Panhard Wagonette

1899 Panhard et Levassor Type M2F 6HP Twin-Cylinder Wagonette

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

In today’s market, the hot segment is SUVs, particularly small SUVs. Mazda has the CX-5, Honda has the CR-V, and Toyota has the RAV4 (among many, many others). But think back to just prior to the turn of the century (as if any of us were there). There were a fair number of automakers and they were all competing for business. But they all produced completely different vehicles, right? Well, apparently, in the late 1890s, the Wagonette was a popular segment to be in. Check out this Daimler (and this one) and this Fisson. Who knew?

This Type M2F Wagonette is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-twin making six horsepower. It is thought that it was discovered alongside two other extremely old cars in France in the 1960s. The restoration on this car is a few decades old, but it’s seen continual use (such as the at the London-to-Brighton run) and has been kept in very nice condition.

There are some of these out there, but I’m not sure how many were actually built. It is one of very few early Panhards in the U.S. and is a great example of what was once a popular car. It should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Nash Pickup

1946 Nash P1 Pickup Prototype

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

Nash was one of the lucky few to survive the Depression and the War. Nash had a history of rugged vehicles but they never really got going with light duty trucks, though in 1946 they apparently experimented with just such a vehicle. This was a time when automakers were scrambling to produce cars and trucks America wanted after years of a stagnant auto industry.

As you can tell, styling was certainly an important factor. It kind of reminds me of a Studebaker pickup of the era from the windshield on back. The front of the truck is clearly shares corporate styling cues from the Nash 600 and it’s powered by a 3.8-liter straight-six, which was likely installed during a comprehensive restoration and was probably not the engine it came with.

It’s unclear how many of these Nash actually built (the possibility exists that it was more than one), but the catalog says that this is the only one in existence. It’s curious that it is in the U.K., but Nash may have exported any prototypes to shield themselves from liability issues. At any rate, the P1 never made it to production, making this a rare piece of American auto history. It will sell at no reserve with an expected result of $21,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,216.

Kellison J4R

1959 Kellison J4R Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Can we all agree that this looks like a late model race car? Like it should be sideways, sliding around a dirt short track somewhere? But it’s not, it’s a Kellison J4R, a fiberglass hot rod sold in the 1950s and 60s by Jim Kellison.

Available as a kit or a ready-to-run complete car (which would’ve run you a pricey $6,700 in 1960), the J4 was available between about 1958 and sometime in the early 1960s. This one is powered by a 497 horsepower, 6.6-liter V-8 and was originally set up as a race car (the “R” denotes a lightweight racing body, as on this J5R).

The current owner acquired this car in 2001 and wanted to be able to use it on the street, so he had it converted to a street-legal setup making it an awesome road and track car. The J4 was available as a Coupe or much rarer Roadster. About 300 examples of the Coupe were built and this one should sell for between $35,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $28,000.

February 2018 Auction Highlights

February means Retromobile, which has become one of the most important sale weekends of the year with the quality of cars on offer rivaling the annual Monterey weekend. First up from Paris is RM Sotheby’s. The only sub-$100,000 car we featured was the AGS Panhard that brought $39,452. The top sale was this 2017 Bugatti Chiron for $4,072,358. If people are willing to pay that much, maybe Bugatti should charge more to start with?

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The OSCA we featured approached the million dollar mark, bringing $970,994. The Bizzarrini brought $260,667, the big Mercedes $197,262, and the one-off Magnate Barchetta $109,198. Click here for complete results.

The next sale here was Bonhams. We featured quite a few cars with another Bugatti, the Type 57 Torpedo sharing top sale honors with this big 1904 Fiat Type 24/32 Rear-Entrance Tonneau at $873,567 each.

Photo – Bonhams

We featured six Minervas from this sale and they all sold. From most to least expensive we have: the 1907 Open-Drive Limousine for $744,906, the 1910 Type S for $205,736, the 1912 Model CC for $156,075, the 1938 Limousine for $99,320, the Model Z for $87,969, and the Type AK (the only one not to blow away its reserve) for $78,037.

Two cars didn’t sell: the Imperia and Tojeiro. The other sedans we featured sold, with the Turcat-Mery bringing the least: $29,796. At the other end of the spectrum was the Hispano-Suiza which sold for $411,472. The De Dion sold for $227,019 and the Renault Limousine $194,385.

The other three cars we featured sold and their results are: FN Tourer for $35,471, Zedel for $53,917, and Pipe Cabriolet for $39,728. Complete results can be found here.

Artcurial held the third Retromobile sale in Paris and we featured even more cars from this sale than we did from Bonhams, so let’s get to it. Remarkably, yet another Bugatti was the top sale at this auction – Bugatti ruled the weekend. In this case, it was this 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante for $3,556,420.

