Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 19, 2022
Pope-Hartford was the longest-lasting of all of the marques of Colonel Albert Augustus Pope. The first cars were sold in 1904, and the brand continued on through 1914. In 1910, they offered a Model T, with the Models W and Y following for 1911.
Power in the Model W is from a 6.4-liter inline-four that made about 50 horsepower. The car is thought to have received its racing-style body prior to WWII. It was purchased by early sporting car collector Lindley Bothwell in the 1950s and raced in that decade at the Santa Catalina Island and Pebble Beach Sports Car Races.
Bothwell died in 1986, and his collection was not dispersed until 2017. Prior to that, this car was used in the movie Seabiscuit, presumably where the horse’s owner fills his horse barn with pre-war racing cars and then later removes them again in favor of horses. It’s a quick scene, but there is some real eye candy in it. The pre-sale estimate here is $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2020
The Renault AI was one of the company’s large luxury cars and was offered between 1905 and 1910. They were powered by large 7.5-liter inline-fours that made about 65 horsepower. The fact that this big power rating came from one of France’s more storied early competition car-builders is probably why this car exists.
Willie K. Vanderbilt, yes, of that family, was a gearhead who started competing in races in the US and Europe about as early as you could. Around 1906, he asked Renault to build him a run of race cars based on their AI engine. He bought 10 of them for $150,000 and all had different coachwork. He sold most of them and kept one for himself.
The cars were successful racing in America, and this is one of five Vanderbilt racers that have survived. It was discovered in 1946 and went to the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum in 1957. Most of the other survivors are locked away in collections. Bonhams won’t even give an estimate on this car, but it’s a pretty incredible, useable survivor. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 12, 2016
Photo – H&H Classics
The Milwaukee Automobile Company was founded in 1899 by W.H. Starkweather, Herman Pfiel, and W.G. Smith to build cars that were not a “radical departure from all other types” of automobiles… except that they were using steam power. Most of the early American steam car manufacturers built cars that looked relatively similar but this car, while similar, is fairly different.
The first Milwaukee Steam cars appeared in 1900 (here’s one) and they lasted only through 1902. In 1901, they went to the Chicago Auto Show and exhibited this racer – not a body style that many struggling manufacturers would’ve dared to build. Not much is known about what it was used for in period, but it is thought that it competed in a half-mile race in Illinois in 1901.
This car has been restored to 1901 condition and is eligible for the London-to-Brighton run. You really don’t find racing vehicles from this era that aren’t on long term museum display. It’s even harder to find one that is steam powered and from a three-year-only manufacturer. This should bring between $65,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
This is a race car that was built the same year the first Indianapolis 500 was held. It didn’t race there, but it looks just like the cars that did. These were stripped down versions of road cars with two seats and light body work.
EMF was the abbreviation of Everitt-Metzger-Flanders – three men who had been around the booming auto industry for years. They built cars together for a few years between 1908 and 1912. Studebaker acquired them and shut them down because their quality wasn’t exactly great.
This car was entered in the 1911 Tiedeman Trophy Race in Savannah, Georgia. It was a big event – bigger than that new event held way back in Indiana. EMF entered three cars in the race and they finished 1-2-3. This car was driven by Jack Tower, who would race at Indy twice (in 1911 and 1913).
It is powered by a straight-four that makes 30 horsepower. It was discovered by the current owned in the 1970s and was restored then and restored again in the 2000s. It is the only surviving EMF racing car and it is thought to be the only surviving car that competed in the Tiedeman Trophy Race.
Pre-WWI race cars are extremely rare but they are incredible machines. This car has never been offered for public sale before. Now’s your chance if you have between $150,000-$200,000. to spend. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 30, 2014
Photo – Bonhams
Nothing like a lime green old race car, eh? This sporty Talbot is from the British Talbot and was a works race car. This is one of three Alpine Trial Talbots built for 1934. But this car had a bigger engine than the other two. It’s a 3.3-liter straight-six making 126 horsepower.
The 1934 Alpine Trial was the sixth such event run and it was a multi-day point-to-point race that ran through Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France. Imagine that scenery, blowing past at high speed! The three-car Alpine team shared overall top honors with the German Adler team.
This car went from the tour to Brooklands, where it competed in event after event, first averaging 85 mph over an hour run – later it would average over 107 mph. Subsequent runs would climb even higher – up to about 130 by the time racing at Brooklands ended. This was a serious speed machine in its day.
Bonhams has compiled an impressively immense history on this vehicle and you can read more about it here. It’s an incredible car and to the right person it will be worth a lot of money – as in between $1,300,000-$1,900,000. Check out more from Bonhams here.