Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | August 16, 2020
Giuseppe Benelli, he of later motorcycle fame, joined forced with Giuseppe Beretta, he of gun fame, to move into automobile territory to help rebuild their respective companies. Benelli was actually in the firearm business at that point in time, and both men’s companies suffered after WWII.
Benelli designed the chassis, and the two men teamed up with Viscount Guglielmo Castelbarco Albani to form BBC. Benelli’s design featured a 21-horsepower, 750cc V-twin mounted ahead of the front wheels. It was air-cooled and drove the front wheels. The perfect economy car for a struggling post-war Italian economy. It could hit 63 mph, and that car still exists today in the Beretta museum.
Beretta bailed on the project shortly after it was built to return his focus on guns. Benelli soldiered on and built two more cars under the name FAM (Factory Auto Motoveicoli). The prototype, this car, debuted at the 1952 Turin Motor Show. Both cars still exist – sort of. One is a bare chassis with an engine. It’s in pretty sad shape; one of the wheels is plywood.
The other has no engine but has the body, as shown above. Both are offered here together as part of Bonhams Bicester motorcycle sale. The pre-sale estimate is $10,000-$18,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Business can be a fickle thing. Panhard et Levassor was one of the first automotive giants and is one of the most important car companies from the early days of the industry. Panhard’s post-war fortunes weren’t great. Their later years found them grasping at straws, unable to compete with Renault, Citroen, and Peugeot.
The Dyna Junior was a small sports car introduced in 1952. It borrowed the chassis and drivetrain from the larger Dyna X. It’s a front-wheel-drive little drop-top, and in X86 form it was powered by a 745cc flat-twin rated at 32 horsepower. This was the least-powerful variant built.
But it’s an early car. The factory prototypes were built by a coachbuilder called Di Rosa, who would eventually go out of business after Panhard yanked production duties away from them. The very early Dyna Juniors were built there. Including this one. And it has some unique features not found on other cars, like a unique windshield and trunk.
Only 4,707 examples of the Dyna Junior were built between 1952 and 1956. In 1953, it was Panhard’s biggest-seller, having moved less than 3,000 of them. That’s how far their fortunes had fallen. This seemingly one-off X86 Junior should bring between $21,750-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The J1 was built between 1946 and 1947 and was quickly followed by the J2, which was a two-seat aluminum-bodied roadster with inboard rear brakes, a coil-sprung front suspension, and a big American V8. Engines from different manufacturers were used, and this car has a 5.4-liter Cadillac V8. This combo made for quite the performer. J2s raced at Le Mans. One of their drivers happened to be Zora Arkus-Duntov.
Only 90 were produced between 1950 and 1952. This particular car was the final example produced before Allard moved on to the J2X. It was driven in a few SCCA events by an aspiring young racer named Carroll Shelby who would go on to do other things. This car has been restored and is now offered by Mecum. Click here for more info.
1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta ‘Tuboscocca’ by Vignale
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | May 1-2, 2020
Well if you’re wondering what the biggest dollar car from RM’s Elkhart Collection sale is, you’re looking at it. Selling at no reserve, this car is one of just 21 examples of the 225 S produced by Ferrari in 1952.
The 225 S could be had with two different chassis types: a spaceframe or a tubular semi-monocoque, aka the Tuboscocca. This car has the latter and is one of just four Berlinettas produced on that chassis (of 12 total Tuboscocca cars). It is the fifth of the 21 cars produced, and power is from a 210 horsepower, 2.7-liter V12.
Because the Tuboscocca was a competition-geared chassis, it’s no surprise that this car has some racing history, including:
1952 Mille Miglia – 10th, 2nd in class (with Franco Bordoni-Bisleri and a Mr. Geronimo)
1952 12 Hours of Casablanca – 2nd (with Jean Lucas and Jacques Peron)
There were some other successes before the car was repaired by Ferrari and sold to an SCCA privateer in Ohio through Luigi Chinetti Motors. The current owner purchased it in 2012 and has used it extensively in historic events. You can see more about the car here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6-7, 2020
Earl “Madman” Muntz was a businessman in Glendale, California, who acquired the rights to the Kurtis Sports, a car designed and produced by Frank Kurtis. Only 16 examples were built by Kurtis until Muntz took over production.
