Tracta Gephi

1927 Tracta Type A Gephi

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

It’s interesting when there is a car in an auction catalog with a low estimate of over half a million dollars and it’s online lot list entry consists of a single sentence. Luckily, you can download Osenat’s full catalogs as PDFs and, though they’re in French, it’s possible to glean enough info to know that this is a truly special car.

Automobiles Tracta operated between 1926 and 1934. They specialized in front-wheel drive cars, and this low-slung race car exhibits founder’s Jean-Albert Grégoire’s expertise in that field. The FWD layout offers the ability to mount everything very low, making it look (and operate) a lot faster than most of its competition.

The first example was built in 1926, prior to the company even being founded. A second example was built for the 1927 24 Hours of Le Mans, of which the catalog describes in detail. It’s a pretty wild story involving Mr. Grégoire driving the race in bandages the day after suffering a terrible accident. At one point, it seems, he had to pull over and exit the car in pain. Le Mans did their best to outlaw “napping under a tree mid-race” for 1928. It’s very unclear if this car was entered in the 1927 race, but it was for sure in 1928.

It’s race history includes:

  • 1928 24 Hours of Le Mans – 16th (with Roger Bourcier and Hector Vasena)
  • 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans – 15th, DNF (with Lucien Lemesle and Maurice Benoist)

The engine is a 1.0-liter straight-four, probably supercharged. The owner of this car heard it drive past his house in the 1950s and chased it down. Years later, in 1958, he was finally able to acquire it, barely beating out an Italian who was also on the hunt for this very car. It’s been the pride of his collection for 59 years. It’s a wonderfully interesting automobile – one of the sportiest French cars of the 1920s – and it has Le Mans history. It is expected to sell for between $560,000-$790,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $786,394.

Turcat-Mery Sport

1927 Turcat-Mery VG Sport

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Turcat-Mery, the French automaker famous for winning the inaugural Monte Carlo Rally, was based in Marseille and founded by Leon Turcat and Simon Mery in 1899. The story is that Mery’s brother bought a Panhard et Levassor in 1895 but Simon was not satisfied with it. So he grabbed his brother-in-law, Leon, and they decided to build something better.

The VG model was only built from 1926 through the end of the company, which was 1928. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four, horsepower unknown at time of writing. The body is very sporty, which probably has something to do with the marque’s use of racing to aid development. Even earlier, larger cars still carried some semblance of sportiness.

Always good-looking, but rarely seen (much less available for purchase), Turcat-Merys are sought after by collectors, probably more so in Europe than in North America. This car looks great and is expected to bring between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $120,423.

May 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

First up in this rundown of auction results was Osenat’s liquidation of a fire museum. The top sale was this 1929 Delahaye Type 112 Fire Truck for $51,313.

Photo – Osenat

We featured four fire trucks from this sale and three of them failed to sell including the Laffy, Seagrave, and another Delahaye. The American LaFrance did sell, for $9,329. Click here for complete results.

Next, we move to Brightwells Leominster Classic & Vintage cars sale. We featured one car, a Willys-Knight that failed to sell, but it’s already been re-consigned to one of their sales in June! The top sale was actually a tie… between two Jags. Selling for $59,530 each, we first have this 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series 2 4.2 Coupe…

Photo – Brightwells

…And the other was this 1972 Jaguar E-Type Series III Coupe. All of Brightwells’ results can be found here.

Photo – Brightwells

Now we’re on to Mecum’s Spring Classic in Indianapolis. The top sale was a previously featured Porsche 911 GT2 Evo for $1,450,000. Another previously-featured no-sale sold here, Russ Snowberger’s Indy-raced Hupmobile brought $205,000 – which is $105,000 less than it was high-bid to last year. It’s nice to see Mecum move some of their lingering inventory.

There was a previously-featured Duesenberg that failed to sell, J386 (as did this Packard). The Stellite and Reo Speedwagon failed to sell too.

Most Interesting could’ve been one of a hundred cars (including a $17,000 Dodge Viper RT/10) but we’ll give it to this nice 1968 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon that brought $22,500. Love that wood grain!

Photo – Mecum

The Hemi Challenger Coupe we featured brought $145,000. Click here to see everything else from Mecum

Onward, back across the pond, to Belgium and Bonhams’ Spa sale. The Ferrari F355 Challenge we featured sold for $178,426 and a previously-featured Osella F1 car failed to meet its reserve. Top sale? No surprise, a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,267,086. Click here for more results.

