Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020
L88-powered third-generation Corvettes are among the most collectible of the era. The C3 Corvette was produced for an eternity: 1968 through 1982. But all of the good ones were in the first four or five years of production. The L88 engine was only available for three years: 1967 through 1969.
The 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, though it is thought to have actually produced more than 550. It was based on Chevy’s NASCAR engine, and it was a hardcore beast. Only 80 cars were equipped with this engine in 1968, the first of two model years it could be had in a C3. This drop-top version should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $350,000.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020
Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.
This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019
Commer was a commercial vehicle manufacturer that existed between 1905 and 1979. The company was bought by Humber in 1926, which in turn was acquired by the Rootes Group in 1931. Fast forward to 1967, and Commer was now part of Chrysler UK.
They produced heavy trucks, military vehicles, and some light commercial vehicles, including the FC van, which was introduced in 1960. In 1967, the FC was renamed the PB. It would last through 1976 when it became the Dodge SpaceVan, a model that remained on sale in the UK through 1983.
This van started life as a light commercial van. It’s powered by a replacement 1.7-liter inline-four and was converted by a previous owner into a campervan. It should sell for between $7,700-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2-12, 2020
Okay, so this isn’t just any old 1968 Mustang GT. This is the actual car driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film Bullitt. It’s the car that was primarily used in the legendary chase scenes around San Francisco. It’s one of the most famous film cars of all time and is one of two Highland Green ’68 Fastbacks used during the film.
Modifications performed by McQueen at the time of filming included the addition of gray Torq Thrust wheels, removal of the emblems and backup lights, and finishing the front grille in black. The look became so iconic that Ford has sold “Bullitt” edition Mustangs since that mimic this very look.
After filming, the car was sold to a Warner Brothers employee, who used it daily. It was later purchased by someone in New Jersey. In 1974, it was purchased by Robert Kiernan, whose wife used it as a daily driver until the clutch went out in 1980. The car was parked with 65,000 miles on it. McQueen tried to buy it back, multiple times, but Kiernan refused. The car bounced around the garages of friends until 2001.
That’s when Ford introduced the Bullitt Edition Mustang. Kiernan and his son decided to get this car running again. It was unveiled to the public again in 2018. A few bits have been replaced, and the 325 horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 has been rebuilt. Otherwise, the car is all original.
This car has the potential to bring a pretty incredible amount of money. Short of James Dean’s “Little Bastard” showing up for sale, it’s hard to imagine a more valuable “pop culture” car. You can check out more about it here and see more from Mecum in Kissimmee here.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019
Motor Racing Developments Ltd. was a Formula One constructor founded by driver Jack Brabham and engineer Ron Tauranac. It is commonly known as “Brabham.” The team competed for 30 years, between 1962 and 1992. Jack won the F1 championship in one of his own cars in 1966 – the only time that’s ever happened.
This chassis began life as a Repco-powered BT26 in 1968 with driver Jochen Rindt. The Repco was an unreliable unit, so the team switched to Cosworth power for 1969. With the new engine and some slight tweaks, the ’68 cars (including this one) were rechristened the BT26A. This car is powered by a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8. It’s race history includes:
1968 Canadian Grand Prix – 12th (DNF), with Jochen Rindt
1968 United States Grand Prix – 11th (DNF), with Rindt
1968 Mexican Grand Prix – 21st (DNF), with Rindt
1969 Spanish Grand Prix – 6th, with Jacky Ickx
1969 Dutch Grand Prix – 5th, with Ickx
1969 French Grand Prix – 3rd, with Ickx
1969 Canadian Grand Prix – 1st, with Ickx
1969 Mexican Grand Prix – 2nd, with Ickx
1969 Oulton Park Gold Cup – 1st, with Ickx
Not too shabby a record once the Cosworth was installed, which the car retains. It’s an impressive open-wheel car from the glory days of F1. It should bring between $1,100,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019
Here is another Serenissima road car that never got beyond the prototype stage. This unregistered car was shown at the 1968 Turin, Geneva, and New York motor shows. It looks eerily reminiscent of a De Tomaso Mangusta, but with bits of other cars of the era sprinkled in that you just can’t put your finger on.
The design was done by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. Interestingly enough, Giovanni Volpi, who owned Serenissima, was good friends with Alejandro de Tomaso, who owned Ghia at the time. They joined forces to build this car, which is perhaps why it has that Mangusta DNA in its blood.
Power is from a 3.5-liter V8 that was good for 320 horsepower. This car is still owned by Volpi, who has not used it in a long time. It will require a recommissioning before use, but it is the only example built. Therefore, it should command between $450,000-$675,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | November 28, 2018
Photo – H&H Classics
The Bristol 408 was a model offered by Bristol Cars between 1963 and 1966. It came after the 407 and, guess what, before the 409. It was mechanically identical to the 407, but featured significant exterior design changes.
The engine is a 5.1-liter Chrysler V8, supposedly making 250 horsepower. Top speed is said to be about 122 mph. The company only churned out 83 examples, which is sort of the average output for a model from this small company. This example has been repainted but is otherwise original. It should bring between $45,000 and $58,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $43,071.
