Blower Bentley

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Bentley was the 3-Litre model. In 1927, W.O. Bentley increased the displacement of the car and it became the 4½-Litre (the larger 6½-Litre was already on sale). These cars competed at Le Mans with the legendary “Bentley Boys” at the helm. One of them won it in 1928.

Then in 1929, Bentley and one of his engineers, Amherst Villiers, strapped a supercharger to the 4.4-liter straight-four. The Blower Bentley was born and it was an instant legend, setting several speed records. Horsepower jumped to 175 compared to the 110 from the normal car. Speeds of 100 mph were easily achieved, even on open roads.

This car originally carried a sedan body – one of three such cars delivered. Bentley had to homologate this model for racing, so 50 had to be built (and they were). This was the last of the first batch of 25 cars. The second owner wrecked it in 1935 and when Bentley rebuilt it, the engine was split from the car and fitted to a 3-Litre chassis. In 1984, the owners of the car decided to put it back the way it was supposed to be.

They sourced as many of the original parts as they could including the correct engine. It was re-bodied in Vanden Plas Tourer form and the project wrapped up in 1993. With two owners since, this rare and highly desirable Blower Bentley should bring between $2,700,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $2,654,569.

Marendaz Sports

1936 Marendaz Special 13/70HP Sports Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has assembled quite the lineup for their Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. There’s an Aston DB4GT, a DB4GT Zagato, a Blower Bentley, and much, much more. But, to us, this is the most exciting car of the sale. Marendaz existed in England for 10 years: 1926 to 1936. In that time they turned out precious few cars and they are sporty.

This car, the 13/70, was available from 1932 through 1934. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter Continental straight-six rated at 70 horsepower. The factory used this engine but slimmed it down when new to 1.9-liters for tax purposes. So this car has the “correct” engine, but just not in the same specification it would’ve had when new. It’s got open four-seat coachwork with exhaust reminiscent of a Mercedes Type S.

Despite offering nearly 15 different models over the course of the short decade that Donald Marcus Kelway Marendaz’s company existed, they managed to only build between 80 and 120 cars in total. They’re sporty, very rare, and the entire history reminds one of manufacturers like Arab, Squire, and Alta. It’s an interesting old sports car for sure and the price should fall in the $93,000-$110,000 range. You can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Not sold.

Ford Model K Tourer

1906 Ford Model K Tourer

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

Photo – Bonhams

Not too long ago we chronicled the reasons as to why Henry Ford built a massive touring car before the everyman’s Model T went on sale in 1909. Basically: his investors wanted a luxury car. And so Ford obliged. Between 1906 and 1908, the quite large Model K was sold.

It was available as a two-door, four-passenger Touring or apparently as a Roadster. It was the first six-cylinder Ford (and the only one they’d offer until 1941). That six is a 6.6-liter straight-six good for 40 horsepower. In 1906, the Model K cost $2,500. This was the most expensive product – by a good margin – that Ford had offered up to that point. The ’06 model line consisted of the entry-level Model N and the upscale Model K with the Model F floating somewhere in the middle.

This well-restored Tourer is being offered out of a museum and is a beautiful example of an early, large Ford. It’s expected to bring between $270,000-$400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $401,856.

Thomas-Detroit Tourer

1907 Thomas-Detroit Model C Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Thomas-Detroit was a short-lived marque founded in 1906 after two former Oldsmobile employees had a chance encounter with E.R. Thomas of the Thomas Motor Company. The two ex-Olds employees, engineer Howard Coffin and salesman Roy Chapin, convinced Thomas to help fund their building of a slightly smaller car than Thomas was currently offering out of his Buffalo-based enterprise.

So Thomas-Detroit was set up in Detroit to build a 40HP car. It was offered in 1906, 1907, and 1908 only because Chapin and Coffin became tired of being managed from afar. They convinced Hugh Chalmers to buy out Thomas and the marque became Chalmers-Detroit for 1909 before becoming just Chalmers in 1911.

This Model C is powered by a 5.8-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower. It was offered as a Runabout, Touring car, Limousine, or Landaulette. This Touring would’ve cost $2,750 when new. Very few Thomas-Detroit motorcars were ever completed and sold before the company’s name changed. This one has been wonderfully restored and should bring between $125,000-$175,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,600.

1911 De Dion-Bouton

1911 De Dion-Bouton DE1 Two-Seat Tourer

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 11, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

De Dion-Bouton was the first automotive giant. By 1900 they were producing 400 cars a year and over 3,000 engines that were used by car makers all over the world. Single-cylinder De Dion engines were ubiquitous in the early days of the automobile.

In 1911, the DE1 was the entry-level De Dion-Bouton offering and it’s powered by one of those legendary single-cylinder engines. In this case, a 720cc unit capable of six horsepower. It was among the final cars to carry their famous single-cylinder as the company moved toward larger cars. Ultimately the company ceased car production in 1932.

