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.

Fiat Giannini 750 Sport

1950 Fiat Giannini 750 Sport by Lotti

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Giannini brothers opened a garage in 1885 and started servicing Itala cars in 1922. Shortly thereafter they got involved with racing which led them to a profitable business (that an offshoot of still exists today) wrenching on Fiats.

In the 1940s, the Giannini brothers were building some really solid engines. In fact, they set world speed records in a Fiat Topolino using their know-how. The car you see here was actually built by the Benedetti brothers of Florence and was bodied by Carrozzeria Lotti of the same town. The car was originally based around a Fiat 1100, but later the engine was swapped for a Giannini 750cc straight-four.

This car has period race history, including:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – 125th (with Carlo Chiti and a co-driver named Cioni)

The current owner has had this car since the early 1990s. It’s certainly one of a kind and even its name had to be created in order to tell what it is. It’s been completely restored and is likely eligible for historic events. It should bring between $270,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Five Coachbuilt Delahayes

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 11, 2017


1936 Delahaye 135 Competition Court Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was the first model in a series of cars that would be built from 1935 through 1954 (with some time off for the War, of course). The 135 would be offered in a few different forms, but the Competition Court was the top-of-the-line model. The engine in this car is a 3.8-liter straight-six, which is not original to this car (it would’ve had a 3.5-liter unit when new).

It rides on a Competition chassis (which was sort of discovered by its most recent owner when the car was restored). It originally featured a Faux-Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi, but it was converted to a full cabriolet by the same guy who swapped the engine – but the design stays true to the original. This is one of six 135 Competition Court cars that originally sported a Figoni coupe body (here’s another). It’s a beautiful car with a good story (like how it was hidden from the Nazis) and it should bring between $1,275,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1938 Delahaye 135M Coupe Sport by Chapron

Photo – Artcurial

The 135M was built on both sides of World War II and it was basically a standard 135 with a better engine. In this case, that engine is a 3.5-liter straight-six, which, depending on carburetor setup, put out 90, 105, or 115 horsepower. This car is a 115 horsepower variant. This example was one of two ordered new from Chapron by a man from Algeria and its early history is not known.

It reappeared in Luxembourg sometime before 1986 and passed between owners before being liquidated as part of Evert Louwman’s purchase of the Rosso Bianco collection. Presented as an all-original car with “refreshed paintwork,” this car should sell in the neighborhood of $425,000-$635,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1939 Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Photo – Artcurial

If you didn’t guess it, the Delahaye 135MS was a step up from the 135M. In this case the engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six putting out 160 horsepower. This numbers matching car (body, engine, chassis) was bodied by Figoni & Falaschi in the a highly desirable cabriolet style.

It was originally ordered and owned by a famous French singer and stayed in her family until the late 1940s. The body was modified around 1950 when it was used in a film. Fortunately, the current owner (who has had the car since 2012) restored the car to its original glory, winning two awards at Pebble Beach as a result. This beauty should bring between $1,275,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1950 Delahaye 148L Coach by Saoutchik

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 148 was a long-wheelbase version of the 135M. It wasn’t as sporty, but that doesn’t mean they still didn’t garner incredibly crafted bodies from France’s finest coachbuilders. Because it is a derivative of the 135M, the 148 is powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six. Power depended on the number of carburetors and this is likely a 115 horsepower car.

Saoutchik built some of the most exotic bodies for old cars and this windswept two-door fastback fits right in with what they’re known for – in fact, it was shown on their stand at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. The current owner has had it since 1970 and while he kept it in running order, he drove it sparingly. It shows just less than 19,000 original miles. It’s all-original and should bring between $750,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1951 Delahaye 135M Gascogne Coach by Dubos

Photo – Artcurial

With the 135M spanning both sides of the second World War, you see designs that vary pretty wildly between early and late cars – especially since each of them were bodied by a professional coachbuilder. In this case, it is Carrossier Louis Dubos of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six.

