1934 Cadillac Series 452D Aerodynamic Coupe by Fleetwood
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
Wow. Cadillac built V16-powered cars for 10 years between 1930 and 1940. The Series 452D was built for 1934, and quite a few body styles were offered, perhaps none more dramatic than this “Aerodynamic Coupe” designed and built by Fleetwood. Mecum refers to this as “the world’s first fastback coupe.”
That’s right, this is a two-door coupe. On a 154″ wheelbase. That’s 20 inches longer than a 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, which has two additional doors. This car does have a spacious rear passenger area, though. But still, ye gods.
The 7.4-liter (452ci) V16 made 169 horsepower, and the car could hit 100 mph. This is one of America’s greatest-ever cars. And this is perhaps its best body style. Not to mention, it’s purple.
So how rare is it? Well, for a combination of 1934 and 1935, Cadillac produced just 150 examples of the V16. Just three Aerodynamic Coupes were built. This one spent a decade in the Blackhawk Collection before being purchased by its current owner in 2007. Mecum is not auctioning this car but is sort of “presenting it for sale” at their Glendale sale. If you have to ask how expensive it is, you cannot afford it. Click here for more info.
This prototype is about as far from a base Lancia Fulvia as you can get, style-wise. Various versions of the Fulvia were built between 1963 and 1976, including a very boxy sedan, a sporty coupe, and a Zagato-bodied Sport model.
This car actually began as a Rallye 1.6 HF model that was later modified, with updated styling by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. It exists, apparently, by Alejandro de Tomaso wanted Ford to buy Lancia so that de Tomaso could become Lancia’s CEO. In order to do this, he needed to convince Ford that Lancia could be a Ferrari competitor.
No one was going to mistake this car’s 1.6-liter V4 for a Ferrari V12, however. Its modest 113 horsepower was not going to set any speed records, although that didn’t stop the project from setting its eyes on taking this car to Le Mans. But none of that ever happened, as Fiat heard about the plan and scooped up Lancia before anyone else had a chance.
So now this car exists as a one-off “what if” sort of thing. It is being sold through RM’s private sales, with an asking price of about $168,000. Click here for more info.
The Indianapolis-based Cole Motor Car Company existed between 1909 and 1925. Their claim to fame is that they were an early adopter of the V8 engine, which was actually introduced with this model, 1916’s 8-50 (which was more or less identical to 1917’s Series 860).
A handful of body styles were offered, including this three-seat roadster. That’s right, three seats. It’s practically a McLaren F1, except that the driver and front-passenger seats are split apart, with a narrow pathway to the rear bench that has a backrest for someone to sit in the middle.
The V8 engine, curiously, was actually produced by a then-division of General Motors. It’s a 5.7-liter V8 and it was made by Northway. The factory rating was 39 horsepower. This car is listed as a project, but the seller (the Indy Motor Speedway Museum) has a video of it driving around. Bidding is up to $8,500 at the time of this writing, and the car will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
The 2600 is one of Alfa’s great post-war designs. Produced between 1962 and 1968, the 2600 was available in sedan, coupe, and convertible form. The Spider, as seen here, was styled by Carrozzeria Touring. Only 2,255 examples of the Spider were built.
This one was sold new in the Netherlands and was restored a few years ago. It is finished in a yellowish cream with a black soft top and wire wheels. Power is from a 2.6-liter inline-six that made 145 horsepower from the factory. This car has been fitted with triple Webers that push power to a Sprint Zagato-like 164 horsepower.
This is a very attractive car in very good colors. It’s a usable tourer with styling from Touring. You can’t go wrong. The pre-sale estimate is $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-27, 2021
This car is what, almost 70 years old? It still looks like a concept car today. It was designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin and produced by Kaiser, a company generally known for staid sedans produced on a shoestring budget. This car had the potential to raise Kaiser above other companies with pure style. But it wasn’t to be.
The Darrin was based on the compact Henry J frame and was powered by a 2.6-liter Willys inline-six rated at 90 horsepower. Not exactly supercar territory, but it was light. The concept car debuted in 1952, and it was America’s first fiberglass sports car, even though production didn’t start until 1954 – the only model year the car was offered.
