Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Gstaad, Swizterland | December 29, 2021
Peter Sauber founded his motorsports company in 1970. Everything started with sports cars and prototypes, like this. Things would eventually progress to the top of the sportscar mountain before the team entered Formula One in 1993.
This C5 was campaigned by the Francy Racing Team, which was apparently some kind of back door Sauber works team. It ran a few seasons in the European Interserie Championshop. Race highlights include:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 29th, DNF (with Eugen Strahl and Peter Bernhard)
The car had a few owners over the years and was used in the Le Mans Classic in the 2000s before being restored in 2020. It appears to have a 2.0-liter BMW inline-four under the rear bodywork and is most probably turbocharged. It now carries a pre-sale estimate of $210,000-$255,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Le Castellet, France | November 19, 2021
Sports prototype race cars were kind of getting a little out of hand in the 1970s. Think about Porsche’s Can-Am killer and some of the other wild cars that came out of that era. And look at the intake on this thing. I’m pretty sure there are smaller jet engines.
Alpine was owned by Renault at this time, but this car was designed and built by Alpine (with Renault power and funding, of course). Power is from a turbocharged 2.0-liter Renault-Gordini V6 capable of 490 horsepower. Only four examples of the A442 were built, and the competition history for this one, chassis 4422, includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 22nd, DNF (with Patrick Depailler and Jacques Laffite)
1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – unknown
What? Yeah, there were two A442As, a single A442B, and an A443 entered in 1978’s race. The A442B won the race. But whether that car was chassis 4422 or 4423 has apparently been disputed. Renault says it was car 4423, but RM presents evidence that it could’ve been 4422. You can make up your own mind, but this car is the only A442 in private hands. It carries a pre-sale estimate of $4,600,000-$6,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | March 20, 2021
The Lamborghini Espada is an interesting car. They’ve never been as valuable as any other 1960s Lambo, and they feature a pretty polarizing design. It is kind of like someone smashed a Murena GT, an Iso Lele, and DeTomaso Mangusta into one four-seat, front-engine GT.
This rear-wheel-drive car is powered by a 3.9-liter V12 that was rated at 350 horsepower when new. The Espada was built in three different series between 1968 and 1978, with the Series 3 launching in 1972. Only 456 S3 cars were built, but they seem to be the ones that crop up most often (the S2 cars were actually more common).
This one has been restored and is finished in black. Some Espadas wear some pretty wild colors, so this one looks pretty restrained. The pre-sale estimate is $155,000-$175,000, which is expensive, but not Miura expensive. That said, this is not a cheap car to own. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2020
The classic Mini has been sold under a variety of marques, including Austin, Morris, Innocenti, Authi, Leyland, Rover, and of course, Mini (to say nothing of its Wolsely and Riley cousins). Mini, as a marque, began in 1969, replacing the Austin and Morris brands.
The pickup truck body style was offered between 1961 and 1983. This one is powered by a 1,275cc inline-four. I like the bed cover – as if there is sufficient cargo beneath that needs protection.
There were 58,179 pickup variants built, and this one has been restored. They aren’t nearly as common as the coupes and are rarely seen at auction. This one carries an estimate of $20,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Aste Bolaffi | Milan, Italy | October 16, 2020
The Amica was produced by Baldi Mini Auto between 1971 and 1994. BMA was based in Alfonsine, Italy, and they were acquired by another company in 1994, which is why production ended. During their course of business, they offered three different models, including two versions of the Amica.
This is the original version, which features three wheels and gullwing doors. Power is from a two-stroke 250cc parallel-twin. The doors are actually covered in canvas, and they are white on this car, making them seem invisible in Aste Bolaffi’s super zoomed-out photos on their site.
