Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
It’s a little amusing how much the Mecum catalog is hedging on the description of this car. It is in the catalog as “1954/1959 Ferrari 0432M.” Which is useless info. This car has a nuanced history, that’s for sure. I guess when you own the auction house you want to lay out the facts and let others draw their own conclusions – which I will now do. This car was born in 1954 as a Pinin Farina-bodied 250 Monza Spider.
Only four examples of the 250 Monza were built and they were essentially the 750 Monza with a 3.0-liter V12 instead of a 3.0-liter inline-four. Output was 260 horsepower. This particular car won the 1954 12 Hours of Hyeres with Maurice Trintignant and Luigi Piotti.
Sometime in 1956 or 1957, the car returned to Ferrari, who had it re-bodied by Scaglietti with the pontoon fender-style body you see here. The interesting bit is that this was done at approximately the same time Scaglietti was designing the 250 Testa Rossa. Maybe it’s like a proto-Testa Rossa?
In 1959, it arrived at Luigi Chinetti’s place in New York, and it was shown at the 1959 New York Auto Show. From there it’s had a few owners, including Dana Mecum who had the car restored in 2014. The catalog makes this car seem mysterious. But old cars changed bodies here and there. No big deal. It’s a factory-re-body of a 250 Monza. And it’s wonderful. I look forward to your hate mail telling me why my assumptions are wrong. Check out more info on this car here, and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | June 30, 2019
The Arnolt-Bristol was the result of a collaboration between Stanley Arnolt’s company of Chicago, Illinois, Bristol Cars of England, and Bertone of Italy. Bristol supplied the engine and chassis, Bertone the body, and Arnolt the money, spirit, and marketing.
The cars use the chassis and the 130 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-six from the Bristol 404 (okay, the engine actually could trace its roots back to BMW). Bertone designed the two-door body. Three trims were offered: Bolide, DeLuxe, and Competition. The DeLuxe was similar to the Bolide except it brought side windows, a convertible top, a glovebox, and instrumentation behind the steering wheel.
These cars were serious racers in their day, taking class victories at Sebring and Le Mans. Only 130 examples were produced, and this one was delivered new in Mexico. Restored, it is eligible for historic events such as the Mille Miglia. It should bring between $320,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | March 30, 2019
We haven’t featured a military vehicle in some time, so I thought this slightly Axis-esque troop transporter would be a good fit. It was built by the Swiss company Saurer, a truck and bus manufacturer that existed between 1903 and 1982.
The MH4, as it was known to Saurer, or M4, as it was known to the Swiss army, was a troop transporter used between 1945 and 1985. Quite a long time, but I guess the Swiss really aren’t fighting that many wars, now are they?
Power here is from a 5.8-liter inline-four that should make about 75 horsepower and a lot more torque. They topped out at a little over 40 mph. You aren’t likely to run into another one when you’re out at the hardware store or toting the entire soccer team around. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | April 7, 2019
Geoffrey Miller of Cornwall, England was a craftsman who had earlier built his own motorcycle when he decided to build himself a station wagon. This is the result, and it is the only such example. Most homebuilt cars look, well, home-built. However, this has all of the look of a series production car from 1950s England.
Somewhat Allard-like in its appearance, the four-door woodie wagon is powered by a 2.9-liter Austin-Healey straight-six. He used some production parts that were readily available but is said to have actually done the body and woodwork by hand.
With only three owners since new – including its creator – this is the time to get it if you want a car that is an original design. It’s quite interesting and should bring between $59,000-$72,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | March 17, 2019
Well apparently somethings don’t translate well from French to English. Perhaps “EX” isn’t the best trim level to add to a car called the 2300 S. At least there’s a space, right? Or is this just some romantic French thing?
Salmson is actually still around, though they haven’t produced a car since 1957 when they went bankrupt and Renault bought their factory. Today they’re an engineering firm that produces industrial products like hydraulic pumps. Exciting stuff.
Their last automotive hurrah was the 2300 Sport Coupe. Built between 1953 and 1957, Salmson entered sporting versions of the car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans three separate times. They were powered by 2.3-liter inline-fours capable of 103 horsepower.
Only 217 examples of the 2300 were built, and only 121 of those were the Sport models, like the one you see here, which is eligible for such events as the historical Mille Miglia. It should sell for between $75,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Fun fact: Talbot-Lago won Le Mans outright in 1950. Anthony Lago entered two sporty cars again in 1956 but didn’t pull off the victory. So he went back and tried to build some more road cars, though the company would ultimately be taken over in 1958.
