Superdart

1957 Ghia 400 Superdart Concept

For Sale by Dragone Classic Motorcars | Orange, Connecticut

Photo – Dragone Classic Motorcars

This is a car with quite a few names. I’ll start at the beginning, and you can draw your own conclusions as to what it should be called (I just went with what the dealership selling the car calls it). The Ghia and Chrysler connection of the 1950s is well documented. Chrysler spent a lot of money designing fanciful show cars in the ’50s, with styling done by Ghia (well, styling by Exner, execution by Ghia).

Ghia showed a prototype dubbed “Gilda” in 1955. Then there was Dart concept was styled by Exner in 1956, and a second version called the Diablo also appeared in ’56. Then, in 1957, Ghia showed another evolution, called the Superdart. It was reportedly created for Chrysler, but there doesn’t appear to be any Chrysler badging on this car.

Power is from a 400 horsepower Hemi V8, and the car rides on a Chrysler 300C chassis. It debuted at the 1957 Turin Motor Show and later ended up in the U.S., where it was purchased by Dual Motors, who showed the car as a Dual-Ghia prototype. Most of the internet seems to just call this car a 1958 Dual-Ghia Prototype. Which is what it was last shown as. But it’s not what it was called originally.

A private owner purchased it shortly after Dual-Ghia’s 1958 New York show appearance and actually put nearly 40,000 miles on it over nearly two decades. It’s said to be original and unrestored. Be it a Chrysler, a Ghia, or a Dual-Ghia, it remains as a fantastic piece of ’50s styling excellence. It’s for sale in Connecticut with no price listed. Click here for more info.

XKSS Continuation

1957 Jaguar XKSS Continuation

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The XKSS was the road-going version of the Jaguar D-Type racing car. Basically, Jaguar had unsold D-Types that they converted to sell to Americans who wanted a high-performance sports car. They planned to build 25 of them, but a fire broke out at the factory in February 1957 after only 16 were sold.

So in 2016, Jaguar decided they would build the other nine that never got completed back in the day. From scratch. They digitally scanned a few surviving XKSS cars and built the new ones using the same construction methods from the 1950s. Major changes include a modern fuel cell and redesigned seats. Power is from a 3.4-liter inline-six that Jaguar rated at 250 horsepower in 1957.

So what do we have here exactly? Well, it depends on how much of an asshole you want to be (pardon my French). Whoever edited the Wikipedia article for these referred to them as “replicas” (presumably the page was edited by an actual XKSS owner or some Jag purist). At the same time, this is a factory-built XKSS. It wasn’t built by Tempero or some other actual “replica” builder. True, it might not be an “actual” XKSS from 1957, but it’s still a Jaguar product. It’s almost certainly more authentic than any “continuation” Cobra out there.

When Jaguar announced this program, they noted that they were going to charge over $1 million for them. And they sold. But this is the first time one of the “new” ones has come up for sale. An XKSS from the ’50s will run you over $10 million. This one, which was built in 2017 and has 51 miles on it, will sell without reserve. So we’re all about to find out its real value. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Alvis TC 108G

1957 Alvis TC 108G

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2019

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

The Alvis TC21 was a sedan and convertible produced by Alvis in the early 1950s and it carried a very old-school-style body. Swiss coachbuilder Graber designed an updated body for the TC21 that was very different and much more modern than what Alvis was offering. Alvis liked it so much that they decided to make it its own model.

Just 35 examples were produced between 1956 and 1958. Power is from a 3.0-liter inline-six that made 104 horsepower. Though the body was designed by Graber, Alvis outsourced some of the production to Willowbrook of Loughborough, though 19 of the cars were still bodied by Graber.

The entire ordeal was just too expensive, hence the low build number. Alvis canceled the Willowbrook contract and pivoted to Park Ward, who tweaked the design, which was then built as the TD21. You can read more about this Graber-bodied coupe here and see more from this sale here.

Rochdale GT

1957 Rochdale GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Rochdale Motor Panels and Engineering was founded in 1948 by Frank Butterworth and Harry Smith. They got their start producing automobiles in 1954, which were technically just fiberglass shells used by customers to re-body Austin Sevens.

The GT was the third such product launched by the company, and it went on sale in 1957. They had the Ford Popular in mind as a base, but by 1960 you could get it on Rochdale’s own frame, as the company had moved to produce its own cars outright with the introduction of the Olympic in 1959.

This example is based on a Ford Popular frame and is powered by a 1.5-liter Coventry-Climax inline-four producing 140 horsepower. The GT was far and away Rochdale’s largest success, with about 1,350 built in total. Rochdale closed its doors in 1973, and it is thought that only about 80 GTs survive. This one has been restored and is eligible for historic racing events. It should bring between $36,000-$49,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,194.

The Original Jensen Interceptor

1957 Jensen Interceptor Convertible

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 13, 2019

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The Jensen Interceptor was a grand touring car built between 1966 and 1976. It’s probably Jensen’s most well-known product. But before they churned out over 6,400 of those, there was another Interceptor. This one. It was the second car introduced by Jensen after WWII, and it went on sale in 1950.

Three body styles were offered, all two doors: a sedan, a convertible, and a sort of targa model. The 4.0-liter inline-six was from Austin and made 125 horsepower, good enough to push the car to 95 mph.

A grand total of 88 examples were built through 1957, and only 32 of those were convertibles. That makes this quite a rare car today. It should sell for between $83,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $84,016.

