Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
One of the grand French “Ds”, Delaunay-Belleville was one of the more expensive options when shopping for a French car, pretty much from their inception in 1904 on into the 1920s. The P4B was introduced in 1922 and would last until 1927, which was about the time the company started to fade away.
It is powered by a 2.6-liter inline-four, and the car retains the company’s signature circular grille, although by this point it was more of an oval. Though a two-door, this car is likely larger than it looks and has sort of a Bugatti-ish feel when looked at from the front.
Delaunay-Belleville cars were expensive when new and were not sold in the largest of numbers. They remain rare today – and expensive. This car carries an estimate of $71,000-$94,000, which is significantly cheaper than other cars from this marque that we’ve featured. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1950 Humber Super Snipe Mk II Drophead Coupe by Tickford
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Windsor View Lakes, U.K. | July 18, 2020
The Humber Snipe was first introduced in 1930 and was produced until 1948. The Super Snipe went on sale in 1938 and lasted until the Rootes Group was absorbed by Chrysler in 1967. The second-generation Super Snipe was produced in three distinct series between 1945 and 1952.
This Mk II example is one of 124 bodied as a Drophead Coupe by Tickford (there were 8,361 Mk II cars built in total). Historics notes that about 12 of them were produced specifically for the Royal Family while traveling through Africa. Only 26 are known to exist.
The Mk II featured a wider track, seating for six, and a column-shifted transmission. The 100 horsepower, 4.1-liter inline-six remained unchanged from its predecessor. This car was restored in the early 1990s and is now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
In addition to attaching his name to everything under the sun, Donald Healey also built cars on his own. Between 1946 and 1954 the Donald Healey Motor Company churned out seven models of their own design that weren’t associated with Nash, Jensen, or Austin.
The Abbott was one of the last models to be introduced, going on sale in 1950. The name came from E.D. Abbott Ltd, a Surrey-based coachbuilder that actually built the body for this car (which is quite attractive compared to some of their other cars). All models were Drophead Coupes, and this particular car is powered by a 2.4-liter Riley twin-cam straight-four.
Production wrapped in 1954, with just 77 units produced, putting it right in the middle when it comes to Healey rarity. Only 20 are thought to remain roadworthy. This well-restored and well-used example should bring between $58,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 22, 2018
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
The Alvis TD 21 was a big jump, design-wise, for Alvis. The TC 21 was a much more old-school British automobile and the TD 21 (and transitional TC 108G) looked thoroughly modern for the late 1950s. Something you could compare to an Aston Martin of similar vintage. The TD 21 was built between 1958 and 1963 before being replaced by the TE 21.
Power comes from a 3.0-liter straight-six that made 115 horsepower. This is a Series I car, which were built between 1958 and 1961. TD 21s could be had as a Coupe or Drophead Coupe and all cars sat four at topped out at 103 mph.
This 17,000-mile example has an automatic transmission which has been rebuilt. It’s a classy British drop-top that’s ready for touring. It should bring between $69,000-$79,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Aston Martin’s model history is pretty straightforward, especially concerning their grand touring cars. Going backward in time, we have the current DB11, the concept-only DB10, the DB9, (strangely no DB8), the beautiful DB7, the DB6, DB5, DB4… and then it gets weird. There was a DB1 and a DB2. But then there was a DB2/4, an evolution of the DB2 that ultimately evolved into this, the DB Mk III. No DB3, though. Got it? Good.
The DB Mk III was updated version of the DB2/4 and it went on sale in 1957 and was available through 1959. The standard powertrain was a 2.9-liter straight-six good for 162 horsepower. This car carries a rare DBD high-output engine that creates 195 horsepower. Only 551 examples of this model were produced and most of those were two-door saloons. Only 85 were Drophead Coupe convertibles and only 14 of those have the 195 horse engine.
This was the first Aston production car to sport their signature grille that their cars still carry today. The body design was by Tickford, who was also responsible for the convertible variant.
This example has known ownership history since new. It spent much of the 1990s being overhauled but the most recent major renovations took place in 2006 and 2007. The current owner acquired the car in 2011. It shows just over 65,000 miles. A beauty and a rarity, this elegant Aston should command between $400,000-$470,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 25, 2017
Photo – Brightwells
Founded in Birmingham in 1904, the Calthorpe Motor Company produced cars until about 1928. You’d think, having existed for over 20 years, we would have featured an example from this marque before, but we haven’t (more on that in a bit).
