1930 Derby K4 1.8-Litre Course
Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 5, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
Derby was a French automobile manufacturer and, as this car shows, they built some pretty sporty-looking pre-war cars. Founded by Bertrand Montet in 1921, the company only lasted a short time, closing their doors in 1936 (blame British management that took over in 1928).
The K4 was built during their good years, before financial strain took hold. Power comes from a 1.8-liter straight-six CIME engine. Many of their cars were four-cylinder models and an overly-ambitious V8 would ultimately prove their undoing.
This two-seater example was believed to have been delivered new to Italy, where Derby cars were built under license as the made-up-sounding Fandini between 1924 and 1926. It returned to France in 2015 and has been mostly restored. Derby never built many cars – a few hundred a year – but they look great and are a much cheaper alternative to some other sporty French cars of the era. It should bring between $130,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
1922 Salmson AL3 GSS Course
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 19, 2017
Photo – Osenat
The French Salmson company was founded by Émile Salmson in 1890. They produced a lot of airplanes and airplane engines but started building cars after WWII. The automotive arm split off from the airplane part of the company in 1922 and 1953 was the final year for Salmson automobiles.
The first Salmsons were essentially GN cyclecars built under license. The “AL” line of cars were small, lightweight cars and the AL3 – named for Andre Lombard, the man at the head of Salmson that launched the car part of the business – was part of that initial line of cars. Powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four, it has been upgraded to GSS trim. GS cars were Grand Sports – but the GSS, Grand Sport Special, featured a four-speed gearbox.
This race car has a torpedo body on it and was raced in period of a former WWI fighter pilot. It won at Brooklands and raced at Le Mans (not the 24 Hours). It ended up in the Le Mans museum in 1965 and stayed there until 1992. The current owner acquired it in 1994 and had it completely restored. In modern times, it has been driven with ease up to speeds of 82 mph, which has to be frightening. It should bring between $159,000-$212,000 at auction this weekend. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $168,636.