Photo – Bonhams

And finally, the May sale from Historics at Brooklands. The top sale was the Alvis TE 21 Drophead Coupe we featured for $203,721 – more than double the upper end of its estimate! The Mex 52 and the Talbot both failed to sell. For Most Interesting we are going with this interesting 1983 Land Rover Range Rover “Harrods Edition” by Wood and Pickett that brought $52,395.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The super cool Venturi we featured sold for $20,376 – exactly 10% (in GBP) of the price of the Alvis. More results from Historics can be found here.

May 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. I

Starting off our recap of May’s auction activity we have Brightwells’ second April sale, Modern Classic Cars and Motorcycles. We featured a Lotus Excel that sold for a reasonable $7,818. The top seller off an overall low sell-through rate was this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SL for $15,636. Click here to see the rest of what sold.

Photo – Brightwells

Next, we have one of two Osenat sales held in May. Two feature cars failed to sell, the Roamer and the Lorraine-Dietrich. The top sale was this 1927 Bugatti Type 40 that sold for $380,346.

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot sedan we featured brought $24,263 and you can see the rest of Osenat’s results here.

Bonhams has a pair of sales in May as well, the first being their Aston Martin sale. The V8 Vantage Zagato we featured failed to sell, but the top sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $721,955. Click here for more Astons.

Photo – Bonhams

We’ll keep it in the U.K. for Silverstone Auctions’ May Sale. We featured a Farbio GTS, but it failed to meet its reserve. The #1 sale at this auction was this 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S “Leichtbau” for an impressive $717,756. Those Porsche prices don’t quit! Click here for more from Silverstone Auctions.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Finally, for this post, Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale. Top sale honors went to this 2012 Ferrari 458 GTD Race Car for $462,000.

Photo – Auctions America

The Buick Hellcat tank we featured was near the top, selling for $247,500. There were a couple other military vehicles that we’ve featured before that went across the block in Auburn again. Leading the way was this White Half-Track for $82,500. Next came the GMC “Duck” for $49,500. And finally, this tracked Opel rocket launcher for $41,500.

The two other feature cars both sold for decent sums with the Cunningham Hearse bringing $137,500 and the HPD ARX $110,000. Click here for complete results, including some absolute bargains that prove Auctions America is still a hidden enough gem that makes it a buyer’s paradise.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Talbot M67 Sedan

1930 Talbot M67 11CV Sedan

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot marque has one of the messiest histories of any automobile brand in history. There were British and French Talbots and they manufactured cars simultaneously. And there were numerous prefixes and suffixes attached to the name. What we have here is a French Talbot, from the brand that sold cars from 1922 (prior to this they were sold as Darracq-Talbots) through 1936 (after which they were badged as Talbot-Lagos).

Yeesh. Anyway, the M67 was built between 1927 and 1930. It was a relatively nice car in its day and is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 38 horsepower. Different body styles were offered, but this car wears a fairly standard sedan body.

The restoration on this particular example is about 10 years old but this is the same body, engine, and chassis combination from when it was new. It kind of reminds me of a taxi, based on its livery (which is the color it was when new) – but it isn’t. It’s a driver and should bring between $21,700-$32,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,263.

Gangloff-bodied Lorraine-Dietrich

1929 Lorraine-Dietrich Type B 3/6 Sport by Gangloff

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Lorraine-Dietrich just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This automotive marque began in 1896, founded by their namesake, a railway locomotive manufacturer. Cars were available through 1935, manufactured at two different plants in France. At one point, a young Ettore Bugatti worked there, designing engines.

They built racing cars (they won Le Mans with this model) as well as luxurious tourers like the one you see here. The Type B 3/6 is powered by a 115 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-six.

This car was bought new in Geneva and bodied by Gangloff in Bern. It was restored in 1993 – after nearly 50 years of sitting. The current owner acquired it in 2011 and has used it extensively. It is one of 65 Sport models built but only 15 remain – with this one being the only Cabriolet. It should bring between $543,000-$760,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Roamer Roadster

1916 Roamer Six Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Roamer has an interesting backstory. The New York distributor of the Rauch & Lang electric car (Cloyd Kenworthy) wanted a gasoline car to sell because electrics weren’t as popular as they had once been. He teamed up with a designer (Karl Martin) and Albert Barley, the owner of the Halladay marque. They called their new car “Roamer,” named after a popular race horse. On a related note, “Seabiscuit” is not a great name for a car.

