Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020
Thornycroft was mostly known for its commercial vehicles, but for a decade in their early years (1903-1913), they also produced passenger cars. The company was founded as a shipbuilder in 1864 and produced its first motor vehicle – a steam van – in 1896. Thornycroft was absorbed by AEC in 1961 and was gone by 1977.
This double phaeton is powered by a 20-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-four. It was owned by a member of the Thornycroft family (supposedly one of the automotive arm founders) from new until 1957, and it’s had three owners since. Bonhams notes that the car has never failed to complete the London-to-Brighton run, but neglects to tell us just how many times it has accomplished the feat. It is entered in this year’s event.
Only about 450 Thornycroft passenger cars were built, and they are exceedingly rare today (this is, perhaps, the first one to come up for public auction in nearly a decade). The pre-sale estimate is $440,000-$470,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020
Adam Opel set up shop in 1862 to make sewing machines. He stuck around through a switch to bicycle manufacturing in 1886, but died before the company built its first car in 1899. Early Opels don’t come up for sale that often, though there are some to be found at classic car dealerships all over Germany. You certainly don’t see them in the U.S. all too often.
This pre-GM 14/38 PS (General Motors took over in 1931) was a model produced between 1913 and 1924. It was a large luxury car that was revised over the years. In 1918, the 3.3-liter inline-four was rated at 38 horsepower.
This one retains its original body and was parked unused in Sweden from 1939 until 1998. It has since been restored and is now expected to fetch between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
Zedel was actually a Swiss company when it incorporated in 1901. In 1902, they opened a factory in France and in 1906 they produced their first vehicles. The Swiss arm of the company was gone by 1908 and Zedel was primarily a French concern thereafter – until the entire company shut down in 1923 (though they had been selling cars as Donnet-Zedel since 1919).
This, the 10 horsepower Zedel, was in production at least from 1908 through 1910. It’s a four-cylinder engine and it moves a pretty large touring car body that was built for this chassis by Henri Gauthier.
Zedel never built cars in large numbers and this is the first non-Donnet Zedel that I can recall coming up for sale in the past few years. It is coming out of a decent-sized collection of French and Belgian cars that Bonhams has on offer. This one should bring between $36,000-$48,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
The Model S was a 1908 model year only car offered by then-five-year-old Cadillac. It was a light car at the bottom of Cadillac’s lineup for the year. Check out this pricing disparity: the most expensive Cadillac in 1908 was a Model H Limousine that sold for $3,600. But a Model S Runabout could be had for $850.
The 1.6-liter single-cylinder engine in this car has a lot of mass to move as the Double Phaeton body is quite large. It is also probably not the original body for this car as no such body style exists in Cadillac’s 1908 catalog. Power is rated at “more than 10 horsepower.”
This car was in a museum in 1997 before entering the collection from which it is being offered. It will require a restoration to be made roadworthy and should sell for between $33,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2014
Photo – RM Auctions
Here’s a strange one. Most car people, when they see the brand name “International,” think of the famous International Harvester Company, which did indeed build cars prior to WWI. But this International is actually from London. The company (the International Motor Car Company) was founded in 1898 and lasted through 1904.
They didn’t actually build their own cars – instead, farmed out the construction of them to other companies, only to sell them under their own brand name. Anyone remember when Saturn was going out of business and Roger Penske wanted to buy it and run the company in a similar fashion? That is, until GM said “Uhhh, don’t think so.”
Anyway, this car was built by Allard & Co. (no, not that Allard) in Coventry and uses a six horsepower 823cc single-cylinder engine. It was restored by the original purchasing family in the 1960s and needs a slight freshening to be road-worthy. You can get started here soon, for the cost of $70,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.
Offered by Coys | Graz, Austria | October 12-13, 2013
SA Nouvelle des Automobiles Philos was founded in Lyon, France, in 1912. In 1923 they were acquired by Jean Gras – another French automobile manufacturer. While Jean Gras soldiered on until 1930, 1923 was the end of the line for Philos. Early Philos cars used engines from Ballot.
This car, being from the second year of manufacture, uses an aforementioned Ballot engine: it’s a 1.1-liter straight-four. Later cars used engines of varying size from a variety of manufacturers. The design feature that set the Philos apart was its curved V-shaped radiator.
This car is offered in preserved, all-original condition. It is a very fine example of early French motoring. You can read more here and check out more from Coys here.
1928 Genestin GS8 Double Phaeton by J. Pessel-Annonay
Offered by Coys | Graz, Austria | October 12-13, 2013
Paul Genestin started building his own cars in 1925 in Fourmies in the north of France. He got his start at the end of World War One rebuilding cars that were left behind by the Germans. I’ve honestly never seen one of these cars but this thing looks super sporty and I really like it.
The engine is a 1.8-liter straight-eight made by Vermerel and the torpedo body is by a little known French coachbuilder. Genestins are said to be sporty and a shorter wheelbase was offered for even better handling.
This is one of only a few Genestins still in existence and has spent a long time in museums. It would be an awesome addition to any collection and a welcome sight at car shows all over the globe. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can find out more here and more from the sale of the Karl Ritter Collection here.