Five Rare Mopars

Five Rare Mopars

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-15, 2017


1962 Dodge Dart 330 Max Wedge

Photo – Mecum

The second-generation of the Dodge Dart was downsized from a full-size car to a mid-size car. This generation was only built for 1962 before moving to a compact platform in 1963. Three trim levels were available: the base Dart, the mid-trim Dart 330, and the top-trim Dart 440.

1962 also happened to be the year that Chrysler released an engine dubbed the Max Wedge – a 6.8-liter V-8 making 410 horsepower. It was designed to make their cars monsters at the drag strip and in the early 1960s, American automakers were perfectly happy to build low-volume versions of their high-volume family cars to dominate the ¼-mile.

This two-door sedan – likely the only body style you could get this engine – has been fully restored and is an authentic Max Wedge car. Production numbers are hard to come by, but about 25,500 ’62 Dart 330s were built (total of all five body styles) and there were approximately 13,500 Two-Door Sedans built across all Dart trim levels. The closest estimate I have to the number of Max Wedge Darts is 210. This one should bring between $85,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


1963 Dodge 330 Max Wedge

Photo – Mecum

The “330” was a trim line introduced by Dodge in 1962 and in 1963, they separated it off and it became its own model. Between 1963 and 1964 it was a full size Dodge before it was replaced by the Dodge 880 for 1965.

1963 was a good year for the Max Wedge as it was virtually unbeatable at the drag strip. The 7.0-liter V-8 put out 425 horsepower and was geared to go a quarter of mile at a time. This example has been beautifully restored and it is one of about 64,100 330s built in 1963. Of those, only 162 were fitted with this engine and this one should bring between $90,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $70,000.


1963 Dodge Polara 500 Max Wedge

Photo – Mecum

The Dodge Polara was a full-size Dodge and the second generation of the car was built between 1962 and 1964. For 1963, the Polara was available in two trim levels, the base Polara and the performance model dubbed the “500.” The Polara was essentially the same as the ’63 Dodge 440 except that it had backup lights. The 500 trim level added a base V-8, bucket seats and more interior niceties.

So what we have here is a 7.0-liter, 425 horsepower V-8 shoehorned into a well-appointed luxury two-door sedan. It was built as a customer order and never raced. It shows 36,000 miles and is one of about 39,800 Polaras produced in 1963. Of those, about 7,300 were Polara 500s and only five of those have the Max Wedge engine. This rarity will bring between $85,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.


1964 Dodge 440 Max Wedge Lightweight

Photo – Mecum

The 440 was a trim-line on the 1962 Dodge Dart and for 1963 and 1964 it became its own full-size Dodge. Five body styles were offered and this two-door hardtop coupe will actually seat six. It was a step up from the Dodge 330 but a step below the Dodge Polara.

The engine is a 425 horsepower, 7.0-liter Max Wedge V-8 and it’s also a factory Lightweight. It’s had unnecessary weight stripped out and lightweight panels added where appropriate. Coupled with the big engine, this was a drag strip beast. It’s one of only 10 such cars built and should bring between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $140,000.


1964 Plymouth Belvedere Max Wedge Lightweight

Photo – Mecum

The fifth generation Plymouth Belvedere was built between 1962 and 1964. For this generation the car got smaller and slotted in between the Savoy and the Fury. Offered in five body styles, this two-door hardtop could be had with a slew of engine choices.

But this example has a 7.0-liter Max Wedge V-8 making 425 horsepower. It was the final year for the Max Wedge engine before the “Hemi” made its debut. It’s a factory lightweight, so it has aluminium body panels in places. Fully restored to its correct color, this is one of just 14 Max Wedge Lightweights produced for the 1964 Belvedere. In all, 16,334 hardtop Belvederes were made in 1964. This one should bring between $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $140,000.

Dodge Dart 330 Max Wedge

1962 Dodge Dart 330 Max Wedge

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-15, 2017

Photo – Mecum

The second-generation of the Dodge Dart was downsized from a full-size car to a mid-size car. This generation was only built for 1962 before moving to a compact platform in 1963. Three trim levels were available: the base Dart, the mid-trim Dart 330, and the top-trim Dart 440.

1962 also happened to be the year that Chrysler released an engine dubbed the Max Wedge – a 6.8-liter V-8 making 410 horsepower. It was designed to make their cars monsters at the drag strip and in the early 1960s, American automakers were perfectly happy to build low-volume versions of their high-volume family cars to dominate the ¼-mile.

