Auto of the day – May 4th 2012 – Limo’s


1923 Daimler 57hp 9.4 Litre Hooper Limousine


Chassis number 19119


Body Number 6152

Registration number BF5906


An extraordinary car restored to concours condition at a cost of over $450,000.


In 1923 King George V ordered 4 new Daimlers for Royal service. He specified use of the 9.4 litre sleeve valve engine. An additional three cars were also built aside from the royal four, of which this is the only known running survivor. The only other is in the Royal Collection in the Royal Mews at Sandringham.The car has had a recent nut & bolt restoration to the highest standards at a cost of over $450,000. The engine has been completely rebuilt, as have gear box, back axle, brakes & all the other various ancillary items. The car was completely repainted in Royal Claret livery.


A correct interior was sourced based upon the original & painstakingly fitted to the original spec. Black leather & carpet to the front “working quarters.” Beige cord cloth & West of England cloth to the rear & occasional seats/headlining.Coachwork is by royal coach builder Hooper, renowned for holding the royal warrant & manufacturing bodies of impeccable quality. The car is simply massive with huge presence on the road. It dwarfs comparable Silver Ghosts etc. A leather covered luggage trunk is mounted to the rear. Barker Patent dipping headlights are fitted to the front with a lever to activate them in the cab.


The engine is a paragon of smoothness, belying its size, as when running it is barely audible. Being a sleeve valve it lacks the mechanical clatter of its poppet valve based siblings. It is quite possibly the most torque laden engine I have ever experienced. The car pulls in top gear from walking speed without so much as a tremor. The ‘box is a four speed unit, a little heavy at first but becoming easy to use as soon as its oil comes up to temperature. It is a two stage clutch. For up changes one depresses the pedal only half way. For down changes one pushes the pedal all the way down which brakes the fly wheel. Brakes are reasonably effective given the size & weight of the car. The steering very light & precise considering the size of the car.


The usual blue smoke at start up, inherent to the sleeve valve design quickly dissipates as the engine warms. Once hot, the engine starts easily off the residual compression by putting the ignition back on & retarding the ignition lever on the steering boss without recourse to the starter motor. Retarding the ignition turns the distributor, creating a spark & igniting an unburnt charge on the firing stroke.Ignition is on the magneto for one set of plugs & on the coil for the second set. Likewise the car has two separate starter motors allowing for redundancy in the event of one or other failing to function.


To sum up; This is a massive imposing car with royal pedigree & of an excellence one simply does not find elsewhere. It is of museum quality & would make a wonderful centre piece to any collection. A gallery of large high resolution pictures may be viewed on our web site at


Offered here:

Asking: ??

Value: Approx. US$1 million.

Comment: A wonderful example of the British royalty’s choice of motoring, big, OTT, luxurious, and your for $1 million.


1938 Cadillac V-16 Presidential Convertible Parade Limousine by Fleetwood


• “The Queen Mary,” ex-Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower

• Three documented private owners since 1956

• One of two specially built limousines for White House use

• Trim no. SO (“Special Order”) 2644

• Formerly in the Tallman Collection for four decades


The story of this remarkable and extraordinary Cadillac begins in 1938. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was halfway through his second of four presidential terms, and the turmoil in continental Europe was on the verge of escalating into World War. Much of FDR’s first six years in office were characterized by his New Deal recovery programs following the Great Depression and the isolationist policy that would eventually have to be abandoned in favor of full-scale involvement in the Allied war effort.


It was in this climate that Cadillac and its coachworks Fleetwood were charged in 1938 with special order 9006: two virtually identical 16-cylinder open limousines to be constructed on a massive, stretched 165-inch wheelbase (11 inches longer than a standard V-16 Cadillac!) and delivered to the White House for use by President Roosevelt.


Cadillac’s second-generation V-16 had just been introduced. While the first generation 16 and its V-12 stable-mate had been 45-degree overhead valve designs, the new engine was a 135-degree L-head, developing 135 hp from 431 cubic inches. Each bank had its own distributor, carburetor and manifolds. The engine was six inches shorter, 13 inches lower and 250 pounds lighter than its overhead valve predecessor and had significantly fewer parts. Nevertheless, it developed the same power despite its smaller displacement.