A Talbot-designed inline-four was put into a new car called the T14 and it was not very good. So they turned to BMW, who supplied a 138 horsepower, 2.5-liter V8. The steering wheel was moved to the left side, for the first time in company history, as they were aiming to move these cars in North America. They even renamed the export model the America.
When the company was taken over by Simca in 1958, there were some unfinished T14s lying around. Former factory driver Georges Grignard scooped them up – along with some spare engines. With funding from a pair of French brothers, a short run of six Talbot Sports were finished much later on. This car is one of those and it was completed in the 1980s with a hand-crafted bare aluminum body in the style of those 1956 Le Mans-losing racers. It’s road-legal and pretty cool. It should sell for between $160,000-$205,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold.
1954 Panhard X86 Dolomites by Pichon Parat
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
The Panhard Dyna was not an inherently sporty car. It was a front-wheel drive subcompact powered by a two-cylinder engine. It was very French. But the French love their racing, and the car you see here is proof that anything can become a pretty bad-ass looking race car.
This X86 is based on the Dyna 120 and was built as a Dolomites race car by coachbuilders Pichon and Parat. It was campaigned around France in period and was at one point damaged in an accident. The large front grille opening the car now wears is the result of crash repairs.
The engine was updated by a later owner to an 851cc flat-twin. It’s probably eligible for a bunch of historic events and should sell for between $115,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Los Angles, California | December 8, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Georges Mochet built microcars in Puteaux between 1946 and 1958. Prior to that he built pedal-powered cars under the Velocar name. But when he started powering them (even in desperate, post-war Europe, people weren’t necessarily thrilled with having to pedal), sales took off.
Early cars were kind of bizarre, but the company hit their stride once the Mochet Type K gave way to the CM-125. Power in this little runabout is from a 125cc single-cylinder engine that made five horsepower. That may sound sad, but in France at the time that meant you didn’t even need a driver’s license to operate one (and they are street legal). It would even evolve a commercial variant.
This example was part of the Bruce Weiner collection, where it was restored. It is now offered with an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Find out more here and see the rest of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen lineup here.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
A 404 error is what you get when a server can’t find what you’ve asked it for. The Bristol 404 was not an error, but it’s pretty hard to find when you go looking for one: between 1953 and 1958 the company only built 52 examples.
The 404 and 405 were two models manufactured side by side. The 404 was a two-door coupe with a very short wheelbase, whereas the 405 was a longer wheelbase four-door sedan that could also be had as a two-door convertible. These were the first Bristol cars to completely break away styling-wise from their predecessor’s BMW lineage.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter straight-six that could be had in 105 or 125 horsepower versions. This car was restored some years ago and is being sold out of a collection of Bristol road cars. It’s a nice example of one of the rarer models from one of Britain’s rarest automobile manufacturers. It should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The first America model from Ferrari went on sale in 1950. Ferrari stuffed their largest V-12 engines into these big (for the day) GT cars. Many of them were coachbuilt. And very few were built. The third model in this line was the 375 America, built in 1953 and 1954 only.
A 4.5-liter V-12 provided power. Rated at 296 horsepower, it could propel the car to 160 mph. This particular car was bodied by Vignale and is finished in burgundy with a silver greenhouse, the original colors it came with.
It was purchased new by an American and spent many years in the U.S., making up part of the Blackhawk Collection at one point. It found itself in the Netherlands for a while, again coming stateside in 2009 before being refinished in its original paint scheme. Only 12 examples of the 375 America were built and this is the first up to come up for sale since 2011. It’s a big money Ferrari and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 12-15, 2018
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The name of the entry-level Kaiser automobile seemed to change every year. In 1953 it was the Deluxe. In 1954 it was the Special (it was different in ’52 and ’55 too). And some of those 1954 Specials were just rebadged 1953 Deluxes that were left over (they also had some styling tweaks applied as well). The Special could be had as a four-door sedan or a two-door Club Sedan.
The Special is powered by a 3.7-liter straight-six making 118 horsepower. This car is one of the 1953 carry-over cars. It still sports the “jet airscoop” front grille that marked all 1954 Kaisers (which was added by the factory before sale) but you can tell it is a “first series” car because the rear glass is a single piece that does not wrap around to the sides.
About 3,500 1953 Kaisers were carried over and sold as 1954 Specials. The number of actual 1954 cars is much, much lower. But the Club Sedan is definitely the rarer of the two body styles. This car has had a cosmetic restoration and an engine rebuild, but the interior is original. These Kaisers are beautiful and rare cars that will stand out at any cruise-in you attend. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach lineup.