Duesenberg J-414

1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We should all know by now that cars don’t get better than Duesenberg Model Js. The Walter M. Murphy Company was the most prolific body supplier for the Model J and their Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe is one of the most popular body styles. But this is a little different.

This is a Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupe. That means it is a convertible where the top is completely hidden when retracted and it has a pinched rear end like a boattail speedster. It even has a one-passenger rumble seat. It’s an awesome combination of design. And as this is a Model J, the 265 horsepower 6.9-liter straight-eight is standard.

This car originally was fitted with engine number J-178 but that engine was removed from the car at some point (likely in the 1940s as a source for parts). In the 1950s, the new owner acquired engine J-414 and put it in this car – that’s why the engine number is so high and the model year is so early. The body work had slight updates in the late-1930s to the “JN” style.

This car has been with its present owners for over 20 years. It is one of six Disappearing Top Torpedo Convertible Coupes ever built and one of four to actually still have their original coachwork. They never come up for sale and it should be pricey. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $3,000,000.

8V Elaborata

1953 Fiat 8V Elaborata by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 28, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat 8V was a short-lived sports car from Fiat produced between 1952 and 1954. Of the 114 cars built, only about 40 had factory bodywork – the rest were all done by coachbuilders and this Zagato-styled “Elaborata” coupe is one of just five such cars built by the famous Italian coachbuilder.

The engine is a 2.0-liter V-8 making 110 horsepower (Fiat would’ve called the car the “V8” but Ford already had that trademarked). This car was sold new to someone in Milan and was then campaigned heavily throughout Europe through the late 1950s.

The car was most recently restored in 2011. Fiat 8Vs rarely trade hands (although we’ve featured a few of them) and when they do, it usually means big money. That will likely be the case here, as Bonhams has declined to publish an estimate. In any case, you can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2017, $1,485,000.

MG Metro 6R4

1985 MG Metro 6R4

Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 16, 2016

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

The MG Metro was not an exciting car. In fact, the Metro (which was produced under the Austin, MG, Rover and Morris brands) was originally built as a 1.0-liter front-wheel-drive supermini in England from 1980 through 1990. It could be had as a three or five-door hatchback and three-door van. This is obviously not one of those.

This is what happens when a giant motoring governing body lets people go wild. That’s what Group B Rally represented in the 1980s. The cars that came out of that short-lived era are some of the most collectible rally cars ever built. The 6R4 version of the Metro was built between 1984 and 1987.

In this trim, the engine is mounted behind the driver. It’s a 3.0-liter V-6 – naturally aspirated. Power output was 410 horsepower. Four-wheel drive was permanent. There was even a (slightly neutered) road-going version. Twenty rally versions were built.

This particular car was a Rothmans team rally car. It was never used in anger – mostly at shows and in demonstrations. It has 3,100 miles on it. The pre-sale estimate is between $125,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Vallée Vis-à-Vis

1897 Vallée Vis-à-Vis

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 3, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Vallèe is a name that pops up a few times during the course of automotive history. For instance, Paul Vallèe built microcars in the 1950s. Henri Vallèe, however, is the man behind this car. He got his start working with Amadée Bollée in the 1880s, building a steam car. Vallèe set up shop as a bicycle manufacturer shortly thereafter and built his first car in 1895.

Production followed in 1897 and offered a range of four different models. This is a four horsepower (second from the smallest) model powered by a 2.2-liter flat-twin. Production continued until 1902 when the company shifted focus to motorcycles before shutting down a few years later.

This is one of two known Vallèe automobiles in existence. This car is all original except for it’s paint and top. It’s pretty interesting and is coming from a Swiss collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $93,700.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s, London 2016 $114,061.

November 2015 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

This is the first time we’ve ever had to break our auction recap into three separate posts for a single month. Auctionata of Germany had a little sale, where this 1989 Ferrari Testarossa sold for $121,950. Click here for more.

Photo - Auctionata

Photo – Auctionata

Next up, we’ll jump back in time a little bit for Coys’ Frankfurt Motor Show Sale where this 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Touring was the top sale at $821,900.

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Our featured Iso Lele failed to sell and complete results can be found here. We featured two cars from Brightwells’ November sale and the Albany failed to sell. The Marion brought $30,211. Two cars tied for the top sale, both selling for $87,611. They were this 1972 Jaguar E-Type Roadster (first below) and a 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 319 CDI BlueEfficiency 4×4 McLaren Motorhome (second below).

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

Click here for complete results. Next up, Bonhams’ London sale. The Maserati Mistral Spyder sold for an undisclosed amount. The Sunbeam Tiger and Lagonda Rapide failed to sell. The top seller was this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe for $1,337,930.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured Aston Martin Lagonda sedan brought $636,100. Click here for complete results. Finally, we move across the U.K. to H&H Classics’ Chateau Impney sale. Our featured Marcos failed to sell. The top sale was this 1936 Bentley 4¼-Litre Pillarless Coupe by Gurney Nutting for $300,175.

