Duesenberg J-329

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Model J has been with the current collection since 2012 and has known ownership back to the early 1930s in St. Louis. Actually, it has more than that, it has pre-ownership history, as prior to its sale in St. Louis, it was used as a loaner by period Indianapolis 500 driver Leon Duray.

The Model J is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight developing 265 horsepower. This one wears its original convertible sedan body from the Walter M. Murphy Company. It also retains its original chassis and engine.

It’s not a car that has been used much over the years – it is said to show only a little over 7,000 original miles. Restored in 2003, this Model J is going under the hammer at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $1,105,000.

Gothic Lincoln


1926 Lincoln Model L Gothic Phaeton by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Henry Leland‘s Lincoln Model L went on sale in 1921 and would remain in production until 1930. By then Ford had taken over and things went in a different direction. But for a solid decade, Leland’s well-engineered cars were a viable alternative to the Packards and Cadillacs of the era.

The 5.9-liter L-head V8 made 90 horsepower, and quite a few bodies could be had – either from the factory or from a number of coachbuilders. Enter Walter M. Murphy who built this so-called “Gothic Phaeton” for a millionaire rancher in San Diego. The body is aluminum and features brass and nickel trim. Some interior surfaces are gold-plated. It has immense and wonderful detail, including folding seats that turn into a bed.

That pointed two-piece windshield along with the weathered trunk out back and water-stained convertible top add to a somewhat menacing, old world appearance completely worthy of its “Gothic” name. It’s probably the most fantastic Model L I’ve come across and is expected to bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $112,000.

Railton F29 Claremont

1989 Railton F29 Claremont

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Enstone, U.K. | May 11, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Noel Macklin was a British entrepreneur who founded Invicta and ultimately sold it in 1933. Looking for something to do, he borrowed the last name of Reid Railton, who was famous for designing land speed record cars, and started a new car company.

Railtons were based on American Hudsons, and Macklin ended up selling the company to Hudson in 1939. History nerds know that a war broke out that year, and Railton was essentially DOA when Hudson took over.

In the late-1980s, William Towns (who designed this beauty, as well as the Aston Martin Lagonda) decided to try and relaunch the brand. Two models – both convertibles – were introduced and were based on Jaguar XJS mechanicals. In an effort to – well, I’m not sure what the intention was – the car was re-bodied on top of the original Jaguar body. Sure, why not.

But that XJS motor is still there – a 280 horsepower 5.3-liter V12. Only one Claremont and one example of the other car (the Fairmile) were produced. You can differentiate the two because the Claremont has rear wheel skirts. The only example produced, this car should bring between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $85,846.

Mason Touring

1906 Mason Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Mason, as it so classily says on the radiator surround, was founded by financier Edward Mason and engineer Fred Duesenberg. Yes, that Duesenberg. Based in Des Moines from 1906 through 1910, the company was purchased by Maytag and relocated to Waterloo, Iowa. Yes, that Maytag. The Duesenberg brothers left for Indiana in 1913, and Mason closed in 1914.

From 1906 through 1908, Mason only offered two cars – a touring and a runabout. Both were powered by the same Fred Duesenberg-designed 3.2-liter twin-cylinder engine that made 24 horsepower. Mason cars had a reputation for excellent engineering. This one has white tires. Score!

This is one of about 25 cars built by Mason in 1906, their first year of manufacture. Previously of the Harrah collection, the car was restored long ago. It has five owners since new, and you can be the sixth. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $112,000.

1923 H.C.S.

1923 H.C.S. Series IV Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Harry C. Stutz resigned from Stutz in 1919 after losing control of the company. He then very quickly shuffled across town, in this case, Indianapolis, and launched the H.C.S. Motor Car Company. His first cars were delivered in 1920, and they were somewhat similar to the cars from his earlier venture.

An emphasis on the sporting nature of H.C.S. automobiles was important to the company, and an H.C.S. won the 1923 Indy 500. Production lasted through 1925. About 2,175 cars were produced in that time.

Between 1923 and 1925, the company offered the Series IV and Series VI. The IV, as seen here, was available in four body styles, with the 5-passenger “Model 4” touring car costing $2,200. Power was from a 52 horsepower straight-four. This one is expected to bring between $50,000-$75,000 at auction today. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $49,840.

Ruxton Roadster

1930 Ruxton Model C Roadster by Baker-Raulang

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

How the Ruxton came to be is an interesting tale. William Muller designed the front-wheel drive prototype while working at Budd, a producer of car bodies. The idea was to sell the design to a manufacturer in exchange for the rights to build the bodies. Instead, a man named Archie Andrews showed up. He was on the board of Budd as well as Hupmobile.

