Buckler Mk V

1956 Buckler Mk V

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | June 24, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Derek Buckler was one of many enterprising Britons who wanted to build light sports cars in the aftermath of WWII. Based in Reading, he set up shop in 1947 and managed to churn out about 400 cars through 1962. The intended destination for his cars were race tracks.

These are not common cars today. As you can see, they are tiny and look a little basic. But this two-seat roadster made up for any design demerits while on track. The Mk V is powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four from a Ford Prefect. Top speed? 80 mph.

The Mark V was the first car Buckler built (but so named so others wouldn’t know), becoming available in 1949 and lasting through 1955. A slightly lengthened Mk VI was also offered. This would be a great car for hillclimbing and welcomed at most such events. It should bring between $8,000-$10,500. Click here for more from Brightwells.

’56 DeSoto Fireflite

1956 DeSoto Fireflite Convertible

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 12-15, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

DeSoto was introduced as a new marque by Walter Chrysler for the 1929 model year and in 1933 Chrysler took it upmarket. In 1955 they introduced the Fireflite as their top-level car. For 1956 the cars were mostly carried over, but the introduction of the Adventurer put the Fireflite as the mid-level car in DeSoto’s lineup.

For 1956 the Fireflite could be had in four different body styles (plus a limited package on the convertible to commemorate the car’s use as the Indy 500 Pace car in 1956). A non-Pacesetter Convertible would’ve run you $3,454 in 1956 and 1,485 were built (pace cars included).

Power came from a 255 horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8. A no expense spared frame-off restoration was performed and the car wears two-tone Shell Pink and Charcoal. It looks like ice cream on wheels. DeSoto Convertibles always bring big money at Barrett-Jackson auctions, but most of those are ’57 or ’58 cars. It’ll be interesting to see if this beautiful car brings as much. It is coming from the famous John Staluppi Cars of Dreams Collection. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $225,500.

Continental Mark II

1956 Continental Mark II

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 5-7, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Here is one of the loveliest American cars of all time. When it was released in 1956, it was the most expensive car sold in America. In 1956 the base price was $10,400 – the same as a Rolls-Royce and double the price of a Cadillac. And this was no Lincoln. Ford knew they were making a special car and created the Continental Division to produce this car under a separate marque.

It was so opulent that it only lasted two years, through 1957. It’s powered by a 285 horsepower, 6.0-liter V-8 (the ’57s got 300 horsepower). While Mark IIs look best in white (opinion) I really love this 1950s pastel blue with wide whitewalls. The interior is the same shade of blue, mixed with white.

In beautiful condition, this Mark II was once owned by socialite Lolita Armour. It’s one of just 2,550 examples built in 1956 and one of only 2,996 built in total. They’re rare, but they’re around. Click here for more info on this one and here for more from Mecum in Houston.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $42,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Indy 2018, high bid of $35,000.

Tojeiro-Butterworth

1956 Tojeiro-Butterworth AJB Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another one-off sports racing special carrying the name of John Tojeiro. In this case, Tojeiro wasn’t really involved with building the car at all. Instead, a racer named Major Ronald Clare Clifford Palmer bought a chassis from Tojeiro’s company and built his own car, using an engine from Archie Butterworth.

Butterworth had been designing and driving race cars since the end of WWII and had created a series of small four-cylinder engines for Formula 2 competition. It was one of these engines that Palmer and a friend purchased to install in this car. It’s a 1.5-liter flat-four, race-prepped and ready to run.

The body was custom built and pretty much looks like they sprayed liquid fiberglass over the components and let it dry. It’s a tight fit, which helps keep the weight down. The current owner bought it in 2011 and this thing has been completely gone over. It’s raced in historic events are some great tracks around Europe and now it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy it. It should bring between $110,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

DB HBR5

1956 D.B. HBR5

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 20, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

Charles Deutsch and Rene Bonnet teamed up for the first time in 1938, applying both of their surnames to automobiles. In 1947, they would shorten it to just “D.B.” and would continue building cars through 1961 when Bonnet ventured out on his own, until his new company was scooped up into Matra.

The HBR5, of which we’ve already featured a highly customized example that has different body work than this car, was a sports and racing car built between 1955 and 1961. In total, 450 were built and this one is powered by a 65 horsepower, 848cc flat-twin. That’s a decent amount of power from such a tiny engine.

But with a lightweight fiberglass body, these were stout cars in their class on the track. For example, this car, while owned by famed designer Brooks Stevens, competed in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring, failing to finish with drivers Guy Storr and Hal Ullrich. D.B. cars don’t come up for sale often (I’ve featured nearly every one of them in the past five years and we’re now standing at “four”). This one should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,300.

