GT350R Prototype

1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The GT350 was the most badass 1965 Mustang. But how do you take that up a notch? You turn it into a factory race car, of course. That’s what Shelby did with 34-ish of their launch-year GT350s. The R was built for SCCA B-Production competition.

This car is the first GT350R built and was used by Shelby American as a factory race car, racking up 10 B-Production victories in 1965, along with the national championship – the latter with driver Jerry Titus. It was also the test mule for Shelby before they built the 34 customer cars.

Famed drivers Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, Chuck Cantwell, and Peter Brock all also drove this car in period. It’s been restored and retains a 4.7-liter 289 V8 that made somewhere north of 300 horsepower. Mecum bills this as the “most historically significant Shelby Mustang in the world” which might be a little much. In any case, it’s likely to be among the most expensive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,850,000.

Checker Marathon

1965 Checker Marathon

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 12, 2020

Photo – Mecum

I think we can agree that the styling of cars changed a lot more between 1960 and 1980 than it did between 1980 and 2000. That right there is why the Checker Marathon is so interesting. It was introduced in 1960 for the ’61 model year, and remained in production – virtually unchanged – until the end of Checker production in 1982.

And there’s a good reason why that was the case: don’t mess with success. It’s the “classic” New York City taxi – so why would they update it? Built right alongside the taxi versions were the passenger versions, like the car shown here. Yes, that’s right, these were sold as regular old passenger cars too.

Power is from a 3.7-liter inline-six that was rated at 140 horsepower when new. A V8 was optional, as were a station wagon and a limo. Only 6,136 Checkers of all types were built in 1965. This car is in obvious original condition. It will be an affordable entry into the world of bizarre cars of the past. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,600.

Jensen CV8 Convertible

1965 Jensen CV8 Convertible

For Sale by Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd | London, U.K.

Photo – Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd.

The Jensen CV8 was one of the fastest four-seat cars of the early 1960s. A two-door grand tourer, the CV8 was produced in three series between 1962 and 1966. Only 500 were produced, all but two of which were hardtop coupes.

The factory produced two non-coupes: a targa-like Sedanca and a single convertible, which is the car you see here. This car started life as a Mark II chassis and received some of the Mark III touches before it was completed.

Power is from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 330 horsepower. The car is now offered in London and has a long detailed story that you can read more of here.

Porsche 912

1965 Porsche 912

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is a car I like. Comically undervalued until recently when their prices started to climb, the 912 was an entry-level model situated below the 911 and was built between 1965 and 1969. Porsche built over 32,000 of them during that time.

It’s a 911 look-a-like powered by a 1.6-liter flat-four, instead of a flat-six like the 911. With 102 horsepower on tap, the 912 was lighter than the 911 and was a great handler. We’ve actually featured a 912 prototype, which was based on a 356, the car whose gap the 912 filled in Porsche’s lineup.

They aren’t rare cars (although the Targa variant is rarer than the coupe by some margin), but they carry all of the contemporary 911’s attractive lines at a steep discount. This one is estimated at $57,500-$79,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,699.

Griffith 200

1965 Griffith 200

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM has rescheduled the sale of this monster Indiana collection for late October instead of the beginning of May. But that’s not going to stop us from talking about some of these great cars now! That is partially because this is more or less the only auction catalog available anywhere on the internet at the moment.

The Griffith is an awesome little beast. They have a short wheelbase, a lot of power, and are notoriously difficult to drive at the limit. It’s kind of like a Shelby Cobra – a British sports car (in this case, a TVR Grantura) with a big Ford V8 stuffed under the hood marketed by an American company. Jack Griffith was a TVR repair guru in the U.S., and he initially tried to shove a Cobra’s V8 into a Grantura.

