Studebaker Special Six

1922 Studebaker Special Six Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is a car I’d love to own because of the following: 1. It’s a Studebaker. 2. It’s a pre-1930 touring car and 3. It’s rocking some great colors, including blue-painted artillery wheels wearing whitewall tires. Studebaker offered three models in 1922: the base Light Six, the top-of-the-line Big Six, and the mid-level Special Six, which was also known as the Series 22 Model EL.

Power is from a 4.7-liter inline-six rated at 50 horsepower. Styling was sort of a carryover of the previous year’s Big Six, and six body styles were offered. The Special Six was built for three model years, and 111,443 were built across all styles for those three years.

Obviously restored, this car is fitted with a few factory options, including a spare tire, bumpers, and a motometer. It’s now offered at no reserve with an estimate of $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,600.

Chalmers Model 11

1912 Chalmers Model 11 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Many early car companies were started by engineers or industrialists. Chalmers was founded by a sales guy (sort of). The short version is the Thomas car company would become the Thomas-Detroit car company in 1906. Hugh Chalmers was a high-up at National Cash Register in Dayton, Ohio, and he was a helluva salesman. He was lured to a struggling Thomas-Detroit in 1908.

One of the conditions was that the name be changed to Chalmers-Detroit (sorry, E.R. Thomas). By 1910, they dropped the “Detroit” and were known simply as Chalmers through 1924. Chalmers had officially merged with Maxwell in 1922 after a being sort of common-law married for the previous few years. Walter Chrysler bought out Maxwell/Chalmers in 1923, and the rest is history.

1911 was actually Chalmers’ best year when they were the 8th largest automaker in the U.S. The 1912 range consisted of four models, including the 30-horsepower, 3.7-liter inline-four-powered Model 11. This large tourer is expected to bring between $18,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,750.

Austro-Adler

1912 Austro-Adler 14/17HP

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | August 29, 2020

Photo – Dorotheum

I’m sitting here browsing the ultimate automotive encyclopedia. It’s three volumes and weighs a ton. It covers everything. But it does not mention the Austro-Adler. Here is the story: Adler, the German car company, built their first car in 1900. In 1907, a shop opened in Vienna. They were selling Adlers as Austro-Adlers, and that’s because the cars underwent a sort of “final assembly” there to get around import taxes.

It was gone by 1918, and it is unknown how many cars they moved. This is the only known survivor, and it is fantastic. It’s a boxy touring car with a sporty folding windshield and big artillery spoke wheels that are wearing white letter tires.

This model was not an actual Adler model. It is thought that perhaps the Austrians bumped up the power ratings for resale. The prevailing theory is that this is actually an Adler 7/17 model renamed for resale. It’s got an inline-four that I would estimate to be around 1.8-liters in capacity. This unusual and rare tourer is expected to sell for between $59,000-$82,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $149,515.

Winton Big Six

1912 Winton Model 17-C Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I. Love. Wintons. Alexander Winton is one of the most important figures in the early days of the automobile. He was the first person to formally set up production of cars in the U.S. A Scottish immigrant, Winton switched from bicycle production to experimenting with gasoline engines in 1896.

His first cars were sold in 1897. He sold 100 of them in 1899. By the teens, the company was fighting against the likes of Packard and Lozier near the upper end of the market, selling exclusively six-cylinder cars. Unfortunately, they ceased production in 1924. Cool fact: Winton set up a diesel engine building business that was ultimately sold to GM in 1930. It is still around as part of EMD.

This Model 17-C is powered by a 48 horsepower 7.5-liter inline-six. It was restored long ago and still remains well out of my price range, with an estimate of $200,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $140,000.

Chalmers Touring

1914 Chalmers Model 24 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I think Chalmers has one of the most interesting histories of any defunct auto manufacturer. Its roots trace back to the Buffalo Automobile Company, which became Thomas, then Thomas-Detroit, then Chalmers-Detroit, then Chalmers. Chalmers would later merge into Maxwell, which is now Chrysler. A more detailed history can be viewed here.

The 1914 Chalmers model line consisted of the Model 19 and Model 24. This is an example of the larger model, which is powered by a 60 horsepower inline-six. Six different bodies were offered on this chassis, which was produced as the Model 24 only in 1914. This tourer would’ve cost its first owner $2,175.

This example has been active on the historic circuit since the 1950s, which says a lot about its usability. It is being offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,600.

Five Cars from RM in Hershey

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019


1906 White Model F Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Thomas White‘s sewing machine business gave way to steam cars in 1900. The company was a pioneer in their field, but they ultimately saw the light and phased out steam cars in favor of gas-powered vehicles in 1912.

This 1906 Model F Touring was the second-cheapest car White offered in 1906 after the Model F Runabout. At $2,800, it wasn’t cheap. But the White was one of the more popular – and more well-built – steam cars of their day. This one looks great but would look better with a convertible top. It should bring between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $96,250.


1917 Chandler Type 17 Seven-Passenger Touring

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frederic Chandler worked for Lozier before he jumped ship in 1913 with a few of his fellow employees to form his own company. The Chandler was a hit and lasted through 1929, when it was acquired by Hupmobile and quickly phased out.

There were a lot of cars “in the middle” of the American market in the 1910s and 20s. Chandler was one of the better ones in that class. This 1917 model is powered by a 27 horsepower 4.4-liter inline-six. Five body styles were offered, and the seven-passenger touring sold new for $1,395. This time around it should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,700.


1923 Gardner Model 5 Five-Passenger Sedan

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The most interesting thing about this Gardner sedan, to me, is thinking about who purchased it in 1923. No one in 1923 knew that GM, Chrysler, and Ford would still be around 100 years later. But surely someone assumed Gardner would’ve been. After all, it was a well-regarded company from St. Louis that built a fair number of cars. It’s just hard to imagine someone wandering down to their local Gardner dealer and plunking down the cash.

