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.

Update: Sold $26,400.


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.

Update: Sold $28,600.


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.

Update: Sold $55,000.


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.

Update: Sold $37,400.


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.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Rambler Model E Runabout

1903 Rambler Model E Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 2, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Thomas B. Jeffrey‘s Rambler premiered in 1900 and the first models went on sale to the public in 1902. The Model E was new for 1904 – it was the most basic model the company offered. This car is listed in the catalog as a 1903 model, meaning it was probably built at the end of that year.

Power is from a seven horsepower, single-cylinder engine. This car rides on a 78″ wheelbase, the shortest offered in 1904. It features tiller steering and seating for two.

This car was sold new in Virginia, where it remained with its original owner until 1956. It was restored twice, most recently in 1995 and has competed in the London-to-Brighton run on multiple occasions. It should bring between $60,000-$66,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $62,756.

1906 Franklin

1906 Franklin Model E Roadster

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | July 17, 2015

Photo -  Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Herbert H. Franklin founded his car company in 1901 when inventor John Wilkinson convinced him he had a solid design for an air-cooled automobile. Franklins remained air-cooled throughout their lifetime and as time went on, their cars went more and more upscale, which ultimately cost the company its existence when the Depression started.

The Franklin Model E was built between 1904 and 1906. It was Franklin’s light car for 1906 and is powered by a 12 horsepower straight-four. It was only offered as a two-passenger Runabout. This car was re-bodied at some point to resemble one of Franklin’s Speed trials cars.

It is being offered out of a “barn find collection” and therefore is likely not a running, driving example but would be a great little project car. The detail on it is great, right down to the light pinstriping on the suspension. It should sell for between $25,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Packard Grocery Truck

1920 Packard Model E Truck

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

Photo - Hyman Ltd.

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

Packard, which stands as one of America’s greatest automobile manufacturers of all time, was also quite the commercial vehicle manufacturer in their day. This behemoth was one of many such trucks built by the company between 1905 and 1923.

It’s powered by a four-cylinder engine and has a 3-ton capacity. The truck is fabulously restored and has been painted with the name of a grocer in Pennsylvania who found the truck and had it restored. The grocer had their own fleet of similar trucks in the 1920s.

Commercial vehicles tend to cease to exist after 30 years or so, so to find one that is almost 100 years old is incredible. It was restored to perfection about 25 years ago but it still looks amazing. If you own a grocery store, this is the vehicle for you. It is for sale in St. Louis for between $70,000 and $80,000. Click here for more info.

Flint Touring

1924 Flint Model E Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 25, 2015

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Flint was a motorcar sold by the Durant Motors Company for a few short years in the 1920s. Billy Durant’s story is an interesting one. After he was forced out at General Motors, he went out and founded his own General Motors, but called it Durant. It was to have a full line of automobiles, and included marques Durant, Star, Rugby, Locomobile, and Flint.

The Flint was an assembled car, built out of parts Durant could buy on the open market instead of designing one from the ground up. Actually, the design of this car came with a factory he bought, a former Willys factory. The cars were produced in Long Island City from 1923 through 1924 before production shifted to Elizabeth, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan until 1926. The Flint factory ceased production a year before the rest of production halted in 1927.

The Model E was the only car offered by Flint in 1923 and 1924. It uses a 65 horsepower straight-six Continental engine. This original tourer has been in long-term storage and will need a bit of freshening before being roadworthy. At any rate it should sell for between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Worldwide’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $12,100.