Sharing chassis and bodies with the V-8-engined Series 75, the Series 90 Sixteen was offered in 14 body styles, all by Fleetwood, Cadillac’s in-house coachbuilding company. This sharing was enabled by the compact dimensions of the engine, which could be tucked under the firewall, permitting a shorter car without loss of interior space. Its styling was the work of William J. Mitchell, the young designer who had penned the dramatic Sixty Special.


Both the 9006 cars built for use by the White House, chassis 5270064 and 5270075 (the car presented here), were reportedly built with armor-plating and weighed in at a massive 8,000 lbs. Furthermore, they were equipped with special running boards, grab handles, communication equipment, special compartments for firearm storage, sirens and lights to accommodate their Presidential duties.


Leased by Cadillac to the U.S. government, both cars were used through 1956 as part of the White House fleet to carry Secret Service agents or directly chauffeur the President. One was nicknamed the “Queen Mary” (this car, chassis 5720075) and the other “Queen Elizabeth,” a lighthearted reference to the large cruise ships of the same name. Period photos clearly show President Roosevelt being chauffeured in one of the two cars. Roosevelt also had the Ford “Sunshine Special” at his disposal, and the “Queens” were instrumental in transporting agents in his motorcade.


Following FDR’s death, the “Queens” were enlisted for use by the Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower administrations as well. Truman took delivery of two Lincoln “Bubbletop” Limousines in 1950, but both Cadillacs remained in the official fleet.


Over the course of their use by the government, they were returned to Cadillac from time to time to be updated and rebuilt as necessary. In 1946, following the end of WWII, the V-16 engines were replaced with L-head V-8s, which in turn were replaced by 331-cubic inch OHV V-8s in 1952. The Queen Mary still retains its OHV V-8 that was installed in the early 1950s.




Following its use by the White House, the Queen Mary was purchased directly from Cadillac by Mr. Jack Tallman, a third-generation Cadillac dealer from Decatur, Illinois. RM Auctions spoke with Mr. Tallman prior to his recent passing, and he recalled having fond memories of his ownership of this car. He remembered visiting the factory as a young boy with his father, who was also a Cadillac dealer, and seeing both ’38 Presidential Cadillacs being worked on from time to time. It was his hope as a young man to buy one, if not both, of these cars.


According to Mr. Tallman, every few years, the cars were brought back to Cadillac, the bodies were removed, and the chassis and running gear were thoroughly gone over. He witnessed this work being carried out at the factory on more than one occasion. Given postwar supply shortages, V-16 engines were not only costly but quite difficult to rebuild, and Mr. Tallman suggested this was the initial reason for the installation of the flathead V-8.


In the early 1950s, this flathead was replaced by an OHV V-8, which also achieved better fuel mileage. Once the opportunity to buy one of these Presidential Cadillacs presented itself in 1956, Mr. Tallman inspected both cars and chose the Queen Mary, which he deemed to be in better condition and lower mileage than the Queen Elizabeth. In fact, Cadillac asked if he wanted to purchase both cars, but he already owned several collector cars and simply did not have the storage.


Prior to his acquisition, the car was used through the re-election in November 1956 of President Eisenhower. Immediately thereafter and following his acquisition of the car, Mr. Tallman had it photographed on the street directly in front of the White House.


The Tallman family owned the car for over four decades, putting about 30,000 to 40,000 miles on the odometer. It was driven to various meetings and events and participated in many VMCCA, AACA and CCCA tours, the badges of which are still visible in the passenger compartment and on the front bumper. By this time, Mr. Tallman had also acquired one of the 1956 Cadillac Presidential Limousines, both of which were favorites at family events as the entire family, children included, participated in the tours.


The engine was overhauled in his ownership, and selective restoration work was conducted, namely to the interior. The badly deteriorated leather upholstery was replaced with vinyl to replicate the original and was originally intended to complement the Midnight Blue finish of the car, a color combination that reflected the Presidential Seal. Since that time, the car has been refinished in limousine-appropriate black and is distinguishable from its sister car by virtue of this color change.




