1906 Pungs-Finch Limited Touring
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
This is a car you’ve likely never heard of. W.A. Pungs and his son-in-law, E.B. Finch, joined forces in late 1904 to create an automobile company. Finch was the engineer and Pungs was the money. They built a couple hundred cars through 1910 when, um, “familial issues” caused the two to part ways.
In 1906, they built a car called the Limited. It was available as a two-passenger Roadster or a seven-passenger Touring. This is an example of the seven-passenger Touring and it is likely the only example ever built. Henry Ford said it was the finest car he had ever seen.
This car is wonderfully engineered. It features shaft drive and hemispherical combustion chambers. The engine is an absolutely massive 10.6-liter straight-four making 50 horsepower. That’s right, each cylinder displaces almost as much as the engines in the two cars in my garage combined.
The Pungs-Finch – which really isn’t a great name for an automobile, let’s be honest – Limited Touring likely never progressed beyond this, the prototype stage. It was found and rescued in the 1950s and was once owned by Henry Austin Clark, Jr. The restoration is somewhat new, as is the body (it is a faithful recreation of the original, as the original was lost). At any rate, it’s the only Pungs-Finch in existence and, as much as I don’t want to sounds like a teenager, this car is epic. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $852,500.
1912 Oldsmobile Limited Five-Passenger Touring
Offered by RM Auctions, Boca Raton, Florida, February 25, 2012
Cars do not come much more grand than this. Built for only three model years (1910, 1911, and 1912), the Oldsmobile Limited might very well be the greatest car Oldsmobile ever built. They were available in a number of bodystyles – and an unrestored barn-find 7-Passenger Touring model sold for $1.6 million at an RM Auction in 2007.
This is one of only 140 Limiteds built in 1912 (only 725 were built in total) and the only 1912 known to exist. The first owner was Canadian and it has passed through the collection of Otis Chandler on its way to the Milhous Collection in Florida. These cars are immense – they should really put something in the photo (like Shaquille O’Neal) so you can compare it to the largest wheels ever fitted to a production car – 42 inches (take that, rap stars). It’s seven feet tall and over 17 feet long. In other words, giant.
The 11.5 liter (!) T-head six-cylinder engine produces 60 horsepower and was enough for a capable top speed. There is a famous painting of an Olds Limited outrunning the 20th Century Limited (a train).
A new Limited in 1910 would run you $4,600. By 1912, the limousine model would require at least $7,000. So even the base model cost more than a three-bedroom house at the time. Well, that’s still true today. With a pre-sale estimate of $1,400,000-$1,600,000 you could trade a very nice house for this car. Pre-WWI cars do not come much better than this. For the complete catalog description, click here. To see the rest of the Milhous Collection, click here.
Update: Sold $3,300,000.