Cicostar Matic 50

1979 Cicostar Matic 50

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I credited Bonhams on the above photo, but I doubt they want to be associated with such terrible photography. This little blue blob was produced by Cico S.A. of France to take advantage of France’s sans permis laws enacted in the 1970s in response to the fuel crisis.

Basically, they were small, sub-50cc cars that could be driven without registration or a license. They had to hold two people and not have a top speed in excess of 45 kph. You just had to be 14 in order to drive it on the road.

These go by different names. Bonhams lists this as a “Matic 50” and elsewhere you’ll find it called an LCS. Power is from a 49.9cc (just under the law) two-stroke single from Motobecane that makes 3.2 horsepower. They were produced between 1971 and 1983, and the top speed was right at the legal max: just under 28 mph. This one is estimated to sell for between $1,300-$3,900, and if the reserve is even the lower end of that estimate, it will be a stretch for this car to sell. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,077.

Statesman DeVille

1979 Statesman DeVille Sedan

Offered by Shannons | Online | August 19-26, 2020

Photo – Shannons (obviously)

Statesman was actually a standalone brand offered by General Motors in Australia. They were available from 1971 through 1984 and were sold through Holden dealerships. Statesmans (Statesmen?) were big cars that were better appointed than their Holden counterparts.

This is an HZ Statesman, which is the fourth generation. It was introduced in 1977 and was replaced in 1980. Two models were offered during this generation: DeVille and the Caprice. The car is powered by a 5.0-liter V8.

Equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, a crushed velour interior, and a Radial Tuned Suspension. Statesmans are rarely seen outside of Australia, making this a great chance to grab one and export it. This car is expected to bring between $13,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $21,486.

Lil Red Express

1979 Dodge Lil Red Express

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The D-Series Dodge pickup was built in three generations from 1960 through 1980 before being replaced by the Ram (although some Rams still used the “D” nomenclature through the early 1990s). The Lil Red Express was an option package on the D150 Adventurer pickup that was available in 1978 and 1979.

Each Lil Red Express came equipped with dual vertical stack exhaust pipes, wood bed trim, and an 8-track cassette of C.W. McCall’s #1 hit “Convoy.” Okay, I made that last part up, but you can obviously tell this was a pickup for serious over-the-road trucker cosplayers. “Lil Red Express” also doubles as a great name for a ginger rapper (you’re welcome).

This truck is powered by a 360ci/5.9-liter V8 that made 180 horsepower new. Dodge offered a number of special option package (or “lifestyle”) pickups during this era, but this is the most famous. Those exhaust stacks were illegal in some states, so you couldn’t get this truck everywhere. Only 2,188 were built in 1978, and 1979 saw 5,118 takers. Check out more about this truck here, and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $24,000.

Panther Lima

1979 Panther Lima

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | Date TBD…

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Robert Jankel’s Panther Westwinds had not only a weird name but also a weird catalog of cars. The Lima was a retro-styled sports car introduced in 1976 and eventually replaced by the Kallista in 1982.

The Lima was based on the Vauxhall Viva and Magnum. It featured a fiberglass body reminiscent of a Morgan and is powered by a 2.3-liter Vauxhall inline-four. They weren’t terribly quick or powerful, but a turbocharged version went on sale in 1979.

In all, 897 examples were produced. This bumblebee-liveried RHD example will sell at no reserve whenever this auction ends up taking place. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,329.

Flipper

1979 SEAB Flipper I

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | October 19, 2019

Photo – Osenat

The Flipper was built by SEAB (Societe d’Exploitation et d’Application des Brevet) between 1978 and 1984. The company gained exposure to building plastic-bodied cars by doing just that for the Citroen Mehari. Also, gotta love any company whose official name includes the word “exploitation.”

The Flipper was built as two different models (a third never entered production), all of which were “sans permis” – meaning they could be driven without a license. That is, they are small enough not to qualify as cars in France. Power is from a 47cc Sachs single-cylinder engine. Despite its looks, it is not amphibious.

