Benova Sports

1927 Benova B3 Sports

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 1, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Benjamin was a car company founded in 1921 by Maurice Jeanson not far from Paris. They specialized in cyclecars, or light cars with small engines and cycle-type wheels. In 1927, the company opened a second factory and rebranded from Benjamin to Benova, which supposedly meant “New Benjamin.”

Anyway, the new company lasted through 1929. At least 300 examples of the B3 were built between 1927 and 1929 and they were powered by a 945cc Chapuis-Dornier inline-four. Factory bodies included a coupe and two torpedos.

This car is quite sporty, wearing a racing-style body dressed in French Grand Prix Car blue (not a real paint color name). It almost looks like a cross between a period Indy car and an Amilcar. But it’ll be cheaper than either of those with an estimate between $19,000-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bugatti Type 59

1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

After Bugatti’s Type 35 series of cars finished their run as some of the best Grand Prix cars of the era, Bugatti went and introduced the Type 51 in 1931. The development of that car culminated in the Type 59 of 1933, the last pre-war Bugatti Grand Prix car.

It is powered by a 250 horsepower, supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight. Only eight examples were built. Ralph Lauren has one, but his is restored. This car is as it was in 1938. It’s an ex-factory Bugatti team car, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1934 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Rene Dreyfus)
  • 1934 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Dreyfus)

After the 1935 season, the car’s supercharger was removed and it went sports car racing with revised bodywork. In 1938, it was painted in its current black and was acquired by King Leopold III of Belgium. It’s had four owners since and is now estimated to bring “in excess” of $13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Kurtis Sports

1950 Kurtis Sports

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

Look familiar? No this is not a Muntz Jet. It’s the pre-Muntz Jet: the Kurtis Sports. Race cars built by Frank Kurtis dominated the Indy 500 in the 1950s, and he built some road cars as well.

The first Sports was built in 1948 and was based on a wrecked 1941 Buick. Power is from a 5.4-liter Cadillac V8 making 160 horsepower. It’s a good-looking car – good enough that when Earl Madman Muntz acquired the production rights to the car and moved production to Illinois, he didn’t really have to change that much.

Only 16 examples of the Kurtis Sports were produced before it became the Muntz Jet. This example was restored by Arlen Kurtis, Frank’s son, and has pretty extensive ownership history. Extremely rare today, the car should bring between $275,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $263,200.

1936 Talbot Sports Tourer

1936 Talbot BG110 Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The English arm of the Talbot company came under the control of the Rootes Group in 1935. The new owners began axing Talbot historical models and introducing replacement models. And before long, all of the cars were branded as Sunbeam-Talbot.

One of the last such models to be axed – in 1937 – was the BG110, which began life as the 110 in 1935. Power is from a 120 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 95 mph, and the car was sort of the pinnacle of pre-Rootes English Talbot design.

What’s semi-unique about this car is that it is one of 13 or 14 BG110s that were bodied by Vanden Plas in aluminum. The rest of the cars were all bodied in-house, and only 89 examples of the 110/BG110 were produced in total between 1935 and 1937. This restored example has had three owners since new and should bring between $120,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $242,200.

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 1, 2018


1909 Alldays & Onions 10/12HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Alldays & Onions is one of my favorite automotive marque names. It just sounds funny. It was actually two people’s last names from their respective companies that merged in 1889. Cars were available from 1898 through 1918.

This, the 10/12HP was their most successful model, built from 1905 through 1913. Power came from a 1.6-liter two-cylinder engine and this example has been in the same ownership since 1971. A longtime museum car, it does get driven annually, but you might want to check it out a little more thoroughly before planning any road trips. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,513.


1905 Corre Type F Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Photo – Bonhams

Corre was founded in 1901 by Jean-Marie Corre in Levallois-Perret, France. The company actually lasted until 1949, but the name had changed to La Licorne. Corre-branded cars were only produced through 1907 when the company became known as Corre-La Licorne.

This Type F was Corre’s single-cylinder model in 1905. It’s a De Dion engine and the body is by Delalande. Not much about this car is known prior to 1957 and the current owner acquired the car in 2005. It should bring between $28,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $40,215


1910 Paige-Detroit 25HP Challenger Open Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Paige-Detroit has an amusing early history. Harry Jewett bankrolled a car built by Andrew Bachle and promoted by Fred O. Paige in 1909 in Detroit. The Page-Detroit went on sale in 1909 and after 1910 production was halted because Jewett thought the cars were terrible. He forced Paige (company president) out and dropped the “Detroit” suffix and re-launched Paige, which lasted until he sold it to the Graham Brothers in 1927.