The history of this model is known back only a few decades. Within the last ten years the car has been repainted and the engine rebuilt. It’s well-optioned for a car of its age, carrying many period accessories. Brightwells took this car to auction a few months ago and we regrettably failed to feature it. Lucky for us it didn’t meet its reserve and it’s back for us to oogle. It should bring $35,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

4 Pre-WWI Minervas

Pre-WWI Minervas

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Transformable Open-Drive Limousine Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams managed to snag an unreal collection of Minerva automobiles for their Rétromobile sale. This is the oldest of the bunch, dating to 1907 – which was just five years after the Belgian firm built their first cars.

The Type K features a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-six. This car was aimed squarely at the top of the market – right at Rolls-Royce. It’s a gigantic car, with an open (or covered) driver’s compartment and an enclosed limousine rear (but also with a removable top… which I guess makes this entire car technically a convertible). The body is by Belvallette et Cie. It was purchased new off of Minvera’s stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.

It was discovered in 1966 and immediately placed in a museum. In 1981 it changed hands again and the collection it is coming out of acquired it in 1995. Did I mention that this 111-year-old car is entirely original? It’s been expertly preserved and it should bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $744,906.


1910 Minerva Model S 26HP Open-Drive Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

The 1910 Minerva range consisted of three models, the entry-level 16HP, the top-of-the-line 38HP, and this, the mid-range 26HP Model S. The engine is a Knight sleeve-valve 4.1-liter straight-four. The body looks extremely complicated with a retractable top out back and a removable hardtop for the driver, which when both are down, leaves a little piece of roof sticking up in the middle.

This car was delivered new to France and returned to Belgium in 1918. The current collection acquired the car in 1999 and there was a restoration, but no one seems to know when it was performed. At any rate, it’s aged nicely and should bring between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $205,736.


1911 Minerva Model Z 38HP Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

This Minerva looks a little bit newer than 1911, which I guess is a testament to its great design. The Model Z was the “big” Minerva for 1911, powered by a 6.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-four making 38 horsepower. The body almost has a “C-Cab” look to the driver’s compartment, which is very stylish. Unfortunately, the coachbuilder is unknown.

This car was delivered new to Spain and entered the current collection more than 30 years ago. It’s thought to be mostly original, but it will require some freshening as it’s been sitting for a few years. Compared to some of the other Minervas in this sale, this car is on the cheap side, with a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $87,969.


1912 Minerva Model CC 38HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Just like in 1910 and 1911, the 1912 Minerva line consisted of three models of differing power outputs with this, the 38HP model being the largest. It’s powered by a sleeve-valve 7.2-liter straight-four rated at 38 horsepower. That large displacement coupled with the Knight engine made for exceptionally smooth running.

This is a big touring car equipped with a second windshield for the rear passengers. Delivered new to the U.K., this car was pulled from a Scottish barn in the 1960s and restored as-needed before the end of the 1970s. It’s been on static display in this collection for up to the last 15 years, which means it’ll need a little TLC if you want to take it out on the road. It should sell for between $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $156,075.

Four 20s Cars from Bonhams (and one from the Teens)

1923 Daimler TS 6.30 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has been killing it with their Beaulieu Sale the past few years. Because this time of year is so jam packed with great sales, we ended up doing this sort of thing last year too. So we’re going to squeeze four cars from the 20s (and one from the teens) to make sure we’re capturing the most interesting cars that we aren’t likely to see again for some time.

The British version of Daimler was founded in 1896 and actually lasted through the 2007 model year. This large tourer from 1923 is powered by a 5.0-liter, sleeve-valve straight-six making 30 horsepower. It’s a model that dates back to 1913, so I guess it was a little long-in-the-tooth a decade later – but you’d be hard pressed to tell as this six-seat tourer looks quite nice. The body is by Maythorn.

The car does run and has been in present ownership since 1993. It should be a relatively affordable large classic as it carries a pre-sale estimate of $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,331.


1928 Bayliss-Thomas 12/27HP Two-Seater Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bayliss-Thomas was a company that is primarily known for a brand of motorcycles called “Excelsior.” These are not the same Excelsior bikes made in the U.S., as this company was based in Coventry. In 1920 they decided to start building cars, but couldn’t use “Excelsior” and had to settle for their corporate name, Bayliss-Thomas.

Produced only through 1929, the company managed to churn out just over 1,000 cars in a 10 year span. Introduced in 1925, the 12/27 featured a 27 horsepower 1.5-liter Meadows straight-four and a three-speed gearbox. Five body styles were offered with this Sports Tourer being among the smallest. This example has been on static display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, since 1974. It has been slowly restored but is not currently running. It’s certainly a rare car that isn’t seen often. In this state it should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1925 Vauxhall 30/98HP OE Velox Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams features a lot (like, really a lot) of old Vauxhalls over the course of a year. And this site has been ignoring them for too long. These cars are highly sporty and very popular in their native Britain. It is said that this model is favored over 3-Litre Bentleys of the period.

The 30/98 was first introduced in 1913, designed primarily for competition. Most were built after WWI ended and this particular sub-model, the OE, started finding homes in 1923 (and it lasted through 1927). The engine by this point was a 4.2-liter straight-four that actually made 110 horsepower. The chassis is described as “lightweight” – or lightweight for 1925. This car can comfortably cruise at modern highway speeds – and then some, with racing models capable of over 100 mph.