250 GT Speciale

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Pinin Farina was responsible for what we’ll call the “base” Ferrari 250 GT Coupe. Produced from 1958 through 1961, these cars were the volume-leader model among so many special, limited-edition 250 GTs.

The car pictured here is about the farthest possible thing from a “base” model. This particular car was built specially for a Belgian Princess by Pinin Farina and has known ownership history from new. A restoration was completed in 1997 and it’s been on the show field at Pebble Beach.

Somehow, RM’s catalog entry is completely devoid of any technical information on the car. Power is likely from a 3.0-liter V-12, and this is thought to be one of four Coupe Speciales bodied by Pinin Farina, though the coachwork is unique. It should sell for between $11,000,000-$13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1957 Packard Wagon

1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

In 1953, Packard was acquired by Studebaker. It was a bid for survival for both marques that ultimately worked out better for Studebaker (but not by much). The last two years of Packard production were 1957 and 1958 and the cars they churned out in these model years were essentially just re-badged Studebakers.

For 1957, the Packard model line consisted of a lone model: the Clipper. Two body styles were offered: a four-door sedan and a four-door wagon. Interestingly, the 1958 model year had twice the offerings.

This six-passenger Country Sedan station wagon was one of just 869 examples built. It’s powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 rated at 275 horsepower. It was restored by a marque specialist and is finished in pretty lilac and white. Imported into Switzerland in 2010, this rare American wagon would be at home in any collection worldwide. It should bring between $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Ft. Lauderdale 2019, $56,100.

Three Wagons in L.A.

Three Wagons in L.A.

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018


1962 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Mecum has become the go-to place for classic wagons and pickup trucks. This sale has some great examples of both, including this 1962 Corvair Wagon. The Corvair was new for 1960 and it was a revolutionary design with its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. The platform saw cars, vans, and pickup trucks applied to it.

Station wagons were only available in 1961 and 1962, making this the last of the line for Corvair Wagons. In 1962, the wagon was available in two trims: the Lakewood (which was the Series 700 Corvair you see here) and in upmarket Monza trim. The Lakewood only made it through half of the 1962 model year as it was competing against the new Chevy II Wagon.

This car is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-six that would’ve made 80 horsepower when new (though the catalog says it is a “high-output” engine, which may mean it has the 84 horsepower Monza engine). Only 3,716 Lakewoods were produced in 1962 and this one has 93,000 miles on it. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.


1958 Dodge Suburban Spectator Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Dodge’s 1958 line included, in order of increasing luxury: the Coronet, the Royal,  and the Custom Royal. Their station wagon line was separate and the base wagon was the two-door Suburban – the only two-door wagon they offered in 1958.

It’s powered by a 5.7-liter Ram Fire V-8 good for 295 horsepower. Dodge built about 20,000 wagons in total for 1958, split between this and four other models. This one has been restored and, even though it’s a two-door car, it seats a clown car-like nine passengers. The pink and black color scheme is great. It would be impossible to buy this and not load up your family and trek them to the Grand Canyon. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.


1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Beauville Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Ah, the ’57 Chevy. The Bel Air was the top Chevrolet for 1957 and 1957 was the final year of the second generation of this model. It is the epitome of 1950s American passenger cars and this wagon is a rare bird. The two-door wagon, the Nomad, is an expensive and sought-after car. But the four-door wagon, the Beauville, was much more common in its day, even if they seem rarer today.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 making 170 horsepower. When new this car cost $2,580 and only 27,375 examples were built making this the second-rarest 1957 Bel Air body style behind the Nomad. It’s a 64,000 mile car and it can be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,200.

Update II: Sold, Motostalgia Amelia Island 2018, $19,800.

Bel Air Beauville

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Beauville Wagon

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Ah, the ’57 Chevy. The Bel Air was the top Chevrolet for 1957 and 1957 was the final year of the second generation of this model. It is the epitome of 1950s American passenger cars and this wagon is a rare bird. The two-door wagon, the Nomad, is an expensive and sought-after car. But the four-door wagon, the Beauville, was much more common in its day, even if they seem rarer today.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 making 170 horsepower. When new this car cost $2,580 and only 27,375 examples were built making this the second-rarest 1957 Bel Air body style behind the Nomad. It’s a 64,000-mile car and it can be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,200.

Update II: Sold, Motostalgia Amelia Island 2018, $19,800.

Kurtis Kraft 500G

1957 Kurtis 500G

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Indy roadsters, as this style of race car is often called, are the coolest cars that ever raced at Indianapolis. These were driven by men who muscled them around the track, two hands on a steering wheel that looked like it came out of a bus. Frank Kurtis’ cars – when equipped with that Offy underhood – were unstoppable in the 500.

The KK 500G was an evolution of earlier Kurtis 500 cars but with upgraded aerodynamics. This particular chassis was at one point owned by Smokey Yunick – his first “major league” open-wheel race car. It’s competition history includes:

  • 1957 Indianapolis 500 – 5th (with Andy Linden)
  • 1958 Indianapolis 500 – 30th, DNF (with Paul Goldsmith)

After it’s brief history on the Championship circuit, it was used a supermodified car before being rescued by a major Indy roadster collector and restored to the condition you see here. It’s still powered by the legendary 4.2-liter Offenhauser straight-four. Only 14 Kurtis-Kraft 500Gs were built and they’re one of the best-looking of their type. This one should bring between $300,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $308,000.