Five Pre-War Sedans from Bonhams

Five Pre-War Sedans from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1908 De Dion-Bouton Type AX 15HP Double Berline

Photo – Bonhams

De Dion-Bouton was arguably the first automotive giant. Founded in 1883, they (and more specifically, their single-cylinder engines) were a mainstay in the earliest days of the automobile industry. The company declined significantly after WWI and they were gone by 1932.

This is a Model AX and it was part of De Dion’s first line of four-cylinder cars. It’s powered by a 15 horsepower four-cylinder unit. The body is a Double Sedan, which means it has two passenger compartments attached. It’s a great early body style and kind of looks like one of those Model T House Cars that are out there. The body was built by Roussille & Fils. This car had an active life in collector circles until recently but it’s a pretty nice example of a big, early car. It should sell for between $110,000-$130,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $227,019.


1924 Turcat-Mery 15/25HP Model SG Saloon

Photo – Bonhams

Some of the best Turcat-Mery’s are sporty tourers. The company was around from 1899 through 1928 and they had to produce a few more standard designs, you know, in order to keep income flowing in.

Before disappearing in 1928, they had financial issues (actually, back in 1921). Once they got production running again, the Model SG was among the first cars rolling back out of the factory. It’s powered by a 3.0-liter straight-four rated at 16 horsepower. This particular example has been on museum display since 1987. It’s not quite roadworthy at the moment, but it does look really good. It should bring between $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $29,796.


1928 Minerva Type AK Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

We featured a number of Minervas recently and here’s a slightly newer one. The Type AK was available from Minerva for a decade: 1927 through 1937. This example is in fairly original shape (or at least sporting an older restoration). The rear compartment seats up to five, which makes this pretty limousine-ish.

It’s powered by a 6.0-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six making 150 horsepower. It’s described as a Landaulette, which may mean that the top can be removed from half of this car, but no mention is made of that in the lot description, nor are there photos of the car in this state. Either way, it’s a pretty desirable car from a rare exotic make and it should bring between $85,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $78,037.


1910 Renault 35CV Type AIB Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another Double Sedan from another early French automotive powerhouse (that is, remarkably, also green). It’s actually a little more complex than the De Dion-Bouton offered above. The rear compartment is large and has limousine-quantity seating. The driver’s compartment has a removable hard-top if you wish to subject your chauffeur to the elements.

This model from Renault was new for 1907 and features a 7.4-liter straight-four making 30 horsepower. This car was delivered new to the U.S. and spent nearly 40 years on display at the Henry Ford Museum before making it’s way to the U.K. in the 1970s. It’s been on display in Ireland for about the last 25 years and it is almost entirely original. Even in its current not-running condition, it should bring between $85,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $195,385.


1938 Minerva Type F/M8 Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s yet another Minerva, this one much closer to WWII than any of the others. This was actually from the final year of Minerva passenger car production. They weren’t building many cars per year by this point, which makes this pretty rare. It would have been called a Type F in Belgium, but when imported to the U.K. the importer decided to call it an M8.

It’s powered a 4.0-liter straight-eight and has a big limousine body. This would have been a pretty nice car for whatever Londoner purchased it new (and perhaps purchased it off the stand at the 1938 London Motor Show). It has had a light restoration but could probably use a good looking-over before use. It should bring between $49,000-$58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $99,320.

4 Pre-WWI Minervas

Pre-WWI Minervas

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Transformable Open-Drive Limousine Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams managed to snag an unreal collection of Minerva automobiles for their Rétromobile sale. This is the oldest of the bunch, dating to 1907 – which was just five years after the Belgian firm built their first cars.

The Type K features a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-six. This car was aimed squarely at the top of the market – right at Rolls-Royce. It’s a gigantic car, with an open (or covered) driver’s compartment and an enclosed limousine rear (but also with a removable top… which I guess makes this entire car technically a convertible). The body is by Belvallette et Cie. It was purchased new off of Minvera’s stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.

