Maserati 300S

1955 Maserati 300S

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 11, 2013

1955 Maserati 300S

The Maserati 300S was a development of the Maserati 200S – a competent sports racing car in its own right. The 300S was introduced for 1955 and produced through 1958. In all, 28 were constructed.

The cars use a 3.0-liter straight-six making about 245 horsepower. This car was ordered by and delivered new to Briggs Cunningham. He brought it to America so his driver Bill Spear could campaign it. It’s race history includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • 1955 12 Hours of Sebring – 3rd (with Bill Spear and Sherwood Johnston)
  • 1955 SCCA National Sports Car Championship – 2nd, in Round 4 (with Spear)
  • 1955 SCCA Nationals (Road America) – 5th (with Spear)
  • 1955 Watkins Glen Grand Prix – 2nd (with Spear)

The car left Spear’s ownership at the end of 1955 and the next owner campaigned it at various SCCA events, although less competitively. In the 1970s, it was used in some historic races before being sold to a collector who preserved it. The current owner acquired it around 2006.

The car is offered in “race-prepared” condition. This is one of the premier racing models from the very competitive mid-1950s: the era of Jaguar D-Types, Porsche 550 Spyders, Ferrari Monzas and the like. It’s one of the finest racing cars from some of the golden years of post-war sports car racing. And it’s in all-original condition. It is expected to sell for between $5,500,000-$7,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,093,965.

The Only W196 Mercedes in Private Hands

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 12, 2013

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R

There’s been a lot of talk about this car and its forthcoming auction held at Bonhams’ sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There’s talk of it breaking all kinds of auction records. It seems every time a car comes with that kind of talk, it mysteriously disappears and is never auctioned because it cannot be authenticated. Well this one can.

The W196 was Mercedes-Benz’s entry for the 1954 and 1955 Formula One seasons. Their drivers included Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss – two of the biggest names in the history of motorsport. Mercedes withdrew from competition of all kinds in 1955, and they went out on top with this car.

This is the only W196 that is not owned by Mercedes themselves or housed in a mega-museum. It is the only surviving W196 to have won multiple Grands Prix. Fangio clinched his second Drivers’ title driving this car. And it remains in nearly that state today – unrestored, original and complete. Mercedes has inspected the car and said that, with the exception of a few pieces, this is exactly how the car was prepared for its final race in 1955. That’s amazing.

Chassis #00006/54 can be lightly prepped and run in the condition it is in today. No need to restore it (please don’t!). The mechanicals are described as being pretty complex for 1954 and the engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter straight-eight making about 290 horsepower. It was a beast and its competition history is as follows:

  • 1954 German Grand Prix (Nürburgring) – 1st, from Pole (with Juan Manual Fangio)
  • 1954 Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten) – 1st, with Fastest Lap (with Fangio – who clinched his second title by winning this race)
  • 1954 Italian Grand Prix (Monza) – 4th (with Hans Hermann)
  • 1954 Spanish Grand Prix (Pedralbes) – 12th, DNF (with Hermann)
  • 1955 Italian Grand Prix (Monza) – 11th, DNF (with Karl Kling)

After its final race, the car came into the control of Daimler-Benz’s “Exhibition Department,” which showed the car at events around the world. It was then used for testing in the 1970s before Benz swapped it for another car at a museum in England. When the museum wanted to add on to the their building, they sold the car. The new owner sold it a while later to a man who paid a world record (and undisclosed) price for it. In the 1990s, it was acquired by Friedhelm Loh, a German businessman, who ran the car in a few historic races such as the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Then he sold it. Now it can be yours, if you happen to be wealthy in the most villainous of ways.

Obviously, no estimate was provided for this car because anything that has sold for a “world record price” is unlikely to have an estimate attached to it. It should bring an incredible amount – should it actually meet its reserve. I have to say, this is a very exciting car, as cars of this magnitude so rarely come up for sale. And to think, what could end up being the world’s most expensive car could have plaid seats! Only 14 W196s were built and only nine survived until Daimler decided to restore a written-off chassis. Now there are ten of them – and this is the only one you can buy. Daimler owns seven of them and two are in other museums.

Click here for more information and photos and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $29,614,692.

Duesenberg J-562

1935 Duesenberg Model J Dual-Cowl Phaeton

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 29-September 1, 2013

1935 Duesenberg Model J-562 Dual-Cowl Phaeton

This is an actual Model J Duesenberg but it’s had some work done to it. When new, it was delivered to the Vice-President of the Cord Corporation with a LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton body that looked exactly like the one you see here.

