Two Valuable Alfa Romeo 8Cs

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Alfa Romeo 8C was Alfa’s largest, most powerful, pre-war road car. It was available from 1931 through 1939 and came in a few different models, beginning with the 8C 2300 and culminating in the 8C 2900B. They were powerful, fast, and sporty. In fact, RM says that it was sportiest car money could buy in 1939 – on par or above the Bugatti Atlantic.

This car is powered by a 180 horsepower, supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight – enough to allow this car to cruise along at over 100 mph all day long. The Carrozzeria Touring-built body is aluminium and it is beautiful. This is a “Lungo” 8C, meaning it has the longer of the two wheelbases offered.

The earliest known history of this car goes back to 1949, when it was racing in Brazil. The body was separated from the chassis and for the next few decades they remained apart in hands of separate owners. By some miracle, they were reunited in Switzerland in the early 1990s. The restoration was completed by the end of 1997 and, remarkably, the current owners have driven more than 12,000 miles in this car – which is a huge number for a car this rare and valuable.

Only 32 8C 2900 chassis were built and twelve of those are Touring Spiders. Of the 12, only seven are on the long-wheelbase chassis. This is where it gets even more mind-blowing: the pre-sale estimate is between $20,000,000-$25,000,000. Incredible all around. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $19,800,000.


1933 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

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

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The 8C 2300 was the initial Alfa Romeo 8C offered and it was introduced in 1931. It was a sports car, through and through, and they were raced heavily in their day – both by the factory and privateers and winning Le Mans four times (in a row!).

The 8C 2300 Monza is a short-chassis model based on a car Alfa ran at Monza in 1931 (basically they just cut some length out of a Spider chassis and put the exhaust down the side of the car). The first Monzas were just shortened Spiders, but for 1932 and 1933, the Monza was a model unto itself. Alfa didn’t build many, but race teams – like Scuderia Ferrari – converted some Spiders into Monzas.

And what we have here is an actual, Alfa Romeo factory-built 8C 2300 Monza. It carries a Brianza-built body and was sold new in Italy. It is one of the last Series 3 Monzas built and is powered by a supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight making in excess of 180 horsepower (when new, it would’ve have a 2.3-liter engine). Only about 190 8C 2300s were built and very few were factory-build Monzas. This one should bring between $12,000,000-$15,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $11,990,000.

Horch 930V Phaeton

1939 Horch 930V Phaeton

For sale at The Auto Collections | Las Vegas, Nevada

Photo - The Auto Collections

Photo – The Auto Collections

The Horch 930V was part of the 830 line of cars that August’s company built between 1933 and 1940. Here is a quick breakdown of the different models in this line: 830 (1933-1934), 830 B (1935), 830 BL (1935-1940), 830 Bk (1936), 930V (1937-1940).

The late 1938 through 1940 930V was powered by a 3.8-liter V-8 making 92 horsepower (a 10 horsepower and 300cc bump over the 1937/early ’38 model). Most of these cars were built as a four-door sedan, two-door convertible, and two-door roadster. Only three four-door Phaeton convertibles were built. Two still survive.

It’s a stately car, for sure, but not one really associated with the Nazis (which is a good thing, but it also makes it a little less well known). This car was restored in 1982 and is currently owned by a Guatemalan, but is for sale in Las Vegas for $375,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Carmel 2017, $102,300.

Amilcar Compound

1939 Amilcar Compound B38 Roadster

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 19, 2016

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Amilcar, Joseph Lamy and Emile Akar’s French car company, is most well-known for their light, sporting cars of the 1920s. They competed in a lot of different racing events over the years, including the Monte Carlo Rally and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Amilcar faced financial trouble in the early 1930s and they had a new corporate overlord that they turned to for help: Hotchkiss. At the 1937 Paris Auto Show, they debuted a front-wheel drive car that would go on sale in 1938. Called the B38 (or the Compound), the cars were powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four making 34 horsepower. Most were two-door sedans, through a Roadster was offered (as were commercial variants).

In all, only 681 passenger versions were made, with the Roadster being much rarer than the sedan. Very few survive. This one has been in the same family for 50 years and has not seen much if any use in recent decades. The paint has been redone but it does need a little work to get it roadworthy. You will definitely have something almost no one else does with this car. It should bring between $13,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $18,725.

540K Spezial Cabriolet A

1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Mercedes-Benz 540K was the final iteration of their most luxurious line of pre-war cars. It was produced between 1936 and 1940 and a total of 419 of them were built. There are a number of popular body styles, including the Sindelfingen-bodied Cabriolet A, B, & C. There was also the Special Roadster. And then there was this, the 540K Spezial Cabriolet A.

