Ferrari 625 F1

1954 Ferrari 625 F1

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Formula One didn’t technically come into existence, by that name anyway, until 1950. Prior to that there was just a European Championship, in which Ferrari debuted in 1948. So this car, then, is from the first decade of Ferrari’s open-wheel racing program.

In 1952 and 1953, Formula Two was actually the pinnacle of motorsport, as determined by its governing body, the FIA. So the best drivers all tooled around in F2 cars for a couple of years before Formula One again became the World Championship decider in 1954.

Ferrari’s Aurelio Lampredi-designed F2 car for 1952 and 1953 was the 500. When the Scuderia had to shift back to F1, they took 500 chassis and modified them into 625 F1 spec. And this, chassis 0540, is one of those cars. The engine in the 625 was a 2.5-liter inline-four equipped with dual Weber carburetors for an output of up to 227 horsepower.

This car started out as the fourth of five 500 F2 cars before being retrofitted and re-serialed by the factory as a 625 F1. It was campaigned at both levels by Ecurie Francorchamps, a Belgian F1 team. It was later owned by Donald Healey and Pierre Bardinon.

This real-deal Ferrari monoposto from the golden age of F1 racing now has an estimate of $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

375 America Vignale Cabriolet

1954 Ferrari 375 America Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 375 was the third in Ferrari’s limited-production “America” line of cars. It was produced in 1953 and 1954, with just 12 built, two of which were actually converted to 375 spec from existing 250 Europas.

So what was the difference between a 375 America and a 250 Europa? A bigger engine, for one. The 375 had a 4.5-liter V12 rated at 296 horsepower. This was a 160-mph road car… in the early 1950s. They were also very expensive. Most were Pinin Farina-bodied, however, Vignale produced three coupes and this, the lone convertible.

This car, which is one of the two Europas that became Americas, was a triple-black example when new and was first sold in Rome. A removable hardtop was optioned (not very common for Ferraris of any era). It was refinished most recently after the current owner’s purchase in 1998. This was nearly 20 years after it was initially restored.

No sales estimate yet, but you can read more about this car here.

Update: Sold $7,595,000.

Three German Vans

Three German Vans

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022


1954 Tempo Viking Bus

Photo – Dorotheum

Tempo-Werke (officially Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke GmbH) was a Hamburg-based company that got their start in 1924. The company was purchased by Daimler-Benz in 1971, and the marque was phased out after 1977.

The Viking was introduced in 1950 to replace previous three-wheeled light trucks. A pickup and van were offered, with power from a 452cc two-stroke twin making about 20 horsepower. They featured a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout. Top speed was about 40 mph.

This passenger van variant has three rows of seats and has been restored to a condition probably better than when it was new. This Viking is estimated at $19,000-$27,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,168.


1967 Barkas B 1000 Kasten

Photo – Dorotheum

VEB Barkas-Werke was an East German manufacturer of vans that existed from 1958 until 1991. And they made essentially one product during that time: the B 1000 (they also produced engines for Trabant). In over 30 years, they somehow managed to only make about 176,000 of these.

But they are kind of iconic in that the front-engine, front-wheel drive van is the vehicle of choice for baddies on the “wrong side” of the Berlin Wall. The engine is a 1.0-liter two-stroke inline-three that made about 41 horsepower.

An unlikely full-restoration candidate, this van has had just such a thing. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$23,000. Good luck finding a better one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,168.


1956 Goggomobil TL-300 Transporter

Photo – Dorotheum

About 2,000 Transporter models were built by Goggomobil, or Glas, the company that produced the Goggomobil. These were built at the request of the German postal service, and they very much do like look a mail van.

Different levels were offered. We’ve featured a TL-250 Transporter and a TL-400. This is an early model and is a TL-300, meaning it is powered by a 298cc two-stroke inline-twin. Output was rated at 15 horsepower.

Of the 3,667 Transporters produced, only about 100 are known to exist, a quarter of those thought to be roadworthy. The estimate is $63,000-$84,000. Click here for more.

Update: Not sold.

Issi Microbo

1954 Issi Microbo 125

Offered by Aste Bolaffi | Turin, Italy | June 10, 2022

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

Issi, which stands for the Italian version of Industrial Experimental Scientific Institute, was never a true automotive manufacturer, but they did produce a few prototype microcars during the post-war microcar boom.

They produced an initial prototype and later two other examples, the second of which was shown at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. This is that car. It’s powered by a 125cc single sourced from motorcycle manufacturer Idroflex. That engine drives the single rear wheel and is supposedly enough to push the car to 70 mph. Which sounds… scary.

It’s unclear what happened to the other two, but this one has definitely survived. The pre-sale estimate is a little eye-watering at $85,000-$105,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.

Kieft Sports

1954 Kieft 1100 Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | April 10, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Cyril Kieft founded Kieft Cars in Wolverhampton, England, after WWII. His first car was a Formula 2 machine that debuted in 1950. F3 cars followed, and that’s where their major success was found. It didn’t hurt that one of their drivers was Stirling Moss.

