Lambert Touring

1912 Lambert Model 66 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | Online | December 2020

Photo – Bring a Trailer

So the story goes that John Lambert built his first gasoline-powered car in 1891, beating both the Duryea brothers and Elwood Haynes to the punch as having built America’s first gas-powered car. Lambert advertised that car for $500, but never actually sold any. A few years later, he got a visit from Haynes, who informed him that the Haynes would be advertised as “America’s first car.” Not quite true, Mr. Haynes.

Lambert never challenged it, and he didn’t start building cars for commercial sale until 1906. The Lambert Automobile Company was a subsidiary of the Buckeye Manufacturing Company that also owned several automotive suppliers. The company stopped producing cars in 1917.

The Model 66 was only built in 1912 and was available as a four- or five-passenger touring car. This five-passenger variant retailed for $1,500 when new and is powered by a 35-horsepower inline-four. This example was restored within the past 10 years and is now up for auction on BaT. The auction ends Monday. Click here for more info.

Atalanta Sports

1937 Atalanta 2-Litre Sports

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The British sports car, exemplified by post-war cars from Triumph, MG, and the like, was not something new that appeared in the 1950s. The British liked the idea for decades before that. Tiny, short-lived marques like Atalanta, Arab, Frazer Nash, and Squire were the forefathers of the TR6, MGB, and Austin-Healey Sprite.

The Atalanta was built between 1937 and 1939 in Middlesex, England. The company was founded by Alfred Gough, an engine-builder for Frazer Nash, as well as Peter Crosby, Peter Whitehead, and Neil Watson. They hand-built their cars, and they were expensive. But look at it. It has all of the style of an SS Jaguar.

Only 20 cars were built in total, and three engines were offered, including a Lincoln-Zephyr V12 in 1938. Most cars had a Gough-designed 1.6- or 2.0-liter inline-four, and this car has the latter. It made 98 horsepower when new. This car is one of only two short-chassis examples produced. It’s also one of only two 2.0L Atalantas built.

This is a great little car and is welcomed at events such as the Le Mans Classic. It is expected to bring between $400,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

MGC Roadster

1968 MG C Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 7-10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The MGC was a short-lived relative of the long-running MGB, the latter of which went on sale in 1962 and was produced through 1980. The B lost its chrome bumpers in 1975 and gained big rubber units, which made the earlier cars seem a lot prettier. This 1968 C is pretty much indistinguishable from the chrome-bumper MGB, with the exception of a subtle hood bulge.

Why the bulge? Well, the C was powered by a 145-horsepower, 2.9-liter inline-six. That’s two cylinders and 50 horsepower more than the B. The MGC was only produced between 1967 and 1969. It’s just a blip on the map of MGB production.

The car was supposed to be a replacement for the Austin-Healey 3000 (but it really wasn’t), and the heavier six-cylinder engine threw off the car’s handling. It was not a success, and only about 4,500 roadster variants ended up being built. This one was restored 30 years ago and is now expected to bring between $28,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

LaSalle 345B Town Coupe

1932 LaSalle Series 345B Town Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021

LaSalle was Cadillac’s “companion marque,” and it launched in 1927. After Pontiac, it was the most successful marque of GM’s companion program with production continuing through 1940. A 1941 LaSalle mockup was produced but never entered production, and instead, it became the 1941-only Cadillac Series 63.

The brand produced V8-powered cars for the entire run, and styling was certainly derivative of Cadillac’s (or, you know, the same). It was, and looks like, a junior Caddy. The Series 345B was 1932’s model and the successor to 1931’s 345A. It was more or less identical to the V8 Cadillac of the same year. I mean, the differences were extremely subtle. Power is from a 5.8-liter V8 rated at 115 horsepower.

Two wheelbases were offered, and this is the shorter of the two, on which four body styles were available. The five-passenger Town Coupe sold for $2,545 when new (Cadillac’s V8 five-passenger coupe cost an extra $400). Only 3,290 LaSalles were built in 1932, and they did not have as good a survival rate as their Cadillac counterparts. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Honda S500

1964 Honda S500

Offered by BH Auction | Osaka, Japan | December 20, 2020

Photo – BH Auction

The S500 was just the second production car from Honda. And it spawned a line of sports cars that has, thus far, culminated in the spectacular S2000 (after quite a long gap). Produced only in 1963 and 1964, the S500 would be replaced by the S600 and then the S800.

Only 1,363 examples were produced, all of which were two-door roadsters. Power is from a 531cc inline-four that routes power to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission and chain drive. That’s right, Honda leaned heavily on its motorcycle experience with this car. It’s got Keihin carburetors and a 9,500-rpm redline.

