Rigling-Duesenberg

1933 Rigling-Duesenberg Race Car

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Miami, Florida | March 2024

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Herman Rigling and Cotton Henning were chassis builders during the “Junk Formula” years at Indianapolis. And their racing chassis were logged as “Rigling” in the Indianapolis 500 box scores. The junk formula was supposed to ensure stock-ish engines (in some cases, very stock). No superchargers, limited displacement, etc.

That said, you could still build a scratch-built racing engine and meet the criteria. Enter August Duesenberg, who built a beauty that this car first ran with at Indy in 1931. This car’s Indy 500 history includes:

  • 1931 Indianapolis 500 – 35th, DNF (with Babe Stapp)
  • 1932 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with L.L. Corum)
  • 1933 Indianapolis 500 – 13th (with Willard Prentiss)
  • 1934 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Harold Shaw)

Let’s keep in mind that this was running at Indy during Duesenberg’s glory years. For 1933 the car used an engine from a Duesenberg Model Y road car. That engine was damaged by a later owner, who tried to adapt it to accept a Model J engine. That project was never completed.

After a late-90s/early-00s restoration, during which the car was fitted with a Duesenberg Model A engine, it relocated to its current collection in 2011. There are not many Duesenberg-powered race cars out there anymore, and even fewer in private hands. This one has an estimate of $500,000-$700,000. More info can be found here.

Stutz DV-32 by Rollston

1933 Stutz DV-32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 17-19, 2023

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 1930s we weird. Everyone was broke, yet American car companies turned out their very best work. Some of the top American cars built came from this era: Packard Twelve, Duesenberg Model J, Auburn Twelve, Pierce-Arrow V12, Lincoln K, Cadillac V16, Marmon Sixteen, and this, the Stutz DV-32.

It was produced between 1932 and the end of Stutz production in 1935. The engine was a 32-valve 5.3-liter inline-eight that made 156 horsepower. It wasn’t a V12… or even a V16. But it could still do 80 mph.

This car was bodied by Rollston of New York and has known history back to 1952. It was later in the Harrah collection for over 20 years. It now carries an estimate of $1,000,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info.

Hispano-Suiza HS26

1933 Hispano-Suiza HS26 Sedan by Vanvooren

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

Hispano-Suiza’s French arm opened as a remote factory in 1911, and by the end of WWI, it was their main production facility, especially for their largest, most expensive cars. In 1931, the company took over Ballot, and with that, they introduced a model called the Ballot HS26, except that the departing Ernest Ballot objected to his name being used. So the Hispano-Suiza HS26 was born.

Also referred to, at least in Artcurial’s catalog, as the “Junior”, it was smaller than the company’s concurrent models in 1931: the J12 and T56. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-six good for 96 horsepower. Just 124 examples were built through 1934.

This car was bodied as a four-seat, four-door pillarless sedan by French coachbuilder Vanvooren. Its interior was upholstered by its first owner, a leather company. The car was hidden during WWII and wasn’t really recommissioned until the 1960s. Only 13 HS26s are known to still exist, and despite their “junior” status, their still command a big price. In this case: $305,000-$395,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $279,467.

Rohr Prototype

1933 Rohr Tatzelwurm Coupe

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

Rohr was founded by Hans Gustav Rohr, a WWI fighter pilot. Since Germany really wasn’t allowed to be too pro-military after the war, Rohr turned his focus to automobiles beginning in 1927. Their first car, the Type R sold in okay numbers, but the Depression really took the wind out of their sails. Mr. Rohr himself left the company to join Adler in 1931. The final Rohr cars were built in 1935.

This particular prototype started out as a 1933 Rohr Junior, which was actually a Tatra T.57 built under license. It features an air-cooled 1.5-liter flat-four and a body designed by Rohr engineer Karl-Wilhelm Ostwald. It features a streamlined sheet metal body with wood sides and floors.

It was used by the designer’s family for nearly 40 years before being laid up and later discovered by the consignor. It’s in original condition and carries an estimate of $54,000-$87,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $41,595.

Twin Coach Delivery Truck

1933 Twin Coach Delivery Truck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I can’t believe it’s taken this long for this site to feature one of these little trucks. They are a lot smaller in person than you’d think, even though the door makes it pretty obvious that they aren’t that large. Twin Coach existed from 1927 through 1955 in Kent, Ohio.

The company was actually formed by Frank and William Fageol after they left their eponymous company. In addition to their delivery vans, Twin Coach also made buses. Flxible acquired them in 1955 and continued marketing vehicles under the Twin Coach name through 1963.

The delivery trucks are most famous in the Helms Bakery livery, but they were used by other companies as well. It’s powered by a Hercules inline-four, and the driver can operate the vehicle either standing or sitting. This one is selling without reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $49,500.

