Abarth Spider Tubolare

1962 Abarth 1000 Sport 131-MC Spider Tubolare

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 13, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Abarth cars are some of the hardest to find information on. They tuned some cars and they built their own race cars – and the records are only in the hands of marque specialists (if they exist at all). This Spider Tubolare is a race car, and one I’d honestly never heard of until now.

There was a new wave of sports prototype car building going on in the late-1950s and early-1960s. Tubular spaceframe chassis construction offered a stiff, lightweight alternative to traditional chassis design. And it allowed a company like Abarth to swap engines in and out of the mid-engined layout depending on what races they wanted to enter. This car uses a 1.0-liter straight-four that was installed in period to compete in the European Hill Climb Championship.

This car has been owned by Fabrizio Violati since the 1970s and has been a part of his Maranello Rosso collection for nearly 40 years. As it’s been on display for a while, it needs a complete refreshening to be usable. In any case, it should sell for between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $198,786.

Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 14, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Here it is. This is the car that everybody has been – and will be – talking about for some time. It’s the rarest, most desirable car on earth – and this is the first time one has come up for public auction in a long time. And it will sell, at no reserve. It will break every record on the book. Between private parties, 250 GTOs have reportedly sold for $50 million. Bonhams didn’t publish an estimate, but if you call the department for an estimate like they recommend, they’re well within their rights to laugh at you. You’re looking at a $30-$60 million car. The final price is anyone’s guess.

The GTO was a homologation model for the 250 to compete in the FIA Group 3 category. They were GT cars that put themselves on the podium at Le Mans in consecutive years, behind a single prototype entry (another Ferrari). The engine is a 300 horsepower 3.0-liter V-12. There were two types of 250 GTOs: those with the 3.0-liter engine, and those with the 4.0-liter engine (referred to as “330 GTOs”). This car was the 19th GTO built of 39 (this includes eight that have the re-designed 1964 body work and the three with the 4.0-liter engine). So 28 have this style body and a 3.0-liter V-12.

The original owner of this originally grey car was French racing driver Jo Schlesser. The competition history of this car is as follows:

  • 1962 Tour de France Automobile – 2nd (with Schlesser and Henri Oreiller)
  • 1962 Coupes du Salon – DNF (Henry Oreiller was killed when he crashed this car).

Schlesser took the car back to the factory and they rebuilt it for 1963 and sold it to a new owner, who used it in hillclimbs. That man sold it to another, who also raced it. Then, in 1965, he sold it to Fabrizio Violati for $4,000. It has been in Violati’s family since, and the centerpiece of his San Marino-based Maranello Rosso Collection. He used it regularly and the car has never really sat for that long. It’s great when someone acquires a car for a reasonable price and uses it, unafraid of the value at stake. Violati passed away in 2010 and the collection is, at least partially, being dispersed.

This is the 250 GTO that has been in one person’s possession the longest. These cars so rarely trade hands and when they do, the price is extraordinary. I just hope whoever buys it uses it and doesn’t lock it away hoping for a return on investment down the road. Sadly, that’s what the collector car market has almost become. Whatever the final price may be, Bonhams stands to make a killing on buyer’s premiums for this car alone. You can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Sold $38,115,000.

Tojeiro EE

1962 Tojeiro EE Buick Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2013

1962 Tojeiro EE-Buick Coupe

Bonhams 2013 London sale has something amazing going for it: seven Ecuri Ecosse team cars and their famous team transporter are all being offered for sale. Let’s start with the team’s story…

Ecurie Ecosse – which is French for “Team Scotland” – was a Scottish racing team whose cars were always painted in this dark “Flag Blue Metallic” paint. The team was founded in 1952 by David Murray and Wilkie Wilkinson. They competed in Formula One, Formula Two and the 24 Hours of Le Mans – which they won, twice. The original team disbanded in the 1960s but their roster of former drivers is illustrious to say the least: Innes Ireland, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori, John Tojeiro and Jackie Stewart.

The last two have something in common: this car. The team had raced Jaguar D-Types in the 1950s and by 1962, they needed something new. So Murray met with Tojeiro, who had been designing his own sports racers for a few years, and had him build the team a new race car. The Tojeiro EE (for Ecurie Ecosse) was the result.

