Ford Model C

1904 Ford Model C Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

This is the final missing piece as far as pre-Model T Fords go. We’ve featured every other model, beginning with the Model A and Model AC, the Model B, Model F, Model K, Model N, Model R, and Model S. This is a fine example of the 1904 and 1905-only Model C.

The Model C uses the same engine as did the AC: a 10 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-twin. Though 1904 was only the second year for Ford production, the Model C was a leap forward from the Model A. Mechanically similar to the AC, it is a more “modern-looking”  car (you know, for 1904) with a more conventional layout. Though it was sold side-by-side with the Model F in 1905, the F would ultimately replace the C in 1906.

This was a $950 car when new and only 870 examples were built between the two model years. It is thought that only about 20 remain. This particular example was built in Canada. It should sell for between $41,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $104,482.

Ford Model F

1906 Ford Model F Twin-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Hillegom, Netherlands | June 23, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Ford, the Model A, was a two-cylinder car. In 1904 they introduced their first four-cylinder, which carried over into 1905. 1906 would see Ford launch their first six-cylinder car, but they still introduced a new two-cylinder car in 1905. That is the Model F. It would be Ford’s last two-cylinder car after it exited production at the end of 1906.

Only two Model F body styles were offered in 1905 and just this, the two-door, four-passenger touring car, carried over to 1906. It’s powered by a 2.1-liter flat-twin making 16 horsepower, a good jump over earlier 10 horsepower twins. Fun note on the Model F: you know how Ford was famous for only selling black Model Ts? Well, to adjust the famous phrase, “you can get a Model F in any color you want so long as it’s green.” Kind of weird, yeah? It’s like Henry bought his paint in bulk and used it exclusively until it was gone.

The Model F was a strong seller but, even with its advanced price, they did not survive. It’s thought that less than 50 remain today of the 1,250 sold in two years of production. This car was delivered new to Iowa where it remained for some time. The restoration dates to the late 1990s, right before it was added to the current museum collection in the Netherlands. When new this was an $1,100 car and it should bring between $47,000-$64,000 today. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Update: Sold $109,840.

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 10, 2018


1907 Chameroy Tonneau

Photo – Artcurial

What? Never heard of a Chameroy Tonneau? Artcurial is presenting a collection of true oddball cars at Rétromobile and I love it. Automobiles Chameroy of Le Vesinet offered automobiles for only four years, from 1907 through 1910.

This 1907 model features a V-4 engine making “at least 9 horsepower.” It is likely an Aster engine and probably the largest car Chameroy built (which would likely make it the Type D, but that’s just an inference on my part). Chameroy was apparently more famous for their own special “non-skid tires” and may have had more success with them. As it is, this is the only known example of their cars to survive. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.


1907 Louis Pouron 8HP

Photo – Artcurial

This little two-seat French roadster was not built by an automobile company. Instead, it was built by a French railway employee, likely while he was on strike (just kidding!).

It’s powered by an eight horsepower De Dion single-cylinder engine from 1903. Not much else is known about the car’s history or its builder. The collection of Michel Broual, of which this is being sold from, acquired it after many years of waiting as the car wound up in a shed that had sort of been made smaller around the car so it could not be removed. The owner refused to allow anyone to trample his garden and someone else snuck in and bought it out from under Broual who would have to wait years to buy it from that gentleman. Kind of weird story. But hey, it’s kind of a weird, one-off car. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $16,062.


1907 Contal Mototri Type B

Photo – Artcurial

Camille Contal’s Mototri was a forecar built in France. Unlike many of its counterparts, this was not a motorcycle fitted with a front-facing chair. It was designed from the ground up as a tri-car.

First introduced at the 1905 Paris Auto Salon, the Contal would be sold to the public in 1907 and 1908. 1907 was a good year publicity-wise for the firm as one of their Mototris competed in the Peking-Paris race (even if it didn’t do very well). The Mototri could be had as you see here or as a delivery wagon. Compared to many of the cars in this collection, this one seems to be in quite decent shape. It should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $65,709.


1925 SIMA-Violet Type VM

Photo – Artcurial

Ah, the SIMA-Violet. When I think “cyclecars” this is one of the first cars to come to mind (this is a close second). SIMA-Violet’s name comes from SIMA (Société Industrielle de Matériel Automobile) and the last name of the company’s founder: Marcel Violet.

The company produced their unique take on the cyclecar between 1924 and 1929. Most are two-seaters with the seats offset so that the driver sat farther forward than the passenger. They were all powered by a 497cc two-stroke twin designed in-house that was geared to do 60+ mph (no thank you). If you ever want to see a great example of one of these up close, head to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. The blue example on offer here should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,124.

Schaudel Tonneau

1901 Schaudel 10HP Twin-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Charles Schaudel’s little French car company lasted a very brief time. He built his first car in 1900 and by 1902 he had sold out to his brother-in-law, who changed the name of the company to Motobloc (which lasted until 1931).

The engine is a 10 horsepower two-cylinder unit that is mounted transversely (and, with its gearbox configuration, it is noted in the catalog that this car sports the same drivetrain layout as the original Mini). The engine was rebuilt in 2016 after taking part in 12 London-to-Brighton runs, which means it is fresh and ready to go this year.

Only two Schaudel-branded automobiles are known to exist and this one has appeared on British television on multiple occasions. This is a pretty awesome find from a really obscure company. There’s really no reason something made in such limited numbers should still exist, but we’re sure glad it does. This one should bring between $170,000-$210,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $192,834.

Westfield

1902 Westfield 13HP Model G Four-Seat Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 3, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Founded in Westfield, Massachusetts, in 1901 by Charles Moore, Westfield did not produce cars for very long and, in fact, never really sold any gas powered cars at all, even though this car is actually gas powered. Their first cars were steam powered but he also sold cars with a chassis and body, but no engine.

Giving owners the ability to choose their own engines for their cars would lead to some pretty outlandish automobiles today, but in 1902 pickings were slim and this car features a 2.5-liter two-cylinder engine making 13 horsepower – enough power to get this thing up to around 50 mph. It was built by a small engine building company called Remington.

Westfield folded in 1903, having lasted just three short years. Restored in the 1990s, the car spent most of its life in the U.S., with much of the late 1990s and early 2000s touring the show circuit there. It came to the U.K. in 2006 where it has continued to be shown (and toured). You’re unlikely to find another car from this marque and this one, which is quite usable, should bring between $260,000-$330,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $376,362.

Premier Tonneau

1904 Premier Model F 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

George B. Weidely sold his first car in 1902 and his Premier Motor Manufacturing Company continued to build four, and primarily six, cylinder cars through 1925. Based in Indianapolis, the brand was at the heart of one of America’s major early automobile manufacturing cities.

The 1904 Premier range was the first year they offered multiple models. This, the Model F, was the mid-range model and the top trim four-cylinder car the firm sold, priced at $1,400 when new. It’s powered by a 16 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The only body style offered was the Rear-Entrance Tonneau you see here.

This particular example was restored in 1999 and is finished in Brewster Green and Canary (yellow). Only two 1904 Premiers have survived, the other being the more-expensive-when-new Two-Cylinder model that is in possession of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Even though this is an American automobile, it is London-to-Brighton eligible and should sell for between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $341,000.

1904 Renault

1904 Renault Type N-B 14/20HP Four-Cylinder Swing-Seat Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Every year there are a number of pre-1910 Renaults that come up for sale. Bonhams almost always has at least one at their London-to-Brighton sale and we never get to feature them. That changes this year, as Bonhams has multiple Renaults and we’ve selected this one – the earliest Renault we’ve yet featured.

The first of Louis Renault’s cars were single-cylinder De Dion-powered. Four-cylinders came in 1904 – this one is 3.0-liters in capacity and makes 14/20 horsepower. The body on this car looks remarkably like the Aster that is also offered at this sale.

The history of this car is that one family owned it from the 1920s through the 1980s when it was bought by the present owner, who restored it completely. It’s been upgraded slightly to run more reliably and has nice weather protection for a car its age. This, one of the first four-cylinder Renaults, should bring between $310,000-$340,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $340,429.

Chalmers Pony Tonneau

1911 Chalmers Thirty Pony Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 6-7, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

1911 was the first year that Chalmers built cars under the “Chalmers” marque. Prior to that, all of the cars were badged as Chalmers-Detroit, referencing the Thomas-Detroit automobile company that Hugh Chalmers purchased in 1908.

But that doesn’t mean the model was new – the Thirty was introduced in 1909 (and lasted through 1913). A 30 horsepower, 3.7-liter straight-four powers this car and when carrying this attractive and borderline-sporty Pony Tonneau body, the new owner would’ve been set back $1,600 in 1911. It was a mid-range price for the Thirty.

This is a great brass era car that can be driven and used (it had an electric starter and other bits added to it during its most recent restoration to make it livable). It should bring between $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this car in person:

Update: Sold $71,500.

Brasier Tonneau

1906 Brasier 15HP Side-Entrance Tonneau by Vedrine

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 3, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Brasier marque began in 1902, after Charles-Henri Brasier quit his job at Mors and went into business with Georges Richard as Richard-Brasier. Richard jumped ship in 1905 to found Unic, leaving Brasier a standalone make beginning in 1905. The company lasted until 1931, having been known as Chaigneau-Brasier from 1926.

This car is from the second year of Brasier production and it is both big and quite nice. It’s powered by a four-cylinder engine making 14 horsepower, powering the rear wheels via shaft drive. This car was shipped from the U.S. to the U.K. in the 1980s and was restored by the current owner, likely in the 1980s.

The pre-sale estimate on this car is $52,000-$77,000. Cars from other manufacturers of similar size and vintage can go for many times this amount, making this a good, usable car at a decent price. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $79,679.

Big Mercedes-Simplex

1904 Mercedes-Simplex 28/32 Five-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Mercedes-Simplex was one of the premier cars of the pre-1910 era. They were big, powerful, and fast. The Simplex was produced by Daimler between 1902 and 1909 and was the successor to the Mercedes 35HP, a car largely considered as the “first modern automobile.”

There were multiple Simplex models, the largest being the 60 HP model. This is the mid-range 28/32HP – meaning it is powered by a 32 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-four. It will do 65 mph+. Imagine being able to keep up on the interstate today in a car from 1904… that has dual chain drive.

When new, a Simplex would have cost roughly $7,500 – an absolute fortune in 1904. This example was sold new in England and later used by the British military during WWI. It was discovered on a farm in the 1970s and has been completely restored (and “refurbished” a couple of times since the restoration was completed). It’s extremely usable and has seen its fair share of use at the London-to-Brighton run.

In total, 1,500 Mercedes-Simplex cars were built and only 20 pre-1905 Mercedes cars still survive. Only six of those are this model. It’s a beautiful machine and should bring between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,805,000.