Apparently he used the car for some time before putting a Willoughby Berline body on the car and selling it as a new car (nothing like being the head of an automaker and more or less just making up a car’s “newness” factor because it’s convenient to you). Anyway, it sold and the chassis/engine numbers are both near the very end of Model J production – almost as high as you can go as 1937 was the final year for Duesenberg.

Some time later, the car was re-fitted with the body you see here. It’s an exacting re-creation of the original LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton. It is not original but plays the part very well. It has also had a supercharger added to it to bring the 6.9-liter straight-eight up to “SJ” specification and 320 horsepower. It is not a factory SJ car.

This is a very desirable body style, even though it is not original. But it should still bring a very nice price (in the $600,000-$1,000,000 range). Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America’s Auburn Fall sale.

Update: Sold $858,000.

Update II: Not sold, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2015, high bid of $700,000.

Update III: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Motor City 2015, $852,500.

Speedwell GT

1960 Austin-Healey Speedwell GT

Offered by Coys | Woodstock, Oxfordshire, U.K. | June 29, 2013

1960 Austin-Healey Speedwell GT

The Speedwell GT was a version of the Austin-Healey Sprite that was intended for racing. It was developed by Speedwell – an outside tuning company – and there were some noticeable differences between the Sprite and the GT.

First of all, the Sprites are commonly referred to as “Bugeye” (or Frogeye) Sprites because of their inset headlights that gave them a unique – if not dorky – look. This car has the lights in a more traditional place and it’s a fixed-top coupe.

Speedwell was founded by John Sprinzel, Len Adams and George Holbert in the late-1950s. The GT was designed by Frank Costin, brother of Cosworth co-founder Mike Costin. This is one of very few factory-built Speedwell GTs and it is based around a 1961 Sprite Mk I. The engine is a 948cc straight-four making 43 horsepower. Many of the new body panels were aluminium to save weight. It’s a quick car for its class.

The car was campaigned in the 1960s. It’s racing history includes:

  • 1966 500 Miles of Brands Hatch – 17th (with Keith Grant and Grahame White)
  • 1966 1000km Nürburgring – 32nd, 2nd in class (with Grant and White)
  • 1966 GP Mugello – Not Classified, 2 laps down (with Grand and White)

In the 1970s, it was raced and then parked and forgotten until it was rediscovered in the late-1980s and restored. It has appeared at the Goodwood Revival three times since and is in race-ready condition. It should sell for between $75,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ Blenheim Palace sale.

Oldest, Lowest-Mileage, Unrestored Corvette

1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Champaign, Illinois | June 29, 2013

1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

The Chevrolet Corvette was introduced for 1953 and it was powered by a 150 horsepower “Blue Flame” six (3.9-liter straight-six). It was a sports car but performance really wasn’t mind-blowing. A V-8 would come in 1955 to match Ford’s Thunderbird.

The Blue Flame engine was the only engine available in 1953 and 1954. This is one of 3,640 cars built in 1954 (’53s and ’55s are much rarer). On the plus side, ’54 Corvettes were available in more than just white, although this car still sports its original Polo White paint.

There is something extremely special about this ride: it is known as the oldest, lowest-mileage, unrestored Corvette in existence. It’s covered just 2,331 miles in its life – and there’s a reason for that. The original owner drove it until 1959, when he ordered it buried under one of this stores until 2000. It has been coined the “entombed Corvette.” It was exhumed in the 1980s and preserved since. If you want to see what a 1954 Corvette looked like when it left the factory, this is the car you want to see.

A perfect ’54 Vette will bring about $100,000 at auction. With “survivors” being very much in right now, we’ll see what kind of premium this car brings. Click here for more and here for the rest of the lineup from Mecum’s Bloomington Gold sale.

Update: Not sold.

How To Get Involved in the Classic Car Industry

The current popularity of the classic car industry is now bigger than ever! With over 28,000 people in the UK earning a living directly from the industry, which is a vast increase from what it was just 5 years ago. The industry has been named the ‘£4 million hobby’ due to the massive number of people who spend hundreds of thousands of pounds a year on buying and modifying these classic cars.  The industry has boomed in the past few years, despite the recession.

There are many ways to get involved in the industry. Due to the large number of people interested in the industry, you are never far away from a car enthusiast or club! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in cars or classic cars, buying or restoring, you will always need to begin by conducting research. It is vitally important that you know what interests you, what is available, and what your budget is. Once you have begun to look into what you want, you can see if there are any local clubs or organisations – by doing this you can meet other people who are also conducting similar projects. Here you can share tips and ideas, and also find out more about the car industry.



