T26 Grand Sport Coupe

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 2, 2023

Photo – Bonhams

The Grand Sport was the short wheelbase sports car version of Talbot-Lago’s T26, which was their first car introduced after WWII in 1946. The T26 hung around through 1953. This particular Grand Sport, one of just 36 built, was ordered new as a bare chassis by racing driver Andre Chambas.

Chambas designed the body himself in clay and supposedly had it built locally by Contamin, a company that actually built cabins for cranes. Power is from a 4.5-liter inline-six that made around 170 horsepower. Chambas took this car racing, including:

  • 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans – 17th, DNF (with Andre Chambas and Andre Morel)
  • 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans – 13th (with Chambas and Morel)
  • 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans – 17th (with Chambas and Morel)
  • 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans – 9th (with Chambas and Morel)
  • 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd, DNF (with Chambas and Charles de Cortanze)

The original coupe body was removed after Le Mans in 1950 and replaced with an open style. This remained on the car until after Le Mans in 1953 (during which the car spun out, and the gearbox was subsequently ruined). The original coupe body was reinstalled at this time.

The car has had quite a few owners in quite a few countries since Chambas sold it in the mid 1950s. It’s a pretty fantastic looking car with a pretty remarkable (all privateer) racing history. Actually, this Talbot has more starts at Le Mans than any other. Pre-sale estimate? $2,150,000-$2,650,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,424,585.

Davis Divan

1948 Davis Divan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well it’s about time one of these comes up for public sale. I mean, there were only 13 built and only a dozen survive, but they are popular three-wheeled weirdos. The Davis Motorcar Company of Van Nuys, California, was founded by Glenn Davis and only existed for two years: 1947 and 1948.

Their product was the Divan, which was based on a Frank Kurtis-built custom that Davis purchased after WWII. This is the third Divan built, the first two being prototypes, making it the first “production” example. Power is provided by a Hercules inline-four good for 47 horsepower. Most of the other cars got 63-horsepower Continental fours.

It is a convertible with a removable hardtop. It also featured disc brakes and pop-up headlights. This car spent most of its life in Michigan, being restored in 2011. No pre-sale estimate is yet available, but you can read more about it here.

Update: Sold $125,000.

Bedford Motor Coach

1948 Bedford OB Coach by Plaxton

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Bedford Vehicles was founded in 1931 when General Motors shifted production of Chevrolet commercial vehicles to a Vauxhall plant. The Bedford marque was born and remained GM’s main British commercial vehicle manufacturer until 1986, at which time the heavy trucks were branded as Isuzus. Light Bedford vehicles carried on until 1991.

The OB was a single-door bus manufactured between 1939 and 1951. Most of them carried between 26 and 29 passengers, and this one is fitted with a Plaxton body. It’s got a great side profile and is powered by a 3.5-liter inline-six rated at 72 horsepower.

This one was restored between 2006 and 2008. In all, 12,766 examples of the OB were produced, with just 73 of those coming before the war. The pre-sale estimate is $51,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $51,308.

AC 2-Litre

1948 AC 2-Litre Saloon

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | October 23, 2021

Photo – Brightwells

AC’s 2-Litre was their first post-war automobile, and it was really the largest shot at a “mainstream” automobile that they ever took. Pretty much everything after this was pure sports car. The 2-Litre, which was sold from 1947-1956, was available as a two- or four-door sedan. Drophead coupes were also offered. The Buckland was the open roadster variant.

The 2.0-liter inline-six dated to 1922 but was fitted with triple SU carburetors for post-war use and a factory-rated output of 74 horsepower. Top speed was 80 mph. Only 1,284 examples were produced of all types combined.

This car has been in the same family since new and was restored in the 1980s. It now carries an estimate of $8,200-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,334.

1948 Figoni/Falaschi Talbot

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Cabriolet Decapotable by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

That’s about the longest headline/car name we’ve ever featured. Yeesh. The Talbot-Lago T26 was introduced in 1946 and was based on a pre-war design. The T26 Record featured hydraulic brakes, a pre-selector transmission, and a 4.5-liter inline-six capable of 170 horsepower. There was a sport version called the Grand Sport that had an additional 20 horsepower.

And there was an even hotter version that was called, somewhat confusingly, the Record Sport, which shared the Grand Sport’s engine but with an aluminum cylinder head. Only 36 were built.

