Adler 2.5-Liter Cabriolet

1938 Adler Type 10 2.5-Litre Cabriolet

Offered by Bonhams | Online | June 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Adler was a pioneering German car manufacturer that sold its first car in 1900. They introduced the revolutionary front-wheel-drive Trumpf in 1932. In 1937, the company introduced the Type 10, which is also known as the 2.5-Litre. This would be Adler’s final real new car, as the company chose not to resume automobile production after WWII.

The 2.5-Liter’s namesake inline-six produced about 57 horsepower when new. The streamlined cabriolet bodies were produced by Karmann and allowed the car to hit 78 mph. The model was offered with two- or four-doors and as a coupe, convertible, or sedan.

In all, just 5,295 Type 10s were built through 1940. Only a handful of two-door cabriolets are known to exist, and this one was restored in the 1970s. The car is accompanied by an Adler motorcycle, bicycle, and typewriter so you can own one of each of the company’s products. The package is expected to fetch $170,000-$190,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Peugeot Darl’Mat

1938 Peugeot 402 Darl’Mat Special Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s a car I’ve wanted to feature for years. For a while, about a decade ago, these were popping up for sale right and left. And then the trail went cold. Spoiler alert: the current owner of this car bought it in 2012, which aligns with my timeline.

Let’s start with the 402, which was Peugeot’s large family car produced between 1935 and 1942. About 75,000 were built. Most were factory sedans, but there were plenty of aftermarket coachbuilt versions as well.

Some of those were cars built for Parisian Peugeot dealer Emile Darl’Mat. Darl’Mat obtained permission from Peugeot to commission a run of sports cars to celebrate Peugeot’s history at Le Mans. Marcel Pourtout’s company was brought in to body the cars, which were initially based on the smaller 302 chassis. Production shifted to the 402 before too long, which offered a larger, 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 55 horsepower. All of them were streamlined French masterpieces.

This car is one of 53 Darl’Mat roadsters built, and an additional 20 coupes and 32 convertibles were also made. Only about 30 survive. Darl’Mat’s vision of a sporty Peugeot really took off when his namesake cars ended up running well at Le Mans in 1937 and 1938.

The pre-sale estimate on this car (400233) is $430,000-$670,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Talbot-Lago T23

1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6-7, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

When Anthony Lago bought out failing Talbot in 1936, he went about turning the company around. A big part of his plan were models like this, the T23. It was one of the first new models introduced, and it was downmarket from the later, extremely grand, models like the T26 and T150C.

Power is from a 4.0-liter inline-six good for 140 horsepower. Dubbed the “Baby Talbot,” the cars still wore fanciful bodies like this one, which was built by the factory but designed in partnership with Figoni.

It wears an older restoration and has a very nice-looking red and wood interior. The bigger Talbot-Lagos command big money. This Baby should bring between $300,000-$400,000… which is still a decent amount. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $250,000.

Alfa 6C 2300 Pescara Worblaufen

1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Pescara Cabriolet by Worblaufen

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

The Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 was introduced in 1934 and was updated to “B” specification in 1935. That car remained in production through 1938. Different models were offered from the factory, many of which ended up with coachbuilt bodies. The 2300 B Pescara was sold from 1935 through 1938. Only 120 were produced.

This car was bodied by Worblaufen of Switzerland and was first shown at the 1938 Geneva Motor Show. The car was restored by a previous owner in 1983 and has since held up very well.

Power is from by a 2.3-liter inline-six good for 95 horsepower. This pre-war European beauty is expected to sell for between $725,000-$825,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Not sold.

1938 Bedford Pickup

1938 Bedford BYC Pickup

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Bedford wasn’t founded until 1931. And it only exists because GM needed a local brand for their commercial vehicles and light trucks. They were previously sold as Chevrolets, but after GM purchased Vauxhall in 1925, they introduced Bedford as a division of Vauxhall for the U.K.

The BYC was introduced in 1935 after the company changed the name of the earlier VYC model, which was a 12 cwt light delivery vehicle that debuted in 1932. The engine in this truck is a 3.2-liter inline-six.

This is a pretty rare truck today, as the model didn’t survive the war. It was restored 10 years ago and has spent time in New Zealand. It should now sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,018.

Tatra T77A

1938 Tatra T77A Limousine

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 17, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

Let’s start with this: Tatras are amazing with their unique, otherworldly designs. These big, streamlined, rear-engined cars must’ve seemed completely alien to car shoppers in the 1930s. That’s right, the 1930s! The Tatra 77 was introduced in 1934 and was the world’s first production aerodynamically-designed air-cooled car.

