Figoni et Falaschi Bentley

1947 Bentley Mark IV Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1947 Bentley Mk IV Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

There’s nothing too remarkable about the Bentley Mark VI. It’s not a car that stands out to me as brilliant or beautiful or anything special other than it being an old, post-war luxury sedan. That is, until you have one of the most prestigious coachbuilders in history slap one of their windswept bodies onto it.

The Mark VI was introduced in 1946 and lasted through 1952. This car uses the 4.25-liter straight-six making about 132 (or “adequate”) horsepower. In total, 5,208 were built in various bodystyles.

This car was built for a Parisian who used it to commute to Monaco. It was originally dark gray and it came to America in 1964 – where it has been since. It was restored in 1990 – and painted red – when it showed up and won Best in Class at Pebble Beach. In 2012 it was repainted black – which is a much better color than red for this car.

According to Bonhams (and Joseph Figoni’s son Claude), this is the only “true” (not sure what that means) post-war Bentley bodied by Figoni et Falaschi. It’s certainly striking and it’s certainly the only one like it in the world. It should sell for between $500,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ auction lineup.

Update: Sold $605,000.

Hispano-Suiza Cabriolet deVille

1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille by Rippon Brothers

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet deVille by Rippon Brothers

We featured a Hispano-Suiza J12 a few months ago but that car was withdrawn from the sale before it could cross the block so I couldn’t really get a feeling as to what it was going to sell for. The estimate was in the millions. This car shouldn’t be too far off with an estimate between $1,000,000-$1,300,000.

But then again, this car isn’t a long two-door cabriolet. Instead it’s a very stylish and expensive looking four-door limousine-like tank. RM’s catalog description uses the word “aristocracy” and that’s spot-on as this is truly a car for an aristocrat.

The J12 was Hispano-Suiza’s halo car. Built from 1931 through 1938, only about 100 of the magnificent V-12-powered cars were built. This car uses the smaller 9.4-liter engine making 220 horsepower.

Delivered new to the U.K., it made it’s way to the U.S. after a restoration in the 1980s. It became part of the John O’Quinn collection in 2006. A mechanical overhaul was recently completed, making this a better driver than it has been in over half-a-century. This car has it’s original body, engine, and chassis – numbers matching, as they say. It is stupendous and fit for a king. Read more here and check out more from RM here.

Update: Sold $1,045,000.

1910 Simplex

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau by Holbrook

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1910 Simplex 50HP Toy Tonneau

Simplex is a name that was used a lot in the early days of motoring. There were numerous companies with similar sounding names – and why not, the Simplex you see here was one of the standards of the world. Why not try to get someone confused and end up buying your off-brand Simplex instead?

Simplex began life as Smith & Mabley in New York – importing European cars for sale. Then they tried building their own car based on the Mercedes-Simplex – which didn’t work either. 1907 brought a change at the top of the company and a new model was designed. It was still similar to the Mercedes-Simplex, but had a bigger engine. This car uses a monstrous 9.8-liter T-head straight-four making 50 horsepower. It features dual-chain drive which is a sight to behold if you’ve never seen a car like this in action.

Simplex was one of the very top cars ever built. They had power, luxury, comfort, and speed all wrapped into one expensive package (about $6,000 in 1910). This car apparently has known ownership history from new and has been owned by some major collectors. Bonhams calls it “the definitive” Simplex. It’s certainly impressive. Only about 250 of these were built and this one should bring a big $1,000,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Did not sell.

Ascari FGT Race Car

1995 Ascari FGT-GT1

Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 11, 2014

1995 Ascari FGT-GT1

Ascari is one of those little boutique automobile manufacturers that could’ve gone out of business five years ago and no one would’ve known. Apparently they are still in business but the company can trace its roots back to this car.

Lee Noble designed the FGT (he now builds cars under his own name) and it took about five years to actually get the thing built. This racing version was built for company owner Klaas Zwart to compete in the British GT Championship. He won one race at Silverstone. It also raced in 1996 and 1997 before being mothballed back at Ascari HQ.

Fast forward to 2009 when the car was completely rebuilt by an ex-Ascari team member to 1997 race spec. The car is being offered with spares as well. Only 17 road-going versions of the FGT were built (few if any remain). And only one race-going GT1 version was produced by the factory. This is that car. It should sell for between $100,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in Birmingham.

Update: Sold $108,000.

OSCA 750 S

1960 OSCA 750 S

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2013

1960 OSCA 750 S

After the Maserati brothers had sold their stake in the company that bore their name, they set up shop just out of town as Officine Specializzate Costruzioni Automobili – Fratelli Maserati SpA. – or OSCA. The company built race cars and a few road cars until it closed up in 1967.

OSCA threw itself into the spotlight after Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd won the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring in one of their cars. A few years later in 1957, OSCA would introduce the 750 S – a light and nimble little race car.

The engine in this car is an 850cc straight-four making 75 horsepower. This was the last one built and it was purchased by race car driver John Bentley. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1960 12 Hours of Sebring – 12th (1st in class) with John Bentley and Jack Gordon
  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 23rd (1st in class) with Bentley and Gordon
  • 1963 SCCA Northeast Division Championship

Bentley raced this thing at just about any track he could, piling on miles at SCCA events all over the East Coast. The restoration was completed in 1984 and the car has been cared for and used in historic events since. Yes, it’s an older restoration – but that just makes it easier to take it out on the track. This is one of 18 750 S models built and it is expected to sell for between $600,000-$800,000. You can read more here and check out more from RM here.

Update: Sold $660,000.

Corvette Challenge

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 25, 2014

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

The Corvette Challenge was a one-make racing series that lasted two seasons – 1988 and 1989. The SCCA was the sanctioning body and some major racing stars turned out to compete, including Boris Said, Tommy Kendall, Andy Pilgrim, and Jimmy Vasser.

