Offered by BH Auction | Osaka, Japan | December 20, 2020
A few weeks ago we featured Honda’s first sports car (and second-ever automobile), the Honda S500. Well, the S500 was replaced in 1964 by this, the S600. The car launched as a roadster, much like the S500 before it, and in early 1965, the coupe variant was introduced.
Power is from a 606cc inline-four that still featured Keihin motorcycle carburetors (four of them). The water-cooled, DOHC unit powered the rear wheels via chain drive and produced 57 horsepower from the factory. Top speed was about 90 mph.
The S600 was produced until 1966 when it was replaced by the S800, which was also available in coupe and roadster form. Only 1,800 S600 coupes were built in two model years, making it much rarer than the convertible (of which over 11,000 were built).
This car is listed as a 1967, and it is apparently one of just eight built after S600 production officially wrapped in 1966. There’s got to be more to that story, but I don’t have it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Online | November 2-5, 2020
Heron Plastics was based in London and got its start in 1960 building fiberglass shells for Austins. In 1962, they introduced their own car, the fiberglass-bodied Europa. It was sold for a few years, and the catalog estimates that only 12 were made.
It features a steel backbone chassis, independent suspension, and front disc brakes. Power is from a Ford inline-four, which was offered in 1.0- and 1.5-liter forms. No word on what this car has. The Europa was available as a kit or as a complete car.
Brightwells claims this is the only surviving example, though a quick Google search turns up at least one more car out there. Fun fact: this car was the inspiration for Monteverdi‘s MBM Tourismo. The pre-sale estimate on this Europa project is $10,000-$13,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
The 275 is the best classic Ferrari. It replaced the 250 series and was a huge leap forward. It was offered between 1964 and 1968, originally in 275 GTB form, which included a 280 horsepower, 3.3-liter V12.
In 1966, they updated the car to 275 GTB/4 specification, which meant that the 3.3-liter V12 now had four overhead camshafts, instead of two. That upgrade from SOHC to DOHC bumped power to 300 horses. The GTB/4 was also the basis for the legendary N.A.R.T. Spider.
This car is said to be unrestored and original apart from a 1970s repaint in Grigio Mahmoud. Only 330 examples of the GTB/4 were produced, and they’ve been seven-figure cars for some time now. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020
The legendary L88 Corvette was available from 1967 through 1969. That spanned two different generations of the Corvette, which means that 1967 was the only year you could have Chevy’s monstrous V8 in a C2 Corvette. Only 20 were sold that year, and I have no idea about the breakdown between coupes and convertibles.
The high-compression, 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, even though the actual output was probably over 550. Unfortunately, the car was very expensive and required 103-octane fuel, which wasn’t all that easy to come by at your local service station in 1967. Of the 20 built for the model year, quite a few went direct to racing teams. After all, the car was essentially a race car that happened to be street legal. This one was raced, including at the:
1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 11th, 2nd in class (with Cliff Gottlob and Dave Dooley)
The car competed for eight years, apparently winning 150 races. It was purchased by Dana Mecum in 2013, and he’s now letting it go, assuming it hits what is sure to be a stratospheric reserve (c’mon Mecum, have a little faith in your own event and go no reserve!). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | March 7, 2020
Méan Motor Engineering was a Belgian company that produced some race cars and some road cars. It was founded by Jacques D’Heur in Liege in 1966. The company’s name changed in 1971, and it closed up in 1974.
This race car was built in 1967 and is powered by a 1.2-liter NSU inline-four. It’s called a “Can-Am” but there is no evidence that the car actually competed in the Can-Am series in North America. It does have FIA papers and is eligible for historic events.
Méan road cars are exceptionally rare, and their racers even more so. This fiberglass road race car should bring between $36,000-$44,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020
1974 ToJ SS02
ToJ was a racing team founded by driver Jorg Obermosser. They were most famous for their prototype sports cars and Formula Two/Three single-seaters. This sale features three of their sports racers from the 1970s. The team was in existence between 1974 and 1990.
This was the team’s first sports prototype, and it was developed using Obermosser’s previous GRD-BMW S73 prototype as a launching point. This car is powered by a 2.0-liter BMW inline-four. It never made it to Le Mans, but it did contest the European 2-Litre Championship. It’s the only survivor of two built and should bring between $300,000-$315,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold.
1967 Serenissima 3000SP Prototipo
Last year at this sale, Artcurial sold three extremely rare Serenissima cars, including a race car. And this year they are featuring another of Giovanni Volpi’s rarities. This is one of two otherSerenissima cars that still exist.
It was built in 1967 using a McLaren chassis and 3.0-liter V8. Originally featuring a closed-cockpit fiberglass body, the car was reworked for the 1969 season and fitted with the steel body you see here. Unfortunately, this new look proved unstable at high speed.
