Siata Berlinetta

1952 Siata 208 CS 2+2 Berlinetta by Bertone

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Not sold.

Gordini Type 15S

1952 Gordini Type 15S

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $779,769.

1952 Dick Tricycle

1952 Dick Tricycle

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

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.

Update: Sold $12,171.

Delahaye 235 by Antem

1952 Delahaye 235 Cabriolet by Antem

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 10, 2018

Photo – Aguttes

When you think “coachbuilt” Delahaye, images of windswept cars from the 1930s or 1940s are probably what you imagine. But the company actually survived into the 1950s – 1954 to be exact when rival Hotchkiss acquired them and phased out the name.

Shortly before that, however, Delahaye introduced the 235. It was built between 1951 and 1954 and it actually looked like a modern car (for comparison, check out this 1951 Delahaye legacy model that just looks live an evolution of the earlier coachbuilt stuff). Anyway, the 235 is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six that made 152 horsepower. Top speed was over 100 mph, and the factory cars carried bodies from Chapron.

Only 85 examples of the 235 were built (they were expensive). Antem bodied 14 of them. Only one was a convertible, this one. It should sell for somewhere in the neighborhood of $230,000-$355,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

1952 Hudson Hornet 6 NASCAR

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Worldwide Auctioneers is liquidating the greatest collection of Hudson motorcars in the world. And after studying the catalog, I’m pretty sure this is the crown jewel (Italia included). Hudson’s Hornets dominated NASCAR in the early 1950s with legendary drivers like Marshall Teague, Tim Flock, Dick Rathmann, Buck Baker, and Herb Thomas. This was Herb Thomas’ actual race car from 1952 and 1953.

The Hornets were an underdog car that quickly rose to the top. They were six-cylinder cars in an eight-cylinder world. But their chassis design made the cars quick and nimble. Documents show this car was sold to Herb Thomas in July of 1952 to replace a wrecked Hornet. Driven to 15 victories, this very car led Thomas to the 1953 NASCAR championship. After the ’53 season, this chassis was retired and sold to a private owner who used it as a normal road car.

A different owner acquired it in the 1970s hoping to get it roadworthy. That never happened but by this point its racing heritage had been forgotten. It wasn’t until that owner sold the car to a former Hudson dealer and then-current parts supplier that the history of this car was uncovered. A sympathetic restoration followed, leaving the interior mostly intact.

The engine is a 5.0-liter straight-six with Hudson’s “Twin H-Power” intake system – all good for 170 horsepower (up from 145 from a car off the showroom floor). This is the only surviving example of the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” racing program of the 1950s. Its legacy cemented by Paul Newman’s character in the Pixar movie Cars and a truly legendary NASCAR racer, this will remain collectible forever. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Update: Sold $1,265,000.

Ferrari 212 Europa

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Cabriolet by Ghia

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

The 212 Europa was actually a series of 212 Inter cars that had an “EU” suffix on their chassis and engine numbers. The 212 Inter was introduced in 1951 and lasted through 1952. In all, just 78 examples were made and only the last 29 of those were identified as Europas. It was sort of a stepping stone to the 250 Europa that burst on the scene in 1953.

This car has wonderful style. Bodied by Ghia, it appeared on the 1952 Geneva and Turin Auto Show stands. It was one of two cars like this they built but the cars differ slightly as they were different colors and had minor trim differences. The rear fender skirts make this thing look amazing. It’s powered by a 2.6-liter V-12 making 170 horsepower.

This car has a pretty amazing history. It was in the Detroit area in the 1960s and in 1972 it was found at a swap meet (it had a Corvette engine in it at that point) and traded hands for $600. Ferrari hunter Tom Shaughnessy was able to rescue it in 2011 and it was restored over a six year period thereafter by its next owner. It’s a classic Ferrari with great 1950s styling and it should bring between $1,800,000-$2,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,600,000.

Kurtis KK4000

1952 Kurtis KK4000

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Now we’re talkin’. Here is an Indy car from the early 1950s, back when these cars ran on dirt more often than pavement. It predates other Kurtis cars, namely their Indy Roadsters. Frank Kurtis built some of the most dominant race cars of this era and, especially in the early 1950s, they won just about everything.

The KK4000 was new for 1951 but race cars then tended to be fielded for years, even after they ceased to be competitive (a different KK4000 was raced until 1975). The 4000 series was a development of the earlier 3000 series and featured a lighter construction, thus making it faster. It’s powered by a 4.4-liter Offenhauser straight-four – probably the most legendary race car engine of all time.

Only 12 examples of the KK4000 were built and they rarely change hands. The race history of this chassis includes:

  • 1952 Indy 500 – DNQ (with Allan Heath)
  • 1953 Indy 500 – ?
  • 1954 Indy 500 – 21st, DNF (with Pat O’Connor)
  • 1955 Indy 500 – 30th, DNF (with Ed Elisian)
  • 1956 Indy 500 – DNQ (with John Kay)

It was entered in the ’53 500 but I can’t find who drove this chassis that race and if it even qualified. Bonhams doesn’t seem to know either. This car raced up through 1959 before it was retired and sold to a collector. It has been restored to 1955 race spec. This is a very rare, very historically important race car (this was the car Elisian was driving when he pulled over and tried to help Bill Vukovich after his fatal crash). It should sell for between $275,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2018, $291,500.

