Buick GSX

1970 Buick GSX

Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 5, 2020

Photo -Mecum

“GS” is Buick-speak for something sporty. It’s been applied to Regals, Wildcats, and Rivieras. In 1966, the Skylark Gran Sport became its own sub-model in the Skylark line. It was broken out as its own model in 1967 in GS350 and GS400 form.

In 1970, Buick updated the model line to base or 445 forms, and it continued in this form through 1972. In the middle of 1970, Buick added the GSX performance package as a $1,196 option on the Gran Sport 455. Equipment included a hood tachometer, a four-speed Hurst shifter, and a 350 horsepower, 445ci (7.3-liter) V8. Only two colors were offered, and this one is finished in Saturn Yellow.

This was the top Buick of the muscle car era, and it debuted right at peak muscle car time. It was sort of downhill after this. In fact, in 1971, the GSX was just an appearance package. This example is one of two offered at this sale (the other one is white). You can see more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Fiat 8V by Vignale

1954 Fiat 8V Coupe by Vignale

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Can you believe that Fiat didn’t built a V8 until they introduced the 8V in 1952? They didn’t produce any eight-cylinder engines until that time, and the only reason the model is called the “8V” is because they didn’t want to get in a tussle with Ford over the use of “V8.”

Between 1952 and 1954, Fiat produced just 114 examples of its 2.0-liter V8-powered 8V. Power was rated between 104 and 125 horsepower depending on which iteration of the engine the car received, although the catalog is short on that detail.

This is the 80th example produced, and it features dramatic bodywork from Vignale. It was produced as a follow up to a Michelotti-penned show car called the Demon Rouge. 8Vs are never cheap, and short of a Supersonic, this is about the best-looking example I’ve seen. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Arkley SS

1966 Arkley SS

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | June 24-27, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

John Britten’s Arkley was a kit car launched in 1970. The SS was a fiberglass re-body for cars such as the MG Midget or Austin-Healey Sprite. This car is based on a 1966 Austin-Healey Sprite.

Power is from a 1.1-liter inline-four from a Morris Minor, and the car features front cycle fenders with the headlights perched between them and the hood. You can still clearly see the Sprite underpinnings along the sides of the car near the doors.

About 1,000 Arkley kits were produced during the initial run. The rights were sold in the late 1980s and were available again for a short time thereafter. This one is offered at no reserve from RM’s “Essen” sale, which has been pushed back to June and is now online-only. You can read more about the car here and see more from this sale here.

Cord 812 SC Sportsman

1937 Cord 812 SC Sportsman

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the ultimate iteration of the Cord 810/812. Introduced in 1936, the front-wheel-drive 810 was styled by Gordon Buehrig and featured an independent front suspension and a design like nothing else in the world at the time. The car was renamed the 812 for 1937, which was more-or-less an attempt to spruce up the fact that they had a lot of leftover 810s from the year before. Supercharging also became an option in 1937.

The supercharger bumped power from the 4.7-liter Lycoming V8 to 170 horsepower. Two different wheelbases were used in ’37, and four body styles were offered on the shorter of the two, including the $2,585 Sportsman two-door cabriolet. The supercharger bumped the price by another $2,000, which is insane. Imagine adding 77% of the car’s price back on as options. Oh wait, you can probably do that on a Porsche.

Reliability issues early in production really put a wet blanket over the initial enthusiasm for the model, which was originally envisioned as a “baby Duesenberg.” About 3,000 examples were built in total, only 64 of which were reportedly SC Sportsmans. This one is now going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

’67 L88 Convertible

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The legendary L88 Corvette was available from 1967 through 1969. That spanned two different generations of the Corvette, which means that 1967 was the only year you could have Chevy’s monstrous V8 in a C2 Corvette. Only 20 were sold that year, and I have no idea about the breakdown between coupes and convertibles.

The high-compression, 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, even though the actual output was probably over 550. Unfortunately, the car was very expensive and required 103-octane fuel, which wasn’t all that easy to come by at your local service station in 1967. Of the 20 built for the model year, quite a few went direct to racing teams. After all, the car was essentially a race car that happened to be street legal. This one was raced, including at the:

  • 1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 11th, 2nd in class (with Cliff Gottlob and Dave Dooley)

The car competed for eight years, apparently winning 150 races. It was purchased by Dana Mecum in 2013, and he’s now letting it go, assuming it hits what is sure to be a stratospheric reserve (c’mon Mecum, have a little faith in your own event and go no reserve!). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Shelby GT350 Convertible

1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The first Shelby Mustang was the 1965 GT350. It was also the best Shelby Mustang. It has those classic first-gen looks and isn’t as bulky looking as later models. Plus, they had racing pedigree. But most of those cars were hardtops.

