On October 5, and for the fourth year in a row, Bonhams will conduct a “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. Museum founder Fred Simeone, a renowned surgeon, has been a champion of preserving rather than restoring historically important vehicles, and Bonhams notes in its news release that the sale “is wholly distinct in its focus on authentic, historically accurate and unrestored motorcars.”
Bonhams sent its news release to announce three of the vehicles being offered at the sale. Bonhams previously noted that a collection of cars from the du Pont family — including a 1906 Ford Model N, 1924 Ford Model T roadster, 1938 Morgan Super Sports and a pair of 1950s Cooper F3 racers — have been consigned to the auction.
The latest consignments are Brass Era cars:
- A 1907 Stearns 60hp 7-passenger touring formerly part of the Harrah collection. With “approximately” 9 liters of displacement, ’07 Stearns won 19 races and were known for excelling in hill climbs. A Stearns 60hp was the first gasoline-fueled car to reach the top of Pikes Peak. The car being offered at the Bonhams sale was “exquisitely restored” more than two decades ago and remains, the auction company said, “an immaculate and imposing representation of an important part of early American motoring history.”
- A barn-found 1908 Rainier Model D 45/50hp 7-passenger touring in original condition. Bonhams reports the Rainier to be “a long-term southern California-owned car” in “incredibly original condition with the majority of its grained-leather trim being intact and is rife with details such as its original jump seats.”
- A 1913 Napier T44 30/35hp touring car with coachwork by Cunard which was among the first that “didn’t vibrate incessantly or make too much noise.” Bonhams notes that Napier of Great Britain was the first company to offer commercially a car with a 6-cylinder engine. The car being offered at the sale was used by Randolph Churchill when he campaigned for re-election to Parliament in 1950.