Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

May 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

First up in this rundown of auction results was Osenat’s liquidation of a fire museum. The top sale was this 1929 Delahaye Type 112 Fire Truck for $51,313.

Photo – Osenat

We featured four fire trucks from this sale and three of them failed to sell including the Laffy, Seagrave, and another Delahaye. The American LaFrance did sell, for $9,329. Click here for complete results.

Next, we move to Brightwells Leominster Classic & Vintage cars sale. We featured one car, a Willys-Knight that failed to sell, but it’s already been re-consigned to one of their sales in June! The top sale was actually a tie… between two Jags. Selling for $59,530 each, we first have this 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 4.2 Coupe…

Photo – Brightwells

…And the other was this 1972 Jaguar E-Type Series III Coupe. All of Brightwells’ results can be found here.

Photo – Brightwells

Now we’re on to Mecum’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis. The top sale was a previously featured Porsche 911 GT2 Evo for $1,450,000. Another previously-featured no-sale sold here, Russ Snowberger’s Indy-raced Hupmobile brought $205,000 – which is $105,000 less than it was high-bid to last year. It’s nice to see Mecum move some of their lingering inventory.

There was a previously-featured Duesenberg that failed to sell, J386 (as did this Packard). The Stellite and Reo Speedwagon failed to sell too.

Most Interesting could’ve been one of a hundred cars (including a $17,000 Dodge Viper RT/10) but we’ll give it to this nice 1968 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon that brought $22,500. Love that wood grain!

Photo – Mecum

The Hemi Challenger Coupe we featured brought $145,000. Click here to see everything else from Mecum

Onward, back across the pond, to Belgium and Bonhams’ Spa sale. The Ferrari F355 Challenge we featured sold for $178,426 and a previously-featured Osella F1 car failed to meet its reserve. Top sale? No surprise, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,267,086. Click here for more results.

Photo – Bonhams

And finally, the May sale from Historics at Brooklands. The top sale was the Alvis TE 21 Drophead Coupe we featured for $203,721 – more than double the upper end of its estimate! The Mex 52 and the Talbot both failed to sell. For Most Interesting we are going with this interesting 1983 Land Rover Range Rover “Harrods Edition” by Wood and Pickett that brought $52,395.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The super cool Venturi we featured sold for $20,376 – exactly 10% (in GBP) of the price of the Alvis. More results from Historics can be found here.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Delahaye Torpedo

1923 Delahaye Type 87 Torpedo

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 8, 2017

Photo – Coys

Known for their exotic coachbuilt cars of the 1930s and 40s, Delahaye cars date back to the 1890s and up until the 1930s, they resembled many other large, well-built cars. Take, for example, this Type 87 Torpedo. Looking at it in near-profile, it’s pretty hard to distinguish it from a Hispano-Suiza, Mercedes, or any number of large American touring cars also built in 1923.

The Type 87 was introduced at the 1921 Paris Auto Salon and was one of the first new Delahayes introduced after WWI. It’s powered by a 1.8-liter straight-four and it was sold in the 10CV class. This model was produced through 1926 and in total about 3,800 were built.

This particular example was discovered in the south of France in 1989. It has since undergone a complete restoration and is a solid driver, having participated in quite a few historic car driving events. It should bring between $48,500-$70,250. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Update: Sold, approximately $53,800.

Delahaye 148 Saoutchik

1950 Delahaye 148L Coach by Saoutchik

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 148 was a long-wheelbase version of the 135M. It wasn’t as sporty, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t garner incredibly crafted bodies from France’s finest coachbuilders. Because it is a derivative of the 135M, the 148 is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six. Power depended on the number of carburetors and this is likely a 115 horsepower car.

Saoutchik built some of the most exotic bodies for old cars and this windswept two-door fastback fits right in with what they’re known for – in fact, it was shown on their stand at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. The current owner has had it since 1970 and while he kept it in running order, he drove it sparingly. It shows just less than 19,000 original miles. It’s all-original and should bring between $750,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Delahaye 135M Coupe Sport

1938 Delahaye 135M Coupe Sport by Chapron

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The 135M was built on both sides of World War II and it was basically a standard 135 with a better engine. In this case, that engine is a 3.5-liter straight-six, which, depending on carburetor setup, put out 90, 105, or 115 horsepower. This car is a 115 horsepower variant. This example was one of two ordered new from Chapron by a man from Algeria and its early history is not known.

It reappeared in Luxembourg sometime before 1986 and passed between owners before being liquidated as part of Evert Louwman’s purchase of the Rosso Bianco collection. Presented as an all-original car with “refreshed paintwork,” this car should sell in the neighborhood of $425,000-$635,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet

1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was the first model in a series of cars that would be built from 1935 through 1954 (with some time off for the War, of course). The 135 would be offered in a few different forms, but the Competition Court was the top-of-the-line model. The engine in this car is a 3.8-liter straight-six, which is not original to this car (it would’ve had a 3.5-liter unit when new).

