Marathon Electric Vehicles produced a lone road-going vehicle between 1976 and 1981. The company was based in Montreal, and their C-300 was a kind of odd, open-top Jeep-type thing that resembled, well, a Volkswagen Thing.
This, the C360, was purportedly purchased by Briggs & Stratton and turned into an early hybrid test vehicle. Yes, it has three axles and sliding side doors. The body is also made out of Alucobond, which is two sheets of aluminum over a urethane-filled core. The Briggs & Stratton twin is mounted up front, and the van is missing its electric motor and batteries.
Consider it a project, but an interesting one from a forgotten early electric upstart. Check out more about it here.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 1, 2023
The Schnellaster was the first Auto Union vehicle produced in West Germany after the war. It was built in Ingolstadt, Germany, now known as the HQ location for Audi, which Auto Union became later on down the line. We’ve actually featured a Schnellaster pickup before.
But a panel van and a microbus (passenger van) were also offered. The van features front-wheel drive and a two-stroke vertical twin (or triple) engine. This one has the 900cc inline-three from the DKW 3=6. Output was 32 horsepower, and top speed was about 60 mph.
This van has been used by commercial business for most of its existence, or at least until it was restored in the 2000s. Now it has an estimate of $33,000-$39,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022
1954 Tempo Viking Bus
Tempo-Werke (officially Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke GmbH) was a Hamburg-based company that got their start in 1924. The company was purchased by Daimler-Benz in 1971, and the marque was phased out after 1977.
The Viking was introduced in 1950 to replace previous three-wheeled light trucks. A pickup and van were offered, with power from a 452cc two-stroke twin making about 20 horsepower. They featured a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Top speed was about 40 mph.
This passenger van variant has three rows of seats and has been restored to a condition probably better than when it was new. This Viking is estimated at $19,000-$27,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $17,168.
1967 Barkas B 1000 Kasten
VEB Barkas-Werke was an East German manufacturer of vans that existed from 1958 until 1991. And they made essentially one product during that time: the B 1000 (they also produced engines for Trabant). In over 30 years, they somehow managed to only make about 176,000 of these.
But they are kind of iconic in that the front-engine, front-wheel drive van is the vehicle of choice for baddies on the “wrong side” of the Berlin Wall. The engine is a 1.0-liter two-stroke inline-three that made about 41 horsepower.
An unlikely full-restoration candidate, this van has had just such a thing. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$23,000. Good luck finding a better one. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $17,168.
1956 Goggomobil TL-300 Transporter
About 2,000 Transporter models were built by Goggomobil, or Glas, the company that produced the Goggomobil. These were built at the request of the German postal service, and they very much do like look a mail van.
Different levels were offered. We’ve featured a TL-250 Transporter and a TL-400. This is an early model and is a TL-300, meaning it is powered by a 298cc two-stroke inline-twin. Output was rated at 15 horsepower.
Of the 3,667 Transporters produced, only about 100 are known to exist, a quarter of those thought to be roadworthy. The estimate is $63,000-$84,000. Click here for more.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Highland Park, Illinois | June 1, 2022
Well look at AMC, predicting the minivan yet somehow also treating their futuristic minivan prototype with all of the gaudiness of late-1970s van life culture. This thing is kind of like an inflated Pacer, with some styling cues definitely carried over.
There’s no engine – never was – but it has “Turbo” and “4×4” badging, so they were definitely thinking outside of the box. The body is fiberglass, and those turbine wheels look great with white-letter BFG tires. Oh, and side pipes! On a van!
Too bad it never made it past this prototype roller stage. It’s been part of a concept car collection for the last 35 years. Click here for more info.
Offered by Aguttes | Aulnay-sous-Bois, France | September 19, 2021
The first generation Berlingo was produced by Citroen between 1996 and 2008. What we have here is no ordinary Berlingo, but instead it’s yet another bizarre creation from Sbarro Espera, Franco Sbarro’s design school.
