Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023
Hispano-Suiza’s French arm opened as a remote factory in 1911, and by the end of WWI, it was their main production facility, especially for their largest, most expensive cars. In 1931, the company took over Ballot, and with that, they introduced a model called the Ballot HS26, except that the departing Ernest Ballot objected to his name being used. So the Hispano-Suiza HS26 was born.
Also referred to, at least in Artcurial’s catalog, as the “Junior”, it was smaller than the company’s concurrent models in 1931: the J12 and T56. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-six good for 96 horsepower. Just 124 examples were built through 1934.
This car was bodied as a four-seat, four-door pillarless sedan by French coachbuilder Vanvooren. Its interior was upholstered by its first owner, a leather company. The car was hidden during WWII and wasn’t really recommissioned until the 1960s. Only 13 HS26s are known to still exist, and despite their “junior” status, their still command a big price. In this case: $305,000-$395,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 26, 2023
The 501 was BMW’s first new post-war car, as everything it sold up to this point was based on pre-war designs. Amazingly, this first fresh post-war car went on sale in late 1952. It was produced for a decade (although six-cylinder cars were only available through 1958) and in a few different body styles, including as a sedan, coupe, and cabriolet.
There were also various variants, including versions marketed as the BMW 2.6, 2600, and 501 V8. The 502 went on sale in 1954, just after the introduction of this, the 501 V8.
The 501 V8 was powered by a 2.6-liter V8. The difference between this model and the similarly powered 502 was that the 502 was a more luxurious car. Otherwise, they were mostly the same. Just 5,914 examples of the 501 V8/501 2.6/501 2600 were built through 1962. This restored example is expected to fetch between $90,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | December 3, 2022
The Lancia Augusta was a small car produced by the company between 1933 and 1936. Offered mainly as a four-door sedan, the car was also built at Lancia’s French factory. French-built cars were called the Belna and could be had with fancy coachbuilt bodies.
Power is from a 1.2-liter V4 rated at 35 horsepower. In all, 17,217 Augustas were built before the model was replaced by the Ardea. Despite its entry-level-ness, the Augusta never really took off in Italy, and it’s sales numbers were dwarfed by the Fiat 508 Balilla.
This one was restored in the 1970s and has known history dating back to the ’60s. Another mechanical refresh was carried out in 2012, though the car is said to need a little recommissioning before use. It has an estimate of $14,000-$17,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 4-15, 2022
E.L. Cord’s 810 (for 1936 and 812 for 1937) remains a pretty remarkable car. An early front-wheel-drive car, it featured an independent front suspension and was offered in a variety of body styles. Superchargers were also an option.
This naturally aspirated sedan is powered by a 4.7-liter Lycoming V8 that was rated at 125 horsepower. Shifting is through a four-speed pre-selector transaxle where you select the gear you want and then hit the clutch, which completes an electrical circuit, which then completes the shift. Fancy stuff.
The Westchester sedan was the most common version of the 810/812. It featured a fastback body style. There was also a Beverly sedan, which featured a bustle back trunk. The auction catalog calls this a Westchester, but it has a bustle back trunk. So it’s a Beverly… unless it’s a Westchester that has been modified later on. But it also seems to have a Westchester’s interior. At any rate, you can read more about it here.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2022
There have been some great Duesenberg sedans coming out of the woodwork this year. This four-door sedan features blind rear quarters (no rearward side windows), which was sometimes called a Club Sedan. Derham called theirs the “Arlington,” which sounds much more dignified.
Five Derham Arlington sedans were built, four of them on the short-wheelbase Model J chassis like this one. And power came from a 6.9-liter inline-eight rated at 265 horsepower. This one was purchased new by a Peruvian singer who likely kept it at his New York home before taking it to other countries. It later spent time under ownership in Paris and Cairo. Exotic.
The car came back to the U.S. in 1957. It has not been restored but was apparently repainted at least once, though it isn’t made all that clear in the catalog when that happened. No estimate is available, but you can read more here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
The front-wheel-drive Ruxton was designed by William Muller at Budd. A board member of Budd, a coachbuilding company, was also on the Hupmobile board. But no one else at Hupp wanted any part of the car. So that board member, Archie Andrews, set up New Era Motors, which traded the rights to the design for a controlling interest in Moon. Then Muller was installed as Moon chairman.
