Swift Cyclecar

1913 Swift 7HP Twin-Cylinder Two-Seater Cyclecar

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Swift Motor Co Ltd. of Coventry began as a sewing machine manufacturer. They turned to cars in 1900 and their specialty was those of the small variety. Swift were among the pioneers of the cyclecar movement that swept the world (most of Europe and the U.S.) between 1910 and the 1920s.

The twin-cylinder cyclecar was introduced by Swift in 1912 (replacing a single-cylinder model). The engine is a 972cc twin making seven horsepower. The car is tiny, light, and will seat two. I quite like the looks of it.

This car has been known in the collector world since 1959 and was used regularly up until 1968 before it became more of a static showpiece. The interior is mighty old if not original – same for the engine. It is a driver and the body and brass are in great shape. It should sell for between $23,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-523

1936 Duesenberg Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2013

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

I’ll put this as simply as possible: Duesenbergs don’t get much better than this. Reason #1: this baby is supercharged. Reason #2: this is the best (my favorite) body style you can get. The body, the LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaeton, was an updated version of the LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton. The updates were done by none other than legendary designer Gordon Buehrig.

This is a factory-spec Model SJ – so it’s not a Model J that was upgraded years later. That’s pretty exciting. The engine is the standard 6.9-liter straight-eight that’s been supercharged to put out 320 horsepower. This is the original chassis and engine but the body was swapped with another car. Both of these cars simply wear each others bodies to this day.

The present owner bought this in 1978 after the current restoration had been completed. It has recently been serviced to running and driving condition. This is one of four LaGrande Dual Cowl Phaetons attached to a supercharged engine and one of the final of the kind built. It’s an awesome opportunity and should bring in between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this auctions’ lineup.

1913 Unic Taxi

1913 Unic Type C9 Landaulette Taxicab

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 6, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Unic was founded in France in 1905 by Georges Richard (formerly of Georges Richard and later, Brasier) and in 1938 they shifted their concentration from automobiles to commercial vehicles. In the 1950s, Unic became part of Simca and a few years later, was acquired by Saurer. Fiat became the major shareholder in 1966. Unic was one of the firms amalgamated into IVECO in 1975.

Unic sold passenger cars in a range of models and power outputs. The Type C9 was new for 1913 and it is powered by a straight-four making 12/14-horsepower. It was extremely popular among taxi companies and the United Motor Cab Company of London ordered this one.

It is thought that this taxi left service and immediately was transported to the U.S. as a collectors item. It was mechanically sorted in 2010 and ran well, although it might need some additional work to get it roadworthy today. These were very popular European taxis shortly after the turn of the century and it would be a very cool ride today. It should sell for between $47,000-$54,000. click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1909 Hotchkiss Coupe de Ville

1909 Hotchkiss Type T Coupe de Ville by Eugene Boulogne et Fils

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Look at that aerodynamic windshield. I love cars from this era because they were meant to do things. They moved people who no longer wished to use a horse. Yet they were exquisite in their detail and design. It wasn’t about streamlining for gas mileage. It was about accomplishing a task.

Hotchkiss started life as an arms manufacturer (as did a couple of other French automobile companies). The Hotchkiss brothers who founded the company were actually from Connecticut but they were gone before auto production started in 1902.

The Type T was new for 1907 and lasted through 1911. It uses a 3.1-liter straight-four and it was the smallest car they offered. The body is somewhat regal and was built by a little known French coachbuilder. It is believed this is the only Hotchkiss they bodied. This car is pretty much entirely original, which is amazing.

Less than 400 Type Ts were built. Not many are left, but this is the only one from this coachbuilder and it is as it was in 1909. A simply incredible opportunity. The price will range between $165,000-$210,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ferrari Daytona Spyder

1971 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | London, U.K. | September 4, 2014

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

While many vintage Ferrari models as of late have quickly approached (and in some cases, surpassed) the million dollar mark, the Daytona Spyder has long been a million dollar Ferrari. They are very rare – although recreations seem to be as numerous as originals as many owners had their Daytona’s roofs cut off in the 1980s and 1990s because a convertible was cooler.

No one would dare cut open a Daytona today, but those conversions are out there. This, however, is the real thing – a genuine 365 GTS/4. One of only 122 built (for comparison, 1,284 hardtop coupes were built, the GTB/4). The engine is a front-mounted 4.4-liter V-12 that makes 352 horsepower. This is one of the most classic Ferraris (in coupe or spyder form) and perfect for your daily driver around Monaco.