Maseratis in Monterey

Maseratis in Monterey


1959 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Frua

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We did this a few years ago when there was an abundance of Maseratis on offer during the Pebble Beach auction weekend. It turns out there’s quite a few nice examples being offered this year as well. And there’s nowhere near enough time to feature them all.

This is a 3500 GT, a model produced between 1957 and 1964. It was the company’s first successful GT road car and, really, the first successful production car that Maserati launched. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter straight-six making 217 horsepower with the three Weber carburetors as configured in this car. Introduced as a coupe, coachbuilder Frua designed a single convertible to show the company that a Spyder was a good idea.

As good looking as it is, Maserati chose Vignale’s design instead and that car become the series production 3500 Spyder. That makes this a one-off – and one of only five 3500 GT chassis bodied by Frua. The current restoration was freshened in 2000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $605,000.


1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta by Zagato

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

This car looks loud… like a muffler-less, high-revving car with a heavy clutch. Sort of like a race car with a road car body. Which is kind of what it is. Maserati’s A6G/54 was a road car based on the A6GCS race car and was available between 1954 and 1956. The’re powered by a 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six.

The aggressive body here is by Zagato, one of only 21 of this model bodied by the coachbuilder. Of those 21, they are broken down by three different variations on this body style. And they were only built in ’55 and ’56. This example was raced in its day and restored recently with it debuting at the 2014 Villa d’Este. It’s rare and should bring between $4,000,000-$5,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $4,400,000.


1968 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Mistral was a 2-door Maserati GT car that was built between 1963 and 1970. It replaced the 3500 GT and was replaced by the Ghibli. It’s the perfect 1960s Maserati tourer, a competitor to the likes of the Aston Martin DB6.

Pietro Frua designed the Coupe and the Spyder variants. The Spyders were much rarer, with only 120 built to the Coupe’s 828. There were also three engine choices offered and we’ve already featured a Mistral Spyder with the smallest engine. But the car you see here has the largest: a 4.0-liter straight-six making 265 horsepower. Only 37 of the Spyders were the 4000 model, making it the rarest version of the Mistral.

Restored to as-new condition (with the addition of a second fuel pump), this car has covered 7,000 miles since completion. It is expected to bring between $750,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1964 Maserati 5000 GT Coupe by Michelotti

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 5000 GT was an extremely rare Maserati offered in Coupe-only form between 1959 and 1964. It wasn’t even a car the company planned on building: the Shah of Persia liked the 3500 GT but requested Maserati build him one with a modified version of the engine from the 450S race car. So Maserati capitulated, stuffing a 4.9-liter V-8 engine making 325 horsepower under the hood.

Each car was specially built by leading coachbuilders of the day. Designer Giovanni Michelotti built this example for famed American sportsman Briggs Cunningham. Cunningham requested a 5000 GT that resembled the 450S and the result was something that resembled no other 5000 GT (nor any other Maserati). It almost looks like a custom Ferrari of the era.

The restoration dates to the early-1990s. It’s pretty special, and as a one-off version of a production car that only ever saw 33 examples built, it should bring big bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,017,500.


2007 Maserati MC12 Corsa

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 16-19, 2017

Photo – Mecum

The MC12 is the coolest Maserati of the last 25 years – easily. The car was designed around the underpinnings of the Ferrari Enzo. But unlike Ferrari, who doesn’t take their halo cars to the track, Maserati’s entire aim with this project was to return to the FIA GT Championship. Production of road cars began in 2004 and they had to homologate 50 of them to go racing, which they did by the end of 2005.

And racing they went. And it was pretty a successful endeavor – or successful enough that some customers demanded their own track version. So after the 50 road cars were built, Maserati constructed 12 “MC12 Corsa” examples that were track-only versions of their supercar. It’s powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 making 745 horsepower – pretty much the same powerplant from the factory-backed MC12 GT1 race car. These cost nearly $1.5 million when new. We’ll see what it brings in a couple of days. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,700,000.

Aston DBR1

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

On their home page, RM Sotheby’s describes the DBR1 as “the most important Aston Martin ever built.” Why’s that? Because David Brown bought Aston Martin in 1947 and set his sights on winning Le Mans. With the DBR1, he finally succeeded, putting his little car company in the spotlight and ensuring its survival for decades to come.

This car is not the Le Mans winning car, but the first of five DBR1s built (chassis #2 triumphed at Le Sarthe). This was built in 1956, there was one example in 1957, one in 1958, and two in 1959. If you’re a big fan of Astons, perhaps this car reminds you a little bit, styling-wise, of the DB3S.

