Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 7, 2016
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Morgan is a car company steeped in tradition – all their cars are assembled by hand and even today, in the 21st Century, they sell cars with an ash frame. Many of their cars sport styling that was introduced in the 1960s and they even sell a three-wheeler that’s just an updated version of a car that dates back 100 years.
So in 1963 when Morgan introduced the Plus 4 Plus at the Earls Court Motor Show, the technologically advanced car was met with a predictably cool reception and the company went back to focusing on their bread and butter. This car has a fiberglass body – a long way from ash frames. The striking closed coupe body has a greenhouse that is large enough for two human heads, but not much more. The engine is a 2.1-liter straight-four making 105 horsepower.
Restored in 2007, this example has spent most of its life on the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada where it had a string of only five owners. This is the fifth Plus 4 Plus built out of a production run of only 26 cars. It is among the rarest cars Morgan has ever built and one of the most instantly recognizable. It should bring between $156,000-$182,500. Click here for more info and here for the full RM Sotheby’s London catalogue.
Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Shortly after the sporty Corvette went on sale, tuners got their hands on it and began modifying it for racing. Bill Thomas was one of those tuners and he began his career in 1956. GM was impressed and paid him to help with the Corvair and Chevy II.
Thomas also opened Bill Thomas Race Cars in 1960 in Southern California. When Ford partnered with Shelby, General Motors felt a little left out and went to Thomas to see what could be done about it. Thing was, GM had a ban on factory racing so they had to support the program covertly.
So Bill Thomas and Don Edmunds designed the Cheetah. Chevrolet supplied the 400+ horsepower 5.5-liter V-8 and a bunch of other parts. The first two cars were bodied in aluminium by California Metal Shaping. After GM gave the thumbs up, the rest of the cars were fiberglass, done by Contemporary Fiberglass. GM wanted 100 cars to homologate it for FIA competition but they cancelled their support after only 11 cars were made between 1963 and 1965.
This is the fourth fiberglass Cheetah built. It was one of three purchased by Alan Green Chevrolet in Seattle and the only one of those to see action on the track, competing in the SCCA. A subsequent owner converted it for street use, which included stamping his own serial number on the chassis and replacing the body. In 2012, the original body was put back on the car.
There were extra chassis and bodies completed, but only 11 actual cars were ever built, turn-key, by the factory. These are legendary American performance machines that are much rarer than Shelby’s counterpart (and also like the Cobra, originals are way outnumbered by replicas). They rarely change hands and this fully restored example should bring between $300,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Autocars Co. Ltd. was an Israeli automobile manufacturer – Israel’s first – that set up shop in Haifa in the 1950s. They built a couple of different models, but the most remembered is the Sabra.
The Sabra GT’s design is actually by the kit car maker Ashley. British company Reliant built the fiberglass bodies, and, in fact, built the first run of Sabras in house (and then copied the car as the Reliant Sabre). This car is powered by a 1.7-liter straight-four making 61 horsepower.
Sabras were very popular in Belgium – a quarter of them were sold new there. Some were exported to the U.S. and they were available as a coupe or convertible. Production lasted from 1964 through 1968. At least 100 Sabras still exist, but you never see them. This one should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
We’ve featured a Sunbeam Tiger before. That car was a road car – a true cousin to the Shelby Cobra. It’s a simple formula: take a nimble British Roadster and shove a big American V-8 under the hood. But this Tiger is a little different.
For starters, it isn’t a roadster. It’s a fastback and it’s one of only three such Tigers built by the Rootes Group. All three were competition specials – prototypes whose sole purpose was the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. The body was the work of Brian Lister – no slouch at building competition cars. The engine is a 4.2-liter V-8 from Shelby making 275 horsepower.
This car was the prototype. Once it was deemed competitive in testing, two further cars were built that were sent to Le Mans. This car only saw competition once it was sold and used in privateer hands. It’s passed through a number of hands and has recently competed in the Le Mans Classic and other historic events. It’s the rarest Sunbeam Tiger you’re likely to find and it should bring between $460,000 and $610,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | June 26, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
There were some great, low-production British marques of the 1950s and 1960s that had style and performance and perhaps none are better than the Gordon-Keeble. The car came together because of the design talents of John Gordon and Jim Keeble. The steel body was designed by Bertone and it debuted in 1960 as the Gordon.
Production started in 1964 and the coupe was powered by a 5.4-liter V-8 from a Corvette good for 300 horsepower. Top speed was 140 mph and it could hit 60 in six seconds. The price was a little steep and in 1965 the company was re-organized and the final car was built in 1966.
Only 99 of these were built (until a 100th example was constructed in 1967 out of spare parts). They’re good-looking, powerful, fast cars. And their rarity is ensured forever. This example should bring between $92,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dragone Auctions | Greenwich, Connecticut | May 30, 2015
Photo – Dragone Auctions
The Ford Mustang was an industry-altering car. When Ford announced it, everyone had to react, including General Motors. Head of Pontiac, John DeLorean, quickly green-lit the Banshee concept in 1963 and the first one, this one, was built in 1964. It toured the auto show circuit in 1965 and was a big hit.
