1910 Kissel Kar

1910 Kissel Kar Model D-10 50HP 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 15, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Kissel is well known among automotive enthusiasts for their Roaring-20s Gold Bug Speedster sports car. But before that, they actually produced cars under the Kissel Kar marque (the “Kar” was dropped for 1919, the debut year for the Gold Bug).

Throughout its existence, Kissel was known for high-quality automobiles and this 1910 Model D-10 was no exception. Priced as the second-cheapest of four models offered that year, the D-10 features a 50 horsepower 8.7-liter straight-four.

This car uses the 5-Passenger Touring body and has been used regularly for years. So if you’re in the market for a rare, usable, and interesting old car, here you go. It is said that this car can cruise at highway speeds. Only a few hundred Kissels are known to exist, and this is likely one of the earlier models. It can be yours for between $60,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Chrysler Plainsman Concept

1956 Chrysler Plainsman Concept by Ghia

Offered by Auctions America | Burbank, California | August 1-2, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Chrysler had a pretty good relationship with Ghia in the 1950s. The famed Italian design house built some pretty good-lookin’ rides for this one of Detroit’s Big Three during the decade. You might not call this car “good-lookin’” but it definitely screams “1950s.”

The design is by Virgil Exner and it certainly is of the era. I’m not sure about the name, however, and am pretty confident no one would buy a car called the “Plainsman” (although that would be a very apt name for the Camry). The original engine is gone, but since the 1960s it’s used a 440 (7.2-liter) V-8 making 375 horsepower.

This is said to be the only known station wagon concept car from the 1950s still in existence. It has an international history: being sold to a high-ranking Cuban official in the 1950s before the revolution. He had to smuggle the car out of the country when Castro took over and he had to flee. After that, it went to Australia where it was converted to right-hand drive and used regularly. Once back in the U.S., it was re-converted to left-hand drive and used even more. This car is highly original and it sold in 2010 for $90,000. You can see more here and check out more from this sale here.

Ferrari 250 N.A.R.T. Spider

1961 Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider by Fantuzzi

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 15-16, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Ferrari 250 GT is, perhaps, the most celebrated model line in the history of Ferrari. This striking 250 began life as a 1961 250 GTE. In 1965, Luigi Chinetti, founder of the North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) and Ferrari’s American importer for many years, decided to replace the normal Pininfarina body with this wild design by Fantuzzi.

Chinetti displayed the car at auto shows in New York, San Francisco, and Miami in 1965, generating good buzz for the brand. The engine is a 3.0-liter V-12 that’s had a little work done and it makes 300 horsepower.

Chinetti sold the car and the next owner had it for 33 years. It’s been recently serviced and has covered only 29,000 miles in its life. It’s one-of-a-kind and, from the right angles, quite gorgeous. It will likely sell for between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Duesenberg Model A

1925 Duesenberg Model A Touring by Millspaugh & Irish

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

One thing we do here at ClassicCarWeekly.net is feature every Duesenberg Model J that comes up for sale (that we can find). What we have yet to do, however, is give any attention to Duesenberg’s original road car, the 1920-1927 Model A.

The Duesenberg brothers built race cars for the Indianapolis 500 prior to building road cars (they also manufactured aero and marine engines during WWI). So in 1921, they began selling a four-passenger car called the Model A. It was powered by an 88 horsepower 4.3-liter straight-eight engine and had all of the luxuries of the day. They were also fun to drive for what they were (and for when they were built).

Duesenberg wanted to build 100 of them a month, but they ended up only building 150 in the first year. By the time production ended after 1927, only about 500 were built. This one wears a body by popular Model A coachbuilder Millspaugh & Irish (who were sort of the “in-house” coachbuilder for the Model A). The restoration on this car was done around 2004 and it should sell for between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Michigan lineup.

Ferrari 330 Speciale

1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Speciale by Carrozzeria Sports Cars

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16-17, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 was a four-seat Ferrari coupe produced between 1964 and 1967. It was sort of their “base” model slotted below the 275 series. In all, 1,099 were built – but only one of them looks anything like this.

The 60s were weird – weirder for some than others – and Norbert Navarro’s 1960s must’ve been awfully weird as the Italian night club owner commissioned this Piero Drogo-bodied Speciale. The engine carries over – a 4.0-liter V-12 making 300 horsepower. The body was stretched, box-ified, and painted this lovely shade of gold. It looks wagon-like from the side, but if you go to Gooding’s website and check out some rear photos, you’ll see that it has a more El Camino-without-the-tailgate-like thing going on.

It’s certainly unique. But Drogo-bodied cars are very rare and quite desirable. This one should cost you between $400,000-$600,000. Click here for more from Gooding & Company’s sale.

Shelby Turbine Indy Car

1968 Shelby Turbine Indy Car

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 14-16, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Everyone remembers Andy Granatelli’s STP turbine indy cars from 1967 and 1968 – back in the day when the Indianapolis 500 stood for speed and innovation. The STP-Paxton Turbocars were driven by Parnelli Jones and Joe Leonard and dominated the races but always failed prior to the finish.

Well in 1968, Carroll Shelby also built a similar turbine-powered open-wheel racer and entered it in the Indy 500. The team practiced two cars – this one was driven by Bruce McLaren. USAC changed the rules surrounding turbine cars and while the STP cars were still legal, the Shelby cars were not able to compete and were withdrawn prior to qualifying.

