Classic Van Auction Talk

Tuesday 3 September 2019

1915 Trumbull 15B Cyclecar - .BONHAMS AUCTIONS The Beaulieu SaleCollectors' Motor Cars & Motorcycles and Automobilia Saturday 7th September 2019 Beaulieu, National Motor Museum


The Beaulieu SaleCollectors' Motor Cars 
& Motorcycles and Automobilia
Saturday 7th September 2019
Beaulieu, National Motor Museum

1915 Trumbull 15B Cyclecar
Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 637
*Rare American high-quality cyclecar
*An older restoration
*Previously part of the Gerald Sichel Collection
*Present ownership since 2010


  • 'The Trumbull was a honey of a cyclecar. Had more cyclecars been as well made, this type of vehicle might have enjoyed more success in America.' – 'Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942.' 

    Although conceived by Harry J Stoops, the car took its name from its financial backers, brothers Alexander H and Isacc B Trumbull, who had acquired the rights to the design when they bought the American Cyclecar Company. Built-in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Trumbull was powered by a four-cylinder 14/18hp engine, designed by K L Hermann of the Hermann Engineering Company, and featured shaft drive and (in 1915) a three-speed sliding-gear transmission (1914 cars had a friction transmission). It was nothing if not compact, its vital statistics being a wheelbase of 80", a track of 44", and a weight of only 950lbs. A top speed of 50mph was claimed. Roadster and coupé models were offered.

    Most of the Trumbull's home-grown competitors left much to be desired in terms of practicality and reliability, tarnishing the cyclecar's reputation and leading to sluggish sales. The result was that most of Trumbull's output was exported, some 1,500 of the 2,000 produced finding customers in Europe and Australia. On 7th May 1915, a consignment of 20 Trumbull's, together with Isaac Trumbull, was aboard the liner Lusitania when it was torpedoed by a German U-Boat. Isaac had been on his way to the UK to clinch an order for 300 cars, and his tragic death brought an end to the Trumball Motor Car Company.

    An older restoration, this Trumbull 15B cyclecar previously formed part of the Gerald Sichel Collection and was purchased by the Key Collection when a selection of the Sichel cars was auctioned at Hershey in 2010. A rare example of the American cyclecar, this charming little Trumbull should provide the fortunate next owner with years of enjoyment.

    Should the vehicle remain in the UK, local import taxes of 5% will be added to the hammer price.

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