H6B Transformable Cabriolet

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B Transformable Cabriolet by Belvallette

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This French-built Hispano-Suiza is from the middle of the H6 line and is one of many such cars built by the company to carry a beautiful coachbuilt body. The H6B was introduced in 1922, and the entire line lasted through 1933.

This car is bodied by Belvallette of Paris. It’s a four-door convertible, with suicide doors up front and a semi-formal three-position convertible top. The engine is a 135 horsepower, 6.6-liter inline-six. The original owner of the car is known, but the trail goes dark for over 60 years before the car reappeared in 1984 in original condition.

Since restored, the car has resided in a few prominent U.S.-based collections since. It is now estimated to be worth between $375,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $445,000.

Bremen Sebring

1985 Bremen Sebring

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 14, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Kit cars get a bad rap, and while it is sometimes deserved, I always remember that “hey, someone thought this was a good idea.” In this case, that someone was Al Hildebrand, the importer of the Sterling (aka the Nova) kit car who decided he could improve upon that already-popular idea.

The Sebring is Volkswagen-based, and this car is powered by a flat-four from a Porsche 914 (displacement unknown!). It’s actually in really good shape, as many of these were not cared for as this one has been. The dashboard even has a TV monitor in it.

The coolest part of this car is that it doesn’t have doors. Instead, the entire canopy flips forward to allow access to the cabin. Founded around 1970, Hildebrand’s Bremen, Indiana-based company lasted until 1988. They offered other kits as well, along with V6 and turbo V6-powered Sebrings. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Kaiser Vagabond

1949 Kaiser DeLuxe Vagabond

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Kaiser-Frazer was an American car company that popped up after WWII. Kaiser sold its first cars in 1947, and by 1955 the company was gone. During their short lifespan, they built some really cool cars, including this, the Vagabond.

Technically part of the DeLuxe line, the Vagabond was sold alongside a four-door DeLuxe Sedan, a four-door DeLuxe Convertible, and the Virginian, a four-door hardtop. The Vagabond was actually a utility sedan and it had a beautiful cargo area:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The rear seats fold flat for increased cargo space, and a covered spare tire is present in the left-rear doorwell, making that door virtually unusable. From the outside, this looked like an attractive-enough sedan. But with that rear hatch and wood-slat cargo area, it’s quite a looker from the inside. And functional too.

Power is from a 3.7-liter inline-six capable of 100 horsepower. It is estimated that only 25 of these were produced for the 1949 model year. While the DeLuxe Vagabond might sound like a stylish hobo, this car is one of Kaiser-Frazer’s best pieces of work. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,080.

1901 Winton Runabout

1901 Winton Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

It’s great when a catalog lists two great Wintons, including this one from early in the company’s history. Alexander Winton’s company was the first to actually put a gasoline-powered car into “production.” He sold 22 cars in 1898, including one to a guy named James Ward Packard.

New models arrived for 1901, both powered by single-cylinder engines. The horizontal unit in this car displaces 2.4-liters and produced eight horsepower when new. You could only get the Runabout body with this engine, and it cost $1,200 when new.

Almost every early Winton is in a museum or locked in a private collection. This one was in a private collection, for the last 30 years. It’s now on the market with an estimate of $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $142,800.

Duesenberg J-490X

1932 Duesenberg Model J Tourster

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 9, 2020

Photo – Mecum

So what’s the deal with the engine number on this one? The Model J that carries engine J490 is out there, alive and well. But this car also has a 265 horsepower, Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight that has “J490” stamped on it. But it also has an “X”… which most likely means this engine was returned to the factory during the 1930s, rebuilt, restamped, and sold. It probably carried a different number prior to the factory rebuild.

Meanwhile, engine J490 was probably rebuilt separately and used in another car. Remanufactured or not (many of these engines have been rebuilt over the years), this is still a real-deal Duesey engine and a real-deal Model J frame. The body, however, is a reproduction of a Derham Tourster.

