1928 Tracta

1928 Tracta D2 Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

SA des Automobiles Tracta was a French car company founded by engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire in 1926. Tracta built some of the first successful front-wheel drive vehicles anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, business was never super profitable and Grégoire shuttered his company in 1934 to become a design consultant.

Interestingly, a front-wheel drive Tracta won its class at Le Mans in 1927 and continued to compete there through 1930. This car is powered by a 1.6-liter straight-four from SCAP. The body on this car looks really long, but it’s a two-door sports car and it is eligible for the Le Mans Classic.

This example was sold new in the U.K. – one of just a few ever sold there. It was restored (mostly, anyway – the interior looks original) in the 1980s while owned by a front-wheel drive specialist. It’s a driver and will be a talking point wherever it goes. Tractas were never built in large numbers and don’t change hands often. This one should bring between $64,000-$85,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $63,938.

Fiat Giannini 750 Sport

1950 Fiat Giannini 750 Sport by Lotti

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Giannini brothers opened a garage in 1885 and started servicing Itala cars in 1922. Shortly thereafter they got involved with racing which led them to a profitable business (that an offshoot of still exists today) wrenching on Fiats.

In the 1940s, the Giannini brothers were building some really solid engines. In fact, they set world speed records in a Fiat Topolino using their know-how. The car you see here was actually built by the Benedetti brothers of Florence and was bodied by Carrozzeria Lotti of the same town. The car was originally based around a Fiat 1100, but later the engine was swapped for a Giannini 750cc straight-four.

This car has period race history, including:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – 125th (with Carlo Chiti and a co-driver named Cioni)

The current owner has had this car since the early 1990s. It’s certainly one of a kind and even its name had to be created in order to tell what it is. It’s been completely restored and is likely eligible for historic events. It should bring between $270,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Alfa Freccia d’Oro

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Freccia d’Oro

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Milan, Italy | November 25-27, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s is liquidating a huge collection of cars in Italy this year. It was kind of a sudden announcement and the sale features over 800 lots. All of them have pre-sale estimates but very few of them have written lot descriptions. So any statements around the condition of this car are based on photos alone.

The Alfa Romeo 6C was built in a number of different series between 1927 and 1954. The 6C 2500 was built between 1938 and 1952 with the Freccia d’Oro (“Golden Arrow“) being the first model Alfa built after the war. It is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six making 90 horsepower, enough for a top speed of 96 mph. All were two-door sedans with a sloping rear end that were built in-house by Alfa Romeo.

It does not appear that this car has been restored as the interior is well worn. But the engine bay is very clean and the paint looks okay from a distance. Whether or not it runs we cannot say. Only 680 examples of this 6C were built between 1946 and 1951. It is expected that this one could bring between $70,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this gigantic sale.

Update: Sold $167,776.

REO Royale

1931 REO Royale Sport Victoria Coupe

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Aarhus, Denmark | May 28-29, 2016

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ransom E. Olds left Oldsmobile in 1905 after only eight years at the helm. He immediately founded REO which would actually last until 1975, producing only trucks after WWII. In the 1930s, many high-end American car companies were producing big, beautiful cars. REO wasn’t really known as a high-end company, but they jumped into that market with the Royale in 1931.

The model would last through 1934 and was offered in different body styles. The 1931 Model 35 range could be had as a Sedan, Victoria or four-passenger Coupe. It is powered by a 5.9-liter straight-eight making 125 horsepower. It’s no slouch when compared to its rivals. In fact, its styling is on par or better than some of its rivals.

This car was actually sold new in Denmark and was at one point actually used by the King (though it was never owned by the Royal Family). The current owner acquired it in 1981 and set about on a five year restoration. It is said that this is one of four such cars in Europe and it should sell for between $90,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, listed for $92,500.

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016


1951 Salmson G72 Coupe by Saoutchik

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Salmson, the French auto manufacturer, built cars up through 1957. They had a range of sedans and two-doors. This is a G72, a model introduced in 1950. Most G72s were sedans, but some of them were sent to coachbuilders for something a little more fancy. Power was supplied by a 2.3-liter straight-four.

This car was bodied by Saoutchik, the legendary French coachbuilder. It was repainted some 25 years ago but otherwise it is original. Only 254 of this series of the G72 were produced and this one carries a one-off body. It should bring between $175,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $207,019


1953 Renault Frégate Ondine Cabriolet by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Renault Frégate was Renault’s executive sedan that they built between 1951 and 1960. Estate wagons were available as well, under different names. Renault showed a convertible at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, but it never entered production. Later, three more examples were shown and two disappeared. It is believed this is the only survivor of those cars.

