Mercury Speedster

1927 Mercury Speedster

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 20-23, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Kit cars took off after WWII. When fiberglass arrived, the boom really started. The idea was simple. Step 1: buy a cheap, common car. Step 2: buy a body from a different manufacturer. Step 3: combine the best of both cars to create a new vehicle, usually called whatever the body manufacturer has decided it should be called.

And that’s pretty much what we have here, except this occurred after WWI. And what was the easiest common car to get a hold of at that time? Well, a Model T of course. The Mercury Speedster was a racy body produced by the Louisville, Kentucky-based Mercury Body Corporation between 1920 and 1926 (they also built some for Chevrolet chassis).

The sold about 1,600 of these and less than 100 are known to still exist. This one is presumably based on a ’27 T, meaning it’s powered by a 20 horsepower, 2.9-liter straight-four. Note, this “Mercury” is not in any way associated with any of the other Mercury factory-built cars (especially the ones actually built by Ford beginning in 1939).

It’s an interesting car with an interesting history and it will sell at No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast sale in a few weeks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

An Underslung Regal

1912 Regal Model T Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Detroit’s Regal Motor Car Company isn’t the most remembered automobile manufacturer to come out of Michigan, but boy did they produce some attractive cars. Brothers Charles, J.E., and Bert Lambert teamed up with Fred Haines to form the company in 1907. In their 11 years they produced some more traditional-looking (for the day) cars as well as this hot new thing called the Underslung.

An Underslung chassis is defined as a chassis where the chassis itself is suspended from the axles which lowers the car dramatically. Improvements from this include a lower center of gravity and awesome handling (for 1912 anyway). Because roads were more of an afterthought in the  day, larger wheels could be fitted to maintain ground clearance. The most famous example of these cars are the beautiful American Underslungs. Regal’s version went on sale in 1910.

This car is powered by a 25 horsepower 3.3-liter straight-four. The Model T (Ford’s trademark lawyers were apparently not quite as ruthless in 1912 as they are today) was the Touring model, although you could get a Roadster or Coupe with this engine. This is one of two survivors of this model and would be about as much fun as you can have driving a car from 104 years ago. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s and here for more about this car.

Update: Not sold.