Duesenberg J-331

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

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

1930 Duesenberg Model J-331 Convertible Coupe by Murphy

The Convertible Coupe bodystyle by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California, is one of the most-popular bodystyles on Duesenberg Model Js. It’s on the shorter of the two Model J wheelbases, so the proportions are fantastic.

All Model Js had their bodies outsourced to coachbuilders, but there was a factory catalog for customers who purchased the bare chassis and wanted some idea as to where to go for a body. This was the cheapest body in the catalog – at $13,500. About 60 of them were built.

This car was originally built for a member of the du Pont family and delivered new to New York City. It passed through quite a number of owners over the years, having spent a good deal of time recently in a Chicago collection – until now. The restoration is nice but older and it could a “minor freshening.” Look for a price around $900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America’s fall Auburn sale.

Update: Sold $1,540,000.

Healey Duncan

1948 Healey Duncan Saloon

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 7, 2013

1948 Healey Duncan Saloon

Donald Healey started building cars upon completion of World War Two. The Westland and Elliott were the first two cars from the company and they went on sale in 1946. All Healey-branded cars used a 2.4-liter straight-four engine from Riley making 104 horsepower. He built his own chassis.

The Donald Healey Motor Company sent 39 of its chassis (with Riley engines attached) to Duncan Industries Ltd. They bodied 15 of the cars as “Drones” with fairly unattractive and simple bodywork. They then built 23 of these Saloon models with pillarless doors and swoopy lines. They also bodied some Alvis cars with coachwork very similar to this.

Only eight Duncan-bodied Healeys are thought to still exist – six of which are the Saloon model like the one above. Ownership history of this car is known from the 1960s and the it was restored professionally in 1996. It has been used here and there and is in generally great and usable condition. It is estimated to sell for between $28,000-$37,000. You can read more here and check out the rest of this sale’s lineup here.

Update: Sold $59,119.

1924 Aster

1924 Aster 18/50HP Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 7, 2013

1924 Aster 1850HP Coupe

Photo – Bonhams

Aster started as an engine-building company in Wembley, England. They were building licensed versions of French engines and moved to aircraft engines during WWI, when they acquired the name Aster.

In 1922, they started building luxury automobiles. The 18/50hp was their first model and it was built from 1922 through 1924. It uses a 2.6-liter straight-six making 50 horsepower. They were expensive and bought by well-known people such as the man who would later become King George VI.

In 1924, the engine was upgraded and the model became the 20/55. In 1927, the company merged with Arrol-Johnston and the Aster name disappeared after 1930. This is a car from a short-lived and rarely-heard of marque. Only about 170 Asters were ever built and this is one of two known to survive (both are in this sale and the other one is a half-restored project). This one is in original, unrestored condition and should sell for between $28,000-$37,000 – which seems like a bargain considering it was an expensive car when new and it’s the only one like it left. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ sale.

Update: Sold $39,413.

Update II: Sold, Brightwells Classic & Vintage, April 2017, $32,292.

Chicago Motor Buggy

1908 Chicago Motor Buggy Type 112

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 7, 2013

1908 Chicago Motor Buggy Type 112

Photo – Bonhams

What’s amazing is that the car we featured yesterday was built the same year that this car was. While the Alldays & Onions from yesterday was built in the U.K. and had a windshield and doors and a top and well, you get the idea. This car has wheels – high ones. And a seat. And a steering wheel.

It was made for the rugged roads of rural America. And in that regard, it was successful. As a sales leader, it was not. The company (yes, the marque was actually called “Chicago Motor Buggy”) built this lone model and lasted for this lone year (it was actually a sub-brand of the Black Motor Company). The engine is a 14 horsepower twin. It has chain drive and solid tires and is probably not comfortable to ride in. But it is cool.

It cost $450 when it was new and can do 25 mph. It is one of 13 known to exist and arrived in England in 2007 when it was made running. It is a driver and can be yours for between $31,000-$39,000. Click here for more details and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Alldays & Onions

1908 Alldays & Onions 10/12 HP Four-Seater Swing-Seat Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 7, 2013

1908 Alldays & Onions 1012 HP Four-Seater Swing-Seat Tonneau

Of all automobile manufacturers, Alldays & Onions has one of the strangest names. You can trace its roots back farther than the merger of two engineering companies in 1889: to Onions (founded in 1650 by a Mr. John Onions) and William Allday & Co. (founded in 1720 by, well, William Allday). When combined, they became a well-known blacksmith equipment and pneumatic engineering company based in Birmingham.