The cars cost $33,043 with an additional $15,000 payable to Protofab Engineering for race prepping. The cars were street-legal and all spec’d the same (Z51 performance handling package, roll cage, fire suppression system, etc.). The engine was a stock 250 horsepower 5.7-liter V-8.

In total, 56 Challenge cars were built for 1988 and only 46 of them ever started a race. This one was the series champion, having been driven by Stuart Hayner. It won a single race (Mosport) and had a total of four podium finishes. Consistency wins championships.

The car has covered what Mecum is calling “3,892 Sunday Driven” miles – aka race distance. These are rare cars and most Corvette people know what they are when they see them. They’re interesting and come from a time when Corvette motorsport presence was kind of thin. It would be an interesting addition to any collection. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $8,500.

Duesenberg J-357

1930 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible by Murphy

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1930 Duesenberg Model J-357 Disappearing Top Convertible by Murphy

Photo – RM Auctions

Well this is a beautiful car. What is strange though is that this was the cheapest Model J by Murphy you could buy in 1930. It cost a wealthy lumber baron in West Virginia $13,500 that year. It’s a short-wheelbase chassis and uses Duesenberg’s signature Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight engine making 265 horsepower.

The original owner sold it in 1946 to a man named Melvin Clemans who regularly drove the car from West Virginia to Auburn, Indiana, for the annual ACD gathering. A friend of Clemans worked on the car for him and became the cars’ third owner in 1998.

Luckily, he never restored it. He rebuilt the mechanicals (and so did RM Restorations, more recently) but the body, paint, wood, interior, and chrome are all-original. This is a 30,000 mile car that has been driven a lot by every owner it’s ever had. It’s really nice to see a car like this still being driven hard and on the road to local car shows and not across putting greens at big, fancy concours.

This is 1 of about 25 “Disappearing Top Convertibles” built by the prolific Walter M. Murphy Company. It is arguably among the coolest as it remains as it did the day it left the showroom floor in Huntington, West Virginia, back in 1930. This car should bring between $2,000,000-$2,400,000. You can read more here and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $2,200,000.

Update: Sold, Gooding & Company Amelia Island 2016, $2,640,000.

Chaparral 1

1961 Chaparral 1

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1961 Chaparral 1

Jim Hall’s Chaparral race cars are some of the most imaginative and forward-thinking cars ever built. A racing driver in his own right (he contested in the 1963 Formula One season), Hall had some money from his family’s oil business and paved his own path for racing success.

The Chaparral story starts with Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes, builders of racing cars in California (they were behind the Scarab) Jim Hall approached them and helped engineer a new race car called the Chaparral 1 that they were about to begin building. They built two for Hall and three for other customers. This car, serial #003, was the second car bought by Jim Hall. After success with this car, Hall would buy out the Chaparral name and make it his own, building cars under the Chaparral 2 name until 1980.

This car uses a 5.6-liter V-8 making 339 horsepower. The engine is housed in front of the driver, but behind the front axle, thus technically making it mid-engined. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th (1st in class), with Hap Sharp, Ron Hissom, Chuck Daigh & Jim Hall
  • 1962 Road America 500 – 1st, Sharp & Hall
  • 1963 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd (DNF), with Sharp & Hall

The car was sold to a privateer after the 1963 season and was raced through 1965. It was restored in 1997 and acquired by the present owner in 2004 who’s used it in historic races. Chaparrals aren’t generally cars you can buy – making this early example a rarity indeed. If a Chaparral is on your wish list, then now is the time. It is expected to sell for between $2,250,000-$2,750,000. Check here for more details and here for more from RM in Arizona.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $1,750,000.

S/N: 003.

Intermeccanica Omega

1967 Intermeccanica Omega

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1967 Intermeccanica Omega

Intermeccanica is/was a sports car manufacturer from Italy. While they produce mainly replicas today (in Canada at that), back in the 1960s they built a number of American-powered, Italian-designed sports cars.

The car that preceded the Omega was not badged as an Intermeccanica. It was known as an Apollo and a Griffith. The Omega was a two-door coupe introduced in 1966 and used a 4.7-liter Ford V-8 making 271 horsepower. The steel bodies were designed and built in Italy and hammered by hand like cars of the old world should be.

The cars were then assembled by Holman-Moody in North Carolina (yes, the famous NASCAR team). This car was sold new to the Southwest and was recently restored. Only 33 Omegas were built. Cars like this from upstart sports car manufacturers of days past are very rare and seldom seen. This car should bring between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $73,700.

1910 Thomas Flyer

1910 Thomas Flyer Model 6-40 Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2014

1910 Thomas Flyer Model 6-40 Touring

Photo – Bonhams

The E.R. Thomas Motor Company was founded by Edwin Ross Thomas in 1896 in Buffalo, New York. He initially sold gas-powered conversions for bicycles before offering complete motorized-bicycles. In 1902, they built their first automobile.

1908 was a turning point for the company. It went from just another early American automobile manufacturer to one of legend. The company won the 1908 New York to Paris race – and the winning car survives today in the Harrah Collection in Reno. The very car you see here was also part of that collection at one point.

This Model 6-40 Touring uses a 7.2-liter straight-six making 64 horsepower. It has rear drum brakes only – so get on the pedal early if you want to stop! What’s cool about this car is that its ownership history is known from new. It was put away by its first owner in 1918 when he went off to war and was not started again until 1958. Bill Harrah bought it in the 1960s and repainted it. That is the only know restorative work done on the car in its history.

This car is mostly original – the leather, the brass, the drivetrain. Thomas Flyers are awesome cars. They are durable, quick, and powerful. A car like this deserves a great home. It should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Arizona.

Update: Sold $275,000.

Here’s video of a similar car: