Hudson Sport Phaeton

1929 Hudson Model L Dual-Cowl Sport Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 2024

Photo – Bonhams

Hudson was one of a very small percentage of U.S. automakers to make it both through the Depression and come out the other side of WWII. In fact, they lasted from 1909 through 1957, by which time they had merged with Nash to form AMC. Hudsons were never top-tier luxury cars, but during the ’20s and ’30s, they introduced entry-level brands, which allowed Hudson to inch farther upmarket.

Which is how this coachbuilt Model L came to be. The Sport Phaeton bodywork is from Biddle & Smart, who built all bodies for the Model L, which was Hudson’s flagship offering in 1929. Power is from a 4.7-liter inline-six rated at 92 horsepower. Hudson was America’s #3 automaker behind Chevrolet and Ford in 1929.

Only 17 Phaetons were built in 1929, and just seven remain. The car has been restored to, interestingly, colors from a period Hudson advertisement. It’s a pretty slick car, and head and shoulders above what you could’ve got from Chevy or Ford in the same year. The estimate is $150,000-$180,000. Click here for more info.

V-16 Sport Phaeton

1930 Cadillac V-16 Series 452 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

When Cadillac was “the standard of the world,” their V-16 models were the standard among Cadillacs. These were some of the grandest cars money could buy at the dawn of the Depression, and they remain one of only a handful of sixteen-cylinder cars ever built.

The V-16 was introduced in 1930 in Series 452 form, as we have here. Over 50 body styles were offered. This car carries body style 4260, a dual-cowl sport phaeton that was produced by Fleetwood, which would officially become part of GM in 1931.

Displacing 7.4-liters, the V-16 made 175 horsepower in 1930. This car would’ve cost about $6,500 when new – a fortune in 1930. GM later said they lost money on every V-16 they built, though they managed to move 3,251 examples in 1930. Only 85 Sport Phaetons were built in 1930 and 1931 combined, an estimated 17 of which survive.

This example was sold new in Cleveland and has been restored twice. It will now sell in January at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,105,000.

Mercedes 10/40/65

1924 Mercedes 10/40/65PS Sport Phaeton

Offered by Bonhams | Stuttgart, Germany | July 12, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This pretty Mercedes touring car was built by Mercedes – before the “hyphen Benz.” In fact, it was produced just two years before Daimler (Mercedes’ controlling company) merged with The House that Karl Built in 1926.

The confusing model nomenclature used by Mercedes with the three numbers separated by slashes is like that for good reason: these were the first production cars fitted with superchargers and the numbers reflected the horsepower during various driving stages. The first number is the nominal horsepower (which was and is an outdated way of estimating power – it’s what they used for steam engines), the second number is the engine during normal operating procedure, and the third is when the supercharger is engaged.

So this 2.6-liter straight-four put out 40 horsepower – 65 when the “Kompressor” was engaged. It was the more powerful of the two four-cylinder cars Mercedes was producing at the time. My favorite part of the catalog entry for this car is that this car is currently owned by a collector of mainly post-war Mercedes and this car “does not fit his collection.” Must be a nice problem to have.

Only 851 10/40/65s were built. And this one should sell for between $610,000-$890,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.