Sears Model K

1909 Sears Model K

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

Photo – Bonhams

It may seem strange today in a world of store closings and impending bankruptcies, but Sears was once a titan among businesses. So big, in fact, that they decided to sell cars under their own name between 1908 and 1912.

Highwheelers were their specialty and this 1909 Model K is likely identical to the Model K they offered in 1910 through 1912. The major difference being that the 1.8-liter flat-twin only produced 10 horsepower in this early form.

Model differentiation came in the form of options. In this case, the Model K received mudguards, a convertible top, running boards, and cushioned tires. Price when new? $475. Price today? Between $21,000-$28,000. This one has been in a Belgian collection since 1978. You can find out more about it here and more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $22,181.

Sears Model J

1909 Sears Model J

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you think it’s crazy that people ordered a car from a catalog, it isn’t – people buy cars sight unseen on the internet every day. And don’t worry, Sears had a 10-day return policy on their rugged automobiles. Sears sold cars between 1908 and 1912 and most of them looked pretty similar, but there were a number of different models.

This Model J looks similar to this Model H we’ve featured before. It, like all other 1909 Sears motor buggies, is powered by a 10 horsepower, flat-twin. What separates the J from lesser models is the fact that it has running boards.

When new, this car cost $395 – or roughly 51 shares of modern day Sears stock. They sold nearly 3,500 cars in that five model year period and quite a few are still around as they were relatively well-built and sturdy. Unfortunately, the entire experiment was a financial failure for Sears. You can click here for more info on this car and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $35,200.

Five Pre-1910 Cars

1909 Sears Model H

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If you didn’t know that American’s legendary department store catalog offered automobiles, well here’s your history lesson. Between 1908 and 1912, Sears sold cars (high wheelers for the most part because the target audience were rural Americans who ordered things from catalogs). They did it again for a few years in the 1950s with the Allstate.

The Model H uses a 10 horsepower flat-twin and was identical to the 1908 model. The lineup started at model G and ran to the Model L, with each successive letter adding a few more creature comforts and/or styling bits. The restoration here is over a decade old but it is a perfect runner, as Sears’ cars were definitely rugged and reliable. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $24,750.


1907 Victor Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Here’s an interesting one. The lot description makes it seem like there is a little uncertainty as to which of the many Victor automobile marques this is actually related to. Some historical work was carried out and it was determined that this is related to the Overman company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, who produced the Victor Steam car between 1899 and 1903. Our sources don’t show production after 1903, so I’ll take RM’s word for it (they’re pretty smart).

It is powered by a 15 horsepower flat-twin and the restoration dates back to 1967. An early car without a crystal clear birth certificate is always interesting. This car will be a talking point wherever it goes and the new owner will have something absolutely unique and fun. It should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,000.


1903 Pierce Model 6.5 Stanhope

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This pre-Arrow Pierce is one of the oldest cars on offer during the Hershey festivities this year. This car is concurrently referred to as a “Fourth Model”, a Model 6-6½, and a Single-Cylinder Stanhope. Pierce offered three models in 1903, and this was the mid-range product.

The engine is a single-cylinder, 6.5-horsepower unit. It has single-family ownership back to 1948. The car was never completely restored, just brought up to good-looking usable condition around 1948. It is usable today. Less than 150 off these were built and this one could bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,750.


1903 Columbus Electric Folding-Top Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

One great thing about the early days of automobiles is that there were just so many companies. And some names re-appear multiple times but separately. Columbus is one such name. There were at least four different Columbus makes (not including Columbia). At least two of them built electric cars at some point. This Columbus, Ohio-built example is from the Columbus Buggy Company who built electric cars between 1903 and 1915.

The 1903 through 1905 Folding-Top Runabout was the only model offered by the company. It is powered by a low-power DC electric motor. It’s simple, pretty, and basically, an historical artifact. Only bits of this car have actually been redone, meaning it is partly original. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1908 Holsman High-Wheel Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Holsman of Chicago built high-wheelers between 1902 and 1910. Quite a few of them remain, which is fortunate because as you can see, they can actually be quite pretty. Look how big those wheels are! The black paint is nice and shiny with gorgeous red pin striping.

Holsman offered four models in 1908, all high-wheelers. They were all powered by a 12.8 horsepower 1.6-liter flat-twin. Three of the models were Runabouts – models 5, 9, and 10. It is unclear which of these models this car represents, as well as what the difference between those model designations even is. What a good-looking car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $38,500.

Sears Model H

1909 Sears Model H

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's
Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If you didn’t know that American’s legendary department store catalog offered automobiles, well here’s your history lesson. Between 1908 and 1912, Sears sold cars (high wheelers for the most part because the target audience were rural Americans who ordered things from catalogs). They did it again for a few years in the 1950s with the Allstate.

The Model H uses a 10 horsepower flat-twin and was identical to the 1908 model. The lineup started at model G and ran to the Model L, with each successive letter adding a few more creature comforts and/or styling bits. The restoration here is over a decade old but it is a perfect runner, as Sears’ cars were definitely rugged and reliable. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $24,750.

