Du Pont Convertible Victoria

1930 Du Pont Model G Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Du Pont name has been around in America since the mid-1800s. They started with gunpowder and moved to dynamite and now are a huge chemical conglomerate. But the name was also been associated with automobiles shortly after WWI. Pierre S. Du Pont was once head of General Motors. But this car has nothing to do with that.

Instead, the Du Pont family set up Du Pont Motors to build marine engines during the war and afterward, with a factory and all, E. Paul Du Pont decided to build an automobile. So between 1919 and 1931 they sold some really fantastic cars, namely the 1929-1932 Model G. The Depression did the company in after 1932.

The Model G is powered by a 125 horsepower, 5.3-liter straight-eight. Only 273 examples were built in the 3.5-year span, and while factory body styles were offered, there were coachbuilt cars, too… like this Convertible Victoria by Waterhouse, which is the only remaining Waterhouse Du Pont of the six built.

Du Pont only built 537 cars in total. Very few are around today. And they all command a hefty sum, especially these later Model Gs. This one was rescued from a junkyard and restored after WWII. A more recent restoration was completed in the early-2000s. I couldn’t tell you the last time one sold at auction, so it should be interesting to see what the open market has to say about its value. Click here for more info and here for more from this collection.

Update: Sold $368,000.

Two-Cylinder Packard

1902 Packard Model G Four-Passenger Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

If you told me this was being offered straight out of the Harrah Collection, I’d believe you. If you’ve ever wandered through the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, you’d know that the first part of it is full of cars just like this (and if you haven’t, DO IT).

Only 400 Packards were built between the company’s founding in 1899 and the end of 1903. Packard offered two models in 1903: one was the single-cylinder Model F and the other was this, the twin-cylinder Model G. It was the only two-cylinder model Packard ever sold and this is the only one left. That engine is a 6.0-liter flat-twin that makes 24 horsepower. Those are some massive cylinders, at three liters a piece.

The Model G is a massive automobile: it weighed in at over 4,000 pounds – even with aluminium fenders! Only four of these were built and they were fabulously expensive, with one reputedly going to a Rockefeller. This one has been in this collection for over seven decades and was damaged in a fire some years ago. The body was exactingly rebuilt and, as they say, it “ran when parked.” This piece of Packard history – one of the oldest Packards in private hands – should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $423,500.

Westfield

1902 Westfield 13HP Model G Four-Seat Tonneau

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

Photo – Bonhams

Founded in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1901 by Charles Moore, Westfield did not produce cars for very long and, in fact, never really sold any gas powered cars at all, even though this car is actually gas powered. Their first cars were steam powered but he also sold cars with a chassis and body, but no engine.

Giving owners the ability to choose their own engines for their cars would lead to some pretty outlandish automobiles today, but in 1902 pickings were slim and this car features a 2.5-liter two-cylinder engine making 13 horsepower – enough power to get this thing up to around 50 mph. It was built by a small engine building company called Remington.

Westfield folded in 1903, having lasted just three short years. Restored in the 1990s, the car spent most of its life in the U.S., with much of the late 1990s and early 2000s touring the show circuit there. It came to the U.K. in 2006 where it has continued to be shown (and toured). You’re unlikely to find another car from this marque and this one, which is quite usable, should bring between $260,000-$330,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $376,362.

1906 Studebaker

1906 Studebaker Model G Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Studebaker was the quintessential American automobile manufacturer. Like many of the great, early European marques, Studebaker had a long history dating back to the 1850s. They started by building wagons. Cars came in 1897. The early cars (until about 1911) were actually sold as Studebaker-Garfords.

The Model G was new for 1906 and it was the highest-priced, most decked out model in the Studebaker lineup. The engine is a 4.6-liter straight-four making 30/35 horsepower. It could cruise at 45 mph and was only offered in this five-passenger touring configuration.

This car has somewhat known history since new. It was discovered by Henry Austin Clark Jr. in the 1940s and put in his museum until 1968 when it was sold to – guess who – Bill Harrah. It remained in his collection until 1982. It is said that this is the oldest known four-cylinder Studebaker in existence. And its ownership history doesn’t get much better. Add your name to that list for between $325,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $275,000.

Update II: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017.

A Pair of 1910 Sears Motorcars

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Mail-order automobiles might seem like a ludicrous idea – but think about eBay. People buy cars, sight unseen, every minute online. So maybe Sears was just way ahead of the game. Between 1906 and 1911, you could order a variety of cars from Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogs.

They were built in Chicago (where this car has spent a large part of its life in the Museum of Science and Industry) and this model is a high-wheeler. The increased ride height was great news for rural Americans whose roads were rugged. Buying from a catalog was probably their best bet as well – as they bought just about everything else from Sears too.

The most this car has going for it is that it is an original Sears chassis. The engine is missing, as is the transmission, and the body is described as “not an accurate recreation.” That doesn’t make it that much less interesting. It could still command between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850.

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1910 Sears Model P Four-Passenger Motorbuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model P Four Passenger Motorbuggy

Here’s another Sears automobile – and this one’s a runner. It’s also a little more practical as it has a roof, four seats and a more traditional layout. But where’s the engine? It’s under the seats. It’s a 1.8-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. You’d think, with automakers chasing perfect weight distribution, that someone would try to mount a flat engine underneath the passenger compartment today – but “necessities” like air conditioning make that unlikely, and this car obviously didn’t have to worry about air conditioning.

It’s chain-driven, has solid rubber tires and tiller steering. This was the largest car Sears built (and is the rarest today). They cost between $325-$485 out of the catalog. Every car they sold was sold at a loss – a solid business plan that might explain why only 3,500 Sears-branded motorcars were built in the five short years they were available.

This car entered Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in 1972 and was sold from there by Bonhams in 2008. It’s actually a pretty cool car for as basic as it appears. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ awesome lineup at the Simeone Foundation.

Update: Sold $38,500.