This “Model No. 1” is one of those early “terrible” cars. This was the first – and only – model sold by Paige-Detroit and it’s powered by a kind of weird two-stroke, 2.2-liter three-cylinder engine that was somehow capable of 25 horsepower. Only two of these are thought to still exist and this one was reportedly part of the Henry Ford from 1930 until 1985. It’s been in Belgium since 1993 and probably hasn’t been run since it went to the Ford Museum way back when. Completely original, it should bring between $57,000-$83,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Retromobile 2019, $37,838.


1908 Phoenix 10HP Sports

Photo – Bonhams

The Phoenix Motor Company, originally of London, was founded in 1903 by one of the great names in automobiledom: Joseph van Hooydonk. Their original products were tricars, then quadcars that looked like tricars. “Real” cars were introduced in 1908.

The company soldiered on until 1926 and the first traditional car they built was a 10hp model introduced in 1908. It lasted until 1915 and the car you see here is an example of this model. It’s powered by a two-cylinder engine and features a wooden skiff boattail body. It was made roadworthy again in 1997 and it can be yours for $15,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $32,768.


1905 Reo 16HP Five-Passenger Touring

Photo – Bonhams

Ransom Olds is one of only a few people to have independently founded more than one successful automobile company. August Horch and Henry Leland come to mind, but I’m not sure who else. This 1905 Touring is from the second year of Reo production.

The 16HP was Reo’s two-cylinder model and it was offered in four body styles, with this being the largest. Four-cylinder and single-cylinder models were also offered. This largely original car comes from a Belgian collection where it has remained since 1994. 113-years-old, it should bring between $26,000-$38,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,831.

1908 Phoenix Sports

1908 Phoenix 10HP Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Phoenix Motor Company, originally of London, was founded in 1903 by one of the great names in automobiledom: Joseph van Hooydonk. Their original products were tricars, then quadcars that looked like tricars. “Real” cars were introduced in 1908.

The company soldiered on until 1926 and the first traditional car they built was a 10hp model introduced in 1908. It lasted until 1915 and the car you see here is an example of this model. It’s powered by a two-cylinder engine and features a wooden skiff boattail body. It was made roadworthy again in 1997 and it can be yours for $15,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $32,768.

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $962,000.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,277,500.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

540K by Mayfair

1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,277,500.

Marendaz Sports

1936 Marendaz Special 13/70HP Sports Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has assembled quite the lineup for their Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. There’s an Aston DB4GT, a DB4GT Zagato, a Blower Bentley, and much, much more. But, to us, this is the most exciting car of the sale. Marendaz existed in England for 10 years: 1926 to 1936. In that time they turned out precious few cars and they are sporty.

This car, the 13/70, was available from 1932 through 1934. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter Continental straight-six rated at 70 horsepower. The factory used this engine but slimmed it down when new to 1.9-liters for tax purposes. So this car has the “correct” engine, but just not in the same specification it would’ve had when new. It’s got open four-seat coachwork with exhaust reminiscent of a Mercedes Type S.

Despite offering nearly 15 different models over the course of the short decade that Donald Marcus Kelway Marendaz’s company existed, they managed to only build between 80 and 120 cars in total. They’re sporty, very rare, and the entire history reminds one of manufacturers like Arab, Squire, and Alta. It’s an interesting old sports car for sure and the price should fall in the $93,000-$110,000 range. You can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Beaulieu 2018, $111,710.

Tojeiro-Butterworth

1956 Tojeiro-Butterworth AJB Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another one-off sports racing special carrying the name of John Tojeiro. In this case, Tojeiro wasn’t really involved with building the car at all. Instead, a racer named Major Ronald Clare Clifford Palmer bought a chassis from Tojeiro’s company and built his own car, using an engine from Archie Butterworth.

Butterworth had been designing and driving race cars since the end of WWII and had created a series of small four-cylinder engines for Formula 2 competition. It was one of these engines that Palmer and a friend purchased to install in this car. It’s a 1.5-liter flat-four, race-prepped and ready to run.

The body was custom built and pretty much looks like they sprayed liquid fiberglass over the components and let it dry. It’s a tight fit, which helps keep the weight down. The current owner bought it in 2011 and this thing has been completely gone over. It’s raced in historic events are some great tracks around Europe and now it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy it. It should bring between $110,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.