Two-Cylinder Packard

1902 Packard Model G Four-Passenger Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

If you told me this was being offered straight out of the Harrah Collection, I’d believe you. If you’ve ever wandered through the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, you’d know that the first part of it is full of cars just like this (and if you haven’t, DO IT).

Only 400 Packards were built between the company’s founding in 1899 and the end of 1903. Packard offered two models in 1903: one was the single-cylinder Model F and the other was this, the twin-cylinder Model G. It was the only two-cylinder model Packard ever sold and this is the only one left. That engine is a 6.0-liter flat-twin that makes 24 horsepower. Those are some massive cylinders, at three liters a piece.

The Model G is a massive automobile: it weighed in at over 4,000 pounds – even with aluminium fenders! Only four of these were built and they were fabulously expensive, with one reputedly going to a Rockefeller. This one has been in this collection for over seven decades and was damaged in a fire some years ago. The body was exactingly rebuilt and, as they say, it “ran when parked.” This piece of Packard history – one of the oldest Packards in private hands – should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $423,500.

Thomas Flyer Runabout

1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If this car looks familiar that’s because it’s the exact same year, make, and model of the famous Harrah-owned New York-to-Paris race-winning car. That car is one of the most famous cars in the world (and it’s priceless). This car is your best bet at getting to drive it – and own it.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 uses an 8.6-liter straight-four making 60 horsepower. This car has an original Thomas chassis and engine but the body was constructed to match the Harrah car when it was restored. Thomas Flyers were some of America’s greatest cars in the early days and this one would be a blast to own. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.

Five Pre-WWI Cars

1912 Stearns-Knight Toy Tonneau Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

F.M. Stearns began building cars n 1901 in Cleveland. The company built big, luxurious cars for a number of years. In 1912, they adopted the Knight sleeve-valve engine – the first automobile manufacturer to do so – and used it until the company went under in 1929. 1912 was also the year that the company became known as Stearns-Knight.

Only one model was offered in 1912 – in two wheelbases. This is the short-wheelbase version and uses a 5.1-liter sleeve-valve straight-four originally rated at 28 horsepower (although 40 horsepower is more likely). The car was original until 2011 when the mechanicals were restored and the body was “restored” to look like a barn find. It’s a very nice, big touring car. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $115,500.


1913 Jackson Sultanic Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Many earlier car makers labeled their models such as “Model 1” or “Model A”, etc. Very few had actual names. In 1913, the company founded by Byron J. Carter and named after its home of Jackson, Michigan, started using words to name their models. The Sultanic was the top of the line model. It was offered as a five-or-seven-passenger tourer or as a Duck – which had bizarre rear-seat steering.

The Sultanic (which is definitely not the same as “Satanic”) was built between 1913 and 1914. The engine is a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-four. This car is all original and has somehow only covered less than 2,400 miles in its 102 years of life. Incredible! Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If this car looks familiar that’s because it’s the exact same year, make, and model of the famous Harrah-owned New York-to-Paris race-winning car. That car is one of the most famous cars in the world (and it’s priceless). This car is your best bet at getting to drive it – and own it.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 uses an 8.6-liter straight-four making 60 horsepower. This car has an original Thomas chassis and engine but the body was constructed to match the Harrah car when it was restored. Thomas Flyers were some of America’s greatest cars in the early days and this one would be a blast to own. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.


1916 White Model Forty-Five G.E.D. Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The White Motor Company was around for 80 years. They started building cars in 1900 and did some pioneering work with steam power. Passenger car production lasted through 1918 but the company continued to build heavy trucks until being phased out by new corporate overlord AB Volvo in the 1980s.

The Model Forty-Five was built in 1915 and 1916 only. This all-original example is powered by a 5.9-liter straight-four making about 29 horsepower (although the factory rated it at 45). Click here for more info and yes, I know this chunk of cars is titled “Pre-WWI” but technically this is pre-end-of-WWI. So there.

Update: Sold $36,300.


1909 Stoddard-Dayton Model 9-A Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This nicely restored touring car is from one of America’s best manufacturers of nice, early cars. The Dayton, Ohio-area was responsible for some great cars – and motorcycles, with the Flying Merkel being built not too far away.

Stoddard-Dayton’s catalog of cars for 1909 was impressive. The Model 9-A fell in the middle of their range with a 35 horsepower 4.1-liter straight-four under the hood. It was available in three body styles (the most of any car they offered that year). The Five-Passenger Touring is a very attractive style. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Update: Not sold.

Detroit Electric

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.

