Healey Abbott

1953 Healey Abbott Drophead Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

In addition to attaching his name to everything under the sun, Donald Healey also built cars on his own. Between 1946 and 1954 the Donald Healey Motor Company churned out seven models of their own design that weren’t associated with Nash, Jensen, or Austin.

The Abbott was one of the last models to be introduced, going on sale in 1950. The name came from E.D. Abbott Ltd, a Surrey-based coachbuilder that actually built the body for this car (which is quite attractive compared to some of their other cars). All models were Drophead Coupes, and this particular car is powered by a 2.4-liter Riley twin-cam straight-four.

Production wrapped in 1954, with just 77 units produced, putting it right in the middle when it comes to Healey rarity. Only 20 are thought to remain roadworthy. This well-restored and well-used example should bring between $58,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 250 MM

1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are a lot of different “250” models from Ferrari. It started with the 250 S, then came this, the 250 MM. It would evolve into cars like the 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GTO, 250 P and 250 LM. And those are just the racing variants.

The 250 MM was a stout little thing produced in 1952 and 1953. The Colombo V-12 was enlarged to 2.5-liters and produced 237 horsepower when it was dropped into the slightly longer (than the 225) wheelbase of the 250 MM. Named for the famous Mille Miglia road race in Italy, and to commemorate Ferrari’s recent victory there, the 250 MM was one of the premier racing cars for independent drivers of the early 1950s.

This particular car saw action on the privateer sports car circuit in Sweden when new. Down the line, this car was owned by racing driver Jo Bonnier and was eventually registered in Switzerland. Later owners had the car in Italy, England, France, Germany, and finally the United States. In beautiful condition after a recent cosmetic freshening, this will be another of RM’s mega-dollar cars in Monterey. It is one of just 31 250 MMs built and one of only 18 such cars that wear a Pinin Farina Berlinetta body. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 625 TF

1953 Ferrari 625 TF by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 11, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

If you like ultra-rare early Ferrari factory race cars, then Bonhams has the car for you. This is a Ferrari 625 TF (for Targa Florio). Built in 1953 only, it was the first closed-wheel, four-cylinder race car from Ferrari.

A four-cylinder Ferrari? Of course! It’s the legendary 2.5-liter Lampredi straight-four and that Lampredi engine would go on to power Ferrari’s Monza line of racing cars. In this guise, it’s good for 220 horsepower… not a far cry from the 237 horsepower produced by the 250 MM’s V-12.

Only three examples of the 625 TF were built and each of them are markedly different, showing signs of evolution from chassis to chassis. This car features open body work from Vignale but in its earliest form carried a different body. Enzo didn’t like the original and so here we are.

This chassis spent its competitive days racing around Italy with the likes of Mike Hawthorn and Umberto Maglioli behind the wheel before being exported to a new owner in Argentina toward the end of 1953. It raced in Argentina and Brazil thereafter, competing into the early 1960s. In the mid-1970s it was discovered in a scrapyard in Naples, Italy, with a Lincoln V-12 stuffed under the hood. It was restored in the 1980s and again by its current owner in the 2000s.

Ferrari road racers from the golden era of sports car racing – and those that Enzo had a hand in – are just wonderful things. This sheer exclusivity of this the 625 TF makes it a great opportunity. It’ll be expensive though: this car carries an estimate of $5,500,000-$8,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Kaiser Dragon

1953 Kaiser Dragon

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Dragon was originally a trim level offered on 1951 Kaiser cars. Basically, they were cars equipped with faux-alligator skin interior (called “dragon skin” so no one got the impression that it was real alligator) and thick carpeting. In 1953, Kaiser, decided to build a top-shelf car also called the Dragon.

The 1953 Dragons were well-equipped and aimed at the top of the market. They were marketed as “safety” cars with featured like padded dashboards and pop-out windshields. They also had an electric clock, radio, gold-plated exterior nameplates and power steering. They were more expensive (at $3,924) than both a Buick Roadmaster and a Cadillac Series 62. Sales weren’t great because, while well-equipped, when compared with their more-expensive competition, they seriously lagged in the motor department. The Dragon is powered by a 118 horsepower, 3.6-liter straight-six. The Buick had a V-8 and 70 more horsepower.

Only built for 1953, Kaiser managed to move only 1,277 Dragons. The car is well-styled and definitely has standout looks. The vinyl top even looks like bamboo. The restoration on this car dates to 1982, but it’s still in great shape and is completely usable, as it’s been well-preserved since. This example should bring between $70,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $37,400.

Three Decades of American Wagons

Three Decades of American Wagons

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 16-18, 2017


1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon

Photo – Mecum

The Buick Super was first introduced in 1940 and it only lasted a little over a year before the war broke out, though an upgraded 1942 model was brought to market. This model was built through 1948, which makes this car from the final year of manufacture for that series. The Super was Buick’s mid-level model for ’48 and four body styles were offered, with the Wagon you see here being the rarest.

The Model 59 was actually the “Estate Wagon” and it featured this beautiful woodwork from Ionia. It’s powered by a 5.2-liter V-8 making 115 horsepower. It’s a wonderful car sporting a 20+ year old restoration and a prime example of functional post-war Americana: a V-8 woody wagon. Only 2,018 of these were built. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $26,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2018, $29,700.


1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

Photo – Mecum

The first two generations of the Chrysler Town & Country were woodies. The last year for those was 1950 and for the 1951 model year, the name was applied to Chrysler’s station wagons (and would continue on their wagons through 1988 before becoming a minivan in 1990).

