Railton Cobham

1936 Railton Cobham Deluxe

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | August 3, 2022

Photo – Brightwells

Here’s one you may not be familiar with. Railton was founded by Noel Macklin, who previously founded Invicta. He named his next company after Reid Railton, a British world speed record holder. The kind of weird part was, Macklin used American Hudson powertrains for his British-built cars (initially inline-eights).

The Cobham, of which this appears to be an early example, was the “small” Railton at this time of its introduction, with power from a 2.7-liter Hudson inline-six. An even smaller Railton would debut in 1938 and was based on Standard mechanicals instead of those from Hudson.

Just 81 examples of the Cobham were produced, either as a sedan or drophead coupe. This is one of about six that remain. It was repainted in 1993, receiving mechanical repairs and upgrades as needed over the years. The pre-sale estimate is $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold. Offered for sale at half it’s lower estimate above.

Update: Sold Brightwells September 2022, $17,707.

Jowett Javelin

1951 Jowett Javelin DeLuxe

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | September 16, 2021

Photo – Brightwells

Jowett was founded in 1906 and made it through WWII. Unfortunately, a post-war boom for new cars in the U.K. saw Jowett’s body builder get bought out by Ford, leaving them without a source for car bodies. So they said “aw the hell with it” and closed up shop.

Despite its looks, the Jupiter was actually their large car, and it was offered between 1947 and 1953. The car is powered by a 1.5-liter flat-four mounted directly behind the grille in front of the radiator. It produced 52 horsepower in this car, which was enough to get it to 80 mph.

The weird engine location meant that this was a roomy six-seater car, and the DeLuxe trim added bigger bumpers, a fog light, leather seats, and a wooden dashboard. This four-owner example is one of 23,307 built and should sell for between $12,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,455.

Subaru 360

1969 Subaru 360 Deluxe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 360 was Subaru’s first production car. From this came the WRX, the Outback, and every other Subaru passenger vehicle. It was built from 1958 through 1971, and there were convertible and station wagon variants.

Power is from a 356cc inline-twin, and the model’s “360” name is also derived from the engine’s displacement. Horsepower at the end of production was a healthy 25, and the price when new in the U.S. was $1,297.

Subaru built 392,000 of them, about 10,000 of which were sold new in the U.S. This one was on eBay long ago, and that is perhaps where the current collection acquired it. It will now sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,240.

Kaiser Vagabond

1949 Kaiser DeLuxe Vagabond

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Kaiser-Frazer was an American car company that popped up after WWII. Kaiser sold its first cars in 1947, and by 1955 the company was gone. During their short lifespan, they built some really cool cars, including this, the Vagabond.

Technically part of the DeLuxe line, the Vagabond was sold alongside a four-door DeLuxe Sedan, a four-door DeLuxe Convertible, and the Virginian, a four-door hardtop. The Vagabond was actually a utility sedan and it had a beautiful cargo area:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The rear seats fold flat for increased cargo space, and a covered spare tire is present in the left-rear doorwell, making that door virtually unusable. From the outside, this looked like an attractive-enough sedan. But with that rear hatch and wood-slat cargo area, it’s quite a looker from the inside. And functional too.

Power is from a 3.7-liter inline-six capable of 100 horsepower. It is estimated that only 25 of these were produced for the 1949 model year. While the DeLuxe Vagabond might sound like a stylish hobo, this car is one of Kaiser-Frazer’s best pieces of work. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,080.

Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe

1954 Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Arnolt-Bristol was the result of a collaboration between Stanley Arnolt’s company of Chicago, Illinois, Bristol Cars of England, and Bertone of Italy. Bristol supplied the engine and chassis, Bertone the body, and Arnolt the money, spirit, and marketing.

The cars use the chassis and the 130 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-six from the Bristol 404 (okay, the engine actually could trace its roots back to BMW). Bertone designed the two-door body. Three trims were offered: Bolide, DeLuxe, and Competition. The DeLuxe was similar to the Bolide except it brought side windows, a convertible top, a glovebox, and instrumentation behind the steering wheel.

These cars were serious racers in their day, taking class victories at Sebring and Le Mans. Only 130 examples were produced, and this one was delivered new in Mexico. Restored, it is eligible for historic events such as the Mille Miglia. It should bring between $320,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Coachbuilt Plymouth

1935 Plymouth Deluxe Model PJ Cabriolet by Tüscher

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

When you think coachbuilt classics of the 1930s, Plymouth is likely not the first brand that comes to mind. When Chrysler introduced the Plymouth brand in 1928, it was a budget brand – the entry point into the marketplace for the Chrysler Corporation.