Production shifted to Illinois, and the design was tweaked somewhat to make the car longer. It’s still aluminum-bodied, and various engines were used during the course of the model’s 1950-1954 run. This car has a triple-carbureted V8 under the hood, but the catalog makes zero mention of the engine’s origin or displacement. Sad face.
The purple finish over a white iguana skin interior is quite striking. It also comes with a black Carson top. Only about 198 of these were built, and Muntz lost $1,000 on each of them. This one is selling at no reserve. You can see more photos here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020
The Pegaso Z-102 is Spain’s most dramatic automobile. Produced between 1951 and 1958, the car sold just 84 copies, many of which ended up with beautiful coachbuilt bodies. We’ve featured three of them to this point, including a convertible.
This drop-top Z-102 looks a little more restrained, and that’s probably because it was bodied by the factory. And that is because this is a factory prototype that was displayed at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. It is powered by the earliest of Z-102 engines: a 2.5-liter V8 that makes 165 horsepower. The 2.8-liter version was more popular, and later cars had a 3.2-liter unit.
This is one of five factory prototypes and the only prototype cabriolet. The current owner purchased the car in 2019 and is the car’s third owner from new. The factory body, while more plain than the Saoutchik cars, is still fantastic. This car should bring between $890,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 5, 2020
Veritas was a sports car manufacturer that was founded in the wake of WWII in West Germany. They got their start by modifying BMW 328s. That eventually gave way to building sports cars and even single-seat race cars. They definitely caught the racing bug, and soon realized it was expensive.
In order to fund their racing program, they started producing this road car. Called the Dyna-Veritas, the car is powered by a Panhard Dyna-sourced 745cc flat-twin that produced 38 horsepower. Coupe and convertible body styles were offered.
The front-wheel-drive convertible was bodied by Baur, and only 176 examples of the Dyna-Veritas were built. This is one of 10 surviving examples and is selling without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019
Though Siata could trace their roots back to 1926, they didn’t actually begin producing their own cars until 1948. Their great, sporty, Italian cars were a flash in the pan, however, and they disappeared by 1975 after spending nearly a decade producing a not-sporty, retro-styled convertible called the Spring.
Perhaps the most desirable car produced by the firm was the 208, which was offered in two forms including the S (roadster) and CS (coupe). They were built between 1952 and 1955 in small quantities, and fewer than 20 examples of the CS were built. Some of 208 S examples looked like an AC Ace, but every one of them was coachbuilt. A 125 horsepower, 2.0-liter V8 provides the oomph.
This Bertone-bodied coupe was ordered new by Stanley Arnolt (who was closely associated with the carrozzeria). It was also displayed at the 1952 Paris Auto Show. Fifty years later, it was restored, and it is now offered with a pre-sale estimate of $850,000-$950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019
Amedee Gordini began building single-seaters just after World War II and that evolved into a sports car business that was eventually absorbed by Renault in 1968. It’s now used as a sport trim much like Alpine.
This car began life as a Type 11 single-seater built around 1946. In that form, the car was raced by Jean-Pierre Wimille, Juan-Manual Fangio, Prince Bira, and more. For the 1952 racing season, they recycled this chassis, fitting it with Type 15S components, open two-seat bodywork, and a 1.5-liter inline-four engine. It’s competition history in two-door form includes:
1952 24 Hours of Le Mans – 44th, DNF (with Roger Loyer and Clarence de Rinen)
1953 24 Hours of Le Mans – 47th, DNF (with Loyer and Andre Guelfi)
It then had a career in British sports car circles and traded hands in the 1970s. It wasn’t restored until 2005. Only two four-cylinder open Gordinis are left, and this is the only one likely to ever change hands as the other is squirreled away in the Schlumpf collection. It should sell for between $790,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Well, with some confidence I can truly say I never thought I’d type out the words “Dick Tricycle.” But alas, here we are. Dick was a French coachbuilder… and I can find no other information about them.
But apparently in 1952 they bodied this diminutive three-wheeler. Power is from a horizontal Ducati 175cc single-cylinder engine. The rear wheel is the driven wheel, and interior seating is a one-by-one arrangement with the passenger behind the driver.
This unique one-off was restored long ago and can now be yours for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info.