1949 Indy 500 Winner

1947 Diedt-Offenhauser

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Emil Diedt was a California-based fabricator whose name is closely associated with post-war racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This car, the Blue Crown Spark Plugs Special, competed at Indy in four consecutive years, from 1947 through 1950. It’s results were:

  • 1947 Indianapolis 500 – 2nd (with Bill Holland)
  • 1948 Indianapolis 500 – 2nd (with Holland)
  • 1949 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Holland)
  • 1950 Indianapolis 500 – 2nd (with Holland)

That’s the mark of a pretty dominant car. It’s powered by a 270ci Offenhauser inline-four that drives the front wheels, thus pulling the car through corners instead of pushing it. This car wears its Indy-winning livery and has spent time in the IMS museum, where it ultimately belongs.

But instead, you can go out and buy it. It’s one of the not-all-that-many 500-winning cars in private hands. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

I always forget how rare these are. 1953 was the first year for Cadillac’s new halo car, the Eldorado. It was actually the top-of-the-line model of the Series 62 range and was intended as a limited-production specialty car. Only 532 examples were produced.

It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 210 horsepower. It was very expensive when new, running $7,750. A four-door Series 62 sedan would’ve run you $3,666, and a ’53 Chevy 150 Business Coupe cost $1,524. So yeah, not cheap. But oh so pretty.

The model was redesigned for 1954 and production really started to ramp up, leaving these launch cars as rare, special things. This one is about perfect in Azure Blue with a matching interior. I’d say “it can now be yours,” but I want it. So go away. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Super Snipe Drophead Coupe

1950 Humber Super Snipe Mk II Drophead Coupe by Tickford

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Windsor View Lakes, U.K. | July 18, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

The Humber Snipe was first introduced in 1930 and was produced until 1948. The Super Snipe went on sale in 1938 and lasted until the Rootes Group was absorbed by Chrysler in 1967. The second-generation Super Snipe was produced in three distinct series between 1945 and 1952.

This Mk II example is one of 124 bodied as a Drophead Coupe by Tickford (there were 8,361 Mk II cars built in total). Historics notes that about 12 of them were produced specifically for the Royal Family while traveling through Africa. Only 26 are known to exist.

The Mk II featured a wider track, seating for six, and a column-shifted transmission. The 100 horsepower, 4.1-liter inline-six remained unchanged from its predecessor. This car was restored in the early 1990s and is now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

This is the best Chevelle. These are not the best colors for it, but it’s still the best. The second-generation Chevelle was built from 1968 through 1972. The design got bulky and blocky for 1970, which ended up becoming one of the best designs of the era.

The Chevelle model range in 1970 was confusing to say the least, with a couple of different sub-model lines. The SS packages were only available on Malibu sub-models, specifically the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible body styles. So that technically makes this car a Chevelle Malibu Convertible optioned with the RPO Z15 SS 454 option. The base SS 454 came with a 360 horsepower, 7.0-liter V8. This car was further optioned with the 7.0-liter LS6 V8, which bumped power to 450 horses.

Production numbers are pretty confusing for Chevelles – as are verifying if they’re “real” or not (it’s a nightmare). There were 7,511 Malibu convertibles produced, and there were 4,475 LS6-optioned cars made. So SS 454 LS6 convertible production was somewhere in the middle of that Venn diagram. These also happen to be the biggest-money Chevelles. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Alfa Tipo 33 TT 3

1972 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 3

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The World Sportscar Championship was a serious place to be in the 1970s. Some of the most legendary race cars of all time came out of manufacturer desperation to win in this series. Its golden era was roughly between 1966 and 1981, when Group C appeared and everything changed.

So it’s no wonder that Alfa Romeo’s “33” line of endurance racing prototypes was updated fairly frequently between 1966 and 1977. The Tipo 33/3 was introduced in 1967, and by 1969 they realized they could do better. They entered the Tipo 33 TT 3 beginning in 1971.

Differences included a steel space-frame chassis and redesigned cylinder heads for the 3.0-liter V8 that upped output to 440 horsepower (at a shrieking 9,800 rpm). This car was a factory Autodelta racer, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans – 4th (with Andrea de Adamich and Nino Vaccarella)

The car was sold in 1974 to a privateer and later passed through a number of collections. It raced at the Le Mans Classic in 2012 and was last on track there in 2018. Alfa shifted to 12-cylinders after this, making the 33 TT 3 the last great V8-powered Alfa prototype racer. It can now be yours, and more info is available here.

