D’Yrsan Cyclecar

1928 D’Yrsan Three-Wheeler

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 23, 2019

Photo – Osenat

D’Yrsan was a manufacturer of small cyclecars that was founded in 1923 by Raymond Siran de Cavanac. The company built three and four-wheeled light cars and remained in business through 1930. They even entered a car in the 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans. It did not do well.

A 972cc Ruby inline-four is mounted up front and requires a hand-cranked start to get going. The car has chain drive powering the lone rear wheel. The bodywork is interesting, as the driver sits slightly forward of the passenger, and the rear of the car tapers to a nice point. Do not rear end this car, or you will be speared.

This example was sold new by the company’s British importer and was recently restored. Only 530 three-wheeled cars were built by D’Yrsan (and only 50 four-wheelers). This one actually looks really nice and should bring between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $58,610.

One-off Mills Busy Bee

1919 Mills Busy Bee

Offered by H&H Auctions | October 30, 2013

1919 Mills Busy Bee

What, you’ve never heard of a the Mills Busy Bee? Well maybe that’s because there is only one of them. It’s interesting to me how a company could build hundreds or even thousands of cars and only one or two (and sometimes zero) remain almost 100 years later. And here’s this thing – the only one constructed and it’s still around.

I’ll bet this phenomenon has to do with the fact that J.A. Mills of Mansfield, England, built this car himself for his own personal use. In fact, it was his own personal driver from the time of its completion in 1920 until he died. It has covered over 100,000 miles! Then it was probably passed down or sold to someone who loves the unusual aspect of it.

The original engine is long gone, but in 1928 the current 6 horsepower AJS V-twin was installed. The body is plywood and held on with only 10 bolts. It seats one and has a three-speed transmission that drives the lone rear wheel. It’s a lot like a Morgan of the time. It’s also likely the only shot you’ll ever have at owning this. H&H estimates a selling price between $16,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s October 30th lineup.

Update: Sold $15,100.

Peel Trident

1966 Peel Trident

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

Photo – RM Auctions

The Peel Engineering Company is the only automobile manufacturer ever to be located on the Isle of Man. Unfortunately, that is still part of the U.K., so it won’t get its own section on our “Country of Origin” page. The Trident was the second car built by Peel and only about 45 were made, the last six of which used the 98cc one-cylinder engine making 6.5 horsepower. This is one of the last six built and has that engine. Horrifyingly, this car will do 46 mph. This example has spent most of its life in museums and is one of few extant. Read more here.

Update: Sold $103,500.


1921 Darmont-Morgan Three-Wheel Runabout

Offered by RM Auctions | Nysted, Denmark | August 12, 2012

I don’t think there is any way, without breaking my legs into smaller pieces, that I would be able to fit in this car – which is a shame because I think it is really cool. H.F.S. Morgan began marketing his three-wheelers in 1911 and within a few years he was exporting them to France where a few many handled the importing duties. There are a few names on the importers list – two of them being the brothers Darmont (Roger and Andre).

Three-wheeled Morgans became popular in motorsports for a few reasons. One, they were light, and their small v-twin motorcycle engines weren’t necessarily overworked trying to keep them moving. They began taking victories in Europe and after World War One, a Morgan Three-Wheeler scored an improbable victory at a race in France. Roger Darmont quickly entered an agreement with Morgan to build the cars in France, where their popularity had exploded. These were called Darmont-Morgans.

Built in a Parisian suburb, the cars were, initially, the same as those being built in Malvern Link, but over time they grew into their own and in the mid-1930s, Darmont introduced a four-wheeled car of his own design. The company closed at the outbreak of the Second World War.

This rare survivor is a fine example of an early Morgan but in even scarcer form – a Darmont. It’s also a great example of a cyclecar – a style very popular in 1920s France. This car looks like it’s probably been in a museum for quite a while – tended to as needed, but never restored. It’s really cool.

No estimates have been published yet for this sale, but for more information, click here. And for more from this incredible sale, click here.

Update: Sold $41,700.