Bayliss-Thomas

1928 Bayliss-Thomas 12/27HP Two-Seater Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bayliss-Thomas was a company that is primarily known for a brand of motorcycles called “Excelsior.” These are not the same Excelsior bikes made in the U.S., as this company was based in Coventry. In 1920 they decided to start building cars, but couldn’t use “Excelsior” and had to settle for their corporate name, Bayliss-Thomas.

Produced only through 1929, the company managed to churn out just over 1,000 cars in a 10-year span. Introduced in 1925, the 12/27 featured a 27 horsepower 1.5-liter Meadows straight-four and a three-speed gearbox. Five body styles were offered with this Sports Tourer being among the smallest. This example has been on static display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, since 1974. It has been slowly restored but is not currently running. It’s certainly a rare car that isn’t seen often. In this state, it should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Godsal Sports

1935 Godsal Sports Tourer by Corsica

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Charles Godsal was the son of an inventor and in 1930s Britain, he decided to put some of that inherited mechanical know-how to work and designed his very own automobile. The final product would cost him over £3,000 but would result in a well engineered, stylish sports car.

He built his own chassis and got the rear end from Bentley. For the engine, he took an 85 horsepower, 3.6-liter Ford Flathead V-8. The body was done by Corsica of London and the car itself was actually constructed by a London-based company and not by Godsal himself. Unfortunately, as well-built as the car may have been, Godsal was unable to raise any funding to begin production, so only this prototype was ever built.

He sold the car to a friend and its history from that point on is unknown until it appeared in a movie in 1969. A man in England purchased the car in 1977 but at that point, no one knew what it really was. Luckily for us, he did the research and it’s here still today. The next owner acquired it later that year and had it in storage in the U.S. for the past 24 years. It’s mostly original and should bring between $225,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams auction lineup.

Update: Sold $214,500.

Berkeley SE328

1957 Berkeley SE328 Sports

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | November 26, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Berkeley Cars Ltd of the amusingly-named Biggleswade, England, was in existence only between 1956 and 1960. In that short time frame, the company managed to produce about 10 different models. The SE328 Sports was the second model introduced, and it was produced between January 1957 and April 1958.

This car is powered by a 328cc two-stroke twin-cylinder engine – a six cc improvement over the original Sports model. Power is a stout 18 horsepower and it cost $1,600 when new in the U.S., where they were officially exported to. Top speed was right at about 62 mph.

The Sports was the second best-selling model Berkeley had with 1,259 produced. The small engine, fiberglass body, and diminutive size make this a fun, economical toy for those with the means. This 35,000 mile example will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $5,284.

Renwick & Bertelli

1925 Renwick & Bertelli 1½-Litre Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 10, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

William Renwick and A.C. Bertelli came together in 1924 to build engines… but their sticking to engines was short-lived. In 1925, they built the car you see here. Starting with a custom designed engine, they mounted it to a chassis from Enfield-Allday (where Bertelli used to work) and then they had Bertelli’s brother – who was a coachbuilder – build the body.

The engine is a 1.5-liter straight-four. It’s an important engine because the following year Renwick & Bertelli became the controlling directors of a little, financially insolvent company called Aston Martin. This car, dubbed “Buzzbox,” was the inspiration for the company-saving International and Le Mans models from Aston Martin. And with Aston up, running, and successful, Renwick & Bertelli never built another car under their own names.

This one-of-one car is a couple of things. One, it is incredibly sporty and good-looking. Two, it is an important piece of Aston Martin history, having given the company a path to success. It has been restored twice with the most recent work being quite fresh. It is ready and eligible for all major shows. The pre-sale estimate is between $310,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Lea-Francis Hyper

1928 Lea-Francis 1½-Litre Type S Hyper Sports Two-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | June 24, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Trivia: what marque produced the first British production car with a supercharger? Bentley? Nope. It was Lea-Francis and their Hyper 1½-liter Type S. It was introduced in 1928 and was built through 1931. Only 185 were built.

It is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four that has been supercharged. I can’t tell you how much power it makes but there is a quote in the lot description that says it will cruise comfortably at 70 mph. So it has plenty of power, I guess. This car was actually a factory racer, having competed in the 1928 Ards Tourist Trophy race, a race that was won by a sister machine.

The car has been completely restored and, strangely, is being offered by the family of the man who raced it in the Ards TT (even though they had to reacquire the car at auction in the early 1990s). It’s a solid competitor to a Frazer Nash, should you seek out on-track competition once purchased. If you’re interested, it should bring between $230,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $210,135.

