Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 12-19, 2020
Sweet watermark. The Westcott Carriage Company was based in Richmond, Indiana, beginning in 1895. They didn’t build their first car until 1909, and it was a simple buggy. The following year they launched right into the production of a four-cylinder car. Westcotts were assembled cars, meaning they were built using off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.
They relocated to Springfield, Ohio, in 1916 and continued building cars through 1925. The C-48 was offered in 1920 and 1921, and it was the larger of the two models offered in each of those years. It is powered by a 51-horsepower inline-six and was actually less powerful than the smaller Model C-38 that was sold alongside.
Three body styles were offered, and this seven-passenger sedan is one of 1,850 Westcotts of all types built in 1920. It was actually used as the mayor’s car on Boardwalk Empire. It is now offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020
Franklin, whose air-cooled cars first hit the market in 1903, decided to move slightly upmarket in the early 1930s with the introduction of a V12 model. This was bad timing, as the economy had crashed, and engineering an entirely new engine was a big financial outlay, one that would not be recouped. Franklin was gone after 1934.
Another thing that happened in the early 1930s was that Franklin switched from “Model 123” nomenclature to actually giving their models names. The Airman was introduced in 1932 and was joined by the Olympic in 1933. The Airman was their only product in 1932, and it was offered in a variety of body styles. Power came from a 4.5-liter air-cooled inline-six making 100 horsepower.
Franklin was America’s most successful manufacturer of air-cooled cars, and this later model is a rarity. This car appears largely original and carries an estimate of $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Statesman was actually a standalone brand offered by General Motors in Australia. They were available from 1971 through 1984 and were sold through Holden dealerships. Statesmans (Statesmen?) were big cars that were better appointed than their Holden counterparts.
This is an HZ Statesman, which is the fourth generation. It was introduced in 1977 and was replaced in 1980. Two models were offered during this generation: DeVille and the Caprice. The car is powered by a 5.0-liter V8.
Equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, a crushed velour interior, and a Radial Tuned Suspension. Statesmans are rarely seen outside of Australia, making this a great chance to grab one and export it. This car is expected to bring between $13,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Voisin built some fantastic luxury cars during its existence. At some point, Gabriel Voisin realized that he would have to build some volume models in order to survive. In 1921, he launched a small sedan called the C4.
It evolved into the C4 S in 1924, and that model lasted through 1926. It is powered by a 1.3-liter sleeve-valve inline-four that made 33 horsepower. This car is said to wear unique bodywork that is quite squared off at the front and more aerodynamic out back.
The car has been in this collection since 1968 and has not been used in recent years. It probably needs a little re-commissioning, but it’ll make for a cheap entry into Voisin ownership with a pre-sale estimate of $28,000-$39,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 18, 2020
Marmon is an automobile marque that usually summons images of fancy speedsters, 16-cylinder coachbuilt classics, or the yellow Wasp that won the first Indy 500. But they also had to churn out cars like this, the Model 68, to stay afloat.
It was the “baby” Marmon for 1928, slotting in below larger, more powerful cars like the Model 78 and Model 75. It was powered by a 42 horsepower inline-eight, and only three factory body styles were offered, including this sedan that was advertised for $1,395 when new. It was the least expensive Marmon that year.
The Model 68 remained in production for 1929, but that car received a big power boost. This right-hand-drive example has been in the U.K. for a long time, probably since new. It should now sell for between $40,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15, 2020
I feel like it’s been a while since a Model J Duesenberg crossed the block. Here we have what was probably a very common version of the car: the sedan. Many Model Js have had their bodies swapped out for either reproductions or real-deal period bodies lifted from other cars.
Usually, these upgrades took the form of going to a dual cowl phaeton or some kind of two-door convertible. But there were plenty of rich people during the Depression that just wanted the best sedan money could buy. And, in this case, Willoughby was happy to deliver.
This car carries engine number J-350, which is a 6.9-liter straight-eight good for 265 horsepower. It is selling at no reserve, and will likely be a great way for someone to get into Model J ownership, as the sedans don’t carry the same values as the convertibles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 5-7, 2019
The “sharknose” Graham was introduced for 1938 and it was a pretty radical design. The design lasted into 1940, and four models were offered in 1939: the Model 96 (which could be had in Special or Custom form) and the Type 97 (which was available in base or Custom form). Both Type 97 models were supercharged.
