Bugatti Type 49 Roadster

1932 Bugatti Type 49 Roadster by Labourdette

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 4, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

In 1922, Bugatti introduced the eight-cylinder Type 30. It would evolve through a number of other models, all eight-cylinder cars, that culminated in the 1930-1934 Type 49. This model is considered to be one of the finest of Ettore’s creations, with a decade of development used to really perfect it.

The Type 49 is powered by a 3.3-liter straight-eight making 85 horsepower. The body is by Labourdette, one of the oldest French coachbuilders of its day. It’s sleek and simple, with a rear-mounted spare that is inset into the body, making the car appear quite aerodynamic when viewed from behind.

The first few owners of this car were all French, but in the 1970s it was exported to the U.K. It arrived in the U.S. in 1983 by way of Japan and the current owner acquired it in 1995. Restored over a number of years, it is fresh, pretty, and ready for showing and going. Bugatti built 470 examples of the Type 49 and just 76 are thought to exist. This one has not been bestowed with a pre-sale estimate, so bring a blank check. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Four Fire Trucks from France

Four Fire Trucks in France

Offered by Osenat | Puiseux-Pontoise, France | May 14, 2017


1942 American LaFrance V-12 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

American LaFrance is one of the biggest names in fire trucks. Tracing their roots to 1832, the company built their first motorized vehicle in 1907. In 1995 they were bought by Freightliner, part of Daimler, who dumped them on an investment firm in 2005. They went through bankruptcy in 2008 and closed up shop in 2014.

People love fire trucks, and this wartime example is powered by a big Lycoming V-12 engine, something they only did for a brief period of time. This particular model (whose name I cannot find) was only produced in 1942. These are all coming out of a museum and this one should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,329.


1951 Laffly BSS163 Fire Van

Photo – Osenat

Laffly, which sounds like a comedy club, was actually a French manufacturer of commercial vehicles that was founded back in 1849. Their first automobiles were produced in 1912 and they went out of business in the 1950s.

Their specialty were military vehicles and fire trucks. The BSS163 was the “Standardized Fire Van” and it went into production in 1946. It’s a large van and it’s powered by an 80 horsepower straight-six from Delahaye. This particular van was restored by the owner of this collection. There are two other Laffly fire vans at this sale, but this is the nicest. It should bring between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1952 Seagrave V-12 Roadster

Photo – Osenat

A couple of things… first, there is no model year listed for this truck. A quick search online revealed (as you can probably surmise by just looking at it) that this Seagrave fire truck is from the early 1950s, thus why I’ve called it a 1952. I also don’t have a model name, but it is V-12 powered and it does sport Roadster body work.

Like American LaFrance, Seagrave is among the biggest names in American fire trucks. Founded in 1881, the company built their first motorized fire truck in 1907. They were acquired by FWD in 1963 and have been based in Wisconsin since. This is a spectacular design and it can be yours for between $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1927 Delahaye Type 83 Fire Truck

Photo – Osenat

The last fire truck we’ll feature today is from Delahaye, builder of some of France’s most beautiful cars. In fact, Delahaye built a lot of commercial vehicles over the years, including many fire trucks. They are quite rare today because, like Pierce-Arrow and Packard in the U.S., people acquired the commercial vehicles and stripped the bodies off of them and applied sexy passenger car bodies instead.

This fire truck has had a complete restoration and looks very nice. It has one large improvement over the previous generation of heavy trucks: inflatable tires. If you were to drive this back-to-back with a truck on solid rubber tires you’d notice a world of difference. This one should bring between $16,500-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Roamer Roadster

1916 Roamer Six Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Roamer has an interesting backstory. The New York distributor of the Rauch & Lang electric car (Cloyd Kenworthy) wanted a gasoline car to sell because electrics weren’t as popular as they had once been. He teamed up with a designer (Karl Martin) and Albert Barley, the owner of the Halladay marque. They called their new car “Roamer,” named after a popular race horse. On a related note, “Seabiscuit” is not a great name for a car.

Roamers went on sale in 1916 – making this a launch-year model (though I can’t find a record of a two-door Roadster being available that year). It’s powered by a 23 horsepower, 5.0-liter Continental straight-six. It’s looks are sportier than its actual performance. Some people referred to them as the “Poor Man’s Rolls-Royce.” They certainly looked the part, but were just a lot cheaper. I like Roamers – they are very Gatsby-esque.

