Woodill Wildfire

1953 Woodill Wildfire Series II

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31-September 1, 2012

Like the Californian featured yesterday, this is another 1950s fiberglass special. Well not really a “special” as it did enter production – in fact, 1953 was the first year for Robert Woodill’s sports car. It came assembled from the factory or could be had as a kit. Series II Cars were Ford based – although mechanicals from other manufacturers were used on occasion (Series I cars had Willys engines). This one has a 3.3-liter Ford V8. The car also only weighs 1,600 pounds, so it should be a performer.

The Wildfire was among the first all-fiberglass sports cars available – barely beating the Corvette to market. Only 24 are believed to have been built – 15 Series I (Willys-based) cars and nine Series II cars. This is the second-to-last Series II car built and one of only two known to exist. Woodill also sold between 100-300 kits.

This car is all-original, having been maintained since the 1970s by a Corvette collector familiar with early fiberglass sports cars. It has only covered 1,602 miles in its life. I’ve seen another Wildfire for sale a few years ago and it was red. I like this one in white better. It could be mine – or yours – for $110,000-$140,000. For the complete lot description, click here. For the rest of Worldwide’s Auburn lineup, click here.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Californian Sport Special

1955 Californian Sport Special Roadster

Offered by Worldwide Auctions | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2012

There are quite a number of fiberglass specials built in the United States in the 1950s when fiberglass was all the rage. This is one of the rarer ones. Many of these cars were built are 1940s-era Fords – engine and chassis.

This car has a 125 horsepower 3.6-lite Ford V8. This one has been restored and looks to be in fantastic shape. It looks sporty and racy. And pretty light, if not spartan. This car was introduced in 1955 – two years after the Corvette, which had a lot more going for it than any  Los Angeles-based startup.

It is estimated that only three of these were built in the 1950s – I’d bet that even less have survived. This is the only one I’ve ever seen. The estimate is $50,000-$60,000 and this car has been for sale for quite a while in Sarasota, Florida for $59,900. For more information from Worldwide Auctions, click here. To see more photos at Vintage Motors Sarasota, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Schuppan 962CR Prototype

1992 Schuppan 962CR Prototype

For Sale at Coys | Richmond, U.K.

A couple of weeks ago (or perhaps months ago, the days have been flying by) we featured a Dauer 962 Le Mans, a road car variant of the dominant race car, the Porsche 962. This is a similar idea, although the two cars look quite different – and they should, as they were designed by two different people.

Vern Schuppan, an Australian race car driver who has competed in the Indianapolis 500 and Formula One, designed this car as a tribute to his 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans winning 962. The engine is a 3.3-liter twin turbo flat-6 pushing out about 600 horsepower – basically lifted straight from the race car.

It’s a serious supercar. Sixty miles per hour comes in 3.5 seconds on the way to 230 mph. The chassis and body were designed and built by Schuppan (unlike the Dauer, which were 962s converted for road use). The price when new was $1.5 million. This was the first one built, chassis number one. Funding for the project was pulled shortly after this was built and only five or six were built in total.

This is an extremely rare opportunity to purchase an extremely rare car with unbelievable performance that still holds up against even the most modern of supercars. You’ll never pass another one on the road. To see/read more, click here. Unfortunately, Coys isn’t listing an asking price.

Duesenberg J-310

1935 Duesenberg Model J Sedan by Derham

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30-September 2, 2012

Okay, one more Model J to close out Duesenberg Week. This one is still available for you to purchase, coming up for sale at Auctions America’s Auburn Fall Sale here in a few days. This car has a somewhat convoluted history and is, like many Duesenbergs, a combination, of sorts, of two separate cars.

The body, the Derham Sedan style you see here was originally attached to J-551. The owner didn’t like the new aerodynamic design updates and waterfall grille and had Duesenberg reinstall the 1929-style grille and trim bits to the car.