It was ready, literally, just in time for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was Climax-powered for that race where it finished 38th (a DNF) with drivers Jack Fairman and Tom Dickson. For the 1963 British national sports car season, the team fitted a new aluminium-block 3.5-liter Buick V-8 making around 230 horesepower and hired a young man named Jackie Stewart to drive the car. He managed to win one race with it.

This car has been at Goodwood a few times in the past decade and is coming from an amazing Ecurie Ecosse collection. Only two of these cars were built (the other had a Ford V-8 the last time it was raced). This one should sell for between $290,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Update: Sold $350,265.

The Only 1962 Davies Special

1962 Davies Special

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 25, 2013

1962 Davies Special

Can-Am was one of the most interesting race series ever devised. The rules were essentially “anything goes” when it came to car construction – something that leads to innovation, unlike most of the “spec” series that operate in the U.S. today. The lot description calls this a “Cam-Am” Special but Can-Am didn’t start until 1966. This car was likely intended for the USRRC, which was also innovative and interesting.

Fred Davies was a race car engineer who worked for Bill Sadler (who built cars that looked similar to this in Canada). In 1961 he left Sadler and moved to California to build cars under his own name and design. He built one car – this one – with the intention of entering it into American road races.

The engine is a Chevrolet V-8 (displacement unknown, although I know it’s big) and the body is aluminium. The gearbox is by Huffaker – a name heavily associated with road racing back in the day. But Davies never ended up racing it. In fact, he used is as a road car for a few years before parking it. In 1975 he sold it to a dealer overseas who sold it three years later to a Belgian – who had no idea what it was. He registered it with the FIA as a Huffaker Genie – a car it resembles.

He restored it once and raced it until he sold it in 1983 to a Swedish amateur driver. It was raced in Sweden until 2004 when the current Belgian owner acquired it. This is a one-off race car and the only “Davies” out there. It is entirely raceable and can be yours for $120,000-$160,000. Click here for more and here for more from Bonhams at Spa.

Update: Did not sell.

Superamerica Coupe Aerodinamico

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina

Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013

1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina

The Ferrari Superamerica line of cars was the top-of-the-line model from an already top-of-the-line manufacturer. They used big V-12 engines and many had custom bodywork. They were intended for Ferrari’s most elite clients.

The 410 Superamerica was a super-fast, super-serious grand tourer. In 1959, Ferrari switched from the 5.0-liter V-12 to the 4.0-liter V-12 and the 400 Superamerica was born. The powerplant in this car makes 340 horsepower. It could do 160 mph and Enzo himself drove one. It was offered in two wheelbase lengths and it was the first Ferrari road car offered with disc brakes.

This car was sold new to the U.S. and features breathtaking bodywork from Pininfarina. The Coupe Aerodinamico body is just awesome. It’s both muscular and sleek – almost like a prototype of the forthcoming 500 Superfast. It passed through a number of owners in a number of different countries before being acquired by its current owner: Skip Barber.

Superamericas are some of the most collectible Ferraris. I’ve seen a few different numbers as far as production goes: I’ve seen “14” for the number of 400 Superamericas with this specific Pininfarina-designed body. RM says this is #12 of 36, but I’m unsure if they are referring to 400 Superamericas total, or just the SWB cars. Why am I unsure? Because I’ve also seen 47 as the number for total models built. Well there you go, the info is in there somewhere for you, make of it what you will. Oh, the price? A very large amount. Like between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,839,200.

Classic London Double Decker

1962 AEC Routemaster

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23, 2013

1962 Leyland Routemaster

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

There is something iconic about almost everything in London. The Taxis are like nowhere else in the world. The phone booths. And these wonderful, old double-decker buses. London Transport actually had a say in their design and they’ve become one of the many symbols of a great city.

These are big – it has seating for 57 passengers (25 downstairs and 32 up top). It’s powered by a 115 horsepower 6.9-liter diesel (though the catalog description lists it as a 9.8-liter as well). I was once standing near the exit of the All England Club in Wimbledon and a double-decker bus was coming up a short hill on the way out. A police officer told everyone to get out of the way because the under-powered bus could not stop once it started up the hill or it wouldn’t make it. Perhaps 115 horsepower isn’t quite enough for a 57-passenger bus – even if it is made of aluminium.

