VW Beutler Coupe

1959 Volkswagen Beutler 1200 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

This coachbuilt beauty is one of 28 constructed by the Beutler brothers, coachbuilders based in Switzerland. It’s based on a Volkswagen Beetle and was designed and produced before the Karmann Ghia. Basically, Beutler saw the potential for a rear-engine sports car based on VW mechanicals before VW did.

The engine is a 1.2-liter flat-four good for 31 horsepower. So “sports” car is a bit optimistic. But nothing Volkswagen made was “fast” until much later. The engine is mounted out back in a lovely upholstered compartment.

The issue was that this cost more than a Porsche 356 when new (and 2.5 times more than a Beetle). This car was restored over an 11-year period ending in the 2000s. It hasn’t been used or shown much since, and it now carries an estimate of $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.

Vignale Wonderful Coupe

1958 Fiat 1200 Wonderful Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.

The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Fiat 1200 TV

1959 Fiat 1200 TV

Offered by Russo & Steele | Newport Beach, California | June 2-4, 2017

Photo – Russo & Steele

The Fiat 1100 was a small family car produced between 1953 and 1969 in many varied formats. The 1200 debuted in 1957 as a step up from the 1100. Three different 1200 models were offered before the model went away after 1963: the Granluce (four-door sedan), the Spyder (or TV), and the Cabriolet, which were both convertibles. The Spyder, offered between 1957 and 1959, was replaced by the Cabriolet, which had a different design.

The 1200 is powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four that was based on the 1100’s engine and made 54 horsepower. The Spyder looks coachbuilt with its split grille, but was actually designed in-house at Fiat. The Cabriolet that succeeded it was designed by Pininfarina, but isn’t as stylish as this car.

This example was originally black, but looks quite good the red it wears after undergoing a complete restoration. I don’t have production numbers for this model, but they aren’t all that common. Additionally, there isn’t a pre-sale estimate available, but expect this car to land in the $40,000-$50,000 range. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.