In 1954, Kieft showed a small two-seat sports car. It was based around a Coventry-Climax engine (a 1.1-liter FWA inline-four) and featured fiberglass bodywork. The cars were very low and could hit 110 mph thanks to the 72-horsepower engine.

Only six were built, the first of which ran at Le Mans. This car ran sports car races at Silverstone, among other places, and a later example competed in the Targa Florio. This one was restored in the last dozen or so years and now carries an estimate of $130,000-$170,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $140,746.

Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | September 16, 2021

1954 Sunbeam Alpine Mk I

The first Alpine was sort of a sporty two-door roadster version of the Sunbeam-Talbot 90 sedan. It was introduced in 1953, and a Mk III version was also produced before production wrapped in 1955. No, there was not a Mk II. The Alpine was reintroduced in 1959, and the V8 version of that car would be known as the Tiger.

This Mk I is powered by a 2.3-liter inline-four that produced 97 horsepower when new. The bodies were by Thrupp & Maberly, and just 1,582 were produced between the Mk I and III (1,192 were Mk I). Of that grand total, 961 were exported to North America.

This example has been restored since 2006 and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $59,000-$63,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $59,077.

Glockler-Porsche

1954 Glockler-Porsche 356 Carrera 1500 Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-14, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Walter Glockler was a Volkswagen and Porsche dealer based in Germany. He had a number of Porsche-based specials built between the late 1940s and mid-1950s. This is actually the last of the six of them. In 1954, he acquired a replacement 356 Pre-A chassis to build his only coupe-bodied special.

It is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cam flat-four (from a Porsche 550 Spyder… a car that owes its existence to a Glockler special) that was fitted in the 2000s. This car was originally intended to compete in the 1954 Mille Miglia, but was not finished in time. Instead it took part in a French/Italian road rally.

It later spent time at the Porsche factory before being exported to the U.S. It went back to Germany in the 90s and was restored the following decade (when the engine was swapped). This is an interesting piece (it even has Glockler-Porsche badging), and should bring a decent sum. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Moretti Alger-Le Cap

1954 Moretti 750 Alger-Le Cap

Offered by Finarte | Online | June 14-28, 2021

Photo – Finarte

Moretti S.p.A. was technically an automobile manufacturer. But maybe they could be better described as a boutique automobile manufacturer. It’s unclear if they built more cars of their own design, or modified more cars built by others.

That said, in the beginning, the company offered a couple of homegrown models, each powered by a Moretti-developed inline-four engine. The 71-horsepower, 750cc variant powers this car, which is named for its displacement. The 750 was available in limited numbers in a variety of body styles. This Alger-Le Cap is a two-door fastback.

The auction catalog states this is one of five known surviving examples of 200 built. It’s unclear if that’s of this body style or 750 production in total. Anyway, it’s rare. And the estimate is $73,000-$91,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Kaiser Darrin

1954 Kaiser Darrin

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-27, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This car is what, almost 70 years old? It still looks like a concept car today. It was designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin and produced by Kaiser, a company generally known for staid sedans produced on a shoestring budget. This car had the potential to raise Kaiser above other companies with pure style. But it wasn’t to be.

The Darrin was based on the compact Henry J frame and was powered by a 2.6-liter Willys inline-six rated at 90 horsepower. Not exactly supercar territory, but it was light. The concept car debuted in 1952, and it was America’s first fiberglass sports car, even though production didn’t start until 1954 – the only model year the car was offered.

Kaiser’s finances were a mess at this point, so it never really stood a chance. Only 435 examples were built, the last 50 of which were sold by Darrin himself with different engines or superchargers (this car was later retrofitted with a supercharger). The cars have doors that slide on tracks into the fender wells. How cool is that!? This one also has a rare hardtop. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $125,000.

Bertone DB2/4 Drophead Coupe

1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe by Bertone

Offered by Gooding & Company | Online | January 18-22, 2021

Photo – Gooding & Company

The DB2/4 was the follow-up to Aston Martin’s earlier DB2 model. It was succeeded by the DB Mk III, and yeah, Aston’s early naming scheme didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Anyway, the DB2/4 was built in two series between 1953 and 1957. The base car was a 2+2 hatchback, but both fixed head and drophead coupes were also offered, some with fancy coachbuilt bodies.

This 1954 example is one of 565 Series I cars (out of a total run of 764 units). Of those 565, 102 were drophead coupes. Just two of those wear beautiful Bertone coachwork like this. It is recognizable as an Aston if you look at it, but it could easily be confused for something Italian.

Power is from a 2.6-liter inline-six making 125 horsepower. This car is good for 120 mph, and cars built shortly after this example began receiving the 140-horsepower 2.9-liter engine. Bonhams sold this car for over $800,000 in 2011, and now Gooding is offering it without an estimate. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $968,000.