The 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans Winner

1982 Porsche 956

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-16, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Group C was new for 1982 and a whole new wave of closed coupe prototype race cars came flying out just about of all of the world’s major manufacturers. Porsche (and their 956 and 962 models) defined the Group C age with unrivaled success. The 956 was built between 1982 and 1984, with the 962 replacing it for 1985. They are different cars, but one could be forgiven for not being able to immediately differentiate between the two.

This car is powered by a 2.7-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making 630 horsepower. It is not a slow car. The 956 holds the lap record at the Nürburgring. This was one of 10 Porsche factory race cars and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1982 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Jochen Mass & Vern Schupppan)
  • 1982 1000km Spa – 1st (with Jacky Ickx & Mass)
  • 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans – 1st (with Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, & Schuppan)

It was raced a few times after that and then Porsche sold it to Vern Schuppan who kept it until 1996. The new owner restored the car and it has led a privileged life since, having been kept mostly off the track and in the hands of a few other owners. Only 22 Porsche 956s were built and only 10 were lucky enough to be factory race cars. They do not come up for sale often, and this, a Le Mans winner, is one of the best. It should sell for between $7,000,000-$9,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,120,000.

212 Inter Cabriolet

1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Another high-dollar Ferrari – but recently, aren’t they all? Even Ferrari 308s are commanding sums into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is there a Prancing Horse bubble? Well if there is, this is the kind of Ferrari to have your money in. These early, Colombo V-12 cars are the roots of Ferrari.

The 212 Inter (not to be confused with the race-bred 212 Export) was a grand touring car built between 1951 and 1952 only. The bodies were all by the leading Italian coachbuilders of the day, with this car sporting a distinctive Vignale drop-top body. The car looks sort of Aston Martin and Maserati-ish.

The engine is a 2.6-liter V-12 making 170 horsepower. This was car #16 of 78 Inters built and one of only four with this Vignale coachwork. This car spent most of its life in Switzerland and has known ownership history from new. The restoration was completed last year and it’s being offered fresh off an award-winning debut at Pebble Beach in 2014. It should bring between $2,400,000-$2,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,200,000.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Scottsdale 2020, $1,930,000.

Veritas Scorpion

1949 Veritas Scorpion Cabriolet by Spohn

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Veritas cars were built in the aftermath of WWII in Germany by Ernst Loof, Georg Meier and Lorenz Dietrich based on pre-war BMW machinery, namely the BMW 328 – a car they all worked with prior to the war at BMW. The 2.0-liter BMW 328 straight-six powers this car, making 100 horsepower.

Veritas introduced three road models in 1949, the Scorpion among them. The Scorpion was a convertible and the bodies were outsourced to Spohn of Ravensburg (I wanted to say “Spohn, based near Berlin” or some such thing but Ravensburg is in the middle of nowhere. So much for that).

The funding behind Veritas dried up in 1953 and BMW swallowed them whole in a sort of I-brought-you-into-this-world-and-I’m-going-to-take-you-out sort of way. Ownership history on this car goes back to its first American owner in the early-1960s. Only two Scorpions are known in the U.S. with less than a handful in Europe. In all, Veritas built about 78 cars, so anything from them is considered a rarity. This one just happens to be magnificent. It is also one of a few cars not associated with a pre-sale estimate at Bonhams’ sale, which makes it big. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $907,500.


1958 Dual-Ghia Convertible

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

You’re looking at one of the most beautiful American cars of all time (yes, even though the body is all Italian). Dual Motors of Detroit was founded by Eugene Casaroll. He bought the rights to the Ghia-designed 1955 Dodge Firebomb concept car and put it into production. He called it the Dual-Ghia. And it’s great.

Dual Motors shipped a Dodge chassis to Turin where Ghia would add this gorgeous body and then ship it back. Once home in Detroit, the cars were fitted with a 5.2-liter Dodge D-500 V-8 making 230 horsepower. The engine sounds fantastic and is throaty enough that if the sleek European body threw you off, the engine would definitely alert you to its inherit American-ness.

