Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023
The first Rosengarts were Austin Sevens built under license in France. Later on, the company expanded its range with models of its own design. They partnered with Adler to explore front-wheel-drive layouts in the early 1930s, and their development of this layout led to the car you see here.
Called the Supertraction, the LR539 model launched at the 1938 Paris Motor Show and used Citroen Traction Avant mechanicals. The stock coupe and cabriolet bodies were much more stylish than those of the Citroen, however. The engine is a 1.9-liter inline-four that made about 50 horsepower.
This one was discovered in 1976 and was later parked in the 1980s. It’s not current running, but is a very rare example of the model, which was produced for just over a year before the war shuttered production. This sale has two of these in it, with this one being much nicer. The estimate is $43,000-$65,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2022
BMW’s ultimate pre-war car was the 328, which was a Mille Miglia-winning sports car powered by a legendary inline-six engine. A similar car, launched in 1937, was the 327. It was less sporty and more grand tour-y.
It was also powered by an inline-six. In this car, it was the 2.0-liter M78 unit, which made about 54 horsepower. There was a 327/8 version that got the 328’s engine, which was good for a bump to 79 horsepower.
The 327 was available in cabriolet or coupe form. After WWII, production continued in the form of the EMW 327, and they were available until 1955 (!). This car is one of only 1,124 pre-war cabriolet examples produced. Delivered new to Zurich, it was restored within the last five years. It now has an estimate of $133,000-$144,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 15, 2022
Hard to believe a Steyr 220 has not come across this site yet. There have been a few that have popped up over the years, which can only mean that this site was asleep at the wheel. That or confident another would pop up soon. And here we are.
Steyr, which is mostly known for Steyr-Daimler-Puch products like the Pinzgauer, actually built road cars, including some fancier-looking ones like this. The 220 was the last in a line of 120/125/220 that stretched back to 1935. The 220 would be built from 1937 through 1941. It was the company’s most glamorous product – and their last passenger car.
Power is from a 2.3-liter inline-six that made 55 horsepower. Just 5,900 examples of the 220 were produced. Interestingly, a 220 with the same engine number sold on Bring a Trailer for $36,000 earlier this year. The car here has maroon wheels and fenders in lieu of body-color fenders and tan wheels, but it could be the same car. It has an estimate of $78,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 15, 2022
The “Steyr Baby” was a small car produced by Steyr-Daimler-Puch between 1936 and 1940. It was actually called the Steyr 50 upon its introduction, and it was renamed the 55 when it was updated for 1938. Updates for the Type 55 included a lengthened wheelbase (by like two inches) and a stronger engine.
That engine is a 1.2-liter flat-four that made 25.5 horsepower compared to 22 horsepower of the Type 50. Only 7,800 Type 55s were built, all in two-door sedan style. The diminutive shape and rounded profile has lead to the occasional “Austrian Volkswagen” nickname.
This example was restored at the end of the 1990s and wears a two-tone paint scheme, as they came with from the factory. A rare survivor, it’s likely the best one around. The pre-sale estimate is $37,000-$47,000. Click here for more info.
1939 Delage D8-120 Cabriolet Grand Luxe by Chapron
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022
The D8-120 was the ultimate version of Delage’s grand eight-cylinder car. Introduced in 1937, the model was available through 1940, which marked the end of eight-cylinder Delages. Those eight cylinders displaced 4.3 liters, a slight increase over the earlier D8-100. Output was rated at 90 horsepower. Or 120. Depends who you ask.
This car features bodywork by Henri Chapron that is set off by swoopy lines and a bumper-less front end. Between the louvered hood, superbly placed bits of chrome, and kind of intense wheel covers, this car just has that look. The car wasn’t actually bodied until 1946, with the chassis having been intended for the canceled 1939 Paris Motor Show.
