1925 Renault Model 45

French automaker Renault, formed in 1898, was always a few steps ahead of its competitors. It was one of the first marques to begin racing, and its early prestige enabled it to build a fine reputation both in Europe and abroad. The cars were instantly recognized for their “coal scuttle” hoods, which was a design necessitated by the radiator being mounted behind the engine, rather than in front of it. The first three decades at Renault were filled with new models and new innovations. Most of the cars that the company produced were small, low-horsepower automobiles that were ideal for thrifty buyers and narrow European streets. Yet, for the customer who sought something different, and had the vast bank account to back up their wishes, they also had the Model 45, which the factory almost charmingly referred to as, simply, the “Big Six.”

The Model 45 was the largest production automobile built until the introduction of Ettore Bugatti’s fabled Type 41 La Royale. Its nine-liter, six-cylinder engine churned out 140 horsepower, on a chassis that measured nearly 150 inches between axles. With relatively lightweight open bodywork fitted, a Model 45 could achieve nearly 100 mph. With their typical attention to engineering, Renault put extensive attention into making the massive automobile not only swift but also easy to drive. Four-wheel servo-assisted brakes were added to bring the big machine easily to a stop.

This car carries its original, open, four-passenger tourer coachwork. Its design bears a strong similarity to other bodies produced for Model 45 chassis by Parisian coachbuilder Manessius, but the builder’s identity has never been conclusively confirmed. The big Renault was acquired by the renowned Nethercutt Collection in January 1984, and the car immediately became the subject of a comprehensive, cost-no-object restoration by the Nethercutt family’s famed shops. It remained part of the Nethercutt Collection until 2010.

It is believed to be one of fewer than six survivors known.

1911 American Eagle

In 1908, Martin Burzynski started inquiring about parts from different manufacturers to build an automobile to test his Pneumatic Mechanical Vehicle Tires that he had patented in 1910. Burzynski’s patented tires had sidewalls made of aluminum and the tread consisted of canvas and rubber. Between the two aluminum sidewalls was a pneumatic inner tube and metal supports. It took Burzynski nearly four years to build the Eagle Touring Car. Eagle Motor Car Company was located at 427 Gratiot Ave. in Detroit, and this 1911 Eagle 7 Passenger Touring Car is the only automobile they had built.

1913 Woods Mobilette

The Woods Mobilette automobiles were built in Harvey, Illinois between 1913 and 1917. The car was touted as “America’s First Cyclecar”, one of over 233 cyclecar companies which existed in North America for only a short period of time. Mr. Francis A. Woods’s first Mobilette prototype Model No. 1 was built in 1910. Sometime during 1911-1912 he built the Model No. 2, which was powered by a four cylinder 12 HP air cooled engine. Model No. 3 was his first production model with both staggered seat (Sociable) and Tandem seating roadster being powered by a 12 HP water cooled Woods Mobilette engine. The Mobilette engines were foundered by several foundries over the course of production. The Model No’s. 4 – 4A’s consisted mostly of specialty small trucks both pickup and panel truck types. One of the founders of the practice of cosmetic surgery, Dr. Samuel L. Scher took very good care of this vehicle until the mid-60’s when it was taken in by Richard C. Paine Jr at the Seal Cove Museum. It was brought to our museum in 2008 in beautiful condition. Being a 1911, it is generously outfitted with brass brightwork, from the radiator shell and acetylene headlights to the E&J kerosene sidelights and taillight and brass tube windshield frame. It deservedly earned the AACA National First Prize plaque.

1904 Peerless Type 8 Style K

In 1869, Peerless started in Cincinnati, Ohio, by producing a clothes wringer that turned out to be quite profitable.  In 1891, Peerless moved into the bicycle industry and produced 10,000 bicycles annually.

Peerless bought DeDion Bouton, a successful French company, about a decade after Peerless joined the bicycle industry.  They then started producing motorized tricycles and quadricycles in American. Peerless wanted to create their own line of automobiles, so by August 1903, Peerless had a 16hp two-cylinder, 24hp four-cylinder Type 8, 35hp Type 7, and a rare 60hp Type 12, that was offered for 1904.

This aluminum body on the car was built by J.M. Quinby Company in the style of Roi des Belges (King of Belgium).  This also refers to the large tulip-like bulges from behind the seats that came from European styling.  This Type 8 was the most modern and fastest production car in 1904.

This vehicle completed the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in England three times.

       

1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen Replica

Carl Benz submitted a patent on January 29, 1886, to Berlin’s Imperial Patent Office for a gasoline powered three wheel machine.  Patent number 37435 is expressed as the first automobile to have an internal combustion engine with an electric ignition system.  The single cylinder 954cc, four-stroke engine was tested and produced 0.9hp at 400rpmby the Technical University of Stuttgart.

In 1888, Bertha Benz borrowed her husband’s car to take it on the first long distance trip with their two sons, Eugen and Richard.  Carl refrained from taking long jaunts.

Petrol used at the time was a solvent known as Ligroin.

1934 Bugatti Type 57

When Bugatti’s spectacular Type 57 debuted in 1934, it would ultimately prove to be the final all-French design in the marque’s short but brilliant history. Company patriarch Ettore Bugatti was fully committed to developing the petrol-powered rail cars ordered by the French government, so design of the new high-performance touring car was handed over to his talented son, Jean – who was just 23 years old at the time. Jean and senior engineers Pichetto and Domboy were wholly responsible for the specification of the car from the ground up, including the chassis, engine, and factory coachwork designs. To compete in the market, Bugatti needed a fresh design; one that retained the performance and style for which Bugatti was known, while offering new levels of comfort and easy operation.

The Type 57 was based around an all-new twin-cam, inline eight-cylinder engine displacing 3,257 cubic centimeters. Only the basic layout was shared with earlier models, as the block (with integrated head) and crankcase were all new items. A series of bevel gears drove the camshafts, which offered superior refinement over the previous straight-cut style. In standard form, the new engine was capable of a highly respectable 135 horsepower. While the Type 57 was not officially raced, the fundamental engine design was shared with the Type 59 Grand Prix cars. The chassis featured Bugatti’s traditional solid front axle which had been highly developed and well-proven by hundreds of racing victories. Bugatti further refined the ride and handling to suit the Type 57s intended purpose as a fast yet luxurious touring car. While American companies like Packard and Cadillac had begun to offer synchronized transmissions, Bugatti retained a non-synchro gearbox, but with quieter helical cut gears and a smoother change from the older dog-type gear-change of older models. This fabulous chassis were then clothed in a series of factory-designed saloon, coupe, and cabriolet bodies in addition to some of the most spectacular art-deco coachwork by coachbuilders including Figoni et Falaschi, Gangloff, and Saoutchik. The factory offered four distinct styles; the Galibier Saloon, Ventoux four-passenger coupe, four-seat Stelvio cabriolet, and the two-seat Atalante coupe. The Bugatti Type 57 and its derivatives are counted among the most important collector cars of all time, offering stunning looks, electrifying performance and the historical importance that only comes with the great cars from Molsheim.

Presented here is a 1934 Bugatti Type 57, equipped with stunning Atalante coachwork. The Atalante is one of the most sporting and stylish of all the Jean Bugatti-designed bodies. Featuring a distinct close-coupled roof line, long, flowing tail and distinct sweeping feature line down the body, the Atalante is a visually arresting design. Bugatti continually refined the styling, and each car was built to individual client specification, meaning very few cars were identical in detail. This stunning automobile is chassis number 57167, an early example of the Type 57 chassis. Factory records show this car was delivered new on May 14, 1934 via French dealer Moneshier. The first owner is listed as a Monsieur Cabaud, though little more of this car’s early history is known at this time. In the late 1980s, the car is believed to have been found in Central France where it was shipped to the UK, needing restoration. While there, it belonged to a respected Bugatti enthusiast who produced a number of high-quality engine parts for fellow owners. He intended to restore car at that point, though it seems the project took some time to get off the ground.

Today, this magnificent Type 57 has been fully restored to a high standard and is presented in stunning colors.  The two-tone green livery is exquisitely judged, and paired with a gorgeous saddle-tan leather interior. The body is finely detailed with a mix of crisp edges, well-defined coach lines and a soft, flowing profile. It is truly one of the most beautiful and elegant sporting designs of the thirties as well as one of the most instantly recognizable.