Spyker C8 LM85

2012 Spyker C8 Laviolette LM85

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Slough, U.K. | July 18, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

We all know that the Spyker C8 is one of the coolest supercars of this century. It debuted in 2000 and has been produced in a number of different models over the last 20 years, including this, the Laviolette LM85. Laviolette is Spyker-speak for a “coupe.” Specifically, it’s a hardtop with a glass roof and a big air intake.

That air intake helps cool the mid-rear-mounted, 400-horsepower, 4.2-liter Audi V8. This car is a special edition model built to celebrate Spyker‘s Le Mans history and is sort of a road-going version of the GT2 car raced by the factory “Spyker Squadron” race team (which is a badass name for a race team). All LM85s were finished in Burnt Orange and Gunmetal.

Production was supposed to be capped at 24, but according to Historics, only 15 were built between 2009 and 2012. Spyker road cars are already fascinating enough, but a racing-based road car with cool colors is even better. This one is expected to fetch between $158,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Lil Red Express

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The D-Series Dodge pickup was built in three generations from 1960 through 1980 before being replaced by the Ram (although some Rams still used the “D” nomenclature through the early 1990s). The Lil Red Express was an option package on the D150 Adventurer pickup that was available in 1978 and 1979.

Each Lil Red Express came equipped with dual vertical stack exhaust pipes, wood bed trim, and an 8-track cassette of C.W. McCall’s #1 hit “Convoy.” Okay, I made that last part up, but you can obviously tell this was a pickup for serious over-the-road trucker cosplayers. “Lil Red Express” also doubles as a great name for a ginger rapper (you’re welcome).

This truck is powered by a 360ci/5.9-liter V8 that made 180 horsepower new. Dodge offered a number of special option package (or “lifestyle”) pickups during this era, but this is the most famous. Those exhaust stacks were illegal in some states, so you couldn’t get this truck everywhere. Only 2,188 were built in 1978, and 1979 saw 5,118 takers. Check out more about this truck here, and see more from this sale here.

AC Ace-Bristol

1959 AC Ace-Bristol

For Sale by Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

AC’s first post-war product was the 2-Litre, a kind of frumpy-looking thing using an engine that dated back to 1922. In 1953, they decided to put a sports car into production that was based on a John Tojeiro design. That same dated 2.0-liter engine was the initial underhood offering, but things soon got more exciting.

Beginning in 1956, AC offered a 2.0-liter inline-six from Bristol that made 120 horsepower. Sadly, this engine was also based on a pre-war design, but it made the car capable of 116 mph, which really upped AC’s sports car cred. They won their class at Le Mans and were popular on the sports car racing circuit. By 1961, a Ford-based 2.6-liter inline-six was offered for a short time. AC also offered a coupe version called the Aceca.

The Ace ceased production in 1963, but by that point, an American called Carroll Shelby had found the car and stuffed a V8 into it and called it the Cobra. The Ace name would also reappear in the 1990s on a different car.

In all, 463 Aces were built with a Bristol powerplant, the most common of the three engines offered. But it’s still rare, and it’s still “one of those cars.” It’s sports car royalty, and it’s for sale by Bonhams for $423,164. Click here for more info.

Ferrari F512 M

1995 Ferrari F512 M

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The F512 M was the final version of Ferrari’s iconic Testarossa, which was actually first introduced for the 1984 model year. It is one of the most mass-produced Ferraris, and, at the time, it was the second-most-produced Ferrari after the 308 series.

In 1991, the original Testarossa was replaced by the 512 TR, which is among my favorite Ferrari road cars. In 1994, that car was supplanted by the F512 M, which was still powered by a 4.9-liter flat-12, capable here of 440 horsepower. The styling changes are the biggest giveaway. The pop-up headlights were gone, and the car was stuck with these ugly wheels.

Only 501 examples were produced, making it the rarest of the three Testarossa derivatives by some margin. Only 75 were built for the U.S. market. You can read more about this one here, and see more from Mecum here.

Auto Union 1000 S Coupe

1963 Auto Union 1000 S Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Auto Union was a group of German car brands under one umbrella. But strangely, there were never very many cars sold under the Auto Union marque. In fact, in most markets, the 1000 was the only car ever offered by the brand.

It replaced the DKW 3=6 and looked very similar to that car. Power is from a 981cc inline-three making 50 horsepower. It was produced between 1958 and 1965 and could’ve been had as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or, in SP form, a sports car.

These are very rare in the U.S., even though over 170,000 of them were built. The 1000 was eventually replaced by another DKW product as Auto Union continued to waver on its branding strategy. This example is in great shape and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.