5 Great Classics

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine. His shop sold roasted peanuts but he wasn’t satisfied with the machine he had, so he built his own. His company started building horse-drawn popcorn wagons and for a brief time, actually offered motorized popcorn wagon trucks.

This truck features a Cretors chassis and a 4.0-liter Buda straight-four making 22.5 horsepower. The Harrah Collection acquired this example in 1963 and restored it to working perfection. It’s the ultimate toy/promotional vehicle/historical artifact. Only eight or nine of these were built and less than five survive. It’s really cool and will cost its new owner between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $231,000.


1916 Winton Six-33 Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Alexander Winton should be one of everyone’s automotive heroes – he’s definitely one of ours. Winton cars were always reliable, attractive, and well-built. The cars deserved to be around a lot longer than 1924, but the marque lived on in one form or another as a producer of engines until the 1960s.

The six-cylinder Winton Model 33 was built between 1916 and 1919. It uses a 5.7-liter straight-six making almost 34 horsepower. Body style could be had just about any way you wanted it and this seven-passenger touring was the largest of the four touring styles offered. It’s great and should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1909 Petrel 30HP Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Petrel was a very short-lived automobile make from Wisconsin. Initial production in 1909 took place in Kenosha but by later that year they had relocated to Milwaukee, where they stayed until the plant closed in 1912. A six-cylinder car was offered in 1909 alongside the four, but the smaller cars were the sweet spot for the company.

This 30 horsepower straight-four is of 4.7-liters in displacement. It resembles a lot of other, early roadsters but that vibrant purple really sets it apart. And yes, that is the original color, although it was exquisitely restored 50 years ago. Less than 1,000 Petrels were built and it is thought that this is the only survivor. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Landaulette by Barker

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This is a huge car. And it’s gorgeous, too. The Landaulette body by Barker offers a downright cavernous passenger compartment fitted with all the luxuries available to the British motoring public on the dawn of WWI. The engine, chassis, and coachwork are all the matching originals. The car was restored between 2004 and 2005.

The 40/50HP Silver Ghost still stands as one of Rolls-Royce’s finest achievements. The engine is a 7.4-liter straight-six. While maybe not a fun driver’s car, it seems more fitting as one to be chauffeured around in. It has known ownership history since new and should bring between $500,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $577,500.

Cretors Popcorn Wagon

1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine. His shop sold roasted peanuts but he wasn’t satisfied with the machine he had, so he built his own. His company started building horse-drawn popcorn wagons and for a brief time, actually offered motorized popcorn wagon trucks.

This truck features a Cretors chassis and a 4.0-liter Buda straight-four making 22.5 horsepower. The Harrah Collection acquired this example in 1963 and restored it to working perfection. It’s the ultimate toy/promotional vehicle/historical artifact. Only eight or nine of these were built and less than five survive. It’s really cool and will cost its new owner between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $231,000.

Final Highlights from Monterey 2013

Two auctions left to cover. First, Gooding’s Pebble Beach sale put up some big numbers. Frankly, I’m really bored with million dollar Ferraris. And Mercedes Gullwings don’t do anything for me. Instead of listing the 30 (yes, that’s right) cars that hit the million dollar mark, I’ll just show what’s interesting. I will, however, show you the top sale, which was this 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta for $9,460,000.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta

The next two highest selling cars were pretty interesting. First, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante went for $8,745,000.

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

And then this. This result actually made me shout an expletive when I saw it. It’s a 1997 McLaren F1. A year or two ago, one sold for $2 million, which was way more than any other F1 before it. I remember 10+ years ago when these things were at exotic car dealerships around the country with a price tag of $800,000. This one sold for an astounding $8,470,000. This is a big deal. These cars will never be attainable ever again for mere millionaires. They have proven to be exquisitely collectible.

1997 McLaren F1

Feature cars! The Hispano-Suiza J12 was withdrawn from the sale. A previously featured and early Duesenberg Model J brought $2,365,000. The Ferrari F40 LM brought $2,090,000. Two other Ferraris failed to reach their reserves: the Ferrari FXX and the Ferrari 400 Superamerica. Cool cars? How about this ex-Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello Grand Prix-winning 2002 Ferrari F2002? It sold for $2,255,000.

2002 Ferrari F2002

I really like this pre-Jaguar 1932 SS1 Coupe for $154,000.

1932 SS1 Coupe

Other feature cars sold: the Gurney-Weslake AAR Eagle brought $3,740,000. The Voisin C25 sold for $1,925,000. Gooding & Company, like RM Auctions, also sold a Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spider. This one happened to be a 365 GTB though, and “only” brought $720,000.

This huge 1914 Packard 1-38 Five-Passenger Phaeton was one of my favorite cars of the entire sale. It sold for a healthy $467,500.

1914 Packard 1-38 Five Passenger Phaeton

This ex-Harrah Collection 1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon was the first car cut from my “to be featured” list when time ran out. It sold for $374,500 – almost $100,000 more than the top end of its pre-sale estimate.

1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

This 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione was one of the stars of the show. It was hammered away for $4,840,000. It’s the only one like it left.

1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione

And finally, I thought this 1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe by Freestone & Webb looked pretty sporty. But the price was a little too-sporting for my wallet: $2,860,000.

1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe

Check out full results here.

And last but not least, Russo & Steele’s Monterey sale. Our featured Bizzarrini Prototype sold for $77,000. The top sale was this 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Stabilimenti Farina for $1,050,500.

1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Satbilimenti Farina

Interesting cars were topped off by this 1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup. It sold for $110,000. Check out full results here.

1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup