The A112 is probably Autobianchi’s most famous model aside from the Bianchina. It was produced between 1969 and 1980 and carried styling by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The car was actually produced in eight different series, and this car is a Series VI, which was offered between 1982 and 1984.
The Abarth version of the A112 was a hot little hatch in its day. These are largely the best preserved A112s, and this particular example is powered by a 1,050cc inline-four rated at 70 horsepower.
As Aguttes points out, the end of the Series VI A112 Abarth marked the end of Carlo Abarth’s involvement with the model, which fizzled out as Autobianchi tried to move on from the A112. This Belgian example actually looks pretty nice, and it carries a pre-sale estimate of $14,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020
Grid Motor Racing of Leamington, England, went Group C racing with this Porsche-powered prototype in the early 1980s. Grid stood for Giuseppe Rise and Ian Dawson, the two men behind the project, and they built two sports racing prototypes, with this being the second.
This car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter Porsche flat-six good for 500 horsepower, and the body is made of glass-reinforced plastic. It’s hung over a monocoque featuring aluminum honeycomb panels. Though listed as a 1983, the car made its racing debut in 1984, and it’s competition history includes:
1984 24 Hours of Le Mans – 53rd, DNF (with Dudley Wood, John Cooper, and Barry Robinson)
It was dead last at Le Mans, having covered just 10 laps. Fortunately, that’s enough to grant you access to nearly any historic event you want to participate in. And it did have more successful outings later that season.
The current owner bought it in 2012 and listed it on Bring a Trailer late last year where it was bid to $200,000. Seemed like a good price, but they seem to think that can get $275,000-$325,000 at Bonhams. It will be interesting to see what the result ends up being. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The World Sportscar Championship produced some pretty awesome race cars in the 1980s, including this, the Lancia LC2. Group C was where all the big dogs played during this era. The LC2 was Lancia’s factory-backed entry between 1983 and 1986.
The fun part about this car is that it is actually Ferrari-powered. It’s got a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V8 that can be boosted to over 800 horsepower. Group C cars are not for the faint of heart. Only seven LC2s were built, six of which wore a factory Martini livery like this one. The competition history for this chassis, which was the first one built, includes:
1983 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Alessandro Nannini, Paolo Barilla, and Jean-Claude Andruet
This is the LC2 that later spent time in the Blackhawk Museum. It’s now available by Girardo & Co. with a price available upon request. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | March 7, 2020
The Bristol Type 603 was introduced in 1976 as one of the replacements for the 411. It was a pretty big step, style-wise, for little Bristol, especially considering how their designs had evolved up to that point. The third series of the 603 was called the Britannia, and an upgraded version of that car was sold simultaneously as the Brigand.
The Brigand name was lifted from a Bristol ground attack plane from the 1940s, which is pretty cool. In car form, it was powered by a turbocharged 5.9-liter Chrysler V8. That turbo, and its associated hood bulge, is what set it apart from the Britannia. Top speed was 150 mph.
By the time this car was built, Bristol had ceased publishing production figures, so the true number of Brigand examples built is unknown. It was available from 1982 through 1994, and for a long period of that time, they sold approximately three of these. Per year. So yeah, they’re rare. Still, this car is estimated at $29,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020
Ferrari’s 126 series of F1 cars were used between the 1981 and 1984 Formula One seasons. The 126 C3 was one of two cars used by the Scuderia for the 1983 season. The first was the 126 C2B, which was essentially their 1982 car with a flat bottom.
The C3 was a lighter version of the 126 C2B and used a carbon/kevlar shell. A 600-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 provided the power. The car debuted halfway through the season, and four chassis were built. The competition history for this car includes:
1983 Austrian Grand Prix – 2nd (with Rene Arnoux)
1983 Dutch Grand Prix – 1st (with Arnoux)
The car fell back into reserve car status and was sold at the end of the season to the French Ferrari importer. But this car helped Ferrari win the constructor’s title for the 1983 season. It should now bring between $666,600-$1,111,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019
Up until sometime in the 1990s, car companies would produce all sorts of body style variations of their cars. This was especially popular in Europe, where sedans could also be had in wagon, van, and even pickup forms. They would all wear the same model nameplate.
The Morris Ital was only built by British Leyland between 1980 and 1984. It was available as… well, a sedan, wagon, van, and pickup. This example is powered by a 1.3-liter inline-four good for 61 horsepower.
But what draws us to this example is the sheer rarity of it. The Ital was the final model to wear the Morris badge and only 37 are still registered in Britain, with another 145 or so extant but not roadworthy. Only six of that combined number are said to be pickups. And this one looks great. It should sell for between $3,800-$5,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Brightwells.
