Lamborghini Espada

1976 Lamborghini Espada Series III

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | March 20, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

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.

Update: Sold $138,417.

Mini Pickup

1976 Mini Pickup

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | December 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $22,172.

BMA Amica

1976 BMA Amica

Offered by Aste Bolaffi | Milan, Italy | October 16, 2020

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

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.

Update: Sold $4,920.

Camaro Europo Hurst

1976 Chevrolet Camaro Europo Hurst by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Update: Sold $31,900.

Inaltera GTP

1976 Inaltera-Cosworth GTP

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | July 14-22, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Update: Sold $440,902.

Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

1976 Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020

Photo Courtesy RM Sotheby’s

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.

Update: Sold $2,200.

Lola T296

1976 Lola T296

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

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.

Lamborghini Urraco

1976 Lamborghini Urraco P300

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | May 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Only 190 examples of the P300 were built, and the seller of this car rates it on a scale of 99/100, which seems generous for any mid-engined Italian sports car from the 1970s. It’s expected to bring between $74,000-$86,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $75,178.

The Gullwing Alfa Romeo

1976 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 GT Veloce Gullwing Coupe

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 10, 2018

Photo – Aguttes

The original 4-door Alfa Romeo Giulia went on sale in 1962 and spawned the Series 105/115 Coupes that followed in 1963. There were quite a few variants of the 2-door Giulia. This car began life as a 2000 GT Veloce, a model offered between 1971 and 1976.

Such cars were powered by a 2.0-liter Twin Cam straight-four that made 130 horsepower. They’re great-looking cars, as were most Alfa 2-doors from this era. One thing they didn’t offer from the factory though: gullwing doors.

Some enterprising German decided to build such a car, because, why not? After all, Mercedes-Benz did it 20 years before, so how hard could it be? The car was fully restored and finished in brown. The new doors look seamless – as if this was how the car was born. It’s funky. We love it. It’s a unique one-off creation that is expected to bring between $55,000-$90,000 at auction. Click here for more from Aguttes.

Update: Sold $121,467.

Alitalia Stratos

1976 Lancia Stratos Group IV

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Okay, so maybe it’s not an actual Lancia works rally car sporting the most famous of rally car liveries, but it is a racing Stratos that has competition history that just so happens to sport that very same green and white Alitalia livery.

The Stratos was the first purpose-built rally car from a major manufacturer. Yes, at one time, Lancia was a major manufacturer (they are lucky to still be around right now, as the current top brass at Fiat seems to have completely forgotten that they exist). In order to race the Stratos, Lancia had to build road-going versions, which it did – about 400 in total. It was a supercar in its day, powered by the feisty 2.4-liter V-6 from the Ferrari Dino. Depending on engine tune, it can put out between 190 and 320 horsepower.

It might not seem like a lot, but the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout of this featherweight car makes it an absolute handful. I mean, the guys you see in old videos jumping these things over little humps on mountain roads are – and there’s no graceful way to say this – batshit crazy. At its limit (and on dirt or snow no less), this has to be one of the most difficult cars to drive that has ever been built.

This three-owner car has known race history back to 1993, so its unclear if it was built as a competition car from new, or converted from one of the homologated road cars. Either way, the owner picked the right paint job. It should sell for between $370,000-$480,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.