In May 1999 Mr. Tallman brought the car to auction in Indiana where it was acquired by Mr. Al Wiseman, an aviation engineer, entrepreneur and prolific car collector in his own right, who added the Queen Mary to his sizable collection in Tarpon Springs, Florida.


In 2002 it was shown at the famed Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it was given the award for the best original and unrestored automobile. It is now offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn. It is complete with replica pistols and rifles, as well as two telephones, gun holsters, fender-mounted red siren, step plates, grab-handles and such smaller interesting details as an original 1956 District of Columbia registration sticker affixed to the windshield.


U.S. Presidential limousines have contributed enormously not only to American history but to the greater automotive narrative as a whole, beginning in 1909, when an automobile first entered the White House stables. Symbols of American military and political power and the importance of the Executive Branch, they are viewed in all their glory by adoring crowds from Inauguration Day and through the rest of a President’s term, as he is driven to and from speaking engagements, rallies and the like.


Unlike their successors, which were flown to their destinations, the Queens Mary and Elizabeth were driven across the country to meet the President as he arrived by airplane. This accounts not only for their substantial original mileage but also the replacement of the engines.


The Queen Mary, in particular, was initially chosen by Mr. Tallman for its superior condition and lower mileage and has had only three private owners since 1956. Its history is impeccable and known from new. It lived through the Second World War, Korean War and three extremely important American presidencies, as the nation was ushered from a state of international war to one of its most prosperous decades in years. Moreover, as Cadillacs, they have contributed to the marque’s long and storied relationship with the Executive Branch. Countless presidents, from Kennedy to Nixon, Clinton, Bush and Obama have relied on armored Cadillac transportation.


5270075 is also very well documented, with original photography and numerous published articles, from the Cadillac LaSalle Club’s Self Starter magazine (September 2005) to the famous book 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle and the documentary The World at War. They have even been immortalized in 1:24 scale replicas. 5270075 comes with a sizable binder that contains everything from original titles to documentation from Tallman’s ownership.


In the greater group of motor cars with presidential provenance, the “Queen Mary” is undoubtedly one of the most desirable and historically significant.


Sold at RM Amelia Island March 2012 for US$269,000

For more information see here:

Value: US$400,000 – 600,000

Comment: An awesome vehicle, in size and in status, used to ferry presidents and guests. At less than $300K, great value.



Duesenberg J-495 Murphy Custom Beverly 1931 for sale





When we speak of Duesenberg, we are indeed referring to the very best. The phrase, “It’s a real Duesey” comes from the famed marque itself. Simply put, the Duesenberg was the very best that America had to offer in the world of unsurpassed quality and luxury. In the present day, the name Duesenberg still commands respect on the finest concours show fields of the world. There may be other cars of comparable size and elegance, but the Duesenberg stands alone as a perfect combination of power, precision, and speed. Every Duesenberg ever built has a pedigree that marks it as a great automobile and while many automobiles have come and gone, the mighty Duesenberg stands alone as “the very best” in the annals of automotive history.


Fred and Augy Duesenberg got their start building race cars in 1913 with one of their first entries driven by the famed Eddie Rickenbacker in the 1914 Indianapolis 500. Eddie finished 10th, but that did not detour the brothers efforts and with several years and proper refinement the brothers went on to win the famous Indy race in 1924, 1925, and 1927. Racing endeavors didn’t stop Duesenberg from building some of the most reliable and well engineered vehicles of the day as production of the Model A and the Model X paralleled the company’s racing efforts. In 1926, the Duesenberg Company was purchased by the flamboyant Errett Loban Cord, who had a vision of building the world’s finest luxury car. After considerable development and fanfare, Duesenberg introduced the Model J at the New York Car Show in 1928. Never before had the world seen an automobile of such beauty and quality. The Duesenberg chassis alone sold for an astounding $8,500 during the Great Depression! Simply put, the Model J had set a new level in automobile standards. The impact of the Duesenberg Model J on America was stunning as it was an automobile that carried an allure of class that very few could experience. The Duesenberg name even managed to carry this mystique into the early years of the Great Depression as it continued to remain a beacon of high-society.


