Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019
OSCA was founded by a couple of the Maserati brothers after they left the company that bore their name. In existence for only 20 years (1947-1967), the company produced mainly sports racing cars, some of which just happened to be road legal – but road cars were not their primary concern.
The MT4 was actually their first product, going on sale in 1947. Different engine sizes were used and many of them sported different bodies. For example, here is a Frua-bodied car with a 1.5-liter engine. The car you see here is powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four.
OSCA built 72 examples of the MT4 from 1947-1963, a long time in race-car-land, which should say something about how good they were. The original body was an aluminum structure hand-built by the car’s original owner. It was ruined in an accident during the 1959 Targa Florio, and this Morelli coachwork was fitted in 1959.
This Italian racer has Targa Florio race history. What more do you want? It should bring between $1,250,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
So this looks like most Rolls-Royces (or Bentleys) from the 1950s, no? Perhaps you’re thinking of the Silver Wraith, Silver Cloud, or Phantom V. This is a Phantom IV – it’s an ultra-rare example produced between 1950 and 1956. Only 18 were made.
Why so rare? Well, it was only sold to royalty or heads of state (mostly from the Middle East or the U.K.). This particular car was one of five owned by the British Royal Family. This is one of two used by the Queen herself and when Rolls sold these cars originally, they stated that they could not be re-sold, only bought back by Rolls-Royce. This car spent over 40 years (1959 to 2002) in the hands of the royal family and is now being sold publicly for the first time.
Carrying a body by Hooper, this car is powered by a 5.7-liter straight-eight engine. It’s an exceptionally rare automobile and one that doesn’t come up for sale often. It was on permanent loan to the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation and is now for sale. If you’ve always wanted the rarest post-war Rolls-Royce, now’s the time. It should bring between $1,300,000-$2,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The Alfa Romeo 1900 was Alfa’s executive car introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. Produced through 1959, it could be had as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, or two-door convertible. This is not the standard coupe.
There were a few sub-models of the 1900, including the 1900 Super, 1900TI, and the 1900C – which was the short wheelbase version. This SS version is powered by a 115 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-four.
Quite a few of these were coachbuilt specials and many of those were one-offs, including this Turin Motor Show car by Mario Boano. Sold after that show to a Milanese buyer, it remained in Italy for quite some time, finally finding a foreign owner in 2013. The restoration you see here wasn’t complete until 2017 – and it has been restored back to as it was on the Turin Motor Show stand.
The styling on this car is very Jet Age, carrying bodywork that fit right in with other coachbuilt specials from the era. When it crosses the block in January, it is expected to bring between $1,250,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | November 25, 2017
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
Chenard et Walcker was a French automobile manufacturer that built some fantastic cars before WWII. After WWII, car production never resumed, but they did get into the van business. Their corporate overlords, Chausson, was bought out by Peugeot and Chenard’s little van was re-branded as a Peugeot for 1950.
The D3 was originally introduced in 1947 and it was replaced by the D4 in late 1955, making this example from the last year of D3 production. The D4 would last another 10 years. It’s a forward control van, meaning the engine was sort of between the front passengers and you sat with your feet pressed against the front of the van, making you the crumple zone in the event of an accident.
This D3A is powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four making 32 horsepower. It was a direct rival to Citroen’s ubiquitous H-Van. Most of these were used and abused so to find one in such great condition is a treat. Peugeot built about 75,000 of these between the D3 and D4, but this is as nice of one as you’re likely to find. It should sell for between $10,500-$15,750. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Historics’ lineup.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
Yesterday we featured a car owned by Brooks Stevens. Today we feature a car designed by Brooks Stevens. Stevens was an industrial designer best remembered in automobile circles for designing some great cars. In the 1950s he wanted to build a nice ride in the European tradition at a time when there were a lot of European-American cars coming out from American manufacturers.
So he took a 1954 Cadillac chassis and penned an original body for it. There’s a swooping “V” at the front, a long hood, and a removable hardtop for open air driving. The body was built by Spohn of Germany and the engine is an all-American 5.4-liter V-8 making 230 horsepower.
Dubbed “Die Valkyrie” after the Wagner opera, you can just imagine that famous piece of music emanating from this car as it stalks up behind you, that big V at the front trying to root you off the road.
This car was shown at the 1954 Paris Auto Salon and the 1955 New York Auto Show. Stevens bought the car for his wife from the financial backer who funded the project. It remained in his stewardship until 1997 when the current owner acquired it. It’s a one-of-one custom GM Concept Car and should bring big money when it goes under the hammer in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California
Photo – Fantasy Junction
Carlo Abarth’s little company first put its name on cars at the tail end of the 1940s. In the following decades they were responsible for many “Fiat-Abarth” cars and even some original designs of their own. While a lot of these originals were prototype race cars, there were some very obscure cars that could’ve been used on the street too (it would take some creative talking at your local DMV to get a license plate on this one, however).
The 207/A was built in 1955 and it’s a sports racing car built at the request of an importer in the U.S. The 207/A, with sporty body by Boano, was powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four from the Fiat 1100. Of course, Abarth had their way with the engine and it’s more powerful than it would’ve been in any Fiat.
