Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 17-19, 2023
Max Balchowsky was a race car driver (and stunt driver) who built a series of sports racing specials in the 1950s and ’60s. Nine cars were built – all called Old Yeller or Ol’ Yaller. This one was the 7th.
It was produced by Balchowsky in 1961, his most prolific year in which four Yallers were constructed. This one was sold new to Don Kirby in New York and subsequently raced in SCCA events. It was delivered new with a Devin body and was fitted with 327ci Chevy V8.
A restoration was carried out in 2009, and it retains that 5.4-liter motor. It’s one of three Yallers intended for Chevrolet power and is said to be one of just a few still set up for road use (though it has history on classic road rallies too). The pre-sale estimate here is $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | London, U.K. | February 25, 2023
One of the prettiest cars of all time, Alfa‘s Tipo 101 Giulietta Spider is just simply classic. The Tipo 750/101 Giulietta was available from 1954 through 1963 in a number of different styles, including the basic sedan, the Bertone-bodied Sprint and Sprint Speciale, the Zagato-styled SZ, and this, the Pinin Farina-styled Spider.
This one was originally white but has been refinished in classic Italian red. It was sold new in New Jersey and spent time on both U.S. coasts before being exported to the U.K. in 2015. It’s powered by a 1.3-liter twin-cam inline-four that made around 80 horsepower. Top speed was just over 100 mph.
Giulietta Spider production totaled around 14,300 units, with another ~2,800 built to Veloce spec, which brought more power. The estimate on this example is $55,000-$63,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Warwickshire, England | February 24-26, 2023
This is an interesting race car. In the mid-1950s, some F1 teams dropped streamliner bodies over their F1 cars at high-speed tracks. Mercedes is perhaps the most famous to have done it, but the results were real. Covering the wheels decreased drag and increased speed. Eventually they were banned.
This body was used on Jack Brabham’s 1959 French Grand Prix car, which was a Cooper. The car got airborne in practice, so the pulled it off and ran the car as a typical open wheeler. Engineer John Moore spotted the body years later in the Cooper workshop.
He designed a racing car around it that could be easily converted to full-bodied sports car or an open single seater. It won the 1962 Monoposto Championship in the U.K. The car remained in competition into 1970 before it was retired. It was then partially restored around 1990, competing in historic events into the 2010s. Two Ford inline-fours accompany the car. No pre-sale estimate is yet available, but you can read more about it here.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 19, 2022
Beginning in 1933, Ford of Britain sold commercial vehicles under the Fordson brand. In 1939, they changed the name to Fordson Thames, perhaps because their first factory was located on the River Thames in Dagenham. After 1957, they dropped the Fordson, making the brand just Thames until they reverted to Ford in 1965.
The Trader was the largest truck built by Thames, and it was in production the marque’s entire existence. The Trader has a pretty distinctive cab and front-end design. This one is powered by a gasoline inline-six.
This Mk I example features a rear flat bed after having previously been configured as a box van. Thames was a short-lived marque that produced vehicles meant to be used and discarded. It’s pretty great that one still exists in this condition. The estimate is $12,000-$14,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-14, 2021
It requires a lot of money to successfully to take on the establishment in the world of auto racing. And even then success is not guaranteed. In the case of the Scarab, there was certainly money behind the effort. Lance Reventlow was the sole heir to the Woolworth fortune.
Venice, California, was home to Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated, builder of the Scarabs. There were both Scarab sports cars and open-wheel cars, including one that raced at the 1960 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix. Since that didn’t go so well, and because new rules came about in 1961, Reventlow decided to focus his efforts to less restrictive forms of open wheel racing.
This car was fabricated by Phil Remington based on a design by Eddie Miller, nephew of Harry Miller. It was fitted with a Buick/Oldsmobile 3.0-liter V8 breathing through four Weber carburetors for an output of about 300 horsepower. It took aim squarely at the new Intercontinental Formula rules.
But then the rules changed again, and this car was ineligible. Instead, this Scarab entered a 1962 Formula Libre race in Australia. With driver Chuck Daigh, the car finished fourth after drivers Jack Brabham, John Surtees, and Bruce McLaren – and ahead of Stirling Moss.