This particular car was purchased new by Bill Harrah and he sold it in 1976. It spent the next 31 years with that new owner before the current owner acquired it in 2008 – and to date, the car has only covered 3,946 miles. It’s practically brand new (although it has been thoroughly recommissioned and repainted).

If you feel the need to drive around pretending you’re Don Johnson from Miami Vice (as I so often do), then this is a car you’ll need in your fleet (Crockett’s car in the show was actually a Corvette done up to look like a Daytona Spyder). Anyway, this is the real deal and it’s among the very finest Daytona Spyders in the world (and perhaps the lowest mileage). It should sell for between $3,000,000-$3,750,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s auction lineup.

Jaguar XJR-15

1991 Jaguar XJR-15

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Everyone talks about the Jaguar XJ220 and how amazing it was (and how it was kind of a flop). It was one of the most well-known supercars of the 1990s. But no one ever mentions the XJR-15, the XJ220s direct predecessor and equal-in-awesomeness.

The droopy-eyed front end was styled by the same guy who went on to do the McLaren F1. The car is based around Jaguar’s Group C-dominating XJR-9 and XJR-12. The XJR-15 was a road car from the get-go, becoming the first street-legal vehicle that is fully made of carbon fiber. The engine is a Group-C spec 6.0-liter V-12 making 450 horsepower. The top speed was 191 mph (although 215 is listed – which would make it faster than the XJ220 that replaced it and the XJ220 was widely known as the “world’s fastest production car.”)

The cars were assembled by Tom Walkinshaw Racing and they sold new for approximately $1 million. 50 were scheduled to be built, but only 27 were turned out as road cars (there were 16 race versions built for a one-make racing series that ran three events in 1991 alongside the F1 calendar). It’s far rarer than an XJ220

This is an legitimate early-90s supercar and one that doesn’t get much respect today. If I were a supercar collector (I mean, when I become a supercar collector) this will definitely be on my list of “must-haves.” You can buy it for between $300,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

August 2014 Auction Recap

August was a record-setting month for the classic car industry. The first sale of the month was Auctions America’s California sale where this 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster topped the numbers at $1,155,000.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Our featured Chrysler Plainsman sold for an impressive $176,000. You can check out full results here.

We didn’t feature anything from Barrett-Jackson’s Reno sale, and frankly I don’t have the time to sift through their site looking for highlights as the process there is just too clunky. So we’ll move on.

Auctions in August of course means Monterey and Pebble Beach. We’ll start with the star of the weekend: Bonhams and their Ferrari 250 GTO which ended up bringing $38,115,000, an all-time record price for any car at auction. It’s an appropriate price for the car, and not the stratospheric number many predicted. It’s a good sign. We featured a number of cars from Bonhams, including this Kissel Kar, which sold for $140,800. The other Ferrari we featured, the 1978 321 T3 F1 car sold for $2,310,000. And the other F1 car, the Brabham-Cosworth, sold for $1,034,000.

Our featured Porsche 908/03 failed to sell. Our pick for the most interesting non-feature car that sold goes to this 1913 Pope-Hartford Model 31 Portola Roadster for $192,500.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our other feature cars both sold: the Speedwell brought $869,000 and the 1908 Napier $1,034,000. Check out full results here. Next up, Mecum in Monterey, where this 1961 Ferrari 250 Series II Cabriolet was the top seller for $2,250,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

None of our feature cars broke the million dollar mark, although the Kremer-Porsche was close at $930,000. A Duesenberg we featured a long time ago and failed to sell a couple of times before, finally sold here for $1,425,000. The Shelby Turbine car failed to sell, as did the Lester-MG.

Two cars we featured a long time ago that failed to sell also turned up at this sale and failed to sell again. They were the Delage Aerosport and a 1910 Locomobile. The Avia III race car we featured from a dealership was offered here, but it too failed to meet its reserve. The one-off Lazzarrino did sell, for $135,000. Check out full results here.

RM’s Monterey sale was just as impressive as Bonhams. The top seller was the #2 of the weekend, the 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale, at $26,400,000. The Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider brought $1,017,500. The Ferrari F1-2000 sold for $1,804,000. But the Ferrari 333 failed to sell, as did the March-Cosworth. The AAR Eagle-Santa Ana sold for $104,500. What a choppy paragraph.