Sometime later, the body was removed and the engine and chassis of J-551 were used for another project. The owner of J-310 used the original body from his car (a Judkins Limousine) for a separate project as well. Well, the remnants of both J-551 and J-310 ended up in the hands of the same owner, Homer Fitterling, who mounted the Derham body you see here on J-310. So two leftovers were combined to build this car. When Fitterling reassembled it, he added the updated Duesenberg parts to the Derham body that the original owner did not care for.

This car was owned by a number of people during the 1980s and 90s and has spent the last 10 years or so in a museum, being driven on a limited basis. It is ready to be used and you will not find another one like this as the body, with the factory updates, is one-of-a-kind. Auctions America hasn’t published an estimate, but expect it to sell for north of $500,000. The complete catalog description can be found here and click here for more from Auctions America’s Fall Auburn sale.

Update: Sold $456,500.

Duesenberg J-355

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 19, 2012

You thought Duesenberg week would have ended last week, you know… when the week ended, didn’t you? Well, I don’t know how to read a calendar. This is the final Model J that were featuring that was on offer at Pebble Beach this year.

It’s a Murphy-bodied car, the most prolific coachbuilder of Model Js. This one originally had J-204 under the hood, but was swapped for J-355 at some point. This car spent quite a while in a European automotive museum until 2011. It’s been freshened recently and is ready to cruise.

Purchasing this car would have been a great way to get your hands on a Duesenberg, relatively inexpensively, that has been out of the public eye for quite some time. The estimate was $500,000-$700,000. The catalog description is here.

Update: Sold $522,500

Gooding & Company Monterey 2012 Highlights

Gooding & Company held their very successful Monterey sale last weekend. They had the top two cars in terms of selling price. The top car was this 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster. It sold for $11,770,000 including buyer’s premium. It is an astounding car at a price that was more or less expected.

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster

Not far behind was, not surprisingly, this 1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione. This was the 1960 Chicago Motor Show Car and one of a few high-dollar Ferraris sold from the Sherman Wolf Collection. It sold for $11,275,000.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione

Other Ferraris from this collection included our featured Ferrari 340 MM Spider that brought $4,730,000. Also from this collection was the 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC that sold for $4,510,000.

1957 Ferrari 500 TRC

The final car from the Sherman Wolf collection also went for over a million dollars (unfortunately, do to the insanely high number of million dollar cars, those are the only ones we’re recapping in this rundown. Fortunately, these are also the most interesting cars). It was this 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO. If $1,045,000 isn’t a world record price for this model, it’s pretty close.

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

Our other featured Ferrari, the ex-Andy Warhol 1955 857 Sport, sold for $6,270,000. And another really high-dollar Ferrari was another California Spider, this one a 1957 LWB Prototype for $6,600,000.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Prototype

For something other than a Ferrari, check out this 1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Le Mans Sports Bobtail that brought $6,050,000.

1928 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Le Mans Sports "Bobtail"

A couple of Maseratis up next, first the ex-Jay Kay 1955 A6G/2000 Berlinetta by Frua (below). It sold for $1,650,000. And the 1959 Tipo 61 Birdcage (second below) sold for $3,520,000.

1955 Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta

Mercedes-Benz 300SLs were, as always, well represented. Two of them cracked the million dollar mark at this sale. Strangely, a Roadster was the highest-selling of them all. A white 1963 300SL Roadster sold for $1,595,000 and a blue 1955 300SL Gullwing sold for $1,127,500.

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster

There were three million dollar Bugattis at this sale, the cheapest of which being a 2008 Veyron at $1,182,500. Our featured 1920 Type 13 sold for $379,500. Our other featured Bugatti, the 1932 Type 55, failed to sell. A 1938 Type 57C Stelvio brought $1,292,500.

2008 Bugatti Veyron

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio

The other Bugatti was a beautiful yellow and black 1936 Type 57 Atalante. It sold for $1,485,000.

This 1964 Ford GT40 Prototype is the second-oldest GT40 in existence. It sold for a hefty $4,950,000.

