Tracta Gephi

1927 Tracta Type A Gephi

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

It’s interesting when there is a car in an auction catalog with a low estimate of over half a million dollars and it’s online lot list entry consists of a single sentence. Luckily, you can download Osenat’s full catalogs as PDFs and, though they’re in French, it’s possible to glean enough info to know that this is a truly special car.

Automobiles Tracta operated between 1926 and 1934. They specialized in front-wheel drive cars, and this low-slung race car exhibits founder’s Jean-Albert Grégoire’s expertise in that field. The FWD layout offers the ability to mount everything very low, making it look (and operate) a lot faster than most of its competition.

The first example was built in 1926, prior to the company even being founded. A second example was built for the 1927 24 Hours of Le Mans, of which the catalog describes in detail. It’s a pretty wild story involving Mr. Grégoire driving the race in bandages the day after suffering a terrible accident. At one point, it seems, he had to pull over and exit the car in pain. Le Mans did their best to outlaw “napping under a tree mid-race” for 1928. It’s very unclear if this car was entered in the 1927 race, but it was for sure in 1928.

It’s race history includes:

  • 1928 24 Hours of Le Mans – 16th (with Roger Bourcier and Hector Vasena)
  • 1929 24 Hours of Le Mans – 15th, DNF (with Lucien Lemesle and Maurice Benoist)

The engine is a 1.0-liter straight-four, probably supercharged. The owner of this car heard it drive past his house in the 1950s and chased it down. Years later, in 1958, he was finally able to acquire it, barely beating out an Italian who was also on the hunt for this very car. It’s been the pride of his collection for 59 years. It’s a wonderfully interesting automobile – one of the sportiest French cars of the 1920s – and it has Le Mans history. It is expected to sell for between $560,000-$790,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $786,394.

599 GTO

2011 Ferrari 599 GTO

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

“GTO” are letters used sparingly by Ferrari. Gran Turismo Omologato is a term reserved for very special Ferraris – special enough that it has only applied to three cars in their history: the legendary 250 GTO, the 288 GTO (arguably the company’s first supercar), and this, the 2010-2012 599 GTO.

This model started life as the 599 GTB Fiorano in 2007. The company introduced a track day model in 2009 called the 599XX. It’s mission was to be extreme: and it was successful, becoming the fastest production car-based automobile to ever lap the Nordschleife. So Ferrari decided to build a road-going version of the 599XX. And this is that car.

The 6.0-liter V-12 makes 670 horsepower. When it was introduced, it was the fastest-ever Ferrari road car (around the company’s test track), hitting 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and topping out at 208 mph. Only the LaFerrari is quicker today.

Ferrari limited production to 599 examples, with just 125 coming stateside. This 2,700 mile example should bring between $650,000-$750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

1911 Mercedes 28/50

1911 Mercedes 28/50 PS Roi des Belges Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

What’s not to love about a big, pre-Benz Mercedes touring car? The Mercedes marque dates back to about 1900 when Emil Jellinek and Wilhelm Maybach came together to produce what would ultimately become the template for all modern cars. Of course, in 1926, Mercedes merged with Benz to become the company we all know today.

This is the 28/50 PS model and it’s powered by a 50 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four engine. This particular car was originally bodied in France but, because of its hearty engine and chassis combination, had at some point been converted into a bus. The current family who owns the car acquired it in 1957 and had it restored in the early 1960s.

During that restoration, the current body you see above was constructed and done so convincingly in the style of something available in 1911. It remains in running condition, having been used sparingly over the past few years. It is expected to bring between $390,000-$510,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Turcat-Mery Sport

1927 Turcat-Mery VG Sport

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Turcat-Mery, the French automaker famous for winning the inaugural Monte Carlo Rally, was based in Marseille and founded by Leon Turcat and Simon Mery in 1899. The story is that Mery’s brother bought a Panhard et Levassor in 1895 but Simon was not satisfied with it. So he grabbed his brother-in-law, Leon, and they decided to build something better.

The VG model was only built from 1926 through the end of the company, which was 1928. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four, horsepower unknown at time of writing. The body is very sporty, which probably has something to do with the marque’s use of racing to aid development. Even earlier, larger cars still carried some semblance of sportiness.

Always good-looking, but rarely seen (much less available for purchase), Turcat-Merys are sought after by collectors, probably more so in Europe than in North America. This car looks great and is expected to bring between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $120,423.

Venturi 260 LM

1996 Venturi 260 LM

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | June 10, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Another Venturi! When this car was built, the company was based in France, but now they’re headquartered in Monaco. The 260 LM is part of the Coupe 260 series of cars and, as such, is closely related to this Transcup 260 we featured a few years ago.

The 260 LM was a special edition of the Coupe 260 and it is powered by a 2.8-liter, 260 horsepower turbocharged V-6. The design is full-on classic, restrained 1990s sports car. What distinguishes the 260 LM from regular 260s are special wheels, Recaro seats, special paint and some decals.