All of the coachbuilders of the day eagerly awaited orders on the fine Duesenberg chassis. The new Model J was well-suited for the custom body builders mainly because it had the length, power, and engineering needed to carry a heavy and imposing body. The Duesenberg Model J was never meant to be a car for the common man. Indeed, most advertising from Duesenberg pictured finely dressed members of high society in elegant settings with the simple, but elegant text that said it all, “He drives a Duesenberg” was all that was needed to convey the message that this was a car that was the very best. The Duesenberg Model J was a car aimed squarely at wealthy individuals who sacrificed nothing in their quest for the finer things in life. Selection of the Duesenberg chassis was only the beginning in the creation of these fine automobiles for the body still had to be designed and built. Once the chassis was selected, a number of coachbuilders could be hired to custom build the body to the customer’s exact needs. These were companies that could create beautiful town cars, roadsters, phaetons, or coupes built to the owner’s exact specifications with the utmost attention in high quality standards.


There were two entities, a designer and a coachbuilder that played an intricate role in creating what has been called the most beautiful Duesenberg ever built; a 1931 Murphy bodied Beverly Berline built on Duesenberg chassis #J-495. The designer in this case was the great Gordon Buehrig, a talented artist that created some of the most stunning automotive designs in history. Buehrig’s design work had already appeared on great marques like Stutz and Packard when he became chief body designer for Duesenberg at the age of 25. Buehrig is responsible for the design of the Auburn 851 Speedster and the Cord 810. Buehrig’s talents were not limited to ultra expensive cars as his later career found him at the Ford Motor Company where he designed the 1951 Victoria Coupe and the 1956 Continental Mark II. Ever the innovative designer, Buehrig is also credited with the removable T-top in 1951. Buehrig’s designs for the Duesenberg chassis are looked upon as the highlight of his years and are clearly evident in his stunning creations.


Once Buehrig’s design was solidified, the Walter M. Murphy Body Company began work on J-495. The Murphy Company was no stranger to Duesenberg as they were recognized as a reliable coachbuilder that built their bodies to the exact high standards that Duesenberg’s customers demanded. Indeed, the Murphy Company would go on to build bodies for 125 of the Duesenberg Model Js ever built representing about 25% of the Model J’s production. Murhpy’s beautiful creations had already graced some of the most prestigious cars in the world with the likes of Bentley, Crane-Simplex, Hispano-Suiza, Lincoln, Minerva, Peerless, Rolls-Royce, Isotta-Frachini, and Bugatti all carrying Murphy bodies. With such illustrious names to its credit, the Murphy Company was a natural selection as a coachbuilder for the Model J chassis and was one of three selected to showcase the new car for the 1928 New York Auto Salon. Murphy’s design for a roadster with a disappearing top of the J chassis was a big hit at the show and solidified the company as a premier body builder for the Duesenberg J chassis. Of course, the Murphy Company would not call their creations simple names like roadsters or phaetons, but instead chose names like Beverly, Berline, and Sport Sedan for their works of art. These names were certainly better suited to the upscale image that Duesenberg was known for. With a beautiful body designed by Buehrig and the Murphy Company handling the construction, work commenced on Duesenberg chassis #J-495 in May of 1931 with its engine assembly taking place in October of the same year. The body is built from aircraft-inspired aluminum of the highest quality standards and a high-speed rear axle ensured quiet and smooth operation at any speed. Indeed this Duesenberg carries the same type rear axle that was used on the famous Mormon Meteor.