It was restored in 1997 and has since participated at both the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Hillclimb. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
This car features a 120-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six and a four-speed manual transmission, the latter of which was sourced from Austin-Healey. Top speed was about 103 mph.
There were 784 examples of the Series I TD 21 produced, but I have no info to present on the breakout between coupes/saloons versus convertibles. Common sense would say that the saloon was more popular, but the drophead coupes seem to pop up for sale more often. This one carries an estimate of $15,000-$20,000. Bidding ends tomorrow. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | May 22, 2021
Once upon a time, there was a company called San Diego Steel Products, and they made exhaust headers. It was owned by a guy named Chuck Chenowth, and he wanted to go racing at Indianapolis. He built an Indy roadster and stuffed a 4.2-liter Chevrolet V8 up front in an era when an Offenhauser-powered Anything dominated each race. Bold move.
It’s got Hillborn fuel injection and a Lehman front-drive unit to operate the fuel and water pumps as well as an Offenhauser gearbox and Halibrand wheels. The body was actually designed by Don Kuzma, another legendary name of the period. The Chenowth name is still around, although primarily associated with off-road racing today.
Unfortunately, this car never made a 500. It failed to arrive for the 1960 race and failed to qualify in 1961. It was more successful on the USAC short-track circuit, where it was driven by the likes of Tom Sneva, Mike Magill, and Greg Weld. It was restored near Cincinnati in the 1980s and is now offered with an estimate of $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
This is a school bus. That is probably obvious. But it is from 1961. I’m guessing they built a lot of these, but there are probably very few left. And based on the records shared in the auction listing, there are probably even fewer that have had this kind of money lavished upon them.
The Crown Coach Corporation produced buses (and some fire trucks) in Los Angeles between 1904 and 1991. The final few months were under the control of GE before the brand was phased out. The Supercoach was a product they introduced in 1948 and continued to iterate on until the end of the line in 1991.
This one has a replacement drivetrain. The 7.0-liter Detroit Diesel inline-six is located in the middle of the bus (underneath it). It also has a more modern five-speed automatic transmission instead of the old school five-speed manual with a two-speed rear axle. Remember your bus driver constantly shifting gears? Yeah, this one is easier to drive.
I always love an old bus, and this one is pretty great. The seats have been stripped out of the interior, which is a shame, but it’s still a winner. It was in service with a school district from new until 1999, which is insane. It makes me wonder just how old the back-up buses I rode on as a kid actually were. Click here for more info about this bus.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | March 20, 2021
This four-door Mercedes-Benz luxury car shares its three numerical digits with the legendary 300SL “Gullwing” sports car. But both cars share the “300” with Mercedes’ 1951-1957 W186 300 series, of which the 300D seen here was the successor.
Introduced in 1957, the 300D shared a version of the Gullwing’s fuel-injected 3.0-liter inline-six that, here, produced 178 horsepower (thus the “300” designation for “3 liters”, back when such things made logical sense). The 300D was available as a four-door sedan or a cabriolet. The cars were nicknamed “Adenauer” after Konrad Adenauer, who was the first Chancellor of West Germany and a fan of this series of cars.
Only 3,077 hand-built examples of the 300D sedan were built through 1962. This one isn’t a show winner, but it’s a driveable example of one of Germany’s greatest cars of the 1950s. It is expected to sell for between $68,000-$82,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020
Quin Epperly is another legendary mid-century name associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His cars first showed up at the 500 in 1955 and would continue to run there until the mid-engined revolution took hold.
This car is another Offy-powered roadster, originally equipped with a 255ci inline-four. The competition history for this chassis includes:
1961 Indianapolis 500 – 33rd, DNF (with Don Branson)
1962 Indianapolis 500 – 5th (with Bobby Marshman)
1963 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Bud Tingelstad)
Like so many other Indy roadsters, it was once part of the Bob McConnell collection for a number of years. It has been restored to its 1962 500 livery. It really looks the part of bad-ass Indy roadster, doesn’t it? The pre-sale estimate is $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.