February 2015 Auction Highlights Pt. II

First up in this rundown is Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro sale where this 1993 Jaguar XJ220 was the to sale at $287,595.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Our feature car from this sale, the Alfa Romeo SZ, sold for a strong $130,805. Click here for full results.

Up next is H&H Auctions’ Pavilion Gardens sale. The top sale was this 1967 Mercedes-Benz 250SL for $84,950.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

We didn’t get to feature a car from this sale, but this 1956 Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire 346 is kinda pretty. It sold for only $9,660. Check out full results here.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

The next auction we’re covering is Mecum’s sale of the Rogers’ Classic Car Museum. The top sale here was this 1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Mulliner Drophead Coupe for $320,000. Our featured Nash Special Six sold for $17,000. Click here for complete results of some very interesting and rare pre-and-post-war American convertibles.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Now we have something a little different. Bonhams held an auction in Oxford that consisted largely of Victorian carriages. It was all from a single private collection and the big seller was this c.1835 Traveling Landau by Adams & Hooper. It went for $376,416.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

There were three early motorized horseless carriages also on offer. The top seller among those was this 1911 Sears Model P for $31,431. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Finally, Coys’ Spring Classics sale was held March 11th. The top sale was this 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. It sold for $236,800.

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Our featured Lotus 59 did not sell. Check out full results here.

A Pair of 1910 Sears Motorcars

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Mail-order automobiles might seem like a ludicrous idea – but think about eBay. People buy cars, sight unseen, every minute online. So maybe Sears was just way ahead of the game. Between 1906 and 1911, you could order a variety of cars from Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogs.

They were built in Chicago (where this car has spent a large part of its life in the Museum of Science and Industry) and this model is a high-wheeler. The increased ride height was great news for rural Americans whose roads were rugged. Buying from a catalog was probably their best bet as well – as they bought just about everything else from Sears too.

The most this car has going for it is that it is an original Sears chassis. The engine is missing, as is the transmission, and the body is described as “not an accurate recreation.” That doesn’t make it that much less interesting. It could still command between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850.

______________________________________________________________

1910 Sears Model P Four-Passenger Motorbuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model P Four Passenger Motorbuggy

Here’s another Sears automobile – and this one’s a runner. It’s also a little more practical as it has a roof, four seats and a more traditional layout. But where’s the engine? It’s under the seats. It’s a 1.8-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. You’d think, with automakers chasing perfect weight distribution, that someone would try to mount a flat engine underneath the passenger compartment today – but “necessities” like air conditioning make that unlikely, and this car obviously didn’t have to worry about air conditioning.

It’s chain-driven, has solid rubber tires and tiller steering. This was the largest car Sears built (and is the rarest today). They cost between $325-$485 out of the catalog. Every car they sold was sold at a loss – a solid business plan that might explain why only 3,500 Sears-branded motorcars were built in the five short years they were available.

This car entered Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in 1972 and was sold from there by Bonhams in 2008. It’s actually a pretty cool car for as basic as it appears. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ awesome lineup at the Simeone Foundation.

Update: Sold $38,500.

Sears Model G

1910 Sears Model G Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model G Runabout
Photo – Bonhams

Mail-order automobiles might seem like a ludicrous idea – but think about eBay. People buy cars, sight unseen, every minute online. So maybe Sears was just way ahead of the game. Between 1906 and 1911, you could order a variety of cars from Sears, Roebuck & Company catalogs.

They were built in Chicago (where this car has spent a large part of its life in the Museum of Science and Industry) and this model is a high-wheeler. The increased ride height was great news for rural Americans whose roads were rugged. Buying from a catalog was probably their best bet as well – as they bought just about everything else from Sears too.

The most this car has going for it is that it is an original Sears chassis. The engine is missing, as is the transmission, and the body is described as “not an accurate recreation.” That doesn’t make it that much less interesting. It could still command between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850.

Sears Motorbuggy

1910 Sears Model P Four-Passenger Motorbuggy

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 7, 2013

1910 Sears Model P Four Passenger Motorbuggy

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s another Sears automobile – and this one’s a runner. It’s also a little more practical as it has a roof, four seats and a more traditional layout. But where’s the engine? It’s under the seats. It’s a 1.8-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. You’d think, with automakers chasing perfect weight distribution, that someone would try to mount a flat engine underneath the passenger compartment today – but “necessities” like air conditioning make that unlikely, and this car obviously didn’t have to worry about air conditioning.

It’s chain-driven, has solid rubber tires and tiller steering. This was the largest car Sears built (and is the rarest today). They cost between $325-$485 out of the catalog. Every car they sold was sold at a loss – a solid business plan that might explain why only 3,500 Sears-branded motorcars were built in the five short years they were available.

This car entered Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry in 1972 and was sold from there by Bonhams in 2008. It’s actually a pretty cool car for as basic as it appears. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ awesome lineup at the Simeone Foundation.

Update: Sold $38,500.