Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2022
The Northern Manufacturing Company was founded by Charles King and Jonathan Maxwell, both of whom had previously worked for Oldsmobile. Their first cars, powered by singles, were sold in 1902. Twins followed in 1904, and four-cylinder cars would join the lineup in 1906.
The Type C was offered in 1906 and 1907 as the two-cylinder offering. The flat-twin here made 20 horsepower when new. This is a fairly large car for just two cylinders. They also built a five-passenger limousine in this model range, in addition to a runabout and another touring car.
Northern merged with the Wayne Automobile Company in 1908, and the combined company was quickly acquired by E-M-F. Maxwell had left in 1903 (to form Maxwell, which would become Chrysler), and King left after the acquisition and would form his own eponymous company. Studebaker would purchase E-M-F a few years later.
We’ve featured a few single-cylinder Northern runabouts before, but this is the first “big” Northern on this site. It should sell for between $21,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K | July 25, 2020
Julius Solomon and Jacques Bizet met while working at Georges Richard and left to start their own company, Le Zebre. They launched their first car in 1909, the Type A. It was followed by the Type B and C in 1912.
The six-horsepower Type C would last through 1918, a year longer than the B. The replacement sub-one-liter inline-four in this car has been fitted with an electric starter and has been drained of fluids. This Type C will require a little work before it gets back on the road.
Le Zebre lasted through 1931, and their relatively diminutive cars do come up for sale here and there. But they are by no means common. This one should bring between $15,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 11, 2018
Photo – Brightwells
If you drive a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile and think “man, GM really abandoned the car I drive” well, spare a thought for Scripps-Booth, one of the first marques that General Motors phased out.
Founded in Detroit in 1913 by James Scripps Booth (of the wealthy publishing family), Scripps-Booth was absorbed by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in 1917 after the company switched to using Chevy engines and away from the Sterling engine that proved problematic in this, the Model C. The Model C was introduced in 1915 and for 1916 (when this particular car was probably built) used a 1.9-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower.
But that Sterling engine proved very unreliable and saddled the Scripps-Booth with some unsavory nicknames like “Scraps-Bolts” and “Slips-Loose.” This car was sold new in Colorado and now resides in the U.K. It has known ownership history from new and was restored in Indiana before crossing the Atlantic. GM shuttered Scripps-Booth after the 1922 model year, making it an early casualty of their empire. Not many are left and this one should bring between $26,500-$30,500. Click here for more from Brightwells.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
This car looks like the grandchild of those early speed trials cars (like the Beast of Turin, the Fiat S76). While the rear is streamlined and racy, it has an abrupt shape at the front and a tall engine compartment. The headlights seem like an afterthought, located in the grille – and perhaps this is the singular feature that gives us this impression. The passenger compartment is just a way to attach a human to an otherwise monstrous machine. I think it can best be described as “chunky.”
But unlike the ridiculous 28-liter engine in the S76, this pre-war Aston uses a 2.0-liter straight-four rated at 125 horsepower. This was a competition car and the first examples were built in 1936. The last were built in 1940 – and this car is believed to be the final Aston Martin sold before the outbreak of WWII.
Of the 23 Speed Models built, only the final eight had the Type C streamlined body. This car has known ownership since new and has been restored in the past five years. When you see one of these in person, it will stand out because it’s rather different from other cars of similar vintage. This one is the prettiest I’ve seen. You can read more here and see more from RM in Monterey here.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2013
Before Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren there was Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Auto Union. The 1930s were a thrilling (and scary) time in Grand Prix racing and some of its all-time stars came from that era: Caracciola, Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Varzi and more. And so did one other man: Enzo Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari began as a race team in 1929 – becoming the Alfa Romeo factory team. It wasn’t until after the war that he started building his own cars.
This is a special, special car. It’s an 8C-35 – it uses a supercharged 3.8-liter straight-eight engine making 330 horsepower – quite a sum for 1935. This is an actual Scuderia Ferrari team car driven by Nuvolari (and more). The Ferrari-era history of this car is not known, but legend holds that Nuvolari won the 1936 Coppa Ciano with it. Toward the end of 1936, this car was sold to a privateer – Hans Ruesch, who raced it as often as possible. Some of his driving career in the car is as follows (including 3 European Championship – the precursor to Formula One – eligible races in 1937, as noted by asterisk*):
1936 Donington Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch and Dick Seaman)
1936 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 2nd (with Ruesch)
1937 South African Grand Prix – 4th (with Ruesch)
1937 Grosvenor Grand Prix – 5th (with Ruesch)
1937 Finnish Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
1937 Grand Prix des Frontieres – 1st (with Ruesch)
1937 Bucharest Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
1937 German Grand Prix* – 8th (with Ruesch)
1937 Monaco Grand Prix *- 8th (with Ruesch)
1937 Swiss Grand Prix* – 15th, DNF (with Ruesch)
1937 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 1st (with Ruesch)
Ruesch sold the car in 1939 after much success (and a few major repairs). The car came into the hands of Dennis Poore during the war and he maintained the car for 40 years, using it in a fair number of events. It was sold at auction in 1988 and was restored to its 1930s-era look in the late-1990s. The current owner acquired it about 10 years ago and has used it in some historic events as well. This is the only surviving example of an 8C-35 and it should sell for between $8,600,000-$10,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.