This car is a driver and is powered by a straight-six. The Banshee never saw production as it would have competed directly with Corvette sales. Instead, there are definitely a few lines on this car that you can see in the first generation Firebird and the third generation Corvette.
There were four Banshee concepts, with the XP-833 being the first. Two were built and both still survive (the other is a white, V-8 convertible). This is one of one and should sell for between $600,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 27-29, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
This may be a car you are not familiar with. It looks like a normal 1965 – or, 1964½, my apologies – Mustang that got struck in a trash compactor. Believe it or not, this was actually a Ford factory concept car, its construction having been outsourced to Dearborn Steel Tubing Industries. This car was originally the 10th Mustang Prototype, but designer Vincent Gardner cut 16 inches out of the wheelbase and re-designed the entire body behind the firewall.
Ford had no intentions of ever building a two-seat-only Mustang because a car with four seats has broader appeal than does one with room only for two. But just for the hell of it, Ford decided to have this concept built anyway. After a few shows and magazine covers, Ford decided enough was enough and planned to have the car scrapped.
But Gardner had other plans. He stole the car and hid it in a warehouse… but he failed to continue to pay his rent and the warehouse’s owner found the car and called the cops. When the Mustang went missing, Ford’s insurance paid them for it, fearing it lost. So now the insurance had the car and Ford already had their money. So they sold it to one of their employees who kept it until 1968 when the current owner acquired it.
It was kept hidden away until the past 15 years, when it was restored and shown at various shows. In fact, here’s a video I took of it driving around last summer. The engine is a 4.9-liter V-8 and the body is fiberglass. Obviously, this is the only Mustang quite like this and it should sell for between $400,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Yes, this is an Aston Martin DB5 Convertible. “But aren’t Aston convertibles called ‘Volantes?'” Well yes, but not until 1965. So this is the last time they used “convertible.” The DB5 is, perhaps, the most iconic Aston Martin, as it was the Goldfinger car. So what happens when you take a beautiful, iconic car and cut the roof off? You make it even better.
They’re powered by a 282 horsepower 4.0-liter straight-six mated to the rear wheels with a five-speed manual. The gorgeous body is by Touring and this one spent most of its life in the U.K. until 2013 when it was imported into the U.S. The car was never restored but has been repainted (in 1995). It has 90,265 miles on it and shows very well.
Only 1,021 DB5s were built and of those, only 123 were convertibles, making this exceedingly rare. Everything is correct and it should sell for between $1,400,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Arizona.
Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 15-16, 2014
Photo – RM Auctions
By now you’ve surely read that there is a 250 GTO being offered for sale during this incredible auction weekend, but what if a 250 GTO is a little too common for your tastes? What kind of Ferrari do you buy when you want something more exclusive than a 250 GTO? This one, that’s what.
We’ve actually featured a 275 GTB/C before, one of just 13 built. This is also among that 13, but it is a little more special. The 275 GTB/C (“C” for “competizione”) was the direct successor to the 250 GTO. It ran at Le Mans its debut year. This is the first of the three Speciale Berlinettas built. Hand-built by Scaglietti, you can see traits of 250 GTO in it – namely those three holes punched in the nose.
This car was never raced – and only one of the three Speciales ever saw competition. This car was sold new to an Italian who registered it for road use. And what a blast this thing must be on the road: the engine is a 320 horsepower 3.3-liter V-12. And it was constructed as a lightweight racer, so it will blast around wherever you take it.
As stated above, this is one of three like it and RM insists it is the only one you will likely see for sale for a long, long time. And I must say, it is brilliant in this color scheme. I do believe this is the only car in RM’s catalog that doesn’t have a published estimate – but if the 275 GTB/C we featured last year brought $7 million, this should quite easily double it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monterey.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 7-8, 2014
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
This is a strange one. It’s called a BMW Hurrican and I can’t tell you for sure whether or not this is actually a BMW. I mean, it certainly has BMW parts and a BMW badge – but there is little evidence anywhere that BMW had anything to do with its construction. As you can see in the photo, however, it is certainly welcome at the world’s greatest car shows, such as Villa d’Este.
It is said to be based on a BMW 1800ti, likely from 1964 – and a Ferrari 250 LM. Now, this car doesn’t have a pre-sale estimate listed, but rather “contact us” – but a Ferrari 250 LM is worth over $10 million. This car is not worth that. This is part of the reason it is interesting.
The story I’ve seen is that this car was built by a group of students (college, I believe) in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The engine is a 1.8-liter straight-four making 120 horsepower. It also uses pieces from a Volvo, Fiat and Jaguar. While the build of the car began in 1967, it didn’t finish until 1975 and it’s been an attention-getter ever since. It definitely looks better than the 1800ti it is based on. You can read more here and see the rest of this auction lineup here. We have great readers at ClassicCarWeekly.net and I’m sure if any of you know more about this, you’ll let us know in the comments section.