Gardners were built from 1920 through 1931, and the company sort of inched upmarket each year, with their final offerings bordering on luxury cars. Kind of like Chrysler. But back in ’23, they were just another middle-class marque. The Model 5 could be had in a few styles, the sedan selling for $1,365. It kind of looks like a taxi and is powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. But I bet it goes cheaper than that. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,200.


1930 Marquette Model 35 Five-Passenger Phaeton

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

GM’s “companion make” philosophy in the 1920s and 1930s gave us Pontiac and LaSalle. Both of which were relatively successful. In fact, Pontiac was so successful that GM killed off the brand that spawned it, Oakland. So they figured they’d give Buick a companion. And they did: Marquette.

It only lasted for a single model year. Six models were offered, all priced right at about $1,000. All Marquettes are powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six good for 67 horsepower. The Model 35 Phaeton sold for $1,020, and this is one of 889 such cars built.

In all, Marquette production totaled 35,007 before GM killed it off. This rare survivor should bring between $15,000-$25,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $15,950.


1933 Terraplane Deluxe Six Model KU Sedan

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I was excited to feature an Essex. But I forgot that Hudson killed off the Essex marque in favor of Terraplane beginning in 1933. So instead of featuring a final-year example from Essex, we’re featuring a launch-year example of the Terraplane.

Terraplane offered six and eight-cylinder cars in 1933 that were essentially down-market Hudsons. A slew of body styles were offered, and the sedan cost $655 when new. A 3.2-liter inline-six good for 70 horsepower provided the oomph. This is a handsome car in good colors. It’s well-trimmed, with chrome bumpers and four suicide doors. The best part is it is usable and is expected to fetch only $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $18,700.

Two Cars in Hershey

1914 Jeffrey Six Model 96 Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Jeffrey was kind of an important marque. It was founded by Thomas B. Jeffrey and his son Charles. They started by building the Rambler, but after Thomas died, Charles changed the name to Jeffrey. In 1917, the company was sold to Charles Nash (after Charles survived the Lusitania sinking), and the name changed again. Nash eventually merged into AMC, which is now part of Chrysler… which is now part of Fiat. So this is just like an old Fiat.

Jeffrey cars were only sold between 1914 and 1917. Three models were offered in 1914 and the Six was the largest. It is powered by a 48 horsepower inline-six. Over 10,000 Jeffreys were sold in 1914, and this one should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $52,250.


1909 Enger Model B High-Wheel Runabout

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frank J. Enger set up shop in Cincinnati in 1909 to build high-wheelers. More traditional touring cars followed in 1910, but the company folded in 1917 after Frank’s suicide in his office. This high-wheeler is from the first year of production.

The Enger high-wheeler was actually a normal car but with big wheels. It’s pretty much the original donk. Three models were offered that year, and the Model B was the least expensive at $1,600. It’s powered by a 14 horsepower flat-twin. This one should bring between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale. Also, I really want this car.

Update: Sold $45,100.

1907 Wayne Touring

1907 Wayne Model N Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Wayne Automobile Company was founded in Detroit in 1904 by Charles Palms, E.A. Skae, Roger Sullivan, J.B. Brock, and car designer William Kelly. They started with two-cylinder cars and eventually expanded into four-cylinder offerings before they merged with Northern in 1908.

Almost immediately after the merger, the company was acquired by Walter Flanders and Barney Everitt who turned it into E-M-F. In 1910, Studebaker acquired E-M-F and merged it into their line of cars.

This 1907 Model N is the only surviving “big Wayne,” and it’s powered by a 35 horsepower inline-four. It was acquired by the current owner in 1999, after which it was first restored. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $184,250.

Gray-Dort Touring

1920 Gray-Dort Model 15 Touring

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

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

William Gray founded a carriage-building company in Chatham, Ontario in 1856. In 1915, his company began selling American-made Dort cars under license in Canada. By 1916, they were building the cars themselves and fitting them with luxurious and innovative features. The first reverse light was installed on a Gray-Dort.

This Model 15 touring car is powered by a 21 horsepower, 3.2-liter Lycoming inline-four. The cars were popular in Canada, outselling Chevrolet there for a period of time. And Canadians took notice – the Canadian Parliament named Gray-Dort a national treasure. The Bricklin didn’t get that honor.

About 26,000 cars were built through 1925, which is when Dort closed down. Gray-Dort searched for another manufacturer to hook up with, attempting deals with Nash and Hudson before trying the American company Gray. But Gray closed down in 1926 and Gray-Dort was gone. Only 30 examples of their work remain, and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,600.

Harroun Touring

1918 Harroun Model A-1 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 29-September 1, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

To win the very first Indianapolis 500 is kind of a big deal. Ray Harroun will be remembered for as long as that race continues… and then for another century or so. But after that 1911 victory, he retired from racing. And most people who know who he is have no idea what became of him after that.

Well, let’s backtrack. In 1905, Mr. Harroun built his own racing car before he got a job as a riding mechanic. So he knew his way around the mechanical parts of a car. In 1917, he set up shop in Wayne, Michigan, to build automobiles. And unlike some people who just slapped their name on the front of cars for the promotional benefit, Harroun actually designed the cars that carried his name.

The Model A-1 was built in 1917 and 1918. It’s powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. This example is a little rough, but it’s believed to be one of two such examples in existence (and one of only 326 built in 1918). All-original, it’ll need a little TLC (and tires, at least) to get going again. But once it’s up and running it will be a roaming part of history. Harroun Motors closed in 1922. This car is estimated to sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: SOld $33,000.