The cars were only built in 1957 and 1958 and they were the expensive favorites of celebrities like Frank Sinatra. Around 100 of these were built (some say 117) and 73 remain. They’re crazy rare but come up for sale at a startling rate for their rarity. But that’s not to say that trend will continue. So if you want one, get your hands on it ASAP. They sell in the $300,000-$400,000 range. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $412,500.

Aston Martin Speed Model

1940 Aston Martin Speed Model Type C

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This car looks like the grandchild of those early speed trials cars (like the Beast of Turin, the Fiat S76). While the rear is streamlined and racy, it has an abrupt shape at the front and a tall engine compartment. The headlights seem like an afterthought, located in the grille – and perhaps this is the singular feature that gives us this impression. The passenger compartment is just a way to attach a human to an otherwise monstrous machine. I think it can best be described as “chunky.”

But unlike the ridiculous 28-liter engine in the S76, this pre-war Aston uses a 2.0-liter straight-four rated at 125 horsepower. This was a competition car and the first examples were built in 1936. The last were built in 1940 – and this car is believed to be the final Aston Martin sold before the outbreak of WWII.

Of the 23 Speed Models built, only the final eight had the Type C streamlined body. This car has known ownership since new and has been restored in the past five years. When you see one of these in person, it will stand out because it’s rather different from other cars of similar vintage. This one is the prettiest I’ve seen. You can read more here and see more from RM in Monterey here.

Update: Sold: $1,155,000.

Ruf CTR2

1997 Ruf CTR2

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Players of Gran Turismo will no doubt recognize this as one of the “Porsches” that they get to drive, albeit virtually, due to Porsche’s asinine exclusivity contract with EA. Instead, the video gaming generation became quite familiar with the outrageous products of Germany’s Ruf Automobile.

Founded by Alois Ruf, the company began modifying Porsches in the 1970s and the company is recognized as an actual automobile manufacturer in its own right by the German government (as their cars are built from Porsche chassis and modified before being sold).

At any rate the CTR2 was the followup to the legendary CTR “Yellowbird.” The CTR2 was built between 1995 and 1997 and based on the 993-generation 911 Turbo. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six making 520 horsepower. Geared to the moon, this car is good for over 215 mph.

Only 16 CTR2s were built (with an additional 15 “Sport” models). You rarely see them, especially in the U.S. Supercar collectors, you need this. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.

Update: Sold $300,000.

Ferrari 275S

1950 Ferrari 275/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This Ferrari 275 should not be confused with the gorgeous GT car of the same numerals built in the mid-to-late 1960s. The 275S was actually the first Lampedri-engined Ferrari ever built. Two were built in 1950 and they were based on the 166MM but used a new, experimental 3.3-liter V-12 from Ferrari’s new technical director, Aurelio Lampedri.

It had a body by Touring and was entered by the factory in the 1950 Mille Miglia, driven by none other than Alberto Ascari. It DNF’d, but still. After this failure, this 275S went back to the factory and was fitted with a new 4.1-liter V-12 from Ferrari’s new touring car, the 340 America. The engine makes 220 horsepower. It was then sold.

The new owners entered the car in some races. This car’s race history includes:

  • 1950 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Alberto Ascari)
  • 1951 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Gianni Marzotto and Otello Marchetto)
  • 1951 Targa Florio – DNF (with Giovanni Bracco and Mario Raffaelli)
  • 1952 Mille Miglia  – result unknown

Once it’s racing career was finished, the Touring body was replaced by this Scaglietti Barchetta. It was exported to the U.S. in 1958. It ended up being rescued from a barn in Vermont by an enterprising 15-year-old who then owned the car for over 40 years, restoring it himself and selling it in 1999.

After competing in quite a few historic events all over Europe, the current owner was able to acquire the car. This is one of only two Ferrari 257S racers ever built. It is one of only nine Scuderia Ferrari racing roadsters from the 1950s. And it was the first Lampedri-engined Ferrari to hit the track. It’s a piece of history – and one you can use. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $7,975,000.

