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.

Ruxton Sedan

1931 Ruxton Model C Sedan

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2013

The idea for the Ruxton came from Archie Andrews, who was on the board of Hupmobile. He named the car after William Ruxton, an investor he was hoping to attract to the car. Ruxton said no and sued for the use of his name. It didn’t matter – Ruxton was founded in 1929 and was out of business by early 1931.

The car was designed and backed by New Era Motors Inc of New York City. While the design was original, the company lacked the capital to undertake production themselves. The cars ended up being built in one of two locations: either at the Moon plant in St. Louis or by Kissel in Hartford, Wisconsin. It was a front-wheel-drive car – aimed directly at Cord – that used a 100 horsepower 4.4-liter Continental straight-eight engine.

The design was sleek and sporty looking – it lacked running boards and its rakish design made it look quick while their paint schemes were intended to make them look longer. The headlights are some of the coolest on any car ever (called Woodlight headlights) – although they don’t provide much light – make sure you’re home by dusk!

Moon went bankrupt before production really got going and Ruxton tried a hostile takeover of Kissel and the Kissel family shut their business down to prevent it – forcing Ruxton out of business after production had been underway for only four months. Only 300 to 500 cars were built. Two were Phaetons, one was a Town Car and the rest were split between Sedans and Roadsters. Only 19 total are known to still exist, only eight of those being sedans. This is a very rare car and it’s one of the best Depression-era cars and one of the greatest American cars ever built. You can read more here and see more from Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, here.

Update: Sold $275,000.