ZL1 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1 Convertible

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 26, 2023

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Lola T70 MK.3B Coupe

1969 Lola T70 Mk.3B Coupe

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | November 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

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.

Zink Z-8

1969 Zink-Volkswagen Z-8 Daytona Prototype

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo – Gooding & Company

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.

Update: Sold $75,000.

Monteverdi 375S

1969 Monteverdi 375S Coupe by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $234,427.

Lancia Fulvia HF Competizione

1969 Lancia Fulvia 1600 HF Competizione

For Sale by RM Sotheby’s | Chobham, U.K.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Islero S

1969 Lamborghini Islero S

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | October 20, 2020

Photo – Osenat

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.

Update: Sold $237,961.

Datsun 2000 Roadster

1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12-14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Datsun Fairlady (or Sports) was a series of sports cars that preceded the “Z” line of cars that remains in production today. The series began in 1959 with the ultra-rare Sports 1000 and continued in rarefied form until the 1965 launch of the 1600 Roadster. This was when they started appearing in the United States.

In 1967, the 1600 was replaced with the 2000 Roadster, which was the pinnacle of this line of cars. It would eventually be dropped in favor of the 240Z in 1970. Power is from a 2.0-liter U20 inline-four generating 133 horsepower.

These are great little cars, and affordable too. I chose this one because I feel this is how they are supposed to look: with color-matched steel wheels wearing polished hubcaps. The tan soft top doesn’t hurt either. I feel like this one was transported here from a Yokohama back road from 50 years ago. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Durango 95

1969 Adams Brothers M-505 Probe 16

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

So this is an iconic car from a time gone by. Dennis and Peter Adams were two brothers who both happened to have worked at Marcos. They branched out on their own in the late 1960s as Adams Brothers. And they built a few cars (and they all had terrible names: see above and the auction catalog).

One example of their first car, the Probe 15, was built, and three examples of the followup car, the Probe 16, were built. The first example of the 16 was destroyed long ago, and this is the second. The third and final car was featured in the film A Clockwork Orange, where it was performed as the “Durango 95.”

The car is an exercise in extreme styling. It sits just 34″ tall from the ground to the roof and rides on 10″ front and 13″ rear wheels. Those are like go-kart wheels. The glass canopy slides to allow access to the right-hand-drive cabin like a 70s-era kit car.

Power is from a rear-mounted 1.9-liter inline-four good for 100 horsepower. It’s got disc brakes and an independent suspension all around. This car has spent time on display at the Petersen as the Durango 95. It’s now offered with an estimate of $150,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $184,800.

Subaru 360

1969 Subaru 360 Deluxe

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 360 was Subaru’s first production car. From this came the WRX, the Outback, and every other Subaru passenger vehicle. It was built from 1958 through 1971, and there were convertible and station wagon variants.

Power is from a 356cc inline-twin, and the model’s “360” name is also derived from the engine’s displacement. Horsepower at the end of production was a healthy 25, and the price when new in the U.S. was $1,297.

Subaru built 392,000 of them, about 10,000 of which were sold new in the U.S. This one was on eBay long ago, and that is perhaps where the current collection acquired it. It will now sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,240.

Murena GT

1969 Intermeccanica Murena GT

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Palm Beach, Florida | March 20-21, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What we have here is the obvious love child of a Lamborghini Espada and a Reliant Scimitar. Between 1967 and 1969, Intermeccanica (who was then still building cars in Italy before a move to the US and then Canada) built 11 of these two-door shooting brake wagons.

They were powered by 7.0-liter Ford V8s and seat four. They’re very rare and very cool. Intermeccanica built some sleek sports cars around this time before moving into the replica business, where they remain today.

This example is selling at no reserve from the collection of a disgraced yoga master who fled the U.S. to avoid prosecution. The funds go to the people that were owed money by this piece of trash. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Auburn 2020, $41,250.