It was discovered in 1966 and immediately placed in a museum. In 1981 it changed hands again and the collection it is coming out of acquired it in 1995. Did I mention that this 111-year-old car is entirely original? It’s been expertly preserved and it should bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $744,906.


1910 Minerva Model S 26HP Open-Drive Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

The 1910 Minerva range consisted of three models, the entry-level 16HP, the top-of-the-line 38HP, and this, the mid-range 26HP Model S. The engine is a Knight sleeve-valve 4.1-liter straight-four. The body looks extremely complicated with a retractable top out back and a removable hardtop for the driver, which when both are down, leaves a little piece of roof sticking up in the middle.

This car was delivered new to France and returned to Belgium in 1918. The current collection acquired the car in 1999 and there was a restoration, but no one seems to know when it was performed. At any rate, it’s aged nicely and should bring between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $205,736.


1911 Minerva Model Z 38HP Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

This Minerva looks a little bit newer than 1911, which I guess is a testament to its great design. The Model Z was the “big” Minerva for 1911, powered by a 6.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-four making 38 horsepower. The body almost has a “C-Cab” look to the driver’s compartment, which is very stylish. Unfortunately, the coachbuilder is unknown.

This car was delivered new to Spain and entered the current collection more than 30 years ago. It’s thought to be mostly original, but it will require some freshening as it’s been sitting for a few years. Compared to some of the other Minervas in this sale, this car is on the cheap side, with a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $87,969.


1912 Minerva Model CC 38HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Just like in 1910 and 1911, the 1912 Minerva line consisted of three models of differing power outputs with this, the 38HP model being the largest. It’s powered by a sleeve-valve 7.2-liter straight-four rated at 38 horsepower. That large displacement coupled with the Knight engine made for exceptionally smooth running.

This is a big touring car equipped with a second windshield for the rear passengers. Delivered new to the U.K., this car was pulled from a Scottish barn in the 1960s and restored as-needed before the end of the 1970s. It’s been on static display in this collection for up to the last 15 years, which means it’ll need a little TLC if you want to take it out on the road. It should sell for between $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $156,075.

1898 Germain

1898 Germain 6HP Twin-Cylinder Open Drive Limousine

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

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured an impressive amount of pre-1900 automobiles on this site and this car looks many years newer than some of them. Ateliers Germain was founded in 1897 in the Belgian town on Monceau-sur-Sambre. They specialized in building other cars under license, such as those from Renault and Panhard et Levassor.

This car is similar to a Panhard of the day, which isn’t surprising as Germain was one of a few Belgian companies who bought some early cars (among them, a Panhard) to study them in order to launch Belgium’s own automobile industry. This car was the company’s prototype and it’s powered by a six horsepower, two-cylinder engine.

They stopped building cars after WWI and turned to railcars. They merged into another company in the 1960s and ceased to exist thereafter. But until they became defunct, they managed to hang on to this car, their first. It’s first owner acquired it in 1964 and the current owner bought it about 20 years ago. Restored as needed over time, this car is a miraculous survivor. It should bring between $200,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $295,610.

MB 600 Pullman

1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Limousine

Offered by Artcurial | Rueil-Malmaison, France | October 15, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The 600 (which sported the internal Mercedes code name of W100) was the replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer. Introduced in 1963, the 600 was offered through 1981, which is quite a long time as the cars sold in the 80s still sported late-60s Mercedes styling. Mercedes didn’t build a true replacement for this car until the 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (though I guess the Maybachs of the 2000s kind of count).

All 600s were powered by a 250 horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8. It pushed a lot of mass around – especially on this long-wheelbase version (the “short” wheelbase sedan was the standard model). The much-sought-after long-wheelbase Pullman Limousine that you see here seats eight and has six doors (three on each side). An even more extravagant Landaulet (which sported a convertible top for the rear passengers) was also available.