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile


1952 Gordini Type 16

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Amédée Gordini started working on cars in the 1930s. He built his first single-seaters right after WWII and now the Gordini brand is owned by Renault. As a team, Gordini competed in Formula One between 1950 and 1956. This is their 1952 racer… or at least that’s when it debuted.

The Type 16 was developed as a Formula 2 car for the 1952 season, which was what the regulations were for the World Driver’s Championship that year. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six and it was the third example built, debuting at the 1952 French Grand Prix. This car’s lengthy race history includes:

  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Reims, F2) – 1st (with Jean Behra)
  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Rouen, F1) – 7th (with Behra)
  • 1952 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Maurice Trintignant)
  • 1953 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Carlos Menditeguy)
  • 1953 Dutch Grand Prix – DNF (with Harry Schell)
  • 1953 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1953 French Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Italian Grand Prix – 5th (with Trintignant)
  • 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix – DQ (with Behra)
  • 1954 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1954 French Grand Prix – 6th (with Behra)
  • 1954 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Clemar Bucci)
  • 1954 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Paul Frère)
  • 1954 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Spanish Grand Prix – DNF (with Jacques Pollet)
  • 1955 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Pablo Birger)

Wow. That’s a lot of F1 races for one chassis over four different seasons (with some pretty big names from the era as well). The car was not necessarily competitive at the end of its career as F1 advances at a pretty breakneck pace, but it was still out there, grinding laps. The car was acquired in the 1970s by Christian Huet, who wrote the book on Gordini. The car was offered to him by Gordini himself before passing away.

It’s well-documented and currently has a different engine installed, although a 2.0-liter F2 engine does come with it. Apparently, Gordini only built 33 single-seater cars and 14 of those are in the Schlumpf hoard. This one should bring between $1,100,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1950 AGS Panhard Monomill

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s a strange, one-off single-seater. Called the Atelier Guérin Special, or AGS, this car was built by Pierre Guérin in Grenoble, France. It’s based around a Panhard car of the era and, quite unusually for an open-wheel race car, features front-wheel drive.

It’s powered by an 850cc Panhard twin. Apparently it was raced in period, but it isn’t really known where, though it did compete in some hillclimb events in Italy more recently and that’s probably where its specialty lies.

It finally left its hometown in 1990 and its then-new owner kept the car for 20 years. A few others have enjoyed it since then and now it’s on the open market. It’s a unique, period-correct time attack car waiting for a new owner to take it to the track. It should bring between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,452.

Juan Peron’s Ferrari

1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari’s weren’t always red. In fact, this yellow and black paint scheme with whitewalls and knock-off wire wheels is one of the most brilliant Ferrari road car liveries we’ve seen in a while.

The 212 Inter was introduced at the 1951 Brussels Motor Show and produced in either 73 or 82 examples through the following year. This particular chassis (#49) was on Ferrari’s stand at the 1952 Paris Salon where it was purchased by Juan Perón, President of Argentina. The car remained in his possession until he was forced out of Argentina in 1955. In 1987 it was sold to a European and the car was then restored. The current owner acquired it in 1999

The 212 Inter is powered by a 150 horsepower 2.6-liter V-12. Bodies were supplied by different coachbuilders including Vignale and Touring. This is a one-off body by Ghia and it is fantastic. The proportions are perfect and that understated from end with dim headlights just begs you to buy it. The livery it sports is what it looked like on the Paris stand in 1952.

Early Ferraris are some of the best looking Ferraris and this one has pretty impressive provenance. It is expected to bring between $1,600,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,187,500.

Chrysler D’Elegance

1952 Chrysler D’Elegance by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The relationship between Chrysler and Ghia resulted in quite a few different designs during the 1950s. There were a series of Chrysler Specials including this one and this one. There were concept cars and the relationship bore fruit for DeSoto as well. Ghia benefited too, with Chrysler powering the Dual-Ghia and Ghia’s sports cars.

The car you see here, the D’Elegance, was a show car bodied for Chrysler by Ghia on a shortened New Yorker chassis. It’s a gorgeous two-seater with a built-in spare tire where the trunk would be. The engine is a 280 horsepower, 5.8-liter Firepower V-8.

This car has been listed as a 1952 or 1953 in various places, but it was built in 1952 and debuted at the 1952 Paris Auto Show. Each of these Italian-bodied 1950s Chryslers is different, bringing their own heightened sense of style and flair to what was already a stylish automotive landscape in the 1950s. This is definitely one of the best-looking of the lot and it should bring between $900,000-$1,100,000 at auction this December. Note: it sold for $946,000 in August of 2011. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $885,000.