Venturi Coupe 200

1988 Venturi Coupe 200

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 20, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Venturi cars are so cool! I hope you like them, because there were quite a different number of models in the early days and I plan to feature each one of them as they come up for sale around Europe. These cars went on sale in 1987 and they were originally called the MVS Venturi before being renamed the Venturi Coupe.

The auction catalog lists this one as an MVS Venturi but I can’t find anywhere that lists the year the name switched over. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter V-6 making 200 horsepower. The car was luxurious and sporty for its day.

The Coupe 200 was replaced after the 1990 model year. Only 194 were built – 104 of those were from 1988 alone. This was the most common of all Venturi automobiles, so that should say something about their rarity. This nearly 24,000 mile car should bring between $15,500-$19,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Historics’ May catalog.

Update: Sold $20,376.

Lamborghini Jalpa

1988 Lamborghini Jalpa

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 1, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Lamborghini went bankrupt in 1978 and was acquired by the Mimran brothers in 1980. They updated the Countach, killed off the Urraco and the Silhouette, and introduced the Jalpa (and later the LM002) before selling the brand to Chrysler in 1988.

The Jalpa was based on the earlier Silhouette and was supposed to be Lambo’s “entry-level” model. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-8 making 255 horsepower. It was easier to drive than the full-on exotic Countach and the styling, which is by Bertone, is much more restrained. The V-8 was good for a six second sprint to 60 and top speed was 145 mph. All Jalpas were Targas.

This model was introduced in 1981 and 410 were produced before Chrysler killed it off in 1988. They’re around, but they aren’t plentiful – and they’re very 1980s (in a good way). This one should bring between $85,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Porsche’s First Supercar

1988 Porsche 959 Komfort

Offered by RM Auctions | Milan, Italy | November 25-27, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Porsche has been building sports cars since the tail end of the 1940s. In there, they’ve sprinkled in a variety of race cars and even an off-roader. But it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that they decided they’d get into the supercar game, which in fairness to Porsche, was really just beginning to kick off in earnest.

The 959 went on sale for the 1986 model year and was sold through 1988 (though a handful were built in 1992 and 1993 as well). It was a technological wonder upon it’s introduction. Conceived to help Porsche crush it in Group B rallying, the 959 has a traditional-for-Porsche rear-engined layout but all four wheels are powered via a ground-breaking torque-distributing 4WD system. The engine is a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making a serious 450 horsepower.

Sixty mph was achieved in less than four seconds (remember, this was the 1980s) and the top end was 195 mph. The body was made of a complex aluminium and Kevlar mix to keep weight at a trim 3,200 pounds. This car is being offered at a huge 850-lot single-collection liquidation sale and it is one of the higher-mileage 959s you can probably find, having covered nearly 30,000 km in its life. But hey, at least someone was using it. Only 329 959s of this type were built and you can find more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,078,560.

Birchall McCoy

1988 Birchall McCoy

Offered by H&H Classics | Donington Park, U.K. | February 24, 2016

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Well, have you seen one of these? The Birchall McCoy was built by Birchall Automotive Ltd. They specialized in both Aston Martin restoration and service as well as kit cars – hand in hand, right? The BMC Mini was a ripe kit car platform – there were hundreds of kit cars based around the original Mini.

This car is actually related to the Clan Crusader as it was styled by the same person. But while the Crusader was based on the rear-engined Hillman Imp, the McCoy was based on the front-engined Mini. That engine is a 1.1-liter straight-four.

Birchall got out of the car business in 1990 and sold the design and company to someone else who renamed it. In all (kit and turn-key form), about 100 McCoy coupes were built. This is a one-owner car with about 32,000 miles on it. If you want something unusual, look no further. And for $2,600-$3,100 why not? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,222.

Jaguar XJR-9

1988 Jaguar XJR-9

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 14, 2015

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

We’ve featured other members of Jaguar’s legendary XJR race car line in previous posts. Here is yet another. It’s an XJR-9, the fifth in the line of awesome race cars that Jag produced in the late 1980s through the early 1990s. The XJR-9 was the first of the series that was intended for both the World Sportscar Championship (Group C) as well as IMSA GTP.

This car is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 making an estimated 670 horsepower. This particular chassis is a successful one with its competition history including:

  • 1988 24 Hours of Daytona – 26th (with Jan Lammers, Danny Sullivan, and Davy Jones)
  • 1988 12 Hours of Sebring – 7th (with Lammers, Sullivan, Jones, and John Neilson)
  • 1989 24 Hours of Daytona – 2nd (with Lammers, Neilson, Price Cobb, and Andy Wallace)
  • 1989 12 Hours of Sebring – 2nd (with Neilson and Cobb)
  • 1990 24 Hours of Daytona – 1st (with Jones, Lammers, and Wallace)
  • 1990 12 Hours of Sebring – 3rd (with Jones, Lammers, and Wallace)

So there you have it – this is the winner of the 1990 24 Hours of Daytona. It was a successful Tom Walkinshaw Racing team car for its entire racing life. It remained in the TWR museum until 2003 and was restored in 2006. The Castrol livery is a really good racing livery. Read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $2,145,000.