Lancia, though a shell of its former self, has produced some cool cars over the years. Perhaps none more so than the 037 (yes, I include the Stratos in that assessment). The car was essentially a purpose-built rally car meant to dominate Group B – but the company had to build road cars in order to satisfy the FIA’s homologation requirement.
So Lancia built 207 of the road cars. Requirement satisfied. And then they dominated Group B, winning the 1983 WRC constructor’s title. It also won three consecutive European Rally Championships (’83-’85). The 037 holds the distinction of being the last rear-wheel-drive car to win the World Rally Championship.
Power is provided by a mid-mounted, supercharged 2.1-liter inline-four that makes 325 horsepower. This car has such a great, hunkered-down look. And check out photos from the rear. You can almost hear it barking. A competition car from birth, the race history for this chassis includes:
1983 Targa Florio – 2nd (with Carlo Capone)
1983 Rally Sanremo – DNF (with Andrea Zanussi)
1984 Rally Sanremo – 4th (with Fabrizio Tabaton)
This car competed in WRC events (the last two above), as well as other rounds of the European Rally Championship. It competed with multiple different teams and wore a few different racing liveries over the years. The Olio Fiat livery it wears today has been there since 1984. Oh, and this car is currently road registered in Monaco, so there’s that added bit of insanity.
A note on these cars… it would appear that Girardo & Co. is the world expert in the Lancia 037. A quick browse of their “sold” history shows three (!) 037 rally cars and four road cars. I think the only people to have sold more 037s was Lancia themselves. So I guess you can’t go wrong here. You can check out more on this car here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019
This is the first car we’ve ever featured that was built by a Portuguese company. Specifically, the Sado 550 was built by Entreposto Comercial SA, a company that specialized in trailers and campers.
Only about 500 were built between 1982 and 1984. They are powered by a 527cc two-cylinder engine from Daihatsu that makes 28 horsepower. The engine is mounted up front and appears to drive the rear wheels through a four-speed transmission.
Not many of these remain, although they can still occasionally be spotted in Portugal. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM’s sale.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 22, 2018
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
There is more than one way to skin a cat, which is a disturbing send-your-child-to-a-psychologist-because-they-might-be-a-sociopath sort of way to say there are multiple ways to solve a problem. And the problem Rinspeed set out to solve in the early 80s was this: Porsche didn’t sell a Turbo Cabriolet (they wouldn’t until 1986). Also, it didn’t have enough side strakes.
So what do you think they did? A) take a Turbo and cut the roof off or B) take a Cabriolet and shove a turbo engine in the back of it? Sorry ASC fans, the answer is B. Other modifications included a 928-style front and rear end and, of course, side strakes (which would only magnify in intensity as the decade wore on).
The 930 Turbo engine – a 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six – is largely unmodified so it still puts out about 296 horsepower. The chassis was reinforced to handle this uptick in power. And about the R39 name: it was originally “939” but Porsche owned that for some reason, so they lopped off the first 9 and added an R for Rinspeed. 939 was decided upon because 11 + 28 = 39 (get it? like 911 + 928 = 939).
Anyway, these are super rare examples of 80s decadence and questionable taste. And I love it. It should bring between $90,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018
1997 Shelby Aurora V-8 Can-Am
Photo – Bonhams
The Shelby Can-Am was a racing series that used purpose-built race cars from Carroll Shelby. All cars were identical and powered by 255 horsepower V-6 engines. The series – which was open to amateurs – ran from 1991 through 1996 in the U.S.
Originally, Shelby wanted to offer a bigger, badder version of the car. He only built one prototype – and this is it. It’s powered by the then-popular 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V-8. It was tuned to make 500 horsepower and was the same engine used in the Series 1 sports car. This is the only example built and it ran some test laps at Willow Springs but otherwise has been sitting in Ol’ Shel’s personal collection since. This would be a fun track day toy for someone and it should cost them between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $100,800.
1983 Dodge Shelby Ram Prototype
Photo – Bonhams
The first generation of the Dodge Ram was produced from 1981 through 1993. The beginning of production coincided time-wise with Chrysler’s relationship with Carroll Shelby. You might think it’s weird to have Shelby’s name on a truck, but hey, he built a Dakota and a Durango.
This one-off Ram was partly a styling exercise (to mimic the styling of the recently introduced Shelby Charger). But because Shelby couldn’t help himself, the motor was spruced up as well: it’s a 300 horsepower, 5.9-liter V-8. It’s a pretty decked out truck all around. This is coming from Carroll’s personal collection where he maintained this 11,000 mile truck since new. It should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.