Plymouth Asimmetrica

1961 Plymouth Asimmetrica Roadster by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While based on one of their chassis, this is no hum-drum Plymouth Valiant. This car, dubbed “Asimmetrica” for its asymmetrical design, was one of the last projects kicked off between Chrysler and Ghia during Virgil Exner‘s design reign at Chrysler. Or, at least that’s the thought. Some people say this was a Ghia thing all around.

Built as kind of a successor to the Plymouth XNR Concept, this was supposed to be a “more realistic” car that could actually be built in limited numbers and sold to the general public. Yes, this was the restrained version. The plan was to build a run of 25 of these, but it’s thought that only two were ever made.

Power comes from a NASCAR-spec 2.8-liter Hyper-Pak slant-six making 101 horsepower. Displayed at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and, later, the Geneva Show, this example was purchased off the Geneva stand by novelist Georges Simenon. Acquired and restored by the Blackhawk Collection in 1989, the current owner purchased the car in 2000. A wild example of unrestrained early 60s design, it should bring decent money in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $335,000.

GSM Delta

1961 GSM Delta

Offered by H&H Classics | Epsom, U.K. | June 5, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

Bob van Niekerk and Willie Meissner founded the Glassport Motor Company in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1958. Fiberglass sports cars had been on sale in the U.S. and U.K. for a few years by this point, but Niekerk and Meissner decided to open the doors for such cars for the South African market.

Their first car was called the Dart. It was a sporty little roadster with an optional hardtop. It was a good enough car that the British took note and GSM began exporting them to the U.K. (or assembling them in England). The problem was that Daimler already sort of had the whole “Dart” thing cornered, so GSM called the export cars the Delta. And that’s what we have here.

GSM didn’t build their own engines, instead based the Dart/Delta around other cars. This car originally had a 1.0-liter engine but now sports a 1.5-liter straight-four. Production records are sketchy, but it is thought that 122 Darts were built as well as 76 Deltas. Restored a while ago, this car shows well and should bring between $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bedford JO Pickup

1961 Bedford JO Pickup

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 19, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Bedford was, from its inception, a division of General Motors. The commercial companion to Vauxhall, Bedford’s light commercial vehicles were available from 1930 through 1991.

The Bedford TJ was a model sold as both a van and pickup truck from 1958 through 1967 (and through 1975 in other markets around the world). It was an updated version of the earlier TD. The JO (or J0), which was the ½-ton model, was the lightest of seven different TJs offered.

Based on the lot description, it appears this truck uses a 2.6-liter straight-six. The styling on this thing is kind of wild, with a lot going on up front and a very plan looking box out back. It’s like the automotive equivalent of the reverse mullet. About 5,000 JOs were manufactured and only 20 are known to exist in the U.K. This one has been restored to what appears to be better-than-new condition. It was the 10th JO built and should bring between $60,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

OSCA 1600 GT

1961 OSCA 1600 GT Coupe by Touring

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’ve featured a few cars from OSCA over the years, seemingly all of them race cars. In addition to their racers, the company (which was originally founded by the Maserati brothers after they abdicated their positions at the company that still bears their name), also built gorgeous little GTs like this.

The 1600 GT was one of a few road-going models built by OSCA. Introduced in 1960, it was constructed in limited quantities through 1963. Because OSCA was primarily a racing car manufacturer, they took the 1600 GT to the track as well. This early example is powered by a 123 horsepower, 1.6-liter straight-four. This was the mid-range (or GTV-spec) engine. There were 105 horsepower and 140 horsepower versions available also.

Recently repainted in beautiful Celeste Chiaro, this is one of two examples bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and is one of just 128 1600 GTs built in total. It is expected to bring between $325,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $341,000.

The Corphibian

1961 Chevrolet Corphibian Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 15-24, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The Chevrolet Corvair was a revolutionary rear-engined, rear-wheel drive car introduced by General Motors for the 1960 model year. It was available as a convertible, coupe, sedan, wagon… and van and pickup truck. Called the Greenbriar, the van was built between 1961 and 1965. The Rampside was the very non-traditional pickup that one loaded from the side.

This thing is based on the Rampside pickup. It is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-six making 80 horsepower. The engine is located under the bed in the back. But what is unusual about this Corvair is that it is amphibious. That’s right, it is for both land and sea.

While I’m not really sure why, Chevrolet enlisted the help of the Hulten-Holm Company of Pontiac, Michigan, to assist them in building this fully-functional amphibious prototype truck-boat. The hull is fiberglass and it has only covered 157 miles (presumably on land). But it has been in the water, as photos exist of it there. The paint is fresh but the wheels and tires are original. It’s pretty incredible and extremely rare (obviously, there was only ever one built). Your guess on price is as good as mine. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $70,000.

Ghia L6.4

1961 Ghia L6.4 Coupe

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 15-16, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Dual-Ghia was a car produced by Dual Motors of Detroit but actually built by Ghia in Italy… using American parts. It was one of those flash-in-a-pan type companies that built and sold something beautiful but only for a short period of time. But there was actually a second model – this lovely machine that Dual Motors sold between 1961 and 1962.