The next step is buying your car. Whether you want to buy a fully restored car, or a car that needs restoring, you will need to look in similar places. Many classic cars are sold online at online actions, and also on specific classic car websites. Buying a classic car is mostly the same as buying a regular car, however there are more specific places in which you can buy from, and a lot more questions involved. In addition to the internet, you can find classic cars at car auctions, in magazines, etc. however the internet will allow you to have the widest variety of choice and information. You can also sometimes buy cars, or make an offer on a classic car, at a car show. Car shows are conducted all year round at thousands of different locations and by countless organisations, and cover all different types of cars.

Once you have found a car, or a few cars you like, you will need to decide whether or not it/they are the perfect car for you. You need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the car within my budget?
  • Will I be able to restore the car myself? Or will I need help? If so do I know how to find help?
  • Do I have the time and space to restore the car?

When buying your car, it is important that you ask the seller anything that you need to know – after all it’s your decision whether or not you buy, the seller needs to make sure you are happy with it. The main points you should cover are the cars history, any major & minor problems with the engine, mechanics, electronics (if it has any) etc., and why the seller is selling the car – this is important as it could be that the car is going to be harder to restore, or there are underlying problems or issues with the car. When viewing the car, you should also conduct a visual inspection and test drive (if you can, if the car is safe to be driven), to get a better insight into the car and what you are buying.

Once you have decided to buy the car, your next step is to restore it. This could take weeks, months or even years. When restoring the car, you will need to ensure that you research into how to restore the car, where to buy parts, and try to gain some inspiration. Restoring your car will not be an easy job, and will take time, money, practice and motivation – but it’ll all be worth it in the end.

ScreenHunter_21 (Image) 
This guest post comes to us courtesy of Amanda Walters, a journalist, blogger, poet and an artist. She has written for various websites including Huffington Post, DailyWaffle and had her concrete poetry work exhibited at university events in the UK. She loves to network, attend events across the UK, and loves to learn in order to expand her horizons and gain inspiration from those around her. Follow her on twitter.

Bonhams/H&H June 2013 Highlights

Bonhams’ Banbury Run sale was held last week and the top sale was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 which sold for $208,817.

1966 Aston Martin DB6

Our feature cars both sold. The 1899 Columbia Motor Buggy sold for $17,966. The ex-works demonstrator Javan R1 sold for $17,068. Interesting cars included this 1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Barker. It sold for $34,136.

1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe by Barker

Other cool cars included this 1929 Morgan Anzani Aero – a fairly early Morgan three-wheeler. It sold for $44,916.

1929 Morgan Anzani Aero

And finally, this 1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus “Rally Car.” These are moderately cool cars (the early-80s weren’t exactly “cool car” times) and this one sold for $17,966. Click here for full results.

1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus

Next up was H&H Auctions’ sale held at Rockingham Castle in the U.K. Our featured AC Ace Brooklands sold for $19,342. Top sale was this 1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe which brought $226,834.

1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe

Interesting sales were definitely led by this 1918 Le Zebre Sports. I don’t remember coming across it when I looked for cars to feature, otherwise I surely would have. It sold for $123,088.

1918 Le Zebre Sports

Other cars included this pretty 1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer (first below) which sold for $18,024 and the 1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer (second below) which went for $58,027. Check out complete results here.

1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer

1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer

1945 Deutsch-Bonnet Race Car

1945 Deutsch-Bonnet Type DB Sport

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 23, 2013

1945 Deutsch-Bonnet Type DB Sport 2

Deutsch-Bonnet (which would later become known simply as “D.B.”) began building racing cars in the late-1930s, just prior to war breaking out. They picked up right where they left off immediately after the conclusion of World War II.

This car competed in the first race held in France after the war and it was one of only two cars entered that had actually been built after the war (both were Type DBs) – and they had front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension. This car uses a 2.0-liter straight-four engine.

