Four F1 Racers

Four F1 Racers

1983 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1E

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Osella is an Italian racing team whose roots go back to founder Vincenzo Osella racing Abarth cars in Italian hillclimbs in the 1960s. He began building cars under his own name in 1974 and the first Osella car (which was actually an F2 racer) was entered in Formula One in 1980. A full factory effort would also be undertaken that season.

In 1983, Osella featured factory Alfa Romeo race engines. This one’s a 3.0-liter V-12 and this car was raced by Piercarlo Ghinzani. It’s only race finish was 11th at the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix. It has been owned by Ghinzani since and has been completely restored and is more or less ready to go. It should sell for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info.

1985 Toleman TG185

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Toleman Motorsport was a racing team from the U.K. founded by Ted Toleman and Alex Hawkridge in 1977. They moved up into F1 for 1981 and would actually be the team that Ayrton Senna got his start with. The TG185 was the team’s car for 1985 – their final season before selling out to team sponsor Benetton.

It was powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged Hart straight-four making 800 horsepower. This car was driven by Piercarlo Ghinzani and it retired from every race it started. The unreliable Hart engine is no longer around, but this roller could house a Cosworth V8 pretty easily. It should sell for between $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info.

1986 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Here’s another Osella-Alfa Romeo (and if anyone thinks this might not be a G model, you could be correct… leave a message below if I’m wrong). Except this one is from the Turbo Era and it looks a little more traditional. The engine is still an Alfa Romeo, but instead of a V-12, it has a 1.5-liter straight-four that’s been turbocharged.

This car was raced by Piercarlo Ghinzani all season and it’s only finish was 11th place at the 1986 Austrian Grand Prix (which was the best finish for the team that season). He has owned this car since and the engine has been rebuilt by Alfa Romeo and has less than 200km on it since completion. It should sell for between $95,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1989 Minardi M189

For sale at Purosangue Maranello | Maranello, Italy

Photo - Purosangue Maranello

Photo – Purosangue Maranello

Minardi, the great underdog of Formula One, was founded in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi. In 2005 it became Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull “junior” team. Minardi never won a race as a team but they did score a handful of points.

The M189 was the car for the 1989 season and this was the personal ride of Pierluigi Martini, the most successful driver Minardi ever had. In period, it was powered by a 3.5-liter Cosworth V-8, although the engine is no longer with this car.

This is chassis #001 and Martini had a string of DNFs to start the season, although he did manage two top fives later on. It is unknown whether it was in this car or not. At any rate, this roller is for sale in Italy if you’re interested. Click here for more info.

New Carden

1924 New Carden

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Carden Engineering was founded in 1913 by Sir John Carden. They built a car called the Carden that was a light, seven horsepower cyclecar. The company took a break during the First World War (Carden is known for his work on tanks) and came back in 1919.

Carden designed a light car in 1922 which was built by Arnott & Harrison Ltd of London between 1922 and 1925 as the New Carden. It is powered by a 707cc twin-cylinder engine.

This particular car was last running in 2007 but is described as “highly original.” It is a former museum car and is one of only six known to exist. It’s very rare and very interesting. It also has one of our favorite 1920s design touches: solid metal wheels! Anyway, it should bring between $15,750-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Cadillac Model S

1908 Cadillac Model S Double Phaeton

Offered by Artcurial | Monaco | July 20, 2015

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Model S was a 1908 model year only car offered by then-five-year-old Cadillac. It was a light car at the bottom of Cadillac’s lineup for the year. Check out this pricing disparity: the most expensive Cadillac in 1908 was a Model H Limousine that sold for $3,600. But a Model S Runabout could be had for $850.

The 1.6-liter single-cylinder engine in this car has a lot of mass to move as the Double Phaeton body is quite large. It is also probably not the original body for this car as no such body style exists in Cadillac’s 1908 catalog. Power is rated at “more than 10 horsepower.”

This car was in a museum in 1997 before entering the collection from which it is being offered. It will require a restoration to be made roadworthy and should sell for between $33,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

June 2015 Auction Highlights, Pt. I

First up in June is Mecum’s Seattle sale. Our featured Datsun 1600 Roadster failed to sell. The top sale was this 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T SE Hemi in the best MOPAR shade available. It brought $185,000. Full results can be found here.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Russo & Steele held their Newport Beach sale in May and the top sale was a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT for $840,000.