The powerplant here is a General Electric T-58 shaft-drive turbine putting out a crazy 1,325 horsepower. This car is pristine and is currently on display the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in their Turbine Indy Car exhibit. It’s a pretty cool opportunity that should command a pretty princely sum. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

A Pretty Packard

1935 Packard Super Eight Coupe Roadster

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

So there’s really nothing super exotic about this Packard. But when I looked through the catalog for this sale, it caught my eye. It’s just pretty, isn’t it? Packards are quite stately as-is, but this one – and maybe it’s that deep ruby red paint – I really like.

The Super Eight appears to have been new for 1933 as a deviation of the then-three-year-old Eight. The engine is a 150 horsepower 6.3-liter straight-eight. These are still usable cars… although the wonderfully styled rear-hinged doors aren’t something you see much of anymore.

The car was actually restored decades ago but has been freshened and detailed more recently. It still looks excellent. This Series 1204 Coupe Roadster should sell for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Michigan.

1913 Michigan Touring

1913 Michigan Model R Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Michigan was one of many short-lived American automobile manufacturers that existed prior to WWI. It is, in fact, amazing that a car so rare from so long ago is now readily available in such fantastic condition. Michigan was founded in 1904, but production didn’t really take off until 1911. And the company closed its doors after 1913 because, strangely, company officials were shady as can be. Many of their employees were on paper only (with the managers taking their “employees” paychecks home). One of the managers actually gambled away a large portion of company funds at a horse track.

This Model R was for the 1913 model year only. It uses a 4.9-liter straight-four making 40 horsepower. Available as a two-passenger Roadster or five-passenger Touring, the original owners of this car opted for the larger of the two options.

The Michigan Buggy Company boasted of over 6,000 cars sold, but it is thought (with how honest the company was) that the number is likely closer to 1,200. This car was restored in 2002 from a complete survivor. It last sold in 2008 for $154,000 and this time is expected to bring between $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Michigan.

The Tale of George B. Selden

George B. Selden is one of the most interesting men in the early days of the automobile. He was an inventor and lawyer and he made one the the most fantastic business moves in history. And it didn’t work out.

George Selden driving an automobile in 1905

George Selden driving an automobile in 1905

Selden was born in Clarkson, New York in 1846, so by the time automobiles came around, he was a seasoned lawyer and Civil War veteran. Selden saw his first internal combustion engine in 1876. It wasn’t a practical machine and was quite large. So he went to work making a smaller, more usable version – and did, in 1878 – eight years before Karl Benz introduced his Patent Motorwagen.

He applied for a patent in 1879 but not just for his useful internal combustion engine, but also for its use in a four-wheeled car. The patent was finally granted in 1895 – about the time America’s auto industry began to take off.

Selden sold his patent to the Electric Vehicle Company (who were building electric vehicles and therefore exempt from any patent-infringement on Selden’s internal combustion engine but who could, with the patent in hand, theoretically exclude other gasoline-powered manufacturers from springing up) for a royalty of $15 per car and a minimum annual payment of $5,000.

But there were already other car manufacturers building cars. Some of them came together and formed the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers (ALAM) in 1902. The group was headed by Alexander Winton, owner of the largest internal combustion-producing automobile company in the United States at the time. The Electric Vehicle Company was suing a number of companies for patent-infringement, so Winton joined with Cadillac, Packard, Locomobile, Knox, Peerless, and others to fight the lawsuits.

And it worked. In exchange for fighting the suits, Selden granted those companies favorable rates – a 1.25% royalty on all cars produced. And they became his enforcers. In order to get a Selden license, you had to get into the ALAM. And ALAM members wanted to protect their business, so they weren’t very welcoming. In fact, when Henry Ford applied to a license, he was denied at the request of Oldsmobile’s member to the organization.

But we all know Henry Ford was never to be denied. So he built his cars anyway. ALAM threatened Ford’s buyers with lawsuits. Selden filed suit against Ford. Ford said, essentially, “Screw you” to everybody and went about his day.

Selden didn’t actually start building his own cars until 1906, in the midst of the legal battle with Ford. Ford argued that his engine was based on the Otto engine (which it was) and not the Brayton engine, of which Selden based his patent on. The court eventually sided with Ford and ruled that the patent was unenforceable. So the automobile industry exploded and Selden was no longer earning a cent. His funds dried up and so did his company. He died in 1922.

Imagine for a second if the court had ruled differently. The Ford name would probably still be well known, but the Selden fortune would be one of the largest in the U.S. Yes, his patent would have expired eventually (but with enough money and influence, there are all sorts of dubious channels that can be gone down to extend a patent), but for a long while, George Selden would have been making good money on every car sold in the U.S. But instead, it is just an interesting footnote in the history of the automobile. So it goes.

For a very in-depth version of this story, check out this awesome site.

1906 Studebaker

1906 Studebaker Model G Touring

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Studebaker was the quintessential American automobile manufacturer. Like many of the great, early European marques, Studebaker had a long history dating back to the 1850s. They started by building wagons. Cars came in 1897. The early cars (until about 1911) were actually sold as Studebaker-Garfords.

The Model G was new for 1906 and it was the highest-priced, most decked out model in the Studebaker lineup. The engine is a 4.6-liter straight-four making 30/35 horsepower. It could cruise at 45 mph and was only offered in this five-passenger touring configuration.

This car has somewhat known history since new. It was discovered by Henry Austin Clark Jr. in the 1940s and put in his museum until 1968 when it was sold to – guess who – Bill Harrah. It remained in his collection until 1982. It is said that this is the oldest known four-cylinder Studebaker in existence. And its ownership history doesn’t get much better. Add your name to that list for between $325,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.