Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe

1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here we go. It seems like 10 years ago cars like this were winning every major show and bringing the top money at every big sale. Then it sort of cooled off. We’re glad to see something this exotic back on the big auction stage.

Talbot-Lago introduced the T150 in 1937. They produced a competition model, which appended a “C” to the T150 model designation. Some of these were competition cars sold to the public which were bodied by coachbuilders as road cars (see photo above). The “SS” signifies a short-wheelbase car, which was even more desirable. This car is powered by a 140 horsepower, 4.0-liter straight-six.

This is one of two “Goutte d’Eau” coupes bodied by the legendary Figoni et Falaschi. What that means is it’s a Teardrop Coupe and the front fenders are enclosed. Those wheel covers make the entire car look extremely aerodynamic. The design is one of the best of the era and this car would be a centerpiece to any collection.

Hidden during WWII, it was re-bodied as a convertible in Switzerland in the late 1940s. The current owner acquired the car in 1987 and in 2000 had it brought back to original specification. The result is fantastic. It should bring between $3,500,000-$4,150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Reo Speedwagon

1926 Reo Model F Speedwagon

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 20, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Ransom E. Olds’ second company, REO, went out of business in 1975 after 30 years of producing nothing but trucks. Those trucks were a mainstay of the business since 1910 and have, whether you know it or not, kept the brand famous ever since. The Reo Speedwagon was a series of exceptional trucks that kept the business going for decades.

This Model F is powered by a straight-six that runs the rear wheels through a 3-speed transmission. It rides on 12 spoke wooden wheels with metal rims. There’s brass and chrome spotted throughout and it’s bodied as a transport bus. We love old commercial vehicles because they’ve survived against all odds – this one is no different. If it was used as a bus in the 1920s, it was probably abused and someone took the time to save it.

This is one of just 12 Speedwagons built in 1926. It’s been restored and is stated to be “wonderful for parades,” which is probably true because what else are you going to use it for? Mecum sold this bus in 2015 for $80,000 against an estimate of $75,000-$125,000 prior to any road testing. Now it is apparently running and is estimated to bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $80,000.

The Original Hellcat

1944 Buick M18 Hellcat

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 12, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

World War II tanks are just awesome. And the Buick-built M18 Hellcat was one of the best. It was the most effective American tank destroyer in WWII and the fastest American tracked armored vehicle until the M1 Abrams of 1980. As a tank destroyer, this thing was designed to destroy other tanks. What’s manlier than a tank built to eliminate its own kind? Not much.

Designed in 1942, the M18 entered service in 1943 and Buick turned out 2,507 of them through October of 1944. It’s powered by a 350 horsepower, Continental nine-cylinder radial engine. Top speed was 55 mph. Imagine one of these bearing down on you at top speed. Pretty frightening.

The pre-sale estimate is between $275,000-$350,000. WWII tanks in great condition trade hands for big money. They are both rare and desirable because of the generation of soldiers they represent. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

Update: Sold $247,500.

Cunningham Hearse

1929 Cunningham V-8 33286 Hearse

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 13, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Some people think hearses in general are creepy. I don’t. But this one is. It’s that ornate, Victorian-like coachwork that makes it look like it should be driven by a ghost in a tuxedo and a top hat. Cunningham built attractive passenger cars from 1911 through 1929. From 1929 through 1936, they concentrated on hearses, ambulances and other car-based commercial vehicles (something they’d been building since practically day one).

This car is powered by a 45 horsepower, 7.2-liter V-8. That’s an embarrassing amount of power from such a big engine, considering Duesenberg’s eight-cylinder engine from 1929 was making 265 horses. But who cares, really, because as heavy as this car looks, it’s enough power to cruise at parade speed, which is really the only thing you’re going to do with it unless you own a funeral home and a time machine.

This car comes from a Detroit-area funeral home and before that it was used in Chicago. The wooden carvings on the side are very intricate. It’s an interesting enough automobile that it was on display for a time at the Henry Ford Museum. Only 5,600 Cunninghams were produced over 30 years – so good luck finding another one like this. It should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $137,500.

HPD ARX-03

2012 HPD ARX-03

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-13, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Everyone has heard the saying “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” – meaning, if your race cars run up front, it does wonders for your brand. So Honda, for some reason, decided to build race-winning LMP prototype sportscars, but, not under their own name. Or even Acura’s. But under the “Honda Performance Development” brand – and then abbreviate it so no one knows “Honda” is even building these.

The program started in 2007 with the HPD ARX-01 (which, to be fair, was branded as an Acura for the first few seasons). The car was very good. The ARX-03, the most recent car, debuted in 2012. This one is powered by a Honda HPD twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6. With the V-6, this car is spec’d to compete in the international LMP2 (or P2) class. It ran in the ALMS and was eligible for FIA World Endurance Championship races.

This car is an ex-Level 5 Motorsports car, the race team founded by Scott Tucker whose assets were seized by the government when Tucker was indicted on RICO charges. The race history or this chassis includes:

  • 2012 12 Hours of Sebring – 4th, 1st in Class (with Scott Tucker, João Barbosa, and Christophe Bouchut)
  • 2012 Petit Le Mans – 2nd, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Bouchut, and Luis Díaz)
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker and Bouchut)
  • 2013 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Marino Franchitti, and Ryan Briscoe)
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker)

That’s a pretty impressive resume for a five-year old car. And it’s had some big names from the current era of sports car racing behind the wheel. The HPD LMP program was wound down for 2017 when Acura went GT racing with its new NSX. As the years go by, these HPD prototypes will probably be forgotten about by most people and will eventually be popular on the historic circuit. This well-raced example should bring between $75,000-$100,000 – a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # ARX-03/02

Update: Sold $110,000.