This car has done a lot of travelling, as it was delivered new to Australia, later imported to Uruguay, and then to Italy. Not to mention it was built in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The final Roamers were sold in 1930 and they aren’t particularly well-remembered today, though their designs have held up well. This one should bring between $58,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Stutz Speedway Four

1923 Stutz Speedway Four Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 6-8, 2017

Photo – Mecum

The Speedway Four was a model produced by Stutz in 1923 and 1924. This car is titled as a 1922 and is listed in the catalog as such, but Stutz’s 1922 line consisted solely of the 80 horsepower Series K.

Stutz produced two Speedway models – the Four and the Six. Which one do you think was larger and more powerful? You’re wrong, it’s the Four. It’s powered by a 5.9-liter straight-four making 88 horsepower and rides on a 130″ wheelbase. That compares to the Six’s 70 horses and 120″ wheelbase.

Eight body styles were offered and this Roadster looks the part of the performance car it was – and still is. Stutz motorcars are sought after for their power, build quality, and modern day usability. This well restored car is coming out of a decent-sized collection and you can find out more here. And for more from Mecum, click here.

Update: Sold $35,000.

Georges Irat Roadster

1936 Georges Irat Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 19, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Georges Irat was a car company founded by, guess who, Georges Irat. He started out building engines but turned to full automobile production in 1921. Production continued up to the outbreak of the war and after the war they introduced a few prototypes but they never entered production. They closed their doors in 1953.

One of the company’s more popular pre-war models was the sporty Roadster. It was powered by a Ruby 1.1-liter straight-four, an engine produced by the company’s new corporate overload, Godefroy et Leveque. Right before production ended, a larger engine became available.

About 1,500 of these 6CV rated cars were produced between 1935 and 1939. This sporty, rare, front-wheel drive French Roadster was restored in 1998 and should bring between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,430.

Zimmerli Roadster

1948 Vauxhall-Zimmerli 18-6 Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In the U.S., auto production resumed more or less immediately following the end of World War II. In most of Europe, especially Germany and France, it took a little longer to get going again. And when it did, the cars in high demand were functional vehicles. But that didn’t stop two enterprising brothers from Switzerland for attempting to build a sports car around 1950.

Switzerland has never really had an active automobile industry anyway, so for the car to spring up there is weirder still. Werner and Fritz Zimmerli (who sold Chevys and Vauxhalls in their native town) designed a pretty roadster based on the Vauxhall Velox. The car uses a custom chassis and frame, but the running gear is all Velox: a 54 horsepower, 2.3-liter straight-six and a three-speed transmission move it down the road. The body is aluminium (with steel doors).

The finished product wasn’t complete until 1950 and the Zimmerlis kept the car until 1968. The current owner acquired the car in 2008 and performed a beautiful restoration. It is technically titled as a 1949 Vauxhall, thus its hyphenated name above, but it is a one-off, and a really cool one at that. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $71,500.

Willys Silver Streak

1932 Willys 6-90 Silver Streak Rumble Seat Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 3, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

In 1930, Willys started selling cars under the “Willys” brand again for the first time in ten years (the Willys-Knight continued through 1933). In the 1920s, the company had introduced a sub-brand called Whippet that went out of production in 1931. So for 1932, what was the Whippet became the Willys Silver Streak. Two different models were offered, with this, the 6-90, being the base.

Powered by a 3.2-liter straight-six making 65 horsepower, the Rumble Seat Roadster cost $545 when new. The styling is very nice and will probably be mistaken for a Model A Ford at your local cruise in.

The restoration is over 20 years old and it has spent time in a museum. This would be a fun alternative to the seemingly standard Ford and Chevys of the era – it’s much rarer for sure. The final price will likely be between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams lineup.

Update: Sold $45,100.

Pullman Roadster

1910 Pullman Model O Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

When one thinks of Pullman, they probably think of the luxurious Pullman railroad cars and maybe even the U.S. Army breaking up a striking labor union. Classy American Brass Era cars might not pop to mind, but after taking in the beauty of this fine automobile, they should.

The Pullman (named for the railroad cars, but not related) was built by the York Motor Company in Pennsylvania between 1905 and 1917. It was founded by Albert Broomell and Samuel Baily and quite a few models were offered over the years. The Model O was built in 1910 and 1911 and was the entry-level model offered by the firm in these years. This example is powered by a 40 horsepower 4.2-liter straight-four. The Model O could be had as a Toy Tonneau or Roadster in 1910.

