NSU Kettenkrad

1944 NSU Kettenkrad

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s weird how war can create the need for vehicles that previously did not exist. Take this, the Kettenkrad – or, technically, the SdKfz 2. “Kettenkrad” is basically German slang for “tracked motorcycle.” This vehicle – it’s not technically a tank, and not technically a motorcycle, nor technically a tricycle (it has the right layout but more wheels than most trucks) – was designed and manufactured by NSU in Germany.

Produced between 1939 and 1948, the Kettenkrad was designed to be used by the German airborne, as it could fit in the cargo compartment of a Junkers Ju 52 – but it couldn’t be dropped via parachute. It’s powered by the 1.5-liter, 36 horsepower straight-four from an Opel Olympia. Top speed was 44 mph – making it the fastest tracked vehicle of WWII.

This has known ownership history back to 2011 (yep) and it’s been completely restored. Kettenkrads are a staple of every WWII movie set in Europe. By the time wartime production stopped in 1944, 8,345 of these had been built. Production resumed after the war as these were popular on farms. About 550 more were built through 1948. This immaculate wartime example should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $64,108.

Georges Irat Roadster

1936 Georges Irat Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 19, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Georges Irat was a car company founded by, guess who, Georges Irat. He started out building engines but turned to full automobile production in 1921. Production continued up to the outbreak of the war and after the war they introduced a few prototypes but they never entered production. They closed their doors in 1953.

One of the company’s more popular pre-war models was the sporty Roadster. It was powered by a Ruby 1.1-liter straight-four, an engine produced by the company’s new corporate overload, Godefroy et Leveque. Right before production ended, a larger engine became available.

About 1,500 of these 6CV rated cars were produced between 1935 and 1939. This sporty, rare, front-wheel drive French Roadster was restored in 1998 and should bring between $21,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,430.

Honda S800

1968 Honda S800 Cabriolet

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | March 18, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Honda is known for their economy cars and hatchbacks. But the second production car they ever built was a sports car, the 1963 S500. The S800 was introduced two generations later in 1966. It wouldn’t have a successor until 1999’s S2000.

The S800 was produced as a coupe and convertible and its targeted competitors included the likes of the Austin-Healey Sprite and MG Midget. It’s basically Japan’s first take on the classic English roadster. Take that Mazda Miata. The engine here is a 791cc straight-four making 78 horsepower. And it revs to almost nine grand, so it’s going to sound awesome with the top down.

Only 11,536 examples of the S800 were built between 1966 and 1970. The current owner acquired this example in the early 1990s and had it restored. The bright yellow paint looks great and the styling on this cars continues to improve with age. With less than 20,000 miles since the restoration, it’s still relatively fresh and ready to rev. It should bring between $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $36,210.

1903 Gladiator

1903 Gladiator 10HP 2-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Alexandre Darracq co-founded the Gladiator Cycle Company with Paul Aucoq in 1891 in the northeast part of Paris. Gladiator became part of the tangled mess of companies that came into contact with Adolphe Clement. So here it goes: in 1896, Clement bought out Gladiator from Darracq (who then went on to other automotive endeavors) and renamed the company Clement-Gladiator.

Cars came around 1901 (and motorcycles from 1902). In 1903 there was a split and Clement-Talbot became its own thing, while Clement-Gladiator remained in France. All shaft-driven cars were badged Clement-Gladiator after this point, while chain-driven cars were just called Gladiators. In 1907, all cars became Gladiators after the company was taken over by Vinot et Deguingand. The brand disappeared after 1920.

This chain-drive Gladiator was produced during the Clement years and is powered by a 1.7-liter twin-cylinder Aster engine making 10 horsepower. The current owner acquired it in 1990 and had the engine rebuilt. It’s been used extensively on the London-to-Brighton run (and we mean “extensively” – it’s completed the run 24 of the 25 times it’s attempted it) and the coachwork is original, but may have had some restorative work done to it long ago. It’s a great old car, and should bring between $160,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $175,291.

1922 Salmson Race Car

1922 Salmson AL3 GSS Course

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 19, 2017

Photo – Osenat

The French Salmson company was founded by Émile Salmson in 1890. They produced a lot of airplanes and airplane engines but started building cars after WWII. The automotive arm split off from the airplane part of the company in 1922 and 1953 was the final year for Salmson automobiles.

The first Salmsons were essentially GN cyclecars built under license. The “AL” line of cars were small, lightweight cars and the AL3 – named for Andre Lombard, the man at the head of Salmson that launched the car part of the business – was part of that initial line of cars. Powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four, it has been upgraded to GSS trim. GS cars were Grand Sports – but the GSS, Grand Sport Special, featured a four-speed gearbox.

This race car has a torpedo body on it and was raced in period of a former WWI fighter pilot. It won at Brooklands and raced at Le Mans (not the 24 Hours). It ended up in the Le Mans museum in 1965 and stayed there until 1992. The current owner acquired it in 1994 and had it completely restored. In modern times, it has been driven with ease up to speeds of 82 mph, which has to be frightening. It should bring between $159,000-$212,000 at auction this weekend. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $168,636.

March 2017 Auction Highlights

Before we dive into March, we’ve got a little unfinished business from February, starting with H&H Classics at Donington Park. We featured a Raleigh Safety Seven that failed to sell. The top sale was this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster for $93,500. Click here for complete results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Next up, the road car half of Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro sale. The top seller was this 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT for $546,940.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Evanta Barchetta we featured sold for $47,560. More results can be found here.