It has three axles (plus a trailer) and six inward-facing bucket seats in what was previously the cargo area. The engine is an inline-four, but I have no idea what the displacement is or if its gas or diesel. Aguttes says to expect to do a mechanical overhaul, as the car has been in the reserve collection of Peugeot’s museum for quite some time.
Aguttes also compares it to the Mercedes-AMG G-Class 6×6, which is kind of funny. This is definitely rarer than one of those. And a lot cheaper too. The pre-sale estimate is $7,000-$12,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We’ve featured a few Albion commercial vehicles in the past, including a truck from about this era. This delivery van carries a livery for a producer of Swiss Rolls and was apparently delivered new to this company. It was restored between 2005 and 2008 and has been fitted with overdrive, allowing it to hit about 55 mph. This makes it somewhat usable, especially if you’re a business owner looking to advertise (though it would be a shame to lose this livery). Power is from an inline-four of unknown displacement or output.
Bonhams sold this truck in 2013 for $26,000, and it now carries an estimate of $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Aguttes | Sochaux, France | September 20, 2020
At first, I thought that, after PSA’s acquisition of Opel, the company was shedding itself of part of its heritage collection. Brightwells is selling off part of Vauxhall’s heritage collection, and now we have this sale of Citroen and Peugeot prototypes and old cars, all from Peugeot’sMuseee de l’Aventure. That collection houses over 450 vehicles, with just 130 on display. So it appears that they are just thinning the herd.
We’ve actually featured one of Sbarro’s Berlingo-based creations before. This is another. Whatever is under the hood is not stated, but it’s almost certainly an inline-four of between 1.4 and 2.0 liters in displacement.
This prototype is described as a leisure vehicle for windsurfers. Which is a very specific demographic. The interior is bizarre, it has no roof, and it has no doors. Remember when companies made concept cars with no relevant production details? This car carries a pre-sale estimate of $16,500-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | May 1-2, 2020
“He who is not afraid of death, drives a Lloyd.” That’s the sticker I saw on a Lloyd once, and it stuck with me. Lloyds were built under the Hansa marque early on, and the Lloyd marque really appeared in 1950 and disappeared with the rest of the Borgward group in 1963.
The 600 was a range of Lloyd models produced between 1955 and 1961. A two-door sedan and convertible were offered, along with a panel van and a station wagon Kombi. Power is from a 596cc twin making a little less than 20 horsepower.
This tiny shuttle van has three rows of seats and wears Pan-Am branding on the outside. I’m not sure where the luggage was supposed to go, or if this was even a real thing Pan-Am did. In any event, it will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this collection.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019
Commer was a commercial vehicle manufacturer that existed between 1905 and 1979. The company was bought by Humber in 1926, which in turn was acquired by the Rootes Group in 1931. Fast forward to 1967, and Commer was now part of Chrysler UK.
They produced heavy trucks, military vehicles, and some light commercial vehicles, including the FC van, which was introduced in 1960. In 1967, the FC was renamed the PB. It would last through 1976 when it became the Dodge SpaceVan, a model that remained on sale in the UK through 1983.
This van started life as a light commercial van. It’s powered by a replacement 1.7-liter inline-four and was converted by a previous owner into a campervan. It should sell for between $7,700-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
Dover was a short-lived brand of commercial vehicles introduced by Hudson in the summer of 1929. Not great timing. On the plus side, they were based on their Essex line of entry-level cars. So at least they were affordable.
The light-duty trucks were all Essex-based, so they used the same running gear, chassis, and bodywork from the firewall forward. The radiators were different and the commercial bodies were built by Biddle and Smart of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Dover scored a big sales win when the U.S. Postal Service ordered 500 examples for use as mail trucks. They were well-built enough that the USPS was still using some of them into the 1950s.
This example is powered by a 55 horsepower, 2.6-liter straight-six. It was discovered in Wyoming in the 1970s and purchased by the Harrah Collection (and then restored). It has spent time on display at NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana, and since then has been on display in the Hostetler Hudson Museum. Dovers were pulled from the market in late 1930 or early 1931 and they are extraordinarily rare today. Click here for more info and here for more Hudsons.