoming usable, although it does run. It’s expected to sell for $20,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Alvis TC 21 by Graber

1953 Alvis TC 21 Cabriolet by Graber

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

In the line of Alvis cars, the TC 21 slots in between the TA 21 and the TC 108G. The TC 21 was produced between 1953 and 1955. The standard body was a four-door sedan, and the factory did not offer a convertible like they did with the TA and would do so later on with the TD and TE.

Power is from a 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 100 horsepower, and that six could push this car to 90 mph. Only 757 examples of the TC 21 were produced, and just six of those were bodied as cabriolets by Swiss coachbuilder Graber. This particular car was displayed on Graber’s stand at the 1953 Geneva Motor Show.

Sold new in Switzerland, this car has been with its current owner in the U.K. for 35 years. This is not a car that comes up for sale often, as evidenced by the long-term ownership of this one, which should sell for between $160,000-$190,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $188,358.

Atalanta Sports

1937 Atalanta 2-Litre Sports

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The British sports car, exemplified by post-war cars from Triumph, MG, and the like, was not something new that appeared in the 1950s. The British liked the idea for decades before that. Tiny, short-lived marques like Atalanta, Arab, Frazer Nash, and Squire were the forefathers of the TR6, MGB, and Austin-Healey Sprite.

The Atalanta was built between 1937 and 1939 in Middlesex, England. The company was founded by Alfred Gough, an engine-builder for Frazer Nash, as well as Peter Crosby, Peter Whitehead, and Neil Watson. They hand-built their cars, and they were expensive. But look at it. It has all of the style of an SS Jaguar.

Only 20 cars were built in total, and three engines were offered, including a Lincoln-Zephyr V12 in 1938. Most cars had a Gough-designed 1.6- or 2.0-liter inline-four, and this car has the latter. It made 98 horsepower when new. This car is one of only two short-chassis examples produced. It’s also one of only two 2.0L Atalantas built.

This is a great little car and is welcomed at events such as the Le Mans Classic. It is expected to bring between $400,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $392,413.

The Lion

1932 Fowler 10HP B6 Showman’s Locomotive

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Well here’s a new class of vehicle we haven’t featured before. The Showman’s Road Locomotive. It’s basically a steam traction engine that is made to go down the road, helping transport a circus or carnival. And then once it gets to where it’s going, it’s the powerplant for the show. They are very large and very ornate.

This one was manufactured by John Fowler & Co. of Leeds. The company built four B6 “Super Lion” road locomotives. These were the last such machines built, as steam’s popularity was on the wane. The last road locomotive ceased operation in 1958, and most of them ended up scrapped. This example is the first of the four Super Lions, two others of which also survive.

When new, it was used to power carnival rides until it was retired in 1946. It had two owners between 1950 and 2018, and it was restored over a two-year period in the mid-1990s. Like many other showman’s locomotives, it features a full canopy, a front dynamo, and a lot of brass.

Steam traction engines are impressive beasts in the own right, but once you add this sort of over-the-top glamour to them, they really just become awe-inspiring. This one is expected to sell for between $1,000,000-$1,600,000. Why not? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,195,794.

Woods Dual Power

1917 Woods Dual Power Type 44 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I’m not a huge fan of featuring project cars (this one is described as 80% complete), but the car itself is interesting – and rare – enough that I had to. The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was founded in Chicago in 1899. They produced electric vehicles through 1916, though they did sell gas-powered cars under the Woods Electric brand for a few years.

In 1917, the company rebranded as Woods Dual Power, a new marque that would last only through 1918. The new cars had an inline-four gas engine rated at 14 horsepower, in addition to an electric motor. Below 15 mph, the car drove on electricity (though the gas engine was still idling). After it hit 15, the gas motor would take over, pushing the car up to 35 mph. It was essentially a very early hybrid.

Only 1,900 examples were produced, and only four are known to survive. Three are in museums, and this example was restored in the 1980s. It was later present in a private German collection when a fire swept through and a beam landed on the Woods, crushing it. The current owner straightened the chassis, sourced a replacement gas engine, and rebuilt the electrics to roughly mimic the original running procedure. It now carries a roadster body and still needs some additional touches to be complete. In this state, it should sell for between $41,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Mignonette-Luap

1900 Mignonette-Luap 2.25HP Voiturette

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Well here’s a car that probably shouldn’t still exist. Mignonette-Luap was a short-lived product of Jiel-Laval et Cie of Bordeaux, France. Produced only between 1899 and 1900, this small voiturette could potentially be the only remaining example of the marque.

Power is from a 2.25-horsepower De Dion-Bouton single-cylinder engine mounted at the rear. In a case of making customers feel good about their purchase, the car was also equipped with pedals should you need to bike it the rest of the way home after the engine failed.

But no fear, it has completed the London-to-Brighton three times since 2011. It has tiller steering, a two-speed gearbox, and an Amal carburetor from a much later motorcycle. It also has a pre-sale estimate of $65,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.