Only two such cars were given the Spezial Cabriolet A treatment (the other is a 500K, making this, essentially, a factory one-off). It’s a combination of the Special Roadster’s raked windshield and the Cabriolet A’s classic, beautiful lines. The engine is a 5.4-liter straight-eight that makes 115 horsepower in normal mode and 180 when the supercharger is engaged.

This car has known ownership history back to the 1940s when it first arrived in America. It was part of the Otis Chandler collection and actually won Best of Show at the 1973 Pebble Beach Concours during his ownership. It was most recently restored in the early-90s and should bring between $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Not sold.

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016


1951 Salmson G72 Coupe by Saoutchik

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Salmson, the French auto manufacturer, built cars up through 1957. They had a range of sedans and two-doors. This is a G72, a model introduced in 1950. Most G72s were sedans, but some of them were sent to coachbuilders for something a little more fancy. Power was supplied by a 2.3-liter straight-four.

This car was bodied by Saoutchik, the legendary French coachbuilder. It was repainted some 25 years ago but otherwise it is original. Only 254 of this series of the G72 were produced and this one carries a one-off body. It should bring between $175,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $207,019


1953 Renault Frégate Ondine Cabriolet by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Renault Frégate was Renault’s executive sedan that they built between 1951 and 1960. Estate wagons were available as well, under different names. Renault showed a convertible at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, but it never entered production. Later, three more examples were shown and two disappeared. It is believed this is the only survivor of those cars.

The body is actually made of some kind of polyester blend. We’re really not sure what that means, but the engine is likely a 2.0-liter straight-four. The restoration was completed in the 1990s and it is believed that this car was used by legendary French singer Edith Piaf in the 1950s. It is the only car like it and it should bring between $87,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $86,814.


1939 Graham-Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Graham brothers of Dearborn, Michigan, began producing their own trucks in 1922 after years of modifying Fords. That company was bought by Dodge in 1925 and the brothers joined Dodge’s board. But when Chrysler took over Dodge in 1928, the Graham brand was soon phased out. Good thing the brothers bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927.

So in 1928, the Graham-Paige marque was introduced. In 1938 they introduced a bold (and awesome) new style that they built in low quantities through 1941. After the war, the automotive portion of the company was acquired by Kaiser-Frazer (which never reintroduced the Graham-Paige automobile brand), but Graham-Paige, strangely, soldiered on as a real estate company into the 1960s before becoming the Madison Square Garden Corporation. Weird, huh?

Anyway, the Type 97 Supercharged was built in 1938 and 1939. It is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower. This car left Graham-Paige as a coupe (they didn’t offer a convertible) and made its way to France to be bodied by Pourtout in Paris. It may be the only such car with this body. It has been restored and should sell for between $165,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $186,985.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $770,000.


1949 Delahaye 135MS Coupe by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was one of their best models. It lasted (in some form) between 1935 and 1954. The 135MS was the sportiest version – sometimes it was a race car, and sometimes it was a road car. It was the final Delahaye car available for purchase before the brand was phased out.

Bodies for the car varied widely. This car, with its covered wheels and sort of boxy design, was styled by Ghia in Turin. It’s beautiful. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six making 120 horsepower. It was built for the Shah of Iran who owned it until the late 1950s when it went back to Europe. Since then it spent time in the Blackhawk Collection and the John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was carried out sometime in the early 1990s. It’s a wonderful car and one of three Delahaye 135s styled by Ghia. It should sell for between $210,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $180,307.


1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport by Dubos

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Talbot-Lago T26 Record was a car introduced by Talbot-Lago in 1946. In late 1947, a Grand Sport version was introduced, which included a more powerful 4.5-liter straight-six making 190 horsepower (in this form). Grand Sport cars (that weren’t race cars) were all sent out to coachbuilders to have some of the best designs of the period attached to them.

This one went to Carrossier Louis Dubos near Paris for this elegant cabriolet that, while originally black, looks glorious in white. Never completely restored, mechanical bits have been redone as needed. This is one of three T26s bodied by Dubos and the only Grand Sport to wear one of their bodies. It should sell for between $260,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $293,834.

Pourtout-bodied Graham-Paige

1939 Graham-Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Graham brothers of Dearborn, Michigan, began producing their own trucks in 1922 after years of modifying Fords. That company was bought by Dodge in 1925 and the brothers joined Dodge’s board. But when Chrysler took over Dodge in 1928, the Graham brand was soon phased out. Good thing the brothers bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927.

