▲ 1904/5 Panhard et Levassor Model KB Roadster. This turn of the (20th) century hotrod was bought in Paris by a Spanish nobleman. It was the 18th car registered in Madrid, and is now Netherlands registered. The drive chains are still stamped Panhard et Levassor. Restored in 1975, the engine was overhauled 20 years later. Expect a fight for this one.
London to Brighton Run Sale
If you're in and around London on Friday 31st October 2014 (and more specifically in or around 101 Bond Street, W1, home of Bonhams), you might consider checking out the London to Brighton Run Sale.
The run itself gets rolling two days later on Sunday 2nd November, whilst on the intermediate Saturday (1st November) there's an automobile show in Regent Street (see Sump's news story on this event). It's going to make for an exciting weekend for veteran car fans (in particular), and early November ain't such a bad time to be in Central London (cue early autumn sunsets, city lights, plenty happening as the year prepares to wind down for the Christmas break, crisp air, etc).
Bonhams is fielding 23 veteran cars dating from 1898 to 1904. The highest expectation, financially speaking, is for a 1904/1905 Panhard et Levassor Model KB Roadster (image immediately above) which is carrying an estimate of £500,000 - £700,000.
René Panhard and partner Émile Levassor are credited with creating the world's first production motor cars. It was 1890, and the two Frenchmen, who ran a firm making woodworking tools and building Deutz engines under licence, used a Daimler engine for their first production foray into the four-wheeled world.
The firm also bequeathed a lasting legacy in the shape of their Système Panhard, which is the basic automobile front-positioned engine to clutch to gearbox to rear axle layout (see Sump August 2014).
Levassor died in 1897 and therefore didn't live to see the Model KB Roadster which is the oldest known example of its type. Powered by a 3.3 litre 4-cylinder engine, it drives through a 4-speed gearbox.
▲ 1905 Gardner-Serpollet 18hp Type L Phaeton Steamer. This luxury chariot (Lot 207) is capable of around 45mph and carries an estimate of £340,000 - £360,000. Said to be an important machine in the history of automobile development, this steam-driven vehicle bristles with tricky and elegant technical solutions and refinements courtesy of some very talented French engineers backed by American business nous and money (see image immediately below for a driver's view).
▲ 1904 Phoenix 4½hp Tricar. The Phoenix Motor Company was established in 1903 in London. In 1911, it moved to Letchworth, Hertfordshire close to where the Vincent motorcycle factory would be located. The company produced motorcycles, tricycles and light cars. The tricar (image immediately above and the two images immediately below) features a 477cc twin-cylinder Peacock engine. The firm ceased trading in 1924/1925. This is Lot 201. The estimate is £15,000 - £20,000.
Another major draw for many automobilists is the Argent Archer Collection of Victorian Photographs. There are hundreds of pictures here with detailed photographic reportage and commentary on some of the earliest motoring events in the UK such as the 1000 Mile Crystal Palace Reliability Trials held on 18th - 28th September 1903.
The photographs in this album (see the next 3 images below) are sized between 4 x 6 inches to 9 x 11 inches and pasted to card pages. The album has seen better days, but is still a beautiful collection of images revealing a lost world.
The 1000 Mile Crystal Palace Reliability Trials images are Lot 44, the estimate being £3,000 - £4,000. That's a lot of money that the average classic biker isn't going to want to shell out. But these pictures are probably a good investment and warrant repeated viewing for years of enjoyment.
Other Argent Archer collections cover everything from the Bexhill Speed Trials, to the Blackpool Motor Races, to the South Hailing Hill Climb to the Scottish Trials, all of which took place between 1900 and 1903. Not priceless stuff. But enjoyable history that's worth preserving and is going to find a happy home.
— Del Monte
£14.99 plus P&P
Copyright Sump Publishing 2014