Nissan Pao

1989 Nissan Pao

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 17-18, 2017

Photo – Mecum

I just asked someone in the room when they thought this car was built and their answer was “1969.” Something funky was going on in Japan in the 1980s (and let’s face it, every year before and after that, too). Mazda and Toyota were building strange things, but Nissan was taking the cake.

Their “Pike” series of cars was a line of four small cars with far-out designs. The Pao was the second “Pike” car introduced and it was only sold during the 1989 through 1991 model years. It is powered by a 1.0-liter straight-four making 51 horsepower that could regularly get over 50 mpg.

These cars were only ever sold in Japan and could be had with a cloth sunroof. Their retro styling was, strangely, ahead of its time. In just 1.5 years of production, Nissan moved 51,657 cars – which they managed to sell all of in just three months. This 65,000 mile example is a rare bird in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,500.

Middlebridge Scimitar

1989 Middlebridge Scimitar

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 23, 2016

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

We are very excited to be able to feature this car. It might not be especially old or exotic, but it’s very rare and we would be able to tell what it was if we saw it at a car show. The Reliant Motor Company sold its first vehicle in 1935 and cars like the three-wheeled Robin have become quite famous over time. They offered a two-door car called the Scimitar in four different series between 1964 and 1986. The last Reliant cars were sold in 2001.

When the Scimitar went out of production, a company based in Nottingham called Middlebridge Scimitar Ltd. bought the production rights to the Reliant Scimitar GTE and GTC. They managed to produce only 77 of them between 1988 and 1990.

This car is powered by a 2.9-liter Ford V6 and it’s had two owners. It’s covered 48,000 miles and does run and drive, but could use some cosmetic work to make it truly show worthy. It is being offered at no reserve and is rarer than any of the Reliant-produced Scimitars. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $6,218.

190 Evo I

1989 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evo I

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | November 28, 2015

Photo - Oldtimer Galerie

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Sports sedans don’t get much cooler than this. This was one of the first really serious performance sedans. And it remains, to this day, one of the best looking. The Mercedes-Benz 190 series was introduced in 1983 and lasted through 1993. There were a couple of different variations of the hot 190, with this being one of the best.

For starters, you can buy a 190 Cosworth for under $10,000. To rival the BMW M3 Evolution, Mercedes introduced the 190 E Evolution in 1989. It’s basically a homologation special for them to take the 190 DTM racing. There were two Evos, with the Evo II being even more extreme. The Evo I uses a tuned version of the 2.5-16 Cosworth’s engine. It’s a 2.5-liter straight-four making 195 horsepower.

Built in 1989 only, there were only 502 Evo I cars built. This one has had three owners and is “in need of a tune up.” It should bring between $36,000-$42,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this auction.

Ferrari Testa d’Oro

1989 Ferrari Testa d’Oro by Colani

For sale at Purosangue Maranello | Maranello, Italy

Photo - Maranello Purosangue

Photo – Purosangue Maranello

Um. I bet you’ve never seen one of these driving down the expressway. One, because there is only one of them and two, because it looks pretty crazy, doesn’t it? Would you believe it if I told you that this used to be a Ferrari Testarossa?

That is, it was based on a Testarossa. It has a modified version of the base engine, in this case it’s a 5.0-liter twin-turbo flat-12 making 739 horsepower. The insane streamlined body was designed by industrial designer Luigi Colani. Look how much glass there is. It looks like a life-size Hot Wheels car.

It had one purpose: break a land speed record for its class (cars with catalytic converters) at Bonneville. And it did, reaching 218 mph on the Salt Flats. This car has shown up here and there over the years and is currently for sale in Italy. Click here for more info.

Minardi M189

1989 Minardi M189

For sale at Purosangue Maranello | Maranello, Italy

Photo - Purosangue Maranello

Photo – Purosangue Maranello

Minardi, the great underdog of Formula One, was founded in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi. In 2005 it became Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull “junior” team. Minardi never won a race as a team but they did score a handful of points.