Not this one. Yes, they built convertibles, but just a few of them. Only four were produced for 1966, and this was the first one. It’s an ex-factory test car, and the other three were more-or-less prototypes as well. It was apparently the only first-gen GT350 with gold stripes that wasn’t a Hertz car.

The GT350 is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 rated at 271 horsepower. This one wears an older restoration and will be going under the hammer at Mecum’s Indy sale, which is currently scheduled for June. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Carrera RS Lightweight

1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The classic longhood-style Porsche 911 was produced from 1965 until 1973. It reached its peak right at the end before the impact bumpers arrived. The Carrera RS (for Rennsport) debuted for 1973 and has become one of, if not the ultimate classic 911.

Available only in 1973, the Carrera RS 2.7 was powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six that was good for 207 horsepower. That might seem puny, but this is a driver’s car. In fact, it only exists because Porsche needed to homologate the 911 for racing. They ended up building 1,580 examples in 1973.

That number was split between Touring and Lightweight models, and a majority of them were Touring cars. Only 200 featured a lack of sound insulation, thinner glass, and thinner body panels. The Lightweight also lacked a radio, clock, glovebox, and more. This was the beginning of Porsche charging more for less.

Despite all of those missing items, this car was spec’d from the factory with an electric sunroof (one of only three Lightweights with that option). It’s finished in Light Yellow with the classic lower body graphics, and it will require quite the sum to take it home. Check out more about this car here.

Sadler-Meyer Special

1959 Sadler-Meyer Special

For Sale by Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California

Photo – Fantasy Junction

I thought we featured this car a long time ago, but apparently not. So here we are. The 1950s were the golden age of this sort of sports racing special. This particular car was named for two gentlemen: Bill Sadler and Van Meyer. The car started as Meyer’s own rail-frame special that he competed with for a number of years.

In 1958, he took that car to Bill Sadler, who ended up building a number of Sadler-branded race cars. He also heavily reworked Meyer’s special. It used a ladder frame and a Pontiac V8. The aluminum body is reminiscent of a period Maserati. Sadler was successful campaigning the car in hillclimb events before eventually selling it.

The car has changed hands a few times and has been restored twice, most recently in 2008. The engine was replaced over the years and is now a 5.6-liter Chevrolet V8 that makes 425 horsepower. Fantasy Junction sold this car once in 2015 (which is probably why I thought we featured it) and now they’ve got it back. It’ll run you $395,000. Click here for more info.

D-Type Continuation

1955 Jaguar D-Type Continuation

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This time last week we were talking about Jaguar’s XKSS continuation series of cars. This week, it’s time to talk D-Types. This is, perhaps, the most legendary Jag. The D-Type won Le Mans three straight years: 1955, 1956, and 1957. The company managed to get 71 built, though they planned on building 100.

Which leads us to this. A couple of years ago Jaguar announced that they would finish off the 25 cars to get them to the 100 they initially wanted (though the 25 they didn’t build were intended to be XKSS examples, and nine of those never got built due to a fire… the math works, trust me).

These continuation cars were built by Jaguar using the same processes they used in 1955. Power is from a 3.4-liter inline-six. You could get them in short or long-nose form, and this is an example of the former. It’s covered less than 200 miles with its first owner.

The D-Type we featured in 2013 failed to sell with a high bid of $6.2 million. This one, supposedly built the same way, should bring significantly less. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ferrari Police Car

1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Polizia

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The 250 GTE 2+2 was the first four-seat production car from Ferrari. The 250 road car line dated back to 1953, and the GTE was introduced in 1959. About 1,000 were built through 1963, and it remains one of the most affordable entry points into a Ferrari 250 GT today.

A 237 horsepower, 3.0-liter V12 drives this long-wheelbase car. But none of this is the story here. It’s the fact that this is a police car. And was when it was new. But how? Well, the story is that Armando Spatafora (an Italian cop) was dispatched to a high-performance driving program alongside three other officers.

After he completed the course, he was given this car, siren and all. Ferrari actually built a second example, but it was destroyed after only a few weeks on the job. This one remained with the Polizia for six years. It’s never been restored, just preserved by a series of owners. It’s possibly the coolest 250 GTE there is. You can read more about it here.