Offered by Iconic Auctioneers | Silverstone, U.K. | August 26, 2023
Well look at that, Silverstone Auctions changed their name. Now they are “Iconic Auctioneers,” which is a tad self congratulatory. But anyway, they are still offering some pretty cool cars, including this TVR Vixen.
All early TVRs pretty much look the same, and the Vixen was the company’s four-cylinder (and later six-cylinder) car. It replaced the similar-looking Grantura in 1967 and was offered across four series and a few sub-models. V8-powered cars were called the Tuscan.
This S2 is one of 438 such cars built and is powered by a 1.6-liter Ford Kent crossflow inline-four. The body is fiberglass and the whole package is pretty light. They’re quick, but not quite as insane as a Tuscan. This one has been owned by the same guy for 50 years and should sell for between $22,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 14, 2023
It’s hard to come by cars for sale that begin with the letter “U”. So far, our feature cars with this characteristic are limited to those built by Unic in France. The Unipower GT project was championed by Ernie Unger, who had previously worked at Lotus and Elva as well as at the Rootes Group, where he was an engineer on the rear-engined Hillman Imp.
Eventually Unger got his idea for a well-handling British sports car off the ground, with the help of some other folks, including financial backing of Tim Powell and his company, Universal Power Drives, which sold equipment under the Unipower brand.
The GT launched in 1966 with power from a buyer’s choice of Mini engines. The last GT was delivered in early 1970, and in all, just about 75 were built. Only about 40 are known today.
This one is set up for competition use and is powered by a 1.3-liter inline-four Cooper S engine. It’s eligible for historic racing and has a pre-sale estimate of $65,000-$90,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | June 20, 2023
The Renault 8 was the successor to the Dauphine and was produced exclusively as a four-door sedan. The base car was not super powerful, but when the Gordini-tweaked variant went on sale in 1964, two years after the initial 8 launch, things got a little spicier.
Gordini cars initially got a 1.1-liter inline-four that resulted in a power bump over the stock car. Later Gordinis also could be had with a 1.3-liter unit that made about 89 horsepower – roughly double the stock 8.
These were fun rear-engined sports sedans. This one competed in the Gordini Cup in 1969 and later resided in the Renault Classic Collection. It’s a relatively low-mile, real-deal Gordini with recent historic event activity. The estimate is $43,000-$65,000. Click here for more info
The GTX was the “fancy” muscle car. Or the “gentleman’s muscle car.” Basically, it was a better-equipped Road Runner. It was a good-looking car and was only offered as a two-door hardtop or a convertible.
And the convertibles were rare: just 700 were made in 1969. Of those there were 16 Hemi-powered cars, five of which went to Canada (including this car). That 426 (7.0-liter) Hemi V8 was rated at 425 horsepower. As this was a gentleman’s car, it also has a TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
This car was restored around 2015 and is finished in a very 1969 color combination of bronze and black over a tan interior. This is one of the better muscle cars – and one of the top convertibles of the era. You can check out more about this car here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 26, 2023
It can be tough to remember which Corvettes are supposed to be the king of them all. Around this time you had L88s, ZR1s, ZR2s, and ZL1s. The ZL1 was sort of a step up from the L88. It designated an aluminum-block 7.0-liter V8 with a aluminum cylinder heads, a redesigned crankshaft, improved connecting rods, revised pistons, and larger exhaust valves.
It required that you order a base Corvette – which was about $4,400 for a 1969 convertible. Then you had to add on the L88 option, which was just over $1,000. The ZL1 option could then be had on top of that for another $3,000. And that blacked out the options for A/C, power steering, a radio, a heater, and power windows. Pay more, get less.
But you also got more, horsepower anyway. Output was somewhere around 460 horsepower. Apparently only two were ever ordered, with this one being the only one delivered to a retail customer. RM estimates this one will bring between $2,6000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | November 2022
Imagine this thing in your rearview mirror on a race track. Pretty scary. Now imagine it sneaking up behind you on the highway. Either is possible: it’s got a license plate mounted out back.
Let’s start at the beginning: the first T70 debuted in the mid-1960s as an open-top sports racing prototype. The Mk II Spyder came later and preceded the Mk 3 coupe. A slightly revised Mk.3B debuted in 1969 and featured front-hinged doors instead of the gullwing doors of the regular Mk 3.
