Five Cars from Indiana

1905 De Tamble-Miller High-Wheel Runabout Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Edward De Tamble‘s earliest cars were highwheelers. Series production didn’t start until 1908 in Indianapolis (and later, Anderson, Indiana), and this car predates that time. It carries a stamp calling it a De Tamble & Miller, but not much is really known about it.

Mostly original, it is thought that this was the prototype De Tamble, and it uses parts from the era, including the gearbox from a Ford Model F. It’s a one-off piece of early automotive history, and you can read more about it here.


1907 Kiblinger Model D High-Wheel Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you’re noticing a trend, yes, Indiana liked their highwheelers before 1910. The Kiblinger was a product of Auburn, Indiana, where they were built between 1907 and 1909. There are a few of them on display at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum. And this car was once on display there too.

The Model D was one of six models produced by the company, and it’s powered by a 10 horsepower, two-cylinder engine that is shared with similar cars from Sears. Speaking of similar cars, company president W.H. McIntyre shut down and re-branded the company as the McIntyre after they were sued for patent infringement by Success. You can read more about this car here.


1908 Mier Model A Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The short-lived Mier was built by the Mier Carriage and Buggy Company of Ligonier, Indiana in 1908 and 1909. Solomon Mier, and his son A.B., built about 100 cars during that time before returning to the horse-drawn buggy industry, where they managed to stay in business into the 1920s.

This Model A Runabout was one of two models offered in 1908. Power is from a 10 horsepower inline-twin. Of the 100 built, only two remain, making this a great chance to get your hands on a truly rare car. Click here for more info.


1917 Elcar Model E Cloverleaf Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Elcar actually traces its roots back to Pratt-Elkhart, which was one of Indiana’s highest-quality early cars. That company later became Pratt, which was quickly reformed as the Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company in 1915. They built the Elcar through 1931.

This was the only model available in 1917, and it is one of four body styles offered. The Cloverleaf Roadster retailed for $845 and is powered by a 34 horsepower, Lycoming inline-four. Prediction: this car sells for what would appear to be a great deal. Click here for more info.


1931 Auburn Model 8-98A Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Somehow we’ve only featured one Auburn car prior to this. Indiana was a force in the early days of the automobile industry, and Auburn was one of its star products, which were offered between 1900 and 1937. They built some pretty fantastic cars in the mid-1930s, but everyone seems to forget that they built “normal”-looking cars like this alongside those wild boattail speedsters.

The 8-98 and the 8-98A were the only models offered in 1931. They were powered by a 98 horsepower straight-eight. Various body styles were available, and this sedan would’ve cost its new owner $1,195. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1966 Duesenberg

1966 Duesenberg Model D Concept

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 29-September 1, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What’s rarer than a Model J Duesenberg? A Model D, of course. The Duesenberg name – and its associated automobiles – have retained such an aura around them since the company originally went out of business in the 1930s that it’s no wonder there have been multiple attempts to restart it. Someone built a “Duesenberg” in 1959 using a Model J engine and a Packard chassis.

In the 1960s, Augie Duesenberg‘s son arranged financing (which ultimately fell apart) to restart the company with serial production. This prototype was conceived and it. Is. Lavish. Boasting features that wouldn’t be standard for another 30+ years, the car is powered by a 425 horsepower, 7.2-liter Chrysler V8.

The body was styled by Virgil Exner and crafted by Ghia in Italy. Yes, it evokes the Stutz reboot that occurred just a few years after this car debuted. And there’s a good reason: Exner styled that one as well.

Apparently, the company received around 50 orders before it all went wrong. This car stayed in the ACD Museum in Auburn for over three decades before joining a prominent collection. It’s more-or-less as it was the day it was built, with just 800 miles on the clock. RM estimates $300,000-$350,000 to take it home, which still means it’s cheaper than the comparatively-common Model J. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Little Giant Bus

1912 Little Giant Model D Bus

For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

This might be the most exciting classic commercial vehicle to be offered for public sale in years. You will never see another one. Especially not in this condition. Little Giant was the name under which a line of commercial vehicles from the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company were sold.

They were only actually offered between 1911 and 1917 – a very short time and were sold on a 1-ton chassis powered by a flat-twin engine and 2-speed gearbox. A few “factory” body styles were offered, including this bus (which appears to function more like a paddywagon).

Only 10 examples from this marque are thought to still exist, and as I said, you won’t find another in this condition. This one was found in 2009 and restored to “better than new condition” – which is a serious understatement. Even calling it a Concours restoration seems like you’re slighting the work put in. It really is amazing, and you can go buy it in St. Louis today. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Click here for more info.

