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.

A French Aster

1904 Aster 16/20HP Four-Cylinder Four-Seat Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | November 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Aster was a French marque that built motorized vehicles between 1900 and 1910. They were also a major engine manufacturer – at one point they claimed to be the provider of engines for over 130 other companies. They should not be confused with the British Aster marque of the 1920s (though the British company started out building engines under license from this one).

This car is powered by a 2.7-liter straight-four making 16/20 horsepower. It’s well-appointed and Bonhams makes the case that it’s about as perfect a car for entrance in the London-to-Brighton run as you can get. The body that is on this car is not original to the chassis, but is period correct and was applied during a restoration.

What you see here is a runner – this is a veteran car that you can drive considerable distance with a fair amount of confidence, because, as the lot description says, it is a practical old car. Or as practical as a 112 year old car can be. It should sell for between $290,000-$340,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $263,484.