Offered to the discriminating collector of fine automobiles is this historic automobile, as fine a Duesenberg as was ever built. J-495 carries the Murphy bodied Beverly Berline body riding on an impressive 153.5-inch wheelbase. Murphy’s fine craftsmanship is clearly evident throughout this Beverly Berline’s outstanding fit and finish. Buehrig’s talented work is also displayed in the stunning body lines of his classic and timeless design. Its long and sweeping fenders combined with its low roof line have been described by many Duesenberg enthusiasts as the best looking, and most desirable close bodied Duesenberg every built. Absolutely nothing was over looked in the creation of this most elegant automobile and while Buehrig’s design set it apart from any other car on the road, its true beauty was found within as J-495 carries an interior that is fit for royalty. Sitting behind the wheel of this magnificent Duesenberg is like sitting in the cockpit of the Douglas DC3 aircraft of the day. A low slung driver’s seat offers a commanding view through the three-piece front windshield and over the long hood that has to be personally experienced to fully appreciate. Most impressive is the seating accommodations for the rear passengers. Despite its immense wheelbase, rear seating accommodates just two in the absolute finest luxury ever built in a motorcar. Rear instrumentation features a full dashboard with radio, altimeter, speedometer, and chronometer. A pull-out writing desk is also part of J-495’s interior décor and privacy is achieved through a roll up window that is controlled from the rear compartment. Rear seating is patterned in arm chair fashion trimmed with fine leather making for comfortable seating. The interior of this fine automobile leaves nothing to chance in its quest for automotive excellence.


Ownership of J-495 reads like a who’s who of American society. It was purchased new by William Hibbard of Chicago, IL, and was then sold to William E. Schmidt, also of Chicago. J-495 then passed through several owners through the years until being purchased by Ralph Engelstadt of the Imperial Palace Collection where it was restored by Fennel restorations. From there it entered the Blackhawk Collection and was then sold to Dean Kruse. It next found itself owned by the famous Robert McGowan of the McGowan Brothers, who were an American folk music band from Branford, Connecticut. The McGowan Brothers regularly toured New England during the 1960s and 1970s playing to packed houses with their humorous brand of folk music. Duesenberg J-495 was recently acquired from Robert McGowan and is now available. J-495’s history reads like a walk through time as in its succession of owners it sold for the bargain price of just $10,000 in 1964 and was then sold for $19,000 in 1967. Needless to say, Duesenberg prices have risen dramatically since then. The chance to own this incredible piece of American history is perhaps as rare as the car itself. Indeed, a Beverly Berline bodied Duesenberg has not been available to the general public since the mid 1990s.


Being sold on May 19th 2012, for more info see:

Estimate Unknown

Value: $1 – 10 million depending on coachwork.

Comment: This vehicle should make in excess of $3 million with its one off coachwork and stellar provenance, very much the car of the day. STUNNING.



Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Warwick Town Car by Brewster

Year : 1926

Make : Rolls-Royce

Model : Silver Ghost

Coachbuilder : Brewster (Left Hand Drive)

