Big, Early Hotchkiss

1908 Hotchkiss 16/20HP Type T Roi des Belges by A. Descoins & Fils

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Hotchkiss began life as an arms manufacturer and moved into cars in 1903. They survived WWII and some of their post-war cars are pretty attractive. They merged with Delahaye in 1954 and passenger car production stopped the following year. The marque soldiered on with commercial vehicles until 1971.

Hotchkiss was one of a few fairly large French automakers that existed prior to the outbreak of WWI that built properly large touring cars. This is not a small automobile. It seems like that the larger the company in France in this period, the smaller the cars. De Dion-Bouton, Renault, and Panhard et Levassor all produced relatively small cars at this time (sure, they made some large ones too).

What’s remarkable is that the Type T was the company’s smallest model for 1908! It’s powered by a 3.1-liter straight-four rated at 16/20 horsepower. The Type T was not built in large numbers and this example was discovered in a barn. The restoration finished up in 1998 and it’s still spectacular. The current owner bought it in 2000 and has taken pride in driving it thousands of miles in rallies. It’s the oldest Hotchkiss known to have its original body and it should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $212,710.

1909 Hotchkiss Coupe de Ville

1909 Hotchkiss Type T Coupe de Ville by Eugene Boulogne et Fils

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Look at that aerodynamic windshield. I love cars from this era because they were meant to do things. They moved people who no longer wished to use a horse. Yet they were exquisite in their detail and design. It wasn’t about streamlining for gas mileage. It was about accomplishing a task.

Hotchkiss started life as an arms manufacturer (as did a couple of other French automobile companies). The Hotchkiss brothers who founded the company were actually from Connecticut but they were gone before auto production started in 1902.

The Type T was new for 1907 and lasted through 1911. It uses a 3.1-liter straight-four and it was the smallest car they offered. The body is somewhat regal and was built by a little known French coachbuilder. It is believed this is the only Hotchkiss they bodied. This car is pretty much entirely original, which is amazing.

Less than 400 Type Ts were built. Not many are left, but this is the only one from this coachbuilder and it is as it was in 1909. A simply incredible opportunity. The price will range between $165,000-$210,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold on the cheap, $65,327.