Jaguar Pirana

1967 Jaguar Pirana by Bertone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What we have here is a one-off sports car financed and built for the motoring department at a British newspaper in the late 1960s. It used off-the-shelf components and a very nice exterior design from Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The bodywork clearly foreshadows the Lamborghini Espada.

Power is from a Jaguar 4.2-liter inline-six, and the car uses an E-Type 2+2 frame and chassis as well. It also carries Jaguar badging, even if Jaguar didn’t officially have much to do with the final product. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show and was first sold at auction in 1968. It stayed in the US for a long time and was purchased by its current owner in 2011.

The auction catalog makes a big deal of the fact that the car is called a “Pirana” – without the “H” – and how it was Bertone’s personal choice to spell it that way. It then goes on to say that the car was restored to its Earl’s Court specification. Photos clearly show “Piranha” badging on the rear. What’s the deal with that? At any rate, it will sell at no reserve this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Healey Sportsmobile

1949 Healey Sportsmobile

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 13, 2019

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Here’s a rare bird. While Donald Healey might be best remembered for his affiliation with the Austin-Healey and Nash-Healey, he also built cars under his own name between 1946 and 1954.

The Sportsmobile is kind of a porky-looking thing for carrying such a sporty name, and it is powered by a 2.4-liter twin-cam inline-four from Riley. It was built in extremely limited numbers between 1948 and 1950 and was the third model introduced by the company after the Westland and Elliott.

Only 23 were built, making it the rarest of all Healey-branded automobiles. Only three are known to still exist, and this one looks mostly original. It would be a great addition to any collection of British sports cars and should sell for between $25,000-$32,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Willys Interlagos

1963 Willys Interlagos Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Alpine was an independent French sports car producer that was eventually absorbed by Renault. Their cars were Renault-based, including the A108, which was a fiberglass-bodied, rear-engined sports car that was produced between 1958 and 1965.

But the most interesting Alpine ever built was not even built by Alpine. Or even in France. In 1962, Willys-Overland of Brazil – who already had an alliance with Renault – was chosen by Alpine founder Jean Redele as a partner to build the A108 under license. The result was the Willys Interlagos, which was produced in Brazil between 1962 and 1966.

I’ve actually seen one of these in person and they have a cool factor that goes well beyond the “tiny French sports car” look. The sheer rarity of the surviving Brazilian models sets them apart. Only 822 examples were built in Brazil and not many escaped. They actually even offered two additional body styles. Power is from a four-cylinder engine, and this car is selling without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

R5T2

1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 Evolution

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 27-28, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Very few car companies can claim that they built their coolest products in the 1980s. Buick can. Renault can too (unless you’re like me and consider the Sport Spider the “coolest” Renault product).

The Renault 5 Turbo was based on a boring front-wheel-drive hatchback offered by the company (and sold as the Le Car in the U.S.). They went full-bonkers in 1980, introducing a mid-rear-engined version called the Turbo. In 1985, they took it one step further with the Turbo 2 Evolution. This was the car used to homologate the 5 Maxi Turbo for Group 4 racing.

Power is from a 180 horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four stuffed behind the front seats (practically in the cabin save for a cheap board covering the engine). Only 200 Evolution models were produced and they are highly sought after today. This one should bring between $95,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1929 Dennis Flatbed

1929 Dennis 30 CWT Flatbed

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 10, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Prior to becoming a major player in the British commercial vehicle industry with vehicles like buses and firetrucks, Dennis was actually a passenger car manufacturer for a few short years between 1898 and 1904.

It was in 1904 they went full-truck and never looked back. They remained independent until the 1970s when they went through a series of ownership changes. As the years wore on, their products became more specialized, but they still made buses. In 2004, after 100 years of truck manufacturing, the brand ceased to exist when it was merged with Alexander to form Alexander Dennis.

This particular truck started life with a dairy company and was later used as a promotional vehicle. It’s powered by a 3.1-liter inline-four and should bring between $12,000-$19,000. Click here for more info.

May 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’ll start with Historics at Brooklands, who originally had an old Maxim fire truck in their catalog that mysteriously disappeared (from the catalog). The top sale was this 1968 Aston Martin DB6 Volante that brought $787,534.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The awesome (and purple) TVR Cerbera we featured sold for $20,648. Mark my words: when these are eligible for U.S. importation, these prices are going to go way up. Click here for more results from this sale.

