March 2013 Auction Round-Up

The first auction that happened in March was Bonham’s Oxford sale. Top sale went to this 1968 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Re-Creation that was converted from an original 1968 Ferrari 365GT. It sold for $382,700. A real 250 GT would’ve brought much more.

Other interesting cars included this 1975 Lotus Elan +2S 103/5 Coupe, which for $15,600, seems like a bargain for a Lotus Elan.

Our feature cars both sold. First, the 1922 Benjamin cyclecar brought $29,500. And the Charron Charronette sold for $12,150. Other cool cars included this 1927 McLaughlin-Buick Model 28.496 Master Six Tourer. It sold for $90,200.

This 1989 Royale Sabre Roadster was a throwback car built in the U.K. in the early 1990s based around a late 1980s Ford. It’s definitely interesting for $5,200.

And finally, this 1918 De Dion-Bouton Model HD 15CV 2.9-Litre Charabanc may not have been too expensive. It also wasn’t the cheapest car at the sale. But for the sheer number of doors on this thing, it qualifies as interesting. It could’ve been yours for $13,800. Click here for full results.

Next up was Gooding’s sale at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The top sale there was this 1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer for $2,750,000.

Among our four feature cars, only the Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante failed to sell. Of the two Duesenbergs, the Model JN brought $594,000 and the Model J brought $462,000. One interesting car was this 1938 H.R.G. Airline Coupe with coachwork by A. Crofts. It sold for $253,000.

The rest of our highlights are all million-dollar cars, most of them Ferraris. At the low end, a 1969 365 GTC brought $1,072,500.

Then there was the 1966 275 GTS for $1,127,500 followed by a 1995 F50 for $1,375,000 (second below).

Two similar million dollar Ferraris – see if you can tell the difference (for $750,000). First, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for $1,650,000 (first below). Then, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy for $2,365,000. They look identical but aren’t (obviously).

Our featured Fiat 8V Supersonic brought $1,760,000. The final million dollar car was this 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster with coachwork by Brewster. It brought $1,980,000. Full results can be found here.

Then we move on to RM Auctions’ sale also held at Amelia Island. The top sale was out featured Duesenberg SJ by Walker-LaGrande for $4,510,000. Our featured Pegaso was the only one of our feature cars that failed to sell. As is normally the case, the million-dollar club featured a few Ferraris including a 1965 275 GTB (below) for $1,375,000 and a 1952 225 Sport Tuboscocca by Vignale for $1,237,500.

The only other million dollar cars were our featured Lozier, which more than doubled the lower end of its estimate and sold for $1,100,000. The other was this 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston which sold for $1,512,500.

Interesting sales were highlighted by this gorgeous 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Langenthal that I so desperately wanted to feature but ran out of time. It sold for $330,000.

A couple of our older feature cars were the Derham Tourster Duesenberg for $825,000. And the beautiful Hispano-Suiza Transformable Torpedo brought $495,000. This 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Convertible Sedan by Floyd-Derham sold for $473,000.

The three oldest cars we featured all sold. First, the Tribelhorn Electric brought $77,000. The unrestored Locomobile sold for $176,000. And the big, brilliant Austin Touring car sold for $379,500 – shy of its estimate. There were a trio of rare Cord L-29s at this sale and these two were very interesting. First, this 1930 L-29 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck sold for $990,000.

Then there was this 1929 L-29 Town Car by d’Ieteren Freres that sold for $154,000. Our featured Marmon Two-Door Prototype sold for $407,000. Check out full results here.

Now on to Osenat’s auction, where the top sale was a 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman convertible, of which there was no reasonably good picture I could snag. It sold for $129,000. Both of our feature cars sold. The Darracq-Italiana brought $32,985 while the the Voisin Flatbed Prototype sold for $23,220. The other most interesting car was another Voisin prototype, a 1956 Biscooter C31 Prototype with bodywork I haven’t seen before. It brought $25,800. Check out full results here.