Aurelia B52 by Vignale

1952 Lancia Aurelia B52 2000 Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

What time period do you define as the “golden age” of coachbuilding? Is it the 1930s? If so, I would be inclined to agree, but at the same time, I’d be doing a great disservice to the 1950s because there were some really fantastic coachbuilt cars built during that decade. The Lancia Aurelia alone had some great designs.

The Aurelia was Lancia’s luxury car (which was also available as a coupe and convertible in addition to the standard sedan) between 1950 and 1958. It featured the first production V-6 engine and this car carries a 2.0-liter V-6 making 90 horsepower. It rides on a B52 chassis, which was the slightly lengthened B21 chassis that Lancia offered to coachbuilders.

This one went to Vignale and it was fitted with this body that resembled nothing else that Lancia built. The company only sold 98 B52 Aurelias between 1952 and 1953 (with 86 of those being from ’52). It’s a cool car that will stand out anywhere it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

P1 GTR

2016 McLaren P1 GTR

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Along with the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 is among the three great supercars from the mid-2010s. Ferrari did a track version of their hypercar, and so did McLaren, with this “track-only” P1 GTR.

What sets it apart from the road car is the fact that it comes with its own track day series, among a multitude of performance options. They stripped some weight out of it and bumped the power. The electric-hybrid 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes a combined system output of 986 horsepower. There’s more grip, more outlandish aerodynamics, and even more speed.

McLaren opted to sell just 58 of these (offering them to existing P1 owners first). Of the 58 GTRs built, 27 were sent to Lanzante, a company in England who turns these track-only cars into street legal race cars. The fact that nearly half of the GTRs built are now street legal says, I think, that we may have reached the tipping point on performance track day specials. I’d bet most of the GTR owners don’t have anywhere near the talent required to squeeze even 75% of this car’s capability out on a track. So why not drive it on the street? It’s one of the rarest, flashiest cars ever built. It’s perfect for the billionaire who has everything else.

This is the first P1 GTR to come up for public auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N #012.

April 2017 Auction Highlights

We’ll kick off April with Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. The top seller was this 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,200,000.

Photo – Auctions America

Both Lamborghinis we featured failed to sell, the Diablo and Jalpa. Oh, and the Suzuki Cappuccino we featured was withdrawn from the sale. Check out complete results here.

On to Mecum in Houston. This 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback was the top sale at $325,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Oakland we featured sold for $30,000 and the Stutz seemed like a bargain at $35,000. Click here for more results.

Early April is when Barrett-Jackson holds their annual Palm Beach sale. We only featured one car: a Torino Talladega that sold for $41,800. The top sale was this 2006 Ford GTX1 that brought $401,500. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Next up, Brightwells and the first of their two April sales. The top sale at this one was this 1923 Vauxhall OD 23-60 Kington Tourer that went for $80,730.

Photo – Brightwells

Both of our feature cars sold, with the Riley bringing more at $47,196. The McEvoy Special came in at $28,566. A previously-featured Aster sold for $32,292. Click here for everything else.

Finally, Worldwide Auctioneers held their Texas Classic Auction. We featured a beautifully original 1912 Cadillac that sold for $36,300. The top sale was this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,111,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Talbot M67 Sedan

1930 Talbot M67 11CV Sedan

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot marque has one of the messiest histories of any automobile brand in history. There were British and French Talbots and they manufactured cars simultaneously. And there were numerous prefixes and suffixes attached to the name. What we have here is a French Talbot, from the brand that sold cars from 1922 (prior to this they were sold as Darracq-Talbots) through 1936 (after which they were badged as Talbot-Lagos).

Yeesh. Anyway, the M67 was built between 1927 and 1930. It was a relatively nice car in its day and is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 38 horsepower. Different body styles were offered, but this car wears a fairly standard sedan body.

The restoration on this particular example is about 10 years old but this is the same body, engine, and chassis combination from when it was new. It kind of reminds me of a taxi, based on its livery (which is the color it was when new) – but it isn’t. It’s a driver and should bring between $21,700-$32,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,263.

Farbio GTS

2008 Farbio GTS400

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 13, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Arash Motor Company was founded by Arash and Ahmad Farboud in 1999. In 2003, they designed and built a car called the Farboud GTS. They only built three cars before they sold the rights to a company called Farbio. From 2007 through 2010 Farbio built the GTS under their own name in three different sub-models.

The base cars was the GTS260, followed by the GTS350, and at the top was this, the GTS400. It’s powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 410 horsepower. It’s a mid-mounted junior supercar with supercar looks and sporty performance. It’ll hit 60 in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175 mph.

This was the only GTS400 ever built by Farbio and they only built a handful of the other two models. In 2010 production stopped and Ginetta bought out Farbio. Ginetta built the car in 2011 as the F400 before slightly redesigning it and re-launching it in 2012 as the G60. This car should bring between $76,000-$89,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N #004.

Update: Not sold.