It rides on a Competition chassis (which was sort of discovered by its most recent owner when the car was restored). It originally featured a Faux-Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, but it was converted to a full cabriolet by the same guy who swapped the engine – but the design stays true to the original. This is one of six 135 Competition Court cars that originally sported a Figoni coupe body (here’s another). It’s a beautiful car with a good story (like how it was hidden from the Nazis) and it should bring between $1,275,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017


1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was the first model in a series of cars that would be built from 1935 through 1954 (with some time off for the War, of course). The 135 would be offered in a few different forms, but the Competition Court was the top-of-the-line model. The engine in this car is a 3.8-liter straight-six, which is not original to this car (it would’ve had a 3.5-liter unit when new).

It rides on a Competition chassis (which was sort of discovered by its most recent owner when the car was restored). It originally featured a Faux-Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, but it was converted to a full cabriolet by the same guy who swapped the engine – but the design stays true to the original. This is one of six 135 Competition Court cars that originally sported a Figoni coupe body (here’s another). It’s a beautiful car with a good story (like how it was hidden from the Nazis) and it should bring between $1,275,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1938 Delahaye 135M Coupe Sport by Chapron

Photo – Artcurial

The 135M was built on both sides of World War II and it was basically a standard 135 with a better engine. In this case, that engine is a 3.5-liter straight-six, which, depending on carburetor setup, put out 90, 105, or 115 horsepower. This car is a 115 horsepower variant. This example was one of two ordered new from Chapron by a man from Algeria and its early history is not known.

It reappeared in Luxembourg sometime before 1986 and passed between owners before being liquidated as part of Evert Louwman’s purchase of the Rosso Bianco collection. Presented as an all-original car with “refreshed paintwork,” this car should sell in the neighborhood of $425,000-$635,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1939 Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

If you didn’t guess it, the Delahaye 135MS was a step up from the 135M. In this case the engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six putting out 160 horsepower. This numbers matching car (body, engine, chassis) was bodied by Figoni & Falaschi in the a highly desirable cabriolet style.

It was originally ordered and owned by a famous French singer and stayed in her family until the late 1940s. The body was modified around 1950 when it was used in a film. Fortunately, the current owner (who has had the car since 2012) restored the car to its original glory, winning two awards at Pebble Beach as a result. This beauty should bring between $1,275,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1950 Delahaye 148L Coach by Saoutchik

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 148 was a long-wheelbase version of the 135M. It wasn’t as sporty, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t garner incredibly crafted bodies from France’s finest coachbuilders. Because it is a derivative of the 135M, the 148 is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six. Power depended on the number of carburetors and this is likely a 115 horsepower car.

Saoutchik built some of the most exotic bodies for old cars and this windswept two-door fastback fits right in with what they’re known for – in fact, it was shown on their stand at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. The current owner has had it since 1970 and while he kept it in running order, he drove it sparingly. It shows just less than 19,000 original miles. It’s all-original and should bring between $750,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1951 Delahaye 135M Gascogne Coach by Dubos

Photo – Artcurial

With the 135M spanning both sides of the second World War, you see designs that vary pretty wildly between early and late cars – especially since each of them were bodied by a professional coachbuilder. In this case, it is Carrossier Louis Dubos of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six.

Remarkably, this car has been owned by the same family since 1959. The restoration dates to the latter half of the 1990s, and has been driven only a few times since 2000, thus will require a thorough inspection before being declared roadworthy. The other four Delahayes we featured are all quite pricey, but this attractive and usable example will likely sell for between $75,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $126,297.

Delahaye Charabanc

1911 Delahaye Type 413a Charabanc

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Émile Delahaye’s automotive concern was founded in 1894 in Tours, France. The company is primarily known for their beautiful, windswept, coachbuilt beauties of the 1930s. But the company built more than just luxury cars, in fact in the early 1900s they began building heavy commercial vehicles and fire trucks.

This, the Type 413a, was originally built as a fire truck and and was used in southeast France. It didn’t last long, as newer, better equipment quickly came along. So the fire truck made its way to a museum where it stayed until 1973. It was purchased out of the museum by collector Michael Banfield, the liquidation of whose collection we featured prominently here on the site.

The present owner acquired it at that sale and replaced the fire engine with this 12-seat Charabanc body. The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-four and the restoration is fresh, having been completed earlier this year. While the loss of an original 100-year-old fire engine isn’t great news, the new body this car carries makes it more functional and likely to survive another 100 years. It’s very cool and reminiscent of those Stanley Mountain Wagons. It should bring between $75,000-$99,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $78,276.

Delahaye Chapron Cabriolet

1949 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | November 6, 2016

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

For many automobile companies, World War II was sort of an interruption. The cars they started building in the late 1930s would re-enter production upon the cessation of hostilities in 1945 (or shortly thereafter if their facilities were damaged). For instance, Delahaye’s luxurious 135 was introduced in 1935. It, and it’s successive line of cars including the 138, 148, and 168, would remain in production until 1954.

Introduced in 1936, the 135M was a 135 with a larger engine. In this case, it sported a 3.6-liter straight-six making either 90, 105, or 115 horsepower depending on configuration. This model remained in production until Delahaye closed up shop in 1954.

Henri Chapron started his coachbuilding company in 1919 and he really hit his sweet spot in the 1930s and 40s. Cars like this beautiful Cabriolet are among his most stylish work. Owned by the consignor since 2002, this car was restored in 2003 in a gorgeous two-tone paint scheme. The pre-sale estimate is $160,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $261,352.