Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 12, 2016
Photo – H&H Classics
Phebus was a French automobile marque produced by the Noe Boyer & Cie company from the Paris area. They only existed for a few years – building vehicles between about 1899 (or 1898) and 1903. While many of their vehicles were tricycles and motorcycles, they did produce a few four-wheelers, too.
This is a single-cylinder Veteran car that makes, as its name implies, 2.25 horsepower. It technically seats two, but if you look at the car, it just kind of seems like a huge motorized wheelchair for one. I guess people were smaller almost 120 years ago.
This particular car sold at a Bonhams auction in 2009 for $63,000 and is expected to bring between $64,000-$77,000. It seems unlikely that you’ll ever find another one quite like it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Not sold.
Update II: Not sold, H&H Classics, Chateau Impney, 12/16.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 14, 2015
1899 Bruneau Quadricycle
Photo – Osenat
Bruneau is a very rare manufacturer of early motorcycles, tricycles, and but a handful of quadricycles. Based in Tours, France, very little is known about this marque other than where they were located and what they built. The company existed as early as 1899 and lasted at least up until the outbreak of WWI.
This car is powered by the ubiquitous De Dion single-cylinder engine and features a vis-à-vis seating arrangement. The family of the original owner of this vehicle sold it to the current owner in the 1960s. This is a two-owner car from 1899. It is thought only three of these were built and this is the only one left. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $45,600.
1901 Phébus Quadricycle
Photo – Osenat
Noé Boyer was the director of a branch of Clément-Gladiator – Noé Boyer et Cie – and it would appear that his company built eerily similar quadricycles as those that Clément was putting out. It’s got a bicycle seat in the rear for the driver and the passenger sits in the compartment out front… to act as both windshield and front bumper.
This is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion engine. Phébus built quadricycles up to 1903, when they stopped producing vehicles altogether. But at the same time these primitive cars were on sale, the company was also selling the more traditional Phébus-Aster. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $59,280.
1902 Clément Tricycle
Photo – Osenat
Clément is a fairly well-known brand among early automobiles. We’ve documented the tangled history of some of Adolphe Clément-Bayard’s companies before and this is kind of a different branch. He founded Clément cycles in 1878 to build bicycles. Motorized bicycles and tricycles came in 1902 after he merged with Gladiator.
This tricycle is powered by a single-cylinder De Dion engine and it is a runner. Use it in the next London-to-Brighton run, if you wish. Clément Cycles morphed into part of Clément-Bayard in 1903 and vehicles like this pretty much disappeared from the automotive landscape shortly thereafter. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.