Aside from its meticulous cosmetic restoration, this Bugatti Type 57 benefits from a complete mechanical overhaul, and it has been beautifully dialed-in by its most recent owner for use on tours and rallies. The eight-cylinder engine emits its distinct growl through the exhaust, accompanied by the whine of the valvetrain for that signature growling soundtrack. The car successfully completed the week-long International Bugatti Owner’s Meeting on the island of Sardinia in 2107; a testament to the quality of the restoration, as well as the incredible capability these cars have always had.

In many ways, the Bugatti Type 57 is the ultimate collector car. It represents the pinnacle of refinement and performance from Molsheim, and is the last of the great machines from the most fabled of all the French Grandes Routieres.

1924 Delage GL Skiff Torpedo

One of just six GL chassis known to exist today, this ‘Grand Luxe’ Delage was fitted with a Labourdette Skiff body from new.  Constructed from wood with techniques normally used for boats, these Skiffs were among the most exclusive machines available during this time. Due to the delicate nature of the materials used, very few survived.

Designed to compete with the best offerings of Rolls Royce and Hispano Suiza, the Delage type GL (Grand Luxe) 40/50 hp was built to the highest standards of design and quality.  The engine is a

6-cylinder of 363 CID, with overhead camshaft valve gear.

During the 1970s it was discovered by British restorer Paul Grist in the collection of Sir Francis Samuelson. Apparently he used the rare Delage as a tow vehicle. Most of the body had nevertheless survived unscathed and the car was subjected to a full restoration.

180 were manufactured from 1924 through 1926.  It is believed this is the only Delage GL ever bodied by Labourdette.


This example was exhibited at Pebble Beach in 2005.

1958 Zundapp Janus

1958 Zundapp Janus

Built in Germany and named after the Greek God JANUS, who looked both forward and back, this car has 2 doors: One in the front and one in the rear. The seat can be re-configured to lay flat to make a bed so that you could camp in the car. 20 were originally imported to the USA for sale, but only 10 were ‘officially’ sold. The whereabouts of the other 10 are unknown.

Many people think this car is a BMW Isetta (which has a single door that opens in the front). It is not. It was, however, offered for sale at about the same time.

This is the only car that Zundapp made and it bankrupted them. They needed to sell 15,000 to break even, they only sold 6,900. Previously they made motorcycles and scooters.

1913 American Underslung Scout Type 22A

Of the multitude of early car companies to adopt the name “American” it is the American Motors Company of Indianapolis, Indiana that we feature here. American was a small firm that arrived with a grand flash, and disappeared in just eight years. Thanks to its most popular and distinct model, this iteration of American Motors is most commonly referred to as American Underslung.

The Underslung chassis was designed by Fred Tone in 1907, and it featured the suspension and axles mounted above the frame to allow for a much lower ride height. Tone was one of the first engineers to appreciate the value of a low center of gravity as it benefits handling, and period advertisements bestowed its virtues. This example is a 1913 Scout, a two-seat runabout roadster powered by a 30 hp four-cylinder engine. With its lower price and smaller L-head engine, junior model Scout was introduced in hopes of boosting sales when compared to the large 60 hp touring cars. But it was too-little too-late and American Motors Company closed its doors in 1914.

This Scout is believed to be 1 of only 5 built during 1913.

1911 Ford Model T Torpedo Runabout

Ford’s Model T is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. It is the car that put America (and much of the rest of the world) on wheels. Built on Henry Ford’s moving assembly line, the Model T was built in numbers that were previously unheard of in the manufacture of such a complex machine. After nearly 20 years of production, Ford had produced over 15 million Model Ts.

Ford offered a wide variety of body styles from the factory, from practical to sporty. For 1911, the sporty end of the spectrum consisted of the 3-Passenger Runabout, 2-Passenger Torpedo Runabout and 2-Passenger Open Runabout. The primary difference between the latter two is that the Torpedo Runabout has doors, while the Open Runabout features a step-through body. Ford’s “all black” paint policy would not take effect until 1914, with the only gray, green, red or blue offered until then.