The body is actually made of some kind of polyester blend. We’re really not sure what that means, but the engine is likely a 2.0-liter straight-four. The restoration was completed in the 1990s and it is believed that this car was used by legendary French singer Edith Piaf in the 1950s. It is the only car like it and it should bring between $87,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $86,814.


1939 Graham-Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Graham brothers of Dearborn, Michigan, began producing their own trucks in 1922 after years of modifying Fords. That company was bought by Dodge in 1925 and the brothers joined Dodge’s board. But when Chrysler took over Dodge in 1928, the Graham brand was soon phased out. Good thing the brothers bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927.

So in 1928, the Graham-Paige marque was introduced. In 1938 they introduced a bold (and awesome) new style that they built in low quantities through 1941. After the war, the automotive portion of the company was acquired by Kaiser-Frazer (which never reintroduced the Graham-Paige automobile brand), but Graham-Paige, strangely, soldiered on as a real estate company into the 1960s before becoming the Madison Square Garden Corporation. Weird, huh?

Anyway, the Type 97 Supercharged was built in 1938 and 1939. It is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower. This car left Graham-Paige as a coupe (they didn’t offer a convertible) and made its way to France to be bodied by Pourtout in Paris. It may be the only such car with this body. It has been restored and should sell for between $165,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $186,985.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $770,000.


1949 Delahaye 135MS Coupe by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was one of their best models. It lasted (in some form) between 1935 and 1954. The 135MS was the sportiest version – sometimes it was a race car, and sometimes it was a road car. It was the final Delahaye car available for purchase before the brand was phased out.

Bodies for the car varied widely. This car, with its covered wheels and sort of boxy design, was styled by Ghia in Turin. It’s beautiful. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six making 120 horsepower. It was built for the Shah of Iran who owned it until the late 1950s when it went back to Europe. Since then it spent time in the Blackhawk Collection and the John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was carried out sometime in the early 1990s. It’s a wonderful car and one of three Delahaye 135s styled by Ghia. It should sell for between $210,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $180,307.


1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport by Dubos

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Talbot-Lago T26 Record was a car introduced by Talbot-Lago in 1946. In late 1947, a Grand Sport version was introduced, which included a more powerful 4.5-liter straight-six making 190 horsepower (in this form). Grand Sport cars (that weren’t race cars) were all sent out to coachbuilders to have some of the best designs of the period attached to them.

This one went to Carrossier Louis Dubos near Paris for this elegant cabriolet that, while originally black, looks glorious in white. Never completely restored, mechanical bits have been redone as needed. This is one of three T26s bodied by Dubos and the only Grand Sport to wear one of their bodies. It should sell for between $260,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $293,834.

1908 Sizaire-Naudin

1908 Sizaire-Naudin Type F1 8HP Sport

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Sizaire-Naudin was a French marque that existed between 1903 and 1921. The Sizaire name lived on for a few years after 1921 in a few different forms. The company was founded by brothers Georges and Maurice Sizaire and their friend Louis Naudin in Courbevoie.

The car features unique styling at the front. The engine cover has a cyclops-like design to it and the eight horsepower single-cylinder engine resides beneath. Microcars aside, single-cylinder cars (especially of this size) went out of favor by about 1904. Still, this car is capable of 49 mph.

Sold new in Nice, the car is as it would’ve been when it was new and has been restored as needed over time, with major work being carried out in the 1980s and around 2000. It’s a rare marque and a fine example that should bring between $70,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $133,561.

5 American Classics from Bonhams

1923 Dort 25-K Five-Passenger Sport Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Like Moon, Dort was an automobile manufacturer from the 1920s that featured solid rims on a lot of their cars. It was a company that was co-founded by Billy Durant (and Josiah Dort) as the Flint Road Cart Company in the 1880s. Dort started building cars in 1917 (Durant had already jumped ship). Josiah Dort died in 1923 and 1924 was the final year for Dort automobiles.

The 25-K is powered by a 3.2-liter straight-six. It was Dort’s big car and the five-passenger Sport Touring was one of eight body styles offered. This particular car was once owned by William Harrah and JB Nethercutt. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1917 Briscoe Model B 4-24 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Benjamin Briscoe was a big name in the early days of the automotive industry. He was the first major shareholder of Buick. He was half of Maxwell for a time as well. He founded his own car company in 1914 after the failure of the United States Motor Company – an early conglomerate of manufacturers, a sort of precursor to General Motors.

Briscoe built four-cylinder cars through 1921. This 24 horsepower example sports five-passenger touring body style that is simple yet attractive. Briscoes are pretty rare today and for $18,000-$24,000, this is a good chance to acquire a piece of motoring history. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $28,600.