This two-door sedan – likely the only body style you could get this engine – has been fully restored and is an authentic Max Wedge car. Production numbers are hard to come by, but about 25,500 ’62 Dart 330s were built (total of all five body styles) and there were approximately 13,500 Two-Door Sedans built across all Dart trim levels. The closest estimate I have to the number of Max Wedge Darts is 210. This one should bring between $85,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Result unknown.

Bristol 407

1962 Bristol 407

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Bristol Cars – which is back with new models after a five year hiatus spent restoring and selling their old cars – was founded in 1945 as an offshoot of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. They weren’t exactly super creative when it came to model names, but I guess that’s just the way it was with some British sports car makers after WWII. The 407 followed in a line of models that began with the 400.

The 407 was the first Bristol built after the automotive arm officially split from the airplane company. It was also the first model for which Bristol looked to an outside company for an engine. In this case, it was Chrysler (and it would remain Chrysler through 2011). The 407 is powered by a 250 horsepower 5.1-liter V-8 capable of propelling the car to speeds over 125 mph. Sixty arrived in 9.2 seconds.

While never completely restored, the engine has been replaced for a correct (but not original) unit, the interior was redone in 2010, and the paint is relatively fresh. Showing 63,000 miles, this 407 is one of just 88 built between 1961 and 1963 and one of about 20 that remain on the roads today. When new it cost a not-cheap £5,141 and it should sell at this auction for between $41,000-$47,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of H&H’s lineup.

Update: Sold $38,047

Ferrari 268 SP

1962 Ferrari 268 SP by Fantuzzi

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s a car you aren’t likely to get another shot at purchasing. With only two examples produced (of this chassis/engine combo), the 268 SP hails from an era of dramatic change in the racing world. Right about 1960, there was a drastic shift in thought: if we mount the engine behind the driver, maybe these things will handle better.

So Ferrari, and their sports prototype cars, adopted this new philosophy. The SP line of cars debuted in 1961 and only six of this lineage would be built. Only two of them were fitted with this 265 horsepower, 2.6-liter V-8. The awesome body by Fantuzzi is similar to other Ferrari racers of the day, namely the 250 TR 61.

This, car #3 or chassis #0798, has a factory competition history consisting of:

  • 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans – 19th, DNF (with Giancarlo Baghetti and Ludovico Scarfiotti)

After Le Mans, the car came to America to race as part of Luigi Chinetti’s NART team. As part of this team, its competition history includes:

  • 1962 Bahamas Speed Weeks, Nassau Trophy Race – 8th (with Lorenzo Bandini)
  • 1963 12 Hours of Sebring – 34th (with John Fulp and Harry Heuer)
  • 1963 Bahamas Speed Weeks, Nassau Trophy Race – 5th (with Fulp)

It ran a few more races through 1966 and then sat until 1969 when it went to a collector in France. It was restored during his ownership and the current owner acquired the car approximately 20 years ago. It’s a fairly famous car that has been shown at the most exclusive events worldwide. With only six built – and being one of only two built with this engine – this Ferrari is one those seriously collectible 1960s racers. Huge money is one the table here. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

The First Cobra

1962 Shelby Cobra 260

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the very first Shelby Cobra built and it has been owned by Shelby since day one, which makes this an incredible opportunity to acquire one of the most important cars around. So here’s the story: in 1961, Carroll Shelby asked AC Cars of England if they would build him an AC Ace that could house a V-8 engine.

And, luckily for car people everywhere, they did. Shelby managed to source a V-8 from Ford, as Chevrolet wasn’t willing to play ball (something General Motors probably doesn’t want to dwell on all these years later). The engine was a 260 cubic inch (4.2 liter) V-8 from Ford that makes 260 horsepower. Shelby stuffed it in the front of this beautiful English roadster and the rest is history.

This car, CSX 2000, was used as a factory test car, demonstrator, and show car used to get people interested and sell some cars. Carroll Shelby, always the marketer, repainted the car between showings to make people think that production was well under way. It worked, even if a second Cobra wouldn’t be built for another seven months.

It is mostly original (other than the paint) and has been used on and off over the years and has been shown recently at Pebble Beach, among many, many other places. It’s as famous as Cobras come and is being offered from the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust. Only 75 Cobras were fitted with the 260 engine, but this is the one to have. In fact, of all Cobras, this is the one to have. The bidding will quickly shoot into the millions, but whoever comes out on top will have something truly special. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $13,750,000.

Kurtis Aguila

1962 Kurtis Aguila

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Kurtis Kraft built some legendary race cars in the 1950s. Frank Kurtis won multiple Indy 500s with his chassis and they dominated the dirt track circuit in their day. Unfortunately, his designs didn’t necessarily keep up with the times and orders for Kurtis race cars dwindled as the 1960s began.