5 Great Classics

1919 Detroit Electric Model 75-A Four-Passenger Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Detroit Electric is one of the most famous names in electric automobiles. They built cars for a while, too, beginning in 1907 and lasting through the mid-to-late-30s. Later models are rarer than these post-WWI, upright, boxy cars. The company offered quite a large range of cars during this period – 1919 alone had six different model/body style combinations.

This car is powered by a 4.3 horsepower electric motor. It is mostly original but has been repainted. It’s an timeless design. This is the type of car you can use or restore and not feel bad about either choice. It should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Charles Cretors invented the popcorn machine. His shop sold roasted peanuts but he wasn’t satisfied with the machine he had, so he built his own. His company started building horse-drawn popcorn wagons and for a brief time, actually offered motorized popcorn wagon trucks.

This truck features a Cretors chassis and a 4.0-liter Buda straight-four making 22.5 horsepower. The Harrah Collection acquired this example in 1963 and restored it to working perfection. It’s the ultimate toy/promotional vehicle/historical artifact. Only eight or nine of these were built and less than five survive. It’s really cool and will cost its new owner between $250,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $231,000.


1916 Winton Six-33 Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Alexander Winton should be one of everyone’s automotive heroes – he’s definitely one of ours. Winton cars were always reliable, attractive, and well-built. The cars deserved to be around a lot longer than 1924, but the marque lived on in one form or another as a producer of engines until the 1960s.

The six-cylinder Winton Model 33 was built between 1916 and 1919. It uses a 5.7-liter straight-six making almost 34 horsepower. Body style could be had just about any way you wanted it and this seven-passenger touring was the largest of the four touring styles offered. It’s great and should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1909 Petrel 30HP Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Petrel was a very short-lived automobile make from Wisconsin. Initial production in 1909 took place in Kenosha but by later that year they had relocated to Milwaukee, where they stayed until the plant closed in 1912. A six-cylinder car was offered in 1909 alongside the four, but the smaller cars were the sweet spot for the company.

This 30 horsepower straight-four is of 4.7-liters in displacement. It resembles a lot of other, early roadsters but that vibrant purple really sets it apart. And yes, that is the original color, although it was exquisitely restored 50 years ago. Less than 1,000 Petrels were built and it is thought that this is the only survivor. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Landaulette by Barker

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This is a huge car. And it’s gorgeous, too. The Landaulette body by Barker offers a downright cavernous passenger compartment fitted with all the luxuries available to the British motoring public on the dawn of WWI. The engine, chassis, and coachwork are all the matching originals. The car was restored between 2004 and 2005.

The 40/50HP Silver Ghost still stands as one of Rolls-Royce’s finest achievements. The engine is a 7.4-liter straight-six. While maybe not a fun driver’s car, it seems more fitting as one to be chauffeured around in. It has known ownership history since new and should bring between $500,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $577,500.

One Awesome Stutz

1932 Stutz DV32 Tonneau Cowl Four-Passenger Speedster by LeBaron

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 14, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

LeBaron bodied some beautiful cars. The Stutz you see here has a very Duesenberg Model J look about it, and that’s probably because some of LeBaron’s Duesenberg designs are absolute classics.

Another Duesenberg link is the impressive engine under the hood of this car. The 5.3-liter straight-eight powerplant was designed by Fred Duesenberg himself. The 32-valve engine makes 156 horsepower. It was Stutz’s crown jewel and their most powerful model.

This is called a Four-Passenger Speedster, but most would classify it as a Dual Cowl Phaeton. It’s definitely sporty. Only about 200 DV32s were built before Stutz closed up shop in 1935. This was the only Dual Cowl Phaeton body style that Stutz sold on a DV32 chassis. There are three Four-Passenger Speedsters known today and two have the tonneau cowl.

The current owner acquired this car in 1990 and it was restored in 1995. It would be an incredible car to add to your collection. There are few cars that would be better to have. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $522,500.

A Pair of 1910 Sears Motorcars

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Mail-order automobiles might seem like a ludicrous idea – but think about eBay. People buy cars, sight unseen, every minute online. So maybe Sears was just way ahead of the game. Between 1906 and 1911, you could order a variety of cars from Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogs.

They were built in Chicago (where this car has spent a large part of its life in the Museum of Science and Industry) and this model is a high-wheeler. The increased ride height was great news for rural Americans whose roads were rugged. Buying from a catalog was probably their best bet as well – as they bought just about everything else from Sears too.

The most this car has going for it is that it is an original Sears chassis. The engine is missing, as is the transmission, and the body is described as “not an accurate recreation.” That doesn’t make it that much less interesting. It could still command between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850.