But he couldn’t convince Hupmobile to build the car. So he set up New Era Motors in New York City and was going to do it himself. He finally convinced struggling Moon to take on production. But in doing so, he traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon, ousting the directors and installing Muller of all people as the head of the company. The Moon treasury was essentially raided to fund the project and Moon shortly ceased to exist.

The debacle also managed to take down Kissel, who had become entangled in Ruxton production. Nevermind that the name Ruxton came from the name of a man that Andrews hoped would invest in the project – but didn’t, and instead sued. After Ruxton closed, Andrews was booted from the Hupmobile board, And, to add insult to injury (literally), he died shortly thereafter.

The Model C was the only model Ruxton produced and they were powered by 100 horsepower, Continental straight-eight engines. Only 96 were built between 1929 and 1931, and they are fantastic (I’m a sucker for Woodlite headlights). They were also very expensive.

Only 12 roadsters were built, and they were bodied by “Baker-Raulang,” which was effectively the remnants of three once-distinct electric car makers that had been reduced to, well, not building their own cars. This car was one of the cars assembled by Kissel.

Ruxtons are interesting and rarely change hands. This one is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $747,500.

1912 Cartercar

1912 Cartercar Model R Tourer

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

Photo – Bonhams

Byron Carter left Jackson in 1905 and set up his own company across town in Jackson, Michigan. He bounced from there to Detroit before settling in Pontiac, Michigan in 1907. Cars continued to roll out of the factory through 1915. Carter unexpectedly in 1906 and Cartercar was purchased by GM in 1909. It was phased out to make room for additional Oakland production.

Cartercars were famous for their friction drive transmission, which was the pre-WWI equivalent of a modern CVT. The Model R is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.1-liter inline-four. It was the brand’s mid-range model in 1912, and the tourer was positioned in the middle of that range at $1,600.

This car carries a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$35,000 and for 20 grand, I think it is the car I want most out of this collection. It’s kind of weird to think that a brand of GM automobile is so rare today, but Cartercars are not easy to come by. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,040.

Twister Special Mustang

1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Twister Special

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-19, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The first generation Mustang is generally further broken down into four separate generations, including the 1969 and 1970 “third” group. Highlights of this era were the new Mach I and Boss variants. Some of the coolest early Mustangs were produced in these two years.

For some reason, Ford dealers in Kansas had some kind of pull with Ford’s marketing department and managed to get their own special edition Mach I. It was called the “Twister Special” and they were only sold in Kansas. All were finished in Grabber Orange with black graphics and only half of them received the 7.0-liter Super Cobra Jet V8 that was rated at 335 horsepower.

In all, only 96 examples were built. Potential bidders will have to ponder if the tornado graphics on the rear quarter panels are worth a premium over a similarly-equipped SCJ Mach I. They’re still cool, though. You can read more about this car here, and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $180,000.

The OG Domino’s DXP

1985 Tritan A2 Aero Car

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

Photo – Bonhams

Yes, it has wheels. No, it doesn’t have a propeller out back. Though it may look like the lovechild of an airboat and the DeltaWing, the Tritan A2 was actually a three-wheeler built by Tritan Ventures of Ann Arbor, Michigan in the mid-1980s.

Power is from a rear-mounted, 30 horsepower 440cc rotary engine (of course it is). It is technically classified as a motorcycle and can achieve 80 mpg. This was the original Domino’s DXP, that weird Chevy Spark-based car they built for themselves and self-branded.

That’s right, Domino’s Pizza ordered 10 of these things to deliver pizzas. Because it was 1985, it makes total sense. I’m a little blown away that they weren’t featured in Back to the Future, with its hovercraft-like looks. (Also, it says “Free Delivery” on the side – WTF happened to that Domino’s!?). This one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $44,800.

Owen Magnetic Touring

1916 Owen Magnetic Model O-36 Touring

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

Photo – Bonhams

The Owen Magnetic was a technical marvel of its day. Designed by engineer Justus B. Entz and produced by Raymond and Ralph Owen beginning in 1915, the car was famous for using an early series electric hybrid drivetrain.

Basically, the 34 horsepower straight-six powered a generator that turned the driveshaft, and in turn, the rear wheels. Speed was controlled by a selector on the steering wheel. It’s a pretty complicated set up, which made the cars super expensive when new. This one, for instance, would’ve cost $3,750. And it was the cheapest one you could get.

Between 1916 and 1919, the Owen Magnetic was actually built by the people behind the Rauch & Lang as well as the Baker Electric cars. It outlasted them, but ultimately folded in 1921, and the last two years’ worth of production were all headed overseas. This rare example should bring between $80,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $128,800.