Arkley SS

1966 Arkley SS

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | June 24-27, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

John Britten’s Arkley was a kit car launched in 1970. The SS was a fiberglass re-body for cars such as the MG Midget or Austin-Healey Sprite. This car is based on a 1966 Austin-Healey Sprite.

Power is from a 1.1-liter inline-four from a Morris Minor, and the car features front cycle fenders with the headlights perched between them and the hood. You can still clearly see the Sprite underpinnings along the sides of the car near the doors.

About 1,000 Arkley kits were produced during the initial run. The rights were sold in the late 1980s and were available again for a short time thereafter. This one is offered at no reserve from RM’s “Essen” sale, which has been pushed back to June and is now online-only. You can read more about the car here and see more from this sale here.

Shelby GT350 Convertible

1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The first Shelby Mustang was the 1965 GT350. It was also the best Shelby Mustang. It has those classic first-gen looks and isn’t as bulky looking as later models. Plus, they had racing pedigree. But most of those cars were hardtops.

Not this one. Yes, they built convertibles, but just a few of them. Only four were produced for 1966, and this was the first one. It’s an ex-factory test car, and the other three were more-or-less prototypes as well. It was apparently the only first-gen GT350 with gold stripes that wasn’t a Hertz car.

The GT350 is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 rated at 271 horsepower. This one wears an older restoration and will be going under the hammer at Mecum’s Indy sale, which is currently scheduled for June. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Amphicar

1966 Amphicar 770

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s one I can’t believe we haven’t covered yet. The Amphicar was designed by Hans Trippel and produced by the Quandt Group in Germany between 1960 and 1965. The model was dubbed the “770” because it would do seven knots on the water and 70 mph on land.

A few different engines were used throughout production. This car is powered by a 1.5-liter Triumph inline-four that was capable of up to 75 horsepower. The same engine drives the car on land or water, and once you splash down, the engine drives a pair of reversible propellers. The car could even drive itself back out of the water.

Amphicars are remarkably usable. They can be found in waterways throughout the world every year (I once saw one on the back of a large private boat in Paris. It’s the ultimate dinghy). And I think their continued use is a wonderful sign of how well made they were. Only 3,878 were produced in total, and it seems like there’s always a few for sale somewhere. This one is selling at no reserve in Indiana. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1966 Duesenberg

1966 Duesenberg Model D Concept

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 29-September 1, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What’s rarer than a Model J Duesenberg? A Model D, of course. The Duesenberg name – and its associated automobiles – have retained such an aura around them since the company originally went out of business in the 1930s that it’s no wonder there have been multiple attempts to restart it. Someone built a “Duesenberg” in 1959 using a Model J engine and a Packard chassis.

In the 1960s, Augie Duesenberg‘s son arranged financing (which ultimately fell apart) to restart the company with serial production. This prototype was conceived and it. Is. Lavish. Boasting features that wouldn’t be standard for another 30+ years, the car is powered by a 425 horsepower, 7.2-liter Chrysler V8.

The body was styled by Virgil Exner and crafted by Ghia in Italy. Yes, it evokes the Stutz reboot that occurred just a few years after this car debuted. And there’s a good reason: Exner styled that one as well.

Apparently, the company received around 50 orders before it all went wrong. This car stayed in the ACD Museum in Auburn for over three decades before joining a prominent collection. It’s more-or-less as it was the day it was built, with just 800 miles on the clock. RM estimates $300,000-$350,000 to take it home, which still means it’s cheaper than the comparatively-common Model J. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ginetta G4

1966 Ginetta G4

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23-24, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

When the Walkett brothers founded Ginetta Cars in 1958, do you think they had any idea their company would still be involved in the highest levels of motorsport 60 years later? They started out building kit cars and in 1961 they hit it big when the G4 went on sale.

The G4 was nice because it was a usable car and a great race car. With a fiberglass body and reliable Ford powerplants, the cars were competitive and sold well – about 500 were produced through 1969 when production stopped (though it restarted in 1981 and lasted through 1984 with about 35 additional “Mk IV” examples built). This car is powered by a 1.5-liter Ford inline-four.

Painted in bright orange, the car was recently restored, including work performed by Ginetta Heritage. It’s race and road ready and should cost between $32,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $40,824.

Serenissima Spyder

1966 Serenissima Spyder

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Giovanni Volpi was a Venetian who operated a racing team called Scuderia Serenissima (La Serenissima was an Italian name used to describe the Most Serene Republic of Venice). Volpi’s team competed in F1 and some sports car stuff. He was closely aligned with Ferrari. Until…

Some ex-Ferrari people, namely Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, bolted from Ferrari and founded a company called ATS, which Volpi helped finance. Ferrari was not pleased and refused to sell Serenissima any 250 GTOs.

So what’s an enterprising Italian to do? In 1963, Volpi founded Automobili Serenissima to build his own cars. Supposedly, eight were built in total and only five survive. Well, Volpi is still alive and apparently is selling three of them at auction in a few weeks, including this car, which is chassis no. 5.

It appears that chassis no. 5 may have started life as a Serenissima Jungla – a closed coupe that was later turned into a spyder and shown in road car form. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V8 and was turned into a racing car shortly after its introduction. It raced at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Jean-Claude Sauer and Jean de Mortemart. A broken gearbox in the fifth hour led to the car’s retirement from the race.