1968 Bristol 410
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 28, 2018
Photo – Brightwells
This is a Bristol 410. It looks an awful lot like the Bristol 408 (and the 409 in between). So what’s different about this car? Well, it’s a little more aerodynamic and not quite as upright. It still used the same Chrysler V8 that dated back to the Bristol 407.
In this case, the engine displaced 5.2-liters but still puts out 250 horsepower. The increased aerodynamic efficiency resulted in the slightly higher top speed of 130 mph. Only 82 examples of the 410 were produced, and this one should bring between $36,000-$41,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | April 8, 2018
Photo – Artcurial
The Citroen DS is one of the classic French cars. In production for 20 years (from 1955 through 1975) it was offered in a variety of submodels and body styles. The DS 21 was introduced for the 1965 model year and featured a few improvements over the original DS 19 models, namely it offered electronic fuel injection – one of the first mass market cars to do so.
The DS 21 also had a larger engine: a 2.2-liter straight-four making 109 horsepower. It would later be one-upped in 1973 by the 141 horsepower DS 23. The DS is also famous for its hydropneumatic suspension: there aren’t springs at each wheel but rather, a hydraulic accumulator. The effect was akin to floating down the road. For extra weirdness, the DS came with a single spoke steering wheel. Why not?
Most DS models were sedans, but Citroen did offer a factory convertible (or “Cabriolet d’Usine”) which was actually bodied by Henri Chapron. It was only sold between 1958 through 1973 and in very limited numbers – just 1,365 factory convertibles were built. and this is one of only 95 built in 1968. Chapron bodied some other DS convertibles outside of these “factory” cars and they are even more expensive.
The consignor has owned this car since 2000 and it was restored since that acquisition. DS Cabriolets are some of the most common-looking big money French cars out there. This one is estimated to bring between $160,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
This aggressive-looking one-off was the pride and joy of former General Motors designer William Molzon. Molzon worked at GM under Larry Shinoda and wanted to create a sports car that was designed with both the design and engineering in mind from the get-go.
In 1963 he started his effort. The chassis is light, built using one-inch steel tubing. The engine is a race-modified 2.7-liter flat-six tuned to produce 200 horsepower. The body is fiberglass and it was hand-laid by Molzon over a Styrofoam base. The transmission is from a first-generation Porsche 911.
Weighing in at about 1,100 pounds, it’s about as nimble as things came in the 1960s. And it looks loud too, like it barks (in fact, it almost has a dog-like stance). But few people probably know just how loud it is – this car has only covered 959 since new. Molzon kept the car for 50 years, just recently departing with it earlier this year. Featured in Road & Track in 1970, the Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 should bring between $100,000-$125,000 in Scottsdale 2018. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Giotto Bizzarrini founded his company in Livorno, Italy, in 1964 after getting canned by Enzo Ferrari and after having worked at ATS and Iso. Bizzarrini S.p.A. built some race cars and their first road car was based on the Iso Grifo A3C and it was called the 5300 GT Strada.
It was a stunning road car and sold in small numbers and would ultimately be their most successful model. Meanwhile, Bizzarrini was working on a version of the 5300 GT for General Motors’ Opel division. It was a lighter model with a smaller engine. He liked it enough that he ended up building the car himself, and he called it the 1900 GT Europa.
It’s powered by a 1.9-liter Opel straight-four that makes 110 horsepower (a few cars had a 1.5-liter Fiat unit). With a fiberglass body, these cars are extremely light, making them good performers. Only 17 left the factory between 1966 and 1969, though a few more may have been assembled after the company closed down using spare parts.
Bizzarrinis rarely come up for sale, and the Europa model comes up for sale even less often. This one should bring between $300,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Paris.
Offered by Artcurial | Rueil-Malmaison, France | October 15, 2017
Photo – Artcurial
The 600 (which sported the internal Mercedes code name of W100) was the replacement for the Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer. Introduced in 1963, the 600 was offered through 1981, which is quite a long time as the cars sold in the 80s still sported late-60s Mercedes styling. Mercedes didn’t build a true replacement for this car until the 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class (though I guess the Maybachs of the 2000s kind of count).
All 600s were powered by a 250 horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8. It pushed a lot of mass around – especially on this long-wheelbase version (the “short” wheelbase sedan was the standard model). The much-sought-after long-wheelbase Pullman Limousine that you see here seats eight and has six doors (three on each side). An even more extravagant Landaulet (which sported a convertible top for the rear passengers) was also available.
This particular car was one of three purchased by the government of the Congo. Two were sent to Africa while this one remained in Germany to be used by embassy staff. Many governments bought 600 Pullmans – in fact, it was the car to have if you were a dictator. These were the favored cars of such beloved dignitaries as Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Kim Jong-il, and even Pablo Escobar. Oh, the Pope had one too, I guess. Intensely restored, this car – one of just 428 LWB examples built – should bring between $475,000-$595,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.