We’ll stay in the U.K. and head over to Historics At Brooklands’ March sale. The Microplas we featured failed to sell, but like at the H&H sale above, a barn find condition E-Type was the top seller. It’s a 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster and it brought $179,044.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

A previously-featured Bianchi that failed to sell three years ago at a different sale ended up selling here, bringing $21,347. And the AC 378 GT Zagato sold for $165,271. Click here to see what everything else brought.

Up next, Brightwells’ March Classic & Vintage sale. We featured three microcars from this sale and two of them, the Lambretta and Moto Guzzi sold for $3,403 each. The Casalini Sulky brought $1,701. The top sale was this 1956 Austin-Healey 100/4 BN2 for $58,350.

Photo – Brightwells

The GAZ Volga we featured went for an affordable $4,619. Complete results can be found on Brightwells’ website here.

Now finally, the first of the sales from Amelia Island: Bonhams. The top sale was a previously-featured Alloy-bodied Ferrari 250 Europa that sold for $2,227,500. Our Most Interesting award goes to this imposing 1911 Pierce-Arrow Model 48 Touring for $550,000.

Photo – Bonhams

The rare ReVere Touring car brought $137,500. The even-rarer (okay, it’s a one-off) Godsal sold for $214,500 while the early Knox brought $292,600. Click here for more.

Zimmerli Roadster

1948 Vauxhall-Zimmerli 18-6 Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In the U.S., auto production resumed more or less immediately following the end of World War II. In most of Europe, especially Germany and France, it took a little longer to get going again. And when it did, the cars in high demand were functional vehicles. But that didn’t stop two enterprising brothers from Switzerland for attempting to build a sports car around 1950.

Switzerland has never really had an active automobile industry anyway, so for the car to spring up there is weirder still. Werner and Fritz Zimmerli (who sold Chevys and Vauxhalls in their native town) designed a pretty roadster based on the Vauxhall Velox. The car uses a custom chassis and frame, but the running gear is all Velox: a 54 horsepower, 2.3-liter straight-six and a three-speed transmission move it down the road. The body is aluminium (with steel doors).

The finished product wasn’t complete until 1950 and the Zimmerlis kept the car until 1968. The current owner acquired the car in 2008 and performed a beautiful restoration. It is technically titled as a 1949 Vauxhall, thus its hyphenated name above, but it is a one-off, and a really cool one at that. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $71,500.

Ferrari 166 MM

1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta by Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

You’re looking at one of the earliest Ferraris. The 166 MM was one of the first Ferrari models – produced after only the 125 S, 159 S, 166 S, and the 166 Inter. The “MM” stood for “Mille Miglia”, the famous Italian road race that Ferrari won (actually finished 1-2) in 1949 with cars similar to this.

The cars are powered by a 2.0-liter V-12 making 140 horsepower. The Barchetta body is by Touring and, of Touring’s 25 Barchettas, this is #23. Only 32 166 MMs were built in total. One of the first owners of this car was a racing driver. And he took it racing. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1951 Mille Miglia – 6th in class (with Eugenio Castelotti and Giuseppe Rota)
  • 1953 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Ambrogio Arosio and Italo Di Giuseppe)

In early 1954, the car was already owned by someone else and racing hard in the United States. It’s been a respected car in the collector community pretty much since, winning awards at Pebble Beach as early as 1979. It’s Ferrari Classiche certified and retains all of its major original components. A Ferrari 166 is a hard to come by, but must-have for any serious collector. This is a great example and it’s expected to bring between $8,000,000-$10,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM Sotheby’s lineup.

Update: Not sold.

ReVere Touring

1920 ReVere Model A Four-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Named for Paul Revere, the ReVere Motor Car Corporation of Logansport, Indiana, was founded in 1918. It sprung up with a lot of fanfare and its chassis engineer was none other than Gil Andersen, the Norwegian-born pole sitter for the second running of the Indianapolis 500.

The first ReVere models were built in 1919 and the 1920 models were exactly the same. The Model A featured a marvelous engine from Duesenberg. It’s a 5.9-liter straight-four making 106 horsepower. It is touted as the most powerful American car of its day. The body is aluminium – it was made to go fast. And why wouldn’t it? It had three keys of speed going for it: an engine designed by the Duesenberg brothers, a factory within an hours drive of Indianapolis, and two race car drivers on the development payroll. Demonstration runs in the cars were performed by Cannonball Baker.

Unfortunately, the people at the top of the managerial heap at ReVere were more interested in robbing investors. The company was more or less a front to sell stock and rip people off. It worked and they raised a lot of money – but only built a few cars. The company was shut down in 1922 and one of the early founders (Adolph Monsen) tried to relaunch it, but ReVere was gone for good after 1926.

It is believed that only six ReVere automobiles exist today. Despite being run by con artists, the company managed to build great cars. This one is mostly original and does run and drive. It should bring between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $137,500.

Cisitalia 202 SC

1947 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

From 25 feet (or, you know, in photos), this Cisitalia might look like any number of postwar sports cars. But it’s coachbuilt – by Vignale, no less – and the details on this car are fantastic.

The 202 was Cisitalia’s main road car, introduced in 1947 and produced through 1952. There were some pretty exotic versions of it, including the CMM and the famed SMM Spider Nuvolari. It’s borderline blasphemous to call any Cisitalia “pedestrian” but I think the attractive yet subdued styling on this Cabriolet, coupled with the fact that it lacks any real racing pretensions, is what makes it special.

This car is powered by a 63 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. Coupes came first, but the Cabriolet is rarer, with only about 60 built (of a total 202 production run of 170 cars). This example was discovered in Argentina before coming stateside in 2003. The restoration dates all the way back to 2016 and the chassis number is an early one. It is expected to bring between $525,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Gooding’s Amelia Island lineup.

Update: Sold $550,000.