They built their first car in 1898 and by 1918 the company’s name had changed to Enfield-Alldays. This model was introduced in 1905 and it was Alldays & Onions’ most successful model. It uses a 1.6-liter twin-cylinder engine making 10/12 horsepower.

The original owner and registrant of this car is known (it was first registered in 1909). It’s post-WWII history is more or less known. It was “sympathetically” restored sometime prior to 1987 but was still described as “highly original” when it was sold in ’87. It has spent a good deal of its life in private collections not having seen much use. It has been prepped prior to this sale and is usable. It should sell for between $44,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at the National Motor Museum.

Update: Sold $68,077

Final Highlights from Monterey 2013

Two auctions left to cover. First, Gooding’s Pebble Beach sale put up some big numbers. Frankly, I’m really bored with million dollar Ferraris. And Mercedes Gullwings don’t do anything for me. Instead of listing the 30 (yes, that’s right) cars that hit the million dollar mark, I’ll just show what’s interesting. I will, however, show you the top sale, which was this 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta for $9,460,000.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta

The next two highest selling cars were pretty interesting. First, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante went for $8,745,000.

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

And then this. This result actually made me shout an expletive when I saw it. It’s a 1997 McLaren F1. A year or two ago, one sold for $2 million, which was way more than any other F1 before it. I remember 10+ years ago when these things were at exotic car dealerships around the country with a price tag of $800,000. This one sold for an astounding $8,470,000. This is a big deal. These cars will never be attainable ever again for mere millionaires. They have proven to be exquisitely collectible.

1997 McLaren F1

Feature cars! The Hispano-Suiza J12 was withdrawn from the sale. A previously featured and early Duesenberg Model J brought $2,365,000. The Ferrari F40 LM brought $2,090,000. Two other Ferraris failed to reach their reserves: the Ferrari FXX and the Ferrari 400 Superamerica. Cool cars? How about this ex-Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello Grand Prix-winning 2002 Ferrari F2002? It sold for $2,255,000.

2002 Ferrari F2002

I really like this pre-Jaguar 1932 SS1 Coupe for $154,000.

1932 SS1 Coupe

Other feature cars sold: the Gurney-Weslake AAR Eagle brought $3,740,000. The Voisin C25 sold for $1,925,000. Gooding & Company, like RM Auctions, also sold a Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spider. This one happened to be a 365 GTB though, and “only” brought $720,000.

This huge 1914 Packard 1-38 Five-Passenger Phaeton was one of my favorite cars of the entire sale. It sold for a healthy $467,500.

1914 Packard 1-38 Five Passenger Phaeton

This ex-Harrah Collection 1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon was the first car cut from my “to be featured” list when time ran out. It sold for $374,500 – almost $100,000 more than the top end of its pre-sale estimate.

1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

This 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione was one of the stars of the show. It was hammered away for $4,840,000. It’s the only one like it left.

1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione

And finally, I thought this 1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe by Freestone & Webb looked pretty sporty. But the price was a little too-sporting for my wallet: $2,860,000.

1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe

Check out full results here.

And last but not least, Russo & Steele’s Monterey sale. Our featured Bizzarrini Prototype sold for $77,000. The top sale was this 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Stabilimenti Farina for $1,050,500.

1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Satbilimenti Farina

Interesting cars were topped off by this 1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup. It sold for $110,000. Check out full results here.

1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup

RM Monterey 2013 Highlights

RM’s annual auction held during Pebble Beach weekend was a big one this year. They tried their best to set an all-time record with their top sale, but it fell short by a “mere” $2 million. Still, the car topped the upper end of its estimate by $10 million (!). It was actually one of our feature cars: the 1967 Ferrari 275 N.A.R.T. Spider. It sold for a remarkable $27,500,000. The next highest-selling car was another prancing horse: this 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider by Pinin Farina for $9,075,000.

