Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | May 20, 2021
When Elwood Haynes removed the Apperson name from his company, he took one of America’s pioneering automotive names out on its own. The company lasted as “Haynes” from 1905 into 1925. By the time the ’20s rolled around, Haynes attempted to move upmarket. Like way upmarket.
The first 12-cylinder Haynes arrived in 1916, and the company had been offering Vanderbilt Cup-style speedsters since 1907. In 1921, they offered the Model 47 “Light Six” and the Model 48 “Light Twelve.” This Model 47 is powered by a 4.7-liter inline-six that puts out about 70 horsepower.
It’s a sporty car, and Haynes knew it. They aimed it squarely at the Mercer Raceabout and priced it accordingly: about $3,500 when new. Driver Howdy Wilcox would test a 1922 road car model at Indianapolis and hit almost 80 mph. I think that this means that this car qualifies as “usable.” It should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020
Somehow this week became “classic commercial vehicle week.” Not sure how that happened. But I do know that it will continue at least through Monday. This is a pretty interesting one. International Harvester was founded in 1902 when McCormick and Deering merged. Agricultural equipment was first, followed by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.
The International brand is still a leader in the truck business. This was one of their early revolutionary designs. Apparently, the 101 was the first truck that could haul more than its own weight. It’s insane that this took until 1921 to accomplish.
Mecum states that only 27 examples of the 101 were built. They look like Renaults from the front (but many trucks of the era did, and for good reason: it was to protect the radiator by placing it behind the engine so angry Teamsters carriage drivers couldn’t damage the front-mounted radiator). It’s a downright frightening machine. Huge, heavy, and with badass wheels. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-four good for 29 horsepower. Top speed is 14 mph. I imagine this was used to move big loads small distances. What a beast. Find out more here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
Karl Martin was at first an oil man, then a coachbuilder, and then, in 1919 when he ended up in Bennington, Vermont, an automobile manufacturer. The Martin Wasp Corporation built cars from 1920 through 1924. Not very long. The catalog has this listed as a “Martin Wasp” but the cars were sold under the “Wasp” name.
They were powered by relatively ordinary 72 horsepower, 5.8-liter Wisconsin inline-fours (and later sixes), but the styling was quite unique. These were long, low cars that wore touring coachwork Martin described as “rickshaw phaetons.” Douglas Fairbanks bought one as a gift for his wife, Mary Pickford.
The cars were very expensive – this one would’ve cost $5,000 when new. Only 14 four-cylinder – and three six-cylinder – cars were built. The one you see here was actually assembled in the 1940s from leftover unused new parts that Martin retained after the factory had closed. Still, with only two other “real” Wasps in existence, it is pretty special. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $51,520.
1931 Detroit Electric Model 99 Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
But this looks like a Ford Model A coupe. Or, as it was bodied by Fisher, a period Chevrolet. You would have no idea it was powered by a 15 horsepower DC electric motor if it didn’t say “electric” in the name.
It was part of the Harrah collection for many years and remains in original condition. The company only built 131 cars in 1931, and this is the only survivor. It may be the “newest” Detroit Electric in existence, as production petered out pretty dramatically after 1932. It should bring between $30,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
The Paige-Detroit went on sale in 1909 and after about a year and a half, company namesake Fred O. Paige was forced out of the company and the new owners dropped the “Detroit” suffix and began selling cars called the Paige. Without Mr. Paige, Paige would produce cars from 1911 through 1927 when they were acquired by Graham Brothers to form Graham-Paige.
The Model 6-66 was apparently named by someone who had no sense of superstition and assumed the public wouldn’t mind either. It was produced in 1921 and 1922 as Paige’s largest offering. Power is from a 5.4-liter straight-six capable of 70 horsepower.
The Daytona Speedster was so named because Paige took a Model 6-66 to Daytona Beach and clocked it at 102 mph, making this one of the first 100 mph cars available to the American public (though they only promised 80 mph in road-going models). My records show that it was only available in 1922, but weird things happen to the titles of old cars all the time.
This example was restored in the U.K. in 2013 and it is one of 18 known Daytona Speedsters in existence, which actually goes to show how fondly these were remembered back in the day. As one of America’s first true sports cars, and freshly rebuilt, this car should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Alfa Romeo traces its roots back to the Italian Darracq company that was founded in 1906. That company became Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, or A.L.F.A., in 1910. During the First World War, Nicola Romeo became the director of A.L.F.A. and after the war he changed the name of the company to Alfa Romeo.