Only 32 or 33 examples of the 260 LM were built between 1994 and 1996 with this car being the last one. It’s a 17,000 mile machine that has recently had major service performed, so it’s ready to go. The body looks good, not weathered as some Venturi examples can look after 20+ years. This should bring between $56,000-$67,000. Click here for more info or more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Abarth 1100 Ghia

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 1949, Carlo Abarth jumped off of the sinking ship that was Cisitalia to start his own business… utilizing the leftovers of Cisitalia. It started with sports cars and today is a trim level of sporty Fiats. Abarth only built cars in limited numbers and the 1100 you see here is a one-off.

There was a car called the Abarth 205 and they took a chassis from that car and fitted Fiat’s new 1100 engine to it. The car was sent to Ghia for this incredible Jet Age body, and voila! Originally, Fiat’s 1.1-liter straight-four made about 35 horsepower. Abarth no doubt increased that figure.

This Ghia masterpiece has all the right little details, not to mention a brilliant blue interior that will blow you away because you just don’t expect the vividness it provides. Exhibited initially by Ghia at the 1953 Turin Salon, this car was later shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show by its first owner, who re-christened it the “Vaughn SS Wildcat,” with V-8 underhood.

The car was rediscovered in 1982 and the current owner had it restored in 2015, correct Fiat engine re-installed. It’s an awesome – and remarkably small – 1950s Italian design. You’ll be the only one with anything like it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Monterey.

Tojeiro-Climax Coupe

1958 Tojeiro-Climax Coupe

Offered by H&H Classics | Epsom, U.K. | June 6, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Almost every car built by John Tojeiro is a one-off. If he built cars in a series, it was usually a short series. Born in Portugal, Tojeiro built cars in England in the 1950s and 60s. Just about all of them had a race-focused purpose, but some of them were street-legal too.

This diminutive Climax-powered Coupe was built when Tojeiro was asked to build a spaceframe chassis for a performance car by a client. The body was from Wakefield & Sons and the client put some 20,000 miles on it. The engine is a 1.1-liter Climax straight-four. Horsepower could be anything, as those Coventry-Climax engines were produced in so many varieties that I can’t pin this one down based on just displacement alone and who knows how it was tinkered with when the car was assembled.

The current owner acquired this car in 2009 and had it restored to as-new condition. It’s covered just 38,000 miles since its inception and is the only one like it. The pre-sale estimate is between $83,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1905 Rambler Touring

1905 Rambler Type One Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 4, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Rambler is an American marque with an interesting, if not confusing, history. Founded in 1900 by Thomas B. Jeffrey (who also founded the Jeffrey marque, which would later become Nash), Ramblers were built through 1913. In 1914 the Rambler was rolled back into the Jeffrey line. Nash would later produce a model called the Rambler, which debuted in 1950. More confusingly, it was spun off as its own marque again in 1958 and then sold as an AMC model sometime thereafter.

The original 1900-1913 Rambler was a very well-built automobile and the marque became one of the most respected in the U.S. The 1905 model line consisted of four confusingly named models: the Model G, Model H, Type One, and Type Two. Models G and H were single-cylinder cars, while the Types One and Two were both two-cylinder cars. The Type One is powered by a 3.9-liter flat-twin making 18 horsepower. The Type Two offered an additional two ponies. The Type One was only available as a five-passenger Touring car.

Ramblers would get much bigger shortly after this, even though this car is already pretty large. This particular example was restored in the early 2000s but it still looks great. Ramblers are accessible from a usability perspective, even if the estimated $45,000-$65,000 it will take to buy this one might not be. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $73,700.

Yummy Motors XCT-R

2009 Yummy Motors XCT-R

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Zurich, Switzerland | June 17, 2017

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

We’ll just go ahead and address it up front: “Yummy Motors” is one of the strangest names for a car company we’ve ever heard. They are – or more likely, were – a Swiss-based company and their website offers precious little information.

Their XCT-R is a Caterham-based sports car with a more enclosed passenger compartment. It’s a coupe with McLaren F1-style bat-wing doors. There’s a 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine under the long-looking hood that makes 200 horsepower. Caterhams are very sporty, well-driving cars so this one should be too.

It appears Yummy Motors only managed to produce one example, this one, and it is road-registered in Switzerland. No pre-sale estimate is available but this car will sell at auction, thus finally answering the question: what will someone pay for a car called a “Yummy?” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bugatti 46 by Weymann

1930 Bugatti Type 46 Sportsman’s Saloon by Weymann

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | June 30, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

In 1929, Bugatti introduced a new road car dubbed the Type 46. It would spawn a very rare supercharged variant the following year (the Type 46S) and a short-wheelbase cousin called the Type 50. The Type 50B was the only racing version of the Type 46 family. Production on the Type 46 ended in 1936.

These cars are powered by a 5.4-liter straight-eight making 140 horsepower. It was a pretty large and heavy chassis at 138 inches (eight inches longer than a modern Chevy Suburban), so it’s no wonder Bugatti chose the short wheelbase version for the race car.

This car was one of 35 Bugatti chassis ordered by its London distributor and was bodied in the U.K. by Weymann. It’s history goes back to new but the current family has owned it for 42 years. The Type 46 was a popular Bugatti, with 400 built. This one should bring between $210,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # 46219