GSM Dart

1959 GSM Dart

Offered by Russo & Steele | Newport Beach, California | June 8-10, 2018

Photo – Russo & Steele

This site has been around for about six and a half years. Not an eternity, but a decent amount of time. In that time, this is just the second GSM-branded car we’ve come across for sale that fit into our schedule. The first one? One week ago exactly.

This sudden flood of GSM cars to market is really strange as Glass Sport Motors of Cape Town, South Africa, didn’t really build that many cars in the six years they existed between 1958 and 1964. The GSM Dart was South Africa’s first production fiberglass automobile.

Power sources varied as donor cars were usually needed. This is one of just three Darts lucky enough to feature Alfa Romeo four-cylinder engines. The Dart was called the Delta when it was exported (thanks, Daimler). Just 122 examples of the Dart were sold and this one was once exhibited at the Petersen Museum. You can see more here and see more from this sale here.

Pontiac El Catalina Prototype

1959 Pontiac El Catalina Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 15-19, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Pontiac Catalina was Pontiac’s entry-level full-sized car in 1959. It was a big car and the convertible was certainly a looker. It was offered as a two-door coupe or convertible or a four-door sedan or wagon. It was not offered as a pickup truck. Or car-based pickup truck.

Chevrolet had that market cornered within GM with their El Camino (there was a GMC version for a short while as well). Pontiac, throughout their 84 year history, never sold a pickup truck. This El Catalina Prototype was built to tease the possibility for a 1960 model that never came to be.

It’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 good for 300 horsepower. It’s well-equipped and has been well-shown, winning awards nearly everywhere it went. If you want a one-off factory Pontiac or a genuine GM concept car, here’s your chance. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $340,000.

Kellison J4R

1959 Kellison J4R Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Can we all agree that this looks like a late model race car? Like it should be sideways, sliding around a dirt short track somewhere? But it’s not, it’s a Kellison J4R, a fiberglass hot rod sold in the 1950s and 60s by Jim Kellison.

Available as a kit or a ready-to-run complete car (which would’ve run you a pricey $6,700 in 1960), the J4 was available between about 1958 and sometime in the early 1960s. This one is powered by a 497 horsepower, 6.6-liter V-8 and was originally set up as a race car (the “R” denotes a lightweight racing body, as on this J5R).

The current owner acquired this car in 2001 and wanted to be able to use it on the street, so he had it converted to a street-legal setup making it an awesome road and track car. The J4 was available as a Coupe or much rarer Roadster. About 300 examples of the Coupe were built and this one should sell for between $35,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $28,000.

Fairthorpe Electron

1959 Fairthorpe Electron

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Coventry, U.K. | February 23, 2018

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Fairthorpe Cars was one of a handful of British sports car builders that popped up in the 1950s. Founded by Donald Bennett, a high-ranking Air Force member, in 1954, Fairthorpe offered fiberglass kits to fit around a variety of different engines.

The Electron was introduced in 1956 and the body was based on the Microplas Mistral. The engine of choice, as this car sports, was a 1.1-liter Coventry Climax straight-four (which, during this car’s restoration, was bored out to 1.2-liters and 112 horsepower). Other running gear came from a Triumph TR3.

The Electron was technically available through 1965, but Fairthorpe sort of cut into its success by offering a cheaper version (with different styling) called the Electron Junior. Because of this, only 21 or 22 Electrons were ever built and it is thought that only seven remain. This car was rescued from pretty rough shape and lovingly restored in order to use it at track days. It’s a light, sprightly little car and it should sell for between $31,000-$37,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,428.

Six Collectible Pickups

Five Classic American Pickup Trucks (and one Canadian)

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-13, 2018


1939 Chevrolet Master Pickup

Photo – Mecum

The Chevrolet Master was produced between 1933 and 1942. After the war their model names would change, but the pickup truck had been part of their lineup for some time prior to that. Their pickups from this era shared the same basic design as their passenger cars as they were all offered as part of the same model line.