Of the 2,876 Routemasters built, about 1,280 still exist – which is a good survival rate for a vehicle that was meant to be used until there was nothing left. This bus was in service from 1962 until 2004 (which is crazy). This is a chance to own one of the most iconic vehicles of the U.K. It is expected to sell for between $31,000-$44,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Silverstone’s Race Retro & Classic Car Sale.

Update: Sold $31,460.

Motobécane KM 2U

1962 Motobécane KM 2U

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1962 Motobécane

Photo – RM Auctions

Another mini commercial vehicle to round out our second-to-last edition of Microcar Mondays. This has everything a big truck would have – except smaller – even a spare tire underneath. Motobécane was a major motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer in France from 1923 until 1981. In 1962, they introduced a small car prototype called the KM 2 that never made it to production. There was also a utility version produced (KM 2U) – a lone prototype example. It is believed that this is that truck. It uses a 125cc single-cylinder engine making six horsepower. This unrestored mini-truck should sell for between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info. And click here to check out more microcars.

Update: Sold $16,100.

Microcar Mondays Part VII

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

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1959 King S-7

1959 King S-7

This King S-7 was not manufactured by the same “King” company we talked about last week. This one was built in Sweden. The S-7 was originally built as a Fuldamobil in Germany but they were licensed all over and some licensed versions were exported. Sweden received some NWF cars but later they built there own S-7 version of the Fuldamobil and called it the Fram-King-Fulda. When that factory burned down, the assets were purchased and production restarted in 1958 or 1959 and it was called the King S-7. It was built until 1962 and 411 were made. It uses a 9.5 horsepower 191cc single-cylinder and should sell for between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $47,150.

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1956 B.A.G. Spatz

1956 B.A.G. Spatz

Egon Brütsch built a small two-seat convertible called the 200 or “Spatz.” He allowed prospective licensees to drive it and one, Harald Friedrich, liked it but realized Brütsch’s car was essentially crap. He hired an engineer to fix the issues with it and then put it into production under the name of a new company he formed, Bayerische Autowerke GmbH – or B.A.G. It was powered by the ubiquitous 9.5 horsepower 191cc single-cylinder Sachs motor that really got around in those days. Brütsch was not amused and threatened to take Friedrich to court (he eventually took the next group of people to court, and lost because the design was significantly improved over his original and therefore not an infringement) and Friedrich left the company – but not before 859 could be built and sold. This one should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $32,200.

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1957 Voisin Biscooter C31

1957 Voisin Biscooter C31

Gabriel Voisin’s post-war fortunes were not quite as bright as those leading up to war. He designed the tiny Biscooter but, because he no longer controlled his own company, could not get it into production. In fact, no one wanted it – even though he racked up close to 1,000 orders for it. He sold the rights to the Spanish and moved on – sort of. At some point, he went back and designed another Biscooter, an enhanced version – the C31. Some things were different, but it was largely the same. The Spanish were not interested in this model (the one you see here). It uses a 197cc single-cylinder engine making nine horsepower. Still, 16 were built and this one should bring $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $80,500.

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1961 Taylor-Dunn Model R Trident

1961 Taylor-Dunn Trident

If you weren’t aware, California was a weird place in the 1960s. Still is, really. But this was their idea of a car. Originally introduced as a glorified grocery kart in 1955, the three-wheeled electric runabout was called the Taylor-Dunn PG. In 1959, the Trident was introduced. It still used a one horsepower electric motor – but it also had road-going capability. In today’s world of SUVs, you would need a death-wish to drive this down the street in suburban L.A. But 1961 was a different time – and you could always just hop up onto the sidewalk to get away from traffic – no one would be able to tell where you belonged anyway. This should sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $29,900.

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1947 Rovin D2

1947 Rovin D2

Hard work pays off – the brothers Rovin showed their first cyclecar in 1927 and when France was occupied during the war, the continued to work and design on a new car, knowing that the war and its restrictions would eventually end. They had a prototype done in 1945 and were ready to go once France began to get back on its feet. The production version was called the D2 and it uses a 10 horsepower 425cc two-cylinder engine. Their products were quality and they were able to stick around for a while – until about 1959, producing different models. The D2 was short-lived and only 200 were made. This one should bring between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $43,700

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1953 Manocar Prototype

1953 Manocar Prototype

This rough-looking tiny car was one of two prototypes built by Établissements Manom in Saint Ouen, France between 1952 and 1953. It uses a four horsepower 125cc single-cylinder and was supposed to set the microcar world on fire due to its ease of access and “roomy” interior. Needless to say, this was as far as the project got. It’s all-original and should sell for between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $6,900.