It spent time in Egypt before coming to the U.S. The car was restored in 1995 and repainted in these colors, the originals, in 1998. It now has an estimate of $800,000-$1,200,000, which seems like a steal from the sheer look of it. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
Aero was a Czech company the operated as an automobile manufacturer from 1929 through 1947, with post-war models amounting to 500 units of a pre-war model. The company as a larger unit was primarily known for aircraft, and after it was nationalized in 1947, returned to strictly producing aircraft, which they still do today.
The Model 50 was the largest of the company’s offerings and went on sale in 1936. It remained in production until 1942, making it one of very few cars you could buy new in ’42. It featured a front-wheel-drive layout and sourced its 50 horsepower from a two-stroke 2.0-liter inline-four. Top speed was just over 80 mph.
Only 1,205 examples of the Model 50 were built, with just six of those being the Dynamik with swoopy coachwork from Joseph Sodomka. Two of the six examples built survive. The original owner stuffed this car in a barn during the war and then joined the Czech resistance. After the war, he gifted it to a friend in Colorado, and it was restored in the 1980s. The pre-sale estimate now is $300,000-$400,000. Click here for more info.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Special Cabriolet by Gangloff
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022
Among the most valuable Bugattis – and pre-war cars in general – are variations of the Bugatti Type 57. This particular car is a rare version called the Aravis Special Cabriolet with coachwork by Gangloff, who were also responsible for the Stelvios.
This is a Type 57C, which indicates a racing chassis powered by a supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This car is one of three Gangloff-bodied Aravis cars in existence, of what is thought to be six built (in addition to six from Letourneur et Marchand). Only two of the remaining three were factory-supercharged examples, with this being one of them.
In 1959, the coachbuilder Graber was hired to put a fixed roof on the car, a configuration it was rescued from after being purchased by its current owner in 1993. It has a replacement engine, but of the correct type. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Hendon, U.K. | March 5-6, 2022
Frazer Nash was the official British importer for BMW cars between 1934 and 1939. The cars were sometimes slightly modified by Frazer Nash before being sold, and they were all sold in the U.K. under the Frazer Nash-BMW marque. BMW’s 327 was built between 1937 and 1941 (and again after the war for a short period).
Frazer Nash only managed to import 19 of them before the outbreak of the war. BMW offered the 327 with the 328‘s more potent 2.0-liter inline-six. It was rated at 80 horsepower, hence the model designation here. In Germany, these were referred to as the 327/28.
This car was restored in 2005 and is one of 12 known to exist. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | October 23-28, 2021
Sunbeam-Talbot was a short-lived marque and part of the myriad of Talbot-branded cars over the decades. The brand came into being in 1935 when Rootes merged Sunbeam and Talbot into a single marque. In 1954, after dealing with confusion in relation to the French Talbots, Rootes dropped the name and Sunbeam soldiered on alone.
The 4-Litre model was introduced in 1939 and was made in very limited numbers into 1940. This was the company’s largest model and was derived from the Humber Super Snipe. It’s powered by a 4.1-liter inline-six that made 100 horsepower. It topped out at 85 mph.
WWII cut short the 4-Litre’s production run, and only 229 were built. Just 44 of those were Sports Saloons. This example was restored in 1991 and is one of two Sports Saloon 4-Litres known to exist. It should sell for between $39,000-$44,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
This series of the Cadillac Series 75 was produced in 1936 and 1937. Most of them were bodied by Fisher or Fleetwood, but a few escaped GM as bare chassis, including this car, which wears Town Car bodywork by Brunn. This means that the driver’s compartment can be “open” or closed, while the rear passenger compartment is always closed.
Two of these were built for the same guy, but the other one was lost in a fire in the 1950s. In 1966, this, the surviving example of the two, was purchased by its current owner… who was only 16 at the time. Imagine driving a used coachbuilt American classic as your first car.
Power is from a 5.7-liter V8 that was rated at 135 horsepower when new. The car was restored over a period of 50 years. I guess that makes it a “labor of love” because I couldn’t imagine tinkering on the same car for 50 years. At any rate, this one ends on Saturday. Click here for more info.