Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021
A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.
This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.
It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | March 5-6, 2021
In the 1980s, the French were doing some crazy stuff with their hatchbacks. Renault and Peugeot produced some monsters. Twenty years later, Renault decided to go crazy again and produced probably the coolest hot hatch of the 21st Century (yeah, I said it).
The second-generation Clio went on sale in 1998 and somehow lasted through 2012. It was available as a three- or five-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. Some of them actually looked okay for what they were, but they were all largely sad in the power and front-engined, front-wheel-drive departments.
In 2001, Renault designed a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive version of the Clio (okay, it was a pretty different car, but shared the name and corporate face). It was based on the Clio V6 Trophy race car of 1999 and was powered by a 2.9-liter, 24-valve V6 located in the rear hatch area, like the Renault 5 Turbo.
This is a “Phase 1” example, meaning output was rated at 227 horsepower and that the car was actually assembled by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in Sweden. Later cars were built by Renault themselves and made more power. Top speed was 146 mph. Only 1,513 Phase 1 cars were built through 2003.
These cars will only appreciate with time, and once they are eligible for U.S. import, I expect them to be grabbed up and hard to get for a good price. Check out more about this RHD example here, and see more from Silverstone here.
Enter Don Yenko, who would become even more famous for modifying Camaros in the late 1960s. He started by hotting-up Corvairs into “Stinger” form. He wanted to make the Corvair SCCA eligible, but it didn’t really fall into a pre-existing category. So he modified an example to fit. But the SCCA required 100 production examples before that version would be race-eligible. So 100 1966 Yenko Stingers would end up being built. This is #50.
The changes from the base car varied from example to example. This car has a “Stage II” flat-six rated at 190 horsepower. It also has four carburetors, a limited-slip differential, a front spoiler, and a four-speed manual transmission. It’s a cool car and among the coolest of Corvairs. Read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | March 20, 2021
This four-door Mercedes-Benz luxury car shares its three numerical digits with the legendary 300SL “Gullwing” sports car. But both cars share the “300” with Mercedes’ 1951-1957 W186 300 series, of which the 300D seen here was the successor.
Introduced in 1957, the 300D shared a version of the Gullwing’s fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six that, here, produced 178 horsepower (thus the “300” designation for “3 liters”, back when such things made logical sense). The 300D was available as a four-door sedan or a cabriolet. The cars were nicknamed “Adenauer” after Konrad Adenauer, who was the first Chancellor of West Germany and a fan of this series of cars.
Only 3,077 hand-built examples of the 300D sedan were built through 1962. This one isn’t a show winner, but it’s a driveable example of one of Germany’s greatest cars of the 1950s. It is expected to sell for between $68,000-$82,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021
I’ve always considered this to be sort of Italy’s take on the muscle car. There have been plenty of cars with Italian designs and American V8s, but this is an entirely Italian car. It features a fastback body that was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone and combines that with a homegrown V8.
The fuel-injected 2.6-liter V8 was derived from the one used in the Tipo 33 race cars and put out 197 horsepower in road car form. The distinctive design features C-pillar vents, headlight shades, and Campagnolo wheels. Top speed was 139 mph.
Approximately 3,925 examples were produced between 1970 and 1977, and they were never officially exported to North America. The “Montreal” name actually comes from the prototype’s first showing at a World’s Fair in Montreal, Canada, in 1967. You can see more about this orange example here, and more lots from Mecum are available here.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Online | January 28-February 5, 2021
The 8-Litre was the best (and final) model produced by Bentley before being taken over by Rolls-Royce. Just 100 examples were produced between 1930 and 1932, and only 78 are known to still exist. And this is one of them.
It was originally fitted with a Weymann close-coupled saloon body, but that was removed and replaced in the early 1960s. The chassis was shortened at this time, and coachbuilders Hoffman & Burton were enlisted to build a sporting body. They came up with this striking pointed-tail two-seater.
