1902 Ader

1902 Ader Twin-Cylinder V-Twin Four-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

France really was at the center of the early days of the automobile industry. While the U.S. and the U.K. also produced many different brands of cars, France had the first giants. While Clément Ader’s may not have been a giant, it did produce a range of vehicles between 1900 an 1907.

The first Ader’s were powered by the 904cc V-twin engine that this car likely shares (Ader offered a 1.6-liter V-twin as well). Ader also built four-cylinder cars and even an early V-8. This sort of technical prowess is understandable from a guy who set up the Parisian telephone system and designed a steam-powered airplane.

This example was discovered in the 1960s, rescued, and restored. The current owner acquired the car from the rescuer and “refurbished” it again. The body is not original, but it is period-correct. Ready to run, this Ader carries a pre-sale estimate of $110,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $117,221.

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.

Malicet et Blin

1903 Malicet et Blin 8HP Four-Seater Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Cars like this are the reason that Bonhams’ London to Brighton sale is one that I look forward to every year – more than most other sales. They find some really obscure, really old cars that have beautiful, exotic names. Malicet et Blin does not even appear in Georgano’s Encyclopedia of Motorcars. That’s how obscure it is.

The company was an old engineering firm out of Paris that made automobile parts, mainly. They built chassis and everything except complete cars – although it would seem at least one escaped from their premises. This car uses an single-cylinder eight horsepower De Dion engine that drives the rear wheels through a Malicet et Blin transmission.

The car was discovered in Belgium in 1966 and it wasn’t pretty. But someone knew they had something rare and a restoration was carried out of the next 23 years. The company only built a handful of cars and only two are known to survive, this being the only conventional motorcar. It’s an amazing opportunity and it can be yours for between $120,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $163,366.

Alldays & Onions

1908 Alldays & Onions 10/12 HP Four-Seater Swing-Seat Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 7, 2013

1908 Alldays & Onions 1012 HP Four-Seater Swing-Seat Tonneau

Of all automobile manufacturers, Alldays & Onions has one of the strangest names. You can trace its roots back farther than the merger of two engineering companies in 1889: to Onions (founded in 1650 by a Mr. John Onions) and William Allday & Co. (founded in 1720 by, well, William Allday). When combined, they became a well-known blacksmith equipment and pneumatic engineering company based in Birmingham.

They built their first car in 1898 and by 1918 the company’s name had changed to Enfield-Alldays. This model was introduced in 1905 and it was Alldays & Onions’ most successful model. It uses a 1.6-liter twin-cylinder engine making 10/12 horsepower.

The original owner and registrant of this car is known (it was first registered in 1909). It’s post-WWII history is more or less known. It was “sympathetically” restored sometime prior to 1987 but was still described as “highly original” when it was sold in ’87. It has spent a good deal of its life in private collections not having seen much use. It has been prepped prior to this sale and is usable. It should sell for between $44,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at the National Motor Museum.

Update: Sold $68,077

Maserati Tipo 26 Four-Seater

1930-31 Maserati Tipo 26 Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | September 15, 2012

If you can believe it, there are actually two 1930 Maserati Tipo 26s up for auction at this sale. One is a two-seater, and the one seen here is a four-seater – you know, the more useful of the two when hauling the kids to soccer practice. Both cars come out of the same collection and having similar histories, as they were both imported into the U.K. for racing purposes in 1930. We’ll focus on the four-seater from here on.

The car is powered by a supercharged 2.5-liter straight-8, taking direct aim at Alfa Romeo’s 8C competition cars. This car competed against Alfa 8Cs, driven by the likes of Henry “Tim” Birkin, in the 1931 Eireann Cup in Dublin, Ireland. This car finished second to Birkin in an 8C. It was driven by Giuseppe Campari, who mid-race, was temporarily blinded when mud and debris from another car came off the track and shattered his goggles, sending glass into one of his eyes. Giulio Ramponi, a sometimes riding mechanic who was working in the pits, took over the car while Campari had his eye tended to. Before long, Campari ran back onto the track, flagged Ramponi down, and resumed his race.

The car was entered at Brooklands earlier that year, but only one of the two cars offered here actually competed (chassis unknown, based on price, I’d say likely this one). This car did compete at Brooklands in 1933 and a few other races over the next few years. It passed through numerous hands – and numerous drivetrain configurations – before being acquired by its current owner in 1952. All of its original pieces were located and reinstalled, making this a highly original example of an already extremely rare car.

It is very impressive, in both history, rarity and condition. It is an exquisite alternative to the comparatively common Alfa Romeo 8C. The pre-sale estimate is $2,900,000-$3,500,000. For the complete lot description, click here. And from more from Bonhams at Goodwood, click here.

Update: Sold $2,727,000.