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1910 Sears Model P Four-Passenger Motorbuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model P Four Passenger Motorbuggy

Here’s another Sears automobile – and this one’s a runner. It’s also a little more practical as it has a roof, four seats and a more traditional layout. But where’s the engine? It’s under the seats. It’s a 1.8-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. You’d think, with automakers chasing perfect weight distribution, that someone would try to mount a flat engine underneath the passenger compartment today – but “necessities” like air conditioning make that unlikely, and this car obviously didn’t have to worry about air conditioning.

It’s chain-driven, has solid rubber tires and tiller steering. This was the largest car Sears built (and is the rarest today). They cost between $325-$485 out of the catalog. Every car they sold was sold at a loss – a solid business plan that might explain why only 3,500 Sears-branded motorcars were built in the five short years they were available.

This car entered Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in 1972 and was sold from there by Bonhams in 2008. It’s actually a pretty cool car for as basic as it appears. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ awesome lineup at the Simeone Foundation.

Update: Sold $38,500.

Sears Motorbuggy

1910 Sears Model P Four-Passenger Motorbuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model P Four Passenger Motorbuggy

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Sears automobile – and this one’s a runner. It’s also a little more practical as it has a roof, four seats and a more traditional layout. But where’s the engine? It’s under the seats. It’s a 1.8-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. You’d think, with automakers chasing perfect weight distribution, that someone would try to mount a flat engine underneath the passenger compartment today – but “necessities” like air conditioning make that unlikely, and this car obviously didn’t have to worry about air conditioning.

It’s chain-driven, has solid rubber tires and tiller steering. This was the largest car Sears built (and is the rarest today). They cost between $325-$485 out of the catalog. Every car they sold was sold at a loss – a solid business plan that might explain why only 3,500 Sears-branded motorcars were built in the five short years they were available.

This car entered Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in 1972 and was sold from there by Bonhams in 2008. It’s actually a pretty cool car for as basic as it appears. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ awesome lineup at the Simeone Foundation.

Update: Sold $38,500.

A Beautiful American Underslung

1914 American Underslung Model 644 Four-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2013

1914 American Underslung Model 644 Four-Passenger Touring

American Underslungs are, I think, some of the prettiest pre-WWI American cars built. They are very distinctive with their low-slung chassis (hence the name) and those big, almost over-sized, white tires. Not to mention the gigantic emblem on the grille and the way the front fenders curve at sharp angles and fall dramatically back toward the passengers.

Even though this is a moderately big car, it still seems sporty. Strangely, it only accommodates four passengers, despite being a longish-wheelbase touring car. The low center of gravity (the frame is below the axles) provided for awesome handling, yet the bottom of the car was still high enough to scrape atop ruts ground into early, dirt roads. It might not look sporty, but many regard this as “Sports Car Genesis.”

The American Motor Car Company of Indianapolis built more traditional, upright touring cars when they were founded in 1906 (we featured one of them here). Underslungs came a year later. This particular car is from 1914, the last year the company was in business. It was part of the Harrah Collection for a long time before going to Europe in the 1980s. In about 2005, it was acquired by the current owner. The body was restored under Harrah’s ownership, but the interior is all-original, which is incredible. The engine is a 7.4-liter T-head six-cylinder making 60 horsepower.

These cars are very rare – most are in museums, so getting the chance to buy one almost never happens. It sucks I don’t have the money. Only three four-passenger Underslungs are known to still exist. This one should sell for between $550,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Carmel, California.

Update: Sold $748,000.

1918 Roamer Touring

1918 Roamer Model C6 Four-Passenger Sport Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012

I’ve seen the Roamer described as a “cheap Rolls-Royce” and if you look at the radiator grille, you can kind of see a resemblance. Maybe “more affordable Rolls-Royce” is a better way of putting it. The Roamer was introduced in 1916 by the Barley Motor Car Company of Streator, Illinois. The company was founded by Albert C. Barley, Cloyd Y. Kenworthy and Karl H. Martin and as moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1917. They would also built cars under the Barley and Pennant names.

The 54 horsepower model you see here was introduced in 1918. It uses a Continental Red Seal straight six. The four-passenger convertible body style is quite attractive – especially in white with bright red interior and wire wheels. Roamer built about 12,000 cars until they closed up shop in 1929 and they are rather rare today.

This one is expected to sell for between $70,000-$90,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM, here.

Update: Sold $93,500.

Update II: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Arizona 2016, $66,000.