And finally, Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. Our featured Ron Fellows Edition Corvette sold for $52,800. Our featured Baldwin Motion Phase III Corvette brought $136,400. The 1977 Panther DeVille did not sell. Top sale went to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that sold for $880,000, which sounds like a new high sale for Auctions America.

Our other feature car, the Lexus LFA, sold for $319,000. Other cool cars included this 1960 Chevrolet Nomad for $26,400.

And finally, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight sold for $106,700. Check out full results here.

All-Original Mercury Voyager

1957 Mercury Voyager

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 5, 2013

1957 Mercury Voyager

The 1950s were a great time for American station wagons and American cars in general. Chevrolet Nomads are very popular and show up everywhere. You don’t see Mercury Voyager’s all that often. Or ever.

The model was introduced as Mercury’s mid-priced, full-sized wagon for 1957. There was a cheaper alternative and one more expensive. It was available in a two-door and a four-door. This car features a 6.0-liter V8 making 290 horsepower.

Only 2,283 two-door Voyagers were made in 1957, so this car is quite rare. It has spent a long time in a car museum and is entirely original – right down to the paint. It’s listed as in “As-New” condition and looks the part. This is a $20,000-$30,000 car. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Mecum’s Houston lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Chrysler Newport Pace Car

1941 Chrysler Newport Indianapolis 500 Pacemaker by LeBaron

Offered by RM Auctions | Fort Worth, Texas | April 27, 2013

1941 Chrysler Newport Indianapolis 500 Pacemaker by LeBaron

The Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton was a limited-production car built by Chrysler in 1940 and 1941. U.S. automotive production ceased at the end of 1941 to make way for war production, making this the last truly grand pre-war American automobile.

Ford had just introduced the Continental and GM was showcasing its concept car in the form of the Buick Y-Job. Chrysler needed to show that they could do style as well and the Newport project was born. Walter P. Chrysler died in 1940 and soon after, his successor approached Ralph Roberts at the famed coachbuilder LeBaron to design a two-seat and four-seat concept car. The two-seater was the Thunderbolt, and the four-seat was the Newport. One of my favorite parts of this story is one of legend: that Roberts wanted to show what a 1941 Duesenberg Dual Cowl would have looked like had they stayed solvent.

Chrysler liked what they saw and ordered five more examples (of each) to be built – in 90 days – in time for the 1941 auto show season at the end of 1940. The Newport had flowing lines and hideaway headlights and drove up excitement for other Chrysler models. This particular car was the only Newport built that had exposed front headlights. And it was chosen to pace the 1941 Indianapolis 500. After the race, it became the personal car of Walter P. Chrysler Jr.

The engine is a 143 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-eight. This car was in all-original condition when it was acquired in 2000 by its then-owner. It was painted light green with green interior – what Walter Jr. wanted after he took the car home. It was sold by RM at Amelia Island in 2009 for $687,500. It has apparently been restored – or at least repainted to its, presumably, original color scheme. It is expected to sell for between $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

Opel GT

1972 Opel GT

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 4, 2013

1972 Opel GT

The Opel GT was one of three Opels that have ever been sold in the United States under the Opel marque. It was sold in Europe as well, of course. It was a sports car – new territory for Opel when it went on sale in 1968. The body has been compared to that of the 1968 Corvette – but smaller.

There were a number of differences between the limited years that these cars were built. The first year, a number of them were hand-built. The next set of cars had a smaller 1.1-liter engine and only about 3,500 of those were built. Then production ramped up and a total of about 103,000 were built by the end of production in 1973. The car you see here uses a 1.9-liter straight four that makes 102 horsepower.

These were sold in the U.S. so they are out there – but they aren’t all that common. This car was never completely restored, but just restored-as-needed and it looks great. The paint is new, as are some trim bits and pieces. It sold new for $3,400 and today it sits as a $7,000-$14,000 car. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach.

Update: Sold $6,050.