1904 Pope-Hartford

1905 Pope-Hartford 20HP Model D Two-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a number of Pope-related automobiles lately. The Hartford was one of five Pope-branded automobiles, the others being the Tribune, Waverley, Toledo and the very short-lived Robinson. The Columbia from last week was also originally a Pope-owned company.

This Model D was built at the end of 1904. The Model D was only built for the 1905 model year and uses a two-cylinder engine making 20 horsepower. This was the only body style offered.

The current owner acquired the car in 2005 and restored it that year as well. The paint and interior were refreshed in 2014 when the car took part in the London-to-Brighton run. This car looks great and is a fine example of pre-1905 American motoring. It should bring between $120,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $126,000.

All-Original Rainier

1908 Rainier Model D 45/50HP Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Do you find this car to be in terrible shape or in great shape? I guess that’s a matter of perspective. It’s almost 110 years old and although it doesn’t currently run or drive, getting it to that point would win you awards in any preservation class anywhere. Rainier (originally of Flushing, New York, later of Saginaw, Michigan) built cars from 1905 through 1911. It was short-lived, for sure, but the cars were big – and powerful.

The engine in the 1908 and 1909 Model D is a 6.8-liter straight-four making 45/50 horsepower. John T. Rainier’s company was swallowed by General Motors in 1911 but they quickly phased it out in favor of Marquette. This is the only surviving Rainier Model D and it should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $253,000.

Five More Cars from Bonhams

1907 Stearns 60HP Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We will be featuring a Stearns-Knight in a few days. Stearns-Knight is the company that Stearns became in 1912. Stearns started building cars back in 1901 when company founder Frank Stearns wanted to build the best cars in the world. He did it: Stearns cars were big from the get-go and this car is no exception.

This 1907 Stearns is powered by a 8.7-liter straight-six making 60 horsepower. It’s a big car – really big – but it’s perfectly proportioned. It was restored a while ago but looks great. It’s an ex-Harrah car and should sell for between $650,000-$850,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1913 Napier Type 44 Touring by Cunard

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a lot of cars from the Hershey-area auctions this year (as in the most we’ve ever featured from a single week’s worth of auctions). This is because there have been so many rare cars – most of which have been American. But here is a British tourer. Napier built cars and seriously powerful engines for both marine and aircraft use.

They even had an American arm for about a decade. But this is a British-built Type 44 that features a 4.7-liter straight-six making 35 horsepower. While this car looks nicely patina’d, it has actually been restored (back in the 1960s). It has a great look to it and is a complete driver. It should bring between $150,000-$180,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1908 Rainier Model D 45/50HP Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Do you find this car to be in terrible shape or in great shape? I guess that’s a matter of perspective. It’s almost 110 years old and although it doesn’t currently run or drive, getting it to that point would win you awards in any preservation class anywhere. Rainier (originally of Flushing, New York, later of Saginaw, Michigan) built cars from 1905 through 1911. It was short-lived, for sure, but the cars were big – and powerful.

The engine in the 1908 and 1909 Model D is a 6.8-liter straight-four making 45/50 horsepower. John T. Rainier’s company was swallowed by General Motors in 1911 but they quickly phased it out in favor of Marquette. This is the only surviving Rainier Model D and it should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $253,000.


1910 White Model GA 20HP Tourer

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve become a fan lately of early White motorcars. Steam cars are always interesting, something White heavily invested in for most of its passenger car-building life, but the gasoline cars are interesting too, as they are a little less remembered.

The Model GA was built for 1910 and 1911. It was the entry-level gasoline model and was offered in a variety of body styles. The engine is a 3.7-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower. It’s a nicely-finished driver, perfect for tours. It should sell for between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,400.


1910 Buick Model 16 Toy Tonneau

Offered by  Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

David Dunbar Buick is one of our automotive heroes. He created what is now the oldest active American automobile manufacturer. It’s because the company started building quality products and continued doing so for decade after decade. Sure, they’ve had their issues in the past thirty years building anything remotely exciting (GNX aside), but these early cars are interesting.

The Model 16 was built 1910 only, smack in the middle of what would even today qualify as a full model range. The engine is a 5.2-liter straight-four making 48 horsepower – which is actually quite a lot for a car in this class in 1910. The restoration is relatively new and very nice. This is a quick car and would be a lot of fun to own. It can be yours for between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $68,200.