The 1935 line was called the Model PJ and it was available in three trims: the Standard Six, the Business Six, and the Deluxe. There were nine body styles offered on the Deluxe trim. Some of them were quite common, and others quite rare. But for the day, they were all inexpensive.

This particular car found its way to Switzerland where it was bodied by Tüscher in Zurich (they’re still around, building bus bodies). This was not the only 1930s Plymouth that they turned into an opulent convertible, either. You have to admit, this car looks downright diplomatic. I don’t have the exact history of its use or ownership, but the catalog listing does say it was very expensive when new, so it probably went to someone special.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six that makes 82 horsepower. The restoration looks fantastic and is 10 years old. It should bring between $86,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Australian Terraplane

1937 Terraplane Series 71 DeLuxe Utility Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Terraplane was a marque introduced by Hudson as a standalone brand in 1934 (in ’32 and ’33 they were called Essex-Terraplane). As an entry-level car on the pricing scale, for a brief period during the Depression, Terraplane outsold its parent, Hudson.

Unfortunately, the lifespan of Terraplane was short and 1937 was the final year the cars could be had. Two models were available for ’37: the Series 71 DeLuxe and the Series 72 Super. Both were virtually identical to the Hudsons of that year with just slight trim changes. The DeLuxe differed from the Super in that it only had one taillight and no vents on the front windows.

This well restored example (the restoration cost $263,000 – quite a bit for a car that cost about $600 when new) is likely powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six that makes 96 horsepower. What’s interesting about this particular car is that it is an Australian example, hence the “Utility” or pull-out pickup bed out back. Terraplanes were sold in Australia when new but were all bodied locally, hence the Aussie take on an American export.

A rare body style stateside, and one of only a few known to exist worldwide, this entry-level Hudson should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Auburn.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s, Auburn Fall 2018.

Avolette Record Deluxe

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Photo – RM Auctions

The Avolette Record Deluxe was a French license-built version of the Brütsch Zwerg. Zwerg? Zwerg. Most Avolettes were three-wheelers, but you can see this one has four. It has a single-cylinder engine of 250cc making 14 horsepower. In production for only two years, the Record Deluxe didn’t rack up record sales numbers – only about 30 were produced. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,750.

Henry J

1951 Henry J Deluxe

Offered by Mecum | North Little Rock, Arkansas | June 16, 2012

Henry J. Kaiser’s vision of what his post-war automotive empire would look like was, well, optimistic. Kaiser, along with Joseph Frazer, took the remnants of Graham-Paige and bought Ford’s wartime Willow Run production plant to build automobiles under the Kaiser and Frazer nameplates. In 1950, Kaiser decided to try and bolster production of his cars by pulling a play out of the Henry Ford playbook: build a small, inexpensive car for the masses. The Henry J was born (and it was marketed as its own make).

So how did they do it? Kaiser wanted a car that seated five adults and could do 50 mph “for sustained periods of time.” It also had to retail for $1,300 (about $12,500 in 2012). To hit these marks, they had to cut some corners: there was no trunk lid – you had to go through the rear seats, which was probably difficult as the car was only offered with two doors. The base model also lacked armrests, a glove compartment, a sun visor and flow-through ventilation. Fortunately, the car you see here is a Deluxe model.

Which means it has the straight-six (instead of the four-banger). It’s a 2.6-liter making 80 horsepower. Unfortunately, even though it was very cheap, it only cost a few dollars less than a Chevrolet 150 – which had a functioning trunk, armrests, and more interior room. Sales declined steadily through 1954 when the Henry J was axed.

They didn’t build millions of these cars – which was part of the problem originally, as Kaiser needed mass production to make a profit. He didn’t get it and the Kaiser nameplate disappeared from passenger cars in 1955. The company went on to focus on it’s recently acquired Willys and Jeep business, which went on to become part of AMC.

It was a pioneering compact car, but you just don’t see Henry Js everyday. And this one looks to be in exceptional condition. We’ll see what it brings when it sells. For more information and photos, click here. And for more on the Salmon Brothers Collection, click here.

Update: sold $16,000.