GT500 Super Snake

1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 17, 2013

1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

For 1967, Shelby added a bigger, more powerful Mustang to its current Mustang lineup, which consisted solely of the GT350. The new GT500 used the police interceptor engine – the 428 V8 (7.0-liters) rated at 355 horsepower. It was an immediate success and outsold the GT350 by almost 2 to 1.

This car is special. We’ll start with something I didn’t know: Carroll Shelby was the West Coast distributor for Goodyear in the late 1960s. Goodyear asked him to help showcase their new economy tire. It was to be an extended high-speed demonstration and Shelby decided to build a super GT500 for this task. They pulled a GT500 off the line and equipped it with a racing 427 – essentially the same engine that the GT40 ran at Le Mans. It put out about 600 horsepower.

Then it was equipped with the el cheapo-looking tires you see on it now and run for 500 miles at an impressive average of 142 mph (it topped out around 170!). The car was shipped to a Ford dealership in California afterward and the dealer wanted Shelby to build a run of these cars, but the price would have been exorbitant – being more expensive than the Cobra – and Shelby declined.

The car passed through various owners until the current owner acquired it and performed a “light restoration” – putting back into test mode (and finding a nearly impossible-to-find set of original skinny Goodyears – the same model used in the tire test). This is the only GT500 Super Snake built and it will bring considerably more than the $5,000 that drove it off the Ford lot in 1967. Click here for more and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Sold $1,300,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2018, $2,200,000.

Cisitalia 33DF

1954 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradente

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1954 Cisitalia 33DF Voloradenta

Here is another rare, low-volume Cisitalia. Piero Dusio started Cisitalia automobile production immediately following World War II. The first car, the 202, appeared in 1947. There was a follow-up to that model (dubbed the “303”) – and we featured one of those a few weeks ago. And there was also this: the 33DF.

I don’t know what the 33 refers to but the DF refers to it being a Fiat derivative. It is based on the Fiat 1100 – using an upgraded 1100 engine with twin Weber carburetors. The 1.1-liter straight-four makes 69 horsepower and it could propel this tiny car to speeds slightly above 100 mph. “Voloradente” supposedly means “low flying.” The aluminium body was styled by the same guy who designed the Ferrari 206 Dino.

This particular car was restored in 2008 and repainted in its original livery. It was sold an auction about a year ago where it carried a pre-sale estimate of $160,000-$200,000 before being hammered away for $189,665. The estimate this time around is between $175,000-$225,000. This is one of only 14 or 15 33DFs built – covering both coupe and spider bodystyles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $167,440.

Fiat 600 Viotti Coupe

1957 Fiat 600 Coupe by Viotti

Offered by Coys | Ascot, U.K. | April 27, 2013

1957 Fiat 500 Coupe by Viotti

The Fiat 600 (or Seicento) is, as you might expect, the slightly larger big brother of the iconic Fiat 500. The 600 was actually introduced prior – two years prior – to the 500, making the Seicento the first rear-engined Fiat.

The “600” refers to the 636cc overhead valve straight-four that was put in the car from the start of production (larger engines would be available later on). It could do 68 mph and made about 28 horsepower. It was a city car – a car for the people – and sold over a million copies in the first six years of production alone. But what if you wanted something a little more stylish?

Enter Carrozzeria Viotti, the Turin-based coachbuilder founded in 1921. They were the first Italian coachbuilder to use an actual production line and while they built bodies for prewar classics like the Alfa Romeo 1500 and Lancia Dilambda, they’re post-war work centered on small cars like this or the Fiat 1100 Giardinetta. (Yeah, they built fancier stuff too). They turned a people’s car into an attractive little coupe here and ran off a few hundred of them, with only a handful in existence today.

This car is expected to sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the lineup from this sale.

Austin-Healey Le Mans Prototype

1966 Austin-Healey Le Mans Prototype

Offered by Coys | Ascot, U.K. | April 27, 2013

1966 Austin-Healey Le Mans Prototype

Donald Healey remained involved with Austin-Healey until 1968 while the company continued to produce cars until 1972. In 1965, Mr. Healey wanted to go racing at Le Mans, so he envisioned, designed and constructed this Prototype race car to do just that.

The car doesn’t really resemble other Healeys although it was based upon the Austin-Healey Sprite (or so says the Le Mans results from the year in which Healey took on the famous 24 Hours with a two car effort). The engine is a 1.3-liter straight-four from the BMC parts bin that has been tuned for all-out performance and puts out 140 horsepower.