In 1917, Calthorpe acquired Mulliner, the famed coachbuilder of Bentleys and such. When Calthorpe failed in 1924, Mulliner was spun off and survived. Guess who built the body for this car. That’s right, Mulliner! It’s powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four making 10 horsepower. Only two models were offered in 1923 and this was the baby of the two. The 10-15 was available from 1922 through 1926.
Restored in the 1980s, this is believed to be one of about 10-12 Calthorpes that still exist even though they built roughly 5,000 cars after WWI (so no wonder we haven’t featured one: they never come up for sale). This is an affordable British classic rarer than just about everything else at its price point. It should bring between $15,600-$18,300. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 23, 2017
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
Sydney Allard got his start in the car business building racing specials – primarily “trials” specials – for off-road hillclimbs in the 1930s. After WWII, he started with series production of sports cars, the first of which was the J1. In 1947 he introduced this, the M-Type.
Built between 1947 and 1950, the M-Type (sometimes referred to as the M1) was only built as a two-door Drophead Coupe. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter Ford V-8 making 85 horsepower. In total, about 500 were built before it was replaced by the very limited production M2 and M2X.
The look of the car almost has a ready-for-off-road look to it. Kind of like a Volkswagen Kübelwagen. But sportier, of course. This example was delivered new to Northern Ireland and was restored in the 1990s. It has been used on longer distance drives in recent history and should bring between $35,000-$44,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The TE 21 was the penultimate Alvis motorcar ever built. Introduced in 1963, the TE 21 would be offered as a coupe or convertible (er, Drophead Coupe) through 1966. Production on the next model, the TF 21, would wind up in 1967 and Alvis pretty much just became a defense contractor after that.
The TE 21 is powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. These luxurious two-doors were sporty as well, with a top speed of about 110 mph. The body was based on a design by Graber of Switzerland but was massaged and built by Mulliner Park Ward of London. It’s a very attractive car.
This early example was ordered off the 1964 London Motor Show stand and was used regularly through 1975 when it was parked. Rediscovered in 2008 by its current owner, this car was extensively restored and shows beautifully. Showing just over 40,000 miles, this is one of just 352 TE 21s built – and less than 100 of those were drop tops. It should bring between $93,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The history of the automobile in the immediate aftermath of World War II is pretty interesting. In the United States, many car manufacturers resumed production of their pre-war models, but in Europe, the widespread destruction threw everything into chaos. BMW’s pre-war manufacturing activities took place in Eisenach. But the Soviet Union held the territory when production resumed in 1946.
And BMW was headquartered in Munich. So the Soviet Eisenach factory was producing BMWs without BMWs consent. When the Eisenach factory came under control of the East German government and BMW sued to get their name (and badge) back. So the Eisenach factory changed its name to EMW (Eisenach Motor Works) and continued producing pre-war BMWs, like the 327 you see here.
The 327 was first introduced in 1937 and was built through 1941. Production resumed in 1946 with all 1946 through 1951 cars being badged as BMWs (although they were not sold, officially, by BMW). Cars built from 1952 through the end of production in 1955 were badged as EMWs. EMW would later go on to become Wartburg.
The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 55 horsepower. This car was in a museum for the last five years and was recently restored. It is a numbers matching car. Only 505 327s were built after the war, with an unknown split between BMW and EMW. This one should sell for between $140,000-$185,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1939 Darracq T120 Major 3-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014
Photo – Bonhams
Someday I’ll have to do one of our “Car Guy History” posts about Darracq’s corporate history, but until then I’ll answer your question: no, this is not a Talbot-Lago. Well, I mean, it is a Talbot-Lago – but the brand name of this car is a Darracq. See, today’s proliferation of brand-engineered mini-SUVs wasn’t the first time stuff like this has happened.
Because of the weirdness in the history of the Talbot name, Talbot-Lago cars were only “sold” in France. The Rootes Group in England owned the Talbot name everywhere except France, so for more generic-looking exports (to places like the U.K. and Sweden, where this car was bought new), Talbot-Lago badged their cars “Darracq.” This is essentially a badge-engineered Talbot-Lago T120 Major.
The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-six and the car has spent most of its life in Sweden and Denmark. In the last 10 years, it came to the U.K. via a sale at Retromobile in Paris. It was freshened (the restoration was done in the late-80s) and used for touring. Bonhams describes this car as “elegant” – which it certainly is. It should sell for between $120,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.