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Our featured TVR Tamora brought $27,932. Click here for more results.

Heine-Velox

1921 Heine-Velox Twelve Limousine

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 30, 2016

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Heine-Velox is an interesting car. Gustav Heine owned a very successful piano company in San Francisco. In 1903, he decided he wanted to build a car, so he did. Three 45 HP cars were built and shown but before production could get underway, the San Francisco earthquake destroyed the company and he returned to rebuild his piano business.

The piano business bounced back and in 1921 Heine went about his plans to build a car again. This time he approached it differently, wanting to build the ultimate car. It would use a 6.4-liter V-12 engine making 87 horsepower. Heine built five cars – a Victoria convertible, three sedans and this, the Limousine, which was unfinished when the company folded.

Not one of the five cars was ever sold. Heine retained possession of them and gave a few away. Three of the cars are known, one was assumed destroyed, and the other one disappeared in 1993. Once a resident of the Blackhawk Collection, this car has been on display in a Chinese auto museum since 2006. Everything about it has been restored to perfection. See more here and more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $99,000.

Jensen-Ford

1936 Jensen-Ford Tourer

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Brothers Richard and Alan Jensen began building car bodies (officially) in 1934. That’s when their company was founded that bore their name. Their company is best known for the Interceptor and Jensen-Healey sports cars of the 1960s and 1970s.

Among their first ventures was a limited run of Jensen-Ford four-seat convertibles. Powered by an 85 horsepower 3.6-liter Ford V-8, about 30 of these very pretty Tourers were built between 1934 and about 1936. Only three of these were left-hand-drivers (this among those three) that were exported to the U.S. One of them was owned by Clark Gable.

This car underwent a six year restoration that was completed in 2013. It’s a beautiful car – one not many people have heard of and it should appeal to Ford and British car collectors alike. It’s one of the first British-built/American-powered factory hot rods. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $247,500.

1900 Créanche Voiturette

1900 Créanche Type A Voiturette

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 3, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Créanche was a French automobile manufacturer that existed in the very early days of automobiles. There were so many manufacturers of that period, many of which built just a handful of cars. Some lasted for a few years, like this one, which operated from 1899 through 1906.

Most of their cars were De Dion-powered and by 1904 the company offered five different models. This one is powered by a four horsepower, 477cc single-cylinder engine. This example was restored from an original car and the body was reconstructed to match the original in 1972.

This is one of two known survivors of the Créanche brand. It comes from a private Swiss collection (as do three other very interesting cars from this sale). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $56,240.

Chevrolet El Morocco

1957 Chevrolet El Morocco Convertible

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 30, 2016

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The ’57 Chevrolet is one of the most classic automotive designs – especially the Bel Air line. Two-door Bel Airs are highly sought after – convertibles even more so. But this isn’t a Bel Air… right?

Sort of. Reuben Allender was a rich man in the 1950s and he thought it was a good idea to sell a working man’s Cadillac based on a Chevrolet. He built some cars in 1956 and then tried again in 1957. Taking a Bel Air as a starter, the car was decked out with a bunch of options and featured a few external styling tweaks as well. The engine was the top-of-the-line 4.6-liter V-8 making 220 horsepower.

The most interesting part about this car is that it was sold through Chevy dealerships with a full factory warranty, yet the El Morocco was never a General Motors-produced vehicle. 1957 production totaled between 27 and 35 units, with only three believed to be convertibles. It’s the rarest ’57 Chevy there is. And it shouldn’t come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Porsche 918 Spyder

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Supercars are changing. With a shift to environmentally-friendly cars and ever-tightening emission regulations, automakers are having to adapt. To build wild, desirable cars, they’re having to go hybrid. But it’s not all bad, as an electric motor adds power.

In this case, there is a 4.6-liter V-8 engine making 608 horsepower mounted behind the driver. Additionally, there are two electric motors – one of them (that makes 154 horsepower) drives the rear wheels in conjunction with the gas engine and 7-speed transmission. The other electric motor drives the front wheels directly with another 125 horsepower. That is a total of 887 horsepower. Not too shabby.

The 918 Spyder launched for the 2014 model year and 918 units were built through June of 2015. This car has a lot of options, including the insanely-priced $80,000 Weissach package that adds a lot of carbon fiber in place of other trim, reducing the car’s weight by 99 pounds. That’s almost $809 per pound. If Colin Chapman worked off of that pricing scheme, he would’ve been the richest person alive.

This 1,500 mile example is an instant classic. It will always be collectible and they aren’t impossible to come by right now. But that won’t always be the case. Get it while you can. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale. (Also, Barrett-Jackson has an identical car for auction across town).

Update: Sold $1,595,000.