1900 Gasmobile

1900 Gasmobile Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Gasmobile is a great example of early American motoring. This car was built by the Automobile Company of America, which was founded in New York City in 1899 by John H. Flagler. The cars were marketed under the “American” brand name for 1899 and Flagler changed the name to Gasmobile for 1900 because it was “more descriptive.”

Cars built in 1899 and 1900 were identical except for the badging. The final cars were built in 1902 (which included a 35 horsepower six-cylinder car shown at the New York Auto Show). That six-cylinder car was a long way from this three horsepower, single-cylinder Runabout built only two years earlier.

This chassis was discovered in a warehouse in the 1950s and restored. No word on if the current restoration dates to the 1950s or not, but it looks quite nice, if a little dated. It’s something you could use (lightly) and show – and draw a crowd wherever you go. The Gasmobile was considered one of America’s finest early cars but the company folded anyway (Flagler moved on to the short-lived Panam car). This is one of only a few survivors and you can check out more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.

Stoddard-Dayton Raceabout

1910 Stoddard-Dayton Model 10C Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Stoddard-Dayton built big cars. Even this sporty variant is quite large. Built in Dayton, Ohio, from 1904 through 1913, their cars were luxurious and powerful. Their model lines were usually representative of the years in which they were built – so the Model 10C was built in 1910 only.

There were seven Model 10 variants for 1910 and the 10C could be had as a Baby Tonneau or a Roadster. It’s powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.5-liter straight-four – the middle of their 1910 range. By the end of their production run, the company would be offering engines making as much as 70 horsepower.

The current owner acquired this car in 2008, after it spent many years in a collection in Maine. At that point, it had a touring car body on it but when it was restored it was changed to this more fun Raceabout style. The rear seats, which were removed, are included with the lot in case the new owner wants to take it back to a more original look. Stoddard-Daytons are awesome cars – like locomotives for the road. You can just imagine it chugging down the road. This one should bring between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Derby Roadster

1928 Derby Type GSEH Sports Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Derby (pronounced dar-bee, because, you know, France Europe) was an automobile manufacturer based in Courbevoie, France, between 1921 and 1936. It is not to be confused with the “Derby Bentleys” – which were Bentleys produced at a factory in Derby, England. This French company was founded by Bertrand Montet and the first cars were powered by v-twin motorcycle engines.

This car is powered by a four-cylinder engine and was sold alongside at least three other models, some of which featured six cylinders. Bertrand Montet died in 1928 and the company stood on shaky ground thereafter. Toward the end they were producing V-8 powered front-wheel drive cars.

Production never gained enough steam to build any significant amount of cars. The company’s biggest years were in 1925 and 1926 when they built around 200 cars annually. Only about 50 survive worldwide today, with only a handful in the U.S. This sporty roadster is an comparatively affordable alternative to racy French cars from the likes of Bugatti, Rally, B.N.C., and Amilcar. To see more, click here. And to see more from RM Sotheby’s, click here.

Mobile Steam

1900 Mobile Steam Model 4 5.5HP Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The corporate history of the Mobile Company of America is very confusing. It was founded in Tarrytown, New York, by John B. Walker. Originally, Walker and his business partner (who, together, had bought the rights to the Stanley brothers’ first steam car design) were going to call the car something else. But they ended up fighting over it and Walker ended up with the Stanley rights. The Mobile was born.

Mobile only sold cars between 1900 and 1903. Most looked something like this Model 4 “Solid Seat Runabout” that originally retailed for $750 –  among the cheapest cars the company offered. This car is powered by 5.5 horsepower two-cylinder steam engine.

Only about 600 Mobile Steam cars were built and it is thought that only about 10-12 survive. This one has been well-restored and does run and drive. It should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Apperson Anniversary Touring

1919 Apperson 8-19 Anniversary Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We may think “Michigan” today when we think of the American automobile industry, but Indiana was a hotbed for car manufacturers prior to the Great Depression. Founded in exotic Kokomo, Indiana, in 1901 by brothers Edgar and Elmer Apperson, the company sprang up when the brothers left the Haynes-Apperson company – one of America’s first car companies.

The company closed in 1926, but for a while they were turning out a lot of cars. They were one of a few early manufacturers who had a little marketing fun with their model names. Instead of Model A-B-C, they gave their cars names, like the Jack Rabbit. This car, technically a Model 8-19, was sold with a seven-passenger body style called the Anniversary Touring (named because it celebrated the 25th anniversary of Haynes-Apperson). The engine is a 34 horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8, which sounds awfully modern, doesn’t it?

It is thought that as few as 20 Appersons still exist, which is a shame because early V-8 cars are quite interesting. No pre-sale estimate has been published yet, but this is, so far, one of the more interesting lots available between the two fascinating Pennsylvania auctions in October. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

September 2017 Auction Highlights

We’re going to start (for the second recap in a row) with a sale from Worldwide Auctioneers. The Cadillac “Die Valkyrie” was sold for an undisclosed amount (which is kind of lame). The top (reported) sale was $539,000 for this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet B.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

A previously-featured Stoddard-Dayton sold here as well, bringing $118,800. Now let’s talk about this sale. The Auburn sales are usually a buyer’s paradise. In fact, this year was the closest I’ve yet come to registering as a bidder and attempting to buy a car. I had my eye on this 1921 Packard Single Six Sedan.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

It had a pre-sale estimate of, I think, $20,000-$30,000 or something in that ballpark. I had a gut feeling that it would go low, as it was selling at no reserve. With buyer’s premium, I was willing to pay $15,000. The final bid? $14,850. Instead of being there, I was in the hospital, having a child. I’d say I did just fine on the weekend. Other cars will come along. Oh, you can check out more results here.

