Fina Sport Convertible

1956 Fina Sport Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Fina Sport was a dramatic and beautiful American-built, Italian-styled, 1950s dreamboat designed and constructed by automotive engineer Perry Fina. Fina gained a lot of knowledge working for Fiat and Isotta Fraschini – both in their early years – before returning home and setting up shop in New York to fine tune other people’s cars.

The first model he built under his own name was a coupe and then he opted for a convertible. Styled by Vignale in Italy, it clearly blends American and Italian lines. Power comes from a 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 good for 250 horsepower.

Fina only built a few cars and this is the only restored example in existence. The restoration was completed earlier this year and it’s ready and eligible for all the major shows. A rare car from a manufacturer that barely got anything out the door, this convertible should bring between $750,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Ferrari 250 MM

1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are a lot of different “250” models from Ferrari. It started with the 250 S, then came this, the 250 MM. It would evolve into cars like the 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GTO, 250 P and 250 LM. And those are just the racing variants.

The 250 MM was a stout little thing produced in 1952 and 1953. The Colombo V-12 was enlarged to 2.5-liters and produced 237 horsepower when it was dropped into the slightly longer (than the 225) wheelbase of the 250 MM. Named for the famous Mille Miglia road race in Italy, and to commemorate Ferrari’s recent victory there, the 250 MM was one of the premier racing cars for independent drivers of the early 1950s.

This particular car saw action on the privateer sports car circuit in Sweden when new. Down the line, this car was owned by racing driver Jo Bonnier and was eventually registered in Switzerland. Later owners had the car in Italy, England, France, Germany, and finally the United States. In beautiful condition after a recent cosmetic freshening, this will be another of RM’s mega-dollar cars in Monterey. It is one of just 31 250 MMs built and one of only 18 such cars that wear a Pinin Farina Berlinetta body. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Aston Martin DP215

1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

How do you make an Aston Martin DB4GT look downright pedestrian? Well the DB4GT is one of the most sought-after competition Astons… so you’ll have to show up with something pretty intense. Well how about this DP215? It’s the only one the factory made and they built it exclusively for Le Mans.

Aston returned to works sports car racing in 1962 with the DP212, or Design Project 212. It had some aerodynamic issues (like you know, wanting to take off at high speed) and they evolved the car from there. A pair of DP214s raced the 1963 sports car season and the DP215 was the ultimate evolution. It’s a one-off car built to show what Aston’s engineers were capable of. Aerodynamic and with a Kamm tail, this car was extremely fast, hitting just a tick over 198 mph on the Mulsanne Straight.

It’s powered by a 4.0-liter straight-six with aluminium heads that’s good for 323 horsepower. Driven by Phil Hill and Lucien Bianchi at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, this car was 12 seconds a lap faster than a 250 GTO. It ultimately retired due to gearbox failure.

Aston held on to the car until the 1970s, even after selling all of the other DP cars. The engine was separated and wasn’t reunited with the car until about 15 years ago. It’s been expertly restored and it’s been used. As a one-of-one Aston works racer, it’ll bring big money. The proof is that you need to be pre-approved by RM Sotheby’s to even bid on this car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Plymouth Asimmetrica

1961 Plymouth Asimmetrica Roadster by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While based on one of their chassis, this is no hum-drum Plymouth Valiant. This car, dubbed “Asimmetrica” for its asymmetrical design, was one of the last projects kicked off between Chrysler and Ghia during Virgil Exner‘s design reign at Chrysler. Or, at least that’s the thought. Some people say this was a Ghia thing all around.

Built as kind of a successor to the Plymouth XNR Concept, this was supposed to be a “more realistic” car that could actually be built in limited numbers and sold to the general public. Yes, this was the restrained version. The plan was to build a run of 25 of these, but it’s thought that only two were ever made.

Power comes from a NASCAR-spec 2.8-liter Hyper-Pak slant-six making 101 horsepower. Displayed at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and, later, the Geneva Show, this example was purchased off the Geneva stand by novelist Georges Simenon. Acquired and restored by the Blackhawk Collection in 1989, the current owner purchased the car in 2000. A wild example of unrestrained early 60s design, it should bring decent money in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Hudson Town Car

1928 Hudson Model O Town Car by Murphy

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Here’s a fancy Hudson from the Hostetler Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana, Indiana. The Model O was produced by Hudson in 1927 and 1928. They offered five body styles from the factory, but the car you see here is a one-off coachbuilt Town Car by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California.

It is powered by a 4.7-liter straight-six that makes 92 horsepower. It might seem unusual to have custom coachwork affixed to a six-cylinder Hudson chassis, but the original owners were wealthy Columbus, Ohio, couple. And the Mrs. in that family had a brother who worked for Hudson. So you can probably imagine how this car came to be.

As noted in the catalog, this car is titled as a 1928 model, but the chassis tag makes it pretty clear it was actually built in 1927. It is thought that the completion of the body likely occurred in 1928. Dubbed the most expensive Hudson ever built – at the princely price of $13,500 in 1928 – this will likely be one of the bigger dollar cars at this sale. You can see more about this sale here and more about this particular Hudson here.

Update: Sold $313,500.

Porsche 550A Spyder

1958 Porsche 550A Spyder

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 23-25, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Have you ever seen one of these in person? Or, I guess, have you ever heard one? They’re loud. And it is intoxicating.

The 550 Spyder was a race car (that you could drive to the track) from Porsche that was available from 1953 through 1956. The 550A was an evolution of the original car and was only available in 1956.

