The First Volga

1962 GAZ M-21 Volga Series 2

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

This Russian sedan – that looks like an American sedan from the 1950s – was built in 1962 by Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod. It was the first such car to carry the “Volga” name – a model that GAZ would continue to produce in many forms through 2010 (though the last of which was a re-badged Chrysler Sebring). The first body style was built in three subtly different series between 1956 and 1970.

This Series 2 car is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four making 75 horsepower. The M-21 wasn’t quite as nice as other GAZ cars, but they were extremely reliable – which is what the frigid, cracked roads of the Soviet Union required. This was an export model (thus it had slightly more power than the home market version) and it was sold new in the U.K.

The car was purchased by its most recent owner (now deceased) in 1996 and was restored as needed. The light blue paint is quite cheery considering this car was built behind the Iron Curtain. It is roadworthy and comes with a large set of spares. It should sell for between $4,300-$5,600. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $4,619.

Microplas Mistral

1967 Microplas Mistral

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | March 4, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Imagine if you and a group of your car-loving friends decided to start building your own car because one of your friends’ family was big into the fiberglass business? Well that’s pretty much exactly how it went down for Microplas Ltd. In 1954, six members of a British car club formed a company that built shells to turn ordinary British cars into sports cars.

The first model was designed for the Austin Seven. The second car the company introduced was a roadster called the Mistral. It was a popular body style and a number of different companies marketed the body under various names. The Mistral, introduced in 1955, was intended for the Ford Ten, but the car you see here is based around the chassis of a Triumph TR3. And it has an engine from a TR4, which is a 2.1-liter straight-four which put out 105 horsepower when new.

The car was put together in the late 1960s and the fact that it is based on a Triumph is good news for anyone who has to work on it as parts are readily available. It’s an all-original car – a popular kit that is rarely seen today – and it should bring between $12,500-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

February 2017 Auction Highlights

We pick up where we left off with the last post in Retromobile. We’ll start with Bonhams and a few no-sales: the MV Agusta pickup, Talbot-Lago, Stratos rally car, and Giannini. The top sale was this 1935 Aston Martin Ulster for $2,151,765.

Photo – Bonhams

Other big dollar cars included the Bugatti Brescia for $541,015 and the Maybach for $719,304. On the other end of the scale are the CAP-Fiat Scoiattolo that went for just $9,836 and the APAL Horizon for $31,969. The Tracta sold for $63,938. And the nearly 125-year-old Benz Victoria sold for a price that seems just too low for something this old: $30,739. Click here to view more results from Bonhams.

Artcurial held the “official” Retromobile sale and the Dino Prototype was the top seller at $4,653,824. The Ferrari 166 was second at $3,138,024. Most Interesting goes to this 1908 De Dion-Bouton Bi 15/18HP Double Phaeton that sold for $82,093.

Photo – Artcurial

Of the five Delahayes we featured, only the cheapest (the 135 by Dubos) ended up selling and it went for $126,297. The sell through rate overall was a little rough at this sale, but the Breguet Electric did manage to bring $44,204. Click here to see the rest of the cars that sold.

The Finest had a sale held during the Boca Raton Concours, and while we didn’t get to feature anything, this 2011 Porsche 911 Speedster was the top seller at $246,750. Click here for all of their results.

Photo – The Finest

Mecum’s Los Angeles sale was held in February and, surprise, surprise – a Ford GT was the top sale. This was a 2006 model that brought $305,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Nissan Pao we featured sold for $12,500. Click here for complete results.

Finally, Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Competition Car Sale, which was the first part of a doubleheader they have in February. The top sale (at the time of posting, there were a few cars yet to be listed) was this 1961 Emeryson-Climax Formula 1 car that sold for $217,277.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Ginetta we featured failed to sell. Final results can be found here.

Jaguar XKSS

1957 Jaguar XKSS

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

This is exciting. There are a few cars that we’ve never been able to feature on this site because, well, they just don’t trade hands often. Well now we get to cross one of the big ones off the list. A Jaguar XKSS hasn’t come up for public auction in quite a while. Last time one did, the market was markedly different.

The XKSS was Jaguar’s road-going variant of the legendary D-Type race car. What’s weird though, is that Jaguar built less road cars than racing cars. That’s because in 1956 Jaguar walked away from motorsport and still had 25 D-Types that they had yet to sell. So Sir William Lyons, the head of Jaguar during its golden years, realized he could make some serious money off of American buyers who were lusting after European sports cars.