And it was only available in beige or brown. The coolest part about it is that it doesn’t have a reverse gear. Instead, it has a front axle that pivots all the way around. So to go backward, just keep turning the steering wheel until you start going backward. The Flipper II went about things more traditionally. It’s kind of weird. Kind of French. Kind of cool. This “survivor-level” car should bring between $880-$1,700. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Monteverdi Sahara

1979 Monteverdi Sahara

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | October 19, 2019

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Peter Monteverdi’s Swiss car company produced some wild supercars, some Chrysler-based sedans, and some luxury off-roaders based on the very humble International Scout. Two such SUVs were produced: the Safari and the Sahara. Production began in 1977 and lasted through 1982, when IHC killed off the Scout.

Luxury SUVs were fairly rare in the late 1970s, and the Swiss market was pretty much limited to the Range Rover. Which is why Monteverdi pounced on the opportunity to offer a competitor. The Safari was bodied by Fissore, whereas the cheaper Sahara pretty much just used the Scout’s bodywork as-is.

This restored example is powered by a 5.7-liter IHC V8 good for 165 horsepower. The Sahara didn’t sell as well as the Safari, with as few as 30 examples having been built. This one is expected to bring between $30,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bristol 412

1979 Bristol 412 Series 2

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | September 4, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Another Bristol! The 412 was the successor to the 411, and we’ve featured four of those so far. This model was produced in two series between 1975 and 1981. Production figures were never released to the public, but its thought about 80 were produced before Bristol slightly revised the 412 and renamed it the Beaufighter.

The 412 was built side-by-side with the 603, and the cars were very similar. This car uses a 5.9-liter Chrysler V8 good for 170 horsepower. Top speed was 140 mph. The body of this Bristol was actually designed by Zagato, and it’s a targa.

Remarkably, for a handbuilt car this rare, the pre-sale estimate is only $18,000-$22,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Sold $17,258.

Alpine A310

1979 Alpine A310 V6

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | June 17, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

While Alpine was affiliated with Renault for most of their existence, they weren’t taken over by the company until 1973, which makes the A310 the final product introduced by an independent Alpine.

The cars used a tubular steel chassis with fiberglass bodywork and a rear-mounted engine, and the early models were all four-cylinder cars. In 1976, an update was released which saw the introduction of a 2.7-liter V6 good for 148 horsepower. Top speed was 137 mph.

This car comes from the A310’s best sales year: 1979, when 1,381 of these were sold. In all, 9,276 V6-powered A310s were built, with an additional 2,340 four-cylinder models. This car is selling at no reserve with a pre-sale estimate of $39,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Comuta-Car

1979 Comuta-Car

Offered by Mecum | Chicago, Illinois | October 25-27, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar was an electric microcar built between 1974 and 1977. This tiny wedged-shaped, bug-eyed thing was available in some very 1970s colors. About 2,300 were built. Hilariously, the company billed themselves as America’s sixth-largest automobile manufacturer, which was technically true.

The design was purchased by Commuter Vehicles Inc. in 1979. This new company built pretty much the same car, but badged as the Comuta-Car, with a Comuta-Van variant available as well (but mostly for the Postal Service). Production lasted through 1982 and some kits may have been sold after that. By then, 2,144 Comuta-Cars had been built.

This example is fitted with a 12 horsepower electric motor that runs on four batteries. It has a terrifying 50-mph speedometer and a plastic body. It will sell at no reserve, so go get it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bitter CD

1979 Bitter CD

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Erich Bitter’s German car company built its first car in 1973 and it was this, the CD. Since then, they’ve only built two other models and we featured one of them. The CD was a hatchback sports car built between 1973 and 1979. The car stems from an Opel concept car, the Coupe Diplomat, that was shown at the 1969 Frankfurt Auto Show. Opel didn’t put the car into production, but they encouraged race car driver Erich Bitter to build it instead.

As Opel was owned by General Motors in 1973, the CD is powered by a 5.4-liter Chevrolet V-8 making 227 horsepower. The original body was by Frua, but it sported some updates from Bitter when it was shown at the ’73 Frankfurt Motor Show. The design was again a success and Bitter took enough orders to start production.

Unfortunately, the fuel crisis of the 1970s ruined any plans this car had for success. In seven years of production, only 395 were built (against a target of 200 per year). This is one of 37 built in 1979 and it was used by Erich Bitter himself before he put it in his personal museum. The first real owner acquired it in 1990 and it shows just 42,000 miles. It should bring between $74,000-$86,000 despite the fact that the photo above makes it look as if this car is emerging from the sea. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $84,228.