So in 1928, the Graham-Paige marque was introduced. In 1938 they introduced a bold (and awesome) new style that they built in low quantities through 1941. After the war, the automotive portion of the company was acquired by Kaiser-Frazer (which never reintroduced the Graham-Paige automobile brand), but Graham-Paige, strangely, soldiered on as a real estate company into the 1960s before becoming the Madison Square Garden Corporation. Weird, huh?

Anyway, the Type 97 Supercharged was built in 1938 and 1939. It is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower. This car left Graham-Paige as a coupe (they didn’t offer a convertible) and made its way to France to be bodied by Pourtout in Paris. It may be the only such car with this body. It has been restored and should sell for between $165,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $186,985.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $770,000.

The Fanciest Pre-Jaguar

1939 SS 100 2.5-Litre Roadster by Van den Plas

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

We’ve featured another SS 100 before, but that was the larger-engined 3.5-litre model. This car is actually powered by a 2.7-liter straight-six (even though it’s called a “2.5-litre”) making 102 horsepower.

The SS brand, as we all know, became Jaguar after WWII and the Nazi connection those two letters had. This particular car is thought to be the final 2.5-litre SS 100 chassis built in 1939 and it was purchased by Van den Plas, the Belgian coachbuilder. But war broke out and they weren’t able to do anything with it until after things had settled down, so this car with this fantastic, Figoni-esque body debuted in 1948 at the Brussels Motor Show.

Van den Plas began in Belgium in 1870 and a British arm, Vanden Plas, opened in London in 1917. Jaguar had a long associated with that brand through its British Leyland ownership and beyond. You can see the underlying SS 100 under the added swoopy fenders – the grille and hood line is still intact.

This car arrived in the U.S. in the late 1980s or early 1990s and it was then restored. It still wears that restoration that shows well. It is one-of-one and will cost you a pretty penny. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s lineup.

Update: Sold $1,402,500.

Frazer Nash-BMW 328

1939 Frazer Nash-BMW 328

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | March 21, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The BMW 328 is one of Germany’s first great sports cars, launched in 1936. It was the car that put BMW on the performance map. Meanwhile, in England, Archibald Frazer-Nash had established himself as the official importer for BMW vehicles into the U.K. Except, that these British-bound cars would be marketed as Frazer Nash-BMWs, not just BMWs.

The 328 is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six making 79 horsepower. Top speed was 93 MPH and they were serious contenders at the Mille Miglia. Production continued until 1940 when the war broke out. This example was imported into England, thus it is a Frazer Nash-BMW, and it was the second-to-last 328 sold in the U.K. before production ceased.

This car has had a number of owners and entered a museum collection in 1972. When the museum closed in the 1980s, it was retained by the family who owned it and has been used sparingly since. It has never been completely restored, just worked on as needed, so it has many original parts. Only 464 BMW 328s were built and not many of them were sold as Frazer-Nash BMWs. This one can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bentley “Honeymoon Express”

1939 Bentley 4¼ Litre Sports Coupe “Honeymoon Express” by Park Ward

Offered by RM Auctions | Paris, France | February 4, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Bentley 4¼ Litre was an offshoot of the Bentley 3½ Litre, which was introduced in 1933. When the engine was enlarged in 1936, the name of the model was changed to reflect it. Note, this model is not the same as the Bentley 4½ Litre or even the plain old Bentley 4 Litre.

Bentleys of this period were actually built under new corporate overlord Rolls-Royce and are sometimes referred to as “Derby Bentleys” because they were produced at Rolls-Royce’s Derby plant. The engine in this car is a 4.3-Liter straight-six making 126 horsepower. But it’s the body that is really interesting.

This was Park Ward’s 1938 Earl’s Court Motor Show car. It’s a two-seater, which was rare for this platform. Instead of rear seats, it has luggage space – just enough for two newlyweds to go off on a jaunt around England. The head of Park Ward kept the car for himself after the show. It later passed to an American serviceman in the 1960s and he kept it until 2002.

A five year restoration was completed in 2011 and it is gorgeous. Bentleys are drivers’ cars and this one is no different. It will prove to be a lot of fun for its new owner. Look for it to bring between $700,000-$840,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Paris lineup.

Update: Sold $769,440.

Willys Pickup

1939 Willys Series 38 Pickup

Offered by Mecum | Austin, Texas | December 12-13, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

John North Willys started building cars in 1908 and the Willys name has had a long and interesting history. It helped win WWII for the Allied powers and later became part of Kaiser. It lives on today as the Jeep brand.

The engine here is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder making 61 horsepower. You really don’t see examples of this truck around anywhere. Ever. You rarely even see Willys models from the 30s at all. It’s definitely cool. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $40,000.