Metz Roadster

1914 Metz Model 22 Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Charles Metz originally founded the Waltham Manufacturing Company, producer of the Orient Buckboard. He left it in 1901 and returned in 1908 when it was financially destroyed. Essentially what was left was a huge pile of debt and a huge pile of parts. So he started selling the parts for $25 a pack. Fourteen “packs” later and you’d have an entire car, unbuilt, at your home.

But if you spaced it out right, the next pack would arrive just as the prior one was put together. It was like buying a car on an installment plan. But you had to build it yourself. It was one of the first kit cars. Mail-order at that.

After the “Metz Plan” paid off Waltham’s debts, Metz reorganized as the Metz Company in 1909 and upped the price a bit. It was a popular car and lasted through 1921.

The Model 22 was the only model offered in 1914 and could be had as a Roadster, Speedster, or Torpedo. This Roadster cost $475 and is powered by a 22 horsepower inline-four. It features a friction transmission and chain drive.

It’s kind of weird to think someone assembled this car in their garage. Over 100 years ago. And yet here it is, ready to go. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Kearns Roadster

1910 Kearns Model G Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Kearns Motor Buggy Company was founded by Maxwell Kearns in Beavertown, Pennsylvania in 1909 after he purchased the former Eureka plant. High-wheelers were still in fashion so that’s what they started building. It was also almost the same car Eureka had been building.

Kearns advertised the cars as different than your standard high-wheeler, which they were with their more conventional setup. They eventually moved into four-cylinder cars and cyclecars. Ultimately, the company stopped passenger car production in 1916 to focus on commercial vehicles, which lasted through 1928.

The Model G as one of six models offered in 1910 and one of two powered by a 20 horsepower, three-cylinder two-stroke engine. It has dual-chain drive, a right-hand steering wheel, and other features not found on many of its contemporaries. This former Henry Austin Clark Jr. car is one of about 100 examples of the Model G produced, and it should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Five Cars from Indiana

1905 De Tamble-Miller High-Wheel Runabout Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Edward De Tamble‘s earliest cars were highwheelers. Series production didn’t start until 1908 in Indianapolis (and later, Anderson, Indiana), and this car predates that time. It carries a stamp calling it a De Tamble & Miller, but not much is really known about it.

Mostly original, it is thought that this was the prototype De Tamble, and it uses parts from the era, including the gearbox from a Ford Model F. It’s a one-off piece of early automotive history, and you can read more about it here.


1907 Kiblinger Model D High-Wheel Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you’re noticing a trend, yes, Indiana liked their highwheelers before 1910. The Kiblinger was a product of Auburn, Indiana, where they were built between 1907 and 1909. There are a few of them on display at the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg museum. And this car was once on display there too.

The Model D was one of six models produced by the company, and it’s powered by a 10 horsepower, two-cylinder engine that is shared with similar cars from Sears. Speaking of similar cars, company president W.H. McIntyre shut down and re-branded the company as the McIntyre after they were sued for patent infringement by Success. You can read more about this car here.


1908 Mier Model A Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The short-lived Mier was built by the Mier Carriage and Buggy Company of Ligonier, Indiana in 1908 and 1909. Solomon Mier, and his son A.B., built about 100 cars during that time before returning to the horse-drawn buggy industry, where they managed to stay in business into the 1920s.

This Model A Runabout was one of two models offered in 1908. Power is from a 10 horsepower inline-twin. Of the 100 built, only two remain, making this a great chance to get your hands on a truly rare car. Click here for more info.


1917 Elcar Model E Cloverleaf Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Elcar actually traces its roots back to Pratt-Elkhart, which was one of Indiana’s highest-quality early cars. That company later became Pratt, which was quickly reformed as the Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company in 1915. They built the Elcar through 1931.

This was the only model available in 1917, and it is one of four body styles offered. The Cloverleaf Roadster retailed for $845 and is powered by a 34 horsepower, Lycoming inline-four. Prediction: this car sells for what would appear to be a great deal. Click here for more info.


1931 Auburn Model 8-98A Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Somehow we’ve only featured one Auburn car prior to this. Indiana was a force in the early days of the automobile industry, and Auburn was one of its star products, which were offered between 1900 and 1937. They built some pretty fantastic cars in the mid-1930s, but everyone seems to forget that they built “normal”-looking cars like this alongside those wild boattail speedsters.

The 8-98 and the 8-98A were the only models offered in 1931. They were powered by a 98 horsepower straight-eight. Various body styles were available, and this sedan would’ve cost its new owner $1,195. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Veneno Roadster

2014 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Cheserex, Switzerland | September 29, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

When a company like Lamborghini announces some limited-edition supercar and, at the same time, announces that all examples are already sold, do you ever wonder “who are these people that buy these cars sight unseen?” Well, the answer appears to be: corrupt politicians from Africa. It should not surprise us, ethically-speaking, that Lambo is taking this dubious cash, as Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen. And, as we’ve learned, there aren’t a whole lot of ethics at VW HQ.

Anyway, the remarkable story of the Veneno is that it is based on the Aventador and was introduced in 2013 (really? it’s been that long already?). Only four coupes were built before the company had the sense to milk a few more customers to the tune of $4 million each for one of nine roadster examples that were to be built. This example is number seven of the nine.

The 6.5-liter V12 produces 740 horsepower, which is more than the Aventador. This one is pretty much as-new, with about 200 miles on the clock. I believe this is the first Veneno to change hands publicly. Built to celebrate Lambo’s 50th anniversary, this Veneno should bring between $5,300,000-$6,300,000. Like the Koenigsegg from last week, this car is coming from the collection of the VP of Equatorial Guinea after they were confiscated by the Swiss government. Hopefully, the money it raises finds its way back to Africa. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,330,067.

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.

Update: Sold $82,037.

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.