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.

California Spyder Competizione

1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder Competizione by Scaglietti

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

California Spyders are among the most special Ferraris. They have a legend all their own and a beauty almost unmatched by their contemporaries and other Ferraris alike. But there were a select few of these cars that were given to people crazy enough to take them racing. It’s like putting a supermodel in a boxing ring. The difference though, is that this is one competent supermodel.

The long wheelbase California Spyder came before the short wheelbase version and were built in 1959. Only 50 were made. This car is powered by a 275 horsepower 3.0-liter V-12 engine – the Competizione spec being good for more ponies over the standard road car. The other thing that a competition Spyder had was a lightweight aluminium body. Only nine of these were ever constructed.

Specifically, this car was the first one built with disc brakes and it also has a competition transmission and large fuel tank. It was sold new in America by Luigi Chinetti to George Reed of Illinois who took the car racing. The competition history of this car includes:

  • 1959 Bahamas Speed Weeks, Nassau Trophy Race – 23rd (with Reed)
  • 1960 12 Hours of Sebring –  5th (with Reed and Alan Connell)
  • 1960 Bahamas Speed Weeks, Nassau Trophy Race – 12th (with Reed)

It also had quite the SCCA run in 1960. The car has had several owners since departing Reed’s care and was restored in the 1980s and again in 2011. It’s as good as they come and should bring between $18,000,000-$20,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $18,150,000.

Tojeiro California

1959 Tojeiro California

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2016

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

John Tojeiro was born in Portugal but lived in England for most of his life. He began designing the racing cars that bore his name in the 1950s. They often used the best engines of the day, be they from Jaguar, MG or whatever.

But in the late 1950s and into the 1960s the mid-engined race car revolution was well under way and Tojeiro knew it. By the early 60s he was building mid-engined cars. This California Barchetta is one of the last front-engined Tojeiro race cars. The engine in this case is a 5.0-liter straight-six from GMC.

The body on this car was designed by Cavendish Morton and was set in the style of the Ferrari California Spyder (hence the car’s name). But it was never completed in the day and was put aside. Much, much later, the head of the Tojeiro Registry acquired the car and had the body completed to original specifications. So what we end up with is a very pretty and functional vintage racer that has never really been raced. It’s fresh and clean and can be yours at Russo & Steele in Monterey this August.

Update: Not sold.

Bocar XP-5

1959 Bocar XP-5

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Bocar is one of those car manufacturers from the 1950s that built sports and racing cars in limited numbers. Most people haven’t heard of them and even fewer have actually seen an example. This is about as close as most will come to actually seeing a Bocar. And from the looks of it, you won’t see a nicer one.

Bob Carnes founded Bocar (which comes from the first letters of his first and last name) in Lakewood, Colorado, in 1957. Carnes started with the XP-1 through XP-4, which were essentially one-offs. With the XP-5, he began building production cars, including this one that was one of two team cars for the Meister Bräuser team in SCCA competition.

It’s passed through a few different owners since its period competition history ended and was in the possession of one owner for over 40 years. It was restored by the current owner in 2014 and is an award winner at Amelia Island. The engine is a 4.6-liter Corvette V-8 making 315 horsepower.

Only 15 of this type were built and good luck finding a prettier example. This 160 mph rocket cost somewhere around $8,700 when new and should bring much more this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $412,500.

Kellison J5R

1959 Kellison J5R Coupe

For sale at Vintage Motors of Sarasota | Sarasota, Florida

Photo - Vintage Motors Sarasota

Photo – Vintage Motors Sarasota

This thing doesn’t like it was designed in the 1950s, but it was. Jim Kellison founded the Kellison Car Company in the 1950s in California to produce fiberglass kit cars. The company was around into the 1960s and offered at least eight models during their existence.

While the J5 was the most produced model in the company’s history, the J5R variant is much rarer. The “R” denotes a lightweight body compared to the original. Not sure how you take a lightweight fiberglass body and make it lighter. Make it thinner? It is powered by a 4.6-liter Chevrolet V-8.

This example has been professionally restored and shown at the Amelia Island Concours. Between 350 and 400 J5s were built, all coupes. Can’t say I’ve ever seen one come up for sale… especially not this nice. It doesn’t even register as real and, frankly, reminds us of this. But it is pretty cool. And can be yours for $45,000. Click here for more info.

Elva Mk III

1959 Elva Mk III

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | June 11, 2016

Photo - Historics at Brooklands

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Elva was a manufacturer of automobiles – most of which were race cars – founded in 1955 by Frank Nichols in Sussex. There were sports racing cars, single seaters, and even a few road cars sprinkled in for good measure. Production ended in 1968.

The Mk III Elva was an evolution of the Mk II racer (most cars just evolved from earlier ones). This car went to the U.S. when new and is powered by a Coventry Climax 1.5-liter straight-four. The body is all auminium and it has race history going back to 1959 at the hands of Carroll Shelby’s mechanic.

The current owner acquired the car in 2009, bringing it back to the U.K. and restoring it. I don’t have an exact number of how many were built, but based on serial numbers, it is probably between 15-25 examples total. It should sell for between $110,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $124,215.