1912 Simplex

1912 Simplex Model 38 Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 15, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The “Three Ps” of Packard, Peerless, and Pierce-Arrow get all of the glory as America’s best early cars. But there were some pretty good “S”s too. And Simplex was foremost among them. Between 1907 and 1914, Simplex turned out some of the greatest cars you could buy at the time. For 1915, they became Crane-Simplex (or Simplex Crane).

The Model 38 sat at the lower end of the 1912 and 1913 Simplex lineup. Powered by a 38 horsepower, 7.8-liter inline-four, the cars could be had in two wheelbases. The car you see here is the short wheelbase at 127″. It’s a four-passenger touring car, which would’ve cost $4,850 when new. That was a lot in 1912.

The body appears to be a replacement, as it is described as being “in the style of Holbrook.” It also has kind of a funky inward lean to it, but I think it may just be an odd photo angle. Completely restored, this is a useable brass era car, with enough power to comfortably use on tours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1910 Simplex

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau by Holbrook

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau

Simplex is a name that was used a lot in the early days of motoring. There were numerous companies with similar sounding names – and why not, the Simplex you see here was one of the standards of the world. Why not try to get someone confused and end up buying your off-brand Simplex instead?

Simplex began life as Smith & Mabley in New York – importing European cars for sale. Then they tried building their own car based on the Mercedes-Simplex – which didn’t work either. 1907 brought a change at the top of the company and a new model was designed. It was still similar to the Mercedes-Simplex, but had a bigger engine. This car uses a monstrous 9.8-liter T-head straight-four making 50 horsepower. It features dual-chain drive which is a sight to behold if you’ve never seen a car like this in action.

Simplex was one of the very top cars ever built. They had power, luxury, comfort, and speed all wrapped into one expensive package (about $6,000 in 1910). This car apparently has known ownership history from new and has been owned by some major collectors. Bonhams calls it “the definitive” Simplex. It’s certainly impressive. Only about 250 of these were built and this one should bring a big $1,000,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Did not sell.

RM 2012 Hershey Highlights

RM Auctions’ 2012 sale in Hershey, Pennsylvania had a bunch of really old, really cool cars for sale. We featured the cream of the crop (at least from our perspective) and most of those sold. The one-of-a-kind South Bend Surrey failed to sell. So did the Stanley Mountain Wagon and 1915 Peerless. The top sale went to the Barrelside Model J Duesenberg for $1,292,500. Our other featured Duesenberg, the Murphy Sport Sedan, was the second-biggest sale at $792,000. One of the interesting cars we didn’t get a chance to feature was this 1914 Jeffrey Four Five-Passenger Touring that sold for $40,700.

1914 Jeffrey Four Five-Passenger Touring

One big seller was a horse-drawn fire wagon. There were three of these at this sale, but this was far exceeded the other two, at $396,000. It’s an 1894 Silsby Fourth Size Horse-Drawn Steam Pumper. It was pretty decked out and everyone seemed happy when it sold.

1894 Silsby Fourth Size Horse-Drawn Steam Pumper

Other interesting sales included this 1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout. There’s something about the tires on this thing that make it look like it’s ready to go tackle some trails somewhere. It sold for $85,250.

1912 Baker Electric Model W Runabout

Other alternative-propulsion vehicles included our featured 1900 Milwaukee Steam Runabout for $44,000. The 1906 Pope-Waverley Electric Runabout brought $60,500. And the 1906 Columbus Model 1000 Electric Stanhope sold for $52,250. This 1913 Simplex 38HP Five-Passenger Touring, while not electric or steam-powered, was still cool at $214,500.

As was this 1910 White Model G-A Five-Passenger Touring that sold for $66,000.

There was an interesting selection of American cars from the 1950s and 60s that included this very rare 1966 Studebaker Daytona Sport, which sold for only $10,450.

Kaiser and Frazer were also represented. This 1949 Kaiser Deluxe Convertible sold for $57,200.

1949 Kaiser Deluxe Convertible

And this 1950 Frazer Manhattan sedan brought $49,500.

This 1903 Ford Model A Rear-Entry Tonneau is the oldest known Ford in existence being  one of the first three cars built by the Ford Motor Company. It came from the John O’Quinn  collection and sold for $264,000.

1903 Ford Model A Rear-Entry Tonneau

As many old Fords as you see at auctions, you don’t see too many pre-1920 Chevrolets. This sale had one and its a great looking car. It’s a 1918 D-Series V-8 Touring car and it sold for $46,200.

1918 Chevrolet D-Series V8 Touring

Our featured 1918 Roamer Five-Passenger Touring car sold for $93,500. And the 1920 Premier Model 6-D sold for $63,250. This 1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo seemed especially cheap at $49,500.

1919 Renault Type EU Torpedo

Another car I found interesting was this 1910 Metz Two Runabout. It also sold for $49,500.

1910 Metz Two Runabout

Our other two feature cars were the 1902 Northern Runabout for $66,000 and the 1906 American Tourist Roi des Belges Touring for $110,000. For complete results, check out RM’s website, here.

The Oldest Simplex

1908 Simplex 50 Speedcar Roadster

Offered by Mecum Auctions | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

The Simplex Automobile Company was born out of the failure of Smith & Mabley, which began importing and building cars in 1904 under the name S&M Simplex. After their bankruptcy in 1906, the remnants of Smith & Mabley were purchased by Herman Broesel who formed Simplex.

The first Simplex cars were, like the one you see here, massive cars, whose bare chassis with engine cost $4,500. The engine was a 10.0-liter four-cylinder – which, I think, means you can hear each individual revolution of the engine. It also has double-chain drive, which is a really amazing thing to see when one of these drives past you. Simplex was one of – if not the – last company to use chain drive on their cars. The company morphed into Crane-Simplex when they were bought out in 1917.

The restoration on this car can be described as “fresh,” having covered only 200 miles since completion. This is the earliest Simplex known to exist and cars like this are capable of fetching prices near $500,000, but no estimate has been published. For more info, click here. And for the rest of Mecum’s Monterey lineup, click here.

Update: Sold $1,900,000.