Big, Early Hotchkiss

1908 Hotchkiss 16/20HP Type T Roi des Belges by A. Descoins & Fils

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Hotchkiss began life as an arms manufacturer and moved into cars in 1903. They survived WWII and some of their post-war cars are pretty attractive. They merged with Delahaye in 1954 and passenger car production stopped the following year. The marque soldiered on with commercial vehicles until 1971.

Hotchkiss was one of a few fairly large French automakers that existed prior to the outbreak of WWI that built properly large touring cars. This is not a small automobile. It seems like that the larger the company in France in this period, the smaller the cars. De Dion-Bouton, Renault, and Panhard et Levassor all produced relatively small cars at this time (sure, they made some large ones too).

What’s remarkable is that the Type T was the company’s smallest model for 1908! It’s powered by a 3.1-liter straight-four rated at 16/20 horsepower. The Type T was not built in large numbers and this example was discovered in a barn. The restoration finished up in 1998 and it’s still spectacular. The current owner bought it in 2000 and has taken pride in driving it thousands of miles in rallies. It’s the oldest Hotchkiss known to have its original body and it should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $212,710.

1911 Mercedes 28/50

1911 Mercedes 28/50 PS Roi des Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

What’s not to love about a big, pre-Benz Mercedes touring car? The Mercedes marque dates back to about 1900 when Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach came together to produce what would ultimately become the template for all modern cars. Of course, in 1926, Mercedes merged with Benz to become the company we all know today.

This is the 28/50 PS model and it’s powered by a 50 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four engine. This particular car was originally bodied in France but, because of its hearty engine and chassis combination, had at some point been converted into a bus. The current family who owns the car acquired it in 1957 and had it restored in the early 1960s.

During that restoration, the current body you see above was constructed and done so convincingly in the style of something available in 1911. It remains in running condition, having been used sparingly over the past few years. It is expected to bring between $390,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $467,080.

Five Pre-War Cars from Bonhams’ Beaulieu Sale

Five Pre-War Cars from Bonhams’ Beaulieu Sale

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015


1909 Belsize 14/16HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Belsize was an English manufacturer that was around from 1902 through 1925. They were known for their small cars – some used two or three cylinder engines. This car is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 14/16 horsepower. The model was produced from 1909 through 1913.

This is the oldest known four-cylinder Belsize (of 12 that still exist). This car has known ownership history from new and has been restored twice over its life, with the most recent restoration having been carried out nearly 30 years ago. It’s entirely roadworthy and would be a great tourer. It should sell for between $70,000-$86,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $55,402.


1926 Clyno 10.8HP Royal Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Clyno was quite the large operation in England between 1909 and 1929. At one point there were the third-largest motor manufacturer in the U.K. They built motorcycles and nearly 40,000 cars during their existence. Yet, few remain today.

This car is powered by a 1.4-liter straight-four making 10 horsepower. It was produced between 1922 and 1928 and was far and away Clyno’s biggest seller, with approximately 35,000 built. Clyno got too big too quickly and their reliability suffered. When the Depression set in, bankruptcy came. This example was restored in 2012 and should bring between $19,000-$23,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,261.


1902 Flint Roadster

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Flint Roadster (yes, that was the name of the marque) was built by A.B.C. Hardy and his Flint Automobile Company between 1902 and 1904 in Flint, Michigan (if that wasn’t obvious). Only one model was available and it cost $850 when new.

The engine is an eight horsepower single-cylinder displacing 2.3-liters. Hardy didn’t play by the rules of the day and faced numerous lawsuits that effectively shut his business down. Only 52 Flint Roadsters were ever built. It is unknown how many remain but this car is entirely original (although the tires look to have been replaced). It spent much of its life in storage and would need a thorough mechanical overhaul to become roadworthy. It should sell for between $34,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,273.


1910 Star 15HP Tourer

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Star Motor Company of Wolverhampton should not be confused with the entirely separate make that operated in the U.S. under the Durant Motors corporate umbrella. The English Star was active from 1898 through 1932. At one point Star was one of England’s largest automobile companies, peaking prior to WWI.

The 15HP model was built between 1909 and 1913 and was offered with a range of four-cylinder engines. This one was restored in the 1980s and is a driver. It should bring between $55,000-$63,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $42,024.


1927 Voisin C12 Tourer by R. Duvivier

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Voisin automobiles are fascinating. Gabriel Voisin is widely recognized as an engineering genius and his cars reflect that. Many of them feature Knight sleeve-valve engines, unique (and sometimes outrageous) coachwork and Jazz Age interiors.

The C12 was built between 1926 and 1933 and uses a 4.5-liter straight-six. Only 60 C12s were built and only three are known to survive. This is the only one that has a body on it (the other two are bare chassis). The body is by R. Duvivier of Levallois-Peret and has been meticulously restored (in 2004). It has covered nearly 2,000 miles since – meaning it’s ready for you to enjoy on the open road. It should cost its new owner between $310,000-$390,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Beaulieu sale lineup.

Update: Sold $334,825.

1909 Belsize Tourer

1909 Belsize 14/16HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams
Photo – Bonhams

Belsize was an English manufacturer that was around from 1902 through 1925. They were known for their small cars – some used two or three cylinder engines. This car is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 14/16 horsepower. The model was produced from 1909 through 1913.

This is the oldest known four-cylinder Belsize (of 12 that still exist). This car has known ownership history from new and has been restored twice over its life, with the most recent restoration having been carried out nearly 30 years ago. It’s entirely roadworthy and would be a great tourer. It should sell for between $70,000-$86,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $55,402.

1910 Hotchkiss Roi-des-Belges

1910 Hotchkiss Type X6 Series 1 20/30HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | June 20, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This is an ornate machine. Look at that long barrel of an engine compartment and the extra long wheelbase (there is virtually no overhang on either end). It’s a classy automobile, that’s for sure.