Chevrolet CERV-I

1960 Chevrolet CERV-I

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

While this may look more like Jim Clark’s Indy 500-winning race car than a Corvette, rest assured, the Corvette would likely not exist as we know it without this car. This car was the creation of Zora Arkus-Duntov, father of the Corvette. He was also head of GM’s High Performance Vehicle department, from which this was born.

The mid-engined bug had been around for a few years before this car came to be. And when it did, it was supposed to fit a variety of roles: it was to be eligible for Indianapolis, Pikes Peak, as well as bolster support for the coming rear-engined Corvair.

The body is fiberglass and the car has had several different engines in its lifetime. The final engine, which it currently has, is a 6.2-liter V-8 making a lot of power. How about a little history: it showed up at the 1960 Pikes Peak hillclimb and after dozens of aborted runs, they decided that hillclimbing was not the way to go.

Dan Gurney and Stirling Moss then drove the car at Riverside in demonstration laps in conjunction with United States Grand Prix in 1960 and both would’ve qualified the car for the race. But this car was never destined for competition. Instead, Arkus-Duntov thought this could be the first car to lap Daytona at 180 mph. Jerry Titus could only achieve 162. So they added a big turbocharger.

When the CERV-II came around, GM wanted to scrap this thing. But Arkus-Duntov installed the current motor and ended up doing 206 mph at GM’s proving grounds. He saved it from the crusher and eventually gave it to Briggs Cunningham who later sold it to Miles Collier.

The current owned later acquired it from Collier and restored it to the condition you see here. This is an important car. It taught GM a lot of things that went directly into the Corvette. And the spirit of performance that this car created within Chevrolet lives on to this day. It is exceptional. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2017, $1,320,000.

XK120 Supersonic

1952 Jaguar XK120 Supersonic by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

When the Jaguar XK120 was introduced in 1948, it was the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of over 120 mph. It had classic Jaguar styling that would stay with Jaguar cars for decades. But what happens when you take a classic British sports car and send it to Italy? This. This happens.

This awesome, futuristic sports car is unrecognizable as a Jaguar, certainly as an XK120. It looks strikingly similar to an Aston Martin Supersonic of similar vintage. First of all, this car is powered by a 220 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-six – making it one of the most-powerful XK120s in the world. It was originally an XK120 Fixed-Head Coupe sent to a dealer in Paris, who then sent it (and another car) to Ghia for a Jet Age makeover.

This car remained in France most of its life and has been repainted in the last 10 years – but everything else is original, including the 22,000 kilometers on the odometer. Only three XK120s were blessed with the Supersonic treatment. Only two are still around, as the body from the third is now on a Shelby Cobra. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,062,500.

Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine

1938 Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

There is so much to like about this car. The first thing that caught me eye was the car’s looks. With the silver, streamlined body and the dim headlights (not to mention that it’s photographed in an aircraft hangar) it looks like some top secret Nazi experiment.

But it isn’t. It is fascinating. This was the ultimate Adler Trumpf, which was a small family car built by Adler between 1932 and 1938. Trumpfs were powered by a 56 horsepower 1.9-liter straight-four. Most had upright grilles and traditional body work for the period. They were not fast.

Enter Paul Jaray, an aerodynamicist schooled in zeppelin design. He figured he could make a Trumpf faster by slimming it down. At least six Rennlimousines (“racing limousine”) were built and three of them were entered in the 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans, including this one. It finished 9th (2nd in class) with Otto Löhr and Paul von Guilleaume. It was then wrecked at Spa, repaired, and used as a show car.

Somehow it survived the war and reappeared in Bavaria in 1955. It ended up in the U.S. shortly thereafter. It passed around before being purchased by the current owner from the Blackhawk Collection in 1994. It’s beautiful. The interior is fantastic if not sparse and roomy. It’s unlike anything else you’re likely to come across and it comes from a weird time time and place in history when things were inventive and little mysterious. I’m over the moon with this car.

Only three of these still exist, all slightly different. This is the best one. And it shouldn’t be cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Removed from catalog.