Some of the Mk.3Bs were actually converted to road cars by Sbarro, who would soon after produce a run of replicas. That’s where things start getting confusing. This car was converted to road spec by Sbarro prior to their production of replicas, apparently. Funnily enough, there is another car with this same chassis number floating around (RM sold it in Paris 2014). That auction catalog initially advertised it as a Lola Mk.3B and laid out the early history of this yellow car. Then, shortly before the auction, they added a line that said “After further research it has come to light that this Lola T70 was built by Sbarro; it is very unlikely that this car was ever raced by Chuck Parsons” – which negated the entire history of their car they had written after it.
This car was reconstructed by Lola guru Mac McClendon in the 2010s. It’s powered by a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8. The comments on the Bring a Trailer auction seem to be full of reading comprehension issues. Yeah, this car has had pretty much everything on it rebuilt or replaced (as has pretty much every race car of this era), but as someone wise said over there “a continuous history as being a particular car is what makes it original… more than the parts currently on the car.” Not to mention, if Mac McClendon says it’s the real deal… who are you to argue.
The other great bit of wisdom from a BaT commenter on thinking about cars like this: “The idea of the car is what matters; each replacement part occupies the same space as the original, and so to our mind the car is original even if none of the component parts are — the car has occupied the same space since 1969, and therefore remains the original car.”
Think about what this represents from 1969. It’s right there with a Miura or McLaren M6GT in terms of late 1960s supercars. It might not be as pretty as a Miura, but it’s more purposeful, and probably faster.
Bidding ends in a few days. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022
Ed Zink is most remembered for his Formula Vee open-wheel race cars, but in the 1960s, it was hard not to get caught up in prototype sports car racing, apparently. The Z-8 featured a space-frame chassis wrapped in fiberglass bodywork.
For power, project cheerleader and idea man Hugh Heishman (a Virginia Volkswagen dealer) turned to VW for their new Type 3E fuel-injected flat-four. The 1.9-liter unit is carbureted now and is estimated to make about 150 horsepower. The car was run in period, including:
1969 24 Hours of Daytona – 18th, 3rd in class (with Bill Scott, Jim McDaniel, and Steve Pieper)
1969 12 Hours of Sebring – 68th, DNF (with Scott, McDaniel, and Pieper)
It went SCCA racing in privateer hands after that, eventually being stored in a disassembled state. A restoration that completed in 2017 brought it to its current condition. Gooding estimates a price of $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022
It’s always interesting when auctions take place outside of the “normal” locations of the U.S., the U.K., or France. Places like Switzerland usually bring out some real weirdos, car-wise. And this Swiss-built Monteverdi is the perfect example as to why more auctions should take place in otherwise less-often-visited countries.
The Monteverdi High Speed was a series of coupes, convertibles, and sedans that were attractively styled and powered by big American V8s. The first model was the 375S, of which we have an example here. These were styled by Frua and look very Maserati-ish. Power is from a 7.2-liter Chrysler V8 that was rated at 450 horsepower.
This one was sold new in the U.S. and was owned by Jay Leno for a time prior to the consignor’s purchase. Between 10 and 12 of these were built over a six-month span. The pre-sale estimate here is $70,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.
This prototype is about as far from a base Lancia Fulvia as you can get, style-wise. Various versions of the Fulvia were built between 1963 and 1976, including a very boxy sedan, a sporty coupe, and a Zagato-bodied Sport model.
This car actually began as a Rallye 1.6 HF model that was later modified, with updated styling by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. It exists, apparently, by Alejandro de Tomaso wanted Ford to buy Lancia so that de Tomaso could become Lancia’s CEO. In order to do this, he needed to convince Ford that Lancia could be a Ferrari competitor.
No one was going to mistake this car’s 1.6-liter V4 for a Ferrari V12, however. Its modest 113 horsepower was not going to set any speed records, although that didn’t stop the project from setting its eyes on taking this car to Le Mans. But none of that ever happened, as Fiat heard about the plan and scooped up Lancia before anyone else had a chance.
So now this car exists as a one-off “what if” sort of thing. It is being sold through RM’s private sales, with an asking price of about $168,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | October 20, 2020
The Islero was a pretty Lamborghini 2+2 that was the successor of the 400GT. It was actually sold alongside the Miura and the Espada (that’s right, they had three models at once in the 60s!). It was only produced for two years. A base trim was offered, as was an up-rated “S” model like the one shown above.
The S shared the same 3.9-liter V12 as the base car, but power was increased a bit, from 325 horsepower to 350. That boosted top speed to 161 mph, and 60 arrived in 6.2 seconds. The last one of these I saw in person was finished in light blue, and it was very striking in person.
Just 100 examples of the Islero S were built, making them just slightly rarer than the base car. This example was first registered in Venice, of all places, and it was restored about 15 years ago. It should sell for between $300,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.