1989 Rolls-Royce State Landaulette

1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit I Emporer State Landaulette by Hooper

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit was produced in four different series between 1980 and 1999. A related model, the Silver Spur was produced alongside it and was identical except for a lengthened wheelbase. Interestingly, this one-off creation is actually a Silver Spirit – the short wheelbase car – but features a lengthened chassis, thus the extremely long stance.

That extension was nearly three feet in added length. This remarkably stately creation is a one-off custom landaulette by the famed coachbuilder Hooper. It was commissioned by an Australian charity (some charity if this what they spent their money on… turns out they never finished paying for the $1 million+ build cost and Hooper took the car back). The car is right-hand-drive, and the interior looks like a place Gordon Gecko would be very comfortable hanging out.

Power is from a 6.75-liter V8, and the car has had two real owners since Hooper let it go in 2010. One of one, it is among the final coachbuilt Rolls-Royces and should command big bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Two Ford Concepts in January

Two Ford Concepts in January


2001 Ford Forty-Nine Convertible Concept

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The Ford Forty-Nine was a concept car introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. It was a badass, black two-door that looked like a chopped ’49 Ford. The company also rolled out this, the convertible companion car. It runs and drives, but you won’t be able to register it.

Power is from a 3.9-liter V8 and it has rear-wheel drive and 20″ wheels. Imagine if Ford would’ve built something this cool. But they won’t. Ever. Because they’re Ford. Only Chrysler puts outrageous cars like this into production, or at least they used to. Maybe that’s why they’re always in financial trouble…

Anyway, this car sold at an RM auction in 2010 for $67,100. We’ll have to wait and see what Mecum can get for it 8½ years later. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.


2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Here’s another red Ford concept car (well, truck) from 2001. It was first shown at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show and you can tell that it had no hope for production because it lacked any sort of front bumper and the interior had a wild Maori tattoo theme going on (question for Ford: why?).

It does run and drive though, but you’ll never be able to register it for the road. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8, and I think the entire point of the exercise was to show that Ford could still do hot-rodding… if they wanted to.

This truck sold at an RM auction in 2012 for $46,200. Barrett-Jackson is offering it at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bentley Empress II

1991 Bentley Turbo RL Empress II Coupe by Hooper

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before we get into the coachbuilt rareness of this car, let’s start with a little model background. The Bentley Turbo R was a sedan introduced in 1985 and was produced in several iterations through 1999. It was sold in two wheelbases initially, long and short. An updated model went on sale in 1995, and the limited-edition Turbo S was sold in 1995.

In 1996, the short-wheelbase cars ended production. Prior to that, long-wheelbase cars were sold as the Bentley Turbo RL. After 1996, they were all long-wheelbase and the “L” was dropped. That’s a long-winded way to tell you that the car presented here is a long-wheelbase Turbo R. But (intrigue!) it’s a coupe. Bentley ever only sold it as a sedan.

That’s where Hooper comes in. The coachbuilder, with a longtime association with Bentley and favored car-crafting masters of the British Royal family, built this two-door aluminum-bodied coupe. Still powered by a 296 horsepower, 6.75-liter turbocharged V8, the car features streamlined coachwork and a bespoke interior. Only five were built, and this car – the fourth built – was used in Hooper’s advertising. It’s one of two left-hand-drive examples and is being sold from the Calumet Collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Tramontana GT

2008 Tramontana GT

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019

Photo – Mecum

This car is proof of two things. First, that it actually exists, as it certainly falls into the category of cars whose actual production seems dubious at best. But here it is! And second, it’s proof that marketing departments write Wikipedia pages (I know, I’ve been a part of a team doing it). Why? Well, the contradictory Wiki article for Tramontana says they built 12 of these per year. Mecum says this is one of eight built, which sounds much more accurate.

The Tramontana was built in Spain and debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Production started in 2007, and this is a 2008 GT model. There were later R and XTR variants. Production has wrapped and they’ve moved on to another model altogether (supposedly).

When I first saw this I thought it was a kit car based on a 4-wheeler, probably powered by a turbo four or even an LS V8. But no, this incredibly ridiculous car featuring two seats – one behind the other – is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12…! The styling is supposed to be a combo of F1 car and jet fighter, and it sort of succeeds in that endeavor. I just hope that the car has been wrapped and that is not the actual paint job.

Performance numbers are absolutely supercar territory –  888 horsepower propels it to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds on the way to a 217 mph top end. It’s a legitimate, badass, low-run supercar from Spain, though I’m not sure about its road-legality in the U.S. (might be a “Show and Display” car). It deserves big bucks at Mecum next month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mosler MT900

2005 Mosler MT900

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Warren Mosler really likes going fast. At least that’s what his automotive business ventures would lead you to believe. It started with the Consulier GTP that evolved into the Mosler Intruder/Raptor. And then in 2001, he launched the MT900. It’s a true American supercar, right there in the wonderful early-2000s when cars like the Saleen S7 and Ford GT were making waves. This thing is pretty awesome.

