Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
This car looks like a toy. From pretty much every angle, too. The body is by Carrosserie Chauvet, a coachbuilder that was active in the north of France from 1912 until 1929. This is their only surviving body on a Bugatti. It’s a small boattail torpedo with two tiny seats up front and maybe more seating under a hard tonneau behind a second cowl? Hard to say. The photos really leave a lot to the imagination.
The top looks like it would get ripped off of this thing at about 20 mph. Which is probably a good cruising speed here, as the car is powered by a bright red, Ettore Bugatti-signatured 1.4-liter inline-four that made about 30 horsepower.
The Type 22 was a road car, and they were built from 1913 through about 1922. Production totals are not widely known, but it was not many. And even less are left. This one has an estimate of $200,000-$250,000. Read more about it here.
This A4 is also from 1926. It’s powered by a 12-horsepower, 2.3-liter inline-four and served as the company’s entry-level model. This car was restored in the last decade, starting that time out as a bare chassis and pile of parts.
So the body is a new one, but it looks the part, especially in French racing blue. The pre-sale estimate is $39,000-$60,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Societa Piemontese Automobili was founded in Italy by Matteo Ceirano and Michele Ansaldi in 1906. The Ceirano family was involved in various early Italian marques, including Itala, SCAT, Ceirano, and others. S.P.A. was taken over in 1925 by Fiat, who phased the marque out.
S.P.A. had some sporting credentials, winning the Targa Florio in 1909. This 25HP model is powered by a 4.4-liter inline-four. The bodywork, while sporty, is described in the auction catalog as a passenger car with a speedster-style body. The coachbuilder is unknown.
This car was delivered new in France and later spent time in the Le Mans Museum before being purchased by its current owner in the 1990s. Not many S.P.A. cars still exist, and this one appears rather nice. It is expected to sell for between $230,000-$270,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 5, 2021
If your tiny car company built six cars over 110 years ago, you’d think the chances of any of them surviving would be essentially nil. But don’t tell that to the long-deceased Thomas Cooper of the Cooper Steam Digger Company Ltd of Norfolk, England. His company typically built steam traction engines and farm equipment. But in 1909 he designed a two-stroke 3.3-liter inline-four that he debuted in a motorcar at that year’s Olympia Motor Show.
It had a three-speed gearbox and a two-speed rear axle. Only six cars were built, each of them different. This is the only survivor. It was parked in 1921 and re-discovered in 1951, where its history trail picks up.
It was later restored and acquired by its current owner in 1994. Museum duty followed, with the car last driven in 2014. It now carries a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | March 21, 2021
Ernest Zurcher and Herman Luthi founded Zedel in Switzerland in 1896. In 1903, they set up a second manufacturing location in France, and it was successful enough that the Swiss location eventually closed, making Zedel a predominantly French marque thereafter. It was taken over by Donnet in 1919, and the marque was changed to Donnet-Zedel in 1924.
The Type P is said to feature a “large displacement” inline-four that was rated at 15 taxable horsepower when new. The body is the story here, though. It looks long and low. It is long, but I think the shadows are making the roof look much more “chopped” than it really is. It makes it look menacing.
The pre-sale estimate on this car is $12,000-$18,000. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Aguttes | Neuilly, France | March 21, 2021
Reading is hard. It has taken me far too long to realize that this car was built by Demeester, of Courbevoie, France, and not by Deemster, of London. Automobiles Demeester was founded in late 1905 by Leon Demeester and Dominique Lambejack.
The company built small cars, starting with twins and singles and eventually progressing to a line of four-cylinder cars before the company closed in 1914. This very early example is powered by a 1.1-liter inline-four that made eight horsepower. Demeester bragged that its eight-horsepower four-cylinder engine was the smallest such powerplant in the world.
This car has been in the ownership of the same family since 1966. It even retains its original bodywork. Side note, based on other sources, the 1.1-liter four may not have been introduced until 1907, meaning this car could’ve been built a little later than it is currently titled. It should sell for between $24,000-$36,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Grezillac, France | September 27, 2020
Automobiles Georges Roy was founded in Bordeaux in 1906. They started out with single-cylinder cars and steadily worked their way up to sixes. The company was popular enough locally that it was able to survive for a few decades.
Passenger car production wrapped in 1929, and truck production continued on through 1932. This Type O Torpedo features a cylindrical engine compartment and circular radiator grille. Power is from a 2.2-liter inline-four.
The car actually appears quite large from the angle shown above, but its side-profile proportions make it seem much smaller. This is a rare touring car from a company not often represented at public sale. Seldom used in the last few years of museum duty, this car is offered with an estimate of $16,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…
Lancia’s Lambda was a groundbreaking car. It was the first unibody production car and featured an independent front suspension and a narrow-angle V4 powerplant. The Lambda was produced in nine series between 1922 and 1931. Lancia also produced a “Dilambda,” which was less interesting.
The 3rd Series Lambda was built in 1924 and featured an updated 2.1-liter V4 that produced 49 horsepower. This Torpedo-bodied roadster was sold new in Uruguay and later spent time in Briggs Cunningham‘s museum.
About 800 examples of the 3rd Series were built. This example looks incredibly sporty for 1924, and it’s burgundy finish is quite striking. Gooding lists a pre-sale estimate of $405,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020
Rolland-Pilain, perhaps not surprisingly, was founded by two guys. One of them was Francois Rolland, the other Emile Pilain. The company popped up in Tours, France, in 1905 and sauntered on through 1932, after the owners lost control of the business in 1926. The last cars rolled off the line in 1927.
This example is exactly what I picture when I think of this marque. It’s a slim, long, very French touring car. Power is from a 2.3-liter inline-four rated at 12 horsepower. This is the factory body, and the car features factory hydraulic brakes.
Rolland-Pilain cars were built for a while, and there are a number of them still around. This one will cost someone between $33,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019
The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.
It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.
Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.