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Lot 728: 1939 Steyr Type 55 Saloon

Collectors' Motor Cars, Bonhams (8 September 2007)

Austrian arms manufacturer Steyr turned car-maker after WWI, merging with Austro-Daimler in 1935. By this time designer Ferdinand Porsche had long left the company, but the bug-like Steyr Type 50, introduced in 1936, incorporated many advanced ideas echoed in the Porsche-designed Volkswagen ‘Beetle’. Of unitary construction, the Type 50 featured all-round independent suspension and was powered by a 978cc, horizontally-opposed, water-cooled, sidevalve four, mounted at the front and driving the rear wheels. It was followed by the otherwise similar but larger engined (1,158cc) Type 55 in 1938, though neither model would resume production after the war.
This left-hand drive Type 55 was purchased by the immediately preceding owner, Mr Thomas O’Reilly, in Switzerland in 1950 and brought back to the UK, where it was registered in February 1951. The car was used in the Netherlands for a few years and then driven infrequently in this country before being placed in storage in 1970. It was purchased by the vendor at Bonhams’ Beaulieu Autojumble sale on 8th September 2002 (Lot 345) and has since undergone partial restoration. We are advised that the body has been completely restored and the non-original rear side windows replaced by steel panels; the Dynastart, carburettor and wiper motor reconditioned; and a new clutch, clutch thrust bearing, battery and tyres fitted. Work remaining to be done includes repainting the bodywork, re-trimming the interior and reattaching the exhaust system. Sold strictly as viewed, the car is offered with assorted documentation dating back to 1949; owner’s, repair and parts manuals; sundry invoices; old-style logbook and Swansea V5.

Lot Details
Auction Collectors' Motor Cars
Bonhams, National Motor Museum, Hampshire
Lot Number728
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£4800
Hammer Price (inc premium)£5520
Condition rating
Registration numberJOU 530
Chassis numberLV3361
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors