Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | November 13-14, 2020
Group B rallying was one of the best classes of motorsport since… well, since motorsports. In the 1980s, there were some outrageous rally cars, and one such example was the MG Metro 6R4. Badged as a derivative of the frumpy Austin/MG Metro front-wheel-drive hatchback, the 6R4 was a rear-mid-engined four-wheel-drive monster powered by a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 capable of over 400 horsepower.
There were 220 examples of the 6R4 built, 20 of which were high-level competition cars. The other 200 were Clubman cars, which were sold to the public. Many of them ended up in the hands of privateer rally drivers. So what is this car then?
Well, Tony Pond was a works Austin-Rover rally driver. One of the team engineers was a man named David Appleby. When Austin-Rover (MG) pulled out of rallying in 1987, Pond and Appleby set up shop updating Clubman cars. Thus, the DAM/TPR 4100 was born.
This is the prototype. Pond and Appleby parted ways shortly after this car was built, but Appleby soldiered on without Pond and ended up producing 5-10 examples. Power is from a Cosworth-derived 2.5-liter V6 rated at 295 horsepower at an impressive 10,250 rpm. It’s got four-wheel drive, too.
This is like a cottage industry British supercar from the 90s (even though it was built in the late 1980s). It’s a car that never appears at public sales (or in public generally). The estimated price reflects it. The estimate is $190,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 11-20, 2020
Kissel, who still badged their automobiles “Kissel Kars” in 1912 (and would do so through 1918), is most famous for their 1920s sports car, the Gold Bug Speedster. But for a decent amount of time before and after the Gold Bug, they produced a wide variety of other cars.
Kissel Kar’s “Thirty” was sold in 1912 and 1913. Power was from a 30-horsepower inline-four, though the engine’s rating would dip a bit for 1913. The Semi-Racer body style appears to be mostly marketing talk, as this looks like many other convertibles offered around the same time. It was one of four styles offered in 1912, and one of two that would make the jump to ’13.
The example presents fairly well, and the white tires are always a selling point. No pre-sale estimate is available, but you can read more about this car here. The rest of RM’s lineup is available here.
Offered by H&H Classics | Online | November 25, 2020
Well, last week we featured a lot of commercial vehicles. I said that we’d pick it up again on Monday. It’s now Tuesday, but here we are. The Tiger is a model of bus produced by Leyland Motors between 1927 and 1968, and again from 1981 through 1992. They looked different over the years, and this front-engined Tiger is of the post-war PS variety.
It is said to be one of two known survivors with coachwork by Barnaby (of four built). It was part of a private bus line for its commercial career, and it is powered by a 7.4-liter diesel inline-six.
This bus was restored in the 2000s, and it was restored to “bus-spec” and not converted into an RV like so many old buses have been. I’m a big fan of classic busses, and despite this one being overseas, I dig it a lot. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $26,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Well here’s a car I never thought I’d get to feature. Bruce Mohs had his hand in a lot of various ventures, including his namesake seaplane company (though it is unclear if he ever made a seaplane). In 1967, he introduced a wild thing of a car called the Ostentatienne Opera Sedan. It was based on an International truck and was crazy expensive. Only a prototype was built (and it survives).
In 1972, he introduced the Safarikar. It was also based on an International, using a Travelall frame, aluminum panels, and an exterior covered in padded Naugahyde. The radiator surround is cartoonish, and the car features a retractable multi-piece hardtop. The doors just slide straight out (so the people in the car could hunt while moving, thus the safari part of the name). Seating is from three abreast buckets up front and a rear bench that folds into a bed. Power is from a 6.4-liter V8.
Three of these were built, and two are known to survive. The story of this car is that it was found in a parking lot in Georgia. It was later restored over a period of four years. It’s now for sale in St. Louis. The price? Well, it’s less than $350,000 if you were worried about being able to afford it. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020
Somehow this week became “classic commercial vehicle week.” Not sure how that happened. But I do know that it will continue at least through Monday. This is a pretty interesting one. International Harvester was founded in 1902 when McCormick and Deering merged. Agricultural equipment was first, followed by passenger vehicles and heavy trucks.
The International brand is still a leader in the truck business. This was one of their early revolutionary designs. Apparently, the 101 was the first truck that could haul more than its own weight. It’s insane that this took until 1921 to accomplish.
