Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2022
The Lanchester Motor Company was founded by Frederick, George, and Frank Lanchester, a trio of brothers who built their first car in 1895. The company was acquired by BSA in 1930, and it wound up as part of Daimler, which came under the control of Jaguar in 1960. But by that time, the Lanchester marque had been discontinued for five years.
This car is very striking. Early Lanchesters were kind of funky looking, with the driver more or less sitting over the engine, no front hood, and an upright radiator directly in front of the passenger compartment, which was still rearward of the front axle. It was… awkward.
The Sporting Forty was introduced near the end of 1913. It had a more conventional layout, with the engine moved forward in the chassis. Imagine a company bragging about that today. It’s powered by a 5.5-liter inline-six. Just six were built before WWI broke out. In 1919, the “40” was re-introduced, but it was a somewhat different car.
This example was Lanchester’s demonstrator and is the only remaining Sporting Forty. A restoration was completed around 2004. Bonhams has an estimate of $200,000-$245,000 on it. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 19, 2022
Bean Cars first entered the automotive industry as a parts supplier and started producing automobiles in the wake of WWI, which they had tooled up for and now needed a product to push out. So the first Bean cars went on sale in 1919.
They got up to speed quickly, selling a lot of cars for an upstart. But expansion was expensive, especially as the market slowed. Bean was bankrupt by the end of 1920. So in stepped Hadfields Limited, a steel company, among others, saving the company. A few years later debts had mounted again and Hadfields came to the rescue, this time getting a majority share of Bean as a result.
So from 1927, all Bean cars were sold as Hadfield-Bean, and the following year they launched the 14/45 (which I am pretty sure this is). Well, the cars were launched before they were sorted and it tanked the brand value because, well, they weren’t great. Passenger car production ceased in 1929 with commercial vehicles lasting through 1931.
The 14/45 was powered by a 2.3-liter inline-four, and this one has known history back to the 1930s. A restoration was completed in the late 1970s. The pre-sale estimate is $28,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 10, 2022
When I think of Arrol-Johnston, I think early, London-to-Brighton-style vehicles. But the marque actually survived until about 1930. The company built its first car in 1895 and was named for financial backer William Arrol and the prototype’s designer, George Johnston.
The 15.9HP model was introduced around the time this car is dated to. It would be a mainstay of the Arrol-Johnston lineup, even surviving the merger with Aster in 1927. The model would last through 1929.
It’s powered by a 2.6-liter inline-four. Most of the 15.9HP model’s production was front-loaded during its run, with about 2,100 produced by the end of ’23. They trickled out after that. The restoration on this one was completed a dozen years ago, and it now carries an estimate of $23,000-$35,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | April 27, 2022
Sunbeam-Talbot existed as a marque between 1935 and 1954. It was formed when the Rootes Group merged Sunbeam and Talbot together. By the mid-1950s, Talbot-Lago‘s existence made things confusing, so Talbot was dropped from English-built cars and Sunbeam existed for decades to come.
The 2-Litre was available from 1939 to 1948, with a break for the war. Power is from a 1.9-liter inline-four capable of 56 horsepower in post-war spec. Three body styles were offered, including this tourer, which was restored in the 1980s.
There were 1,306 examples of the 2-Litre built, and just eight are known to exist in the U.K. This one carries an estimate of $20,000-$26,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | April 27, 2022
The Swift Motor Company operated out of Coventry, England, between 1900 and 1931. Early cars used De Dion engines, then the company moved into cyclecars. After WWI, cyclecars were gone and more a traditional model range took their place.
This M Type is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four that was rated at 12 taxable horsepower. The model was also known as the “12”. This attractive tourer sports some really cool wheels, the kind you only find on British cars of this era.
It was first restored in 1991 and again in 2013, with just 900 miles having been covered since. It now carries and estimate of $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | April 10, 2022
The Swallow Coachbuilding Company started building their own cars in 1932. The first model launched was the SS1. Bonhams quotes a total of 2,503 examples produced through 1936. SS, of course, would become Jaguar after WWII and the resulting new associated connotations with “SS”.
The SS1 was powered by a choice of inline-six engines, with this car being powered by the later, larger 2.6-liter unit. There was an SS2 that featured a four-cylinder powerplant. Output in this car was rated at 68 horsepower.
Five body styles were offered, including the tourer shown here. It remained with a single family for about 50 years, being restored early in their stewardship. Now it has a pre-sale estimate of $78,000-$105,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 16, 2022
Lagonda, which sounds somewhat exotic and high-end, is actually named after a place in… Ohio. The company, which is British, was founded by an Ohioan named Wilbur Gunn. It was taken over by Aston Martin in 1947 and used as a model name on a few Astons over the years.
But this car pre-dates Aston and was offered between 1923 and 1926 alongside the “12”, which carried a slightly lower taxable horsepower rating. Between the two models, approximately 6,000 examples were made, 2,250 of which were the 12/24. Only five are known to exist.
The car features semi-monocoque construction and is powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four that could push the car to 50 mph. Many later Lagondas have swoopy, sporty styling. But this early, more staid example is proof that the company had more humble roots. It has an estimate of $20,000-$22,500. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
We’ve featured our fair share of Hispano-Suiza cars over the years, most of which are of the 1920s-1930s coachbuilt variety. And nearly all of those were Hispano’s high-end luxury offerings with big six- and 12-cylinder engines. But this is slightly different.
Prior to the H6B of 1919, many of the company’s cars were simply given model names to reflect their output (especially pre-1910). The 15/20HP came out in 1910 was produced through 1914. The 2.6-liter inline-four made 20 horsepower.
Pre-1920 Hispano-Suizas are rarely seen, and this Spanish-built example is said to have remained in Spain for most of its life. It has a pre-sale estimate of $68,000-$91,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The H6B was the middle child of the H6 line, debuting in 1922 and being sold alongside the later H6C for a while as well. It’s powered by a 6.6-liter inline-six originally rated at 135 horsepower.
This particular car was in the U.S. for some time prior to 1990, and it returned to Europe in 2003. The current owner acquired it in 2018, and a restoration of some degree was carried out in the last two years. The pre-sale estimate is $380,000-$435,000. 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.