1908 International Model A Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

International Harvester is best known for their agricultural equipment and tractors. Today, as Navistar International, they build trucks. But when they first got in to road-going vehicles, high-wheelers were their strong suit. Their 1907 vehicles were very basic, but this 1908 is a little more advanced.

The Model A was the only model offered in 1908 – in runabout form only (be it two or four passenger, like this one). This car uses a flat-twin making 14 horsepower. It’s all original, which is amazing because these cars were popular in the most rural of areas. This one should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,800.


1919 Cleveland Model 40 Two-Passenger Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

There have been more than a handful of automobile companies that carried the name “Cleveland.” All of them were based in – you guessed it – Cleveland, Ohio. This Cleveland (the longest-running company with that name) built cars that were essentially smaller versions of the Chandler (and Chandler denied any relation). The company popped up in 1919 and lasted through 1926.

The Model 40 was built in 1919 and 1920 and uses a six-cylinder engine making 45 horsepower. That’s a lot, actually, considering that this example exists in two-passenger Roadster form. It’s a hot rod – tiny and powerful. Only 4,836 examples of the Model 40 were built and this one should provide its new owner with some inexpensive fun for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,700.


1916 Mecca Thirty Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Jackpot. We love when cars like this come up for sale. If you’ve been following along, we’ve featured a couple of batches of rare, old American cars from manufacturers that weren’t around for very long. And this one was not around long at all – just two model years. The first year was a stillborn cyclecar. Series production occurred in 1916 only.

This car, with it’s 3.1-liter straight-four making 23 horsepower, sports a five-passenger touring body style – the largest offered by Mecca. This is thought to be the only surviving Mecca automobile. A rare treat indeed. It should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $13,200.

The 3rd Place Car from the 3rd Race at Le Mans

1925 Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6 Le Mans Torpedo Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

At one time, Lorraine-Dietrich shared as many 24 Hours of Le Mans victories as did Bentley (actually, they won it two years in a row, so they had more victories than did Bentley. And Porsche. And Audi. Combined). Sure, that year was 1925, the year in which this car competed – and its sister car won – the famed 24 hour race. It was the event’s third such running. Lorraine-Dietrich could trace its automotive roots back to 1896. Their last cars were made in 1935.

The model is the 15CV B3-6 which uses a 3.5-liter straight-six making somewhere from 85 to 100 horsepower. This was a factory Lorraine-Dietrich race car and its race history includes the following:

  • 1925 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Henry Stalter and Edouard Brisson)
  • 1925 24 Hours of Spa – 5th (with Stalter and Brisson)

So, a very successful, early racer that continued racing with the factory through 1926 and was still competitive a decade later in the hands of privateers. Strangely, in 1949, the car was taken apart and used as farm equipment, but thankfully it was rescued and restored.

The restoration was completed in 1997 but it still looks great. Imagine how fun this would be at historic racing events. It’s entirely unassuming – unless you knew, you’d never be able to guess that this thing finished on the podium at Le Mans. It should bring somewhere in the huge range of $650,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Giannini Sport Prototype

1968 Giannini Sport 1300 Prototype

Offered by Coys | Nurburgring, Germany | August 8, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Attilio and Domenico Giannini were brothers who founded a garage in Rome in 1920. They began as part of the Itala service network and entered their first race car, an Itala, in the 1927 Mille Miglia. They later turned their attention to tuning tiny Fiats – and they were very successful (even though the original business closed in the 1960s and the brothers split, each opening their own company). Domenico’s new company is still around, wrenching on Fiats.

This car, a one-off, was built by Giannini before the original company closed its doors. It features a 1.3-liter flat-four. It’s likely the only Giannini product powered by a Boxer engine that still exists. It was a race car, and the aluminium body is very reminiscent of a Lotus 23.

This car has been in a private collection for nearly 40 years and this is the first time it has ever been offered for sale on the open market. It is expected to bring between $110,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Update: Not sold.

H.E. Short-Chassis Six

1929 H.E. 16/60 Short Chassis Sport Tourer

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 13, 2015

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

H.E. – which stands for Herbert Engineering – was a short-lived British car company that was founded shortly after World War One. It was a car with sporting intentions and was offered in a variety of styles and engines. Looking at it, it is decidedly Bentley-esque.

The engine is a 2.3-liter straight-six making about 60 horsepower. The introduction of this six-cylinder engine was a last ditch attempt to keep the company afloat, but they would close their doors anyway in 1931. This 80 mph tourer was the fastest car the firm built.

H.E. only built 61 six-cylinder cars and only three were Sport models like this. It’s the only short chassis 16/60 left and has known history since the 1950s. It’s really a fantastic car. Consider it a steal over a 3-Litre Bentley. Especially as this one is likely to go for between $135,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams Goodwood, June 2016 $131,338.