The 1931 Marmon Sixteen Coupe is a classic piece of mechanical excellence. Although the life of the company was short lived, the legend of the car lives on. Quality, style and performance helped to make this coupe a top contender in its day.
With a 491ci engine and a Pushrod OHV, this beauty was able to reach a top speed of 105 mph. This was quite a feat for the time. The aluminum engine boasted 2 valves per cylinder for a total of 16. Natural aspiration and the use of the Stromberg DDR3 carburetor aided in the Marmon Sixteen to achieve superior performance ratings. The body was designed around a steel ladder frame. The Sixteen featured RWD with a front and rear solid axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and friction dampers.
Economic troubles played a part in this automobile being defeated in the marketplace while others could thrive. The Great Depression made the $5,000 sticker price appear unaffordable to most. Fewer than 400 of this type were constructed during the three years of production. Even more rare is the Sixteen Coupe for two passengers. There are 6 known to be in existence. When the company closed however, much of the records were not maintained.
Marmon Automotive left a lasting impression on the automotive industry with such innovations as the rear view mirror, utilizing aluminum in automobile construction, and the v16 engine. Anyone fortunate enough to have the Marmon Sixteen Coupe or Sedan is lucky indeed to have such a prized piece of automotive history.
Pierce-Arrow was a very small automotive manufacturer that produced a different kind of luxury cars. The company was only in business from the 1900s through the 1930s before closing due to a soft market for luxury cars. The most well-known vehicle manufactured by this company was the Silver Arrow. The first Silver Arrow was produced for the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933.
The 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow was designed by Ralph Roberts and was all hand crafted. This vehicle made its debut at the New York Auto Show in 1933. This super-sleek bodied luxury vehicle boasted no running boards, a powerful V12 engine that boasted 175 horsepower that was capable of taking the driver up to 115 miles per hour, which was an amazing feat for the time.
On the exterior of the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow, one could find a flat side body, which hid the dual-spare tires rather well. The door openings were rounded and the front fenders completely enveloped the wheels. This vehicle came at a time when the company was struggling to survive, and cost a buyer $10,000, which was an amazing amount of money for the time.
This ultra-sleek vehicle used aluminum for most of its body and had a cast-iron engine. To add to the space-age look of this car, the 7566 cc longitudinal engine was placed lower in the cradle, allowing for a more rounded appearance on top as well as additional hiding space for the spare tires.
With only five of these vehicles ever made, and only four known to still be around, this vehicle remains as one much sought-after by the super-rich. At auction in 2012, a 1933 Silver Arrow sold for an amazing $2.2 million dollars.
Bentley wasn’t always known as a Rolls-Royce for more sporting individuals. Prior to the company’s purchase by Rolls-Royce in 1931, Bentley was responsible for creating exquisite vehicles that were bonafide performance machines on the track. In 1924, W.O. Bentley’s creations would experience the first of many Le Mans wins.
The 1924 Bentley 3/8-Liter “Hawkeye Special” is a very unique vehicle for plenty of reasons, one being its very origins. This vehicle started out as chassis 477, a highly-desirable “Red Badge” Speed model. What makes this vehicle so special is the fact that most Bentley buyers purchased the rolling chassis and applied their own coachwork at significant cost. The Hawkeye Special features a distinctive alloy body created in the early 1970s by renowned builder John Guppy and Hawkeye Wijkander, hence its namesake.
The 3/8 designation stands for a 3-liter chassis fitted with an 8-liter engine. In this case, the original engine was replaced with a 6.5-liter engine that once produced a stock 140 horsepower. However, this engine was given a good workover that enlarged its displacement to a full 8.0 liters and its engine power rating to an awe-inspiring 437 horsepower.
Onlookers can easily distinguish the Hawkeye Special from other Bentley’s not just by its unique coachwork, but also by the six side pipes extending across the left side of the coachwork. The coachwork is covered in classic British Racing Green while the interior is finished in genuine leather matching the exterior color.
Once you see and hear this vehicle in person, it’s easy to stand in awe of such a magnificent machine that literally exudes power from its very form. W.O. Bentley would definitely be proud of this stunning creation.