Photo – Artcurial

Some of the big-dollar feature cars we had from this sale included the two Hispano-Suizas, with the J12 Sedan bringing $788,508 and the K6 Sedan $350,448. The other Vanvooren-bodied car we featured was the 1912 Panhard which sold for $365,050 (the wild Voisin brought the same amount).

The Sbarro GT1 supercar sold for $116,816 and the rare Monica Sedan $131,418. The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, the Gordini, the Rene Bonnet Aerodjet, and the Simca Barquette all failed to sell. The other two race cars both sold: Chenard et Walcker Tank ($94,913) and Riffard Tank ($70,090).

Now on to all of the weird ones. These were all from the same collection:

Click here for everything else.

A quick 12 hour flight from Paris is Los Angeles, where Mecum held their sale in February. The top seller was this 2006 Ford GT for $327,500.

Photo – Mecum

Less than half of the feature cars we had from this sale sold, with the Dodge Spectator and the Corvair Wagon both having been withdrawn from the sale (the third wagon, the Bel Air, sold for $13,200 and looks like it will be appearing at Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale in a few weeks). The Olds 442 also failed to sell. But the Facel Vega was a star, bringing $214,500 – one of the largest amounts of the sale. Click here for the rest of the results.

And finally, the first of back-to-back sales from Silverstone Auctions. This was the “Race Retro” half and the top sale was $254,566 paid for this 1990 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 Group A race car.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Fairthorpe Electron we featured brought $31,428. Click here for more results.

Railton Woody

1935 Railton Straight Eight Estate

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | Ascot, U.K. | March 3, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Railton is an old British car maker, but not as old as you might think. Noel Macklin, who also founded Invicta, founded Railton in 1933 after selling his former company. The company was named for Reid Railton who was famous for his land speed record attempts (and for founding the Arab marque). Reid Railton had little input on these cars but was paid a little for each sold. Also, there are various Railton Specials out there that Reid built for his record attempts but those aren’t related to this company.

The first Railtons were built on modified Hudson Terraplane chassis. Then they moved on to other Hudson running gear and, ultimately, in 1939, Macklin sold the entire company to Hudson which phased it out later that year (though a few were built after the war).

This car uses a 4.2-liter Hudson straight-eight engine making 113 horsepower. It was a pretty strong car in its day: American power and European style and size. This particular example left the factory as a tourer, but during restoration in 2005 that body was found to be beyond saving and this period-style Woody Estate was built instead. It certainly looks like it could’ve come off the assembly line like this and it’s very attractive. And with that big Hudson motor it’s even more exciting. It should bring between $55,000-$63,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Kurtis KK4000

1952 Kurtis KK4000

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Now we’re talkin’. Here is an Indy car from the early 1950s, back when these cars ran on dirt more often than pavement. It predates other Kurtis cars, namely their Indy Roadsters. Frank Kurtis built some of the most dominant race cars of this era and, especially in the early 1950s, they won just about everything.

The KK4000 was new for 1951 but race cars then tended to be fielded for years, even after they ceased to be competitive (a different KK4000 was raced until 1975). The 4000 series was a development of the earlier 3000 series and featured a lighter construction, thus making it faster. It’s powered by a 4.4-liter Offenhauser straight-four – probably the most legendary race car engine of all time.

Only 12 examples of the KK4000 were built and they rarely change hands. The race history of this chassis includes:

  • 1952 Indy 500 – DNQ (with Allan Heath)
  • 1953 Indy 500 – ?
  • 1954 Indy 500 – 21st, DNF (with Pat O’Connor)
  • 1955 Indy 500 – 30th, DNF (with Ed Elisian)
  • 1956 Indy 500 – DNQ (with John Kay)

It was entered in the ’53 500 but I can’t find who drove this chassis that race and if it even qualified. Bonhams doesn’t seem to know either. This car raced up through 1959 before it was retired and sold to a collector. It has been restored to 1955 race spec. This is a very rare, very historically important race car (this was the car Elisian was driving when he pulled over and tried to help Bill Vukovich after his fatal crash). It should sell for between $275,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2018, $291,500.

1910 Lion-Peugeot

1910 Lion-Peugeot V2Y2

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

Lion-Peugeot was part of the Peugeot empire, but it was different from the Peugeot marque we all know. Basically, Armand Peugeot built the big cars and Robert, his cousin, built the smaller, less-powerful cars. These were called Lion-Peugeots.

For 1910, Lion-Peugeot offered three legacy models and two new ones. The new, for 1910-only models, were the V2C2 and this, the sport version of that car, dubbed V2Y2. It’s powered by a 1.7-liter two-cylinder engine that makes 16 horsepower. So “sport” is relative.