With an as-new price of $6,900, Jaguar launched the roadster-only XKSS and planned to built 25 of them. But a fire broke out at the factory after only 16 had been completed. and that was it… until 2016 when Jaguar announced they would build, from scratch, the nine remaining cars to finally complete the 25 car run. While they will be exacting in their construction, the newer cars will never have the same appeal as the originals. This car features the correct 3.4-liter straight-six making 250 horsepower. Top speed is listed at 149 mph, with 60 arriving in 5.2 seconds – a time that is still respectable today.

Of the 16 built, 12 were sold new in the U.S. and some of them, this car included, saw track time in their day. It has known ownership history from new and has been in the possession of the consignor since 2000. The restoration is glorious.

It could be another decade before another XKSS comes up for sale, as most of them are locked away in long term collections. It’s a legendary road car – and one of the rarest and most sought after cars of any marque. It certainly tops the list of nearly every Jaguar collector as  the must-have Jag. Gooding and Company isn’t shy about what they think it will bring, slapping an estimate of $16,000,000-$18,000,000 on it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $11,900,000.

Three Italian Microcars

1975 Casalini Sulky

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Casalini bills itself as the oldest microcar company in the world. Not the first, the oldest. They sold their first microcar in 1969 and are still selling tiny vehicles in Europe today. They built this thing – with slight modifications over time – from 1971 through 2000.

Let’s talk about that name, “Sulky.” It seems like it would only by driven by depressed divorcees and people who just failed out of graduate school. Just imagine passing a parade of these things on the highway, all of the drivers sobbing and listening to Adele (okay, so a sulky is technically a type of one-seat horse-drawn carriage).

This car is powered by a 50cc single-cylinder (later cars had 60cc singles then 250cc twins) situated above the rear wheels (which are driven). While the outside of this car looks a little rough, the photos of the engine compartment make it seem very clean, so it might actually be a runner. It will sell at no reserve and you can see more photos here.

Update: Sold $1,701.


1960 Lambretta Li 175

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Innocenti’s fame stems mostly from their line of Lambretta scooters that sold like crazy in Italy after WWII. They built a lot of cars too, but the Lambretta name is more well known than Innocenti’s. The first three-wheelers were badged as Lambrettas but later trucklets (there were vans too) were called the Innocenti Lambro.

This pickup model has a 175cc single-cylinder engine making 7 horsepower. This vehicle is listed in the auction catalog as a “circa 1960 Innocenti Lambro”, which, when coupled with the engine size, raises some questions. If it’s truly an Innocenti Lambro, it would be a Lambro 175 model, which was built from 1963 through 1965. There were also Lambretta-badged pickups with a 175cc engine built from 1959 through 1963. The real giveaway is the badging on it which clearly makes it a Lambretta Li 175, likely a Series 2 model at that. Top speed is 38 mph in case you’re hellbent on setting land speed records.

These aren’t seen too often today (especially outside of Italy) and this one, which is kind of rough, should sell for between $1,875-$2,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,403.


1962 Moto Guzzi Ercole

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

This is (at least) the third commercial vehicle produced by a motorcycle manufacturer that we’ve featured. In the vein of the famous Vespa Ape and Lambretti Lambro, the Moto Guzzi Ercole is a scooter-based pickup truck (though this one seems larger). The Ercole was first introduced in 1946 by Moto Guzzi, Europe’s oldest continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer.

The Ercole would be made through 1980 and this one is powered by a hefty 500cc single-cylinder engine. This three-wheeler is really just a motorcycle up front (the inside of the “passenger compartment” is literally just a motorcycle) with a steel cage wrapped around it. The rear pickup bed is a dumper, which is nice. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,403.

Lambretta Li 175

1960 Lambretta Li 175

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Innocenti’s fame stems mostly from their line of Lambretta scooters that sold like crazy in Italy after WWII. They built a lot of cars too, but the Lambretta name is more well known than Innocenti’s. The first three-wheelers were badged as Lambrettas but later trucklets (there were vans too) were called the Innocenti Lambro.

This pickup model has a 175cc single-cylinder engine making 7 horsepower. This vehicle is listed in the auction catalog as a “circa 1960 Innocenti Lambro”, which, when coupled with the engine size, raises some questions. If it’s truly an Innocenti Lambro, it would be a Lambro 175 model, which was built from 1963 through 1965. There were also Lambretta-badged pickups with a 175cc engine built from 1959 through 1963. The real giveaway is the badging on it which clearly makes it a Lambretta Li 175, likely a Series 2 model at that. Top speed is 38 mph in case you’re hellbent on setting land speed records.