Its race history includes:

  • 1966 12 Hours of Sebring – 18th overall, 1st in class (with Paul Hawkins and Timo Makinen)
  • 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans – 18th, DNF (with Paddy Hopkirk and Andrew Hedges)
  • 1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 34th, DNF (with Williams Harris and Robert Lewis)

During it’s post-competition life, the car has been restored and re-painted in its 1966 Sebring color: DayGlo orange. It has also been brought up to current FIA specification as to make itself eligible for historic racing events. This is one of two such models built and it is expected to bring between $300,000-$335,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys at Ascot Racecourse.

AC Royal

1926 AC Royal Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Hendon, U.K. | April 29, 2013

1926 AC Royal Tourer

I hope you would agree that the car above looks pretty good – considering it was built in 1926 and has not been restored! That’s right, this is an all-original car. I suppose it’s possible that it has not been repainted, but it certainly looks so. The seller describes the body and interior as having a nice “patina” – which is seller code for “imperfections.”

But on an almost-90-year-old car, imperfections are character. Auto Carriers Ltd. began work on a new six-cylinder engine immediately following the First World War, but it wasn’t quite ready for production and AC still had to pay the bills. Enter the entry-level four-cylinder Royal you see here. It uses a 1.5-liter straight-four rated at 12 horsepower.

This car has had six owners from new and has been in the same family since 1954. The four-cylinder AC went out of production in 1928 once the six-cylinder really took off. This car is expected to bring between $20,000-$26,000. Click here for more and here for the rest of this sale.

Update: Sold $26,900.

Hudson Commodore 8 Convertible

1950 Hudson Commodore 8 Convertible Brougham

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 9-11, 2013

1950 Hudson Commodore 8 Convertible Brougham

There is a fabulous collection of Hudsons at this year’s Auburn Spring Sale from Auctions America. There are two 1950 Commodore 8 Convertibles, and while the other one is in nicer, brand-new condition, I think the color combo on this one is more attractive. Plus the photos are better.

The third generation of the Hudson Commodore was introduced for the 1948 model year. This generation is one of my favorite American car designs of all time. Their final year was 1952. Engine options were a straight-six or a straight-eight, as found in this car. It is 4.2-liters and makes 128 horsepower.

The convertible was a nice style – as all two-door Commodores are super-sporty looking, sharing styling cues from the Hornet, which had been honing its skills on the NASCAR circuit. This is an all-original car with 71,000 miles and three-on-the-tree. The fender skirts are what sets it apart – to me at least. And the wire wheels are off a Chrysler (and I’m not sure why). This is a $30,000-$45,000 car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $51,700.

Bugatti Type 30 Re-Body

1930 Bugatti Type 30 Dual-Cowl Torpedo

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1924 Bugatti Type 30

The Bugatti Type 30 was Bugatti’s touring car model that first went on sale in 1922. It used the same chassis as the earlier Brescia. It was built through 1926 and spawned a series of Bugatti models that would run through 1934. The engines and components would change, but the Type 30 was the initial model in what is considered to be the “30 line.”

The engine in this car is a 2.0-liter straight-eight generating between 65 and 70 horsepower, realistically. The eight-cylinder engine was more powerful than that four-cylinder in the Brescia but also had similar lightness and even more appeal.

The story on this car is that it was taken to the U.K. after WWII in the hopes of turning it into a race car. All that ended up happening was that the body was removed (and subsequently disappeared). Someone else acquired it and decided to restore it in the early-1980s. He had a new body built – a Dual-Cowl Torpedo in the style of Lavocat et Marsaud. This car also has it’s original chassis plate and engine (although it has undergone serious work).

About 600 Type 30s were built and there are some with original and more desirable coachwork. This one is nice and has been repainted in Bugatti blue within the last five years. This failed to sell at a different auction in 2008 with an approximate estimate of $225,000-$265,000. RM hasn’t published an estimate yet, but I expect something close to that, if not a little less. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $407,680.

Ex-Le Mans Ferrari 340/375

1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta Competizione by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1953 Ferrari 340 375 MM Berlinetta Competizione by Pinin Farina

This Ferrari 375 MM was one of the first 375 MMs built by Ferrari. It was constructed early in 1953 to be ready in time for the 1953 World Sportscar Championship. The 375 road car was an evolution of the 340 but for the race cars, a special 340/375MM was built – meaning it had the proven, competitive chassis of the 340 with the new, more powerful 375 engine.