Body Type : Warwick Town Car

Colour : Black

Trim : Beige Cloth


History : From late 1906 onwards Rolls-Royce Ltd began production of their 40/50hp which later became known as the Silver Ghost. The London Motor Show at Olympia in November of 1906 heralded its introduction to the motoring world and by the spring of 1907 the first batch of deliveries were met. The leading coach makers of the time were familiar with being provided with the under carriage from the manufacturers and constructing a body to suit their customers’ requests. Rolls-Royce continued with this tried and tested method, providing chassis and engine to the coachbuilder of the customer’s choice who constructed the bodywork, painted, trimmed and furnished the car to order. Almost overnight long established coach makers who had been in business for generations had to adapt their way of thinking away from horse drawn carriage to the new horseless vehicle. The Silver Ghost became an almost instant success thanks to the soundness of its design and the pain staking lengths the Rolls-Royce engineers and workmen went to during construction. Its reputation was enhanced further in 1911 following the trial cars successful London to Edinburgh round trip using only top gear, demonstrating the power and flexibility of the engine, whilst easing any lingering doubts of potential customers who were previously more at home with a set of reins than a steering wheel. Following the end of hostilities in 1918 there was a shift away from the previous Edwardian style of body construction. However the tried and tested policy of supplying chassis only allowed Rolls-Royce customers almost unlimited choice and freedom when choosing the style of their new motor car. Fashions and tastes inevitably changed but Rolls-Royce customers moved with the times ensuring the continued success of this now legendary motor car. By 1925 the exceptionally successful eighteen year production run of the Silver Ghost had firmly put Rolls-Royce at the forefront of motor car production. The term “The Best Car in the World” had been deservedly earnt. It is fair to say that the Ghost’s efficiency, reliability and superb performance were unmatched at the time and its reputation laid the foundations for the continued success of the company. The vast majority of pre-war Rolls-Royce motor cars were built in right hand drive; however construction also took place concurrently for approximately 10 years in America, where left hand drive Silver Ghosts were produced. Claude Johnson, the business genius at Rolls-Royce was somewhat of a visionary and saw the future potential of the American car market long before production began of Rolls-Royce motor cars in the United States. The American market was at the time the largest and most important car market in the world, with more cars sold in America per annum than the rest of the world combined. Cars brought into the US were also subject to substantial importation taxes, so the natural and logical move in order to satisfy the huge demand at a more cost effective price was to join the American market on their own soil. By November of 1919 Johnson had convinced the hierarchy at the company of the merits of production in the United States and had formed Rolls-Royce of America Inc, but it wasn’t until well into 1921 that the first American built chassis were ready to be sold. Over fifty staff from the Rolls-Royce works in England relocated with their families to Springfield in Massachusetts and began by replicating the Derby built chassis. But before the 200th chassis had been completed a number of changes were implemented, with American parts being introduced. One off bodies were still available to American buyers in typical English coach building fashion, but the majority of cars were built to standard designs by “Rolls-Royce Custom Coachworks.” These bodies were constructed by a number of companies, largely built in batches of twenty or more. Production quality of the coachwork however was first class, finished with aluminium bodies and steel fenders in most cases, quite different from the British style of construction. Chassis No S165ML which we are currently offering for sale belonged originally to none other than William Brewster, head of the coachworks responsible for its body. In 1927 it passed to its second owner, Mrs Mary Dahlgren Robinson of Rye, New York and in the 1950s was owned in Abington, Pennsylvania by two members of the Schaub family. The next owner listed in the accompanying records is one Duncan Merryweather of Chester Springs, PA followed by Otto C Kohler of South Hadley, Massachusetts and then E Andrew Mowbray of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Its next change of ownership would see the car return to the United Kingdom, when purchased by Jack Bradley of Glasgow in 1979. Mr Bradley kept the car until August 2009 when it became the property of an English collector who used it to attend a number of motoring events, travelling some 1,500 miles to date in untroubled fashion. The car performs very well on the road and is cosmetically speaking a sound original car that would be ideal for concours conservation awards.


Condition : Sound original condition.

Technical Data : Three speed manual gearbox, 6 cylinder in-line engine, 7.4 litres displacement, 7,428cc capacity.


Being offered here:

Asking ??

Value: US$200,000 – 1.0 mil. Depending on bodywork & condition

Comment: A fantastic Rolls, very stately and would make a good car to be driven around in.




Constructed in 1943 and first registration 1948 to Fiat Motor-vehicle depot of Turin, square black plates and documents dell’ age (1956) for change of province from Turin to Milan and registered to the Fair of Milan, accredited for 6 places, solo 3 remained exemplary. Many plans are available also originate them in copy demands all’ The Historical archives Fiat and photo with famous personages to edge of this car: a photo of 1954 with the Einaudi President, with Pope Montini and with the Saragat President. This car was a ” creatura” of Mussolini, that it imposed to Fiat to construct a worthy model of its regime, imposing like Mercedes. As soon as the 620 chassises constructed between the 1938 (year of presentation) and 1944. Of these very a third party was used like ” CMC” military. Five had instead a preparation ” all aperto” , destined to a function exclusively from parade. The step of 3200 milimeter confers them one great habitability it calenders and it is of clear American inspiration. In the impossibility of a continuous modernization, the published prices are from considering themselves indicative as they do not comprise eventual brought improvements later on. TERMS OF SALE – the relative data to car and documentation can contain errors or inaccuracies. Therefore described how much does not have contractual value but it is pure indicative. The Luzzago srl does not answer for the eventual lack or difference of parts or members regarding the characteristics originates them of production and homologation. It is burden of the purchaser to in existence put all the necessary controls for the verification. For greater information we invite to you to telephone to ++ 39.030.2411531.


Being offered here:

Asking ??

Value: US$100,000 – 200,000

Comment: A lovely, alternative to all of the other vehicles, Great fun.


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