Next up is Aste Bolaffi’s sale in Milan. If you ever wanted to own a Siata (that isn’t a Spring) but didn’t want to spend a ton of money, this was the place to be. The 1500 TS we featured sold for $25,774. The biggest money was paid for this 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT. It sold for $369,814. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

We move to RM Sotheby’s in Auburn, Indiana for their spring sale at that location. The top automotive lot was this 1930 Cord L-29 Convertible Phaeton Sedan for $157,300.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Hupmobile Skylark we featured sold for $15,400 and the Haynes Touring went for only $10,560, a figure that made me nauseous, as do most of the results, as there were quite a few I would’ve stepped up to buy had I been there.

Onward to Bonhams in Greenwich. The top sale was $417,500 paid for this 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Cabriolet by Pinin Farina.

Photo – Bonhams

The Dodge Brothers touring car we featured failed to sell, but the Arnolt-MG managed to bring $64,960, and the Stutz Roadster $44,800. Full results can be found here.

Finally, we move to Artcurial’s sale on June 17. Amid a pretty tough sell-through rate, this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB stole the show at $2,175,046.

Photo – Artcurial

Speaking of a tough sell-through rate, the Alpine A310 we featured, along with a previously-featured Hommell coupe, failed to find new owners. The good news is that the CG 1300 sold for $64,454, and the BMW Z1 brought $41,626. The rest of the results can be found here.

2004 Toyota F1 Roller

2004 Toyota TF104B

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 5, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Toyota leaped into the wild world of Formula One in 2002. After untold millions were spent – and without a single victory to show for it – the company bolted after the 2009 season. They didn’t even really sell the team to anyone else as is F1 fashion. They just left.

The TF104 was campaigned during the 2004 season, and an updated “B” variant was introduced mid-season. The team’s lineup started with Christiano da Matta and Olivier Panis – neither of which finished the season with the team. Instead, Ricardo Zonta and Jarno Trulli rounded out the last few races.

In all, 11 chassis were built for the 2004 season, two of which were used solely as test cars, including this one. Normally powered by a 3.0-liter Toyota V10, this car had its mechanicals removed before it was purchased by its current, private owner. Still, it should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

HRG Aerodynamic

1947 H.R.G. Aerodynamic by Fox & Nicholl

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

HRG Engineering was founded in 1936 by Edward Halford, Guy Robins, and Henry Ronald Godfrey, whose initials comprise the company’s name. Godfrey’s experience included stints at GN and Frazer Nash.

HRG‘s output was low – only 241 cars produced between 1935 and 1956. Six models were offered, including the 1945-1949 Aerodynamic as seen here. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four from Singer and wears bodywork from Fox & Nicholls.

The car was discovered by the current owner in 1989 and restored. Prior to that, it had Portuguese race history in the 1940s and 50s. Only 45 examples of the Aerodynamic were produced, and with an active HRG owners group, they don’t change hands that often. Click here for more info and here for more from this collection.

Lister Storm GT1

2001 Lister Storm GT1

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 5, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Here we go! I’m an unabashed fan of the Lister Storm road car, which only exists because Lister wanted to go racing in the top GT classes at Le Mans and the FIA GT Championship. It competed against truly ludicrous competitors like the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1, and McLaren F1 GTR.

Only three road cars still exist, and only six racing cars (or GTMs) were built to varying specifications depending on what class they were being entered in. Power is from a 7.0-liter Jaguar V12 good for 546 horsepower. The competition history for this car (#005) includes:

  • 2002 24 Hours of Spa – 2nd (with Bobby Verdon-Roe, Miguel de Castro, David Sterckx, and Justin Law)
  • 2002 FIA GT Championship – 2nd

The car entered privateer hands after that, competing in the French GT Championship, where it was crashed and rebuilt with the chassis from car #001. The damaged chassis is included in this sale.

This rare GT1 racer is a brute and should sell for between $570,000-$690,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-287

1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline by Murphy

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16-17, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

To be a Duesenberg customer during the age of the Model J, you had to be wealthy. A bare chassis, engine, and firewall would run you about $9,500 at the dawn of the Great Depression. Then you had to go have a body built by one of the world’s leading coachbuilders. And they didn’t come cheap, either.

But to purchase seven such cars requires a certain kind of wealth that only someone like, oh say the son of the founder of Pacific Gas & Electric could possess. Enter George Whittell Jr. He had $50 million in the stock market and liquidated all of it just weeks before it crashed. So yeah, he could afford the seven Dueseys.

Powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight, this car wears “Sport Berline” coachwork by Murphy. I would agree with their marketing lingo that the car is indeed sportier than the average sedan from 1930. It was previously owned by J.B. Nethercutt and Bill Harrah. It’ll be one of many special cars to cross the block in Monterey later this year. Check out more here and see more from Gooding’s sale here.