Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | February 2024
Saurer was a Swiss brand of trucks and buses that existed between 1902 and 1982, at which time they merged with FBW to form NAW. Daimler acquired NAW and eventually dissolved it by 2003.
Saurer built a lot of military trucks for the Swiss army, including this, the 2DM. It was introduced in 1964 and remained in production for quite some time afterward. About 3,200 examples were produced, including some civilian models.
This ex-military 4×4 model is powered by a diesel inline-six that made a little over 130 horsepower. It’s a heavy-duty thing, and it could likely pass for something about 20 years older if it needed to. The estimate is about $6,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2024
In the early 1990s, GMC went a bit nuts and produced two legendary performance trucks. First came this, the Syclone, which was a performance-oriented version of the Sonoma. The following year they’d launch the Typhoon, which was a hot Jimmy, which is a weird thing to type.
All but three Syclones were built for the 1991 model year – 2,995 of them to be exact. Power is provided by a turbocharged 4.3-liter V6 that made 280 horsepower. The truck also got all-wheel drive and was the first pickup with four-wheel ABS. It could hit 60 in 4.3 seconds. Pretty good numbers for its day, truck or not.
These are some of the coolest pickups ever made and are the grandad of every performance pickup that came after. You can read more about it here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Munich, Germany | November 25, 2023
Peugeot‘s 3008 road model is a compact SUV. And it looks nothing like this. I think, for this rally raid race car, they carried over the headlights and grille shape. And that’s about it. But hey, it gives everyone who drives a 3008 the feeling that their front-wheel-drive hatchback wagon could go anywhere if they slapped some Red Bull graphics on it.
Peugeot entered five of these in the 2017 Dakar Rally. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 that makes 340 horsepower. So it can pretty go much anywhere, and fast. The competition history for this chassis, C22, includes:
2017 Dakar Rally – 3rd (with Cyril Despres and David Castera)
2019 Dakar Rally – 3rd (with Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena)
2022 Dakar Rally – 42nd (with Khalid Al Qassmi and Dirk von Zitzewitz)
After its last outing it was rebuilt and should be instantly usable. It has an estimate of $370,000-$700,000 – a range that says “we have no idea what this is worth.” Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2023
So what is this exactly? Well, it’s described as a Rhodia – and that’s what the badge on the radiator surround says. But even browsing some fairly comprehensive automotive encyclopedias won’t help you find any info about the company.
Bonhams doesn’t provide much insight either, but they do mention that it was built in the U.S. and is “one of a few” exported to the U.K. for use as an ambulance during WWI. But, if you consult the Beaulieu Encyclopedia, there is a mention of Rhodia as a British manufacturer that existed sometime between 1914 and 1922. It notes that the ambulance you see here is the only evidence of its existence.
This truck, which is powered by an inline-four engine, is said to have been discovered in a garage in 1977, having been shut in there since 1939. It was previously registered as a taxi in Scotland in the 1920s, and it was restored by the current owner, with work wrapping in 2016. If you’re in the market for a mystery – and have the money/skill to build your own replacement parts from scratch, this is the historic WWI ambulance for you. It has an estimate of $18,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | June 25, 2023
French manufacturer Unic set up shop in 1905 and continued producing passenger cars through 1938. They produced military vehicles during WWII and concentrated on trucks after the war, soldiering on independently until Fiat took them over in 1966. The brand was phased out after being merged into Iveco in 1975.
But this L2 from 1924 proves that Unic had a hold on commercial vehicles well before the end of WWII. It’s powered by an inline-four of unknown displacement but apparently rated at 10 (presumably taxable) horsepower.
The body style is listed as Boulangère, which is kind of a French huckster wagon. The driver’s compartment is quite nice, and the wagon has a fold-down tailgate for the cargo area, a solid roof, and roll-up side curtains. The estimate here is $10,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2023
The Stegeman Motor Car Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was founded in 1911 and produced heavy trucks through 1917. The actually offered at least six models of varying capacity – up to seven tons.
You can tell this is one of the heavier trucks because it utilizes solid rubber tires. Lighter trucks used pneumatic ones. It’s a three-ton truck powered by an inline-four engine. It’s also got a three-speed manual transmission and an open-cab body with a stake bed.
Later Stegemans could be had with a six-cylinder engine and electric start. This particular example is one of three from the manufacturer in the U.S. known to exist. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | February 11, 2023
Smith Electric Vehicles was founded in 1920 in England. They moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in 2011 and were out of business by 2017. Their main product over the years were electric delivery vans.
Which is what we have here. Basically, this is the electric, 1980s British version of a Divco milk truck. It doesn’t look all that interesting, and it probably isn’t too interesting to drive. Even Brightwells couldn’t come up with more than a sentence for a lot description. And that description ends with a question mark. It may as well just say “Well, why not?” (Can we also talk about how fresh milk deliveries are still happening in England?)
What I find interesting about this truck is that it comes from a manufacturer of commercial vehicles that most people have never heard of. And here is someone’s opportunity to have a relatively low-maintenance “historic commercial vehicle” for very little cost: just $3,000-$4,000. Click here for more info. Or less info.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | December 2022
Functional. That’s what the design of this screams. Volkswagen developed the EA489 Basistransporter for “developing markets,” which I think is code for “third-world countries.” It was produced as a knock-down kit in West Germany and sold under a few names. Versions produced in Mexico between 1977 and 1979 were called the Hormiga.
The engine is a 1.6-liter flat-four located under the cabin. The air intake sprouts out of the roof like a bathroom vent, and the thing is front-wheel drive. Power for Mexican-market models was rated at 50 horsepower, and it was rated to carry about 2,200 pounds.
Never seen one of these? Hardly surprising, just 3,600 were built in Mexico, and even the limited number of examples produced for other markets were all used up and thrown away. This one has obviously been redone. You can read more about it here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Miami, Florida | December 10, 2022
This is the perfect spec Hummer. It’s a yellow, non-wagon with a black soft top. Even better, it’s an Alpha. General Motors acquired the Hummer brand in 1999. Sometime in 2000, Hummer became the marque, and once the H2 was launched, they rebranded the original Hummer as the H1 (in 2003). There were no 2005-model-year H1s.
It was announced that 2006 would be the final year for the H1. It was upgraded to Alpha spec, which means that the engine is a 6.6-liter Duramax diesel V8 rated at 300 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. This particular truck has been fitted with an aftermarket ECU and other bits, bumping horsepower to a claimed 500.
Only 729 H1 Alphas were built, and this one has just 22,000 miles. The pre-sale estimate is $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | December 3, 2022
The Willys Jeep was a hit during WWII, and the basic concept has remained popular in civilian life since. Well, the Brits didn’t want to have to keep buying American Jeeps – and there was some nationalistic pride to be had too by developing their own version.
So in stepped Austin with this, which unofficially became known as the Champ. Produced between 1951 and 1956, the jeep-like truck is powered by a Rolls-Royce-sourced 2.8-liter inline-four that made 80 horsepower. It’s a 4×4 with a waterproof engine and a snorkel. A civilian version was also available.
This one remained in service with the British military until 1967 and later went to the Netherlands. It wears an older restoration and carries as estimate of $14,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.