Even with the adoption of four-wheel brakes for the OE, the design was quite dated by the time it went on sale. Only 312 examples of the OE 30/98 were built. This four-seat Velox tourer was bodied in-house and looks as if it was aimed squarely at the competition from Bentley. Imported from Australia decades ago, the current owner acquired this car in 2012 and performed a fresh restoration. This sporty piece of British motoring history should bring between $280,000-$330,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $277,432.


1925 Fiat 510 De Luxe Berlina

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

When one thinks of old Italian cars, it’s easy to think of just things that are sporty or just things that are small. But there were also big sedans – just like those from France, the U.K., and America. In fact, Fiat’s Tipo 510 was the biggest car they built at the time. It was available for the 1920 through 1925 model years.

The engine is a 3.4-liter straight-six making 46 horsepower (or 53 if you had the upgraded “S” version). Top speed in this version is about 60 mph. The “S” also had a shorter wheelbase, as Fiat offered the standard 510 in just one length.

This example was sold new to Denmark and the current owner acquired it in 2001. It’s been cared for by conscientious owners its entire life. One of the last 510s built (of about 14,000 total), this big Fiat should bring between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $25,309.


1914 Calcott 10½HP Two-Seater with Dickey

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Calcott Brothers started building bicycles in 1886 and, like many other bicycle manufacturers, turned to motorcycles – for them in 1904. The next logical step, cars, followed in 1913. The marque was acquired by Singer in 1926 and phased out after the head of the company passed away.

Bonhams is actually offering three different Calcott cars in this sale. This 10.5HP model is an example of the first model the company produced. Introduced in 1913, these were built through 1917. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four making, you guessed it, 10.5 horsepower. Most Calcotts were light cars and this one is quite pretty in bright blue with matching rims. This ex-museum car has been in storage since 2015 and needs a little work to make it roadworthy, but it’ll be worth it. It should bring between $19,000-$26,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,820.

Sheffield-Simplex

1908 Sheffield-Simplex 45HP Model LA2 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Simplex was a popular word in the early days of the automobile. Famously, there was the Mercedes-Simplex, the Crane-Simplex, the plain-old Simplex and the American Simplex aka Amplex… among others. The Sheffield-Simplex was from, guess where, Sheffield, England. The company was founded in 1907 with financial backing from Earl Fitzwilliam, a man who made his fortune in coal. The last cars rolled off the line in 1920 and motorcycles continued on through 1927.

The first car produced in 1907 was the LA1 and the LA2 followed in 1908. It’s powered by a rather large 45 horsepower, 7.0-liter straight-six. When new, the LA2 was advertised as being sold without a gearbox, though it did actually have one. This is the only surviving Model LA2.

Re-imported into the U.K. from Australia in the 1970s, this example was thoroughly restored and has taken part in many rallies in the U.K. over the years. It is thought that the company only turned out about 1,500 cars in their 13 years of production (and most of those were built before WWI started). Only three are known to survive, with this being the oldest. It should bring between $190,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Vermorel Tourer

1913 Vermorel 12/16HP Model L Torpedo Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The French Vermorel company (officially, Établissements V. Vermorel) traces its roots back to 1850, when it was founded as an engineering firm in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France. They built their first car in 1899, but series production didn’t being until 1908.

Production took off until the outbreak of World War One and resumed immediately upon the war’s conclusion. The last Vermorel passenger car rolled off the line 1930 and heavy trucks were built through 1932. The company soldiered on in other arenas until 1965.

This particular example was discovered in a barn in France in 1968. It had two owners until 1990 when the current owner bought it. It is likely powered by a 2.3-liter straight-four making 12/16 horsepower and the body is by Henri Gauthier & Cie. Vermorel is a rare marque these days and this is believed to be the only example in the U.K. It should sell for between $26,000-$39,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $25,681.

1912 Benz Tourer

1912 Benz 8/20HP Tourer

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 17, 2017

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Do you think that when Karl Benz was born in 1844 he – or anyone else alive at the time – had any idea that he would be building attractive touring automobiles at some point in his life? The Benz 8/20HP was one of the more important models the company produced, as it sold well and helped keep them financially stable, especially considering the model was built between 1912 and 1921 – years interrupted by a particularly intrusive World War.

The 8/20 is powered by a 20 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-four. The body is good-looking and was built in Australia. There is enough brass here to really drive home the fact that it is indeed a Brass Era car. Of course, Benz would merge with Daimler’s Mercedes marque in 1926 to form Mercedes-Benz.

Supposedly, this car was one of three delivered to Australia in 1913 for a cross-continent endurance race. That race never happened (you know, the war and all). One of the cars was wrecked, another is now in the M-B museum in Stuttgart, and one is being sold by Worldwide Auctioneers in a few weeks (yes, this car). The restoration was completed last year and it is expected to bring between $175,000 and $225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $121,000.