Alfa Romeo Tipo B

1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Alfa Romeo P2 was built between 1924 and 1930 and it won the inaugural Automobile World Championship, the precursor to the European Championship (which itself was a sort of precursor to modern Formula One). The Alfa Romeo P3 (or Tipo B) was introduced halfway through the 1932 season. It was the first monoposto (true single seat) race car on the circuit.

The engine is a 255 horsepower, supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight – a really stout motor. The car was instantly successful, racking up victory after victory in the major Grands Prix across Europe. This particular car was campaigned by none other than Scuderia Ferrari for the 1934 and 1935 seasons. Because the record keeping of the day wasn’t the best, no one can say with certainty who raced this car where, but it is believed (and likely) that it was driven in period by Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, and Pierre Louis-Dreyfus.

This example is the sixth of seven second-series “wide body” examples built out of a total of about 13 cars in all. It has known ownership history from new and is in spectacular condition. If you want to feel like a true racing hero, you should buy this and take it to a track day. The Alfa P3 is one of the greatest and most dominant race cars of all time and this is your chance to get one. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Ghia Streamline X

1955 Ghia Streamline X Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

We generally don’t feature cars on Saturdays, but I’m making an exception here for two reasons: 1. the ownership history of this car tells me it is unlikely to come up for sale again anytime soon (if it sells) and 2. I just turned on Barrett-Jackson on Velocity for coverage of Friday’s sale (as I watch RM Sotheby’s on my laptop) and I happened to look at their catalog (which I was doing almost daily for about a month) and I found this car. It wasn’t in their catalog when I finalized the cars we were going to feature from Arizona’s sales but appeared as a late-add by Barrett-Jackson (or, at least, not a timely addition).

Anyway, we’re here, so let’s talk about what this is. Built at the the request of Chrysler chief Virgil Exner, this Ghia-bodied streamliner is the perfect Jet Age concept car. Why? Well it’s powered by a turbine for starters. It only puts out 70 horsepower (and idles at a bat shit crazy 54,000 rpm), but in the world of turbines and sleek aerodynamics, it was theoretically enough power to push this thing to 140-160 mph. The only cars doing that kind of speed in 1955 were doing it on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.

It debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and was dubbed “Gilda.” The interior (and the engine compartment) are wild and hearken back to an era when people dreamed of the “car of tomorrow.” Ghia eventually put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum where it stayed until 1969 when it was acquired by Bill Harrah. The Blackhwak Museum got it when that collection was dispersed and the current owner bought it in 2005. It’s been to Pebble Beach, Ville d’Este, and was even a no-sale at a Gooding auction years back.

Now Barrett-Jackson is featuring it as the wildest car in their lineup this year (well that, and this). Anyway, I’m writing this late on a Friday night for a Saturday morning post because it was starting to make me sick to my stomach that I was potentially missing out on featuring a car I’d never see offered for public sale again – it has, after all, spent most of its life in museums. Click here for more info. Price? Well the Blackhawk was offering it for $125,000 in 2001 and it no-sold at Gooding with an estimate of $1.0-1.3 million. Expect the owner to want more than that at Barrett-Jackson later today.

Update: Not sold.

MV Agusta Pickup

1957 MV Agusta 1100 D2 Autocarro

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Giovanni Agusta founded Meccanica Verghera Agusta, later changed to MV Agusta, in 1945 to build motorcycles. Agusta was an aviation company that dates back to the early 1920s, but motorcycles didn’t come until after WWII. MV Agusta has had a number of corporate overloads, but currently operates mostly independently (they are 25% owned by Mercedes-AMG).

What most people don’t know is that this bike manufacturer built a small run of light commercial vehicles in the 1950s. The Autocarro was a light delivery truck and MV Agusta sold their first example in 1954 (though it was a three-wheeled, motorcycle-based trucklet at that point). Production stopped in the early 1960s. This 1100 D2 is powered by a 27 horsepower, 1.1-liter twin-cylinder diesel.

It is presented in barn find condition, but it is very interesting. Very few of these were built and even fewer survive. It is thought that D2 production totaled about 2,000 units – a fraction of what Fiat was turning out at the same time. This project deserves restoration and should bring between $32,000-$43,000, even in this condition. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Ferrari 166 S

1948 Ferrari 166 S Spyder Corsa by Scaglietti

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The 166 S was among the first cars built by Ferrari. It is preceded only by the 125 S and 159 S. It was a race car from the get-go and it was the first Ferrari to have a road-going counterpart, the 166 Inter. And even some of those were raced.

The 166 S (as well as the 166MM) were built from 1948 through 1953. It was powered by a 2.0-liter V-12 that Ferrari later enlarged to 2.3-liters in this car only (it would’ve originally put out between 110 and 140 horsepower depending on configuration). It was a factory race car when new. 1949 saw a new owner and it’s competition history under that owner includes:

  • 1949 Targa Florio – DNF (with Giampiero Bianchetti)

After the ’49 racing season, the car went back to Ferrari for engine enlargement. It’s final competition engagement was in 1952 and then the car was stored in Maranello. In 1954, Enzo Ferrari sent the car to Scaglietti and the original Ansaloni body was replaced by this very 1950s-looking body. Enzo wanted the car used a test bed for future racing bodies.

In 1957 it entered private hands (again) and eventually made its way to the U.S. A recent restoration preserved some original parts while making everything else perfect. This sort of proto-Testa Rossa will bring big bucks in Paris. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Maybach Spezial Cabriolet

1939 Maybach SW38 Spezial Cabriolet by Petera & Söhne

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Maybachs are serious cars. Imagine if a company had their choice to produce any of the pre-war Mercedes-Benz lineup and decided only to build the 500/540/770K cars – the absolute best of the best. That’s sort of how I’d describe Maybach. They didn’t half-ass anything.

