1939 Autovia 3-Litre
Offered by Coys | Graz, Austria | October 12-13, 2013
There are sporty cars from the U.K. from the 1930s that everyone knows about, like the SS100 and Invictas. Then there are the lesser known ones like Arabs and this beautiful Autovia.
Like Arab, Autovia was a very short-lived marque. Founded in Coventry in 1937 as a subsidiary of well-known Riley. The cars were expensive, luxurious and sporty. It was a market that was already full of more prominent manufacturers. Two different sedan bodstyles were offered, as well as a limousine. In total, only 38 four-door cars were built. There were also six bare chassis sold – this is one of those cars. The Autovia proved an expensive experiment that ultimately bankrupted Riley, which was acquired by the Nuffield Organization in 1938. Autovia disappeared forever after that.
This car is the only Autovia to receive two-door aluminium roadster bodywork. What sets this roadster apart from many other British sports cars of the day is the engine. It’s a 3.0-liter V-8 making 125 horsepower. That’s a lot more than most of its competition – it’s Bugatti territory. This is a very quick car.
And very desirable too. Only eight Autovias are thought to survive, with this one having the most desirable coachwork (by far). This is definitely one of the stars of this auction. You can read more here and find out what other cars will be crossing the block here.
Update: Sold for about $110,000.