Roamers went on sale in 1916 – making this a launch-year model (though I can’t find a record of a two-door Roadster being available that year). It’s powered by a 23 horsepower, 5.0-liter Continental straight-six. It’s looks are sportier than its actual performance. Some people referred to them as the “Poor Man’s Rolls-Royce.” They certainly looked the part, but were just a lot cheaper. I like Roamers – they are very Gatsby-esque.

This car has done a lot of travelling, as it was delivered new to Australia, later imported to Uruguay, and then to Italy. Not to mention it was built in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The final Roamers were sold in 1930 and they aren’t particularly well-remembered today, though their designs have held up well. This one should bring between $58,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

We’ll kick this one off with Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale in March. The top sale was this 1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupe that brought $683,409 – that’s some serious replica money.

Photo – Bonhams

Both of our feature cars sold, with the 1903 Gladiator bringing $175,291 and the super cool NSU Kettenkrad $64,108. For the rest of the results, check out Bonhams’ site here.

Osenat held two sales in March, the second of which saw this 1932 Chrysler Imperial Custom Convertible by de Villars take top sale honors at $350,245.

Photo – Osenat

Our two feature cars both sold, with the Salmson race car bringing the most: $168,636. At the other end of the spectrum was the Georges Irat Roadster which sold for $32,430. You can see the rest of the results here.

Mecum’s Kansas City sale held in March saw this 2005 Ford GT go to a new home as the top seller at $300,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Pontiac Tojan we featured from this sale brought $13,500. You can see more from Mecum in Kansas City here.

Leclere held a sale in Avignon in their native France. This one popped on my radar too late to feature anything, but a weak sell-through rate had this 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC go as the top seller for $838,800. Click here for full results. There were some interesting cars in this sale and we’ll be sure to feature more from their upcoming auctions.

Photo – Leclere Maison de Ventes

The final sale from March is the Imperial War Museum sale held by H&H Classics. The top sale was the long-ago featured Ferrari Nembo Spyder for $744,015. The Armstrong-Siddeley Special we featured sold for $28,777 and we’ll give Most Interesting to a similar car, this 1928 Armstrong-Siddeley 20HP Long Ascot Tourer that went for $22,811.

Photo – H&H Classics

And the Bitter CD we featured sold for a healthy $84,228. Click here to see the rest of the results from this sale.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from Amelia Island, beginning with Gooding & Company where they sold a previously-featured Porsche 911 GT1 road car for $5,665,000 – a nice bump over the price the owner paid for it five years ago. The big-money Jaguar XKSS failed to sell, as did the Pegaso. Our Most Interesting award goes to David Brown’s personal 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II which sold for $1,540,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Mazda’s 767B sold for $1,750,000 and the Cisitialia we featured brought $550,000. The rest of Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island results can be found here.

We didn’t get to feature anything from Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale, but I wish we would’ve featured the top seller, this 1950 Abarth (Cisitalia) 204A Spyder that sold for $1,001,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia

And now, the final results from Amelia Island: RM Sotheby’s. The Ferrari 166 would’ve been the top seller, but it failed to meet its reserve. So top sale honors went to another of our feature cars, the Bugatti 57S by Vanvooren for $7,700,000. Other million dollar sales included the Lancia Tipo Bocca for $2,145,000, the Supercharged Stutz for $1,705,000, and a previously featured Lancia PF200 Spider that brought $1,248,500.

There were other cars that sold here that we had featured in the past. This beautiful coachbuilt Graham-Paige sold for $770,000 – earning its consignor over a half a million in profit in one year’s time. At the other end of the spectrum, this Atlas Babycar went for just $30,250 – roughly half of what it sold for four years ago.

We’ll give “Most Interesting” to this 1959 Devin D that we neglected to feature. It sold for $88,000.

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Other feature cars were the Zimmerli Roadster that went for $71,500 and the Meyers Manx that sold for $68,750. To see complete results, including the sale of the Orin Smith Collection, click here.

Now how about a couple of auctions in France? Aguttes held a sale in Lyon and this 1972 Dino 246 GT was the top sale at $335,171.

Photo – Aguttes

The Honda we featured brought $36,210. Complete results can be found here.

Finally, Osenat auctioned off the Perinet-Marquet Citroen collection. While we didn’t feature anything, this 1969 Citroen DS21 Cabriolet Usine was the top sale at $129,720. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Osenat