10-11 October 2013

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Lot 137

1927 Essex Super Six Speedabout by Biddle & Smart

  • Chassis no. 587601

Sold for $49,500

55 bhp, 153.2 cu. in. L-head inline six-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle, semi-floating rear axle, and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 110.5 in.

  • One of the most desirable boattail speedsters of its era
  • Beautifully styled and constructed coachwork
  • Former AACA National First Prize winner
  • Fewer than a dozen known to exist

Between World War I and the Great Depression, it was trendy for high-end automakers to introduce “junior marques,” which offered the same quality and beautiful design as the larger models, but in a smaller and more affordable form. The Essex, designed by Hudson as a smaller Super Six, featured a smooth four-cylinder engine, but they were later replaced by a powerful six. Essex eventually gained a reputation for its fine quality, reliability, and interior room, and until sailing into the rudders of the economic downturn in 1929, it remained one of America’s most popular mid-priced cars, for good reason.

The most exciting Essex built in this period was the Super Six Speedabout, which was introduced in 1927. It was bodied by Biddle & Smart, the Massachusetts coachbuilder that supplied many limited-production bodies, and it boasted a sleek “boattail” with a full leather interior. Underneath, special gear ratios were fitted, and those, combined with the 55-horsepower engine, resulted in the Speedabout traveling a reported 80 mph.

The Essex Speedabout was reportedly built as a “halo car,” to draw customers into showrooms and auto show displays, where they would then purchase a more economical sedan or coach. The exact number produced is not known, but it is certainly very few, and reportedly, fewer than a dozen survive today; some of which are held in permanent museum collections.

The car offered here, from the first year of Speedabout production, benefited from a full ground-up restoration, and it has received an AACA National First Prize. It has been well-maintained over the years and is now, perhaps, best suited to exciting driving, which is, of course, what the Speedabout was built for. Its wonderful, subtle color scheme is accentuated by leather door panels that wrap over the doors, as in a biplane, as well as a rear-mounted spare and artillery wheels.

This car is one of the most important Essexes, and it is among the most desirable today. It offers a rare opportunity for the discerning enthusiast of 1920s automobiles to speed about in high style. This may be your only chance to own one of the most stylish vehicles of the era.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more