Three Classics from Bonhams

1904 Peerless Type 8 Style K King of Belgium Touring by Quinby

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Peerless was one of the finest American motor cars you could buy before WWII. And their obsession with quality started early, even if these early cars were a little more innovative than their later creations.

The Type 8 was one of three models you could buy from the company in 1904. This car carries “King of Belgium” coachwork from the J.M. Quinby Company of Newark, New Jersey, and power is from 24 horsepower inline-four.

This car has been in collector hands since the 1950s and was first restored in the 60s. It’s the type of car you only ever see in museums. But it can be yours – for between $400,000-$480,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $698,000.


1904 Thomas Flyer Model 22 Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The first Thomas cars were sold in 1903, but the 1904 Flyer would be the car that would take the company to great heights before they ultimately went out of business in 1918. In 1904, the Flyer was the company’s first multi-cylinder automobile: a 24 horsepower, 4.3-liter inline-three.

This car is being sold from the estate of Harold Coker, who owned quite a few Thomas Flyers. It is said that this is the only Model 22 Flyer remaining, making it the earliest such example of the legendary name that won the famed New York to Paris race in 1908. It should bring between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $489,000.


1906 Stevens-Duryea Model U Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

After the Duryea brothers parted ways, Frank teamed up with the Stevens Arms Company to begin production of a finely engineered automobile called the Stevens-Duryea. The company existed in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts from 1901 through 1927. These big early tourers were really their best stuff.

The Model U was technically a 1907 model, but it doesn’t matter. Because it’s awesome. Power is from a 35 horsepower, 5.5-liter inline-six. Ten examples of the Model U are said to exist, which is good news. Hopefully, they’ll be around for a long time to come. This particular car should bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $173,600.

Thomas Flyer Roadster

1912 Thomas Flyer Model MC 6-40 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a number of Thomas Flyer motorcars over the years but all of them have been massive touring cars. What we have here is a sporty – but still quite large – two-seat roadster. Thomas Flyer touring cars are famous because of their win in the 1908 New York to Paris race.

Thomas built automobiles between 1903 and 1918. Their sweet spot was right around 1906 through 1912, and I would consider this a “later example” of the marque as their offerings really tapered off after 1912. The Model MC 6-40 was offered in 1912 only and it was the smaller of the two models Thomas sold that year. It’s powered by a 7.2-liter straight-six making 64 horsepower.

The two-passenger roadster (or runabout) was the entry-level Thomas Flyer for 1912. It cost $4,000 when new and should bring between $175,000-$225,000 at auction. The first time it was shown after the restoration was complete was in 2015. It hasn’t been used much since then and is ready for the new owner to use and show. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $196,000.

Thomas Flyer Model 25

1905 Thomas Flyer Model 25 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 201

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We featured another Thomas Flyer a week or two ago and here is another one from the same collection. While that other car was constructed using various Thomas parts, this car is considered to be “the most authentic 1905 Thomas.”

It has been restored – many years ago – and driven quite a bit since. It has resided it some large collections over the years – but not the Harrah Collection, although it is said that this is a car Harrah tried to get his hands on for years. The Model 25 is powered by a 40 horsepower 7.1-liter straight-four. This would be a great classic to own. The estimate is a wide $375,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s awesome lineup.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Five Pre-WWI Cars

1912 Stearns-Knight Toy Tonneau Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

F.B. Stearns began building cars n 1901 in Cleveland. The company built big, luxurious cars for a number of years. In 1912, they adopted the Knight sleeve-valve engine – the first automobile manufacturer to do so – and used it until the company went under in 1929. 1912 was also the year that the company became known as Stearns-Knight.

Only one model was offered in 1912 – in two wheelbases. This is the short-wheelbase version and uses a 5.1-liter sleeve-valve straight-four originally rated at 28 horsepower (although 40 horsepower is more likely). The car was original until 2011 when the mechanicals were restored and the body was “restored” to look like a barn find. It’s a very nice, big touring car. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $115,500.


1913 Jackson Sultanic Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Many earlier car makers labeled their models such as “Model 1” or “Model A”, etc. Very few had actual names. In 1913, the company founded by Byron J. Carter and named after its home of Jackson, Michigan, started using words to name their models. The Sultanic was the top of the line model. It was offered as a five-or-seven-passenger tourer or as a Duck – which had bizarre rear-seat steering.

The Sultanic (which is definitely not the same as “Satanic”) was built between 1913 and 1914. The engine is a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-four. This car is all original and has somehow only covered less than 2,400 miles in its 102 years of life. Incredible! Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $30,250.


1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 Four-Passenger Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

If this car looks familiar that’s because it’s the exact same year, make, and model of the famous Harrah-owned New York-to-Paris race-winning car. That car is one of the most famous cars in the world (and it’s priceless). This car is your best bet at getting to drive it – and own it.

The 1907 Thomas Flyer 4-60 uses an 8.6-liter straight-four making 60 horsepower. This car has an original Thomas chassis and engine but the body was constructed to match the Harrah car when it was restored. Thomas Flyers were some of America’s greatest cars in the early days and this one would be a blast to own. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.


1916 White Model Forty-Five G.E.D. Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The White Motor Company was around for 80 years. They started building cars in 1900 and did some pioneering work with steam power. Passenger car production lasted through 1918 but the company continued to build heavy trucks until being phased out by new corporate overlord AB Volvo in the 1980s.

