Lot 197

Hershey 2023

1920 Marmon 34B Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered from A Private Collection


$35,200 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Engine No.
Canadian Registration
  • Among the most technologically advanced American vehicles of the period
  • Pioneering all-aluminum construction with unitary chassis-body and lightweight, cast-aluminum mechanicals
  • 84-hp 340 cu.-in. inline six-cylinder engine and three-speed transmission with novel, locking gear selector
  • Updated for touring under current ownership with modern fuel pump, water pump, electric fan, and Zenith carburetor

The Marmon Motor Car Company of Indianapolis, Indiana was founded in 1903 by Howard C. Marmon, widely regarded as one of America’s greatest automotive minds. Under his inventive leadership, the company produced upmarket automobiles until 1933. Marmon’s Model 34 was first introduced in 1916 and it featured an 84-horsepower, 340-cubic-inch, overhead-valve, inline, six-cylinder engine. Well ahead of its time, the cylinder block and accessory components were made of aluminum, as was the body, transmission, differential, and radiator shell.

The advanced design of the Model 34 series also featured so-called “unification construction,” making the body and chassis nearly a single unit, essentially creating an early version of now ubiquitous unibody construction. Even weight distribution was an ideal 50/50 front-to-rear, while the foot pedals were placed to allow quick movement from throttle to brake to clutch. Instruments were housed in a single cluster with indirect night lighting, one of the model’s many features taken for granted today, but quite novel for the time.

At just 3,295 pounds, the Model 34 weighed some 30-percent less than similarly-sized competitors, which earned it the title of the fastest American production car of the early 1920s.

By 1921, Marmon’s own literature guaranteed an unrivaled top speed of 85 mph—a guarantee which remained in place to the end of the 34’s production run, three years later.

During Prohibition, modified examples of the Marmon Model 34 were used rather infamously with great success by bootlegging syndicates across the United States. It was without reproach, one of the most technologically advanced American automobiles of the period.

This 1920 Model 34B offered from a private collection wears a particularly uncommon all-aluminum tourer body complete with full-size running boards, a “California” convertible top, a pair of floor-mounted occasional seats, and a bifurcated seating area without a secondary cowl for rear passengers.

Historic registrations on file indicate that this rare Marmon has resided within the province of Ontario for many decades, and was acquired by the consignor sometime during the late 1980s. Complete with an attractive set of center-locking wire wheels and pleasing livery featuring a maroon body with black fenders, matching upholstery, and convertible top, this Model 34B tourer has been tastefully updated for comfortable touring use by way of a modern fuel pump, water pump, electric fan, and Zenith carburetor.

For the past 107 years, the Marmon Model 34’s lightweight construction, robust reliability, and thrilling performance have made it the target of discriminating buyers, a fact that is unlikely to change anytime soon.