Jowett Sports

1928 Jowett 7/17 Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 5, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Benjamin and William Jowett (along with a man named Arthur Lamb) founded Jowett in 1901 as a cycle manufacturer. Automobiles went on sale in 1906 and Jowett, unlike most British manufacturers, stayed independent their entire life before going out of business in 1955. Among their most famous products was the sporty Jupiter from the 1950s.

What we have here is a very rare, early car. You don’t see many pre-1930 Jowetts. The 7/17 is powered by a 907cc flat-twin making 17 horsepower. It’s a light, small car with very sporty bodywork that was applied in the 1970s (the car was originally a Tourer). Although the body is not original, it is said that it was constructed with “mostly Jowett parts.”

This model went on sale in 1919 and lasted through 1936, albeit with changes over the years. This is the second time this car has come up for sale in the last two years: it sold for $38,500 in 2014 and is now estimated to bring between $28,000-$31,000. It is thought that this is the only pre-war Jowett in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $34,100.

Lea-Francis 2.5-Litre Sports

1950 Lea-Francis 2½-Litre Westland Sports

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | June 11, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Lea-Francis was founded by Richard Lea and Graham Francis in 1895. As did many, the pair began by building bicycles and cars came in 1903. Strangely for a company that began by building bicycles, motorcycle production started after cars did. An independent their entire existence, the company folded in 1960.

The 2½-Litre was introduced in 1949 and was built in very small quantities through 1953. In fact, only 77 were built in total. The engine is a 2.5-liter straight-four rated at 120 horsepower. This is the sportiest car Lea-Francis built after the war.

Kind of resembling a Jaguar XK120, this Westland-bodied Lea-Francis is among the most collectible cars that the company built. Coupling with the decent looks and low production numbers, this example with a six-year-old restoration is expected to bring between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,775.

Bentley-owned DFP Sports

1913 DFP 10/12HP Special Sports by R Harrison & Son

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | March 20, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Doriot, Flandrin & Parant, based in Courbevoie, was a French automaker that was around between 1908 and 1926. From 1906 until 1908, the company was simply known as Doriot-Flandrin. When Jules-René Parant came on board and the company took off.

The 10/12 was produced between 1911 and 1914 and is powered by a 1.6-liter straight-four. It was the smallest car the company offered at the time. DFP exported some cars to the U.K. where the official importer was none other than brothers Horace and Walter Owen Bentley.

The Bentleys were responsible for finishing the cars – getting bodies made, etc. W.O. Bentley tuned some of them and entered them into competition events like hillclimbs and speed trials. This car was actually used by the Bentleys and was later purchased by a museum. The engine has been rebuilt and other bits restored. It is usable and is noted as being the “Oldest car in the world with a Bentley plate.” It’s sort of a part of Bentley history and you can read more about it here. It should sell for between $63,000-$91,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $66,641.

Phantom II Torpedo Sports

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Torpedo Sports by Barker

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

When you think of 1930s streamlined automobiles, you probably think of those Art Deco French beauties. Well here is an English example. It’s a Rolls-Royce Phantom II, which was produced between 1929 and 1936.

It is powered by a 120 horsepower 7.7-liter straight-six. Barker & Co. of London was one of the more common coachbuilders for Rolls-Royce. Most of their designs were relatively traditional – sedans and the like. But obviously not all of their designs were stodgy. This Torpedo Sports looks like something from the late 1930s, not the dawn of the decade.

Built for a man in New York (but never delivered), this car has windswept fenders, rear wheel covers, and the upper part of the rear decklid comes to a boattail-like point. The first owner isn’t actually known for sure (it is thought to be a Maharaja), but from the second owner on, the history of this car is known. The current owner bought it in the early 1990s and it has since been restored.

Only 1,402 Phantom IIs were built and this is the only one quite like this. It’s also one of the sportiest Phantom IIs, too. If you want to see more, click here. And find the rest of RM’s catalog here.

Update: Not sold.

HRG-Maserati

1949 H.R.G.-Maserati Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 12, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

H.R.G. built light cars and racing specials between 1936 and 1956 in Tolworth, England. There were six factory models offered over the years, built in various amounts. This was not one of them. It is a one-off special commissioned by then-BBC presenter John Gilbert.

They took the chassis from their 1500 model and stretched it a little bit (this car looks very long and narrow). Gilbert also had a spare eight-cylinder Maserati engine lying around that came from one of their 1930s Brooklands racers that he wanted installed. The body was built to look like a Maserati racer, too.

Eventually, the Maserati engine was replaced – multiple times over the years so it could make more and more power. Right now it houses a 2.4-liter Jaguar straight-six. A six-cylinder Maserati cylinder block is included with this sale. The car was raced at Goodwood back in the day and is fresh off restoration in 2014. It should sell for between $94,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,027.