1964 Ford GT40 Prototype

Our featured – and unbelievably awesome – 1932 Daimler Double Six sold for $2,970,000. Another English car was this 1953 Jaguar C-Type which went unsold on the block but found a buyer a few minutes later with a little behind-the-scenes work from the folks at Gooding & Co. The final price was $3,725,000.

1953 Jaguar C-Type

This 1919 Miller TNT is sort of the pre-Miller Indy Car Miller Indy Car. It’s an ex-Harrah Collection car and it sold for $1,210,000.

1919 Miller TNT

One feature car that didn’t sell was the 1911 S.P.O. Raceabout. The 1960 Porsche RS60 did, however, bringing $3,465,000. Two more million-dollar Ferraris included a 2003 Enzo for $1,430,000 and a 1962 400 Superamerica Coupe Aerodinamico for $2,365,000.

2003 Ferrari Enzo

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe Aerodinamico

This 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV sold for $1,375,000.

1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV

Duesenberg recap time! Only the ex-Clark Gable Model JN went unsold. The Model J known as “Blue J” went for $1,980,000. The Willoughby Limousine was the bargain of the bunch at $330,000 and the Murphy Convertible Sedan sold for $522,500. And okay, I lied when I said we would only highlight million dollar cars. Here are some of the more interesting lots sold, starting with a 1970 Monteverdi HAI 450 SS Prototype for $577,500.

1970 Monteverdi HAI 450 SS Prototype

And some pre-WWI cars, beginning with this 1913 Pope-Hartford Model 33 Four-Passenger Touring Phaeton. It sold for $319,000.

1913 Pope-Hartford Model 33 Four-Passenger Touring Phaeton

This 1904 Knox Tudor Touring was the earliest car at the sale. It brought $198,000.

And this really cool 1907 Panhard et Levassor Model U2 Transformable Seven-Passenger Town Car with body by Audineau & Cie is, I guess, an early version of the “retractable hardtop.” Instead of retracting, in this case, the entire top half of the town car body comes off to turn it into a large touring car. See the “before and after” photos below. How cool. It sold for $264,000.

For complete results, click here.

Mecum Monterey 2012 Highlights

Mecum’s multi-day sale at this year’s Pebble Beach weekend featured a number of high-dollar Porsches, including this year’s top sale, our featured 1972 Porsche 917/10 that brought an impressive $5,500,000. The second-highest selling car was our featured 1908 Simplex that was also impressive at $1,900,000. Our featured Duesenberg from this sale was bid to $350,000 but didn’t meet the reserve and thus failed to sell. The only other million dollar car was this $1,050,000 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider.

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder

I mentioned all the cool Porsches and one that really struck me as awesome is this 1974 911 RSR that was driven in the IROC series by Emerson Fittipaldi. There were only 15 of these built by Penske for the 1974 season. Fittipaldi drove this in the season’s first race and it was a reserve car the rest of the year. It sold for $875,000.

1974 Porsche 911 RSR IROC - Emerson Fittipaldi

Another race car, or sort of race car – a car that was designed with racing in mind but could probably be easily driven on the street, was this 1955 Devin Monza. It sold for $105,000.

1955 Devin Monza

Some other cool cars from the 1950s included this one-off 1952 Astra Coupe. This car was for sale last year in at Fantasy Junction in California for $125,000. It sold here for $43,000.

1952 Astra Coupe

Perhaps one of the most beautiful cars of the sale was this 1953 Muntz Jet. Designed and originally built by Kurtis, production was taken over by Earl “Madman” Muntz for a little while. They’re rare and they’re pretty. This one cost $75,000

1953 Muntz Jet

From large-ish American convertibles to tiny European microcars – this 1958 Goggomobil TS400 brought a small-ish $26,000.

1958 Goggomobil TS400

Another teeny-tiny European car was this 1970 Autobianchi Bianchina Panoramica. I’ve seen a number of Bianchina Transformables (the convertible) but I’ve never seen the wagon variant. It sold for $17,500.