Features include three headlights and a sloping fastback body style that achieved an insanely-low drag coefficient. Power is from a 75 horsepower, 3.4-liter V8. The engine compartments in these cars are so interesting – it looks like there is some kind of machine back there, not an air-cooled V8. Top speed on the 77A was 93 mph.

The interior here is pretty luxurious as well, with a huge rear passenger compartment partitioned off from the driver. And the rear seatback folds forward to reveal a nicely-trimmed trunk ahead of the engine. Only 255 combined examples of the 1934-1935 Tatra 77 and 1935-1938 77A were produced. Only 20 are thought to remain.

Check out Gooding’s posted ownership history: purchased new by a Czech citizen who had the car confiscated by the German army in 1939. The Soviet army took possession of the car in 1945. In 1950, a Russian bought the car and kept it for 50 years before the current owner bought it from him. It should sell to its next owner for between $450,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $412,000.

170VS Gelandesport

1938 Mercedes-Benz 170VS Gelandesport

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The Mercedes-Benz 170V went on sale in 1935 and quickly became the marque’s most popular model up through the outbreak of WWII. The 170S was introduced in 1949 and was built through 1952 and was slightly larger than the earlier V (which also remained in production into the 1950s).

What we have here is the sole survivor of the 10 170VS examples built – a car known as the Gelandesport. It was specially-built by Mercedes-Benz to compete in the 1938 Deutsche Alpenfahrt, a three-day rally that took drivers through the Alps from Munich to Vienna.

Power is from a 1.9-liter inline-four capable of 65 horsepower. It was discovered by an American in Germany in 1950 and was purchased in 1990 by the current owner, who began a restoration in 1995. That work completed in 2018, and the car is now a highlight of an already-packed Mecum Monterey catalog. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.

Talbot-Lago T120 by Brandone

1938 Talbot-Lago T120 Roadster by Brandone

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 15-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

As the name would suggest, the Talbot-Lago T120 was the baby brother of the marque’s legendary T150. Just because it wasn’t as large, expensive, or powerful, doesn’t mean they didn’t have the ability to be just as beautiful.

The T120 is powered by a 90 horsepower, 3.0-liter straight-six and was introduced in 1934. This car carries bodywork from Carrosserie Brandone and it is believed to be the only such body fitted to a T120 chassis.

It has known history back to the 1960s when it was discovered in storage in Saint-Tropez. It was restored decades ago and has been a part of the Academy of Art University Collection for some time. It is expected to sell for between $1,050,000-$1,150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Vegas.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $900,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2019, $650,000.

Brough Superior V-12

1938 Brough Superior 4½-Litre V-12 Sports Saloon

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

George Brough built some of the best motorcycles the world has ever seen. They were overbuilt masterpieces of engineering that are highly sought after today and remain one of the most expensive motorcycles you can buy in today’s world. Between 1935 and 1939 Brough built a very select few four-wheeled automobiles as well.

Originally he offered a 3.5-liter six and a 4.0-liter eight. Only about 20 eight-cylinder cars were built (it used a chassis from Hudson, much like the Railton, which was a Brough automotive competitor, and Railton sued and it became a thing so Hudson stopped supplying the chassis). So Brough only had a six-cylinder car left after that. George  then decided to build a large twelve-cylinder car, using an engine from a Lincoln-Zephyr. This car is powered by that silky-smooth, 4.4-liter, 110 horsepower V-12.

Unfortunately, it was 1938 and introducing an expensive V-12 road car probably wasn’t the best financial move, especially as this car would’ve retailed for £1,250 with the body (for comparison, a ’37 Ford Model Y would’ve run only £100). Only one car was completed, this one. The sports saloon coachwork is by Charlesworth, the main coachbuilder of Brough Superior’s chief car rival, Alvis. This one-off has been in storage for 25 years but will be a hot show item when restored. It should bring between $20,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $68,091.

Minerva Type F/M8 Limousine

1938 Minerva Type F/M8 Limousine

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s yet another Minerva, this one much closer to WWII than any of the others. This was actually from the final year of Minerva passenger car production. They weren’t building many cars per year by this point, which makes this pretty rare. It would have been called a Type F in Belgium, but when imported to the U.K. the importer decided to call it an M8.

It’s powered a 4.0-liter straight-eight and has a big limousine body. This would have been a pretty nice car for whatever Londoner purchased it new (and perhaps purchased it off the stand at the 1938 London Motor Show). It has had a light restoration but could probably use a good looking-over before use. It should bring between $49,000-$58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $99,320.