De Tamble Roadster

1911 De Tamble Model G Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The De Tamble Motor Company got its start in Indianapolis in 1908 when Edward De Tamble began building cars. They moved to Anderson, Indiana the following year and the company went through many rounds of managerial and ownership changes in its short life. By 1913 the company was bankrupt and the president, Charles H. Walters, was in jail.

The 1911 model year offered five models, including a two-cylinder roadster, which was the company’s initial offering. The sporty Model G Runabout (yes, De Tamble did have a little competition history in their blood) was only sold in this year and is powered by a 36 horsepower inline-four. It cost $1,000 when new, the second cheapest car the company sold after the twin.

Only about 2,000 De Tamble automobiles were built in six years of production, and this is the first one I can recall coming up for sale in the last nine or so years. And it’s in Portugal of all places. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mitsuoka Himiko

2016 Mitsuoka Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 10, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

We’re breaking one of our own rules on this one: never feature a car that is still in production. But because Mitsuoka is such a low-volume automobile manufacturer that is practically unknown in the west, I thought we’d feature this rare sighting of one of their cars.

The Himiko (which is what it is known as in Japan) went on sale in 2010 and is sold in the U.K. as the Mitsuoka Roadster. It carries classic-style looks and I can kind of see some Morgan up front, some BMW Z4 in the sides, and some Plymouth Prowler around the cabin. Power is actually from a 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter Mazda inline-four.

These are hand-built fiberglass cars based on Mazda Miata mechanicals. So they should be relatively reliable and will get you looks everywhere you go. This one has covered less than 10,000 miles and should bring between $30,000-$35,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Sold $26,130.

Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe

1954 Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Arnolt-Bristol was the result of a collaboration between Stanley Arnolt’s company of Chicago, Illinois, Bristol Cars of England, and Bertone of Italy. Bristol supplied the engine and chassis, Bertone the body, and Arnolt the money, spirit, and marketing.

The cars use the chassis and the 130 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-six from the Bristol 404 (okay, the engine actually could trace its roots back to BMW). Bertone designed the two-door body. Three trims were offered: Bolide, DeLuxe, and Competition. The DeLuxe was similar to the Bolide except it brought side windows, a convertible top, a glovebox, and instrumentation behind the steering wheel.

These cars were serious racers in their day, taking class victories at Sebring and Le Mans. Only 130 examples were produced, and this one was delivered new in Mexico. Restored, it is eligible for historic events such as the Mille Miglia. It should bring between $320,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Stutz Model G

1919 Stutz Model G Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Between 1917 and 1922, Stutz offered a single model every year and they were all based on the same stuff: a 130-inch wheelbase and an 80 horsepower, 5.9-liter inline-four. But they all had different names.

For 1919, it was called the Model G. Four different bodies were offered. The two-passenger Roadster would’ve set you back $2,750 – the same price as a Bearcat from the same year. The only difference was that the Bearcat had 10 inches cut out of the wheelbase. They are in completely different arenas today, price-wise.

This example was modified to look like a Bearcat, though it most certainly isn’t one. It’s been in the same family since 1960 and should sell for between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $44,800.

Ruxton Roadster

1930 Ruxton Model C Roadster by Baker-Raulang

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

How the Ruxton came to be is an interesting tale. William Muller designed the front-wheel drive prototype while working at Budd, a producer of car bodies. The idea was to sell the design to a manufacturer in exchange for the rights to build the bodies. Instead, a man named Archie Andrews showed up. He was on the board of Budd as well as Hupmobile.

But he couldn’t convince Hupmobile to build the car. So he set up New Era Motors in New York City and was going to do it himself. He finally convinced struggling Moon to take on production. But in doing so, he traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon, ousting the directors and installing Muller of all people as the head of the company. The Moon treasury was essentially raided to fund the project and Moon shortly ceased to exist.

The debacle also managed to take down Kissel, who had become entangled in Ruxton production. Nevermind that the name Ruxton came from the name of a man that Andrews hoped would invest in the project – but didn’t, and instead sued. After Ruxton closed, Andrews was booted from the Hupmobile board, And, to add insult to injury (literally), he died shortly thereafter.

The Model C was the only model Ruxton produced and they were powered by 100 horsepower, Continental straight-eight engines. Only 96 were built between 1929 and 1931, and they are fantastic (I’m a sucker for Woodlite headlights). They were also very expensive.

Only 12 roadsters were built, and they were bodied by “Baker-Raulang,” which was effectively the remnants of three once-distinct electric car makers that had been reduced to, well, not building their own cars. This car was one of the cars assembled by Kissel.