This particular car has never been registered and is essentially brand new. A few interesting notes: Baldi Mini Auto is not related to Baldi, manufacturer of the Fiat-based Frog microcar, nor are they associated with the British BMA microcar company. This car is expected to sell for between $1,000 and $3,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020
The second-generation Chevrolet Camaro was in production for an eternity: 11 years between 1970 and 1981. Even by 1976, it was kind of long-in-the-tooth. And it was weak. The most powerful ’76 Camaro had the same 165 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that this car has. It was a long way from the ZL-1 (from only seven years earlier!).
One way to spice things up would be to let an Italian coachbuilder get their hands on one. In this case, it was Pietro Frua, who debuted his take on the Camaro at the 1976 Turin Motor Show with this car. It was later shown at 1977’s New York show, where the company displaying it said they were going to offer conversions of standard Camaros to look like Frua’s. They were going to call them the “Europo Hurst.”
It is unclear if any were actually made. I think this is actually an okay-looking car, and it’s definitely something different compared to what else was on sale in 1976. It is expected to bring between $80,000-$120,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | July 14-22, 2020
Jean Rondeau was a racing driver that drove open-wheel and saloon cars before moving on to sports racing prototypes in 1976 when he joined the Inaltera team. Inaltera was a wallpaper company, an industry whose natural extension is prototype sports cars to contest Le Mans.
This example, the first of three built, was the team’s test car. It is powered by a 3.0-liter Cosworth V8. Though it did not compete at Le Mans in 1976, it would enter the race the following year. It’s competition history includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 4th (3rd in Class), with Jean Rondeau and Jean Ragnotti
After that, Inaltera pulled out of motor racing. Rondeau ventured on, building similar cars under his own name. He would later become the only person to win Le Mans with a car bearing his own name.
This car went to Switzerland after the 1977 season along with the other two Inaltera chassis. The current owner acquired all three later that year and sold the other two, keeping this one. It is now offered with an estimate between $510,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020
Robert G. Beaumont founded Sebring-Vanguard in Sebring, Florida, and set about producing a golf cart-inspired electric car that was street legal. The Bugeyed wedge was a design inspired by the times and featured a big safety bumper up front, side-hinged doors, and two seats.
Power is from an electric motor (the CitiCar retained much of the inspirational golf cart’s mechanical bits). Early cars had 2.5 horsepower, and the final run had a mighty six. In 1976, Sebring-Vanguard was the sixth-largest automotive manufacturer in the United States.
About 2,300 were produced between 1974 and 1977 when the design and production rights were sold to a company called Commuter Vehicles, who re-launched an updated version as the Comuta-Car in 1979. This one is all-original and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Eric Broadley’s Lola Cars was a long-time race car manufacturer based out of the U.K. They built open-wheel and sports cars between 1958 and 2012. In the 1970s, one of their big focuses was prototype sports cars, which included fantastic-looking racers like this one.
The T290 series was introduced in 1972 and was produced for a few years in six different variants. In all, 108 examples of the series were built, including this T296, which was made for the 1976 season. It features an aluminum monocoque and was built to accept four-cylinder engines.
This was the first of eight T296 examples produced and was purchased new by Mader Racing Components. It’s competition history includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd, DNF (with Georges Morand, Christian Blanc, and Frederic Alliot)
1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 40th, DNF (with Morand, Blanc, and Eric Vaugnat)
1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 48th, DNF (with Vaugnat, Daniel Laurent, and Jacques Boillat)
It’s competitive career ended after the 1980 season, but before the decade was out, the car was active again on the historic circuit. It featured a Ford-Cosworth engine in-period, but is now powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter BMW M12 inline-four. This car a green card into almost any historic automotive event, and it can now be yours. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | May 30, 2020
The Urraco was Lamborghini‘s foray into the word of V8-powered sportscars, an arena in which they do not currently compete. In fact, they only produced two other V8 sports cars: the Silhouette and the Jalpa.
The Urraco was produced between 1972 and 1979 and is powered by a mid-mounted V8 available in three different sizes. The P300 model was the top dog with its 247 horsepower, 3.0-liter V8. Styling was by Gandini at Bertone, the powerhouse of Italian 1970s sporty design.