MGC Roadster

1968 MG C Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 7-10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The MGC was a short-lived relative of the long-running MGB, the latter of which went on sale in 1962 and was produced through 1980. The B lost its chrome bumpers in 1975 and gained big rubber units, which made the earlier cars seem a lot prettier. This 1968 C is pretty much indistinguishable from the chrome-bumper MGB, with the exception of a subtle hood bulge.

Why the bulge? Well, the C was powered by a 145-horsepower, 2.9-liter inline-six. That’s two cylinders and 50 horsepower more than the B. The MGC was only produced between 1967 and 1969. It’s just a blip on the map of MGB production.

The car was supposed to be a replacement for the Austin-Healey 3000 (but it really wasn’t), and the heavier six-cylinder engine threw off the car’s handling. It was not a success, and only about 4,500 roadster variants ended up being built. This one was restored 30 years ago and is now expected to bring between $28,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

LaSalle 345B Town Coupe

1932 LaSalle Series 345B Town Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021

LaSalle was Cadillac’s “companion marque,” and it launched in 1927. After Pontiac, it was the most successful marque of GM’s companion program with production continuing through 1940. A 1941 LaSalle mockup was produced but never entered production, and instead, it became the 1941-only Cadillac Series 63.

The brand produced V8-powered cars for the entire run, and styling was certainly derivative of Cadillac’s (or, you know, the same). It was, and looks like, a junior Caddy. The Series 345B was 1932’s model and the successor to 1931’s 345A. It was more or less identical to the V8 Cadillac of the same year. I mean, the differences were extremely subtle. Power is from a 5.8-liter V8 rated at 115 horsepower.

Two wheelbases were offered, and this is the shorter of the two, on which four body styles were available. The five-passenger Town Coupe sold for $2,545 when new (Cadillac’s V8 five-passenger coupe cost an extra $400). Only 3,290 LaSalles were built in 1932, and they did not have as good a survival rate as their Cadillac counterparts. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Honda S500

1964 Honda S500

Offered by BH Auction | Osaka, Japan | December 20, 2020

Photo – BH Auction

The S500 was just the second production car from Honda. And it spawned a line of sports cars that has, thus far, culminated in the spectacular S2000 (after quite a long gap). Produced only in 1963 and 1964, the S500 would be replaced by the S600 and then the S800.

Only 1,363 examples were produced, all of which were two-door roadsters. Power is from a 531cc inline-four that routes power to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and chain drive. That’s right, Honda leaned heavily on its motorcycle experience with this car. It’s got Keihin carburetors and a 9,500-rpm redline.

With just 44 horsepower on tap, it wasn’t blindingly fast. But it’s tiny. Like really tiny. And is a complete “momentum car.” And I’m sure it’s a blast. No estimate is available at this time, but you can read more here and see more from this sale here.

A112 Abarth

1983 Autobianchi A112 Abarth

Offered by Aguttes | Online | December 13, 2020

Photo – Aguttes

The A112 is probably Autobianchi’s most famous model aside from the Bianchina. It was produced between 1969 and 1980 and carried styling by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The car was actually produced in eight different series, and this car is a Series VI, which was offered between 1982 and 1984.

The Abarth version of the A112 was a hot little hatch in its day. These are largely the best preserved A112s, and this particular example is powered by a 1,050cc inline-four rated at 70 horsepower.

As Aguttes points out, the end of the Series VI A112 Abarth marked the end of Carlo Abarth’s involvement with the model, which fizzled out as Autobianchi tried to move on from the A112. This Belgian example actually looks pretty nice, and it carries a pre-sale estimate of $14,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

De Tomaso Sport 5000

1965 De Tomaso Sport 5000

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021

Photo – Mecum

We’ve previously detailed the long and complicated history of the car that became the De Tomaso P70 aka the Ghia De Tomaso aka some race car that Carroll Shelby, Pete Brock, Medardo Fantuzzi, and Alejandro de Tomaso all had a hand in creating.

After Shelby bailed on the project to go run the GT40 program, Pete Brock sort of lingered around and talked de Tomaso into becoming his North American distributor for the P70 race car, 50 of which were supposed to be built. De Tomaso modified the design of the P70 slightly and built a second car, this one, and called it the Sport 5000.

It’s powered by a 4.7-liter (289) Ford V8 rated at 475 horsepower thanks to aluminum cylinder heads and four Weber carburetors. The car never got its competition career off the ground, only competing in a single race: the 1966 Mugello Grand Prix round of the World Sportscar Championship. But it broke on the first lap with driver Roberto Bussinello behind the wheel.

After that, de Tomaso put this car in storage, where it remained until his passing in 2003. It remains pretty much as-raced (except for whatever broke in 1966). You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum. In Florida. During a pandemic. Here. Good luck.