This truck is powered by Chevy’s 3.4-liter straight-six, likely producing 85 horsepower. The dark green shortbed example you see here was restored about 1,500 miles ago and it has a wooden bed. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $30,000.


1939 Plymouth Model PT81 1/2 Ton Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Yes, Plymouth built pickup trucks (other than the Scamp and Arrow). Before WWII started, they built some beautiful pickups. They built the Model PT line of trucks between 1937 and 1941, with the 1939 model dubbed “PT81.”

This truck is powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six. It’s well optioned and wonderfully restored. PT Plymouth pickups aren’t that easy to come by and they’re some of the prettiest trucks you can get. You can see more about this one here.

Update: Sold $36,300.


1941 Ford 1/2 Ton Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Mecum finds some great old pickups for their sales. The 1941 Ford was introduced, obviously, in 1941 and was the same model they picked up after the war ended, producing it through 1948. But, their 1941 Pickup used the leftover styling from 1940. So this truck was part of the newer line of cars (with a new-for-’41 color, Lockhaven Green), but still looks like an older one.

The engine here is an 85 horsepower, 3.6-liter Flathead V-8. This example had a frame-off restoration that took it back to as-new condition… likely better-than-new. Ford pickups never go out of style, and this is a great one. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $32,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2018, $37,400.


1957 Dodge D100 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

The 1957 Dodge pickups are great-looking trucks, especially the ultra-rare D100 Sweptside. As discussed in that post, the D100 was actually part of the C Series of pickups that Dodge offered between 1954 and 1960. The D100 was the 1/2 ton model.

In 1957, the engine was either a six or eight and this truck has the 5.2-liter Red Ram V-8 making 204 horsepower. And it. Is. Clean. This is a great color scheme for a truck, very 1957. The 1950s offered some pretty pickups, and this is no exception. See more here.

Update: Sold $55,000.


1959 Mercury M100 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Yes, even Mercury got in on the pickup game after WWII. The Mercury M-Series was offered between 1946 and 1968. Sold primarily in Canada, these trucks more or less mirrored Ford’s American offerings with slightly different exterior styling.

This third generation truck is the Canadian equivalent of the Ford F100, meaning it’s the 1/2 ton model. Two engines were offered in 1959, a 3.7-liter straight-six or a 4.8-liter V-8, and this truck is equipped with the former. It’s a step-side pickup that presents well enough. This is an interesting truck and a rarity in the U.S. Click here for more.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $16,000.


1972 International 1210 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

International Harvester, now a company that builds tractors and semis, used to build passenger vehicles. The final examples rolled off the line in 1980, and those were SUVs. True pickup production ended in 1975 when they built their final example of the D-Series Light Line pickup rolled off the line. These trucks were built between 1969 and 1975.

This Model 1210 was the 3/4 ton model and it’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-8. It’s got 4-wheel drive and this example appears to be a survivor. International-branded pickups don’t get the credit they deserve in collector circles as everyone wants a Ford, Chevy or Dodge. These were the workhorse trucks. IHC would be doing good business today if they had remained in the market, but instead you’ll have to settle for a time capsule like this one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $26,400.

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.

The First DB4GT

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Asrton Martin DB4, DB5, and DB6 are the best looking of all the classic Astons (though I will forever maintain that the DB7 is the best looking period, especially the convertible). The DB4 was built between 1958 and 1963 until the DB5 took its place.

Among the most sought-after DB4s were the DB4GTs. These were lightweight, short-wheelbase, near-racing spec cars. Nineteen of them sported bodies by Zagato. One of them received a Jet Age body from Bertone. In all, 75 DB4GTs were built – but this is the first.

The GT came with an upgraded engine, a 302 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-six to be exact. Top speed was 151 mph – pretty stout for something pre-1960. The story of this car is that program manager John Wyer took an early DB4 chassis, shortened it, and wrapped it in aluminium to save weight. They tested it at Le Mans and actually entered in the 1959 race. Here’s how it fared:

  • 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd (of 53), DNF (with Hubert Patthey and Renaud Calderari)

So maybe that race entrance was a little premature. After Le Mans, Aston converted this car to road spec and pushed it into service as a press car. The first real owner came in 1961 and it turned out to be a relative of the Royal family. The current owner acquired the car in 1986 and had the factory restore it in 1989. Between their original acquisition and now, the car was at one point owned by actor Rowan Atkinson.