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1963 Goggomobil TL-250 Transporter

1963 Goggomobil T-250 Transporter

We’ve already featured the even-rarer pickup variant of the Goggomobil Transporter. This is the van version. It’s also a TL-250 model, which means it uses the smaller 245cc two-cylinder engine making 14 horsepower. These vans actually had a useful load-carrying capacity for their size and the German postal service used them – in fact, they were more or less responsible for their production, buying up about 2/3 of all vans built. This one (of 3,665 built) has been painted up in Double Bubble Gum colors. All of the Goggomobil Transporters in this sale have some “cute” paint scheme. The price isn’t as cute: $80,000-$100,000. click here for more info.

Update: Sold $132,250.

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1953 Bond Minicar Mk C

1953 Bond Minicar Mk C

Only the Mark F version of the Bond Minicar outsold the Mark C – and it was by less than 100 units. In total, 6,399 Mark Cs were built between 1952 and 1956. The Mark C was a marked improvement in design and quality over the earlier Mark Bs – it looked more like a car from the front – and less like a rolling coffin. The style really fit in with the times. It used a 197cc single-cylinder making nine horsepower. There were various trim levels available – which also helped make this seem more like a real car. This one should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $13,800.

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1958 Solyto

1958 Solyto

New-Map, the motorcycle manufacturer (who also built a few cars called the “Baby”), shifted focus to small three-wheeled commercial delivery vehicles in the late-1950s. They were sold under the “Solyto” name. What separated them from their competitors is the two-seat closed cab design that gives it a more car-like appearance than the obviously-scooter-based Vespa delivery trucks and the like. This one uses a 125cc single-cylinder making 4.5 horsepower. These were also sold under license in Spain as the Delfín. This one should sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $25,300.

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1962 Motobécane KM 2U

1962 Motobécane

Another mini commercial vehicle to round out our second-to-last edition of Microcar Mondays. This has everything a big truck would have – except smaller – even a spare tire underneath. Motobécane was a major motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer in France from 1923 until 1981. In 1962, they introduced a small car prototype called the KM 2 that never made it to production. There was also a utility version produced (KM 2U) – a lone prototype example. It is believed that this is that truck. It uses a 125cc single-cylinder engine making six horsepower. This unrestored mini-truck should sell for between $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info. And click here to check out more microcars.

Update: Sold $16,100.

Microcars for Christmas

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

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1955 Fuji Cabin

1955 Fuji Cabin

As tomorrow is Christmas, any these little cars would make the perfect stocking stuffer. What a cheesy sales pitch that is. This fiberglass little bubble was produced by Fuji Motors Corporation of Tokyo from 1955 through 1957. It has a rear-mounted single-cylinder of 125cc making 5.5 horsepower. One of my favorite things about this car is that it has a boat-like name (“Cabin”) and that it says “Fuji Cabin” on the fender where a boat’s registration would normally be and it is in, what I will call, “boat script.” Other than that, there is nothing boat like about it because it is tiny. Only 85 were ever made and very few survive. This one should sell for between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $126,500.

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1962 Trojan 200

1962 Trojan 200

The Trojan 200 was a British-built licensed copy of the Heinkel Kabine. The Kabine went out of production in Germany in 1958 and Trojan production didn’t start until 1960 (and lasted through 1966). It uses a 198cc single-cylinder engine making 10 horsepower (if you round up) and it can do 56 mph. People might mistake it for an Isetta, which it isn’t, it just happens to have a front-opening door. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $54,625

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1964 Peel P50

1964 Peel P50

The Peel P50 is the smallest closed-roof microcar you’re likely to find. It was advertised as having enough room for one adult and one shopping bag. Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear drove one of these through the hallways of the BBC offices. He didn’t so much ride in it as he did wear it. Parked next to an Isetta, the Isetta looks giant. Clarkson also called it “almost cheaper than walking.” It’s powered by a 49cc single-cylinder engine making 4.2 horsepower. It could do 38 mph and only 50 were built, 27 of which still survive. The car re-entered production in 2011, for whatever unnecessary reason. This original example should sell for between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $120,750.