The other Auburn sale for September was that of Auctions America. The top two sales were both Duesenbergs that we featured. The SJ Sweep Panel Phaeton was #1, bringing $2,300,000. The other, Fleetwood-bodied Model J, sold for $990,000. A distant-relative of the Duesenbergs was the Buehrig Carriage-Roof Coupe that sold here for $25,850. We award Most Interesting to this 1974 AMC Hornet Hatchback. Seriously? Yes, this was the car from The Man With the Golden Gun that performed one of the greatest car stunts in movie history. It sold for $110,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Photo – Auctions America

Let’s hop to RM Sotheby’s London sale. Two of the cars that sold here have been featured on this site previously. They are this Marlboro Steam car (which sold for about $12,146) and this De Tomaso Nuovo Pantera mockup for about $25,348. The top sale was this 2004 Ferrari Enzo that brought approximately $2,383,042.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Hispano-Suiza K6 failed to sell and complete results can be found here.

Dragone Auctions held a sale in Lime Rock, Connecticut in early September. We featured an early Cadillac that brought $80,940. The top sale was another Caddy, this one a rakish 1931 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Victoria by Lancefield for $577,500. Check out full results here.

Photo – Dragone Auctions

Finally, Bonhams’ second Goodwood sale of the year. We only featured one car from this sale, the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Fastback, and it failed to sell. The top sale, however, was this 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona for $801,151. Check out more results here.

Photo – Bonhams

1920 Stearns-Knight

1920 Stearns-Knight L4 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

F.B. Stearns and Company set up shop in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1898 (when Frank Stearns was only 19 years old). Production really got under way in 1901 and their cars were like most others of the time. In 1912 the company began using Knight sleeve-valve engines in their cars. It was from this point, until new corporate overlord Willys-Overland dissolved the marque 1930, that the company would be part of a handful of Knight-suffixed marques.

The L4 (or SKL4) was introduced in 1918 as a model name and it lasted through 1923. For 1920, it was the only Stearns-Knight offered and it could be had in eight different body styles. It would appear that this is a five-passenger touring, the slightly smaller alternative to the $225-more-expensive seven-passenger touring that was also offered. The engine is a 23 horsepower, 4.1-liter straight-four.

This well-patina’d and all-original example was discovered in a barn in 2003 in West Virginia. It is believed to be the only surviving 1920 Stearns-Knight Touring car out of a total 1920 production run of 3,850. It still runs and drives, having covered only 23,934 miles in the last nearly 100 years. This is a fantastic chance to get behind the wheel just like someone did 97 years ago. It should bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-519

1935 Duesenberg Model J Cabriolet by d’Ieteren

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We’ve featured a lot of Duesenberg Model J’s – far more than any other model of car – in fact, we’ve featured nearly every Model J that has come up for public sale since 2011. But none of them look quite like this.

This car was bodied by d’Ieteren in Brussels (with this being the last Duesenberg Model J bare chassis shipped to Europe, where it arrived in Paris before going to Belgium). D’Ieteren traces their roots back to 1805 and they’re still in business – coachbuilding was just a blip on their radar. They managed to make this car looks small, modern, sleek, and sporty. It’s an excellent design.

As a standard Model J, this is powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight. J-519 came back to America after WWII. Restored for a second time in the late 1990s, the current owner acquired it in 2000. This is a big money car and as of this writing is among the most expensive cars that are on offer at this sale. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Hershey.

1922 Stanley

1922 Stanley Model 735B Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

By the time World War I broke out, the electric starter had already been invented and applied on numerous gasoline-powered automobiles. This wonderful, ease-of-use invention, coupled with the efficiency and cost savings of gas cars, was bad news for steam cars.

Stanley’s first car went on sale in 1901. The last car they listed was in 1927 but only a few cars were built after 1925. The Model 735 was introduced in 1918 and the the following year it was split between A (four-passenger touring) and B (seven-passenger touring) models, though to be fair there were also C and D models offered off and on until the 735 returned to a single model in 1922.

The engine is a steam-powered (this car has been recently converted to use gasoline to heat the boiler, which makes it a little more user-friendly), 20 horsepower two-cylinder, which helped make the Model 735 one of the best-selling Stanleys in company history. Despite the increasing obsolescence of steam cars, over 1,700 Model 735s were built and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Georges Irat OLC3

1939 Georges Irat OLC3 Cabriolet

Offered by Aguttes | Linas, France | September 24, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Georges Irat founded his eponymous car company in 1921 in Chatou, France. Irat was an engine builder by trade, so full automobiles were a natural extension. Georges’ son Michel also had a car company. It was called, guess what, Michel Irat.

The OLC3 is powered by a 1.9-liter straight-four that makes 55 horsepower (or 11 CV). It is the same engine Citroen used in their 11CV Traction Avant. Irat’s chassis design was ahead of its time: this car features front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension.

This Cabriolet is one of the final cars Georges Irat made before the end of production due to the outbreak of war (they tried again after the war but only a few cars were made). Restored in 2003, the current owner acquired this car a decade ago. It’s a French car of the 1930s that has comparable style to some of the more lauded French marques like Talbot-Lago or Delage. It’s offbeat, in that sense, and can yours for between $65,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.