MG Midget Mk III

1970 MG Midget Mk III

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 7-10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The MG Midget was produced between 1961 and 1980, and it is a car I have become quite smitten with as of late (though, to be honest, I am much more smitten with its earlier Austin-Healey corporate cousin, the Sprite Mk III). That said, this is about as perfect a spec of a Midget as you can find.

The Mk III was produced between 1966 and 1974. Changes from earlier versions included a larger engine – a 1,275cc inline-four rated at 65 horsepower. It was updated during the course of the model run, and 1970 cars received black rocker panels and a recessed black grille. This car has body-color rockers and Minilite-style wheels. Both big improvements.

It also had an engine rebuild in the 1980s and has just 43,000 miles. Midgets are a great entry point into collector car ownership, and this pretty nice example should command between $6,600-$9,300. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

XK140 SE

1957 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Jaguar’s XK140 replaced their XK120 in 1954. It would be produced for three years and cover multiple body styles and a few sub-models, including the Special Equipment (SE) model, which was sold as the “MC” in the United States. The range was supplanted by the XK150 in 1957.

One body style was the Roadster, as shown here with a disappearing soft top. XK140s could also be had as fixed-head and drophead coupes, the latter saw the soft top pile up behind the seats when stowed. All XK140s were powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six, and in SE spec with a C-Type cylinder head, power was upped from 190 to 210 horsepower.

This restored example was a U.S.-spec car originally and has returned to the U.K. So I guess that makes it an SE by way of an MC. It should sell for between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Escort RS Turbo

1988 Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 2

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

In America, there is nothing remotely sexy about the name “Ford Escort.” There are no glorious images of the car on African rallies. No clips of RS-branded hatchbacks racing through the streets. We just got the crappy sedans and hatchbacks.

Not so in the U.K., where cool Escorts appeared as early as the 1960s. The fourth-generation Escort went on sale in 1986 and was produced through 1992. The RS Turbo actually debuted during the previous generation (thus why this is called a Series 2) and continued in production for the duration of the fourth-generation model run.

It is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four rated at 132 horsepower. It was fuel injected, intercooled, and capable of 125 mph and 60 in 8.3 seconds. Not super quick today, but fun and relatively cheap in 1988. This one has 36,000 miles and looks pretty good in black with a sly rear spoiler and driving lights up front. It is expected to sell for between $18,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Saleen S7 LM

2007 Saleen S7 LM

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | Online

Photo – Bring a Trailer

The S7 was introduced by Saleen in 2000, and production officially trickled on through 2009. Road cars were offered in base and Twin Turbo versions. The S7R (the racing variant) competed in different sports car series all over the world, including running at Le Mans, where it landed on the class podium in 2001.

Saleen has a complicated corporate history, and the short version is that in 2017 they formed a joint venture with a Chinese city to build cars for China. Part of that grand launch was an updated version of the S7 dubbed “LM” to trumpet their brief motorsport success.

Instead of building new cars, they sort of just dressed up existing S7s, including this 2007 model that was recommissioned as an LM in 2018. It retains the S7’s natural good looks but somehow makes it look even better with a two-tone finish and a big rear wing. The five-spoke wheels also help. A lot. I was never a fan of the stock chrome wheels these came with originally.

Power is from a twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V8 rated at 1,000 horsepower. The top speed is supposed to be in excess of 240 mph. This car carries a plaque identifying it as LM #007, which I guess means there are at least six more out there. No word on how many have been built, or even if they are done building/converting cars. My guess: if you show up at Saleen HQ with an S7 and a bag of cash, they’d convert your car too. The bidding on this example is already going strong; click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,200,000.

’96 Impala SS

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | November 20-21, 2020

Photo – Mecum

This is one of my favorite cars. It will be a car I own in the near future. A little history: the Impala model is a classic dating back to 1958 when it was a sub-model of the Bel Air. It became its own line in 1959, and the glory years lasted through 1970. Things trended downhill beginning in ’71, and the 1977-1985 models killed the Impala nameplate for a decade (though I secretly like this generation).

Then, in 1994, GM revived the Impala SS as a standalone model (even though their VINs decode as a Caprice). It was essentially a Caprice cop car with a bunch of heavy-duty items (suspension, brakes, cooling system), in addition to a Corvette-based 5.7-liter LT1 V8. Power was rated at 260 horsepower.

It was produced only between 1994 and 1996, and 60,768 were built in total. Black was the best color, but Dark Cherry Metallic and Dark Grey Green were also available beginning in 1995. 1996 models are differentiated from earlier cars by having an analog speedometer and a floor shifter for the automatic transmission. They. Are. Awesome. And this one has 12,000 miles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.