The differences included a tubular space frame (as opposed to the normal 550 Spyder’s ladder frame). This increased rigidity and decreased weight. The transmission got an extra gear (up to five) and the wheels lost an inch in diameter. The improvements were designed to increase the car’s competitiveness on track. The 1.5-liter flat-four was a carryover, but made 135 horsepower in this trim.

This car is thought to have originally been owned by the Piech family (they who own 10% of Porsche today) before being sold to its first owner: a famed Austrian concert pianist and composer. And he raced the pants off this car, winning circuit races and hillclimbs in the late 1950s in Austria and Yugoslavia.

After that it went to the U.S. and spent a lot of time in SCCA races. The current owner found the car over 30 years ago and spent most of the time since restoring it. It shows fewer than 600 miles since restoration. Only 39 examples of the lightweight 550A were built, making this a big money car at Mecum in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

GT40 Mk II

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We all know the story of the GT40 by this point: Ford wanted Ferrari. Ferrari said no. Ford decided to whip Ferrari at Le Mans. And then did just that. The first GT40s hit the track in May 1964. Later that year, after disappointing results, the racing program was given to Carroll Shelby and he turned it around.

Using 1964 and 1965 as “work-out-the-bugs” seasons, Ford applied an upgrade to the GT40 for 1966. Dubbed “Mk II,” the cars now carried monstrous 7.0-liter V-8 engines. These 427s were built by Holman-Moody of NASCAR fame and boasted 450 horsepower. To handle the extra weight of the stock car engine, Kar Kraft upgraded the Mk II’s chassis, suspension, and engine mounts. And oh boy, what a package it was.

Ford dominated the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing 1-2-3 in a clean sweep and embarrassing Ferrari – which was sort of the point of the entire program. This car was part of that sweep, coming home third. The race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1966 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther)
  • 1966 12 Hours of Sebring – 12th (with Bucknum and A.J. Foyt)
  • 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson)
  • 1967 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Mark Donohue and Peter Revson)

In 1970, Ford donated this car to the Harrah Collection. A few other private owners followed, with a restoration coming in the 1990s. One of only eight examples of the Mk II produced, this car is well acquainted with the historic show and race circuit, accumulating refurbishment as-needed along the way.

Coming out of nearly a decade and a half of continuous ownership, this GT40 will be overshadowed (in price and in conversation) by RM’s consignment of a 250 GTO. But this is a far more historically important – and interesting – car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

 

Side note: Dick Hutcherson is, statistically, one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time – despite only three seasons in the sport. He is never brought up in conversations about NASCAR greats. But he should be. Plus, how many other NASCAR drivers have finished on the podium at Le Mans? Just wanted to put that out there…

Nissan NPT-90

1990 Nissan NPT-90 IMSA GTP

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 25, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The IMSA GT Championship was an American racing car series that lasted from 1971 through 1998. Its shining moment was from 1981 through 1992, when a category called GTP existed. It featured prototype sports cars from some big name manufacturers like Porsche, Jaguar, Toyota, and Nissan.

Nissan won the championship in 1989 and this was the follow-up car to the series winning GTP ZX-Turbo. It debuted in the middle of the 1990 season and the competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1992 IMSA Grand Prix of Mami – 1st (with Geoff Brabham)
  • 1992 12 Hours of Sebring – 2nd (with Brabham, Derek Daly, Gary Brabham, and Arie Luyendyk)
  • 1992 IMSA Road Atlanta – DNF (with Geoff Brabham)

Brabham crashed it at Road Atlanta and that was sort of it for this chassis. It was later comprehensively restored and is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 capable of 750 horsepower. It’s eligible for historic racing in the U.S. and in Europe (against Group C racers from the same era). Works GTP cars don’t change hands publicly all that often, so this is an interesting opportunity to get one of the big ones. You can read more here and see more from Mecum here.

American-bodied Isotta Fraschini

1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Isotta Fraschini dates to 1900, when it was founded by Cesare Isotta and the three Fraschini brothers: Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste. Cars were available from the outset, with production wrapping up about the time WWII came around (though five units were produced after the war).

The legendary and most well-regarded models in the company’s history were from the Tipo 8 line. The Tipo 8A was the second-generation model, available from 1924 through 1931. It’s powered by a 7.4-liter straight-eight and horsepower depended on which car you bought. This is a “Sport” model, so it rides on a shortened wheelbase.

NYC-based Fleetwood bodied two similar Tipo 8As in period. This one was custom built for legendary silent film star Rudolph Valentino but, unfortunately, he died before the car was delivered. The current owners bought the car in 2001 and had RM do a thorough, award-winning restoration, as the car has been shown successfully on multiple occasions since. It’ll be a big dollar car when it crosses the block in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

First Year Essex

1919 Essex Series A Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Essex was a brand of automobile founded by Hudson as a small, affordable car aimed at the lower end of the market. The first cars went on sale in 1919 and this example is from that first year of production.

The Series A became the Series 5-A, 6-A, and 7-A in 1920, making it, in name, a one-year only model. Three body styles were available: a four-door sedan, two-door roadster, or this, the five-passenger, four-door touring car. The engine is a 55 horsepower, 2.9-liter straight-four. With it’s low price, middle-of-the-road looks, and big power, there’s an argument to be made that the Essex was the original sleeper. Top speed was about 60 mph.

With a $1,395 as-new price, this touring car was a good start for a company that would produce cars through 1932. The restoration is older but the light yellow and silver paint are a good combo with those white wall tires. It’s been part of this Hudson museum since 2000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $26,400.