With just 44 horsepower on tap, it wasn’t blindingly fast. But it’s tiny. Like really tiny. And is a complete “momentum car.” And I’m sure it’s a blast. No estimate is available at this time, but you can read more here and see more from this sale here.

A112 Abarth

1983 Autobianchi A112 Abarth

Offered by Aguttes | Online | December 13, 2020

Photo – Aguttes

The A112 is probably Autobianchi’s most famous model aside from the Bianchina. It was produced between 1969 and 1980 and carried styling by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The car was actually produced in eight different series, and this car is a Series VI, which was offered between 1982 and 1984.

The Abarth version of the A112 was a hot little hatch in its day. These are largely the best preserved A112s, and this particular example is powered by a 1,050cc inline-four rated at 70 horsepower.

As Aguttes points out, the end of the Series VI A112 Abarth marked the end of Carlo Abarth’s involvement with the model, which fizzled out as Autobianchi tried to move on from the A112. This Belgian example actually looks pretty nice, and it carries a pre-sale estimate of $14,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

De Tomaso Sport 5000

1965 De Tomaso Sport 5000

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021

Photo – Mecum

We’ve previously detailed the long and complicated history of the car that became the De Tomaso P70 aka the Ghia De Tomaso aka some race car that Carroll Shelby, Pete Brock, Medardo Fantuzzi, and Alejandro de Tomaso all had a hand in creating.

After Shelby bailed on the project to go run the GT40 program, Pete Brock sort of lingered around and talked de Tomaso into becoming his North American distributor for the P70 race car, 50 of which were supposed to be built. De Tomaso modified the design of the P70 slightly and built a second car, this one, and called it the Sport 5000.

It’s powered by a 4.7-liter (289) Ford V8 rated at 475 horsepower thanks to aluminum cylinder heads and four Weber carburetors. The car never got its competition career off the ground, only competing in a single race: the 1966 Mugello Grand Prix round of the World Sportscar Championship. But it broke on the first lap with driver Roberto Bussinello behind the wheel.

After that, de Tomaso put this car in storage, where it remained until his passing in 2003. It remains pretty much as-raced (except for whatever broke in 1966). You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum. In Florida. During a pandemic. Here. Good luck.

MG Midget Mk III

1970 MG Midget Mk III

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 7-10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The MG Midget was produced between 1961 and 1980, and it is a car I have become quite smitten with as of late (though, to be honest, I am much more smitten with its earlier Austin-Healey corporate cousin, the Sprite Mk III). That said, this is about as perfect a spec of a Midget as you can find.

The Mk III was produced between 1966 and 1974. Changes from earlier versions included a larger engine – a 1,275cc inline-four rated at 65 horsepower. It was updated during the course of the model run, and 1970 cars received black rocker panels and a recessed black grille. This car has body-color rockers and Minilite-style wheels. Both big improvements.

It also had an engine rebuild in the 1980s and has just 43,000 miles. Midgets are a great entry point into collector car ownership, and this pretty nice example should command between $6,600-$9,300. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

XK140 SE

1957 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Jaguar’s XK140 replaced their XK120 in 1954. It would be produced for three years and cover multiple body styles and a few sub-models, including the Special Equipment (SE) model, which was sold as the “MC” in the United States. The range was supplanted by the XK150 in 1957.

One body style was the Roadster, as shown here with a disappearing soft top. XK140s could also be had as fixed-head and drophead coupes, the latter saw the soft top pile up behind the seats when stowed. All XK140s were powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six, and in SE spec with a C-Type cylinder head, power was upped from 190 to 210 horsepower.

This restored example was a U.S.-spec car originally and has returned to the U.K. So I guess that makes it an SE by way of an MC. It should sell for between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Escort RS Turbo

1988 Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 2

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

In America, there is nothing remotely sexy about the name “Ford Escort.” There are no glorious images of the car on African rallies. No clips of RS-branded hatchbacks racing through the streets. We just got the crappy sedans and hatchbacks.

Not so in the U.K., where cool Escorts appeared as early as the 1960s. The fourth-generation Escort went on sale in 1986 and was produced through 1992. The RS Turbo actually debuted during the previous generation (thus why this is called a Series 2) and continued in production for the duration of the fourth-generation model run.

It is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four rated at 132 horsepower. It was fuel injected, intercooled, and capable of 125 mph and 60 in 8.3 seconds. Not super quick today, but fun and relatively cheap in 1988. This one has 36,000 miles and looks pretty good in black with a sly rear spoiler and driving lights up front. It is expected to sell for between $18,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.