1941 American Bantam Model 65 Riviera Convertible Sedan
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 2, 2022
The Austin Seven is the car that put Britain on wheels. It was licensed in different parts of the world, including by Rosengart in France and the less-creatively named American Austin in… America. American Austin launched in 1929, with the first cars sold as 1930 models. So, not great timing, even though they were relatively cheap.
Bankruptcy followed in 1935. Three years later the company relaunched as American Bantam with revised streamlined styling. Bantam sales continued through 1941, with finances being tight the whole time. American Bantam designed the original Jeep prototype, although they didn’t survive long enough to actually produce it. And today Willys gets all the credit.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four rated at 22 horsepower. The Riviera Convertible Sedan was offered in 1940 and 1941 only and retailed for $525. This restored example is one of about 6,000-7,000 American Bantams produced in total. Click here for more info.
1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy
For Sale by Hyman Ltd | St. Louis, Missouri
As far as Model Js go – especially four-door examples – this is a pretty great one. The two-tone burgundy paintwork and non-supercharged (internal) exhaust makes for a very clean, elegant look. A body by the Walter M. Murphy Company on a long-wheelbase chassis certainly doesn’t hurt.
Power is from a 6.9-liter Lycoming inline-eight that made 265 horsepower when new. The car was purchased new by Lew Wallace Jr., grandson of the author of Ben-Hur. Interestingly, Hyman refers to this as the “Ben-Hur Duesenberg.” Imagine being defined by a book your grandfather wrote. Apparently such extravagances were not doing the Wallace family any favors, as they had to sell the Duesenberg for a ’32 Ford sedan during the Depression.
This chassis retains its original engine, body, and firewall. The engine was rebuilt in the late 1990s, and the paintwork dates to the 1950s. The car is for sale in St. Louis with a listed price between $1.4 and $1.5 million. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | September 25, 2021
Excalibur sort of invented the neo classic. The first Excaliburs were actually produced in 1952 and looked nothing like this. They were sports cars based on a Henry J chassis. The whole endeavor was a series of false starts. The ones we all know first went on sale in the mid-1960s, and they remained in production under a few different corporate umbrellas up until about 1990. They spawned countless look-a-likes, such as Zimmer, Clenet, Tiffany, and more.
Styling was originally reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SSK and was penned by Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. Studebaker went out of business, so SS Automobiles was set up in Milwaukee in 1965. That company gave way to Excalibur Automobile Corporation in 1986 after a bankruptcy. It was owned by the Stevens family, and that’s where the Series V came from. It was offered as a sedan and limousine.
This car is powered by a V8, likely from Ford. Excaliburs aren’t something you see everyday, but the sedan versions are especially uncommon. This one is expected to sell for between $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Anglia Car Auctions | Online | Feburary 27-28, 2021
Today, the barely-alive Lancia only produces badge-engineered versions of cars from other manufacturers, namely, Fiat (they’ve only made one model since 2016). You might think that this car was the start of it all, but it isn’t. It was actually designed by Lancia before they were taken over by Fiat.
The car was production-ready in 1969, the same year Fiat took control of the brand. It was never supposed to go on sale because it was expensive to build, but once Fiat realized Lancia had nothing else in the hopper, they launched it anyway in 1971. Production would continue through 1974. Both sedans and coupes were offered.
I actually quite like the look of the sedan, which is powered by a 2.0-liter flat-four (weird, right?) that made 126 horsepower when fuel injected. The injected engine, which this car has, also got an extra speed in the gearbox for a total of five. Only 14,319 sedans were built, and this 66,000-mile example should sell for between $11,000-$14,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 12-19, 2020
Sweet watermark. The Westcott Carriage Company was based in Richmond, Indiana, beginning in 1895. They didn’t build their first car until 1909, and it was a simple buggy. The following year they launched right into the production of a four-cylinder car. Westcotts were assembled cars, meaning they were built using off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.
They relocated to Springfield, Ohio, in 1916 and continued building cars through 1925. The C-48 was offered in 1920 and 1921, and it was the larger of the two models offered in each of those years. It is powered by a 51-horsepower inline-six and was actually less powerful than the smaller Model C-38 that was sold alongside.
Three body styles were offered, and this seven-passenger sedan is one of 1,850 Westcotts of all types built in 1920. It was actually used as the mayor’s car on Boardwalk Empire. It is now offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020
Franklin, whose air-cooled cars first hit the market in 1903, decided to move slightly upmarket in the early 1930s with the introduction of a V12 model. This was bad timing, as the economy had crashed, and engineering an entirely new engine was a big financial outlay, one that would not be recouped. Franklin was gone after 1934.
Another thing that happened in the early 1930s was that Franklin switched from “Model 123” nomenclature to actually giving their models names. The Airman was introduced in 1932 and was joined by the Olympic in 1933. The Airman was their only product in 1932, and it was offered in a variety of body styles. Power came from a 4.5-liter air-cooled inline-six making 100 horsepower.
Franklin was America’s most successful manufacturer of air-cooled cars, and this later model is a rarity. This car appears largely original and carries an estimate of $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Statesman was actually a standalone brand offered by General Motors in Australia. They were available from 1971 through 1984 and were sold through Holden dealerships. Statesmans (Statesmen?) were big cars that were better appointed than their Holden counterparts.
This is an HZ Statesman, which is the fourth generation. It was introduced in 1977 and was replaced in 1980. Two models were offered during this generation: DeVille and the Caprice. The car is powered by a 5.0-liter V8.
Equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, a crushed velour interior, and a Radial Tuned Suspension. Statesmans are rarely seen outside of Australia, making this a great chance to grab one and export it. This car is expected to bring between $13,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Voisin built some fantastic luxury cars during its existence. At some point, Gabriel Voisin realized that he would have to build some volume models in order to survive. In 1921, he launched a small sedan called the C4.
It evolved into the C4 S in 1924, and that model lasted through 1926. It is powered by a 1.3-liter sleeve-valve inline-four that made 33 horsepower. This car is said to wear unique bodywork that is quite squared off at the front and more aerodynamic out back.
The car has been in this collection since 1968 and has not been used in recent years. It probably needs a little re-commissioning, but it’ll make for a cheap entry into Voisin ownership with a pre-sale estimate of $28,000-$39,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 18, 2020
Marmon is an automobile marque that usually summons images of fancy speedsters, 16-cylinder coachbuilt classics, or the yellow Wasp that won the first Indy 500. But they also had to churn out cars like this, the Model 68, to stay afloat.
It was the “baby” Marmon for 1928, slotting in below larger, more powerful cars like the Model 78 and Model 75. It was powered by a 42 horsepower inline-eight, and only three factory body styles were offered, including this sedan that was advertised for $1,395 when new. It was the least expensive Marmon that year.
The Model 68 remained in production for 1929, but that car received a big power boost. This right-hand-drive example has been in the U.K. for a long time, probably since new. It should now sell for between $40,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15, 2020
I feel like it’s been a while since a Model J Duesenberg crossed the block. Here we have what was probably a very common version of the car: the sedan. Many Model Js have had their bodies swapped out for either reproductions or real-deal period bodies lifted from other cars.
Usually, these upgrades took the form of going to a dual cowl phaeton or some kind of two-door convertible. But there were plenty of rich people during the Depression that just wanted the best sedan money could buy. And, in this case, Willoughby was happy to deliver.
This car carries engine number J-350, which is a 6.9-liter straight-eight good for 265 horsepower. It is selling at no reserve, and will likely be a great way for someone to get into Model J ownership, as the sedans don’t carry the same values as the convertibles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.