1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider by Pinin Farina

Of our feature cars, two didn’t sell. They were: the sale’s only Duesenberg and our featured Maserati A6GCS/53. This sale featured a somewhat obscene 26 million dollar cars. We’ll run them down here. Two other Maserati’s topped the million dollar mark, including our featured Birdcage for $2,090,000. The other was this 1953 Maserati A6G/2000 Spyder by Frua for $2,530,000.

1953 Maserati A6G-2000 Spyder by Frua

The next two most expensive Ferrari’s were our featured 500 Mondial for $3,520,000 and this 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti for $4,070,000.

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti

We’ll continue our tour of Europe and head to the Western Front where this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen sold for $7,480,000.

1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen

Our featured Pebble Beach-winning 680 S-Type by Saoutchik sold for $8,250,000. And as always, there were Gullwings galore. This sale included the following (from top to bottom): 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ($1,265,000), 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster ($1,430,000), and another (in a more interesting color, in my opinion) 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL ($1,485,000).

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

How about another pair of Ferraris? First, an early 1950 166 MM Barchetta for $3,080,000.

1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

And then this 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina for $2,750,000.

1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina

For some competition cars we can look to our 1974 Indy 500-winning McLaren which broke the bank at $3,520,000. Then there was this 1958 Lister-Jaguar “Knobbly” Prototype which went for $1,980,000.

1958 Lister-Jaguar 'Knobbly' Prototype

To keep going with the theme, this 1955 Jaguar D-Type was one of the coolest cars of the show (if you’re capable of whittling a list like this down that far). It sold for $3,905,000.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

The final million dollar competition car is this 1996 Ferrari 333 SP Evoluzione that sold for $1,375,000.

1996 Ferrari 333 SP Evoluzione

That car shows that it wasn’t just old classics bringing the big bucks. Two more modern Ferraris did well too: this 1990 Ferrari F40 (first below) sold for $1,155,000 while one of my all-time favorites, a 1995 Ferrari F50 (second below) brought $1,677,500.

1990 Ferrari F401995 Ferrari F50

This 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pininfarina sold for $1,100,000.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pininfarina

How about a Spanish car? This 1935 Hispano-Suiza K6 Cabriolet by Brandone was a car I really wanted to feature (but didn’t for various time-related reasons). It sold for $2,255,000.

1935 Hispano-Suiza K6 Cabriolet by Brandone

Back to England for a couple more cars. This 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Roadster sold for $1,017,500.

1911 Rolls-Royce 4050 HP Silver Ghost Roadster

Then there was this super-cool 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT which went for $2,200,000.

1960 Aston Martin DB4GT

The rest are all Ferraris. First, another Series II Cabriolet – this a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pinin Farina. It’s in blue (and looks better because of it) and sold for $1,292,500.

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina

Then there was a “usual suspect” – a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider by Scaglietti. These are million dollar cars every time and show up at most big auctions. It went for slightly more than usual at $1,650,000.

1971 Ferrari 365 GTB4 Daytona Spider by Scaglietti

And last – but not least – one of my favorite of Enzo’s creations, a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso. It sold for $1,386,000. Check out full results here.

1964 Ferrari 250 GT 'Lusso' Berlinetta by Scaglietti

Checker Aerobus

1969 Checker Aerobus

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 5, 2013

1969 Checker Aerobus

So this isn’t technically a bus – but it is rather lengthy. Checker is an interesting marque because they lasted a lot longer than everyone probably thinks – and most people don’t even remember they existed at all off the top of their head anyway. That, and they built basically the same lone model for over 20 years.

The Checker Marathon was introduced in 1960. It was the passenger-car version of the Checker taxi that was the go-to taxicab before the Crown Vic took over. The car remained in production, essentially unchanged, until 1982 when Checker ceased automobile manufacture. Did you remember that there was this “other” American automobile company producing sedans in the early-1980s? I bet you didn’t.

