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.

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.

Bianco Coupe

1979 Bianco S Coupe

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 2, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Here’s another Volkswagen-based car from Brazil. The Bianco was designed by Ottorino Bianco (who designed Formula 3 cars first). It debuted at the 1976 São Paolo Motor Show but would only last through 1979 when the company closed.

It’s powered by a rear-mounted 1.6-liter Volkswagen flat-four. The body is plastic and fiberglass. It certainly looks like a kit car but they were actually built at a factory – by hand. About 20 per month were churned out.

If you’ve never seen one these don’t worry – most people haven’t. This car comes out of a Brazilian collection and has to be one of very few in the U.S. It should bring between $10,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,750.

International Scout II

1979 International Scout II Rallye

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 23, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Jeeps kind of had the market cornered with off-road utility vehicles after the war until International Harvester threw their hat into the ring in 1960 with the Scout. The original Scout model was the Scout 80 and there would be numerous other versions produced until the model range went away after 1980, which makes this Scout II a very late example.

The Scout II was a four-wheel drive SUV produced between 1971 and 1980. They were all two-doors and could be had as a wagon or pickup. These were the days when SUVs were somewhat crude and entirely functional – none of that front-wheel drive Honda CRV cute-ute business we have today.

The catalog description is bit vague here, saying that it as a V-8, but it doesn’t specify if it is a 4.4-liter or 5.0-liter. It does have the Rallye package and the hardtop is removable. These are really interesting, cool trucks and the forefathers of the modern SUV. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Mecum’s lineup.

Update: Sold $14,750.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Turbodelta

1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV Turbodelta Coupe

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2014

1979 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Turbodelta Coupe

This Alfetta GTV is a limited-edition model from 1979 called the “Turbodelta” which was developed by Autodelta, Alfa’s motorsport division. It is a homologation special so Alfa could compete in Group 4 Rally.

It starts with an Alfetta GTV. The engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter straight-four tuned to make 150 horsepower. Top speed was around 130 mph (I’m noticing a pattern among these cars). This is an all-original, low-miles example with known history.

Only 400 examples of the Turbodelta were built. This should sell for between $35,000-$38,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $49,867