The car is presented in as-raced condition and is not currently running. It is the only Serenissima car to race at Le Mans (they intended to race the Jungla GT but it did not appear). Even still, it should command between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $4,786,229.

Coachbuilt 911 Convertible

1966 Porsche 911 Spyder by Bertone

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 25, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

The first Porsche 911 went on sale in 1964, replacing the 356 series of cars. Upon introduction, only a two-door coupe was offered. A removable-top Targa joined the lineup in 1966 and the first 911 convertible didn’t arrive on the scene until 1982. So what was a well-heeled Porsche fanatic to do in the 60s?

Let’s start by not forgetting that Karmann came up with a 911 Cabriolet Prototype in 1964. So then, in 1966, a Southern California Porsche dealer wanted an open-top 911 for his customers and commissioned Bertone to build one. They started with a bare 911 chassis, which did not include the “S” 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-six that the car carries today. Back then it had a stock 130 horse variant.

Rear-engined convertibles tend to seem a little bulky at the back and it’s funny that Gooding & Company draws parallels to the Fiat 850 Spider, which is the exact car I see when I look at this. The final result here is quite nice and nothing about it says “Porsche.” It looks Italian. The current owner acquired this car in 1993 and it’s been on static display for quite some time, so it will require a little attention to make roadworthy. It should bring between $700,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $1,430,000.

GT40 Mk II

1966 Ford GT40 Mk II

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We all know the story of the GT40 by this point: Ford wanted Ferrari. Ferrari said no. Ford decided to whip Ferrari at Le Mans. And then did just that. The first GT40s hit the track in May 1964. Later that year, after disappointing results, the racing program was given to Carroll Shelby and he turned it around.

Using 1964 and 1965 as “work-out-the-bugs” seasons, Ford applied an upgrade to the GT40 for 1966. Dubbed “Mk II,” the cars now carried monstrous 7.0-liter V-8 engines. These 427s were built by Holman-Moody of NASCAR fame and boasted 450 horsepower. To handle the extra weight of the stock car engine, Kar Kraft upgraded the Mk II’s chassis, suspension, and engine mounts. And oh boy, what a package it was.

Ford dominated the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, finishing 1-2-3 in a clean sweep and embarrassing Ferrari – which was sort of the point of the entire program. This car was part of that sweep, coming home third. The race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1966 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther)
  • 1966 12 Hours of Sebring – 12th (with Bucknum and A.J. Foyt)
  • 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson)
  • 1967 24 Hours of Daytona – DNF (with Mark Donohue and Peter Revson)

In 1970, Ford donated this car to the Harrah Collection. A few other private owners followed, with a restoration coming in the 1990s. One of only eight examples of the Mk II produced, this car is well acquainted with the historic show and race circuit, accumulating refurbishment as-needed along the way.

Coming out of nearly a decade and a half of continuous ownership, this GT40 will be overshadowed (in price and in conversation) by RM’s consignment of a 250 GTO. But this is a far more historically important – and interesting – car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

 

Side note: Dick Hutcherson is, statistically, one of the greatest NASCAR drivers of all time – despite only three seasons in the sport. He is never brought up in conversations about NASCAR greats. But he should be. Plus, how many other NASCAR drivers have finished on the podium at Le Mans? Just wanted to put that out there…

Update: Sold $9,795,000.

Lambo 400 GT 2+2

1966 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

The first Lamborghini road car was the 350 GT grant tourer. Ferruccio’s followup was the improved 400 GT. The first 400 GTs were just 350 GTs with a bigger engine. Introduced later in 1966, the 400 GT 2+2 featured slight styling changes (thanks to Carrozzeria Touring) as well as the bigger engine.

That bigger engine is a 4.0-liter V-12 making 320 horsepower. This is also a true 2+2 with two seats in the back. Part of the aforementioned styling tweaks include a longer roofline that increased greenhouse space within the car, allowing for a human to sit in the back. This car also featured a Lamborghini-designed transmission.

Built only between 1966 and 1968, the 400 GT was still constructed in very limited numbers. Only 248 were built, with just 224 of those being the restyled 2+2 model. Wearing silver paint when sold new in Switzerland, this car is thought to still sport its original interior (even though its exterior has been repainted). It should sell for between $400,000-$525,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $500,948.

Sovam 1100 VS

1966 Sovam 1100 VS

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Sovam was founded in 1930 by André Morin to produce mobile kiosks on the backs of small trucks. What a niche business. Eventually that company was spun off and they focused on other things. In 1965, they decided to build sports cars. It was a short-lived endeavor, lasting only through 1968 when the company pivoted to building small airport vehicles and moving walkways. What a weird history.

Three different Sovam models were produced with the 1100 VS being the sort of “middle model.” It’s powered by a 1.1-liter Renault straight-four making 62 horsepower. That chassis was also from Renault – coming from their 4 model. The body is fiber-reinforced plastic and reminds me of an elongated version of the Mini Marcos we featured a few weeks ago.

Only 77 examples of the 1100 VS were built and the current owner of this car acquired it in 2004. When restored, the original 1.1-liter engine was swapped out for a 1.4-liter unit. This one should bring between $9,000-$14,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $13,915.