Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 12-20, 2023
Mercury’s 1951 model line consisted of one model: their eight-cylinder car, the design of which was in its last year of a three-year run. Technically it was the Series 1CM in 1951, and the M-79 two-door station wagon was the only wagon variant they offered.
Just 3,812 were produced for the model year. All of them were powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that was rated at 112 horsepower. The car is finished in a wonderful shade of ’50s teal with real wood bodywork – from the last year for which Mercury used real wood on their wagons.
Obviously restored, the car also features three rows of seating and a three-on-the-tree transmission. Click here for more photos and info.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 3, 2023
Deutsch-Bonnet, later D.B. after 1947, was a low-volume French sports car manufacturer that was perhaps best known for the Le Mans and the HBR models. Artcurial initially had this one tagged as an HBR5 but later changed the description, presumably because the HBR5 didn’t launch until 1955.
This is apparently one of about 20 “Antem” models designed by Antem, which was located near Paris. Only seven of those were “Barquette” racing cars with aluminum bodies. The non-race versions had steel bodies. Power is from a 747cc Panhard flat-twin. This one had early competition history in Portugal and Morocco.
It’s noted to require a few things to take it back to stock, but it still remains eligible for events like the Mille Miglia and Le Mans Classic. The estimate is $120,000-$165,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | November 30, 2022
Riley’s RM series of cars picked up after WWII where the pre-war Kestrel had left off. What started as the RMA in 1945 would eventually progress through the RMF in 1953. The RMC was produced between 1948 and 1951 and was only available as a roadster.
These cars always struck me as a little awkwardly proportioned. The wheelbase just looks too long. But otherwise it’s an attractive post-war sporting body with suicide doors. Power is from a 2.5-liter inline-four that made 100 horsepower. It was enough to push the car to 100 mph. Sixty took an agonizing 16.5 seconds.
Over four years of production, just over 500 of these (507 to be exact) were built. This one is finished in good colors and is described in the catalog as “self-maintained” – which I think means it maintains itself? It has an estimate of $33,000-$38,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | November 11, 2021
This is a pretty awesome-looking semi. And it’s from 70 years ago, yet it doesn’t look that much different from today’s semis. It’s pretty crazy actually, not to mention the fact that it survived this long, although the restoration certainly helped.
Kirkland, Washington’s Kenworth traces its roots back to a dealership owned by the Gerlinger brothers. They started producing their own truck called the Gersix in 1914. Bankruptcy followed in 1917, and the company’s assets were acquired by E.K. Worthington and Frederick Kent. They combined their last names to form “Kenworth” in 1923.
This truck is powered by a 262-horsepower Cummins diesel. The auction catalog is light on info, but the truck looks pretty sharp and is probably still fairly usable. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2021
In 1946, Sydney Allard’s company introduced two lines of cars, both of which would spawn follow-up models. Those would have been the J1 and K1. Following up the K1 in 1950 was the K2. It was produced through 1952.
This British roadster featured American power – a 5.4-liter Cadillac V8. It was as at home on the track as much as it was on the street, but the K models were more street cars than the J cars. This one was sold new out of New York City.
Only 119 K2s were built. And they are rarely seen. The pre-sale estimate here is $60,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | September 16, 2021
Jowett was founded in 1906 and made it through WWII. Unfortunately, a post-war boom for new cars in the U.K. saw Jowett’s body builder get bought out by Ford, leaving them without a source for car bodies. So they said “aw the hell with it” and closed up shop.
Despite its looks, the Jupiter was actually their large car, and it was offered between 1947 and 1953. The car is powered by a 1.5-liter flat-four mounted directly behind the grille in front of the radiator. It produced 52 horsepower in this car, which was enough to get it to 80 mph.
The weird engine location meant that this was a roomy six-seater car, and the DeLuxe trim added bigger bumpers, a fog light, leather seats, and a wooden dashboard. This four-owner example is one of 23,307 built and should sell for between $12,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 21-23, 2021
Frazer had a short existence as a marque: just five years from 1947 through 1951. The brand was supposed to be an upmarket Kaiser, with prices just a few hundred dollars more than their Kaiser counterparts. Joseph Frazer left the company in 1949, and Kaiser Motors didn’t find the marque to be all that profitable, so it was shuttered after 1951. The final model year consisted of leftover bodies from the ’49 and ’50 model years.
As sort of homely and 1950s-American-generic as this car may look, it is actually spectacular. The Vagabond is one of the coolest American cars of the 1950s. Why? Well it isn’t the 115-horsepower 3.7-liter inline-six. It’s the fact that it is five-door hatchback, or utility sedan, as it was called.
Look at that. The Vagabond (Kaiser made one too) featured two rows of bench seating. The rear folded flat and was lined with wood slats on the rear to match the cargo area floor, which is accessed via a folding tailgate and an upper rear hatch. The left-rear door is blocked by the spare tire. Funky.
Only 2,951 Vagabonds were built by Frazer for 1951. And this one looks great. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Auctioneers | Duxford, U.K. | September 8, 2021
Daimler’s DB18 was introduced just prior to the start of WWII in 1939. Production obviously halted while the fighting raged, but Daimler popped it right back into production after the war. The car was sold as the “Consort” in export markets, where it proved very popular in India.
The DB18 was based on the pre-war New Fifteen model, but instead of that car’s 2.1-liter engine, the DB18 received a new 2.5-liter inline-six rated at 70 horsepower with a single Solex carburetor. Top speed in 1951 was 82 mph.
The first cars were all coachbuilt, but Daimler ended up selling a popular sedan that was bodied in-house. Only 608 Special Sport models were produced between 1946 and 1953, making this car pretty rare. It carries drophead coupe by by Barker as well as a pre-sale estimate of $48,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021
Bandini Automobili was a small boutique automaker based in Forli, Italy, between 1946 and 1992. It was founded by Ilario Bandini and was not associated with Ferrari F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini. The company’s cars were produced mainly for racing, with their Siluros taking multiple SCCA championships in the 1950s.
Bandini cars were also seen at the Mille Miglia, Formula 3, world endurance races, and more. The 1100 was produced between 1947 and 1950, mainly with Motto-sourced sports car bodies. The 1.1-liter inline-four engine was sourced from Fiat and modified with a twin-cam head from Alfa Romeo. Horsepower was rated at 65.
This car carries an open-wheel-style body and was restored in 2017. Just 46 Bandinis are known to exist, and this one should fetch between $105,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020
Moskvitch was a brand of automobile produced by the Soviet Union beginning in 1946. The first cars were actually built at a former Opel plant in East Germany. Production continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and afterward under a privately-owned company until 2002. Somehow, Volkswagen currently owns the brand name.
The cars were reliable and low-cost by Soviet standards, although they were not always easy to get. The 400 was based on the pre-war Opel Kadett and went on sale in December 1946. The “400” meant that the car was powered by a 23-horsepower 1.1-liter inline-four, and the “420” meant that it was a sedan.
Other body styles were offered, and the model was ultimately succeeded by the short-lived 401 in 1954. Between the 400 and 401, 247,439 examples were produced. I have no particular history on this car, as this post is being written well in advance of RM’s catalog going online. But, these are rarely seen in the U.S. (or even Western Europe), and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.