Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 15-17, 2018
Photo – Mecum
The Black Manufacturing Company of Chicago had a short but interesting life. Their first cars went on sale in 1908 and they were all high-wheelers. But they sold them under two different brands. There was the budget-minded Chicago Motor Buggy and the slightly nicer but still built-for-rough-conditions Black. The Chicago Motor Buggy was only available in 1908 and 1909.
The 1908 Black lineup consisted of four models, three of which were Surreys. There was the Type 18, Type 118, and Type 20. I have no idea which version this is, but I do know the engine should be a 20 horsepower, 2-cylinder and it would’ve cost somewhere between $575 and $650.
The Black would be available through 1910, but the company also sold a more traditional car under the Black Crow marque in 1909 and 1910. It was a licensed version of the Crow-Elkhart. The high-wheeler example above has only been owned by two families since new and is a pretty rare early American automobile. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
If you told me this was being offered straight out of the Harrah Collection, I’d believe you. If you’ve ever wandered through the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, you’d know that the first part of it is full of cars just like this (and if you haven’t, DO IT).
Only 400 Packards were built between the company’s founding in 1899 and the end of 1903. Packard offered two models in 1903: one was the single-cylinder Model F and the other was this, the twin-cylinder Model G. It was the only two-cylinder model Packard ever sold and this is the only one left. That engine is a 6.0-liter flat-twin that makes 24 horsepower. Those are some massive cylinders, at three liters a piece.
The Model G is a massive automobile: it weighed in at over 4,000 pounds – even with aluminium fenders! Only four of these were built and they were fabulously expensive, with one reputedly going to a Rockefeller. This one has been in this collection for over seven decades and was damaged in a fire some years ago. The body was exactingly rebuilt and, as they say, it “ran when parked.” This piece of Packard history – one of the oldest Packards in private hands – should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
It’s strange, but this is the first Knox automobile we’ve featured on the site. It’s weird because Knox automobiles aren’t that rare and it seems that at least one of them changes hands publicly each year. Harry Knox got into the automobile business because he was encouraged to do so by his neighbor. Usually this isn’t a great reason for starting a business, but in this case, Springfield, Massachusetts-based Knox was neighbors with a guy named J. Frank Duryea, one of the brothers behind one of America’s pioneering car companies.
Knox built passenger cars between 1900 and 1914 (and they continued building trucks and tractors through 1924). 1904 was the first year for the two-cylinder Knox, and this car is powered by a 4.5-liter twin making 16 horsepower.
The ownership history on this car is known since new. In the 1940s the car was rescued, as it had been converted as the power source for farm equipment. It passed around through a few collections and museums in the ensuing decades, with the most recent restoration work having been completed in 2012. It is London-to-Brighton eligible and completed the run in 2016.
Four body styles were offered on the 1904 Two-Cylinder Knox and this one features a soft-top Tudor Surrey. It is estimated to bring between $200,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $292,600.
Update: Sold, Bonhams Amelia Island 2019, $252,000.
Offered by RM Auctions | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2012
When I first saw the picture of this thing on RM’s website, I got really excited that it was some long lost car that hasn’t been seen in forever. Some rare marque that time forgot. And that’s kind of what it is. It’s a one-of-a-kind car built in 1904, but it’s history is known from 1927 – so it isn’t like they just dug it out of a barn, even though it looks like it. But that’s one of the coolest things about it.
Speaking of cool things about this car, check out those wheels. They’re a design by a man named Horace Taylor. The wheel hub floats on 12 springs (six per side) mounted around the hub. These are connected to the wooden wheels with solid, steel tires. This alleviates the need for springs on the car and the need for softer tires. It’s pretty cool, looking like each wheel has a little radial aircraft engine on it. I’d like to see the car in motion to see how well this actually works.
The South Bend was built by Walter E. Mack of, guess where, South Bend, Indiana (he never actually named it – it was titled after his death). The parts were purchased from other suppliers. The engine is a straight-four of 3.6-liter capacity. Mack died in 1906 and then the car disappeared.
A man found it in 1927 and built a museum around it and it’s had two owners since then. The car is a survivor – never having been restored. Preservation is the name of the game for the new owner – although it does run and is a usable classic car – which is amazing. RM’s lot description describes the car as starting on the third try after 75 years of not having been used, Some attention will need to be paid to other things if you want to take it on the road. It is expected to sell for between $110,000-$140,000. For more information, click here. And for more from RM at Hershey, click here.
Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 20, 2012
Photo – RM Auctions
Waverely existed in a few different uninterrupted iterations between 1898 and 1914. The company can trace its roots back to Chicago-based American Electric Vehicle Company which merged with Augustus Pope’s Indiana Bicycle Company in 1898. This is when the Waverely name first appeared. Pope pulled the marque into his own mini automotive empire, creating Pope-Waverely in 1903. This was one of what had to have been very few Waverelys produced in 1903 before the name change. After the Pope Manufacturing Company went bust, Waverely became its own marque once again in 1908.
This 1903 Model 20a features two DC electric motors creating a whopping three horsepower each with overload capacity of the same amount. A number of Waverelys still exists as the company was relatively successful in the early days of electric motoring. An advertisement for the company said: “No complications. Turn on power and steer.” As you can see from the picture below, it is relatively spartan and simple. A company that lived up to its word? Shocking.
Photo – RM Auctions
RM estimates this car between $50,000-$80,000. For more info click here and for more on RM in Arizona click here.