This particular example is the first 207/A built and its period racing history includes:
1955 12 Hours of Sebring – DQ’d, with John Bentley and Jim McGee
It continued to race through 1957 and didn’t see the track again until it entered the historic circuit in 1986. It’s been restored and is fully prepped and ready for the track. Only 10 were built and they do not change hands often. Get your hands on the very first one for $275,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017
Photo – Gooding & Company
The Z-102 from Spanish manufacturer Pegaso is the most exotic car to come out of post-WWII Spain. The cars were built in Barcelona, but bodied by some of Europe’s finest coachbuilders, in this case by Saoutchik of Paris.
This Z-102 is powered by a 2.8-liter V-8 producing 170 horsepower. This Saoutchik Coupe was one of seven built (there was also a Cabriolet). It’s one of the most striking designs of 1950s sports cars – at the same time sexy and aggressive.
Sold new in Paris, it was later owned by Bill Harrah and in 2002 came into the possession of the Imperial Palace Collection. It’s second restoration was completed in 2008. Only 84 Z-102s were built and each one is highly sought after. Costing approximately $17,000 when new, this car should bring between $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2017
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
We generally don’t feature cars on Saturdays, but I’m making an exception here for two reasons: 1. the ownership history of this car tells me it is unlikely to come up for sale again anytime soon (if it sells) and 2. I just turned on Barrett-Jackson on Velocity for coverage of Friday’s sale (as I watch RM Sotheby’s on my laptop) and I happened to look at their catalog (which I was doing almost daily for about a month) and I found this car. It wasn’t in their catalog when I finalized the cars we were going to feature from Arizona’s sales but appeared as a late-add by Barrett-Jackson (or, at least, not a timely addition).
Anyway, we’re here, so let’s talk about what this is. Built at the the request of Chrysler chief Virgil Exner, this Ghia-bodied streamliner is the perfect Jet Age concept car. Why? Well it’s powered by a turbine for starters. It only puts out 70 horsepower (and idles at a bat shit crazy 54,000 rpm), but in the world of turbines and sleek aerodynamics, it was theoretically enough power to push this thing to 140-160 mph. The only cars doing that kind of speed in 1955 were doing it on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.
It debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and was dubbed “Gilda.” The interior (and the engine compartment) are wild and hearken back to an era when people dreamed of the “car of tomorrow.” Ghia eventually put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum where it stayed until 1969 when it was acquired by Bill Harrah. The Blackhwak Museum got it when that collection was dispersed and the current owner bought it in 2005. It’s been to Pebble Beach, Ville d’Este, and was even a no-sale at a Gooding auction years back.
Now Barrett-Jackson is featuring it as the wildest car in their lineup this year (well that, and this). Anyway, I’m writing this late on a Friday night for a Saturday morning post because it was starting to make me sick to my stomach that I was potentially missing out on featuring a car I’d never see offered for public sale again – it has, after all, spent most of its life in museums. Click here for more info. Price? Well the Blackhawk was offering it for $125,000 in 2001 and it no-sold at Gooding with an estimate of $1.0-1.3 million. Expect the owner to want more than that at Barrett-Jackson later today.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | May 20, 2016
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The history of Armstrong-Siddeley begins with the production of the short-lived Armstrong in 1902. From 1904, the cars were known as Armstrong-Whitworth and in 1919, they bought Siddeley-Deasy and started building cars as Armstrong-Siddeley. Production lasted through 1960 when the company merged again and focused on its other specialty: aircraft engines.
The Sapphire was actually a line of cars built between 1952 and 1960. There were different lines and the 346 was offered in sedan or limousine form between 1953 and 1958. The engine is a 3.4-liter straight-six making 125 horsepower – or 150 with twin Strombergs on it. Top speed was a solid 95 mph.
The production total for this model was 7,697. This example is very nice and was brought back to the U.K. from Romania. It hasn’t been used a lot recently, so it could take a little love to get it back and road ready. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” is one of the “must-have” collector cars for serious collectors. And serious collectors need only apply, because in recent years, prices for 300SLs have skyrocketed from around the $500,000 mark to an easy million. Total production of 300SL coupes was about 1,400 examples. Alloy (or aluminium-bodied) cars are highly sought after and very rare. But this is a different animal.
You’re looking at one of only four factory-prepped steel-bodied 300SL Gullwing race cars. Many Gullwings saw competition, usually in the hands of privateer weekend racers, but this is the real deal. Mercedes-Benz sent this car to their sporting department (or “Sportabteilung”) to beef it up to see what the stresses of racing did to their road car.
The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-six making an estimated 240 horsepower – more than a standard road cars. Other upgrades included a lower ride height, competition exhaust, better brakes, and more. Its factory race history is unknown, but it is believed that the car was used as a trainer by Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, John Fitch, and others.
Mercedes sold the car to a guy in Paris who entered it in the 1956 Tour de France, in which the car finished second at the hands of Stirling Moss. The father of the current owner acquired the car in 1966. It sat for 40 years and was only recently “refurbished” to road-worthy condition. It has never been fully restored. It is the first of the four Sportabteilung Gullwings and one of only two known to still exist. It will likely become the most expensive 300SL to ever publicly trade hands. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.