Eventually, he figured it out and started selling 289-powered Griffiths. This car is actually the only one ever built with a 260ci (4.3-liter) Ford V8. Only 261 examples were ever built, 192 of which were supposed to be U.S.-market cars. The rest were branded as TVRs in the U.K. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Neckar Mistral

1965 Neckar Mistral

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | March 26-27, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

NSU was a German car company founded in 1873 to produce knitting machines. They turned to motorcycles in 1901 and cars in 1905. Based in Neckarsulm, Germany, the company was acquired by Volkswagen in 1969 and merged into Auto Union. This was sort of the genesis of the current Audi brand.

I told you that to tell you this: in 1932, NSU’s first run at automobile manufacture failed, and their Heilbronn factory was sold to Fiat. Between 1929 and 1957, cars produced at this plant were called NSU-Fiats. In 1957, the Fiat-designed cars produced at this plant were sold under the Neckar brand. This lasted until 1971.

The Mistral was the Neckar-branded version of the Siata 1500 TS, which itself was a Michelotti-styled derivative of the Fiat 1500. Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four that made 94 horsepower. Like its Siata twin, this is a rare car today. It’s now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,031.

Marcos 1800GT

1965 Marcos 1800GT

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 29, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Just a few weeks ago we featured another model from the Marcos GT line of cars: the Marcos 1500GT. So what’s the difference? Well, for starters, the 1800GT was the first of the company’s GT cars. It was introduced in 1964 and was built for two years until the 1500GT took over.

The 1800GT was introduced with a plywood chassis and a 1.8-liter Volvo inline-four that originally made 96 horsepower. This car, converted to competition spec, has a rebuilt engine that is said to make 157 horsepower.

This car is historic racing eligible and is one of only 100 built. The pre-sale estimate here is $45,000-$58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Rambler Marlin

1965 Rambler Marlin

Offered by Russo & Steele | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 15-19, 2020

Photo – Russo & Steele

This was the high point of American Motors styling. The Marlin was introduced as a Rambler product in 1965, and for 1966 and 1967 it was sold under the AMC badge. 1965 and 1966 models were based on the Rambler Classic. It moved upmarket in ’67 to the larger Ambassador platform.

The Marlin featured a large greenhouse with a dramatic sloping fastback. Dodge unleashed a similar design in 1966 for the Charger. But Rambler did it first. Standard engine choices were a straight-six or a 287ci V8. This car is equipped with the optional 5.4-liter Ambassador V8, which was good for 250 horsepower.

In all, 10,327 examples of the ’65 Marlin were built. Production would drop off sharply in the following years. You can see more about this car here and more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $8,800.

Scimitar GT

1965 Reliant Scimitar GT

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

The Scimitar was a line of two-door sports cars produced by Reliant (and later, Middlebridge) between 1964 and 1990. The original car was designed by David Ogle and is quite attractive when equipped with wire wheels as we see here.

The first cars were produced in 1964 and early 1965 and were powered by a 120 horsepower, 2.6-liter Ford inline-six. Top speed was 117 mph. Later cars used a V6, and only 296 examples of the straight-six-powered Scimitar were built.

This one was recently repainted and looks good. Later cars favored a shooting brake body style, but this is a true coupe. It should bring between $6,500-$7,750. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,848.

Wolverine Can-Am

1965 Wolverine-Chevrolet LD65

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Can-Am’s debut season was 1966. But it wasn’t a surprise. Driver Jerry Hansen knew it was coming and got together with two engineers from GM to design and build a race car for him for the ’66 season.

Lee Dykstra (for whom the car appears to be named) and George Anderson designed this, the Wolverine. It has a tube spaceframe chassis and a small-block Chevrolet V8. An aluminum body was constructed, but over time the rear section has been replaced with fiberglass.

Hansen entered the car in the first Can-Am race, where he finished 20th. It also ran in SCCA events that year, but for 1967, Hansen upgraded to a McLaren. The Wolverine passed between a few other owners and was entered in Can-Am races through 1970.

They intended to build three of these, but only one was completed. The current owner bought the car in a series of boxes and had it completely rebuilt since 2010. It’s been at the Goodwood Revival and Monterey Motorsports Reunion. It should now sell for between $98,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $99,254.