Figoni-Bodied Alfa 8C

1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Cabriolet by Figoni

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We’ve featured our fair share of Alfa 6C cars, but the 8C is much less common. Part of that is because it was a more racing-focused chassis and part is because the 8C did not return after WWII like the 6C did. This is the most common version of the 8C: the 2300.

Introduced in 1932, it featured a Vittorio Jano-designed inline-eight displacing 2.3 liters. Most of these were race cars, but, during a production run that lasted until 1935, there were 188 road-going examples made.

This car features a swoopy two-tone body by Figoni from his pre-Falaschi days. It’s got known ownership history back to new, including time spent with two-time Le Mans-winning racing driver (both wins in Alfa 8Cs, but not this one), Raymond Sommer. Now it’s got an eye-watering price estimated in the $4,000,000-$6,000,000 range. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Lincoln KB by Dietrich

1933 Lincoln Model KB Dual Cowl Phaeton by Dietrich

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Before the Continental arrived, Lincoln’s K series of cars was the best thing they offered. The first K arrived in 1931, and 12-cylinder cars followed in ’32. The Model KB was sold in 1932 through 1934. A variety of factory body styles were offered along with standard coachbuilt styles from the likes of LeBaron, Willoughby, Brunn, Judkins, and Dietrich.

This Dietrich-bodied dual cowl phaeton is one of nine produced for the model year, and it’s a pretty car, especially in these colors. When new, the car would’ve cost $4,200. Which was not cheap. The 6.8-liter V12 was rated at 220 horsepower, which put it near the top of American cars of its day.

It’s an older restoration and is a CCCA Full Classic. This one comes from long-term ownership. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Rolls Phantom II Special Brougham

1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Special Brougham by Brewster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Eschen, Liechtenstein | June 19, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Phantom II was Rolls-Royce’s follow-up to the, wait for it, Phantom I. It was the “big” Roller, more powerful and greater in stature than the smaller 20/25 and 25/30 models offered during the 1930s. The Phantom II was sold between 1929 and 1936. Only 1,680 were made.

It is powered by a 7.7-liter inline-six that made approximately 120 horsepower. This particular car carries a one-off body by Brewster featuring an open driver’s compartment with a raked, vee’d windshield as well as a closed passenger’s compartment. A removable roof panel over the driver continues the rake of the windshield for a very aerodynamic front end. Well, a very aerodynamic middle section of the car, because that hood is long.

The rear of the body featured caning on the exterior as well as a sunken floor, gold-plated hardware, and wood trim. It was ordered new by the wife of a wealthy architect and spent time between their Washington D.C. and Newport, Rhode Island, homes. Quite the life.

This magnificent Rolls is estimated to sell for between $1,450,000-$1,950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,715,671.

Duesenberg J-281

1933 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | May 20, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

There are quite a few striking Duesenberg Model J bodies that were offered by various coachbuilders. In fact, just about every one of them is pretty striking. But none more so than the in-house dual-cowl phaeton penned by Gordon Buehrig.

The LeBaron dual-cowl phaeton was one of the first body styles introduced on the Model J after its introduction. Buehrig improved it a bit for those produced by LaGrande, which was actually a pseudonym for the Union City Body Company – a Cord subsidiary. They called it LaGrande, I guess because it sounded fancier. The only thing that would make this car better is to change the red to green.

Like other Js, this car is powered by a 6.9-liter inline-eight capable of 265 horsepower. It’s one of 12 such examples built with this bodywork, all of which survive. However, this chassis was originally delivered with engine J-334 and a Murphy convertible sedan body. J-281 was from a Rollston town car and was swapped into this car during original ownership. This body was added later on but is the real deal.

You can read more about this car here and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $1,655,000.

Audi Front UW

1933 Audi Front UW Prototype by Glaser

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

The Audi Front was the first front-wheel-drive European car with a six-cylinder engine. The “UW” part was a sort of German abbreviation denoting that this Audi used a Wanderer engine that was flipped 180 degrees to drive the front wheels. The cars were also built in a Horch plant, making it a real Auto Union effort. Two different engines were offered during a production run that lasted from 1933 to 1938.

This car was in Russia during WWII, and it’s owner kept it hidden in his basement to avoid it be confiscated by Soviet authorities. It was purchased by the current owner in 1984 and relocated to Armenia, where it sat in storage until a restoration began in 2012.

Of the two Wanderer engines offered in the Audi Front (220 or 225), this car has neither. It has a 3.0-liter inline-six and some one-off features that have led people to believe it was some kind of prototype fitted with a four-seat, two-door convertible body by Glaser. Historics hypothesize that it was ordered by a high-ranking German military official. The pre-sale estimate is $480,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, Historics Auctioneers, July 2021.