Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Munich, Germany | November 26, 2022
We’ve featured some early BMWs before, but this is the earliest of them all. It’s not even a BMW, it’s a Dixi, which was built by Dixi-Werke AG, a company born out of Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach in Germany. BMW would acquire the company in late 1928 and continue production of the Dixi for a few more years.
The Dixi itself was just a license-built version of the Austin Seven. It’s powered by a 748cc inline-four rated at 15 horsepower. The original DA-1 variant was built between 1927 through 1929. Top speed was 47 mph.
This example was delivered new in Memmingen, Germany, and was restored in the 1960s. It will sell in Munich at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 19, 2022
Bean Cars first entered the automotive industry as a parts supplier and started producing automobiles in the wake of WWI, which they had tooled up for and now needed a product to push out. So the first Bean cars went on sale in 1919.
They got up to speed quickly, selling a lot of cars for an upstart. But expansion was expensive, especially as the market slowed. Bean was bankrupt by the end of 1920. So in stepped Hadfields Limited, a steel company, among others, saving the company. A few years later debts had mounted again and Hadfields came to the rescue, this time getting a majority share of Bean as a result.
So from 1927, all Bean cars were sold as Hadfield-Bean, and the following year they launched the 14/45 (which I am pretty sure this is). Well, the cars were launched before they were sorted and it tanked the brand value because, well, they weren’t great. Passenger car production ceased in 1929 with commercial vehicles lasting through 1931.
The 14/45 was powered by a 2.3-liter inline-four, and this one has known history back to the 1930s. A restoration was completed in the late 1970s. The pre-sale estimate is $28,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.
1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022
Bugatti had a line of eight-cylinder road cars that started in 1922 with the Type 30. A few years and a few models later, they Type 43 debuted in 1927. The Type 43 gave way to the Type 43A in 1931, and that model remained available through the following year. Just 160 copies of the Type 43 were built.
Power is from a supercharged 2.3-liter inline-eight that was rated at 120 horsepower. This car was initially delivered as a Type 43 Grand Sport. The auction catalog lists this as a Type 43A (which were factory-bodied Roadsters). What I think it is is a re-bodied Type 43 wearing roadster bodywork by Paris-based coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud that was installed in 1929. Before the 43A even went on sale.
The engine was swapped later on, which means the car has its original… chassis. Which is about what many of these pre-war Bugattis can claim. But hey, at least its still out there and able to be driven. Click here for more info.
Omega-Six was a car company that operated out of the Paris region of France between 1922 and 1930. They were founded by Jules Daubeck, and the cars were designed by Maurice Gadoux, a former Hispano-Suiza engineer. Production didn’t do much better than about 50 cars a year.
They did have some sporting credentials, running at Le Mans in 1924 and 1925. Their lone victory came in an all-female race with Helle Nice at the wheel in a 3-Litre Competition car, which were unveiled in 1928. The 3.0-liter inline-six featured dual carburetors and carried a factory-advertised rating of 150 horsepower.
This chassis was purchased by Robert de Ganay, who won his class at Le Mans in 1931 under a pseudonym. It is believed to have been re-bodied around 1930 and has only had four owners since new. The car has been rarely shown since the 1970s and is offered with a spare 2.7-liter six. The pre-sale estimate is $425,000-$530,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022
Chevrolet’s AA Capitol series was produced for 1927 in passenger car form. There were commercial chassis available as well, with these carrying over for 1928, during which they were sold alongside the AB National.
This carryover model is a one-ton delivery truck powered by a 2.8-liter inline-four rated at 35 horsepower when new. The LP model signified a long-wheelbase (124″) 1928 model. It also has four-wheel brakes.
This example was given to the Petersen Automotive Museum in the 1990s as a disassembled project and has been with the current owner for 16 years. If you’re a business owner, imagine your company’s name painted on the side. Great advertising. You can read more about this truck here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021
Ivanrey de Soriano and the San Carlos de Pedroso were two Spanish marquises who teamed up to build the Soriano-Pedroso automobile in France between 1919 and 1924. The first cars were produced out of Biarritz, while general production stemmed from Neuilly. Three models were offered over the five-year period, most of which were pretty sporty.
After production wound up, the two men each produced a lone car under their own name (both of which still exist). The Marquis de Pedroso wanted to go to Le Mans, and he designed a sophisticated supercharged 2.0-liter twin-cam straight-eight to power his cars. Two engines were built, one of which is in this car. de Pedroso never made it to Le Mans, but his son would race this car in vintage events in the 1960s on the east coast of the U.S.
Pedroso’s son Jose Luis gifted the car to the Petersen Automotive Museum upon his death, and it’s now offered for sale for the first time in its history. The pre-sale estimate is $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 9, 2021
Maserati’s first car was the Tipo 26, and it was introduced in 1926. It was an evolution of a Diatto racing car that Alfieri Maserati had designed, and it won its class at its debut race: the 1926 Targa Florio.
The following year, the company introduced the Tipo 26B. They would build six examples of this open-cockpit racing car through 1930. A 26B finished third overall at its debut race: the 1927 Targa Florio. Maserati would also be represented by the 26B at the 1930 Indianapolis 500. Power is from a supercharged 2.1-liter inline-eight good for 150 horsepower and 118 mph. (This car’s restored engine now displaces 2.0 liters).
This example was purchased new by a privateer racing driver from Argentina, who had it shipped to his home country. The car competed in races in Argentina and Uruguay. It was purchased from the original owner’s family in the late 1980s and later restored in Italy.
This car should be eligible for just about any historic open-wheel race and just about every imaginable show. It should sell for between $1,300,000-$1,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021
A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.
This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.
It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 17, 2020
Steyr is a name that has been associated with the automotive industry since the 1920s. Steyr-branded passenger cars remained on the market through the 1950s, and there were even Steyr-Fiats sold as well. In 1934, Steyr merged with Austro-Daimler and Puch to form Steyr-Daimler-Puch, which was eventually dissolved by spinning off its different divisions in the late 1990s. Steyr-branded trucks continued to be built into the 2000s.
The XII was launched in 1925 with input from legendary designed Hans Ledwinka. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter inline-six rated at 30 horsepower. They offered different body styles, including the Commercial Car, which featured a front bench seat and a rear area that could be converted into a loading area. Think of it as a primitive version of Chrysler’s Stow-n-Go seating.
Only 11,124 examples of the XII were produced through 1929. Steyr cars in general don’t show their heads often at public sales. This one carries a pre-sale estimate of $41,000-$53,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Sports Tourer by Sindelfingen
Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020
What would become the Mercedes-Benz 630K actually started out as the pre-merger Mercedes 24/100/140 in 1924. Beginning in 1926, the line was renamed the 630, and short-wheelbase K variants went on sale later that year.
They were powered by a supercharged 6.3-liter inline-six that made 138 horsepower with the supercharger engaged, which was done by matting the gas pedal. It was an expensive car, and not all that many were sold before the model went away at the end of 1929. Only 377 630Ks were built after the merger.
This example was bodied by the factory and was first used as a Mercedes-Benz display car. It’s first owner used it competitively until the Nazis came to power, causing him to flee to Finland, where he would later crash the car. It remained in its wrecked state until 1989, when it was discovered and brought back to Germany to be restored.
The work wrapped up in the 1990s, and the car is now being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $680,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.