Remarkably, this car has been owned by the same family since 1959. The restoration dates to the latter half of the 1990s, and has been driven only a few times since 2000, thus will require a thorough inspection before being declared roadworthy. The other four Delahayes we featured are all quite pricey, but this attractive and usable example will likely sell for between $75,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $126,297.

Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica

1950 Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 10, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

I feel like every time we feature one of Archibald Frazer-Nash’s spectacular automobiles, we have to have the conversation about the word “replica.” In this case, replica refers to a production vehicle modeled after an actual race car the company built. In this case, Frazer Nash built a car for the 1949 24 Hours of Le Mans. Because it was successful, they built a run of similar cars for customers.

This example, with known ownership history from new, was first sold in the U.K. in 1950. It is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six from Bristol making 125 horsepower. One owner has had this car for over four decades. At one point in time, it was owned and raced by famed driver Roy Salvadori.

This was the 20th of 34 built. Frazer Nash only built about 85 cars after WWII, with this model being the most popular. With pre-war production included, Frazer Nash output was only about 400 cars. Not a large amount. But they are among the best of the breed – true sports cars. This example – which is all original – should bring between $760,000-$840,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $785,031.

Lea-Francis 2.5-Litre Sports

1950 Lea-Francis 2½-Litre Westland Sports

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | June 11, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Lea-Francis was founded by Richard Lea and Graham Francis in 1895. As did many, the pair began by building bicycles and cars came in 1903. Strangely for a company that began by building bicycles, motorcycle production started after cars did. An independent their entire existence, the company folded in 1960.

The 2½-Litre was introduced in 1949 and was built in very small quantities through 1953. In fact, only 77 were built in total. The engine is a 2.5-liter straight-four rated at 120 horsepower. This is the sportiest car Lea-Francis built after the war.

Kind of resembling a Jaguar XK120, this Westland-bodied Lea-Francis is among the most collectible cars that the company built. Coupling with the decent looks and low production numbers, this example with a six-year-old restoration is expected to bring between $50,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,775.

Vertias Meteor

1950 Veritas Meteor

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 4, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The regulations for Formula One changed after the war, leaving a hole below it for smaller displacement cars. Enter Formula 2. It lasted up through 1984, when it was then replaced by Formula 3000. Veritas was a German manufacturer that hopped on the Formula 2 train early. The Meteor was their single-seater model.

Vertias cars were mainly powered by pre-war BMW 328 engines. Cars built after 1949 used a new 2.0-liter straight-four from Heinkel. This example was the final single-seater built by Veritas and it was only raced once, at the 1952 Chemnitz Grand Prix.

When Veritas shut down in 1953, this car was given to an employee instead of a paycheck. He kept it until the late 1970s, when it made its way to Las Vegas and stayed there until 2008. It was a runner-up in class at the 1992 Pebble Beach Concours and was most recently restored in 2010. Less than 50 Veritas competition cars were built and this one should bring between $230,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Paris.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 275S

1950 Ferrari 275/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 14-15, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This Ferrari 275 should not be confused with the gorgeous GT car of the same numerals built in the mid-to-late 1960s. The 275S was actually the first Lampedri-engined Ferrari ever built. Two were built in 1950 and they were based on the 166MM but used a new, experimental 3.3-liter V-12 from Ferrari’s new technical director, Aurelio Lampedri.

It had a body by Touring and was entered by the factory in the 1950 Mille Miglia, driven by none other than Alberto Ascari. It DNF’d, but still. After this failure, this 275S went back to the factory and was fitted with a new 4.1-liter V-12 from Ferrari’s new touring car, the 340 America. The engine makes 220 horsepower. It was then sold.

The new owners entered the car in some races. This car’s race history includes:

  • 1950 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Alberto Ascari)
  • 1951 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Gianni Marzotto and Otello Marchetto)
  • 1951 Targa Florio – DNF (with Giovanni Bracco and Mario Raffaelli)
  • 1952 Mille Miglia  – result unknown

Once it’s racing career was finished, the Touring body was replaced by this Scaglietti Barchetta. It was exported to the U.S. in 1958. It ended up being rescued from a barn in Vermont by an enterprising 15-year-old who then owned the car for over 40 years, restoring it himself and selling it in 1999.

