Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 2, 2023
The Knox Automobile Company was based in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was founded by Harry Knox and Elihu Cutler, and they sold their first 15 cars in 1900. Knox would hang around for another decade and a half, with cars trickling out until they went bankrupt in 1915. Tractor and truck production until the Knox brand continued until 1924.
In 1903, they offered just the Model C, which was only built in Runabout form. Power is provided by a 10-horsepower, 2.6-liter single. This car was parked for a long time, with its engine used to power a saw.
Later on, it was restored, with recreation coachwork constructed by its restorer. It now has an estimate of $55,000-$65,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2022
Here’s another impossible old truck out of the Hays Antique Truck Museum. And, amazingly, it’s another San Francisco-built truck. Kleiber & Company was founded in 1914 and remained in the Bay Area until wrapping up production in 1937. They built very few trucks in the 1930s, as their focus had shifted to being the San Francisco Studebaker franchise.
This Kleiber, which is described as both a 1917 and 1918 in the auction catalog, is a flatbed, stake-bed truck that comes with a trailer from 1924. Power is from a 5.7-liter Continental inline-four. It has a four-speed manual transmission and a top speed of 12 mph. That’s a lot of shifting to go nowhere fast.
This is believed to be the only Kleiber left in existence. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2021
David Dunbar Buick‘s first cars were sold in 1904. That year’s Model B gave way to 1905’s Model C, which was only offered as a five-passenger touring car. In total, 750 were built, which is more than the 37 churned out the year prior.
Power is from a 2.6-liter inline-twin that made 22 horsepower when new. The major differences between the B and C was the color. The C was delivered in royal blue with cream wheels – just as this one has been restored.
This particular car is the fifth-oldest Buick known to exist. No Model Bs survive, and there are 14 Model Cs still around. The expected price range is $40,000-$60,000. It cost $1,200 when new. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 11-20, 2020
Kissel, who still badged their automobiles “Kissel Kars” in 1912 (and would do so through 1918), is most famous for their 1920s sports car, the Gold Bug Speedster. But for a decent amount of time before and after the Gold Bug, they produced a wide variety of other cars.
Kissel Kar’s “Thirty” was sold in 1912 and 1913. Power was from a 30-horsepower inline-four, though the engine’s rating would dip a bit for 1913. The Semi-Racer body style appears to be mostly marketing talk, as this looks like many other convertibles offered around the same time. It was one of four styles offered in 1912, and one of two that would make the jump to ’13.
The example presents fairly well, and the white tires are always a selling point. No pre-sale estimate is available, but you can read more about this car here. The rest of RM’s lineup is available here.
Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020
The Marble-Swift Automobile Company of Chicago, Illinois, was around for a short time: from 1903 through 1905. It was founded by George W. Marble and George P. Swift. They offered a two-cylinder runabout for the first two years and sold a four-cylinder touring car in 1905.
This car is powered by an inline-three, which is weird because they never advertised such a car. The online lot description notes that it was probably a prototype, but really anything is possible. It could’ve been assembled from random parts in the 1950s. Who knows. Marble-Swift’s big innovation was a gearless twin-disc friction transmission.
Little is known about this particular car, but it’s selling at no reserve out of this collection. The “Model C” portion also seems to have been made up (as if the twin and four-cylinder cars were models A and B respectively). At any rate, it’s a very interesting, 117-year-old car. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019
How the Ruxton came to be is an interesting tale. William Muller designed the front-wheel drive prototype while working at Budd, a producer of car bodies. The idea was to sell the design to a manufacturer in exchange for the rights to build the bodies. Instead, a man named Archie Andrews showed up. He was on the board of Budd as well as Hupmobile.
But he couldn’t convince Hupmobile to build the car. So he set up New Era Motors in New York City and was going to do it himself. He finally convinced struggling Moon to take on production. But in doing so, he traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon, ousting the directors and installing Muller of all people as the head of the company. The Moon treasury was essentially raided to fund the project and Moon shortly ceased to exist.
The debacle also managed to take down Kissel, who had become entangled in Ruxton production. Nevermind that the name Ruxton came from the name of a man that Andrews hoped would invest in the project – but didn’t, and instead sued. After Ruxton closed, Andrews was booted from the Hupmobile board, And, to add insult to injury (literally), he died shortly thereafter.
The Model C was the only model Ruxton produced and they were powered by 100 horsepower, Continental straight-eight engines. Only 96 were built between 1929 and 1931, and they are fantastic (I’m a sucker for Woodlite headlights). They were also very expensive.
Only 12 roadsters were built, and they were bodied by “Baker-Raulang,” which was effectively the remnants of three once-distinct electric car makers that had been reduced to, well, not building their own cars. This car was one of the cars assembled by Kissel.
Ruxtons are interesting and rarely change hands. This one is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Model C uses the same engine as did the AC: a 10 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-twin. Though 1904 was only the second year for Ford production, the Model C was a leap forward from the Model A. Mechanically similar to the AC, it is a more “modern-looking” car (you know, for 1904) with a more conventional layout. Though it was sold side-by-side with the Model F in 1905, the F would ultimately replace the C in 1906.
This was a $950 car when new and only 870 examples were built between the two model years. It is thought that only about 20 remain. This particular example was built in Canada. It should sell for between $41,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
Thomas-Detroit was a short-lived marque founded in 1906 after two former Oldsmobile employees had a chance encounter with E.R. Thomas of the Thomas Motor Company. The two ex-Olds employees, engineer Howard Coffin and salesman Roy Chapin, convinced Thomas to help fund their building of a slightly smaller car than Thomas was currently offering out of his Buffalo-based enterprise.
So Thomas-Detroit was set up in Detroit to build a 40HP car. It was offered in 1906, 1907, and 1908 only because Chapin and Coffin became tired of being managed from afar. They convinced Hugh Chalmers to buy out Thomas and the marque became Chalmers-Detroit for 1909 before becoming just Chalmers in 1911.
This Model C is powered by a 5.8-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower. It was offered as a Runabout, Touring car, Limousine, or Landaulette. This Touring would’ve cost $2,750 when new. Very few Thomas-Detroit motorcars were ever completed and sold before the company’s name changed. This one has been wonderfully restored and should bring between $125,000-$175,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The Stanley brothers founded their first car company in 1897 but ended up selling the rights to that design to someone else. In 1902 they were back with a new, more modern-looking design. This 1904 Model C is a pretty early Stanley, but it’s not the earliest we’ve featured here on this site.
The Model C was offered in 1903 and 1904. It features a 6.5 horsepower twin-cylinder steam engine. It was the only 1903 model listed, but was the baby Stanley for 1904 (as there were two more powerful cars offered). The Model C cost $695 in 1904.
This particular car is fairly original. It has been repainted and a new boiler was installed within the last five years. It’s been sitting idle for almost that entire time, but with little effort it should be made roadworthy by its new owner. This car is expected to bring between $45,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Hershey lineup.
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 5, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Car-Nation. Get it? Carnation. Forrest Keeton found success with his Keeton automobile and so he launched a second brand: the Car-Nation Motorette Company. Both companies were purchased by Charles Schaeffer and merged into the American Voiturette Company. The Car-Nation marque only existed between 1912 and 1915.
It’s a cyclecar, and is powered by an 18 horsepower 2.2-liter straight-four. Three models were ever offered by the company and this is the Roadster. It was the least expensive at $495 – which was cheaper than a Model T.
This car was discovered in Maine in 1954 and restored. It spent a long time in a museum but is being offered from a private owner. Only two Car-Nation Model C Roadsters are known to exist and there can’t be that many Car-Nations out there in general. It should sell for between $35,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.