Chrysler’s 1953 model offerings included the six-cylinder Windsor and the eight-cylinder New Yorker. This car is powered by the New Yorker’s 5.4-liter V-8 making 180 horsepower. Only 1,399 of these were built in 1953 and they cost $4,077 when new. Read more about this one here.

Update: Sold $48,000


1969 Dodge Coronet 500 Wagon

Photo – Mecum

This style of station wagon was really the last hurrah for the classic, huge American Family Truckster. In another decade or so minivans would be the vehicle of choice for families and behemoths like this were relegated to the scrap heap. Luckily, someone saved this big boxy family hauler.

Dodge’s 1969 four-door model lineup included the Coronet and the Polara/Monaco. Four-door Coronets were available in base Deluxe trim, mid-level 440 trim, or as a top-trim 500. This nine-passenger Coronet 500 Wagon was the best Coronet family carrier you could buy. It’s powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 making 300 horsepower. Only 991 of these were even sold in 1969, making this extremely rare today. The original base price was $3,392. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum in Vegas here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $13,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2018, $19,800.

AC Buckland

1953 AC Buckland

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 8, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Auto Carriers Ltd., later known as AC Cars, started building vehicles in 1901. They’re still around, though they are mostly building Cobra replicas and random attempts at sports cars. The 1950s were their sweet years, introducing or selling five different models during the decade.

The first of these was the 2-Litre, a car AC introduced in 1947. It was available as a two-or-four-door sedan and they also built a few Drophead Coupes. And then there was this, the Buckland tourer. The 2-Litre had the highest production total of any four-wheeled AC vehicle by the time it was out of production in 1956.

They are powered by a 74 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six. Only 60 Buckland tourers were built and this car has period racing history. It raced at Silverstone, Brands Hatch, and was the first AC car to race at Goodwood. It’s been completely restored and retains its original chassis and body. This particular Buckland was a no-sale at Historics’ most recent sale, so we’ll see if they can find it a new home this time around with an estimate of $47,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Abarth 1100 Ghia

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 1949, Carlo Abarth jumped off of the sinking ship that was Cisitalia to start his own business… utilizing the leftovers of Cisitalia. It started with sports cars and today is a trim level of sporty Fiats. Abarth only built cars in limited numbers and the 1100 you see here is a one-off.

There was a car called the Abarth 205 and they took a chassis from that car and fitted Fiat’s new 1100 engine to it. The car was sent to Ghia for this incredible Jet Age body, and voila! Originally, Fiat’s 1.1-liter straight-four made about 35 horsepower. Abarth no doubt increased that figure.

This Ghia masterpiece has all the right little details, not to mention a brilliant blue interior that will blow you away because you just don’t expect the vividness it provides. Exhibited initially by Ghia at the 1953 Turin Salon, this car was later shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show by its first owner, who re-christened it the “Vaughn SS Wildcat,” with V-8 underhood.

The car was rediscovered in 1982 and the current owner had it restored in 2015, correct Fiat engine re-installed. It’s an awesome – and remarkably small – 1950s Italian design. You’ll be the only one with anything like it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Monterey.

Update: Sold $891,000.

Fiat 1100 by Allemano

1953 Fiat 1100 Cabriolet by Allemano

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 20, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Fiat 1100 was a model that was produced a number of different times, but the car you see here was part of the line that was available between 1953 and 1969 (though light commercial variants were built through 1971). The cars were offered in a few body styles from Fiat, namely a four-door sedan, wagon, and a two-door convertible.

When Fiat introduced the car at the 1953 Geneva Auto Show, it was just sedans. But later that year at the Turin motor show they had a few special versions on the show stand, such as a Michelotti-designed Coupe and Cabriolet, which were both built by Allemano. In all, Allemano is thought to have built two coupes and four convertibles and this is the convertible from the Turin show stand.

Power comes from a 50 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. This car sports single-family ownership for 56 years and its current owner had it restored to its present glory. Only two Allemano-bodied 1100 Cabriolets are known to exist and they are very striking. This one should bring between $275,000-$325,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Not sold.

Alfa Romeo Sprint Supergioiello

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900C Sprint Supergioiello by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This might look more like a coachbuilt classic than a rally car, but it turns out that it is both. The Alfa Romeo 1900C was the short wheelbase version of the 1900. The 1900 was built between 1950 and 1959 with the C having been introduced in 1951.

It is powered by a 1.9-liter straight-four making 100 horsepower. This car was bodied by Ghia and is one of 18 such examples built (and was apparently the final one). It was sold new in Spain and used extensively for rallying between 1954 and 1961. It actually ran in the 1955 Monte Carlo Rally with owner Gumersindo Garcia Fernandez at the wheel.

This car has spent most of its life in Spain and Portugal but was restored in Italy recently. It looks fantastic and the numbers on the door give away its racing past, even if those wire wheels don’t. It should sell for between $555,000-$660,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Siata 300 BC

1953 Siata 300 BC Barchetta by Bertone

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

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Giorgio Ambrosini’s Siata somehow survived until 1970, but it was the 1950s where they made their mark. The first cars were modified Fiats and their first homemade model was the 1951 300 BC Barchetta.

The car is very light (as you can see, the tires look like they were stolen off a bicycle) and it’s powered by a 51 horsepower 1.1-liter Fiat straight-four. Earlier cars had Crosley motors. This model was aimed at Americans who needed an agile SCCA weapon.

This is car #38 of 40 that were bodied by Bertone (another handful or two were also built, some with bodies by Motto). It’s been in the U.S. since new and was first road-registered in 1989, having been primarily used for competition up to that point. For most of its life, it was driven twice a year to keep it running. It’s been repainted and the interior redone, but otherwise it’s largely original. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $198,000.