Auge Phaeton

1900 Auge 8-9HP Dos-a-Dos Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2023

Photo – Bonhams

Daniel Augé et Cie was a short-lived early French automobile manufacturer based in Levallois-Perret. In business from 1899 to just 1901, the company did not build many cars, and this is the only known survivor.

Power is from water-cooled flat-twin originally rated at five horsepower (though Bonhams lists this as 8-9 horsepower). The engine was dubbed “cyclops” and featured electric ignition. The engine is up front and is paired with a two-speed transmission and chain drive.

The car has known ownership back to 1910 and was restored in the 1980s. It’s a London-to-Brighton finisher and has an estimate of $170,000-$190,000. Click here for more info.

Gas-Powered 1902 Century

1902 Century Tourist Dos-A-Dos

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 4-5, 2023

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Century Motor Vehicle Company was founded in 1900 in Syracuse, New York. It’s founders are a list of names of people lost to history, including: Charles Saul, Charles Listman, Charles Bridgman, Hiram Plumb, and William Van Wagoner. Way to not be a Charles, Hiram and William.

They offered two different electric runabouts in 1901, while their 1902 and 1903 catalog consisted of electric cars, steam cars, and one lone gasoline-powered model. No matter how you wanted to move, Century had you covered. The Tourist was only sold as a runabout like this, and it has a rear seat.

It’s powered by a single-cylinder engine that made seven horsepower. The cost was $750, and this one was sold new in Newport, Rhode Island. Somehow, it remained undiscovered until about five years ago. Restored, it now carries and estimate of $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info.

A Pair of Benzes

1897 Benz 10HP Mylord-Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Let’s start with the fact that this car is listed as a “circa 1897” in the catalog, which is interesting because it is powered by a 2.7-liter flat-twin. This 10 horsepower engine was first found in the Benz Dos-a-Dos of 1899. Earlier in this car’s life, before its late-1980s restoration, it was registered as an 1895. So who knows.

This Mylord-Coupe is one of three known examples. These early twin “contra-motor” Benzes are highly sought after for their increased power. The Dos-a-Dos was gone by 1902, giving way to more modern vehicles. This incredibly rare early car is expected to fetch between $500,000-$750,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

1911 Benz 50HP Victoria by Demarest

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

And here we have a larger, “modern” Benz. The 50HP model was introduced in 1906 and was only available to American customers here and there. According to the auction catalog, it was almost a special-order occasion in order to get one stateside.

This particular car was sold new in the US and wears American coachwork from Demarest. Power is from a 7.4-liter inline-four good for, you guessed it, 50 horsepower. It was near the upper reaches of the Benz model line, but by 1911 it had effectively been replaced. This is likely one of the last 50HP models produced, and it cost $10,000 when new.

And it’s the only known survivor of the model. Its first owner perished on the Titanic, and the car was restored in 2014. The pre-sale estimate is $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold for unknown amount.

Hart Steam

1897 Hart Steam Victoria Four-Seater Dos-à-Dos

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Frederick Hart was born in England but he and his family moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1880s. He worked for a farming machinery company and built his own lab at his home to experiment with steam engines.

He built his first steam vehicle in 1895 (a tricycle) and built a four-wheeled vehicle, this car, shortly after. Bonhams lists this as a “circa 1897” and I’ve seen it listed elsewhere as a 1903/1904. It is powered by a twin-cylinder vertical engine that is driven by steam. This photo needs someone standing in it for scale: this car is huge at nearly six feet tall and riding on 46 inch tires!

Hart’s family owned this car until 1946 when they donated it to a museum. The museum was shuttered in 1990 and the car went to the U.K. where it was taken apart. The next owner acquired it in 2002 and restored the car to the condition you see here in 2004. It has only been started once since 2004, when there was a small issue and no one has tried again. The paint on this is original, but most everything else has been restored and the car has only covered 200 miles in its life. It’s a one-of-one car and one of two vehicles produced by Hart Steam. It should sell for between $77,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $76,020.

1899 Hurtu

1899 Hurtu Dos-a-Dos

For sale by H&H Auctions | Appleton, England

Hurtu was among the earliest of the automotive pioneers. Founded in 1896, this 1899 Dos-a-Dos isn’t even their earliest model. The company started out in 1880 manufacturing sewing machines. They moved into machine tools and finally bicycles – the launchpad for many an early car maker.

Because my French is terrible (and I actually lived in France for a little bit), I always assumed this was pronounced phonetically. But, as always when it comes to foreign language, I was wrong. It’s French, so the consonants are extraneous. It’s pronounced “ooertoo” (or so says H&H).

Their first cars were Léon Bollée copies. In 1898 they switched to making Benz copies, which is what this happens to be. By 1900 they had their own, more contemporary, designs on sale. The marque lasted until 1930. This car’s engine is a 1.6-liter making 3.5 horsepower. The wood is believed to be original, although the dos-a-dos style seats have been redone (dos-a-dos referring to the seat that is in front of and facing the driver/operator).

About three or four of this type of Hurtu are known to exist. It has been in a Portuguese museum for some years but did complete the London-to-Brighton run in the last five years.  It has been excellently preserved and is ready to run. Price is unknown, but you can find out more here.