Cool, non-feature cars were topped by this 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale for $764,500. RM also sold the prototype of this model for considerably more, making this seem like a deal.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype brought $6,930,000 and the Lancia PF200 C sold for $1,100,000. This 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Paxton Prototype was a car I wanted to feature but didn’t get a chance to. It sold for $572,000.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Our other three feature cars were all much older. The amazing 1926 Rickenbacker sold for $946,000. The Stevens-Duryea went for $302,500 and the 1911 Mercer Raceabout, $2,530,000. Check out full results here.

Next up, Gooding & Company: $15,180,000 took home this top-selling 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Our top feature car was the Maserati 250F for $4,620,000 and the Alfa Tipo 256 was right behind it at an even $4,000,000. Our featured Duesenberg and Ferrari 330 GT Speciale both failed to meet their reserves. The AAR-Toyota Eagle GTP brought $1,045,000. Check out full results here.

Last but not least on the Monterey peninsula, Russo & Steele. Our only feature car was the Lola-Mazda from the 80s – it brought $132,000. The top sale was this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,320,000. Check out full results here.

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

Ford Explorer Sportsman

2001 Ford Explorer Sportsman Concept

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Looks pretty manly, doesn’t it? I remember concept cars of this era – seeing auto show highlights in AutoWeek or some such publication (the internet still wasn’t my main source for news) and seeing these somewhat outrageous show cars. Many from the late-90s through the early-00s have a similar look about them.

This one is based on a standard Ford Explorer. The Sportsman was designed for fishermen. It comes with fishing rods and the self-deploying running boards offer storage for said rods (really a good idea that I’m surprised we don’t actually see on production cars). The roof rack is removable. There’s actually even a built-in fish tank in the rear. *Fish not included.

The engine is a 4.6-liter V-8 making 240 horsepower and it does run and drive (although you can’t register it, unfortunately). It’s the only one like it ever built and sold four years ago for $49,500. This time around it carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1925 Star Sedan

1925 Star Model F-25 Sedan

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 29, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

There have been quite a few car companies going by the name “Star,” but only one was founded by Billy Durant after he left GM. It was an assembled car, built using pieces made by other manufacturers. The Star was the affordable line of Durant Motors, built to compete against the Model T.

Production started in 1922 and the company was phased out in 1928. The four-cylinder model was dubbed “F-25″ for 1925 only and it was the last year Star built only four-cylinder cars (a six was introduced alongside it for 1926).

This car has an older restoration, but it is simple and attractive. And usable. I saw a similar car for sale a few years ago for about $8,000 and not buying it remains one of my biggest automotive regrets. This one is nicer and should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from AA’s Auburn sale.

Duesenberg II

1983 Duesenberg II Dual Cowl Phaeton

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Replicas. Some people love them, just as many people loathe them. Shelby Cobra replicas outnumber original Cobras by what has to be at least 100-1. All of E.L. Cord’s highlights from the 1930s were re-produced years later. Auburn Speedsters, Cord 812s, and the legendary Duesenberg Model J.

The Auburns and Cords look similar, but they aren’t convincing as originals. I think what holds them back is that they have modern tires on them. Not so here – these are correct 19-inch wire wheels with whitewalls. And they sell the whole package. Nothing here seems out of the ordinary until you look under the hood where a 7.5-liter Ford V-8 sits.

There have been a couple of attempts to revive Duesenberg, one of America’s most prestigious manufacturers. August Duesenberg’s son attempted it in the 1960s (and the car sort of became the 1970s Stutz Bearcat). There were a few awkward sedans built in the 70s called Duesenbergs. The Duesenberg II was the most successful, produced between 1978 and as late as 2000 by Elite Heritage Motors Corp. of Elroy, Wisconsin. They offered five different bodies that you could’ve gotten back in the 30s – this Dual Cowl Phaeton one of them.

When they were built, prices for these “new Duesenbergs” went up to $225,000. That’s pretty expensive for a replica. But these cars have modern conveniences and look absolutely stunning and authentic. Very few people can afford a real Model J, but you can get the same feeling for a lot less with this thing. Replicas aren’t something we’ll normally feature here, but this seems more legitimate than most. Plus, they’re far rarer than the real thing, with less than 100 built.

You can buy this one for an estimated $200,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.