The SW38 was introduced in 1936 and it was smaller than the Zeppelin line of cars that came before it – and it’s only smaller in that the Zeppelins were huge and that it has half the cylinders. The SW38 is powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six making 140 horsepower. The body is by Petera & Söhne, a coachbuilder that isn’t too well known. The body is original to this car, but it has been restored.

Only 520 SW chassis were built (which comprised three different models, of which the SW38 is in the middle, displacement-wise). Only 152 are known to exist today and this car is surely one-of-a-kind. It should sell for between $790,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Porsche 901 Cabriolet

1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype by Karmann

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Porsches are hot right now. Like really, really hot – especially anything that is air-cooled. The first generation of the 911 went on sale in 1964 and the prices for this generation have gone through the roof. Let’s also remember that Porsche originally wanted to call the 911 the 901, but Peugeot objected on copyright grounds, so they added a “1.” But Porsche had already built 82 cars with “901” badging and some of them are still out there.

The first true 911 Cabriolet didn’t go one sale until 1982, so this car is extraordinarily special in that regard. Sure, there was the Targa that showed up in 1966, but it had that pesky rear window and roll-over hoop. This is the only drop-top 911 from this era – and what makes it even better is that it is from the prototype line of 901 cars. It is the second-earliest 901 Prototype known to exist and most of the 13 Prototype Coupes were destroyed back in the day.

The engine is a 130 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-six and the convertible work was carried out by Karmann, a longtime Volkswagen collaborator. Porsche parted ways with this car in 1967, selling it to a German racing driver who wanted to save it. An American collector acquired it directly from him in 2001 and rebuilt the engine, making the car roadworthy. But the body and interior are all-original. The current British owner is selling the car at auction – the first time it has ever been available for public sale. If you thought Porsche prices were high already, wait for the hammer price on this one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

APAL Horizon

1968 APAL Horizon GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

APAL began as a Belgian company that built cars based on Volkswagens and Porsches, beginning in Liege in 1961. As the years went on, APAL turned more toward replicas and beach buggies, eventually relocating to Germany in 1998. They still sell kits and parts today.

Edmond Pery, the founder of APAL, understood fiberglass: how to make it and why it was great for cars. The Horizon was an original design that kind of resembles a VW Beetle-based kit car of the era… like a Bradley or something. This car is VW-powered as a 1.7-liter flat-four sits well behind the passenger compartment. It puts out an impressive 100 horsepower.

Good news for sun lovers: this car is technically a targa: the roof panel is removable and can be stowed on board. This particular example has been restored and has never been road registered, making it, essentially, a brand new car. Only 10 Horizon GT Coupes were built out of a total of about 150 APAL coupes of original design. This rarity should bring between $53,000-$74,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

OSCA MT4 1500

1954 OSCA MT4 1500 by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This pretty little sports car was built by Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili-Fratelli Maserati S.p.A. – or OSCA, for short. You’ll also notice the name “Maserati” in there, as OSCA was founded by three Maserati brothers after leaving the company bearing their name.

The MT4 was OSCA’s first automobile, introduced in 1947 with a 1.1-liter engine. Engine sizes grew with time and the MT4 was available well into the 1950s. This 1954 “1500” example is powered by a 135 horsepower, 1.5-liter straight-four. The very racy body was by Frua – and the racy part was intentional: an MT4 won the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring. The competition history for this particular car includes:

  • 1954 Mille Miglia – 10th (with Giulio Cabianca)
  • 1954 Targa Florio – DNF (with Cabianca)
  • 1954 Carrera Panamericana – DNF (with Roberto Mieres)

This car’s history sort of went cold after 1955 before reappearing in 1987 and the current owners acquired it in 2003. A five-year restoration followed, as did appearances in a few historic races – races it is still eligible for. It is one of just 72 OSCA MT4s ever built and you can read more about it here. Click here to see the rest of RM’s lineup.

Fiat 1100 by Allemano

1953 Fiat 1100 Cabriolet by Allemano

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 20, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Fiat 1100 was a model that was produced a number of different times, but the car you see here was part of the line that was available between 1953 and 1969 (though light commercial variants were built through 1971). The cars were offered in a few body styles from Fiat, namely a four-door sedan, wagon, and a two-door convertible.

When Fiat introduced the car at the 1953 Geneva Auto Show, it was just sedans. But later that year at the Turin motor show they had a few special versions on the show stand, such as a Michelotti-designed Coupe and Cabriolet, which were both built by Allemano. In all, Allemano is thought to have built two coupes and four convertibles and this is the convertible from the Turin show stand.

Power comes from a 50 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. This car sports single-family ownership for 56 years and its current owner had it restored to its present glory. Only two Allemano-bodied 1100 Cabriolets are known to exist and they are very striking. This one should bring between $275,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Not sold.

Lenham Le Mans

1967 Lenham Le Mans Coupe

Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 14, 2017

Photo – Coys

In 1967 Peter Rix joined Julian Booty’s Vintage Sports Car Garage and they changed the name to the Lenham Motor Company. Their first cars were based around the Austin-Healey Sprite. Racing cars and other models followed. Production ceased in 1982 but the company was revived later on and is still doing some work.

The Le Mans was a GT car based on the Sprite and the engine is likely a 1.3-liter straight-four making in the neighborhood of 65 horsepower (if this particular car is based on a Mk IV Sprite). The body is fiberglass and the car is fully race-prepped for vintage racing.

What makes this car interesting is that it was the final official Le Mans Coupe converted by Lenham. It’s a neat, rare little race car that would be a great way to get into historic racing and it should sell for between $24,500-$30,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.