Aside from the rarity, the powerplant is the big story here. As the model’s name suggests, the inline-six displaces eight liters and produced 220 horsepower. This one appears to have known history since new and carries an estimate of $550,000-$825,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Co.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 13, 2021
Roland Gumpert previously worked for Audi Sport and founded his own company in Germany in 2004. The next year the company launched the Apollo supercar. Production would continue until Gumpert’s bankruptcy in 2013. In 2016, the remnants of the company were acquired by a business out of Hong Kong that also owns the rights to the De Tomaso brand. Apollo Automobil (the new company) can offer parts assistance for exiting Apollos and are working on their own new models.
The Apollo is powered by an Audi-sourced twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 rated at 641 horsepower. This was the base model, and it would do 223 mph and 60 in 3.1 seconds. Two more-powerful variants were also offered. This particular car was used as a factory demonstrator and was sold new in Italy. At a 2013 track day at Monza, it experienced a rear-wheel hub failure and crashed into the pit wall. Unfortunately this coincided with Gumpert’s bankruptcy, so the car was unable to be repaired at that time.
But once Apollo Automobil sprang up, a complete overhaul (RM calls it a “restoration”) was performed, wrapping in 2017. This is the 20th Apollo built, although I have no idea how many were built in total (it’s at least 40). You can see more about this one here, and more from RM here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 13, 2021
Bowler Manufacturing was founded by Andrew Bowler in 1985. Their bread and butter were modifying Land Rovers, and they did so to such a degree that the trucks would be badged as their own thing, not just a “modified Defender.”
They offered a few models based on the Land Rover Defender, including the Wildcat and the Bulldog, the latter of which featured two doors in what looks like a four-door setup along with a pickup bed. The truck pictured above was first assembled as a Bulldog. It features Bowler’s Cross Sector Platform (CSP) chassis that does away with the old-school Defender chassis.
It was later re-worked by the factory as a new prototype, replacing the Bulldog’s 3.0-liter V6 with a supercharged Jaguar 5.0-liter V8 rated at 542 horsepower. These are described as “off-road racing vehicles” which pretty much sums it up.
Andrew Bowler died unexpectedly in 2016, and Jaguar Land Rover purchased the company in late 2019. This truck is one of a few offered at this sale from the collection of the former Bowler Motors director. It is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2021
Matra, the French car company, had been giving prototype racing a go since the mid-1960s. They struck gold in the early 1970s with the MS670, which would win at Le Mans in 1972, and again in ’73 and ’74 in MS670B/C forms respectively. It was a monster. And this chassis is the actual 1972 Le Mans winner.
This was the first MS670 produced, and it was one of four cars entered at the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s powered by a 416-horsepower, 3.0-liter V12. It was driven to victory by Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill.
The car has been the property of Matra since new, residing in their museum since 1976. It has been restored, and there was some kind of court judgment about the car in 2020 that is forcing it to be sold, which is kind of a shame. But perhaps someone with the $5,000,000-$9,200,000 it’s going to take to buy it will also have the resources to demonstrate it. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 22, 2021
Many people think that peak American cars of the 1950s culminated in the outlandish 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Not so. It peaked more mid-decade, with cars like the Continental Mark II and this, the Eldorado Brougham. These were in a class of their own. The ultra-luxury class.
The Brougham was based on Cadillac’s Orleans and Park Avenue concept cars and featured a pillarless four-door hardtop body with suicide rear doors. The roof was finished in brushed stainless steel, and the car featured a self-leveling suspension, power seats with memory, cruise control, an automatic trunk opener, automatic high-beam headlights, and air conditioning. So basically, it was loaded with all of the stuff (and more) than that of your average 2020 mid-size sedan.
Over-the-top features included drink tumblers, a leather-trimmed cigarette case, a vanity, and a bunch of other stuff Cadillac threw in so everyone could know how high-maintenance you were. Power is from a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 325 horsepower courtesy of dual Rochester carburetors.
So what does all of this run in 1957? Well, how about $13,074 – nearly three times the price of a base Series 62 hardtop sedan from the same year. It also bested the Continental Mark II, which up to that point was the most expensive American car. This car cost more new than a Rolls-Royce. The Brougham was actually the Series 70, to set it apart, and only 400 were built this year. The 1958 model was even rarer. This one should sell for between $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.