This particular car was one of three purchased by the government of the Congo. Two were sent to Africa while this one remained in Germany to be used by embassy staff. Many governments bought 600 Pullmans – in fact, it was the car to have if you were a dictator. These were the favored cars of such beloved dignitaries as Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, and even Pablo Escobar. Oh, the Pope had one too, I guess. Intensely restored, this car – one of just 428 LWB examples built – should bring between $475,000-$595,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Armstrong Siddeley Special

1935 Armstrong Siddeley Special Mk II Touring Limousine

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Armstrong Siddeley was a company that came together when two other companies merged. Those companies were Armstrong Whitworth and Siddeley-Deasy. Each of those companies were the result of a merger of two other companies. Basically Armstrong Siddeley was the culmination of four different, earlier, automotive companies.

Armstrong Siddeley began in 1919 and produced cars until 1960. From that point on, they focused on aircraft and aircraft engines. Through a series of mergers, they are now part of Rolls-Royce (the aircraft company).

This Special is one of the rarest Armstrong Siddeleys ever built. It was introduced in 1932 and went on sale for 1933, being sold through 1937. Only 253 were built. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-six that offered pretty good performance for its day. This would’ve been their attempt to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce.

This particular car was a factory demonstrator and is one of about 30 cars that are still in existence. Recently, it was owned by the a trustee of the National Motor Museum and the head of the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust. It runs and drives, but needs a little work to be roadworthy. It will sell at no reserve and you can find more about it here (and more from H&H Classics here).

Update: Sold $28,777.

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016


1913 Chalmers Model 17 36HP Five-Passenger Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Chalmers was formed in 1908, sort of, when Hugh Chalmers bought out ER Thomas from Thomas-Detroit. Early cars were badged Chalmers-Detroit, before becoming just Chalmers in 1911. The marque lasted through 1924 after merging with Maxwell in 1922. This merged company is known today as “Chrysler.”

The 1913 Model 17 was the mid-range model, offered in six body configurations with the Five-Passenger Tourer being the least expensive at $1,950. It is powered by a 36 horsepower straight-four. This example was imported into the U.K. in 2005 and mechanically restored shortly thereafter. It’s a runner and driver, with a lot of original pieces left, like the interior. It should sell for between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,879.


1908 Clyde 8/10HP Silent Light Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyde is a very interesting automobile manufacturer from Leicester that was founded by George Wait as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. Automobiles came in 1901. Remarkably, by the time the company closed up shop in 1930, only about 260 cars had been produced.

This car is powered by a twin-cylinder White & Poppe engine and was owned by the company founder in the 1950s. It was restored in the early 1960s an then put on display in a museum from 1962 through 2003, when it went to America. Now it’s back in the U.K., having covered only about 100 miles since its restoration. It is one of three Clydes known to exist and should bring between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1909 Briton 7HP

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Briton Motor Company was based in Wolverhampton and was founded as an offshoot of the Star Cycle Company under the direction of Edward Lisle, Jr. The first cars appeared in 1909 and the marque lasted through 1928, although it was dormant for a few years in between.

Among the first models the company produced was the 7HP “Little Briton” – a seven horsepower, twin-cylinder runabout that seats two. It was a light car and it was cheap. Only five of these remain and this is the oldest, having been delivered new to Ireland. Forty years ago it was stashed in a barn and only discovered again in 2015, when it was restored to running condition and refurbished as needed. It should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1904 Garrard Suspended Forecar

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

While this car is technically being sold as a restoration project, it is still very interesting. Charles Garrard started importing Clement engines from France in 1902. His idea was to attach them to tricycle frames and build Forecars, a popular, if not dangerous, style of transport in England in the day (nothing like having your passenger be your front bumper!).

They were originally called Clement-Garrards, until 1904 when he dropped the Clement part. Garrard ceased production shortly thereafter, making this 1904 model very rare. This tricar is powered by a four horsepower v-twin and should sell for between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

1911 Packard Limousine

1911 Packard Model 30 Limousine

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Model 30 Packard was new for 1907 and lasted through 1912. It was their stalwart and most popular model. This particular car is listed as a “UEFR” – which likely means it was a 1912 model – but production of the UE series Model 30s actually began in the summer of 1911. Make of that what you will.

It is powered by a 7.1-liter straight-four putting out about 60 horsepower. Eight body styles were offered for 1911 and this open-drive Limousine was among the most expensive, costing its owner approximately $5,450 when new. This car was sold new to a lady in New Orleans where it remained until 1947.