Ruxtons are interesting and rarely change hands. This one is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $747,500.

Westcott Roadster

1913 Westcott Model 4-40 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Burton J. Westcott began building assembled cars (using parts from other manufacturers) in Richmond, Indiana in 1909. He moved the company to Springfield, Ohio in 1916 and continued to build cars through 1925.

The 1913 model range consisted of the four-cylinder Model 4-40 and six-cylinder Model 6-50. This 4-40 two-passenger roadster was one of two body styles offered on the model line, the other being a 4/5-passenger touring. The 5.2-liter inline-four was rated at 40 horsepower.

This car has known ownership history to new and was acquired for the Harrah collection in 1964. From there, it made its way to the current museum in 1986. Impressively, prior to 1953 when it was first put on museum display by its second owner, the car had only 4,900 original miles. Rare today, this Westcott should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $67,200.

1910 Kenmore

1910 Kenmore Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Phoenix, Arizona | March 14-16, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The Kenmore Manufacturing Company of Chicago, Illinois, built cars for a short period of time: 1910 through 1912. Their cars were a little outdated from the get-go, carrying the styling of yesteryear. Ultimately, the company’s assets were acquired by Sears and their Kenmore appliance brand name is believed to have descended from this acquisition.

The 1910 Kenmore model line offered two options: the Model A and Model B, both two-cylinder cars on an 82″ wheelbase. The B had four additional horsepower, for a total of 18. Normally, I’d want to figure out if this car is an A or a B, but it has been bastardized with an electric motor according to the lot description, so it doesn’t really matter I guess (though it sure looks like an opposed twin is sitting under the front bonnet).

It does have a nifty flip-up wooden rear seat, which rules out the 2-passenger Runabout factory body style. Perhaps it is a 3-passenger Roadster or a 4-passenger Surrey. I don’t think two people are destined for that awful rear bench, so I went with Roadster. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $23,100.

Red Bug Electric

1924 Red Bug Electric Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Smith Flyer went on sale in 1916, and it was a two-seat buckboard driven by a fifth wheel located out back. Briggs & Stratton bought the design in 1919, and it was sold as the Briggs & Stratton flyer thereafter. In 1924, they sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Corporation, who began to market the cars as the Red Bug (and sometimes the Auto Red Bug).

Between 1924 and 1928, two versions were offered: a gas-powered single-cylinder car and an electric one. They were more or less identical in looks and both cost $150. This 12-volt electric-powered version has only four wheels and was restored by its current owner.

Yes, these are real cars that you should be able to register for the road. The Indian motorcycle company allegedly bought the design in 1930, but no one really seems to know what happened, and they disappeared from the automotive landscape (though I couldn’t imagine driving one in the 1930s with a huge Duesenberg bearing down on you, much less an SUV today). This one should sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,958.

1912 Pilain

1912 Pilain Model 4S Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Pilain is a name that most old car folks usually associate with Rolland-Pilain, a company founded by Emile Pilain and business partner Francois Rolland. Emile gained some automotive background knowledge under the tutelage of his uncle Francois Pilain, who, in 1896, founded the company that built the car you see here.

Pilain was based in Lyon and built cars from 1896 through 1920 (sort of, see below). In 1904 the Model 4A was introduced and was powered by a 6.1-liter straight-four, and this Model 4S is probably more closely related to the 1912 Model 4T that was powered by a 4.2-liter straight-four. The catalog listing has very little information (and seems to insinuate that this car was built by Rolland-Pilain – though it was not).

Pilain went bankrupt in 1908 and resumed production in 1909. During WWI, their factory was used by Hotchkiss to build trucks. After the war, the company was liquidated and their assets were used to found the company S.L.I.M.-Pilain, meaning that the last real Pilains were built around 1914. This one should bring between $34,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,619.

Vector Avtech Roadster

1993 Vector Avtech WX-3R Roadster Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A week ago we featured the coupe version of this car, the Vector Avtech WX-3. This is the topless form, the WX-3R Roadster. Nothing says over-the-top supercar quite like a rear-engined V-12 roadster with no roof, scissor doors, and headrests that appear to be taller than the ridiculously-raked windshield.

This car debuted alongside the coupe at Geneva in 1993 and is powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V8 and a GM automatic transmission that could take this thing to over 200 mph. Series production never occurred, and this remains a one-off, fantastically 90s, supercar prototype. I literally had a poster of this car on my bedroom wall as a kid.

This is the first time this car has ever been for sale publicly, as it is being sold from company founder Jerry Wiegert‘s personal collection. It should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $500,000.