After competing in quite a few historic events all over Europe, the current owner was able to acquire the car. This is one of only two Ferrari 257S racers ever built. It is one of only nine Scuderia Ferrari racing roadsters from the 1950s. And it was the first Lampedri-engined Ferrari to hit the track. It’s a piece of history – and one you can use. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $7,975,000.

Ferrari 195 Inter

1950 Ferrari 195 Inter Berlinetta by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Lake Como, Italy | May 23, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Ferrari 195 Inter was one of Ferrari’s earliest road-going Grand Tourers. It was actually the company’s second car designed specifically for the road. It was an evolution of the 166 Inter and based on the 195 S race car. The great thing about Ferraris is that they don’t need to be purpose-built race cars to take them racing.

This particular car, which was bodied by Ghia (all 195 Inters wore custom bodies), was displayed at the 1951 Brussels Motor Show. Later, its new owner took it rallying. At some point, this thing ended up in Zimbabwe. Can you imagine how that happened? And how lucky the world is that someone rescued it?

It is powered by a 130 horsepower 2.3-liter V-12 and has a top speed of 111 mph. The 195 Inter was only built in 1950 and the early part of 1951. In total, just 25 were built. Only 36 Ferraris have ever been bodied by Ghia, and this is the fourth one completed. This would be an awesome car to own and drive – those early V-12s are just special. It should sell for between $1,350,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Italy.

Update: Not sold.

GM Futurliner

1950 General Motors Futurliner

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

This is another one of the stars of the annual Barrett-Jackson show in Scottsdale. And it’s been there before. It sold for $4 million back in 2006. It also comes from the Ron Pratte collection. And it is cool.

The Futurliners were originally built in 1940 and used until the outbreak of the war. But in the early 1950s, they were restyled and made a comeback: the stars of GM’s Parade of Progress. They transported GM’s jet age concept cars around the country to show them off to millions of people. Both sides of it actually open up and can hold a car. It’s the perfect place to park your 1950s-era GM concept car.

There are some really cool pictures out there of these things – especially when they’re all lined up. In total only 12 were built and nine are still known to exist (one was destroyed, two are “missing”). Originally, they were powered by a 4.9-liter straight-six, but this one was upgraded during restoration and uses a 6.6-liter six.

The remaining Futurliners exist in various states. This is one of the more correct examples out there (minus the engine). It’s one of the coolest buses ever built (if that’s what you want to consider it). It brought $4 million last time, what’s your guess this time around? You can read more here and see more from Barrett-Jackson here.

Update: Sold $4,000,000.

Healey Silverstone

1950 Healey Silverstone

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 26, 2014

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ever write or say a word so many times that it no longer seems like a real word? That’s how I feel about “Silverstone” right about now. Donald Healey founded one of the first post-War automobile manufacturers, building his first car in 1945.

The Silverstone was named for the legendary circuit which hosted its first Grand Prix in 1948, just one year prior to this car’s introduction. It was only built for 1949 and 1950. The aluminium body was light and resembled an open-wheel car of the period, despite being perfectly suited for road use. The engine is a 2.5-liter Riley straight-four making 104 horsepower. One of the coolest things about this car is that the spare tire is housed in such a way that it is the rear bumper.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

This is a 1950 model, so it has a wider, more comfortable cockpit (these wider cars are referred to as the E-Type model and has nothing to do with Jaguar). The cars were very successful in racing – sometimes even with Donald Healey himself at the wheel (he won the 1949 Alpine Rally in one of these cars). Only 105 were hand-built by the Donald Healey Motor Company, making them very rare today. This one is coming off a very nice nut-and-bolt restoration and should sell for between $265,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Silverstone’s sale.

Update: Sold $357,420.