Bertone XK150

1957 Jaguar XK150 Coupe by Bertone

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 9, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Jaguar’s XK120/140/150 series of cars are pretty distinctive, and this looks nothing like them. It actually looks like a Vignale-bodied Ferrari from the mid-1950s. But it is actually an XK150 under there.

The XK150 was built from 1957 through 1961 and was available in three factory body styles and with five different engines. This car was originally powered by the base 3.4-liter inline-six that was rated at 190 horsepower. It now has a 3.8-liter unit underhood. It is one of nine supplied as a bare chassis to coachbuilders, and it is one of three bodied by Bertone.

The car was previously on display at the Blackhawk Museum and was restored in 2020. It’s a one-off mid-1950s beauty with Italian style and British underpinnings. It has a pre-sale estimate of $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info.

Ferrari 500 TRC

1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Ferrari Monza was a series of sports racing cars from the early 1950s. Unlike the V12 Testa Rossas, the Monzas were powered by Lampredi four-cylinder engines. The Monzas started with 1953’s 625 TF and included the 500 Mondial and 750 Monza.

In 1956, Ferrari entered the 500 TR, which replaced the Mondial, in World Sportscar Championship races. The following year, that car was upgraded to be the 500 TRC, which was powered by an upgraded 2.0-liter inline-four good for 190 horsepower and 153 mph.

Only 19 examples were built, with this (0706 MDTR) one being #18. Its competition history includes:

  • 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans – 29th, DNF (with Francois Picard and Richie Ginther)
  • 1958 12 Hours of Sebring – 44th, DNF (with Gaston Andrey, Bill Lloyd, and Dan Gurney)

Later, the car was powered by a 289 Ford V8 before being reunited with its factory engine. No pre-sale estimate is provided, but you can read more about it here.

Update: Sold $7,815,000.

Bandini 750 Saponetta

1957 Bandini 750 Sport Internazionale Saponetta

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | March 18, 2022

Photo – Artcurial

Ilario Bandini’s little car company was founded in 1946 and was pretty popular in the 1950s, taking SCCA class championships in the middle of the decade. They built a number of models over the years, some as late as the 1990s, and it seems that very few were all that similar.

This particular car features a streamlined body and similar mechanicals to the company’s 750 Siluros. The engine is a 747cc inline-four that made 68 horsepower when new. A total of nine Bandini Saponettas were built. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1957 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Carlo Camisotti and Giovanni Sintoni)

Bandini himself campaigned this car for years thereafter, selling it in the late 1960s. It was restored in the late 1990s/early 2000s and has been used in the Mille Miglia Storica. It now carries an estimate of $675,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $707,815.

Corvette Super Sport

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Super Sport

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Super Sport isn’t a name typically associated with Corvettes. But this Corvette was actually the first Chevy to wear that moniker. It’s a one-off show car that GM commissioned to showcase their new Rochester Ramjet fuel injection. It debuted in New York in January 1957 and was sold into private ownership after its tour of the show circuit was completed. The current owner acquired it in 1997.

The fuel-injected 283ci V8 was rated at 283 horsepower when new, and the car is claimed to have covered less than 5,000 miles since new. Styling alterations are obvious, including the dual concept-car-style windscreens, brushed aluminum coves, and a lot more bright interior trim.

This is one of those big-boy Corvettes that gets a lot of attention. It hasn’t traded hands in 25 years, so what to expect, price-wise, when it crosses the block next month is kind of a question mark. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Withdrawn from auction

Nash Metropolitan

1957 Nash Metropolitan

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Here is a car I adore. Partly because it is adorable, but also because it is affordable. The car was designed by Nash in the U.S. with the aim of offering a less expensive and economical alternative to the big behemoths rolling out of Detroit. But the cars were actually produced in England by Austin.

Series I examples were introduced in 1953, and this Series III hardtop would’ve sold for $1,527 when new. Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four that was factory rated at 52 horsepower. Metropolitans were sold as Austins in the U.K. and under the Nash brand in the U.S. through 1957. Hudson-branded models were also offered until Nash and Hudson were phased out in ’57. From 1958 through 1962, Metropolitan was a standalone marque.

This restored example is finished in teal and white (excellent) and features houndstooth upholstery. Affordable when new, they remain an inexpensive way to get into 1950s American (or British, depending on your perspective) cars. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,600.

1957 Eldorado Brougham

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 22, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Many people think that peak American cars of the 1950s culminated in the outlandish 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. Not so. It peaked more mid-decade, with cars like the Continental Mark II and this, the Eldorado Brougham. These were in a class of their own. The ultra-luxury class.

The Brougham was based on Cadillac’s Orleans and Park Avenue concept cars and featured a pillarless four-door hardtop body with suicide rear doors. The roof was finished in brushed stainless steel, and the car featured a self-leveling suspension, power seats with memory, cruise control, an automatic trunk opener, automatic high-beam headlights, and air conditioning. So basically, it was loaded with all of the stuff (and more) than that of your average 2020 mid-size sedan.

Over-the-top features included drink tumblers, a leather-trimmed cigarette case, a vanity, and a bunch of other stuff Cadillac threw in so everyone could know how high-maintenance you were. Power is from a 6.0-liter V8 that makes 325 horsepower courtesy of dual Rochester carburetors.

So what does all of this run in 1957? Well, how about $13,074 – nearly three times the price of a base Series 62 hardtop sedan from the same year. It also bested the Continental Mark II, which up to that point was the most expensive American car. This car cost more new than a Rolls-Royce. The Brougham was actually the Series 70, to set it apart, and only 400 were built this year. The 1958 model was even rarer. This one should sell for between $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $184,800.

300SL Roadster

1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 16, 2021

Photo – Mecum

I think we all know at this point that the Mercedes-Benz 300SL is one of the poster children for “collector cars.” The Gullwing coupe version is probably in the dictionary next to the phrase. The roadster was introduced in 1957 when the coupe was discontinued. It would be built through 1963.

Power is from a fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six. Output was rated at 240 horsepower when new. Also, keep in mind that fuel injection was no common sight in 1960. Or even 1970. The 300SL was really a landmark car and deserves its reputation as an amazing machine.

With its extended production run, the roadster was more common than the coupe, with 1,858 built. This restored example is finished in Silver Gray Metallic over red leather. It’s good-lookin’ stuff. A little over a decade ago, these were $500,000 cars. They’ve been trading right at about a million dollars now for the last five years or so. This one carries an estimate of $1,100,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,210,000.

XK140 SE

1957 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Jaguar’s XK140 replaced their XK120 in 1954. It would be produced for three years and cover multiple body styles and a few sub-models, including the Special Equipment (SE) model, which was sold as the “MC” in the United States. The range was supplanted by the XK150 in 1957.

One body style was the Roadster, as shown here with a disappearing soft top. XK140s could also be had as fixed-head and drophead coupes, the latter saw the soft top pile up behind the seats when stowed. All XK140s were powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six, and in SE spec with a C-Type cylinder head, power was upped from 190 to 210 horsepower.

This restored example was a U.S.-spec car originally and has returned to the U.K. So I guess that makes it an SE by way of an MC. It should sell for between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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.

Update: Sold $1,985,000.