A nearly $1,700 when-new price was not at all cheap in its day. This car sports an “older” restoration but it looks good and would be a head-turner at any old car event. Only 23 Pullman motor cars still exist and this is the only Model O. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Five Pre-1920 Cars

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016


1913 Chalmers Model 17 36HP Five-Passenger Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Chalmers was formed in 1908, sort of, when Hugh Chalmers bought out ER Thomas from Thomas-Detroit. Early cars were badged Chalmers-Detroit, before becoming just Chalmers in 1911. The marque lasted through 1924 after merging with Maxwell in 1922. This merged company is known today as “Chrysler.”

The 1913 Model 17 was the mid-range model, offered in six body configurations with the Five-Passenger Tourer being the least expensive at $1,950. It is powered by a 36 horsepower straight-four. This example was imported into the U.K. in 2005 and mechanically restored shortly thereafter. It’s a runner and driver, with a lot of original pieces left, like the interior. It should sell for between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,879.


1908 Clyde 8/10HP Silent Light Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyde is a very interesting automobile manufacturer from Leicester that was founded by George Wait as a bicycle manufacturer in 1890. Automobiles came in 1901. Remarkably, by the time the company closed up shop in 1930, only about 260 cars had been produced.

This car is powered by a twin-cylinder White & Poppe engine and was owned by the company founder in the 1950s. It was restored in the early 1960s an then put on display in a museum from 1962 through 2003, when it went to America. Now it’s back in the U.K., having covered only about 100 miles since its restoration. It is one of three Clydes known to exist and should bring between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1909 Briton 7HP

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Briton Motor Company was based in Wolverhampton and was founded as an offshoot of the Star Cycle Company under the direction of Edward Lisle, Jr. The first cars appeared in 1909 and the marque lasted through 1928, although it was dormant for a few years in between.

Among the first models the company produced was the 7HP “Little Briton” – a seven horsepower, twin-cylinder runabout that seats two. It was a light car and it was cheap. Only five of these remain and this is the oldest, having been delivered new to Ireland. Forty years ago it was stashed in a barn and only discovered again in 2015, when it was restored to running condition and refurbished as needed. It should bring between $21,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1904 Garrard Suspended Forecar

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

While this car is technically being sold as a restoration project, it is still very interesting. Charles Garrard started importing Clement engines from France in 1902. His idea was to attach them to tricycle frames and build Forecars, a popular, if not dangerous, style of transport in England in the day (nothing like having your passenger be your front bumper!).

They were originally called Clement-Garrards, until 1904 when he dropped the Clement part. Garrard ceased production shortly thereafter, making this 1904 model very rare. This tricar is powered by a four horsepower v-twin and should sell for between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1914 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Limousine by Allignol

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Rochet-Schneider was a French automobile marque – and by the time this car was built in 1914, it was already a very old one. Edouard Rochet and Theophile Schneider joined forces (as did their families’ legacy businesses) in 1894 to produce automobiles. Production would last through 1932.

This car has known history back to 1954 and was restored in the late 1990s (with the exception of the interior). It is powered by a 12 horsepower, 2.6-liter engine, capable of long distances at 40 mph. While French cars of this era aren’t the most powerful or the fastest, this model, with Limousine coachwork by Allignol, is rather imposing. It should bring between $23,000-$28,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,007.

Maybach SW38

1938 Maybach SW38 Roadster by Spohn

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Want to know how you can tell that Maybachs are great cars? They never come up for sale – that’s how you know. If you’re lucky enough to snag one, you keep it. In the five years or so since this site has been live, I can only recall three of them coming up for auction, this car included. We featured one of them and the car you see here had been on sale at Fantasy Junction in California for at least a few years with a price tag of $3,300,000.

Wilhelm Maybach’s company and its success up to the outbreak of WWII are a direct result of flawless engineering. These were some of the best-built cars money could buy in the 1930s. The competitors for the SW38 included the Mercedes-Benz 540K and the Horch 853A. The SW38 was the short-wheelbase Maybach and it made more power than the other two cars (you know, until you matted the accelerator in the 540K and the supercharger kicked in). This is powered by a 140 horsepower, 3.8-liter straight-six.

With an unparalleled body by Spohn, this car was sold new in Germany and came stateside in 1961. It’s had a number of interesting American owners since and has been restored. The current owner acquired the car in 1999. Only 520 SW38s were built and 152 still exist – only a few are this sporty (in fact, this is one of two SW38 Disappearing Top Roadsters by Spohn). It’s a big money car, and deservedly so. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $1,072,500.