The 3.6-liter inline-six featured a Graham-designed supercharger that allowed for about 115 horsepower. The auction catalog does not note that this car is supercharged, but if it were a Model 97 from the factory, it would’ve been.
As great as the cars look today, they weren’t strong sellers when new. Graham managed to move only about 3,600 units in 1939. By 1940, they switched to producing the Hollywood, but the company was doomed. You can see more about this car here, and more from this sale here.
Offered by Osenat | Chassieu, France | November 10, 2019
Edouard Ballot got his start building engines. He even worked with Ettore Bugatti early in Bugatti’s career. Maurice Ballot later joined his brother, and Etablissements Ballot SA was formed in 1910. Engines were their main business until 1919 when they started building cars.
The company went racing right off the bat, competing in the 1919 Indy 500, as well as the Targa Florio, French Grand Prix, and more. More luxury-oriented cars followed, including the 1927 Type RH, which became the RH3 in 1929. The engine is a 3.0-liter inline-eight. This one was sold new in Marseilles and carries a fabric sedan body, which may be from Weymann.
Ballots are around but aren’t very common – especially those with big engines and nice coachwork. This example should sell for between $70,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019
1906 White Model F Touring
Thomas White‘s sewing machine business gave way to steam cars in 1900. The company was a pioneer in their field, but they ultimately saw the light and phased out steam cars in favor of gas-powered vehicles in 1912.
This 1906 Model F Touring was the second-cheapest car White offered in 1906 after the Model F Runabout. At $2,800, it wasn’t cheap. But the White was one of the more popular – and more well-built – steam cars of their day. This one looks great but would look better with a convertible top. It should bring between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $96,250.
1917 Chandler Type 17 Seven-Passenger Touring
Frederic Chandler worked for Lozier before he jumped ship in 1913 with a few of his fellow employees to form his own company. The Chandler was a hit and lasted through 1929, when it was acquired by Hupmobile and quickly phased out.
There were a lot of cars “in the middle” of the American market in the 1910s and 20s. Chandler was one of the better ones in that class. This 1917 model is powered by a 27 horsepower 4.4-liter inline-six. Five body styles were offered, and the seven-passenger touring sold new for $1,395. This time around it should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $18,700.
1923 Gardner Model 5 Five-Passenger Sedan
The most interesting thing about this Gardner sedan, to me, is thinking about who purchased it in 1923. No one in 1923 knew that GM, Chrysler, and Ford would still be around 100 years later. But surely someone assumed Gardner would’ve been. After all, it was a well-regarded company from St. Louis that built a fair number of cars. It’s just hard to imagine someone wandering down to their local Gardner dealer and plunking down the cash.
Gardners were built from 1920 through 1931, and the company sort of inched upmarket each year, with their final offerings bordering on luxury cars. Kind of like Chrysler. But back in ’23, they were just another middle-class marque. The Model 5 could be had in a few styles, the sedan selling for $1,365. It kind of looks like a taxi and is powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. But I bet it goes cheaper than that. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $13,200.
1930 Marquette Model 35 Five-Passenger Phaeton
GM’s “companion make” philosophy in the 1920s and 1930s gave us Pontiac and LaSalle. Both of which were relatively successful. In fact, Pontiac was so successful that GM killed off the brand that spawned it, Oakland. So they figured they’d give Buick a companion. And they did: Marquette.
It only lasted for a single model year. Six models were offered, all priced right at about $1,000. All Marquettes are powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six good for 67 horsepower. The Model 35 Phaeton sold for $1,020, and this is one of 889 such cars built.
In all, Marquette production totaled 35,007 before GM killed it off. This rare survivor should bring between $15,000-$25,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $15,950.
1933 Terraplane Deluxe Six Model KU Sedan
I was excited to feature an Essex. But I forgot that Hudson killed off the Essex marque in favor of Terraplane beginning in 1933. So instead of featuring a final-year example from Essex, we’re featuring a launch-year example of the Terraplane.
Terraplane offered six and eight-cylinder cars in 1933 that were essentially down-market Hudsons. A slew of body styles were offered, and the sedan cost $655 when new. A 3.2-liter inline-six good for 70 horsepower provided the oomph. This is a handsome car in good colors. It’s well-trimmed, with chrome bumpers and four suicide doors. The best part is it is usable and is expected to fetch only $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019
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.