One step beyond (or many steps beyond, depending on how you look at it) the simple four-door Marathon was this, the Checker Aerobus. It was designed as an airport shuttle and I guess it would have been successful, as it seated as many as 15 people. They were available beginning in 1962 and could be had in two different wheelbases. This is the longer wheelbase that has eight side-mounted passenger doors. Which is a little ridiculous. I’ve always considered this the road-going cousin of those stretched golf carts you see in hospital parking lots.

The engine is a 5.7-liter Chevy V-8 making 200 horsepower. Non-taxi Checkers (although most road cars have since been painted in taxi livery) are extremely few and far between. The Aerobus is infinitely rarer. Only 3,568 were built by the time production ended in 1977. This one has a custom interior, but it’s still super cool. There are two other interesting Checkers in this sale. Read more here and check out the rest of Mecum’s Dallas lineup here.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $24,000).

D-Type Jaguar

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Offered by RM Auctions | London, U.K. | September 8-9, 2013

1955 Jaguar D-Type

The Jaguar D-Type is one of the all-time classics. It comes from the Golden Era of Le Mans competition – the mid-1950s. D-Types, while a descendant of the earlier C-Type, look radically different from just about everything else on track in those years. That big fin was mounted at the rear for stability while it blasted down the Mulsanne Straight. It uses monocoque construction and a lot of aluminium.

The engine is a 3.8-liter straight-six pushing out in the neighborhood of 300 horsepower. Production began in 1954 with a debut at the ’54 24 Hours of Le Mans. Production continued through 1957 with road-going versions (called XK-SS) built as well. This particular example was a works tester from the start. It was the first of five long-nose cars built by the factory in 1955. It didn’t race at Le Mans that year (it was the backup car) but was campaigned by Jaguar on at least two occasions (both were retirements).

In 1957, it was sold to Ecurie Ecosse and they ran it all season. Some of it’s racing history is as follows:

  • 1957 1000km Nürburgring – 11th (with Ivor Bueb and Jock Lawrence)
  • 1958 12 Hours of Sebring – 61st, DNF (with Bueb and Ninian Sanderson)
  • 1958 1000km Nürburgring – 34th, DNF (with Bueb and Sanderson)
  • 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans – 54th, DNF (with Sanderson and Lawrence)

There were many more races, but those are the biggest. Later in ’58, it was sold into privateer hands and raced in more minor events. In 1963 it was crashed in destructive fashion and had to be sent to Jaguar for a new frame (from a Le Mans-winning D-Type, which it has today). It was used as a road car in the mid-to-late-60s. It’s been rebuilt a few times over its life but it looks good now and has both successfully and unsuccessfully competed in historic events.

Of old race cars, this is one of the big ones. It’s a must-have for serious collectors (I think) and they are exceptionally rare and almost never come up for sale. RM is selling another one in Monterey with an estimate between $4,000,000-$5,000,000 – but it was not a Jaguar factory team car nor a long-nose example. This one has an estimate between $8,600,000-$10,100,000.

Only 11 long-nose variants were built of the total of about 71 D-Types built (not counting XK-SS). 18 of the 71 were factory team cars. You can read more here and see more from RM’s Mercedes-heavy London sale here.

Update: Not Sold. High bid of $6,292,000.

S/N: XKD 504.

Chevelle Z16

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z16

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 7, 2013

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z16

The Chevrolet Chevelle was introduced in 1964 to go head-to-head with Ford’s Fairlane. But the muscle car era inadvertently got in the way and the Chevelle became on of the most sought-after muscle cars of the era and the Fairlane disappeared into history.

While Pontiac and Oldsmobile had muscle car offerings in 1964, Chevrolet was sort of left behind. But they changed that in 1965 when they took the Chevelle and added $1,501 worth of goodies to it and called it the “Z16” (it was an optional performance package). What did that package include? How about the Corvette’s 396/425 V-8 (that’s 6.5 liters for those of you playing at home). But because the Corvette was the revered “top dog” – they had to under rate the Chevelle’s horsepower to 375.

They also gave it bigger brakes, an upgraded suspension, and better steering. It was basically an SS 396 on steroids. Chevy only built 201 of them and this is one of three factory black/black cars. The value of these cars has definitely been on the rise – you’re looking at about $150,000 for this car. Check out more info here and more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $200,000.