Moon then went out business, and next came down Kissel. And before long, the Ruxton was gone. The cars were powered by a 4.4-liter Continental inline-eight that made 100 horsepower. This example is said to be the first sedan built by the company and was used as a promo car. It features the well-known graduated/rainbow paint scheme. It also has Woodlite headlights. So major bonus points there.
Most Ruxtons are known as Model Cs. Why this one is a Model A is not laid out in the catalog, but maybe because it was the first one. It’s got an estimate of $200,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.
1941 American Bantam Model 65 Riviera Convertible Sedan
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 2, 2022
The Austin Seven is the car that put Britain on wheels. It was licensed in different parts of the world, including by Rosengart in France and the less-creatively named American Austin in… America. American Austin launched in 1929, with the first cars sold as 1930 models. So, not great timing, even though they were relatively cheap.
Bankruptcy followed in 1935. Three years later the company relaunched as American Bantam with revised streamlined styling. Bantam sales continued through 1941, with finances being tight the whole time. American Bantam designed the original Jeep prototype, although they didn’t survive long enough to actually produce it. And today Willys gets all the credit.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four rated at 22 horsepower. The Riviera Convertible Sedan was offered in 1940 and 1941 only and retailed for $525. This restored example is one of about 6,000-7,000 American Bantams produced in total. Click here for more info.
1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy
For Sale by Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri
As far as Model Js go – especially four-door examples – this is a pretty great one. The two-tone burgundy paintwork and non-supercharged (internal) exhaust makes for a very clean, elegant look. A body by the Walter M. Murphy Company on a long-wheelbase chassis certainly doesn’t hurt.
Power is from a 6.9-liter Lycoming inline-eight that made 265 horsepower when new. The car was purchased new by Lew Wallace Jr., grandson of the author of Ben-Hur. Interestingly, Hyman refers to this as the “Ben-Hur Duesenberg.” Imagine being defined by a book your grandfather wrote. Apparently such extravagances were not doing the Wallace family any favors, as they had to sell the Duesenberg for a ’32 Ford sedan during the Depression.
This chassis retains its original engine, body, and firewall. The engine was rebuilt in the late 1990s, and the paintwork dates to the 1950s. The car is for sale in St. Louis with a listed price between $1.4 and $1.5 million. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | September 25, 2021
Excalibur sort of invented the neo classic. The first Excaliburs were actually produced in 1952 and looked nothing like this. They were sports cars based on a Henry J chassis. The whole endeavor was a series of false starts. The ones we all know first went on sale in the mid-1960s, and they remained in production under a few different corporate umbrellas up until about 1990. They spawned countless look-a-likes, such as Zimmer, Clenet, Tiffany, and more.
Styling was originally reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SSK and was penned by Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. Studebaker went out of business, so SS Automobiles was set up in Milwaukee in 1965. That company gave way to Excalibur Automobile Corporation in 1986 after a bankruptcy. It was owned by the Stevens family, and that’s where the Series V came from. It was offered as a sedan and limousine.
This car is powered by a V8, likely from Ford. Excaliburs aren’t something you see everyday, but the sedan versions are especially uncommon. This one is expected to sell for between $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Anglia Car Auctions | Online | Feburary 27-28, 2021
Today, the barely-alive Lancia only produces badge-engineered versions of cars from other manufacturers, namely, Fiat (they’ve only made one model since 2016). You might think that this car was the start of it all, but it isn’t. It was actually designed by Lancia before they were taken over by Fiat.
The car was production-ready in 1969, the same year Fiat took control of the brand. It was never supposed to go on sale because it was expensive to build, but once Fiat realized Lancia had nothing else in the hopper, they launched it anyway in 1971. Production would continue through 1974. Both sedans and coupes were offered.
I actually quite like the look of the sedan, which is powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four (weird, right?) that made 126 horsepower when fuel injected. The injected engine, which this car has, also got an extra speed in the gearbox for a total of five. Only 14,319 sedans were built, and this 66,000-mile example should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.