Japan’s First Supercar

1967 Toyota 2000GT

Offered by RM Auctions | Fort Worth, Texas | April 27, 2013

1967 Toyota 2000GT

Toyota built small sports cars prior to this, the wonderful 2000GT. But they didn’t even design the 2000GT (much like today’s GT86/Scion FR-S where the bulk of the work was done by Subaru. Makes you wonder if Toyota can do anything exciting on their own). Yamaha designed it did much of the work. They also built it for Toyota.

The body is aluminium and it sits very low – handling was excellent. They were also luxurious on the inside with wood trim and some had air conditioning. They were luxury GT cars that rivaled Europe’s top GT cars for luxury and performance – but not necessarily prestige. Not until recently anyway. This is widely considered the first collectible Japanese car and the first supercar from the country as well. It also put the world on notice that they could build serious cars – which was the point of the project, as Toyota really didn’t make any money off of them.

The engine is a 2.0-liter straight six from Toyota that was tuned by Yamaha. Power was rated at 150 horses. Only 337 were built in total – 233 of them with this engine. They cost about $6,800 when new and have appreciated significantly with a pre-sale estimate on this car between $650,000-$850,000. Click here to read more and here for more of the Don Davis collection.

Update: Sold $1,155,000.

Duesenberg JN-570

1934 Duesenberg Model JN SWB Convertible Sedan by Rollston

For sale at RK Motors Charlotte | Charlotte, North Carolina

1934 Duesenberg Model JN-570 Rollston SWB Convertible Sedan

I randomly came across this Duesenberg for sale at a collector car dealership in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a Model JN – so it’s certainly pretty as it had mid-life cycle styling refinements. All Model JNs had Rollston bodywork and only 10 were built before Duesenberg shut down. This is one of three JN Rollston Convertible Sedans built.

This car looks like a two-door convertible coupe, but it does have to rear doors tucked behind the mains. It rides on a short wheelbase chassis, when it seemed most later Model Js were long wheelbase cars. Ownership history is known from new. It was originally black but when it was restored a few years ago it was given this attractive maroon-ish color.

Bought new in Texas, this car has seen numerous owners – including some time spent in the Blackhawk Collection. And it’s matching numbers – chassis, body and engine – engine no. 570 – that big straight-eight engine making 265 horsepower. The price isn’t listed, but it says it had a $1 million restoration and I’m guessing they want to recoup that investment. Click here to read more.

Yarborough Special Cyclone

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Yarborough Special

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 4-6, 2013

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Yarborough Special

Photo – Mecum

Ford – make that, Mercury – was involved in NASCAR racing in the late 1960s. For 1969, their NASCAR model was the Cyclone. And NASCAR demanded that any car a manufacturer raced needed to be produced for the street – or homologated. So Mercury took their Cyclone and made it more aerodynamic to make it more competitive on the circuit.

So they built a few road models – “few” being the operative word. NASCAR mandated that about 500 be built. Mercury was feeling generous in 1969 and built 503. They built them all in the first few weeks of 1969 only. It was essentially the same car as the Ford Torino Talladega.

The body was a Cyclone fastback (or “Sportsroof”) with a nose extension. The engine was  a 5.8-liter Ford V-8 (the race car got a 7.0-liter). Horsepower was about 290. Two models were offered, this one being a “Yarborough Special” named for NASCAR superstar and legend Cale Yarborough. Only 285 of this version was built and the red trim sets it apart from its sister car (you can read more here).

Update: Sold $26,000.

Cyclone Spoiler: Gurney Special

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Gurney Special

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 4-6, 2013

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Gurney Special
Photo – Mecum

This is the other version of the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II (if you’re linking here from somewhere on the site, you can read more about these cars above). It’s interesting that Ford would name a car after Dan Gurney – he wasn’t a NASCAR regular (even though he has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history at 31.25% – the highest among drivers who started more than 3 races). He ran races between 1962 and 1968 – just 16 races. And he won 5 of them (and he did drive Mercurys for owner Bud Moore). Pretty incredible.