This car is said to originally have had a Derham body, but it could’ve been a sedan or something and probably wasn’t one of the original eight Toursters. With this muddled history, the car is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. A bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $522,500.

250 GT Series II Cabriolet

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

There were quite a number of models in Ferrari’s 250 GT range, but only four drop-top models: the short- and long-wheelbase California Spider, and the less pricey Pinin Farina Cabriolets, which were offered in two series.

Pinin Farina’s Series II 250 GT Cabriolet was introduced in October 1959 and was the most expensive car in the 250 GT line when new. It is powered by a 240 horsepower, 3.0-liter V12. The differences between the Series I and Series II were slight but included revised front-end styling and four-wheel disc brakes from Dunlop.

This dark red example has had four owners since new and is the 68th of 200 examples produced. It should sell for between $1,300,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,462,500.

Mantide

2009 Bertone Mantide

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15, 2020

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Let’s start by stating that “Mantide” is a ridiculous name for anything, including a car (it means “Mantis” in Italian). The Bertone Mantide is a concept car produced by Bertone in 2009. They initially planned to build a run of 10 examples, but only one was ever completed.

It is based on the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, which means the engine is up front. That engine is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that makes 638 horsepower. Top speed is 218 mph. The car was shown at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show – and it was originally red.

Its first owner had it repainted white, and the car was later shown at The Quail, where it won the supercar class. In an era of limited-run supercars, it seems relatively easy to come across an example that never got past the prototype stage. But it’s not so easy to actually get a chance to acquire one. You can read more about this car here and see more from Worldwide Auctioneers here.

1927 Locomobile

1927 Locomobile Model 90 Sportif

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Locomobile was one of America’s earliest car companies, and they began by producing steam cars. Gasoline-powered vehicles followed, and the company survived WWI and into the 1920s. In 1919, the Model 48 was introduced, and it was the grandest car the company ever made.

A few years later, in 1922, Locomobile was acquired by Billy Durant, who was forming his post-GM empire, Durant Motors. Locomobile was at the top of the heap, alongside Durant, Star, Flint, and Rugby. It all went wrong after the stock market crash in 1929, and the brands disappeared after 1932, with Locomobile not even making it to the 1930s.

The Model 90 was introduced in 1926 and is powered by an 86-horsepower, 6.1-liter L-head inline-six. It rode on a 138-inch wheelbase, which was only four inches shorter than the mighty 48. This example is one of two Model 90 Sportifs known to exist and is thought to have once been owned by Cliff Durant, a racing driver, and Billy’s son.

You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $58,240.

Winton Big Six

1912 Winton Model 17-C Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I. Love. Wintons. Alexander Winton is one of the most important figures in the early days of the automobile. He was the first person to formally set up production of cars in the U.S. A Scottish immigrant, Winton switched from bicycle production to experimenting with gasoline engines in 1896.

His first cars were sold in 1897. He sold 100 of them in 1899. By the teens, the company was fighting against the likes of Packard and Lozier near the upper end of the market, selling exclusively six-cylinder cars. Unfortunately, they ceased production in 1924. Cool fact: Winton set up a diesel engine building business that was ultimately sold to GM in 1930. It is still around as part of EMD.

This Model 17-C is powered by a 48 horsepower 7.5-liter inline-six. It was restored long ago and still remains well out of my price range, with an estimate of $200,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $140,000.

Duesenberg Opera Coupe

1926 Duesenberg Model A Opera Coupe

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Model A was Duesenberg’s first production automobile after years of building racing cars and engines. It was a few other firsts as well: it was the first car produced with hydraulic brakes and the first U.S.-based production car with a straight-eight engine.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter straight-eight, in fact, that makes 88 horsepower. Production lasted from 1921 through 1926, and only about 650 examples were produced. This one comes from near the end of the run and wears an Opera Coupe body by the McNear Body Company of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Just 21 (ish) examples of the Model A are known to exist, and this is the only one with this coachwork. It is expected to bring between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.