Carden Engineering launched their cyclecar amidst the craze of the 1910s. It went on sale in 1914 and was designed by John Carden, who would later design tanks. This couldn’t be farther from that.
The company returned after WWI with a new design in 1919. Later that year Carden sold the design off and came up with something else, which he also sold and would eventually be produced as the New Carden from 1922 through 1925.
This car is powered by an air-cooled (apparently flat?) twin that shares its casting with the gearbox. About 1,000 of these were built, and this one is definitely in project status, coming off of static display. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 17-19, 2023
The third series of Packard’s Twin Six was sold between 1917 and 1923. These were big, expensive cars. And they were grand enough for heads of state: Warren G. Harding was the first president to ride to their inauguration in an automobile. And it was in a Twin Six.
There were eight factory body styles for this model in 1920, but this example wears custom coachwork by Fleetwood. This is a Norma Desmond-style car, and the red disc wheels are perfection. Power is from a 6.9-liter V12 that made 90 horsepower.
The car was ordered new by the Atwater Kent family in Philadelphia and went into the Blackhawk Collection in the 1980s. It’s essentially remained there since and is now being sold out of the estate of Don Williams. Mecum published an estimate: $225,000-$275,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Cernobbio, Italy | May 20, 2023
Fiat was founded by a whole bunch of Italian dudes in 1899. Their first 24 cars rolled out in 1900. By the 1920s, their range had expanded significantly, and the 501 would be their “small car” for the immediate post-WWI era.
The 501 was sold from 1919 through 1926, with about 47,000 produced. Available body styles included a four-door sedan and cabriolets with either two or four doors. Power is provided by a 1.5-liter inline-four rated at 23 horsepower. Both S and SS trims brought power increases, but this is the base model.
Basic transportation for Italy at the time it was built, this tourer has been re-done in the past but is described as a “candidate for a comprehensive restoration.” It has a pre-sale estimate of $11,000-$16,500. Click here for more info.
1920 Winther-Marwin Model 459 1.5-Ton 4WD Stake Bed
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022
Well, this is some pretty terrible photography, but you get the idea. The Winther Motor Truck Company was founded in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, in 1917. The company was founded by Martin Winther, who used to work at Jeffrey, they of the famous four-wheel-drive truck. Rear-wheel-driver Winther trucks were produced until 1926 (although 1927 trucks were branded as Winther-Kenosha).
Between 1918 and 1921, the company sold a line of trucks under the Winther-Marwin marque, and they had a four-wheel-drive layout. Power is from a Wisconsin inline-four.
Trucks from this era are so hard to find, and so many manufacturers just simply don’t have a single example remaining. This truck is like a needle in a haystack, being a rare offshoot of the much more common (in period) Winther. You can see more about it here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022
MacDonald Truck & Tractor Company was founded in San Francisco in 1920. There weren’t a lot of California-based automobile companies way back in the day. But MacDonald’s specialty was low-bed trucks. These were meant for use at docks or in warehouses, of which the West Coast had plenty.
This is a gargantuan machine, and very odd looking today. It has front-wheel drive, hydraulic power steering, and hydraulic brakes. The 6.3-liter Buda inline-four drives the front wheels through a complicated system of chains and driveshafts. It weighs eight tons. Empty!
The design looks so foreign because we don’t have a need for such trucks anymore. It’s got a low bed because fork lifts didn’t exist in 1920. After WWII, MacDonald was acquired by Peterbilt, and the brand disappeared around 1952. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2021
With a brand like Stevens-Duryea, you tend to picture large touring cars dating back to before World War I. But quite a few of these companies survived the war and continued building cars into the 1920s. Yet for some reason, these later cars are much more rarely seen. There are various reasons for this.
In the case of Stevens-Duryea, it’s that a new owner bought the brand name in 1919 and set up shop in the old factory. Things just… never took off. The company built only 200 cars in 1920, and the Model E was carried over for ’21. The same 80-horsepower inline-six would continue to power the brand’s offerings until the lights went out in 1927.
This Roadster has been restored and exudes an up-scale aura missing from what you’d get from a contemporary Buick, etc. The pre-sale estimate is $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 3, 2021
I’m pretty sure Dorotheum has now offered more Steyr automobiles in the last six months than every other major auction house has combined over the past five years. Steyr made their money with munitions, and with the end of WWI on the horizon, they realized they needed a product to fill the gaping hole they were about to see on their books.
So cars it was. Steyr brought in Hans Ludwinka – the guy who would later be responsible for the Tatras – to design their first car, which they called the Type II (The Type I was their initial test car). It went on sale in 1920 and was powered by a 3.3-liter inline-six rated at 40 horsepower.
Steyr produced 2,150 examples of the Type II through 1924, most of which were touring cars or limousines. This car was sold new to the Egyptian ruling family and was purchased and returned to Austria in the late 1970s when it was restored. It is now expected to bring between $290,000-$380,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | December 2020
The Falls Machine Company of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, was founded in 1901. They made milling machines, and in 1908 expanded into single-cylinder agricultural engines. Their engine program spread, and soon they were supplying engines for automobile manufacturers, like Dort and Elgin.
They built three of their own cars in 1921, and in 1923, they introduced an inline-eight engine. They only built eight of those engines, and three of them were destined for Elgin, who ended up going out of business before using them. Falls ended up building a single car using one of their eight-cylinder engines in 1924. It was thought to be a sedan or a touring car.
That car does not exist. But its engine does. In this car. So this car is said to be a 1920, but it is thought that the race car using the Falls engine was built sometime between 1924 and WWII. It sure has a 1920s race car look to it. It is claimed to have attempted to qualify for the 1923 Indy 500, though no record seems to exist.
The interesting part is that this car was gifted to a young Bruce Mohs in 1944. And from here the story is more well known. Mohs was a big personality, so who knows how much of the story that pre-dates his ownership is actually true or just his story. At any rate, this car has been known for quite some time and was even once owned by Phil Hill.
The engine is a 5.0-liter inline-eight. The whole package sure looks to be the real deal, there just isn’t much of anything known about it between 1924-ish and 1944. Oh well, it’s still cool and eligible for many historic events. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 12-19, 2020
Sweet watermark. The Westcott Carriage Company was based in Richmond, Indiana, beginning in 1895. They didn’t build their first car until 1909, and it was a simple buggy. The following year they launched right into the production of a four-cylinder car. Westcotts were assembled cars, meaning they were built using off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.
They relocated to Springfield, Ohio, in 1916 and continued building cars through 1925. The C-48 was offered in 1920 and 1921, and it was the larger of the two models offered in each of those years. It is powered by a 51-horsepower inline-six and was actually less powerful than the smaller Model C-38 that was sold alongside.
Three body styles were offered, and this seven-passenger sedan is one of 1,850 Westcotts of all types built in 1920. It was actually used as the mayor’s car on Boardwalk Empire. It is now offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angles, California | August 14, 2020
It’s rare when an American car from this era exists, while at the same time, practically zero information about it exists. The Mason Tourist King was produced in Newark, New Jersey, sometime between 1918 and 1920.
The car was produced as a prototype to show the U.S. government that it would make a great staff car. Features included to prove this point included a funky passenger seat that was attached to the door. This allowed for a flat sleeping area in the car.
Power is from a 55-horsepower, 4.6-liter Continental inline-six. Unfortunately, the car was produced right at the end of WWI, and no one was interested. It was saved long ago and was restored between 2010 and 2017 at a cost of over $500,000. It’s an interesting car and one that likely belongs in a museum (unfortunately). You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.