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1956 Mochet CM-125Y Camionette

1956 Mochet CM-125Y Camionette

This Mochet CM-125Y commercial vehicle is about the right size for transporting cigarettes – so I think the Lucky Strike scheme works well. You aren’t going to fit a Lay-Z-Boy in the back of this thing. It is powered by a 125cc single-cylinder making five horsepower, so it probably would struggle to haul said Lay-Z-Boy. Mochet built a number of different models, but total production was only around 3,000. There are three of these CM-125Y commercial vans in the U.S. and this one should bring between $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $35,650

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1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup

1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup

Goggomobil was the rare microcar manufacturer that actually hit big time production, with total output in the hundreds of thousands. This had a lot to do with the fact that Goggomobil was owned by Glas, an established automotive company. But not every model was lucky to sell multitudes. The TL Transporter model, which was produced at the request of the German postal service, was made from 1958 through 1965. Only 3,667 were built – including both van and pickup bodystyles. There were various engines available but this one uses a 398cc making about 18 horsepower. It’s painted in Coca-Cola colors, ensuring a wide market appeal for potential buyers. Coca-Cola memorabilia sells – and cute sells too. Both help explain the pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$125,000. For more information, click here.

Update: Sold $138,000.

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1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

1956 Avolette Record Deluxe

The Avolette Record Deluxe was a French license-built version of the Brütsch Zwerg. Zwerg? Zwerg. Most Avolettes were three-wheelers, but you can see this one has four. It has a single-cylinder engine of 250cc making 14 horsepower. In production for only two years, the Record Deluxe didn’t rack up record sales numbers – only about 30 were produced. This one should sell for between $45,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,750.

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1953 Fuldamobil N-2

1953 Fuldamobil N-2

Fuldamobil started producing cars in 1950 and lasted through 1969. They didn’t build a lot of cars, but their designs were licensed to other manufacturers throughout Europe. The N2 is an unusual, very rare and not very well known model from the company. Produced from 1952 through 1955, it used a 359cc single-cylinder making nine horsepower. The body is bare aluminium over a wood frame and looks very strange and simple. Only 380 were built. This one should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $75,900.

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1955 Iso Isetta

1955 Iso Isetta

Renzo Rivolta, whose company Iso was producing refrigerators and scooters in the 1950s, wanted to make a small car that could sell across a wide market. Two of his engineers designed this, and called it the Isetta. It used a front-hinged door and a 9.5 horsepower 236cc split-single two-stroke engine. Top speed was 47 mph but the design caught on and when Rivolta wanted to focus on sports cars, he licensed the design out to multiple companies all over the world. Produced from 1953 until 1955, only about 1,000 were built. But it was the first. This one should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $37,950.

 

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1956 Messerschmitt KR 200

1956 Messerschmitt KR 200

The Fend Flitzer was an invalid carriage designed by Fritz Fend (tongue twister!). After World War II, German aircraft companies were banned from producing aircraft, and Messerschmitt had nothing else going on – so when Fend approached them to put his Flitzer-based bubble car into production, they went for it and the Messerschmitt Kabinenroller was born. The KR 200 was in production from 1956 through 1964 and approximately 40,000 were built – about half of which appear to be in this auction. Seating is tandem – the passenger behind the driver. The engine is a 10 horsepower single-cylinder of 191cc. It could do 65 mph. This one should sell for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,500.

 

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1959 Opperman Unicar

1959 Opperman Unicar

The Opperman Unicar was inspired by the series of Bond Minicars. When the owner of the Opperman tractor company saw a Bond, he decided to build his own automobile. The Unicar was actually designed by Lawrie Bond and was in production from 1956 through 1959. It was the cheapest car you could buy in the U.K. in 1956 and was even available as a kit. The only opening parts are the doors and it is powered by an 18 horsepower 328cc two-cylinder engine. It’ll do 45 mph and only about 200 were built. This one should sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $9,200.

Trojan Microcar

1962 Trojan 200

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013

1962 Trojan 200

Photo – RM Auctions

The Trojan 200 was a British-built licensed copy of the Heinkel Kabine. The Kabine went out of production in Germany in 1958 and Trojan production didn’t start until 1960 (and lasted through 1966). It uses a 198cc single-cylinder engine making 10 horsepower (if you round up) and it can do 56 mph. People might mistake it for an Isetta, which it isn’t, it just happens to have a front-opening door. It should sell for between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $54,625