The new company’s first model was designed by longtime Alfa designer Giuseppe Merosi. Introduced in 1921, the G1 as it was called, was built in limited numbers through 1923 before being replaced by the more popular RL. It should also be noted that there were a few A.L.F.A.-branded G1s that made it out of the factory before the branding switched.
The G1 is powered by a 6.3-liter straight-six making 70 horsepower, quite a decent amount for its day. This car sports a racer’s body, having been most recently restored in 2000. It’s early years were spent on a farm in Australia before being rescued in the 1960s and it’s remained in the collection of New Zealand’s Alfa importer for some time.
Only 52 examples of the G1 were ever built and this is the only one known to exist, making it the oldest Alfa Romeo-branded automobile in the world. It should bring more than a million dollars when it goes under the hammer in January. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 30, 2016
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The Heine-Velox is an interesting car. Gustav Heine owned a very successful piano company in San Francisco. In 1903, he decided he wanted to build a car, so he did. Three 45 HP cars were built and shown but before production could get underway, the San Francisco earthquake destroyed the company and he returned to rebuild his piano business.
The piano business bounced back and in 1921 Heine went about his plans to build a car again. This time he approached it differently, wanting to build the ultimate car. It would use a 6.4-liter V-12 engine making 87 horsepower. Heine built five cars – a Victoria convertible, three sedans and this, the Limousine, which was unfinished when the company folded.
Not one of the five cars was ever sold. Heine retained possession of them and gave a few away. Three of the cars are known, one was assumed destroyed, and the other one disappeared in 1993. Once a resident of the Blackhawk Collection, this car has been on display in a Chinese auto museum since 2006. Everything about it has been restored to perfection. See more here and more from this sale here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2014
Métallurgique was a Belgian automobile manufacturer that existed in its automotive form between 1898 and 1928 (they made locomotives prior to cars). They would become known for their sports cars much like Mercer in the U.S. and they had 100 horsepower cars prior to WWI.
But they also built bigger cars that became very popular in the U.K. after WWI. This model uses a 2.0-liter straight-four making 15 horsepower. All four-door cars built by the company were bodied by Vanden Plas, including this one.
The company was acquired by Belgian rival Minerva in 1927 and phased out the following year. Not a ton of them still exist and the ones that do tend to reside in long-term ownership. This is a rare opportunity to grab one for between $27,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Paris lineup.
Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 5, 2013
Rochet-Schneider was one of the earlier French automobile manufacturers, setting up shop in 1894. One of the co-founders, Theophile Schneider, left the company in 1910 and started building cars under his own, abbreviated, name.
The 4.5-litre model used a – you guessed it – 4.5-liter straight-six. It was the biggest car the company made and they were powerful and fast cars. This one is all-original and was one of three six-cylinder Th. Schneiders imported new into Australia. The engine was rebuilt in 2012, but this is believed to be the only running six-cylinder Th. Schneider with its original body – which was constructed on this chassis by a coachbuilder in Melbourne in 1921.
Th. Schneider stopped production in 1929, with cars selling on through 1931. In 1932, Rochet-Schneider also closed its doors. These cars are quite rare and to find one in this good of original condition is practically impossible. It should sell for between $135,000-$205,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Paris lineup.
Offered by Coys | Graz, Austria | October 12-13, 2013
The Moll was introduced during the cyclecar craze of the early 1920s. Many cyclecars of the era were small – but this was was downright tiny. It was one of the first true microcars ever built.
Introduced in the early 1920s, the Chemnitz Roadster was constructed by Moll-Werke AG of Chemnitz, Germany. It used a 125cc single-cylinder engine that is mounted between the driver’s legs (this car features tandem seating – the passenger sits directly behind the driver).
This car is listed as a 1921, likely because they have no idea when it was built. My records show the company in existence from 1922 through 1925 and this Mobil III model having been built from ’24-’25 with a more standard light car preceding it. In any case, this is one of two or three of these to survive and it is in excellent restored condition. Read more about it here and see more from this awesome sale here.
1921 Benz 8/20 HP Doctor’s Cabriolet by Forton & Bettens
Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8-9, 2013
The Mercedes and Benz merger happened in 1926. Prior to that, Benz had been building road cars for a remarkable 40 years. This was one of their later designs as it was introduced in the 1910s.
The company actually built two different 8/20 HP models. This was the second type and it used a larger 2.0-liter straight-four engine making 20 horsepower (it was basically 70cc larger than the earlier engine). The body is by an almost-unknown British coachbuilder called Forton & Bettens and this car is one of two existing that uses one of their bodies.
It is a convertible, even though the top looks very rigid. It all folds back and looks rather pleasant. I also like the aluminium side panels. This rare example of a late Benz should sell for between $265,000-$310,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.