This DBR1 is powered by a reproduction 3.0-liter straight-six developing 302 horsepower. The owner had the engine specially constructed for this car so it could be used in historic events without fear of damaging the original 3.0-liter unit (which peaked at 255 horsepower).

The competition history of this factory race car includes the following:

  • 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans – 14th, DNF (with Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell)
  • 1957 1000km Nurburgring – 6th (with Roy Salvadori and Les Leston)
  • 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Leston)
  • 1958 12 Hours of Sebring – 52nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Carroll Shelby)
  • 1958 1000km Nurburgring – DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Stuart Lewis-Evans)
  • 1959 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1959 1000km Nurburgring – 1st (with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman)

What a race history! Tony Brooks, Roy Salvadori, Carroll Shelby, and Stirling Moss all drove this car in period. And it won the 1000km of the Nurburgring (with Moss at the wheel, no less). The current owner, a major Aston Martin collector, has owned this car since 2009. RM hasn’t published estimates at the time of this writing, but it’s possible this one gets tagged with the ubiquitous “Inquire.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $22,550,000.

Talbot-Lago T14 Special

1956 Talbot-Lago T14 LS Special Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 13, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

When Talbot reorganized under Tony Lago in 1935, they immediately started building some of France’s most spectacular cars. The great coachbuilt age may have disappeared when WWII broke out, but beautiful cars kept coming from Talbot-Lago through the end of the 1950s.

The Talbot-Lago Sport went by a few different names in different variations. The T14 LS was introduced in 1955 and it was set apart from other Sport-based models by its engine: a 2.5-liter straight-four making 120 horsepower. Even better was the Special model, which was equipped with aluminium body panels, Borrani wire wheels and a performance camshaft.

This particular example was the factory demonstrator and was used by famed racer Louis Rosier and has had nine owners over the years. It was restored in 1994 and still looks great. Only 54 examples of the T14 LS were built and only seven or eight of those were Specials. It should bring between $250,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # 140031

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams Goodwood, June 2017, $176,371.

Fangio’s Mille Miglia Ferrari

1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Not sure how they do it, but RM Sotheby’s manages to bring some really rare Ferraris to market, including this ultra-rare Ferrari sports racing prototype. The 290 MM was built in 1956 only and competed in the World Sportscar Championship. It was driven by some of the biggest names in racing and in some of the biggest races. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1956 Mille Miglia – 4th (with Juan Manuel Fangio)
  • 1956 1000km Nurburgring – 3rd (with Phil Hill, Ken Wharton, Olivier Gendebien & Alfonso de Portago)
  • 1957 1000km Buenos Aires – 1st (with Masten Gregory, Luigi Musso & Eugenio Castellotti)

Those are three impressive results with some of the ’50s top drivers. The 290 MM is powered by a 320 horsepower 3.5-liter V-12 that was based on the engine from Ferrari’s Formula One cars.

This was a Scuderia Ferrari race car that finished 4th in the Mille Miglia with Juan Manuel Fangio – that alone is remarkable. That the car has never been crashed and is mostly unrestored (except for the repaint) is incredible. The team used the car in both the 1956 and 1957 World Sportscar Championship and in early 1957 the car was sold to someone in the U.S. It’s had a few owners worldwide since.

This car can be used and hopefully whatever well-heeled buyer walks away with it next month will use it at historic races. Only four 290 MMs were built. This one will bring millions. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $28,050,000.

Fiat Eden Roc

1956 Fiat Eden Roc by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-16, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Fiat 600 Multipla isn’t one of the sexiest cars ever built – far from it. But it did have a solid layout and drivetrain – enough to move nearly a quarter of a million of them off dealer lots between 1956 and 1969. The Fiat 500 and 600 were the basis for quite a variety of “beach cars” built for wealthy people who didn’t need something practical for everyday driving, but for a way to get from the front door to the ocean.

So when Fiat president Gianni Agnelli wanted a car for just that purpose, Pinin Farina took a 600 Multipla, widened it a little, and crafted this really pretty open-air little transporter. It is powered by a 962cc straight-four (mounted at the rear) making 50 horsepower. It features an early-Econoline setup with the driver essentially riding the windshield, but it’s quite pretty. It has a very Cary Grant-in-1950s-Italy sort of feel about it, doesn’t it?

Agnelli’s Eden Roc premiered at the 1956 Paris Motor Show and it caught the eye of an American oil man who commissioned another example (this one). It’s had two owners (both of the same family) since new and was restored sometime post-2008. Both examples still exist but this is likely the only one that will ever be available. No pre-sale estimate is available as there is no sale history for this model. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $660,000.