In 1947 the car was in the possession of the chauffeur of the original owner and he traded the machine to a 19-year-old college student for a bottle of whiskey. Yeah. Good luck making that deal today. That 19-year-old, exhibiting a case of “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” drove the car back to Houston from the French Quarter. It’s been in Texas since and has never been restored but has been used gently over the years. It’s an amazing survivor. Only 1,250 “UE” Model 30s were built and the Limousine is rare. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $137,500.

Heine-Velox

1921 Heine-Velox Twelve Limousine

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 30, 2016

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Heine-Velox is an interesting car. Gustav Heine owned a very successful piano company in San Francisco. In 1903, he decided he wanted to build a car, so he did. Three 45 HP cars were built and shown but before production could get underway, the San Francisco earthquake destroyed the company and he returned to rebuild his piano business.

The piano business bounced back and in 1921 Heine went about his plans to build a car again. This time he approached it differently, wanting to build the ultimate car. It would use a 6.4-liter V-12 engine making 87 horsepower. Heine built five cars – a Victoria convertible, three sedans and this, the Limousine, which was unfinished when the company folded.

Not one of the five cars was ever sold. Heine retained possession of them and gave a few away. Three of the cars are known, one was assumed destroyed, and the other one disappeared in 1993. Once a resident of the Blackhawk Collection, this car has been on display in a Chinese auto museum since 2006. Everything about it has been restored to perfection. See more here and more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $99,000.

ZiL Limousine

1986 ZiL 115

Offered by Coys | Maastricht, Netherlands | January 10, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Here we go. I love when private collections are divvied up and auctioned off. Especially when it’s some obscure collection full of interesting things. In this case, it is the Stasys Brundza Collection from Lithuania. That’s right, an Eastern European collection is going under a western hammer.

What we have here is a Soviet ZiL-115 armored limousine. We’ve featured a ZiL before, but it was a military vehicle. The factory is still around, building trucks and buses today, but they previously built big limousines (either under the ZiL or, earlier, ZiS, names). The 115 was new for 1972 and this example is one of the later ones (even if it only wears chassis #57).

The engine is a 7.7-liter V-8 making 300 horsepower. Because it was armor-plated and mine-resistant, top speed was limited to a still-impressive 119 mph. They were never offered for sale to the general public – you had to be a high-ranking military or government official. Some are still in use, but this is a rare chance to acquire one for between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $97,890.

Checker Aerobus

1969 Checker Aerobus

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 5, 2013

1969 Checker Aerobus

So this isn’t technically a bus – but it is rather lengthy. Checker is an interesting marque because they lasted a lot longer than everyone probably thinks – and most people don’t even remember they existed at all off the top of their head anyway. That, and they built basically the same lone model for over 20 years.

The Checker Marathon was introduced in 1960. It was the passenger-car version of the Checker taxi that was the go-to taxicab before the Crown Vic took over. The car remained in production, essentially unchanged, until 1982 when Checker ceased automobile manufacture. Did you remember that there was this “other” American automobile company producing sedans in the early-1980s? I bet you didn’t.

One step beyond (or many steps beyond, depending on how you look at it) the simple four-door Marathon was this, the Checker Aerobus. It was designed as an airport shuttle and I guess it would have been successful, as it seated as many as 15 people. They were available beginning in 1962 and could be had in two different wheelbases. This is the longer wheelbase that has eight side-mounted passenger doors. Which is a little ridiculous. I’ve always considered this the road-going cousin of those stretched golf carts you see in hospital parking lots.

The engine is a 5.7-liter Chevy V-8 making 200 horsepower. Non-taxi Checkers (although most road cars have since been painted in taxi livery) are extremely few and far between. The Aerobus is infinitely rarer. Only 3,568 were built by the time production ended in 1977. This one has a custom interior, but it’s still super cool. There are two other interesting Checkers in this sale. Read more here and check out the rest of Mecum’s Dallas lineup here.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $24,000).