But what really have here is style. Figoni et Falaschi is one of the most exotic and sought-after names when it comes to classic coachbuilders… or specifically classic French coachbuilders. This is one of four Cabriolet Decapotable Record Sports built by Figoni et Falaschi and one of two that remain.

The car was part of the John O’Quinn collection until 2010, when it was bought by the current owner. It’s one of the best examples of rolling French high style there is. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,800,000-$2,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,875,000.

Armstrong-Siddeley Hurricane

1948 Armstrong-Siddeley Hurricane 16

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021

Photo – Brightwells

Armstrong-Siddeley, which I guess never officially had a hyphen but I’m hyphenating anyway because that’s how I did it last time, was founded via a merger in 1919 and existed as a motorcar manufacturer until 1960.

The Hurricane drophead coupe was launched alongside the Lancaster sedan at the end of WWII. The Hurricane remained in production until 1953 in two different forms. This, the 16, is the less-powerful of the two. It’s equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-six that was rated at 70 horsepower when new. There was a larger Hurricane 18 model with a 2.3-liter six as well.

Combined production between the two engine options was just 2,606, all of which convertibles. It was the first Armstrong-Siddeley with an independent front suspension and was boded in-house, unlike the Lancaster. The pre-sale estimate is $15,000-$18,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,195.

Delage D6 3-Litre Cabriolet Milord

1948 Delage D6 3-Litre Cabriolet Milord by Guillore

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 1, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

It’s amazing that this car was produced in 1948. Mostly because it looks like a coachbuilt classic from the 1930s, not something that could’ve been bought new five years before the Corvette debuted. What’s even crazier is that the D6 3-Litre was produced until the end of Delage in 1954!

The D6 was introduced in 1932, and it was updated over the years. The 3-Litre model was introduced after the war in 1946 and is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six rated at 90 horsepower. This example carries Cabriolet Milord coachwork from Guillore.

It wears an older restoration and was part of its previous owner’s collection for 40 years. It is now estimated to bring $140,000-$190,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Tatra T87

1948 Tatra T87

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Tatra T87 is a special car. Designed by Hans Ledwinka and Erich Ubelacker, it was based on the earlier T77, which was a very low-production car from the mid-1930s. The T87 went on sale in 1936 and lasted through 1950… you know, with an interruption for the war.

It had a streamlined body, a rear-mounted 3.0-liter V8, and suicide front doors. Horsepower was a modest 85, but the car had an incredibly low drag coefficient and could hit 100 mph. After production ceased, Tatra retrofitted some of the T87s with the 2.5-liter V8 from the 603. This is one of those cars.

Not a cheap car in its day, the T87 was produced in limited numbers with just 3,056 examples completed. It’s a beautiful, streamlined masterpiece, with design elements lifted from the German zeppelins of the era. It’s one of the coolest cars in this sale, and, like the others, it will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $302,000.

Delahaye Sport Coupe

1948 Delahaye 135M Sport Coupe by Hebmuller

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 25, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Delahaye 135M was introduced in 1936 and featured a larger engine than earlier 135 and 138 models. It was popular enough that Delahaye continued to produce the model until they went out of business in 1954.

It was also a sporty car, powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower when equipped with three carburetors, as this one is. This example also has an interesting backstory: the body was originally constructed after the war as a replacement body for a pre-war 135 S Competition Court car.

In 2011, the body was removed from the competition chassis and put into storage, only to be restored in 2017 and fitted to a restored 1948 135M chassis. And there we have it. The styling is very unlike most other Delahayes and kind of appears to be somewhat German, which it is. Anyway, you can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $320,041.

1948 Playboy

1948 Playboy A48 Convertible

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 11-12, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Playboy Automobile Company was founded in 1947 by Lou Horowitz, a Buffalo, New York-area Packard dealer who wanted something smaller to sell after WWII. The prototype was shown in late ’46 and the Playboy Convertible went on sale in 1947.

Early cars used a Hercules engine and this, one of the later cars, uses a 2.0-liter Continental straight-four making 40 horsepower. It features an early retractable hardtop and sat on a 90-inch wheelbase. Featuring three-abreast seating, this car topped out at 75 mph.

The company folded in 1951. This car is #88 of 97 built and 43 are thought to survive, including the original prototype (a total of 99 cars were made, only 97 were “production” models). A rare example of a Post-War start-up automobile company, this car was painted in 2010 and can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,000.