At the time of writing, RM has not yet published an estimate for this car. It won’t come cheap, and rightly so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,765,000.

Fiat 1200 TV

1959 Fiat 1200 TV

Offered by Russo & Steele | Newport Beach, California | June 2-4, 2017

Photo – Russo & Steele

The Fiat 1100 was a small family car produced between 1953 and 1969 in many varied formats. The 1200 debuted in 1957 as a step up from the 1100. Three different 1200 models were offered before the model went away after 1963: the Granluce (four-door sedan), the Spyder (or TV), and the Cabriolet, which were both convertibles. The Spyder, offered between 1957 and 1959, was replaced by the Cabriolet, which had a different design.

The 1200 is powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four that was based on the 1100’s engine and made 54 horsepower. The Spyder looks coachbuilt with its split grille, but was actually designed in-house at Fiat. The Cabriolet that succeeded it was designed by Pininfarina, but isn’t as stylish as this car.

This example was originally black, but looks quite good the red it wears after undergoing a complete restoration. I don’t have production numbers for this model, but they aren’t all that common. Additionally, there isn’t a pre-sale estimate available, but expect this car to land in the $40,000-$50,000 range. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

WRE-Maserati

1959 W.R.E.-Maserati

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Full disclosure: when I first saw this car posted by RM Sotheby’s I, first, did not recognize it as I had never heard of the WRE-Maseratis. Secondly, based on the photographs, I thought it was a 2/3 scale Maserati children’s car. I was wrong.

W.R.E. – or World Racing Enterprises – was basically just a shop that built a handful of race cars at the end of the 1950s. Due to the technical regulations of the era, the 2.0-liter Maserati straight-four was an in-demand engine in sports car racing and a couple of different cars utilized it. American Tony Settember had Briton John Wadsworth help him build the first WRE-Maserati.

When they went racing – and beat up everyone else on track – Italians Luigi Bellucci and Mannato Boffa wanted in. Bellucci oversaw the construction of two more cars (as Settember left the program). This is the second of just three examples of the W.R.E.-Maserati ever built. It has a successful racing debut but was soon not competitive enough to keep up with factory entrants and Bellucci ditched it for a true Maserati, a Tipo 61 Birdcage.

This car was restored in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been in possession of its current Swiss owner since 1987. It’s an interesting Italian example of a 1950s sports car racing special. It should bring between $820,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $814,195.

Landyacht

1959 Tempo Matador Mikafa Reisemobil

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 20, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

Tempo, which was technically Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke GmbH, was a German company that built vehicles between 1924 and 1977 in Hamburg. They were initially known for three-wheeled commercial vehicles and commercial vehicles would remain their specialty for all of their existence.

The Matador was a commercial chassis that was built in multiple series between 1949 and 1966 (though the Matador would remain in production by Hanomag through 1967). You could have a Matador as a pickup or a van. This particular example is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four from Austin making 50 horsepower, which might not sound like a lot for such a big vehicle, but because its body is aluminium it only weighs about 4,500 pounds.

This “Landyacht” was specially bodied by Karosserie Mikafa in Germany for a Hungarian Count, whose wife was part of the Vanderbilt family. Everything in it is custom and original (like etched glassware and other stuff you’d expect a Vanderbilt to put in their RV). It was used for two European holidays before it was shipped to the U.S. and parked at The Breakers, the famous mansion in Rhode Island, in 1971 with just 13,000 miles on it.

The current owner acquired the vehicle in 2015 and only seven of these Reisemobils still exist, with this being the only one in the U.S. It’s a pretty unique vehicle with a very interesting story. It is expected to bring between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,000.