Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Four Cars from Rétromobile

Four Cars from Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018


1947 Dolo Type JB10

Photo – Artcurial

There were a lot of car companies that popped up after World War Two showing prototypes at auto shows and then promptly disappearing. Dolo was one such marque. Usually these cars exist only in grainy scans of old sales literature developed when the company’s founders thought they had a chance to make it big.

The JB10 was shown by Brun, Dolo & Galtier at the 1947 Paris Auto Salon. It was a front-wheel drive car powered by a 592cc flat engine making 23 horsepower. I don’t believe the engine is still with this car, however. The roof was a Plexiglas dome, which is kind of weird. The company went around taking orders (and payments) but never honored them. The company did build a second car but its whereabouts are unknown.

This car was discovered in storage at the Montlhéry circuit and entered the collection it is being offered from in 1967. It’s all-original and was originally blue. As a one-off it should bring between $7,500-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.


1931 Salomon Prototype

Photo – Artcurial

Jean-Marie-Jules Salomon co-founded Le Zebre early in his career. He later worked for Citroen and then Peugeot. From 1928 through 1939 he worked at Rosengart. While at Rosengart (which did pretty well building light cars themselves), Salomon designed and built his own cyclecar prototype.

This light, two-seat roadster features a tubular axle and front brakes. The body is aluminium, which wasn’t all that common in 1931. It’s powered by a two-stroke single-cylinder engine. It’s in pretty original condition and would require a full restoration (it’s missing things like gauges, the entire floor, you know… some basics). But still, it’s a unique car from the 1930s and it can be yours for between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,301.


1927 Taupin 1100 Prototype

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s yet another one-off prototype car from this same collection. Not much is known about this history of this car, other than it seems to be assembled and custom made. The radiator is from a Darmont. The engine is a SCAP unit of 1.1-liters.

It was built by an actual engineer, so there was some thought put into it. The wheels have independent suspension, so it sits very low. It’s almost like the grandfather of the Ariel Atom… if an Atom only had three wheels. Customized by the owner to add such creature comforts as a cushion to sit on, this thing is largely original and just might be in running condition. It should cost the next owner between $6,000-$9,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $23,363.


1948 De Coucy Prototype Record

Photo – Artcurial

What we have here was someone’s – a Count de Coucy, to be more specific – idea of a land speed record car. A trained engineer, de Coucy built some high-revving engines of his own design – we’re talking engines that revved to 10,000 rpm in the 1930s. In 1935, he designed a 500cc engine capable of that 10,000 rpm.

Unfortunately, he was arrested by the Germans during WWII as a part of the Resistance and then his workshop was bombed in 1943. In 1948 he took the chassis from a Formula One car he was working on and built a single-seater enclosed record car. The 500cc engine never made it in, but it now carries a 1.1-liter straight-four instead (which is not completely installed). The car was never run and is being sold in hopes that someone will pick up the cause. It should bring between $6,000-$9,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $55,488.

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016


1951 Salmson G72 Coupe by Saoutchik

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Salmson, the French auto manufacturer, built cars up through 1957. They had a range of sedans and two-doors. This is a G72, a model introduced in 1950. Most G72s were sedans, but some of them were sent to coachbuilders for something a little more fancy. Power was supplied by a 2.3-liter straight-four.

This car was bodied by Saoutchik, the legendary French coachbuilder. It was repainted some 25 years ago but otherwise it is original. Only 254 of this series of the G72 were produced and this one carries a one-off body. It should bring between $175,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $207,019


1953 Renault Frégate Ondine Cabriolet by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Renault Frégate was Renault’s executive sedan that they built between 1951 and 1960. Estate wagons were available as well, under different names. Renault showed a convertible at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, but it never entered production. Later, three more examples were shown and two disappeared. It is believed this is the only survivor of those cars.

The body is actually made of some kind of polyester blend. We’re really not sure what that means, but the engine is likely a 2.0-liter straight-four. The restoration was completed in the 1990s and it is believed that this car was used by legendary French singer Edith Piaf in the 1950s. It is the only car like it and it should bring between $87,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $86,814.


1939 Graham-Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Graham brothers of Dearborn, Michigan, began producing their own trucks in 1922 after years of modifying Fords. That company was bought by Dodge in 1925 and the brothers joined Dodge’s board. But when Chrysler took over Dodge in 1928, the Graham brand was soon phased out. Good thing the brothers bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927.

So in 1928, the Graham-Paige marque was introduced. In 1938 they introduced a bold (and awesome) new style that they built in low quantities through 1941. After the war, the automotive portion of the company was acquired by Kaiser-Frazer (which never reintroduced the Graham-Paige automobile brand), but Graham-Paige, strangely, soldiered on as a real estate company into the 1960s before becoming the Madison Square Garden Corporation. Weird, huh?

Anyway, the Type 97 Supercharged was built in 1938 and 1939. It is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower. This car left Graham-Paige as a coupe (they didn’t offer a convertible) and made its way to France to be bodied by Pourtout in Paris. It may be the only such car with this body. It has been restored and should sell for between $165,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $186,985.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $770,000.


1949 Delahaye 135MS Coupe by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was one of their best models. It lasted (in some form) between 1935 and 1954. The 135MS was the sportiest version – sometimes it was a race car, and sometimes it was a road car. It was the final Delahaye car available for purchase before the brand was phased out.

Bodies for the car varied widely. This car, with its covered wheels and sort of boxy design, was styled by Ghia in Turin. It’s beautiful. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six making 120 horsepower. It was built for the Shah of Iran who owned it until the late 1950s when it went back to Europe. Since then it spent time in the Blackhawk Collection and the John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was carried out sometime in the early 1990s. It’s a wonderful car and one of three Delahaye 135s styled by Ghia. It should sell for between $210,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $180,307.


1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport by Dubos

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Talbot-Lago T26 Record was a car introduced by Talbot-Lago in 1946. In late 1947, a Grand Sport version was introduced, which included a more powerful 4.5-liter straight-six making 190 horsepower (in this form). Grand Sport cars (that weren’t race cars) were all sent out to coachbuilders to have some of the best designs of the period attached to them.

This one went to Carrossier Louis Dubos near Paris for this elegant cabriolet that, while originally black, looks glorious in white. Never completely restored, mechanical bits have been redone as needed. This is one of three T26s bodied by Dubos and the only Grand Sport to wear one of their bodies. It should sell for between $260,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $293,834.

Avolette Record Deluxe

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

Photo – RM Auctions

The Avolette Record Deluxe was a French license-built version of the Brütsch Zwerg. Zwerg? Zwerg. Most Avolettes were three-wheelers, but you can see this one has four. It has a single-cylinder engine of 250cc making 14 horsepower. In production for only two years, the Record Deluxe didn’t rack up record sales numbers – only about 30 were produced. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,750.