A rich Texas racer contacted Kurtis in the early 60s with the idea of turning an open-wheel car into a sports car and wiping the competition off the map with it. Kurtis countered that he could build him a car that, with removable fenders, could compete successfully in both open-wheel and sports car competition.

This Aguila is powered by a 5.4-liter Chevrolet V-8 making an estimated 350 horsepower. It has disc brakes and will seat two (find another open wheel car that can fit two across). It had a brief privateer career before the dawn of rear-engined cars rendered it obsolete by 1965.

With known ownership history and a nice, well-maintained restoration, this one-off has the special distinction of being one of the final cars built by Frank Kurtis. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $423,500.

APAL-Porsche

1962 APAL-Porsche 1600 GT Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 28-29, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

APAL, or Application Polyester Armé de Liège, was an automobile company that operated in Liege, Belgium from 1961 through 1998, when they relocated to Germany. Most of the cars produced by the company over the years are either kits or replicas.

Edmond Pery, founder of APAL, was a fiberglass specialist. So his cars were all constructed of that material. The 1600 GT was based on the Porsche 356. The body is fiberglass and the chassis is Volkswagen, the wheelbase of which is a foot longer than a 356. The engine is a rear-mounted 1.6-liter flat-four making 60 horsepower.

Only about 150 of these coupes were built between 1961 and 1965 and only about 30 of those have an engine from a 356. This car is one of very few in the U.S. and has been here for quite some time. It has recently been restored and is now offered for sale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $88,000.

DB4GT Zagato

1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

This is one of the Holy Grail Aston Martins. The DB4GT itself is a rare, highly sought-after machine – but those handful of Zagato versions are really where it’s at. The DB4 was produced by Aston Martin between 1958 and 1963. The DB4GT came out in late 1959. It was a lightweight, high-performance version of the standard 2+2 road car.

The engine in the GT (including this car) is a 314 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-six. That’s actually serious horsepower – even today. About 75 standard GTs were built. But this is one of only 19 Zagato cars.

The car is instantly recognizable with that grille as an Aston. But the soft, sloping rear end makes it obviously a work of Zagato. This is car #14 and it was shipped new to Australia where it led a life as an independent racer. It went back to the U.K. in the 1990s, was restored in 2002 and has been shown all over the world. What’s truly impressive: not one of the 19 DB4GT Zagatos has traded hands in more than 10 years. This truly is a car that rarely comes up for sale. RM compares it to the 250 GTO and they aren’t wrong. While it won’t bring $30+ million dollars, it will definitely bring multiple millions. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,300,000.

250 GT Speciale by Bertone

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale by Bertone

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 15-16, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Of the myriad of sub-models in the Ferrari 250 range, the SWB Berlinetta is one of the most sought after today. They were race cars, introduced in 1959, and this one is powered by a 3.0-liter V-12 making 240 horsepower.

This car was actually bought new by Nuccio Bertone – yes, of that Bertone. He had a young man working in his coachbuilding business named Giorgetto Giugiaro who he co-designed this car with. The car was modeled after earlier Ferrari race cars with “sharknose” styling.

This 250 GT debuted at the 1962 Geneva Auto Show and was Bertone’s personal ride for a short time before he sold it to a parts supplier in Milan. It had a few more owners before coming stateside in 1966. It later spent 35 years in a Mexican collection. It sports a fantastic restoration and is one of the most recognizable coachbuilt Ferraris of all time. This one-off should bring between $14,000,000-$16,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $16,500,000.

DB4 Vantage Convertible

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 9, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB4 is the car that started a styling trend that would continue for over a decade in a handful of models. They’re beautiful cars with a lightweight body, as designed by Carrozzeria Touring. They were built between 1958 and 1963 in five different series with each successive series featuring slight styling tweaks.

This is a Series IV car. It is also a “Vantage” car – Aston speak for the biggest and baddest available. In this case, it means it features a triple-carbureted version of the DB4’s 3.7-liter straight-six, making an impressive 266 horsepower. Vantage cars were only available beginning with the Series IV launch in 1961.

Of the total 1,110 DB4s built (not counting DB4GTs), only 136 hard tops were built with the Vantage engine. An even fewer 32 convertibles had the same motor. Only 70 DB4 Convertibles were built in total. And yes, this car is a pre-Volante terminology Aston Martin “convertible.” It’s a rare car.

This car was purchased new by actor Peter Utsinov and it is left-hand drive. It has seen very little use since the mid-1980s and has never been restored. It will need a little attention before you take it out on the road, but that shouldn’t hamper the price too much – it is estimated to bring between $1,400,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,332,827