Based around similar Chrysler bits that carried the Dual-Ghia, the L6.4 is a luxury coupe that uses a 6.3-liter 383 Chrysler V-8 making 335 horsepower and was designed and built in Italy. These cars were the best of the best in 1961 – costing $13,500 when new and attracting only Hollywood’s finest. If you go to RM’s site, check out the pictures of the interior of this car – that dashboard!

This example was sold new in Switzerland – it is #9 of only 26 built. They’re gorgeous inside and out. While it’s a shame they didn’t continue building these cars, it’s probably better they came and went quickly, building something amazing in the short time they were around and leaving before they had the chance to ruin it with some piece of garbage down the line. In any event, this will turn out to be rather expensive. Check out more from RM here.

Update: Sold $412,500.

Ferrari 250 N.A.R.T. Spider

1961 Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider by Fantuzzi

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 15-16, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Ferrari 250 GT is, perhaps, the most celebrated model line in the history of Ferrari. This striking 250 began life as a 1961 250 GTE. In 1965, Luigi Chinetti, founder of the North American Racing Team (N.A.R.T.) and Ferrari’s American importer for many years, decided to replace the normal Pininfarina body with this wild design by Fantuzzi.

Chinetti displayed the car at auto shows in New York, San Francisco, and Miami in 1965, generating good buzz for the brand. The engine is a 3.0-liter V-12 that’s had a little work done and it makes 300 horsepower.

Chinetti sold the car and the next owner had it for 33 years. It’s been recently serviced and has covered only 29,000 miles in its life. It’s one-of-a-kind and, from the right angles, quite gorgeous. It will likely sell for between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $1,017,500.

Triumph Italia

1961 Triumph Italia 2000 Coupe

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 7-8, 2014

Photo - Oldtimer Galerie

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

The Triumph Italia shares its model name with another car – from Hudson. What both have in common is that they were “foreign” cars with hand-built bodies from Italy. Both are very rare and pretty expensive when compared to other models from the same manufacturer (although the Hudson Italia is worth significantly more than this Triumph).

Each Triumph Italia began life as a Triumph TR3. It uses a 2.0-liter straight-four making 100 horsepower. The body was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and was built by Vignale. The rest of the car was supplied by Triumph and they were assembled in Turin.

The plan was to build a run of 1,000 cars but Triumph was taken over by Leyland in 1961 and they put a stop to the whole thing. In all, between 1959 and 1962, only 329 of these ended up being built, making it among the rarest of Triumphs. Right now, prices range from between $50,000-$85,000, but the pre-sale estimate is between $158,000-$170,400. You can check out more from this sale here.

Porsche RS 61

1961 Porsche RS 61

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2014

1961 Porsche RS 61

We’ve featured a Porsche RS60 on this site before – so why am I featuring an RS 61, knowing full well that they are nearly identical cars? Because they are different, even if it is only in name. And they are both very, very rare.

The RS 61 began as the 718/RSK race car in 1957. For 1960 that car was crafted into the RS60. And for 1961, the name was changed to reflect the new year, and the RS 61 was born. The engine is a 1.6-liter flat-four making 178 horsepower. Also: it weighs practically nothing so it scoots along rather well. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1961 12 Hours of Sebring – 7th, 2nd in class (with Bob Donner, Don Sesslar and Ernie Erickson)

The RS61 would be the final iteration of the 718 as the 904 would replace it the following year. Porsche only built 14 of these little race cars making them exceptionally rare and valuable. The pre-sale estimate on this car is $2,800,000-$3,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Arizona.

Update: Sold $2,750,000.

Chaparral 1

1961 Chaparral 1

Offered by RM Auctions | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2014

1961 Chaparral 1

Jim Hall’s Chaparral race cars are some of the most imaginative and forward-thinking cars ever built. A racing driver in his own right (he contested in the 1963 Formula One season), Hall had some money from his family’s oil business and paved his own path for racing success.

The Chaparral story starts with Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes, builders of racing cars in California (they were behind the Scarab) Jim Hall approached them and helped engineer a new race car called the Chaparral 1 that they were about to begin building. They built two for Hall and three for other customers. This car, serial #003, was the second car bought by Jim Hall. After success with this car, Hall would buy out the Chaparral name and make it his own, building cars under the Chaparral 2 name until 1980.

This car uses a 5.6-liter V-8 making 339 horsepower. The engine is housed in front of the driver, but behind the front axle, thus technically making it mid-engined. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th (1st in class), with Hap Sharp, Ron Hissom, Chuck Daigh & Jim Hall
  • 1962 Road America 500 – 1st, Sharp & Hall
  • 1963 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd (DNF), with Sharp & Hall

The car was sold to a privateer after the 1963 season and was raced through 1965. It was restored in 1997 and acquired by the present owner in 2004 who’s used it in historic races. Chaparrals aren’t generally cars you can buy – making this early example a rarity indeed. If a Chaparral is on your wish list, then now is the time. It is expected to sell for between $2,250,000-$2,750,000. Check here for more details and here for more from RM in Arizona.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $1,750,000.

S/N: 003.