Mecum states that only 27 examples of the 101 were built. They look like Renaults from the front (but many trucks of the era did, and for good reason: it was to protect the radiator by placing it behind the engine so angry Teamsters carriage drivers couldn’t damage the front-mounted radiator). It’s a downright frightening machine. Huge, heavy, and with badass wheels. Power is from a 4.6-liter inline-four good for 29 horsepower. Top speed is 14 mph. I imagine this was used to move big loads small distances. What a beast. Find out more here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | November 14, 2020
The Renault 5 Turbo was the coolest hot hatch of the 1980s. The rally car variants are legendary. But I don’t think I’ve seen an R5 Turbo that I’ve wanted more than this one. It was built as a touring car for the French Supertouring Championship, which was a series that existed between 1976 and 2005.
Only six R5 Turbos were converted to this spec in 1986. Half of those were updated in 1987 (including this car) with a wider track, a lowered suspension, and a revised 1.4-liter stroker version of the turbocharged inline-four. Output was 410 horsepower. The other two updated versions have been retained by Renault.
This car had two race wins during the 1987 season, and it was also the championship-winning car. It was sold after the season to a hillclimb driver who managed to finagle factory support for his privateer effort. It broke after it was “out of warranty,” so he refinished it in its Supertourisme livery and lent it to the Prince of Monaco for display in his collection. It’s since been refreshed and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $390,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 19-21, 2020
I agree that the title of this post is lame. “Samson Truck.” I could’ve called it “Samson Model 15,” but the likelihood of ever featuring another Samson truck is so low that I don’t think it’s getting confused with a different one. Why so unlikely? Well, Samson was a tractor manufacturer originally based out of Stockton, California…
Founded in 1900, the company eventually caught the eye of one Billy Durant in 1917. He shifted the company’s headquarters to Janesville, Wisconsin. Between 1920 and 1923, the brand turned out trucks in addition to tractors (along with a prototype passenger car). GM shuttered the brand in 1923 and shifted Chevrolet/GMC production to Janesville, which continued to operate until 2008.
Samson trucks were powered by a Chevy-sourced 26-horsepower inline-four. It’s unknown if this is the original body, but the radiator/cowl area certainly looks correct. The rest of the body could’ve been changed over the years. No windshield is present. This is a cool piece of forgotten GM history, and it’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | November 5, 2020
The BK was a heavy truck produced by Bedford for an eternity. It debuted in 1960, and the final versions rolled off the line in 1992, although the last Bedford-branded truck was built in 1986. Bedford was essentially the commercial vehicle arm of Vauxhall, which was a GM subsidiary since 1925. GM shed itself of Bedford‘s heavy-truck division in 1987, and the final BKs were badged “AWD”s until 1992.
What I like about this truck is the fact that, like all classic commercial vehicles, it has defied the odds and survived well past the end of its useful life. It’s a moving truck, and who saves a moving truck? The original owner, that’s who. Whoever was using this in the 1970s eventually placed it into storage and still owns it today.
Power is from a diesel inline-four. It’s probably excruciatingly slow, but speed isn’t the point. If you get it, you get it. And if you want to get it, it’ll probably run you between $7,750 and $10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | November 2-5, 2020
Heron Plastics was based in London and got its start in 1960 building fiberglass shells for Austins. In 1962, they introduced their own car, the fiberglass-bodied Europa. It was sold for a few years, and the catalog estimates that only 12 were made.
It features a steel backbone chassis, independent suspension, and front disc brakes. Power is from a Ford inline-four, which was offered in 1.0- and 1.5-liter forms. No word on what this car has. The Europa was available as a kit or as a complete car.
Brightwells claims this is the only surviving example, though a quick Google search turns up at least one more car out there. Fun fact: this car was the inspiration for Monteverdi‘s MBM Tourismo. The pre-sale estimate on this Europa project is $10,000-$13,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | November 12-19, 2020
Sweet watermark. The Westcott Carriage Company was based in Richmond, Indiana, beginning in 1895. They didn’t build their first car until 1909, and it was a simple buggy. The following year they launched right into the production of a four-cylinder car. Westcotts were assembled cars, meaning they were built using off-the-shelf parts from other manufacturers.
They relocated to Springfield, Ohio, in 1916 and continued building cars through 1925. The C-48 was offered in 1920 and 1921, and it was the larger of the two models offered in each of those years. It is powered by a 51-horsepower inline-six and was actually less powerful than the smaller Model C-38 that was sold alongside.
Three body styles were offered, and this seven-passenger sedan is one of 1,850 Westcotts of all types built in 1920. It was actually used as the mayor’s car on Boardwalk Empire. It is now offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.