It was restored two years ago by Volpi’s original chief mechanic and should now sell for between $1,100,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
1997 G-Force-Oldsmobile GF01
We’re starting here with Arie Luyendyk’s 1997 Indy 500-winning car. I have an unpopular opinion (influenced heavily by nostalgia) that the 1996-1998 Indy 500s were the greatest. I was up there for Fan Fest (or whatever it was called) as a kid and fell in love this era of open wheel cars. Between Arie and Buddy Lazier, I’m not sure who had a more profound impact on my love for the 500.
G-Force was founded in 1991 by Chip Ganassi and Ken Anderson, and they began building cars for the Indy Racing League in 1997. The car above was the very first GF01 constructed. And it was a beast. Powered by a 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V8, this GF01 took pole and the win at Indy in 1997 (other GF01s swept the podium). The competition history for this ex-Treadway Racing chassis includes:
1997 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1997 Texas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1998 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1999 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Sam Schmidt)
The car was restored by Treadway Racing in its ’97 500 racing livery and is just missing onboard telemetry and an ECU to make it functional. Indy 500-winning cars don’t change hands often, which makes this pretty special. Oh, by the way, the second-place car from ’97 is also offered at this sale. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $440,000.
1995 Lola-Menard T95/00
In 1995, the Indy 500 was still part of the CART season. We’ve actually featured another Lola T95/00 with Indy history, but it was Cosworth-powered. This car is “Menard”-powered, which mostly means it features a turbocharged 3.6-liter Buick V6 built by-and-for Team Menard.
This Menard-entry in 1996 ended up winning the pole with Scott Brayton behind the wheel. Unfortunately, he was killed testing a back-up car in practice a few days after securing pole. Menard pulled Danny Ongais out of a nine-year retirement to run the car. He was 53-years-old on race day. This car’s competition history includes:
1996 Indianapolis 500 – 7th (with Danny Ongais)
Both of Brayton’s pole-winning cars (1995 and 1996) are being offered at this sale. I chose this one because of its amazing Glidden/Menards livery (and Campbell Hausfeld, a company local to me)… although the other Quaker State/Menards car is quite attractive (and a photo of a similar-liveried car hung on my bedroom wall as a kid). Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $150,000.
Here’s something a little older. Fred Gerhardt’s Fresno, California-built open-wheelers were all over the USAC circuit in the late 1960s. They were a competitive chassis that ran many races between about 1965 and 1971. Somehow, it is said that Gerhardt only built 11 examples. I think the “in 1967” part of that sentence was missing from the catalog.
This example is powered by a rear-mounted Ford 4.2-liter DOHC V8. It was purchased new by Walter Weir, who entered the car in the ’67 500 for F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini, who died at Monaco a few weeks before Indy. Thus, the competition history for this car includes:
1967 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Al Miller)
1968 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1969 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1971 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (with Bill Puterbaugh)
It has had several owners since and has been restored. It’s eligible for historic events and can now be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
What we have here is a one-off sports car financed and built for the motoring department at a British newspaper in the late 1960s. It used off-the-shelf components and a very nice exterior design from Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The bodywork clearly foreshadows the Lamborghini Espada.
Power is from a Jaguar 4.2-liter inline-six, and the car uses an E-Type 2+2 frame and chassis as well. It also carries Jaguar badging, even if Jaguar didn’t officially have much to do with the final product. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show and was first sold at auction in 1968. It stayed in the US for a long time and was purchased by its current owner in 2011.
The auction catalog makes a big deal of the fact that the car is called a “Pirana” – without the “H” – and how it was Bertone’s personal choice to spell it that way. It then goes on to say that the car was restored to its Earl’s Court specification. Photos clearly show “Piranha” badging on the rear. What’s the deal with that? At any rate, it will sell at no reserve this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 25, 2019
Okay, let’s review the line of Ferrari road cars that carried the “330” name. The 1963 330 America kicked things off and gave way to the 330 GT 2+2 the following year. The 330 GTC and 330 GTS were the final versions, and they were on sale between 1966 and 1968.
The 330 GTC was powered by a 300 horsepower, 4.0-liter V12. Both coupe and convertible variants were bodied by Pininfarina. Unless you were special. This car was delivered with such coachwork, but after sustaining damage in a 1972 accident, it was sent by Luigi Chinetti to Zagato for repairs. And this is what they came up with.
It’s the only such example built and is actually a targa, with the black section of the roof being removable. It is the only existing 330 GTC with Zagato coachwork and is one of only 598 330 GTCs produced in total. You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Here is another car from Serenissima, though this one was not one of the original run of a handful of road and race cars. This is an unregistered prototype that was built by Giovanni Volpi, and it is unclear if the prototype was ever officially shown.
It features tubular subframes and a look similar to that of the Lamborghini Miura and DeTomaso Mangusta. Power is from a 3.5-liter twin-cam V8, and it was modified with a revised front end at some point including covered headlights instead of the original louvered units. Period photos also show the car fitted with a large rear spoiler which has since been removed.
The car was never used all that much, even when new. It is being sold in need of a recommissioning by Volpi himself and should bring between $450,000-$675,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.