Kaiser’s finances were a mess at this point, so it never really stood a chance. Only 435 examples were built, the last 50 of which were sold by Darrin himself with different engines or superchargers (this car was later retrofitted with a supercharger). The cars have doors that slide on tracks into the fender wells. How cool is that!? This one also has a rare hardtop. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-26, 2021
Based in Milan, Ernesto Foglietti was a producer of Formula Junior cars beginning in the late 1950s. He continued into the early 1960s, and it’s likely that this was among the final cars he built. It is the only surviving (of two built) 1963 Formula Junior cars built.
The car features a tube and box-type frame with low bodywork (it’s lower than the tires). Power is from a 1.0-liter Ford inline-four that makes 90 horsepower. This car was likely used in both Formula Junior (1.0- or 1.1-liter cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s) and Formula 3 (500cc cars in the late 1950s and 1.0-liter cars from 1964-1970) back in the day, hence the name listed above.
It was restored between 2008 and 2010 and is ready for the historic circuit. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
It’s always weird when manufacturers adorn cars with different branding based on where they are sold. The NSX is an Acura product in North America. But pretty much everywhere else in the world, it’s a Honda. And this Honda NSX is from the middle of the first generation. It was delivered new to France, so it’s left-hand drive, but it’s also 25 years old. That means you can bring it to the U.S.
The first-gen NSX is an appreciating classic. It’s one of the last wonderfully analog cars. In 1995, the NSX was still two years away from a displacement increase and a power bump, and the 3.0-liter V6 in this car was rated at 270 horsepower.
There are more desirable and interesting colors, but you can’t really go wrong with red on a two-door, mid-engine sports car. This 15,000-mile example should sell for between $67,000-$91,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | March 20, 2021
The Triumph Herald was a small, four-cylinder car built between 1959 and 1971. It was available in just about every two-door configuration imaginable aside from a pickup. But it was not very powerful or very fast. So, in 1962, Triumph decided to offer a different, yet similar model with a bigger engine.
There were 51,212 examples of the Vitesse built through 1971, split between two-door sedans, convertibles, and a very rare wagon across three different series. The first Vitesse models, including this one, were powered by a 1.6-liter inline-six that made 70 horsepower. Giovanni Michelotti styled the Herald, and he tweaked the same design and called it the Vitesse.
This car is one of 8,447 first series convertibles built. It is expected to bring between $18,000-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
Here’s a car I’ve wanted to feature for years. For a while, about a decade ago, these were popping up for sale right and left. And then the trail went cold. Spoiler alert: the current owner of this car bought it in 2012, which aligns with my timeline.
Let’s start with the 402, which was Peugeot’s large family car produced between 1935 and 1942. About 75,000 were built. Most were factory sedans, but there were plenty of aftermarket coachbuilt versions as well.
Some of those were cars built for Parisian Peugeot dealer Emile Darl’Mat. Darl’Mat obtained permission from Peugeot to commission a run of sports cars to celebrate Peugeot’s history at Le Mans. Marcel Pourtout’s company was brought in to body the cars, which were initially based on the smaller 302 chassis. Production shifted to the 402 before too long, which offered a larger, 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 55 horsepower. All of them were streamlined French masterpieces.
This car is one of 53 Darl’Mat roadsters built, and an additional 20 coupes and 32 convertibles were also made. Only about 30 survive. Darl’Mat’s vision of a sporty Peugeot really took off when his namesake cars ended up running well at Le Mans in 1937 and 1938.
The pre-sale estimate on this car (400233) is $430,000-$670,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | February 18, 2021
Mercedes-Benz has been in the commercial vehicle business for a long time. Longer than just about anyone, in fact. The L319 was a “light” commercial platform produced by the company between 1955 and 1968. It was their first such vehicle, slotting in between a small delivery van and a run-of-the-mill truck.
They were available in a variety of body styles, including vans, flatbed trucks, and more. A minibus variant called the O319 was also available. This would’ve originally had a small, 55-horsepower diesel engine in it, but now it has a replacement 2.0-liter diesel inline-four.
This tiny bus has apparently been in a private Welsh collection for years, being primarily used as a wedding party bus (though the interior still has very bus-like rows of seating). It is expected to sell for between $41,000-$48,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Bid to $34,192… Brightwells doesn’t make it easy to tell if a car sold or not. This one missed its estimate so I’m not sure.