Before the 6C, Alfa Romeo had the RL. Like immediately before: this was the predecessor to the 6C 1500. This was Alfa’s first post-WWI sports car, and it was produced with the idea of competing at the Targa Florio – and later Mille Miglia.
The engine lineup consisted of six-cylinder options, with the RL Sport seen here displacing three liters. It has three carburetors and made 70 horsepower. It was available between 1922 and 1925.
This third-series car was discovered in the 1970s as a rolling chassis with an engine. The remnants of Targa Florio-style bodywork were also present at that time. The car was restored in the early-2000s. Alfa Romeo RL models make 6Cs look downright common, and this one has an estimate of $320,000-$380,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | June 25, 2023
French manufacturer Unic set up shop in 1905 and continued producing passenger cars through 1938. They produced military vehicles during WWII and concentrated on trucks after the war, soldiering on independently until Fiat took them over in 1966. The brand was phased out after being merged into Iveco in 1975.
But this L2 from 1924 proves that Unic had a hold on commercial vehicles well before the end of WWII. It’s powered by an inline-four of unknown displacement but apparently rated at 10 (presumably taxable) horsepower.
The body style is listed as Boulangère, which is kind of a French huckster wagon. The driver’s compartment is quite nice, and the wagon has a fold-down tailgate for the cargo area, a solid roof, and roll-up side curtains. The estimate here is $10,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
For many years I have found this car to be remarkable. And I never thought I’d see the day where it changes hands publicly. Let’s start with the boring: Hispano-Suiza’s H6C debuted in 1924 and was the ultimate iteration of Hispano’s six-cylinder line of the 1920s. Production ended in 1933.
Power is from an 8.0-liter inline-six made about 195 horsepower. But forget mechanicals. This car is all about the body. This is the second H6C chassis, and it was built for Andre Dubonnet, who was one of those guys from that era who did it all. He was a flying ace in WWI, an Olympic bobsledder, a racing driver, and a lover of fine cars. He was like the French Eddie Rickenbacker, if Rickenbacker came from an extremely well-to-do family.
This car is one of three H6Cs with a factory-lowered chassis. Dubonnet sent it to French aircraft builder Nieuport-Astra for a body, and they used 1/8″-thick strips of mahogany (though people have long referred to the wood as tulipwood) to body the car, a process that used thousands of rivets. The body is said to weigh 160 pounds. Which is insane. It was even raced. The car’s competition history includes:
1924 Targa Florio – 6th (with Dubonnet)
He later used it as a road car before selling it. It was discovered in 1950 with shrapnel damage on the tail caused by a WWII bomb. The car was later refreshed and then restored in the 1980s. It’s been at the Blackhawk Collection for a while, and they are presumably getting rid of some stuff. It has an estimate of $8,000,000-$12,000,000.
The car is just magnificent. So much so that I am considering making this the last [regular] post on this site, because really, where can you go from here? We’ll see. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 5, 2021
Sidney Horstmann and his brothers founded a company producing transmissions and other automotive components in 1904. In 1913 they branched out into automobiles… like fully assembled ones.
At the end of WWI, the company dropped the final “N” from their name to make it look less German. Automobile production continued through the end of the 1920s. Approximately 3,000 cars were made by the firm in that time.
This rare survivor features body-color disc wheels and a 995cc inline-four. The car is said to require a little TLC, but it’s a good chance to acquire a rare, nearly-100-year-old car that appears to be in decent shape. It is expected to sell for between $19,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
One of the grand French “Ds”, Delaunay-Belleville was one of the more expensive options when shopping for a French car, pretty much from their inception in 1904 on into the 1920s. The P4B was introduced in 1922 and would last until 1927, which was about the time the company started to fade away.
It is powered by a 2.6-liter inline-four, and the car retains the company’s signature circular grille, although by this point it was more of an oval. Though a two-door, this car is likely larger than it looks and has sort of a Bugatti-ish feel when looked at from the front.
Delaunay-Belleville cars were expensive when new and were not sold in the largest of numbers. They remain rare today – and expensive. This car carries an estimate of $71,000-$94,000, which is significantly cheaper than other cars from this marque that we’ve featured. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…
Lancia’s Lambda was a groundbreaking car. It was the first unibody production car and featured an independent front suspension and a narrow-angle V4 powerplant. The Lambda was produced in nine series between 1922 and 1931. Lancia also produced a “Dilambda,” which was less interesting.
The 3rd Series Lambda was built in 1924 and featured an updated 2.1-liter V4 that produced 49 horsepower. This Torpedo-bodied roadster was sold new in Uruguay and later spent time in Briggs Cunningham‘s museum.
About 800 examples of the 3rd Series were built. This example looks incredibly sporty for 1924, and it’s burgundy finish is quite striking. Gooding lists a pre-sale estimate of $405,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1924 Delahaye Type 97 Double Phaeton Skiff by Labourdette
Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | December 4, 2019
The best-known Delahayes are from the 1930s and 1940s. These would mainly be derivatives of the 135. Earlier Delahayes are less fondly remembered, but, as you can see here, they still had the ability to be somewhat fantastic.
I don’t have a lot of info on the Type 97, but it appears to be a descendant of the post-WWI Type 84 and Type 92, the latter of which was powered by a 2.5-liter inline-four.
This car supposedly features a wood skiff body by Labourdette. The well-restored interior features green buttoned leather and an engine-turned dash panel. The car should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019
The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.
It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.
Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | May 29-June 1, 2019
Haynes, which got its start as Haynes-Apperson, was actually around for quite a long time, considering their rarity today. Haynes-Apperson sold their first car in 1898 but parted ways in 1904. Haynes soldiered on alone for another 21 years until they went bankrupt in 1924 and were liquidated in 1925 – the same year company founder Elwood Haynes died.
The Model 60 five-passenger touring car was actually the most inexpensive car the company ever built. And look at it – it’s a big, imposing thing. Power is from a 50 horsepower straight-six. Five body styles were offered, and this one cost $1,295 when new. A 1925 Model T would’ve run you $290, for comparison.
This car is an AACA award-winner (1993) and exists as a rare example of one of America’s pioneering automobile marques. It should sell for between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019
The Smith Flyer went on sale in 1916, and it was a two-seat buckboard driven by a fifth wheel located out back. Briggs & Stratton bought the design in 1919, and it was sold as the Briggs & Stratton flyer thereafter. In 1924, they sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Corporation, who began to market the cars as the Red Bug (and sometimes the Auto Red Bug).
Between 1924 and 1928, two versions were offered: a gas-powered single-cylinder car and an electric one. They were more or less identical in looks and both cost $150. This 12-volt electric-powered version has only four wheels and was restored by its current owner.
Yes, these are real cars that you should be able to register for the road. The Indian motorcycle company allegedly bought the design in 1930, but no one really seems to know what happened, and they disappeared from the automotive landscape (though I couldn’t imagine driving one in the 1930s with a huge Duesenberg bearing down on you, much less an SUV today). This one should sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.