The base MT900 is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 making 350 horsepower. Not supercar numbers, but the chassis is carbon fiber and the entire car weighed less than 2,600 pounds. That meant it could hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 150 mph.

Don’t worry though, they later built the MT900S (600 horsepower) and the MT900S Photon (same power, but less than 2,000 pounds). There were race versions too. In all, only 14 MT900 base cars were produced (there were also 20 S cars and 2 Photons in addition to about 30 race cars), making this car extremely rare. Switzerland may not like it, but it’s a great place to find weird, rare supercars. The pre-sale estimate here is “on request.” Click here for more info.

Note: The auction catalog lists this as a supercharged, 600 horsepower variant, which would make it an MT900S, but it isn’t listed as such. Perhaps the engine was modified later?

Mochet CM-125

1954 Mochet CM-125 Luxe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Los Angles, California | December 8, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Georges Mochet built microcars in Puteaux between 1946 and 1958. Prior to that he built pedal-powered cars under the Velocar name. But when he started powering them (even in desperate, post-war Europe, people weren’t necessarily thrilled with having to pedal), sales took off.

Early cars were kind of bizarre, but the company hit their stride once the Mochet Type K gave way to the CM-125. Power in this little runabout is from a 125cc single-cylinder engine that made five horsepower. That may sound sad, but in France at the time that meant you didn’t even need a driver’s license to operate one (and they are street legal). It would even evolve a commercial variant.

This example was part of the Bruce Weiner collection, where it was restored. It is now offered with an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Find out more here and see the rest of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen lineup here.

Jaguar XJR-6

1985 Jaguar XJR-6

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

When Jaguar decided to go sports car prototype racing in the 1980s, the first car (numerically-speaking) they built was the XJR-5 which was intended for the IMSA GTP series. Meanwhile, in Europe, the World Sportscar Championship was eagerly awaiting some fast cats, and Jaguar obliged, with this, the XJR-6.

Destined for Group C greatness (or so they hoped), this car was built – as the entire Jag WSC program was – by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Using a carbon-composite and Kevlar monocoque, the XJR-6 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 capable of 745 horsepower. The race history for this particular chassis (285) includes:

  • 1985 1000km Mosport – 3rd (with Jean-Louis Schlesser, Mike Thackwell, and Martin Brundle)
  • 1985 1000km Spa – 32nd, DNF (with Hans Heyer and Schlesser)
  • 1985 1000km Fuji – 30th, DNF in a semi-aborted race (with Heyer and Steve Soper)

In all, six examples of the XJR-6 were built, and this one saw some action in pre-season 1986 testing, but it never raced after 1985. It’s a pretty awesome race car (with gullwing doors!), and I’m sure it has an amazing sound to accompany its looks. It should bring between $2,800,000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1936 Talbot Sports Tourer

1936 Talbot BG110 Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The English arm of the Talbot company came under the control of the Rootes Group in 1935. The new owners began axing Talbot historical models and introducing replacement models. And before long, all of the cars were branded as Sunbeam-Talbot.

One of the last such models to be axed – in 1937 – was the BG110, which began life as the 110 in 1935. Power is from a 120 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 95 mph, and the car was sort of the pinnacle of pre-Rootes English Talbot design.

What’s semi-unique about this car is that it is one of 13 or 14 BG110s that were bodied by Vanden Plas in aluminum. The rest of the cars were all bodied in-house, and only 89 examples of the 110/BG110 were produced in total between 1935 and 1937. This restored example has had three owners since new and should bring between $120,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $242,200.

Phantom III Sedanca de Ville

1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville by Gurney Nutting

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

This car now makes the Phantom III the Rolls-Royce model we’ve featured most. Built between 1936 and 1939 (yes, this is listed as a 1935… perhaps it was a very early example titled based on the date it was constructed), the Phantom III wasn’t a huge seller. Only 727 units were built.

It’s powered by a 7.3-liter V12 and horsepower was, of course, adequate (okay it was more like 160). Every one of them was coachbuilt, and this car carries a very pretty Sedanca de Ville body from Gurney Nutting.

What’s so special about it? Just look at it. That color scheme… those swoopy front fenders… and those rear wheel skirts. It’s the complete package! It should sell for between $180,000-$230,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $176,146.

Healey Abbott

1953 Healey Abbott Drophead Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

In addition to attaching his name to everything under the sun, Donald Healey also built cars on his own. Between 1946 and 1954 the Donald Healey Motor Company churned out seven models of their own design that weren’t associated with Nash, Jensen, or Austin.

The Abbott was one of the last models to be introduced, going on sale in 1950. The name came from E.D. Abbott Ltd, a Surrey-based coachbuilder that actually built the body for this car (which is quite attractive compared to some of their other cars). All models were Drophead Coupes, and this particular car is powered by a 2.4-liter Riley twin-cam straight-four.

Production wrapped in 1954, with just 77 units produced, putting it right in the middle when it comes to Healey rarity. Only 20 are thought to remain roadworthy. This well-restored and well-used example should bring between $58,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.