Carter Electric Motorette

1904 Carter Electric Motorette

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

This is a pretty tiny vehicle. Although Worldwide Auctioneers doesn’t provide anything in the background of these photos to help with scale, I would imagine it’s about wide enough to seat a person and a half. In England, these were known as “invalid cars” – basically street-legal motorized wheelchairs.

But… it has a US license plate and is street legal here, too. It was built in England by a company I have no further information about. Its first owner purchased it there and later imported it into Vermont, where it was used regularly up through 1942. It’s been on long-time museum display and still shows fairly well, save for a flat front tire.

It has a convertible top, tiller steering, and 20-mile range when traveling at a top speed of 18-20 mph. Not bad for 115 years old. You will likely never see another, and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,925.

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.

Moto Guzzi Ercole

1962 Moto Guzzi Ercole

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

This is (at least) the third commercial vehicle produced by a motorcycle manufacturer that we’ve featured. In the vein of the famous Vespa Ape and Lambretti Lambro, the Moto Guzzi Ercole is a scooter-based pickup truck (though this one seems larger). The Ercole was first introduced in 1946 by Moto Guzzi, Europe’s oldest continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer.

The Ercole would be made through 1980 and this one is powered by a hefty 500cc single-cylinder engine. This three-wheeler is really just a motorcycle up front (the inside of the “passenger compartment” is literally just a motorcycle) with a steel cage wrapped around it. The rear pickup bed is a dumper, which is nice. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,403.

Velorex Oskar

1959 Velorex Oskar 54

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

Photo – RM Auctions

The three-wheeled Velorex Oskar was built in Czechoslovakia (in the city of Hradec Králové, modern-day Czech Republic). Production ran from 1954 through 1971, which is kind of a long time for a little cloth-covered car like this. The engine is a Jawa-sourced 249cc two-stroke single-cylinder making nine horsepower. Top speed is 52 mph. You can read more here.

Update: Sold $12,650.