They built 515 examples of this car but only 300 of them were chain-driven (the rest had shaft drive). This car, which was delivered new to Mexico (where it would remain until the 1990s when it came to the U.S.), is the only chain-drive example of the V2Y2 known to exist. This is an exquisitely restored, very rare, very sporty looking automobile from an obscure arm of an automotive giant. It should bring between $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $220,000.

Daimler DS420 Landaulette

1985 Daimler DS420 Landaulette

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 7, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

The Daimler DS420 was a very large luxury car built by the British Daimler company (not the German one). It was available for an eternity: 1968 through 1992. It was a Daimler original, offered alongside rebadged Jaguars for its entire production run, even though it was based on the Jaguar 420G.

Featuring a 141 inch wheelbase and powered by a 4.2-liter Jaguar straight-six that made 245 horsepower, the DS420 was used by the ruling families of both the U.K. and Sweden. It just looks like a car that would meander out of the grounds of some British palace somewhere, doesn’t it? More recently, the cars have been very popular on the British Wedding Car circuit.

In 24 years, they built 4,141 limousines and sold 903 of these as a bare chassis. Only two were factory Landaulettes – this is not one of them as neither factory car exists today. Quite a few were converted to Landaulette form for the wedding car business, which this car was likely a part of. The car shows well enough but the engine looks complicated and the interior looks like a relatively nice British car from the 80s. The Landaulette conversion doesn’t really help or hurt the value, with this bringing an estimate of $14,000-$16,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Sold $13,852.

The 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Models

The 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Models

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018


1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 964 was the generation of Porsche 911 cars produced between 1989 and 1994. These were air-cooled cars and were offered as coupes, cabriolets, and targas. A Turbo went on sale in 1990 but Porsche had something more exclusive in mind with the Carrera RS series of cars that first went on sale in Europe in 1992.

For 1993, Porsche introduced the Carrera RS 3.8, which was a Europe-only model. It was a lightweight, rear-wheel drive road car powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six making 300 horsepower. It also sported the body and styling from the 911 Turbo. Sold through 1994, only 55 examples of this car were built.

This is the second-to-last car built and it has been in the U.S. on a “Show and Display” license since 2015. It’s a super rare 911 road car that will demand big money when it goes under the hammer next month. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,655,000.


1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

So what’s the difference between this car and the car above? Well, that second “R” in the name, for starters. That is an “R” as in racing. If you look closely you’ll be able to see that there is a full roll cage in there and only one seat. It might be painted like a road-going 911, but it is a full-on race car.

Porsche is amazing because this, like many of their customer race cars, are built on the same 911 assembly line as the road cars. It wears the same Turbo-look body as the road car and has the same 3.8-liter flat-six, but in racing guise it’s good for as much as 375 horsepower. Zero to 60 came in 3.7 seconds and it topped out at 181 mph.

Porsche built 55 of these as well, enough for FIA homologation. This one was delivered new to Japan and was never competitively raced, just used at private facilities by its well-heeled owners. It’s another big money car. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,270,000.


1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS America

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Porsche built their RS models and sold them in Europe, mainly, but not in the U.S. Well, America has quite a taste for high-performance cars and they wanted in, so to make them happy, Porsche built this: the Carrera RS America.

Built for 1993 and 1994 only, the RS America features a lack of features most 911s would’ve originally had. Things like: power steering, cruise control, powered mirrors, air conditioning, sunroof, and even a radio (though you could heap some of them back on as options). The engine is a 3.6-liter flat-six making 250 horsepower. Top speed was 157 mph.

Equipped with the big “whale tail” spoiler, this Carrera RS America is #34 of 701 built. It’s a 1,600 mile car and it is street legal in the U.S. (unlike the two cars above). While this may be the least expensive of the three cars shown here, it is by no means “cheap.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $190,400.

Arnolt-Bristol

1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Stanley Arnolt was a Chicagoan who decided in the 1950s that he wanted to import some cars from Europe. The first was called the Arnolt-MG and it was an Italian-bodied car based on an MG. After this followed brief flings with Aston Martin and Bentley before he arrived at Bristol Cars in England.

The body for the Arnolt-Bristol was designed by Bertone and the chassis and engine were supplied by Bristol. The cars were then shipped to Indiana for any final finishing needed before being sold. The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. Three models were offered: the stripper Competition, the mid-range Bolide racer with a folding windscreen and the better-appointed Deluxe road car.

This race car was kept by Arnolt and raced by the factory at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 29th (4th in class) with 49-year-old racing legend René Dreyfus (and co-driver Robert Grier) behind the wheel. It was sold to a privateer in 1963 who kept the car active in the racing scene in Canada. It’s since been restored and looks very nice. Only 142 of these were built and only 85 are known to exist. These are really cool American-European hybrid race cars and their prices has been pretty strong for years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $401,000.