Callaway Sledgehammer

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 24, 2013

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer

Super cars aren’t always high-end exotics. In the late 1980s, super cars as we know them began springing up rather rapidly. The Porsche 959, the Ferrari F40 – and the Lamborghini Diablo and Jaguar XJ220 (just to name a few) were right around the corner. What do all of those cars have in common? They are slower than this Corvette.

Reeves Callaway drove a Twin Turbo Corvette to 231 mph. He wanted to take it to 250. So he hired Paul Deutschman to design a stable, aerodynamic body kit for the C4 Corvette. Then they inserted a handbuilt Callaway 5.7-liter V-8 and strapped two turbochargers on for a total of 898 horsepower.

Legendary Corvetter John Lingenfelter drove the car to a record 254 mph. The car was entirely street legal and still had power windows, locks and A/C (but it did have a roll cage added). It remained the fastest street-legal car until 1999. Callaway wanted a world-beater – so he built it.

This remains the only Sledgehammer Corvette ever built and it is a very famous car. It was the fastest Corvette built and it was constructed in 1988. This should bring an interesting amount of money. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum here.

Update: Not Sold, High bid of $600,000.

Corvette Challenge

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 25, 2014

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

The Corvette Challenge was a one-make racing series that lasted two seasons – 1988 and 1989. The SCCA was the sanctioning body and some major racing stars turned out to compete, including Boris Said, Tommy Kendall, Andy Pilgrim, and Jimmy Vasser.

The cars cost $33,043 with an additional $15,000 payable to Protofab Engineering for race prepping. The cars were street-legal and all spec’d the same (Z51 performance handling package, roll cage, fire suppression system, etc.). The engine was a stock 250 horsepower 5.7-liter V-8.

In total, 56 Challenge cars were built for 1988 and only 46 of them ever started a race. This one was the series champion, having been driven by Stuart Hayner. It won a single race (Mosport) and had a total of four podium finishes. Consistency wins championships.

The car has covered what Mecum is calling “3,892 Sunday Driven” miles – aka race distance. These are rare cars and most Corvette people know what they are when they see them. They’re interesting and come from a time when Corvette motorsport presence was kind of thin. It would be an interesting addition to any collection. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $8,500.

Ford RS200

1988 Ford RS200

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 16, 2012

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ford was a little late to the Group B Rally party in the mid-1980s. Audi and Peugeot had been dominating the series for years by the time Ford rolled in with their RS200. By the time it was introduced in 1984, it had been 20 years since Ford built a vehicle as awesome and performance-capable as the RS200 (the GT40). This car has a space frame chassis, four-wheel drive and a mid-mounted 1.8-liter turbocharged straight-four making 250 horsepower on the road and somewhere between 350 and 450 in race trim. Later, the displacement would be bumped up to 2.1-liters and horsepower would go upwards of 650!

Unfortunately for Ford, shortly after their arrival on the scene, things would go horribly wrong. At the 1986 Portuguese Rally, an RS200 would go careening into the crowd, killing three spectators. Another RS200 would crash at a later event, killing the co-driver. So after only one year of serious competition, the RS200 – and Group B Rallying in general – were finished.

However, fortune shines on the enthusiast as Group B rules dictated that the cars must be homologated for the road with construction of 200 road-going versions of whatever outlandish car the manufacturers decided to race. Sources differ on how many actually were sold as street models but it seems to range from 140 to 220. It is known that 24 of these cars were upgraded to “Evo” specs, which are a bit more powerful (580 horsepower, and 0-60 mph in about 3.0 seconds).

This is one of the road cars, chassis 118, and it has a few rally-inspired extras on it. When it was freshened in 2010, the engine was upgraded to 2.0-liters and 550 horsepower, closer to the Evo’s specs of 580. It only has 1,850 original miles. These are rare and awesome cars – dare I say Ford has not built a car this awesome since – the GT included. The pre-sale estimate is between $185,000-$210,000. For the complete catalog description, click here. And for more of Silverstone’s Spring Sale, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Bristol Beaufighter

1988 Bristol Beaufighter Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Harrogate, U.K. | November 16, 2011

Again, as this is a Bonhams lot, not the actual picture. This is a random Beaufighter that looks to be in better condition than the one coming up for auction, which is a sort of sea green.

Bristol is as English as English car firms come. They haven’t published production figures since the early 80s and even then it was a tick over 100 cars per year. Production as been suspended as of early 2011 – but there was a time when people were buying these cars – and that’s when they would be built.

The Beaufighter was a slightly re-styled 412, a model introduced in 1975. It featured an updated engine, in this case a turbocharged 5.9 liter Chrysler V8 making the car capable of 150 mph. The body was by Zagato, as was the 412, the main difference being the four headlights on the Beaufighter versus two headlights on the 412. Production ceased in 1993 after 11 years.

The original price of this car was £40,000 in 1988, a far cry from the pre-sale estimate of £6,000-£8,000. The fact that this car has been in storage for 10 years is not helping its value. Bristol cars are rare enough as it is, so they don’t come up for auction that often. Bonhams sold a red Beaufighter similar to the one pictured above for £12,000 back in 2009 and that car was in much better condition. Then again, there are Beaufighter for sale in private hands that are asking almost as much as their price when new. Compared to that, this car is a bargain, but who knows what sort of maintenance and repair costs lay in wait.

Check out the auction lot here. And more about the auction here.

Update: Not Sold.