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

Our featured Peerless GT failed to sell. Click here for complete results.

Brightwells liquidated the Stondon Museum in the U.K. in May. There were some really interesting oddballs at this sale that went to a new owner for next to nothing. The top sale was this 1950 Ford V8 Pilot Woodie for $33,390.

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

Both of our feature cars sold, as this was a no reserve auction. The Enfield 8000 brought $5,400 and the Replicar Cursor just shy of $3,500. Click here for full results.

Next up is Osenat’s June sale where our three 100+ years old cars all sold. The Phebus sold for $59,280, the Bruneau $45,600, and the Clement $39,900. The top sale was this 1927 Bugatti Type 37 for $900,600.

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

The Delaney Delta failed to sell. Check out full results here. The final sale in this countdown is Bonhams’ Oxford sale. The top seller was this 1934 Talbot AV105 “Alpine Replica” Tourer for $206,372.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured Hotchkiss was also a big seller, bringing $144,286, while the Durant also sold, but for a much less $25,499. Click here for full results.

Allard Palm Beach

1956 Allard Palm Beach Mk II

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Sydney Allard starting building cars in the late 1930s to compete in hillclimb events. Not the civilized, paved hillclimbing that we know today, but trials – as in, up nearly-impassible dirt hills. After the war he started building some road cars – and nice ones at that. Then he moved to sports cars.

One such car, built near the end of Allard’s run, was the Palm Beach. First introduced in 1952, the car received a substantial upgrade to Mk II specification in 1956. The body was classed up and fit more with the times. And the engine was bumped up to six-cylinders only. This car uses a 2.6-liter straight-six from a Ford. Jaguar engines were also available.

This car is beautiful, having had a recent ground-up restoration. It was on the stand at the 1956 Earls Court Motor Show. After that, it was an Allard factory demonstrator. The Palm Beach ended production in 1958 with 80 built – only six of which were Mk II cars, making this exceptionally rare. This one should sell for between $125,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

The Aston They Should’ve Built

2013 Aston Martin DB9 Centennial Spyder Concept by Zagato

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The title says it all. Aston Martins are some of the prettiest cars on the planet, the DB9 among them, but this is a beautiful take on an already gorgeous car. Sure, it might seem a little droopy-eyed if you look at it too long, but its lines are crisp and it’s sporty and forward-looking. And the current DB9 is a little long in the tooth (it’s been on sale for over 10 years).

It was built by legendary Aston Martin design partner Zagato to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin. This car started life as a U.S.-spec ’13 DB9 Volante that was bought off the lot and sent to Zagato by its owner to receive this body work.

The engine is the standard 510 horsepower 5.9-liter V-12. It’s called a Concept because that’s what Zagato chose to call it (plus, it got it on the concept lawn at the Pebble Beach Concours). It’s completely street-able and has about 2,300 miles on it and is a one-owner car. There aren’t too many coachbuilt cars these days and this one is about perfect. Buy it. It will only ever appreciate in value. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


1964 Gordon-Keeble Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | June 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

There were some great, low-production British marques of the 1950s and 1960s that had style and performance and perhaps none are better than the Gordon-Keeble. The car came together because of the design talents of John Gordon and Jim Keeble. The steel body was designed by Bertone and it debuted in 1960 as the Gordon.

Production started in 1964 and the coupe was powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 from a Corvette good for 300 horsepower. Top speed was 140 mph and it could hit 60 in six seconds. The price was a little steep and in 1965 the company was re-organized and the final car was built in 1966.

Only 99 of these were built (until a 100th example was constructed in 1967 out of spare parts). They’re good-looking, powerful, fast cars. And their rarity is ensured forever. This example should bring between $92,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $125,550.

Isotta-Fraschini Tipo PM

1911 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo PM Roadster by Pavesi & Crespi

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | June 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Isotta-Fraschini got their start selling Renaults in Italy but quickly dropped the French line in favor of their own – which sprouted and grew quickly. By the 1920s and 30s, they were some of the most desirable cars in the world.

But even their earlier models were well sought after, too. Prior to WWI, the company offered a huge range of models, among them the Tipo PM you see here. It is powered by a 6.0-liter straight-four. It was built for two years only – 1911 and 1912. Only 60 were constructed and only three remain.