The Model Forty-Five was built in 1915 and 1916 only. This all-original example is powered by a 5.9-liter straight-four making about 29 horsepower (although the factory rated it at 45). Click here for more info and yes, I know this chunk of cars is titled “Pre-WWI” but technically this is pre-end-of-WWI. So there.

Update: Sold $36,300.


1909 Stoddard-Dayton Model 9-A Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This nicely restored touring car is from one of America’s best manufacturers of nice, early cars. The Dayton, Ohio-area was responsible for some great cars – and motorcycles, with the Flying Merkel being built not too far away.

Stoddard-Dayton’s catalog of cars for 1909 was impressive. The Model 9-A fell in the middle of their range with a 35 horsepower 4.1-liter straight-four under the hood. It was available in three body styles (the most of any car they offered that year). The Five-Passenger Touring is a very attractive style. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Update: Not sold.

1910 Thomas Flyer

1910 Thomas Flyer Model 6-40 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1910 Thomas Flyer Model 6-40 Touring

Photo – Bonhams

The E.R. Thomas Motor Company was founded by Edwin Ross Thomas in 1896 in Buffalo, New York. He initially sold gas-powered conversions for bicycles before offering complete motorized-bicycles. In 1902, they built their first automobile.

1908 was a turning point for the company. It went from just another early American automobile manufacturer to one of legend. The company won the 1908 New York to Paris race – and the winning car survives today in the Harrah Collection in Reno. The very car you see here was also part of that collection at one point.

This Model 6-40 Touring uses a 7.2-liter straight-six making 64 horsepower. It has rear drum brakes only – so get on the pedal early if you want to stop! What’s cool about this car is that its ownership history is known from new. It was put away by its first owner in 1918 when he went off to war and was not started again until 1958. Bill Harrah bought it in the 1960s and repainted it. That is the only know restorative work done on the car in its history.

This car is mostly original – the leather, the brass, the drivetrain. Thomas Flyers are awesome cars. They are durable, quick, and powerful. A car like this deserves a great home. It should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Arizona.

Update: Sold $275,000.

Here’s video of a similar car:

2013 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance

Okay, so it’s been about a month since the 2013 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance (I’ve been busy!) was held in Cincinnati’s beautiful Ault Park. I was at the show bright and early and it was great. The weather was perfect and the rain held off until just after the show had completed (by literally minutes). While I managed to photograph every car on the show grounds, I’ll only show you some of the highlights here. I even managed to capture some of them on video.

Best in Show went to this 1938 Steyr 220 Special Roadster. I think most people knew going into the show that this was going to be the major award winner.

If this website were to give out an award for something – it would undoubtedly have gone to this 1911 Thomas Flyer K6-70 Flyabout. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to hear a starter on a 1911 Thomas Flyer, but I highly recommend trying to get the opportunity. It is a noise. Watching this thing being driven was one of my favorite points of the show. I’ll post video below!

Hands down the most popular car at this year’s show was the Goldfinger Aston Martin. This was the DB5 that was actually used in two James Bond films: Thunderball and Goldfinger. The best part? It was just sitting there so you could get up close and personal with it AND the owner was driving it around. You can see video of it here.

One of my other favorite cars was perhaps the most infamous of the show. It is a 1978 Monteverdi 375/4 High Speed Sedan. The High Speed 375/4 was built for a few years in very limited numbers. After production wrapped, the Royal Family of Qatar wanted a sedan version, so Peter Monteverdi built seven of them. This is one of those cars. It was exquisite and I took more photos of it than any other car there. Then, while lining up for awards, the owner (who brought the car here from Germany) was trying to keep the car running by revving the throttle. His foot slipped off the brake (or something) and he peeled out and smashed into the back of a McLaren MP4-12C Spider. Luckily no one was hurt and the McLaren will be fine. This thing will need slightly more repairs.

Some other cool cars included this 1908 Locomobile Model I 7-Passenger Touring, the restoration of which, concluded at something like 4 a.m. of show day.

This 1955 Cadillac Custom Viewmaster was one of seven built locally by Hess & Eisenhardt and was really cool as you rarely ever see a Cadillac wagon.

From the “you’ve got to be kidding” category: a 1996 Vector M12. This was the auto show car first displayed by the company and is painted in some hideously patriotic paint scheme. I couldn’t believe where the car was from – a small town not far from where I live and a place you definitely would not associate with supercars (more like beat-up pickup trucks and Ford Aerostars).

Two of the featured marques this year were Corvette and Porsche. There were some awesome Corvette race cars on the field but the most valuable has to be this 1957 Corvette SS Concept Car. I believe it resides at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum.

There were two Porsches that stood out (to me) above all others. First, this 1964 904 Carrera GTS:

And second, this 1955 550 1500RS Spyder. This car is so small but it’s worth about $3 million. And the sound! The engine is about the size of a lunchbox but it packs a punch. I couldn’t believe how loud and how enthralling the noise actually was.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to this car. It is the best-looking MGA (it’s a 1959) I have ever seen and this color is amazing in person. I talked to the owner and he said that something like 1% (or less) of MGAs were painted this color back in the day but no one wanted them so dealers sprayed them red and they drove off the lot. Only a fraction of the cars were sold without the repaint and those who bought them must be quite proud today because the combination of this soft teal and whitewall tires is outstanding.

Be sure to check out some of our videos from the show at our YouTube channel! These cars are ever better then they are in-motion and making noise. Sorry I couldn’t capture the smells for you too! And check the show’s website here for more winners.