1945 Lanchester LE27 All-Weather Tourer by Vanden Plas
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Broadway, U.K. | August 4, 2023
The Lanchester brothers were some of the earliest Britons to start working on cars. They took a big swing in 1928 on a new luxury car, but it would be their undoing, and the company was acquired by Daimler in 1931.
Daimler pretty quickly started selling badge-engineered Lanchesters that were just Daimlers with Lanchester badges on them. There was a Maharaja in India who was a big Lanchester fan, and at the end of World War II, he wanted to get his hands on some new cars after a few dry years.
In 1946, Daimler introduced their DE27, and for the Maharaja, four Lanchester versions were commissioned and dubbed LE27. These were powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six. Two of the four were bodied by Vanden Plas in all-weather tourer form, including this car here, which returned to the U.K. around the 1980s. It was restored in the 2000s/2010s in its original colors.
This one has an estimate of $50,000-$65,000. More info can be found here.
1936 Alvis Speed 20 SD Sunshine Coupe by Vanden Plas
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | June 14, 2023
The first Alvis cars were sold in 1920, and a series of models were churned out over the course of that decade. In 1932, they introduced the Speed 20, which would be offered in four different series through 1936.
The final of these series was the SD, which was sold for 1936 only before the Speed 20 was replaced by the 3.5-Litre. The SD was only slightly revised from the earlier SC – the bodywork was a bit wider, and the fuel tank was larger. The SC had brought changes over the SB including a 2.8-liter inline-six and chassis revisions.
Only 149 examples of the SD were built, and just 12 of those were bodied as a “four-light” two-door sedan by Vanden Plas. Only two are known to exist, and this one was restored in the 1990s. The estimate is $100,000-$115,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2021
Vanden Plas was actually a coachbuilder that was founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1870. A London branch opened in 1913. Multiple iterations of the company existed up after bankruptcies, etc., and eventually the name was bought by Austin in 1946.
Beginning in 1958, Vanden Plas marketed cars as a marque in their own right, and this continued on through about 1968. Later Jaguars used Vanden Plas as a model/trim name. The Princess R was the second-generation model of the Vanden Plas Princess, and it was built from 1964 through 1968.
Power is from a 3.9-liter Rolls-Royce inline-six that made 175 horsepower. Top speed was 112 mph. This badge-engineered Austin cost as much as a Jaguar Mk X when new. So, it didn’t fare all that well. Only 6,999 were built. Footnote: this was the only non-Rolls-Royce production car to use a RR engine. It now has a pre-sale estimate of $11,000-$16,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
The English arm of the Talbot company came under the control of the Rootes Group in 1935. The new owners began axing Talbot historical models and introducing replacement models. And before long, all of the cars were branded as Sunbeam-Talbot.
One of the last such models to be axed – in 1937 – was the BG110, which began life as the 110 in 1935. Power is from a 120 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 95 mph, and the car was sort of the pinnacle of pre-Rootes English Talbot design.
What’s semi-unique about this car is that it is one of 13 or 14 BG110s that were bodied by Vanden Plas in aluminum. The rest of the cars were all bodied in-house, and only 89 examples of the 110/BG110 were produced in total between 1935 and 1937. This restored example has had three owners since new and should bring between $120,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | June 24, 2017
Photo – Brightwells
The D8 was Delage’s eight-cylinder car that was in production between 1929 and 1940. If that seems like a long time, keep in mind that the Great Depression wasn’t exactly a great time to engineer and take to market a brand new, high end luxury car. That said, Delage did improve the car incrementally over the years, offering no less than five sub-models to the D8 line.
Produced in 1930, this is one of the original line of D8 cars. D8s were powered by 4.1-liter straight-eight engine making 120 horsepower. This car is listed as being powered by a 4.4-liter unit, its origin unknown. However, the body is the original body supplied to this chassis, having been bodied by Vanden Plas in Belgium.
It’s known to have been involved in an accident in the 1950s, but an enthusiast owner acquired it in the 60s and brought it back to proper form. It spent two decades in a collection and the current owner bought it in 2007, bringing it back to roadworthy condition after it suffered gearbox trouble while on a set for a film. It is expected to sell for between $190,000-$215,000. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Existing companies who decided to get into the burgeoning automobile business around 1900 came from all lines of work: there were a lot of bicycle manufacturers, some buggy companies, and, in the case of SA L’Auto Métallurgique, manufacturers of railway locomotives. Métallurgique built cars in Marchienne-au-Port, Belgium between 1898 and 1928, when they were acquired by Imperia and shut down.
This rare model is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-four engine that drives the rear wheels via a four-speed transmission – the standard for all Métallurgique cars beginning in 1911. The French-looking but Belgian-built body is by Vanden Plas, an offshoot of which would later become part of the Austin Motor Company in the U.K.
Métallurgique sold cars in the U.K. when new, and this vehicle was likely bought new there as it was first registered in England in 1913. It is said that it runs and drives well and is a mix of original and redone parts (for instance, the hood was replaced at some point). It should bring between $27,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
The Bugatti Type 57 was introduced in 1934 and lasted in some form or another until WWII broke out. The Type 57S – which was a lowered version of the Type 57 – was more like a race car for the street than anything else. Then Bugatti took it a step further with the Type 57SC – it was supercharged and the fastest car money could buy.
Bugatti only built two Type 57SC examples, but many of the 46 other Type 57S examples were later upgraded by Bugatti (or their owners, as is the case here) to SC specification. This car began life as a 57S and when it traded hands in the 1950s it had a supercharger from a Type 35B affixed to the engine. When it was restored in 1985, a correct Type 57 supercharger was fitted, so now the car was fully brought up to Type 57SC spec – which means it is powered by a 200 horsepower 3.3-liter supercharged straight-eight engine.
The beautiful one-of-a-kind body was created by Vanden Plas of Belgium. Very few Type 57 Bugattis were bodied outside of Bugatti’s favored coachbuilders. This car is very Vanden Plas – it sort of looks like a windswept Jaguar SS. It’s fantastic – and that color is gorgeous.
This car is extremely rare – one of only 46 built. No pre-sale estimate has been made available… so if you have to ask, as the saying goes, you can’t afford it. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.