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.
1928 Derby Type GSEH Sports Roadster
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Derby (pronounced dar-bee, because, you know,
France Europe) was an automobile manufacturer based in Courbevoie, France, between 1921 and 1936. It is not to be confused with the “Derby Bentleys” – which were Bentleys produced at a factory in Derby, England. This French company was founded by Bertrand Montet and the first cars were powered by v-twin motorcycle engines.
This car is powered by a four-cylinder engine and was sold alongside at least three other models, some of which featured six cylinders. Bertrand Montet died in 1928 and the company stood on shaky ground thereafter. Toward the end they were producing V-8 powered front-wheel drive cars.
Production never gained enough steam to build any significant amount of cars. The company’s biggest years were in 1925 and 1926 when they built around 200 cars annually. Only about 50 survive worldwide today, with only a handful in the U.S. This sporty roadster is an comparatively affordable alternative to racy French cars from the likes of Bugatti, Rally, B.N.C., and Amilcar. To see more, click here. And to see more from RM Sotheby’s, click here.