Hotchkiss was founded in the 1860s by an American in Paris (or thereabouts) and the company lasted for nearly 100 years. Automobile building ended in the 1950s after over 50 years of production. This Type X6 an early example and it is proof that Hotchkiss built big, expensive cars. The engine is a 4.8-liter straight-six making 20/30 horsepower.

This car was saved from a scrapyard in Australia int he 1950s and the restoration you see here wasn’t completed until 1995. It’s a big, powerful Edwardian touring car – and it’s rare too. Only 27 Type X6s were built in 1910 (with an additional 51 being completed before the end of the model in 1912). Only two are thought to survive. It should bring between $120,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $144,286.

1911 Talbot Tourer

1911 Talbot Type M 15HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Offered by H&H Auctions | Droitwich Spa, England | December 3, 2014

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

This is a very big, very attractive old tourer from the British Talbot. Talbot began producing cars of their own design in 1906, having been assembling and selling French-designed cars since 1904 (since 1903 if you count the Clement-Talbot brand).

The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-four rated at 15 horsepower. The body shows nicely and it looks to be an older restoration (I say that because the interior looks really nice and there’s no way that leather is original).

This particular car was sold new in Australia and the Roi-des-Belges body was constructed locally by Isaac Phizackerley – not exactly a household name, but he did very nice work on this large and imposing early automobile. It can be yours for between $78,500-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $88,583.

Mercedes-Simplex Roi-des-Belges Tourer

1909 Mercedes-Simplex 35HP Roi-des-Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 30, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Wilhelm Maybach was a brilliant automotive engineer and he does not get the recognition today that he deserves. Unfortunately, today, his name is more likely associated with a short-lived, over-priced Benz driven by rappers than the brilliant cars he designed before WWII.

The Mercedes Simplex was his design. This 35HP model is from 1909, the last year for the model, and the penultimate year for the Simplex. The engine is a 5.9-liter straight-four driving the rear wheels via a shaft.

This car was used by a sheep station in Queensland, Australia. It was the station manager’s car from 1914 into the 1930s and was regularly used in the very-inhospitable Australian outback. The car was sold to another outback outpost where it remained until the 1980s. The beautiful restoration you see here was completed in 2010. It runs and drives and it’s simply incredible it survived such a harsh, early life. But that’s a testament to Maybach’s industrious design. It should sell for between $640,000-$960,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

A Beautiful Mors Roi des Belges

1904 Mors 24/32-HP Roi des Belges

Offered by Bonhams | Staplehurst, U.K. | June 14, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Emile Mors was a car guy. Why do I say that? Because he was one of the first people to see the benefit of auto racing and how it could both promote and innovate his business. He started his automobile company in 1895 and went racing in 1897. Veteran cars – those manufactured prior to 1905 – don’t come better than the one you see here.

And that’s because it’s a big-engined, big-powered car from a time when little one and two-cylinder runabouts ruled the sales landscape.The 24HP model was the largest Mors offered in 1904 and it uses a 5.5-liter four-cylinder engine. This particular car can seat up to seven people in the large, luxurious convertible body.

This car has known history since 1938 when it first entered the collector car arena. It has been owned by only two families since, and Michael Banfield acquired it in 1975. This car is offered from his collection – as is this entire sale. It is unmistakably the highlight of the collection, with its fresh (as of 2004) paint and refurbishment. It is expected to sell for between $840,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this interesting sale.

Update: Not sold.

Vulcan Touring Car

1908 Vulcan 20HP Roi-des-Belges

Offered by Bonhams | Oxford, U.K. | December 9, 2013

1908 Vulcan 20HP Roi-des-Belges

There were a couple of Vulcan automobile companies active in the early part of the 20th Century. The car you see here comes from the Vulcan Motor & Engineering Company, which was founded in 1902 in Lancashire, England. And it was the longest-lasting “Vulcan” – the company stopped building passenger cars in 1928 to focus on commercial vehicles and truck production ran through 1953 when it was stopped as the company was under control of the Rootes Group.

Thomas and Joseph Hampson’s first Vulcan was a single-cylinder model, but the model range soon proliferated. This car uses a 3.9-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower. The engine is clean and largely original. This car was delivered new to Australia and didn’t return home to the U.K. until 1989.

Vulcan motor cars are pretty rare today and this one has been recently repainted and the upholstery was recently redone. It’s very drivable and comes with a trailer! It can be bought for somewhere in the neighborhood of $97,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $126,479.

Pierce “Great Arrow”

1905 Pierce 28/32 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2013

1905 Pierce 2832 Five-Passenger Roi-des-Belges Great Arrow

George N. Pierce’s automobile company began building internal-combustion automobiles in 1901. In 1903, a two-cylinder model was introduced and it was known as the Arrow. In 1904, Pierce shifted focus to larger, more luxurious cars – these were referred to as Great Arrows and, initially, they used four-cylinder engines. In 1908, Pierce became Pierce-Arrow.

This Great Arrow uses a 24/28hp straight-four of 3.8-liters. Six-cylinder engines would be used from 1907. This is an early Great Arrow with cast aluminium bodywork that was at least five years ahead of its time.

This particular car was discovered during World War II and restored – or “recommissioned” – under the ownership of Henry Austin Clark. In the 1990s, he sold it to another owner via the Imperial Palace Collection. This is the first time this car has ever come up for public sale. The car is in its 1950s restoration state. The seats are original, the paint 60+ years old. The engine was overhauled in the last 15 years.

The Great Arrow is the car that set Pierce on the path to becoming one of the most legendary luxury car manufacturers of all time. It is expected to sell for between $170,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Connecticut.

Update: Sold $243,100.