I’ll attempt to break down this car’s complete racing record:

  • 1945 Coupe de Paris – 6th (with René Bonnet)
  • 1946 Grand Prix of Nice – DNF (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 Grand Prix of Marseille – 3rd (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 Coupe de la Ville de Saint Etienne – 2nd (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 120km Cup – 2nd (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 Grand Prix de Bourgogne – DNF (with Bonnet)
  • 1946 Cup of Nantes – DNF (with Bonnet)
  • 1947 Coupe de Paris – DNF (with Bonnet)
  • 1948 Coupe de Pairs – 5th (with Bonnet)
  • 1948 12 Hours of Paris – 14th (with Bonnet)
  • 1949 Grand Prix d’Aix-les-Bains – 3rd (with René Abbo)
  • 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans – 24th, DNF (with Bonnet and Charles Deutsch)
  • 1949 Grand Prix de l’ACF du Comminges – DNF (with René Simone)
  • 1949 Côte de Bellevue – 2nd (with Simone)
  • 1949 Coupes du Salon – 7th (with Simone)
  • 1950 Coupe de Marseille – 2nd (with Simone)
  • 1950 Coupes de Vitesse – 5th in class (with Simone)
  • 1950 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Simone and Bruno Marchio)
  • 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans – 50th, DNF (with Simone and Michel Arnaud)
  • 1950 Grand Prix de Rouen – 2nd (with Simone)
  • 1950 German Grand Prix (at Nurburgring) – 8th in Class (with Simone)
  • 1950 Grand Prix of Cadours – 1st (with Simone)

It competed here and there from 1951 through 1958, but it had quite the important race history up to then. It spent the next 25 years being driven around Nice on the French Riviera. In 1974 it was purchased by the current owner who dug into the history of the car to find out what he had. Yes, he had scored big.

The chassis (chassis no. 5) is original and it is stated that so is 80% of the bodywork. The car has competed in a number of historic races including five appearances in the Le Mans Classic. It is eligible for almost every historic event and is road legal. This is one of the first race cars (actually the second) built in France (and maybe Europe) after the conclusion of the Second World War. No estimate is given so that should be a sign that it could be rather pricey. Click here for more info and for a ton of old photos. And here for the rest of Osenat’s auction lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Jag XJR-5

1982 Jaguar XJR-5

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 17, 2013

1982 Jaguar XJR-5

Jaguar really didn’t do much for itself as a sporting marque between the years of about 1955 and 1980. Sure, some of their cars competed in the hands of privateers over the years, but a factory effort was missing. That changed when Bob Tullius’ Group 44 race team was staring down a shut down.

Jaguar came calling and essentially absorbed the race team to be their factory effort in the prototype arena. The goal was to compete in IMSA GTP and the FIA World Endurance Championship (and later, Le Mans). It’s very aerodynamic and uses an aluminium tub, Kevlar composite body panels and Lockheed disc brakes. The engine is a mid/rear-mounted 6.0-liter V-12 making 625 horsepower. If geared correctly, this thing can do 217 mph.

You’re looking at the first XJR-5 built. It wears serial number 001 and it’s race history consists of the following:

  • 1982 Road America 500 Miles – 3rd overall, 1st in class (with Bob Tullius and Bill Adams)
  • 1982 Six Hours of Mid-Ohio – DNS after a practice crash (with Tullius and Adams)
  • 1983 100 Mile Laguna Seca – 2nd (with Tullius)

Bob Tullius owned this car after its brief racing career ended and he drove it at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was acquired directly from him by its current owner. It has been recently restored and track-tested.

This is a historically significant race car: it was the first XJR prototype and it spawned a series of successful prototypes (and even a sports car) that were competitive for the next 11 years. One of these last sold in 2006 for less than $250,000. Things may have changed little since then. We’ll see. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $475,000).

S/N: 001

Barzoi 2

1977 Fournier-Marcadier Barzoi 2

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 23, 2013

1977 Fournier-Marcadier Barzoi 2

Photo – Osenat

Okay, so this isn’t the greatest picture in the world, but I can’t tell you the last time I saw one of these come up for sale. And you get the idea of how freakish this thing really looks from this photo.

The weird inset reverse-pop-up headlights are one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen – it’s like KITT’s nerdy kid brother. If you look at the panel in front of the lights, you’ll notice that it pops up and shield the lights when not in use, creating a slick aerodynamic front profile. The lot description describes it as “James Bond”-ish and I think that is apt. If I didn’t know any better, I could picture this thing as a submarine.

This was not a kit car, unlike the Barquette above. Well – not kits that consumers could put together anyway. The chassis is out from under a Simca 1000 Rallye (this one is from a ’73 model). The engine is also from the same car – it’s an 80 horsepower straight-four unit of 1.3-liters. It is also rear-engined.

The Barzoi 2 was the last road car Fournier-Marcadier built and only 50 were made. This is expected to bring between $20,700-$28,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Osenat.

Update: Not sold.