Zagato Zele

1974 Zagato Zele 1000

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | November 26, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

It seems like every design house has tried their hand at producing a car of their own. Bertone did it a couple of times, Ghia did it for most of the 1960s, and even Pininfarina got in the game in the 1980s. But nobody did it smaller than Zagato with their Zele electric car.

Built between 1974 and 1976, the rear-engined, rear-drive Zele was available in three models, the 1000, 1500, and 2000 – all so-named for their motor wattage. In all, about 500 were made. This is an early 1000 watt model and these all sported a 50 mile range. This model has only covered 99 km in its life. That’s just over a single charge!

This two-seater – in correct original orange paint with black stripe (one of seven original colors available) – was originally owned by another Italian company that worked in the electric car field. It should sell for between $14,500-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $16,687.

Abarth Record Car

1960 Fiat-Abarth 1000 Monoposto Da Record “La Principessa”

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

When you think of Abarth, you might think of the current Fiat 500 Abarth – a very sporty hot hatch. Or maybe you think of compact racers from long ago. We’d wager that most people don’t think of speed record cars.

Carlo Abarth built his first endurance speed record car in 1956. It set some records, working well enough to encourage Abarth to build a second streamliner the following year. The final cars were built in 1960 and this is one of them. Looking like one of the Auto Union streamliners from decades before, this car features a canopy top and is powered by a 1.0-liter straight-four producing 108 horsepower. Top speed was 136 mph – which should tell you that the aerodynamics here are quite slippery.

This car set eight endurance speed records at Monza in 1960 using drivers like Umberto Maglioli. Later that year Abarth displayed it at the Turin Motor Show and then it went into Pininfarina’s storage until they sold it in 1970. The same family that bought it from Pininfarina is the same family consigning the car at auction. It is in original condition and is one of those cars with a wild design that will only become more famous and legendary with time. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can read more here and see more from Gooding & Company here.

Update: Not sold.

Abarth Spider Tubolare

1962 Abarth 1000 Sport 131-MC Spider Tubolare

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 13, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Abarth cars are some of the hardest to find information on. They tuned some cars and they built their own race cars – and the records are only in the hands of marque specialists (if they exist at all). This Spider Tubolare is a race car, and one I’d honestly never heard of until now.

There was a new wave of sports prototype car building going on in the late-1950s and early-1960s. Tubular spaceframe chassis construction offered a stiff, lightweight alternative to traditional chassis design. And it allowed a company like Abarth to swap engines in and out of the mid-engined layout depending on what races they wanted to enter. This car uses a 1.0-liter straight-four that was installed in period to compete in the European Hill Climb Championship.

This car has been owned by Fabrizio Violati since the 1970s and has been a part of his Maranello Rosso collection for nearly 40 years. As it’s been on display for a while, it needs a complete refreshening to be usable. In any case, it should sell for between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $198,786.

1962 Mobile Propane Tank

1962 Simca 1000 Butagaz

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2012

This attractive vehicle is not your standard Simca 1000. This car… or truck… or advertising vehicle was built for the Tour de France. It has nothing to do with cycling, but it actually drove the course ahead of the competitors as a roving advertisement for the French butane and propane distributor Butagaz – who had seven of these built by French coachbuilder Rotrou in 1962. It’s designed to look like a propane tank and there are even speakers built into the body so you can blast whatever propaganda you wish (Butagaz played their slogan while driving around).

The base car underneath is a 1962 Simca 1000. The rear-engined layout of the Simca 1000 was favorable for this conversion for two reasons as it helped offset the weight of the driver’s compartment and allowed for the driver’s compartment in general, which is very far forward and very low. These cars came standard with straight-four engines ranging from 800cc to 1.3-liters.

If you’re in to advertising (either mobile or otherwise), this all-original propane tank on wheels can be yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000-$50,000. Think of the looks you could get driving it around. For more information click here. And for more from Artcurial at Le Mans, click here.

Update: Sold $30,346.