2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Bonhams

Charles Burton's historic skyscraper design (left) and the Crystal Palace in 1910

While the debate continues as to whether the world's first skyscraper was the the Home Insurance Building built in Chicago in 1885, or New York's seven floor Equitable Life Assurance Building built in 1870, it seems that the British pipped the Americans to the post in terms of a design. British architect Charles Burton designed a 1,000 foot (305 meter) high metal and glass building in response to a call to redesign The Crystal Palace, the famous London exhibition building, 30-odd years before the American buildings were erected. Burton's historic design sketch is headed for the auction block this week.  Read More

Eric Clapton with a signed 2006 'Blackie' recreation Stratocaster, estimated at between US...

Although guitar legend Eric Clapton has auctioned off instruments from his personal collection before, next year's sale will mark the first time that he's made some of his amps available, too. Players looking to grab a slice of Slow Hand tone, fans of the man they called God, or music memorabilia collectors will all get the chance to bid on over 70 of the icon's own guitars and 70 of his amps. Donations from other famous musicians will also go under the hammer, with all profits going to the substance abuse center in Antigua that Clapton founded in the late 1990s.  Read More

The 'Game of War' package that is being auctioned off in London

If you’re a fan of the military strategy game Risk, then you definitely might be interested in this: on October 13th, Bonhams Auction House in London will be selling off an “extremely rare” copy of The Game of War, a complex military board game dating from 1890. Unlike Risk, which is played for amusement and to shed excess friends, The Game of War was designed to be played by real military officers, to train them for the upcoming First World War. It was based on Kriegsspiel, a war game invented by Lieutenant Georg von Reiswitz in the early 19th century for training officers in the Prussian army. If you’re interested, however, be sure to stop by the bank machine on your way there – the game is expected to fetch between £1,500 to £2000, or US$2,330 to $3,100.  Read More

To alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems - Homer Simpson

Whisky may not be everyone's idea of a sound financial investment, but as we have reported previously, as long as you choose wisely and resist drinking it, IT IS! With that in mind, you may wish to consider an exceptionally rare bottle of Glenfiddich coming up for auction next month. It is one of only 61 bottles produced by the distillery in 1937 and is the first to appear at auction. Having matured for 64 years it is also one of the oldest whiskies ever released and is expected to fetch between GBP15,000 - 20,000 (US$22,250 – 29,670).  Read More

1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmuller - world’s first production motorcycle sells for GBP86,200

The rare appearance of an 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on the auction block on April 25 caused considerable excitement across the world in the preceding months. Gizmag covered the history and heritage of the machine in great detail prior to the auction and we're not surprised that a far-from-pristine example of the world's first production motorcycle should fetch an above-estimate GBP86,200.  Read More

The Curtiss MF Seagull represents the era of flight, sailing, and engineering in one stunn...

Putting aside ugly flying cars, no one should fail to be moved by the gorgeous warm-colored wood, hammered copper trims and time-worn patina of this gorgeous piece of antiquity. One of the last known Curtiss MF Seagull Flying Boats is to be sold at auction on Tuesday April 13 at Bonhams in New York. Rich in history, this beautiful vintage sea plane was designed and created by engineer and aviator Glenn H. Curtiss, otherwise known as "the Father of Naval Aviation."  Read More

Sir Malcolm Campbell's first world water speed record trophy

Soon to go to auctioneers hammer is this silver trophy presented to daredevil and racing legend Sir Malcolm Campbell to commemorate his first world water speed record (126.33mph) on Lake Maggiore on September 1, 1937. Campbell is somewhat of a rarity in that he successfully competed in some of the earliest motorcycle and car racing events, won Grands Prix, broke the Land Speed Record nine times, the World Water Speed record four times, and was the first human to drive over 300 mph, and fought in WW1 in the RAF, yet he died of natural causes. Few such daredevils escaped death in their pursuits – his son Donald among their number.  Read More

The Bohmerland three-seater motorcycle

In the period prior to WW2, the automobile was beyond the financial reach of the average family and motorcycles with sidecars were commonplace as family transport. Enterprising Czech engineer Albin Liebisch embarked on a different philosophy, creating three and even four seat motorcycles sold in Germany under the brand Böhmerland. The 1937 Langtouren (long touring) model pictured is a three seater with two gearboxes, the second one requiring a passenger to change gears. The cast wheels were also a first for motorcycles.  Read More

One of the most remarkable stories of automotive history closed another fascinating chapte...

An archeological find of some magnitude went under the hammer this week, when a rusted 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia that has spent the last three quarters of a century at the bottom of a lake in North Italy was auctioned. When found and raised, it validated a legend that had circulated for 70 years. Mercifully, it will not be restored, but will live on in an American museum in its partially reclaimed glory as living proof of the craftsmanship of the era in general, and the Bugatti marque in particular. The Italian legend fetched a staggering EUR 260,500 - US$360,000. They do not make 'em like this any more.  Read More

The world's first motorcycle comes up for auction

An unrestored example (top left) of the very first vehicle to which the name ‘motorcycle’ (motorrad in German) was ever applied is to come up for auction in April. The 1895 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller motorcycle sounds like a modern motorcycle in its specification – twin-cylinder, four-valve, water-cooled, 1488cc engine – but it is indeed as unconventional as it is rare. Check out the diagram and you’ll see the rear wheel doubled as a pseudo flywheel and indeed, the piston connecting rods and the pushrods that actuate the valve gear are also attached to the rear wheel, there’s no clutch, no brakes and there’s a lot of work to be done on a machine that’ll cost you GBP40,000 to 60,000 before you start. At the end of it all though, you’ll have a bonafide centrepeice for any transport museum.  Read More

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