Dan Gurney is, hands down, one of the best race car drivers that America has ever produced. Mercury built 218 Gurney Specials for 1969 in honor of him. The blue trim on this one sets it apart from the Yarborough Special. Both of these cars look incredible and are likely coming from the same home. You can read more about this one here and see what else Mecum has to offer here.

Update: Sold $22,000.

A Pair of Mercury Cyclone Spoiler IIs

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Yarborough Special

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 4-6, 2013

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler Yarborough Special

Ford – make that, Mercury – was involved in NASCAR racing in the late 1960s. For 1969, their NASCAR model was the Cyclone. And NASCAR demanded that any car a manufacturer raced needed to be produced for the street – or homologated. So Mercury took their Cyclone and made it more aerodynamic to make it more competitive on the circuit.

So they built a few road models – “few” being the operative word. NASCAR mandated that about 500 be built. Mercury was feeling generous in 1969 and built 503. They built them all in the first few weeks of 1969 only. It was essentially the same car as the Ford Torino Talladega.

The body was a Cyclone fastback (or “Sportsroof”) with a nose extension. The engine was  a 5.8-liter Ford V-8 (the race car got a 7.0-liter). Horsepower was about 290. Two models were offered, this one being a “Yarborough Special” named for NASCAR superstar and legend Cale Yarborough. Only 285 of this version was built and the red trim sets it apart from its sister car (you can read more here).

Update: Sold $26,000.

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1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Gurney Special

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 4-6, 2013

1969 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Gurney Special

This is the other version of the Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II (if you’re linking here from somewhere on the site, you can read more about these cars above). It’s interesting that Ford would name a car after Dan Gurney – he wasn’t a NASCAR regular (even though he has one of the highest winning percentages in NASCAR history at 31.25% – the highest among drivers who started more than 3 races). He ran races between 1962 and 1968 – just 16 races. And he won 5 of them (and he did drive Mercurys for owner Bud Moore). Pretty incredible.

Dan Gurney is, hands down, one of the best race car drivers that America has ever produced. Mercury built 218 Gurney Specials for 1969 in honor of him. The blue trim on this one sets it apart from the Yarborough Special. Both of these cars look incredible and are likely coming from the same home. You can read more about this one here and see what else Mecum has to offer here.

Update: Sold $22,000

A Chinese Classic

1974 Hongqi CA770

For Sale at The Auto Collections | Las Vegas, Nevada

1974 Hongqi CA770

Say what? This is actually a really exciting car to see for sale in the United States. The Chinese automobile industry is just starting to take off (I could throw some numbers at you but I won’t. I wrote a thesis-ish paper in college about two years ago regarding it but I don’t want to bore you). But the industry has actually been around longer than 10 years.

Hongqi (which means Red Flag, the name by which the cars are sometimes referred to in Western media) is owned by FAW (First Automobile Works). The cars were the first domestically produced passenger automobiles in China. They were introduced in 1958, essentially as a copy of a 1950s Chrysler. An update came in 1963 and it was known as the CA770, the car you see here.

They were built for elite members of the Communist Party. It used the same engine as its predecessor, a 197 horsepower 5.6-liter V-8 (also a Chrysler design). This model was produced until 1980. Only about 1,600 of these cars (and the earlier model) were made in total. So they are very rare to begin with.

Then you throw the curveball: this car is in the U.S. It is one of very few (it could be the only one) Chinese cars (and not those little electric things) in this country. It is almost certainly the only “classic” Chinese car to have reached these shores. No one’s really collecting them because most people don’t know they are out there. Russian cars have a little bit of a following, but this is a whole new ballgame. The Auto Collections bill it as “the very first collector car to ever be exchanged in the USA with China.” It’s interesting. It’s for sale. I want it, and any collector of interesting cars should too. Click here for more.