These aren’t seen too often today (especially outside of Italy) and this one, which is kind of rough, should sell for between $1,875-$2,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,403.

Casalini Sulky

1975 Casalini Sulky

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Casalini bills itself as the oldest microcar company in the world. Not the first, the oldest. They sold their first microcar in 1969 and are still selling tiny vehicles in Europe today. They built this thing – with slight modifications over time – from 1971 through 2000.

Let’s talk about that name, “Sulky.” It seems like it would only by driven by depressed divorcees and people who just failed out of graduate school. Just imagine passing a parade of these things on the highway, all of the drivers sobbing and listening to Adele (okay, so a sulky is technically a type of one-seat horse-drawn carriage).

This car is powered by a 50cc single-cylinder (later cars had 60cc singles then 250cc twins) situated above the rear wheels (which are driven). While the outside of this car looks a little rough, the photos of the engine compartment make it seem very clean, so it might actually be a runner. It will sell at no reserve and you can see more photos here.

Update: Sold $1,701.

AC 378 GT Zagato

2012 AC 378 GT Zagato Prototype

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | March 4, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The company formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd. is one of Britain’s oldest manufacturers. Since the end of WWII, the company has mostly built sports cars, some of which were quite famous, like that little roadster called the “Ace.”

When the 1970s arrived, it brought tough times for AC. It was a bumpy road that saw the company began building replicas of the Shelby Cobra – a car based on their Ace. Bankruptcy, joint ventures, and corporate sales followed. Production of Cobra replicas moved Germany and then in 2012, the company showed this concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

With an original design by Zagato, the 378 GT is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 from General Motors that makes 437 horsepower. New management had set up a deal to produce these cars in South Africa (where the Noble and Superformance Cobra were also built) by Hi-Tech Automotive. But somewhere along the way, it all fell apart. This was the only AC-badged 378 GT Zagato built (it also nearly entered full-scale production as the Perana Z-One but only 10 ended up being built. There may have been other AC’s but it is more likely that someone has re-badged a Perana).

This fully road-legal and registered “pre-production prototype” has been owned and cared for by AC Heritage at the Brooklands Motor Museum. It’s an exciting piece from one of the world’s legendary marques. The estimate on this car is $130,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,271.

Meyers Manx

1963 Meyers Manx

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We all know that the 60s were a weird time. But that creativity that persisted throughout America brought us some cool stuff. And So-Cal surfer Bruce Meyers brought us this: the Dune Buggy.

Meyers was an artist, engineer, and even has some experience building sailboats. So he took the ubiquitous-in-California-in-1964 Volkswagen Beetle and ripped the body off it. Replacing it with an open-top fiberglass shell and big, off-road tires, it looked every bit the part of an off-road racer. He started selling kits in 1964 but they were expensive and he only found 12 takers.

Then he set up a real business and the Manx took off. This one is powered by a 1.8-liter VW flat-four (it was originally a 1.6). Production lasted through 1971 when tax problems forced the company to close. At the dawn of the new millennium, Meyers got back into business and you can still buy a Manx kit today. The original run saw about 6,000 made (from 1965-1971). This one is titled as a ’63 because that’s the year of the VW underneath it.

There are a lot of Beetle-based dune buggies out there, but a true Meyers Manx is a rare find. This has to be one of the nicest, being fresh off a $44,000 restoration. Buy it and tear around the beaches – just like Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair. It’ll sell at no reserve and bring someone a lot of fun. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $68,750.

Knox Surrey

1904 Knox Two-Cylinder 16/18HP Tudor Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s strange, but this is the first Knox automobile we’ve featured on the site. It’s weird because Knox automobiles aren’t that rare and it seems that at least one of them changes hands publicly each year. Harry Knox got into the automobile business because he was encouraged to do so by his neighbor. Usually this isn’t a great reason for starting a business, but in this case, Springfield, Massachusetts-based Knox was neighbors with a guy named J. Frank Duryea, one of the brothers behind one of America’s pioneering car companies.

Knox built passenger cars between 1900 and 1914 (and they continued building trucks and tractors through 1924). 1904 was the first year for the two-cylinder Knox, and this car is powered by a 4.5-liter twin making 16 horsepower.

The ownership history on this car is known since new. In the 1940s the car was rescued, as it had been converted as the power source for farm equipment. It passed around through a few collections and museums in the ensuing decades, with the most recent restoration work having been completed in 2012. It is London-to-Brighton eligible and completed the run in 2016.

Four body styles were offered on the 1904 Two-Cylinder Knox and this one features a soft-top Tudor Surrey. It is estimated to bring between $200,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $292,600.