The restoration was completed in 2012 and the body is by Carrozzeria Pavesi & Crespi of Milan, a short-lived and not very well known coach builder that went bust shortly after this two-seat roadster was completed. This car should sell for between $540,000-$730,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $547,929.

Frazer Nash Fast Tourer

1926 Frazer Nash Fast Tourer

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

We’ve featured quite a few Frazer Nash cars recently, but they’re so rare we can’t help it. The Fast Tourer is actually the first model sold by Archibald Frazer-Nash’s company. It pre-dates the Frazer Nash-BMW cars of the 1930s.

It is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four and is actually chain-driven. There were two concurrent models sold by Frazer Nash at this point. The Fast Tourer was the long wheelbase version while the Super Sports was the short wheelbase version.

This car has known ownership history since 1933 and it was restored in the late 1980s. It’s in great shape today and would make for a fun driver. These were built between 1925 and 1930 with only 165 built, split between the two different wheelbases. This one should sell for between $125,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Lemur Monitors: BlueDriver. Tested!

First off let me admit that I seem to have some pretty terrible luck when it comes to automobile ownership. My last car needed an emergency Gorilla Tape repair at one point. So when this little guy showed up in the mail this week, I was rather excited:

300dpi BlueDriverSensorInHand

Lemur Monitors’ BlueDriver is a very compact OBD-II scanner that you plug in under your dash. Pulling up an app on your smart phone then tells you what’s going on under the hood. It’ll work on every 1996 or newer car. Got a check engine light that won’t go away? This will tell you what it is. They sent me one to play with, so play I did.

I downloaded the app, which is free, then popped this thing on an ’02 Camry in the garage that has had it’s dashboard lit like a Christmas tree with yellow warnings for well over a year. Once the scanner is in place, you turn the car on and it pairs via Bluetooth to your phone.

300dpi BlueDriverCarOnce it’s paired, you can read any error codes your car is throwing as well as run a smog check (if you live in an unfortunate state) and run live diagnostic checks that will tell you different temperatures and things – all color coded so you know what’s wrong (you can also log data as you drive).

And boy was there stuff wrong! Once you click “Read Codes,” it will spit out a button for each code and from there you can dive into possible causes and reported fixes. I can honestly say this would have saved me a lot of time back when my Mazda acquired a gaping hole in an air hose and my local mechanics fixed everything but. I would have personally searched every hose before handing over the keys.


Pictured: Bad News.

The reports are saved off in the app itself, but it’s really easy to email yourself a PDF so you can look at it later on a different machine. I had four codes, three of which I already knew about, but one – a too-lean fuel system – was new. After seeing the error, I looked in the live diagnostic tool and confirmed that the fuel trim wasn’t what it should be.

Screenshot_2015-06-12-15-39-00 (1)

Now that I knew what was wrong, I needed to figure out what to do about it. Luckily the app is packed with info on each error code. It gives you possible causes, some of which are more helpful than others. And it gives you possible solutions, ranging from the free (Hey, your gas cap is loose!) to the very costly (You need a new catalytic converter!). And when you’re done, it takes a single click to clear all the codes – but be warned, once they’re gone you can’t report on them. Lucky for me, these codes will definitely be re-appearing.


The PDFs are pretty nice, especially if the car isn’t yours.

I also tried plugging this in to my much-healthier Civic. There weren’t any codes to read but I could at least check out the live feed to see what was going on. But that’s about the extent of it if your car doesn’t have issues.

It’s fairly easy to use once you realize that you need to turn the car on in order for your phone to find the scanner (which I didn’t at first). But luckily there is a built-in user manual that consists of YouTube videos – the car repair manual of the 21st century. You will also need the VIN number of the car… which turns out to be sort of interesting in itself (see below).

In all, the BlueDriver is pretty handy. For $99.95 you get a little black box that will fit in your pocket – but it’s the app that you’re paying for. It’s packed with information that’s actually helpful. If you spend a lot of time on the road – or are taking a long-distance road trip – this would be an excellent thing to keep in your glove box should your car encounter and mysterious issues along the way. It can definitely help calm you down if your check engine light comes on in the middle of nowhere. Whether or not the cost is worth it is up to you.

Bonus: there is a vehicle info section that allows you to enter a VIN number and then it will decode the entire thing. If you’re a car nerd, this is pretty cool for when you’re walking around a car show or parking lot and want to know what’s supposed to be under the hood of every car.