Three Classics from Bonhams

1904 Peerless Type 8 Style K King of Belgium Touring by Quinby

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Peerless was one of the finest American motor cars you could buy before WWII. And their obsession with quality started early, even if these early cars were a little more innovative than their later creations.

The Type 8 was one of three models you could buy from the company in 1904. This car carries “King of Belgium” coachwork from the J.M. Quinby Company of Newark, New Jersey, and power is from 24 horsepower inline-four.

This car has been in collector hands since the 1950s and was first restored in the 60s. It’s the type of car you only ever see in museums. But it can be yours – for between $400,000-$480,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $698,000.


1904 Thomas Flyer Model 22 Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The first Thomas cars were sold in 1903, but the 1904 Flyer would be the car that would take the company to great heights before they ultimately went out of business in 1918. In 1904, the Flyer was the company’s first multi-cylinder automobile: a 24 horsepower, 4.3-liter inline-three.

This car is being sold from the estate of Harold Coker, who owned quite a few Thomas Flyers. It is said that this is the only Model 22 Flyer remaining, making it the earliest such example of the legendary name that won the famed New York to Paris race in 1908. It should bring between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $489,000.


1906 Stevens-Duryea Model U Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

After the Duryea brothers parted ways, Frank teamed up with the Stevens Arms Company to begin production of a finely engineered automobile called the Stevens-Duryea. The company existed in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts from 1901 through 1927. These big early tourers were really their best stuff.

The Model U was technically a 1907 model, but it doesn’t matter. Because it’s awesome. Power is from a 35 horsepower, 5.5-liter inline-six. Ten examples of the Model U are said to exist, which is good news. Hopefully, they’ll be around for a long time to come. This particular car should bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $173,600.

1905 Fiat Touring Car

1905 Fiat 60HP Five-Passenger Touring by Quinby & Co.

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1905 Fiat 60HP Five-Passenger Touring by Quinby & Co.

This car is massive in so many ways. One: it’s huge. Two: 60 horsepower in 1905 was a ton (or more specifically, add the expletive of your choice as a prefix to the word “ton”). The engine was massive. And the price? When new, in 1905, this thing – a rolling chassis only (without bodywork) – cost $13,500. Holy crap!

I guess it’s no surprise who owned these things then. Kaiser Wilhelm II bought two of them. This one was bought new by August Anheuser-Busch Sr. This is the short-chassis version. The engine is a whopping 10.6-liter straight-four (two pairs of two) making, well, 60 horsepower. It idles at 70 rpm! You can count each turn of the engine.

The car was delivered to the sole FIAT importer – in New York City – and then it was shipped to Newark, New Jersey, where J.M. Quinby & Co. applied this five-passenger touring body to it. It’s aluminium over wood with brass fittings. The price for the body? $4,000. Busch kept it for 30 years until his death and then the car started passing through hands of collectors, being acquired in 1973 by Louis Biondi of Connecticut who owned it until he passed away in 2012. The current owner had the car returned to running order. Other than that, it is entirely original.

Early, big horsepower cars like this are almost impossible to come by. This is the only example like this in existence (of about 20 produced, according to the lot description, which is possibly referring to the first generation of this model line – 1904/1905). The 60HP model was produced until 1909 and there were probably more made – as in an additional 66 over the final four years.

At any rate, this car is unbelievable. It is almost 110 years old and is entirely original and it runs and looks fantastic. Not to mention it is one of the most desirable early cars – restored or not. A huge opportunity. The price? No idea, as it is “estimate upon request.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, RM Auctions, Hershey 2014: $825,000.