That engine is a 340 horsepower 4.5-liter V12 that came straight from Ferraris Formula One car (this car was originally fitted with a 4.1-liter V12 but had the engine switched by the factory prior to the 1953 Spa 24 Hours). The body was designed and built by Pinin Farina. Three of these such cars were built and the one you are looking at was driven and raced by legends. It’s competition history includes:

  • 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans – 56th, disqualified even though it ran well (with Giuseppe Farina and Mike Hawthorn)
  • 1953 Spa 24 Hours – 4th, not running at finish (with Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi)
  • 1953 Pescara 12 Hours – 1st (with Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli)
  • 1953 Carrera Panamericana – 6th (with Maglioli, Forese Salviati and Mario Ricci)

The car passed between owners, spending time in American and British collections before the current owner acquired it in 2004. It has been professionally restored to its 1953 Le Mans livery. No estimate was available as I wrote this as the lot description had yet to be published. The last one of these (of the three made) that came up for sale failed to meet its reserve in 2005 at $3.5 million. Expect more. Click here for more info and here for more from RM at Villa Erba.

Update: Sold $12,812,800.

1998 Lamborghini Concept Car

1998 Lamborghini Pregunta

For Sale at Autodrome Paris | Paris, France

1998 Lamborghini Pregunta

Honestly, I’ve never heard of this car. But I’m no fan of concept cars and there are quite a few of them out there. But here’s the story on it:

Lamborghini was to be signed over to Volkswagen (or, more specifically, Audi) at the end of July of 1998. It was being bought by VW from Indonesian ownership (some of the darkest days of Lambo’s history). A few weeks before this was set to occur, Lamborghini contacted Heuliez – a French coachbuilder with a design office in Turin. They gave them a Diablo chassis and running gear and told them to go crazy and create a one-off supercar prototype. I guess they were burning any cash the company may have had left with the security of knowing VW would be plugging that gap soon anyway.

Lamborghini put all kinds of strict wording in their agreement that the car couldn’t be shown to the public without their approval and it must cast Lamborghini in a positive light. The result is certainly not the prettiest supercar or prototype ever created (although it does follow that 90s trend of outrageousness), but Lamborghini approved it anyway and it debuted at the Paris Auto Show in 1998. Then it went to the Geneva show in 1999.

The engine is a 530 horsepower version of the Diablo’s 5.7-liter V12. Unlike some of the Diablos, this car is rear-wheel drive only. I’ve looked at all the photos available on the website that contains the listing and I can’t find a Lamborghini badge on it anywhere. Everything says Heuliez, the company that created it. It was shown at auto shows as a Lambo though, so whatever. I usually say “concept cars don’t count” but in any case I’d call it a Lamborghini. Just one that came about during a turbulent era. VW quashed all independent design projects Lambo had going on as soon as they were acquired.

Heuliez encountered significant financial troubles in 2010 and last year, most of the concept vehicles they had retained over the years were sold off at auction. This one escaped and was acquired by a dealer in Paris, where it is currently for sale for an undisclosed amount. Click here for more.

Bugatti Superprofile

1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1930 Bugatti Type 46 Superprofile Coupe

Photo – RM Auctions

I’ll start this off by saying that this is not an original Bugatti Superprofile Coupe. It is an original Bugatti Type 46, but the body has been redone in the style of Jean Bugatti’s famous Superprofile car.

The Type 46 uses a 5.4-liter straight-eight making 140 horsepower. The car originally had a four-door sedan body on it and sometime in the past 15 years, this stunning new body was constructed by Mr. Ken Haywood in Australia. The Coupe Profilée (as Jean’s original drawings were officially referred to) bodystyle was never applied by the factory to a Type 46. One acquired an original Profilée body in the 1960s and that car is in the Schlumpf Collection, never to see the light of day again. The first factory Profilée was on a 1935 Type 50, which was once owned by Bill Harrah. It is valued at about $2 million.

This car sold in March of 2012 for $1,017,500, which was perhaps a little high, considering that, while beautiful and probably better done than any original Bugatti body, it will never be a contender at places like Pebble Beach because it isn’t a period body. And owning a Bugatti like this is all about garnering awards and patting yourself on the back for being able to afford something beautiful that somebody else made.

In all, 450 Type 46s were built between 1929 through 1933. One has a real Profilée body on it from back in the day. This one has a new Profilée body. It’s definitely more valuable than some other Type 46s, but I kind of doubt it will bring the same kind of money it brought last year. But who knows. Click here for more and here for more from what’s shaping up to be a monster sale from RM in Italy.

Update: Sold $873,600.