1970 Autobianchi Bianchina Panoramica

This 1977 International Scout SSII (yes, I’m out of transitions) is a very rare find – especially in this condition. It sold for $23,000.

1977 International Scout SSII

Continuing with the theme of utility, I thought this 1956 Hudson Rambler Station Wagon was pretty cool. I’ve actually seen one of these up close and they are kind of bizarre looking – in a very good way. It sold for $19,500.

1956 Hudson Rambler Wagon

And finally, we always seem to be able to find some oddball Corvette at Mecum auctions (and Auctions America’s sales too, I guess). This sale was no different. Witness: the 2009 Corvette SV 9 Competizione. Only four of these were built (aftermarket). They have an all-carbon fiber body, so don’t ding it – or chip it. It sold for $44,000.

2009 Chevrolet Corvette SV 9 Competizione

For complete results, click here.

Duesenberg J-270

1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton by LeBaron

Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

This Model J has the LeBaron Dual Cowl body on it – my favorite bodystyle. This body was originally attached to a different chassis and engine than it is now. When it was first bought, it was wrecked and the chassis was junk. So Duesenberg removed the body, repaired it, and fitted it to a new chassis and engine, the one it currently has, including engine J-270.

One reason this car doesn’t really look like all the other LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaetons is because in 1937, the then-owner took the car to Derham and had them streamline it a little. There are aspects of this car that scream “1930s Art Deco” instead of “Big 1920s Touring Car.” The skirted fenders and bullet headlights are an awesome additions.

This car has been with the current owner for almost 60 years. It has been used regularly and never restored, just mechanically maintained. The two tone blue paint on the Sweep-Panel body (which is hard to see in the photo above) has helped create the nickname “Blue J” for this car.

For being unrestored, this is a truly impressive automobile. The pre-sale estimate was $2,000,000-$2,750,000. The complete catalog description is here.

Update: Sold $1,980,000.

Duesenberg J-108

1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

This early Model J was the first one ordered from Duesenberg as a chassis-only. It was purchased by the wife of a department store owner in Los Angeles who also owned a handful of Model A Duesenbergs. The chassis was shipped to California where it was delivered to the Walter M. Murphy Company in Pasadena to be bodied.

Murphy built the Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe to the owner’s specifications, including the white paint that covers both the body and the chassis (a somewhat angelic touch, I guess). A couple of owners later, the car was restored by Fran Roxas in 2010, having covered a mere 73 miles since.

Although the fact that we’re featuring a boatload of these cars, it should be remembered that some Model Js may never come up for sale. They have become museum pieces. Especially if they hold a certain distinction. This is a chance to own a very early Model J. A chance that doesn’t happen all too often. The price was estimated between $1,800,000-$2,400,000. The complete description is here.

Update: Sold $1,897,500.

Update: Sold, Gooding & Co., Monterey 2013, $2,365,000.

Duesenberg J-430

1931 Duesenberg Model J LWB Limousine by Willoughby

Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

Photo – Gooding & Company

A few weeks ago we featured a car very similar to this. J-306 is also a Willoughby Limousine, but it is green and was offered by Mecum during the Pebble Beach weekend as well. The write up for J-306 included a history of Willoughby, so we’ll keep this one short.

The other thing that differs between these cars is that this one is original. It has been repainted – in the late 1950s. It is in amazing condition for a car this old. Then again, this car was owned by people who loved Duesenbergs for most of its life. The owners appreciated the car and maintained it. It has also spent time in museums.

A decent number of Duesenbergs have been rebodied over the years. Many more have been restored (or over-restored). This one is all original – a 1930s time warp car. It is way cool. The pre-sale estimate was also in the affordable-for-a-Duesenberg range of $400,000-$500,000. The complete lot description can/could be found here.

Update: Sold $330,000.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Hershey 2019, $451,000.