The M189 was the car for the 1989 season and this was the personal ride of Pierluigi Martini, the most successful driver Minardi ever had. In period, it was powered by a 3.5-liter Cosworth V-8, although the engine is no longer with this car.

This is chassis #001 and Martini had a string of DNFs to start the season, although he did manage two top fives later on. It is unknown whether it was in this car or not. At any rate, this roller is for sale in Italy if you’re interested. Click here for more info.

Four F1 Racers

Four F1 Racers


1983 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1E

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Osella is an Italian racing team whose roots go back to founder Vincenzo Osella racing Abarth cars in Italian hillclimbs in the 1960s. He began building cars under his own name in 1974 and the first Osella car (which was actually an F2 racer) was entered in Formula One in 1980. A full factory effort would also be undertaken that season.

In 1983, Osella featured factory Alfa Romeo race engines. This one’s a 3.0-liter V-12 and this car was raced by Piercarlo Ghinzani. It’s only race finish was 11th at the 1983 Dutch Grand Prix. It has been owned by Ghinzani since and has been completely restored and is more or less ready to go. It should sell for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $126,360.


1985 Toleman TG185

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Toleman Motorsport was a racing team from the U.K. founded by Ted Toleman and Alex Hawkridge in 1977. They moved up into F1 for 1981 and would actually be the team that Ayrton Senna got his start with. The TG185 was the team’s car for 1985 – their final season before selling out to team sponsor Benetton.

It was powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged Hart straight-four making 800 horsepower. This car was driven by Piercarlo Ghinzani and it retired from every race it started. The unreliable Hart engine is no longer around, but this roller could house a Cosworth V8 pretty easily. It should sell for between $55,000-$70,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $48,266.


1986 Osella-Alfa Romeo FA1G

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 23, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Here’s another Osella-Alfa Romeo (and if anyone thinks this might not be a G model, you could be correct… leave a message below if I’m wrong). Except this one is from the Turbo Era and it looks a little more traditional. The engine is still an Alfa Romeo, but instead of a V-12, it has a 1.5-liter straight-four that’s been turbocharged.

This car was raced by Piercarlo Ghinzani all season and it’s only finish was 11th place at the 1986 Austrian Grand Prix (which was the best finish for the team that season). He has owned this car since and the engine has been rebuilt by Alfa Romeo and has less than 200km on it since completion. It should sell for between $95,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $70,200.


1989 Minardi M189

For sale at Purosangue Maranello | Maranello, Italy

Photo - Purosangue Maranello

Photo – Purosangue Maranello

Minardi, the great underdog of Formula One, was founded in 1979 by Giancarlo Minardi. In 2005 it became Scuderia Toro Rosso, the Red Bull “junior” team. Minardi never won a race as a team but they did score a handful of points.

The M189 was the car for the 1989 season and this was the personal ride of Pierluigi Martini, the most successful driver Minardi ever had. In period, it was powered by a 3.5-liter Cosworth V-8, although the engine is no longer with this car.

This is chassis #001 and Martini had a string of DNFs to start the season, although he did manage two top fives later on. It is unknown whether it was in this car or not. At any rate, this roller is for sale in Italy if you’re interested. Click here for more info.

Chrysler Shelbys

Chrysler Shelbys

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 27, 2015


 1989 Shelby CSX Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Shelby CSX was built between 1987 and 1989 and was based on the Dodge Shadow. Available as a two or four-door hatchback, they were all powered by a 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower. It offered serious performance for only $13,495. This car is essentially brand new – it still has the plastic on the seats. Only 500 were built and this has to be the nicest one around. It is expected to bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,600.


1986 Shelby Omni GLHS Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This might be the most-famous car that Carroll Shelby’s name was put on during his collaboration with Chrysler in the 1980s. The Dodge Omni was a subcompact car that has essentially disappeared from America’s roads. There was the Dodge Omni GLH (“Goes Like Hell”) which was a Shelby special sold by Dodge. But then there was this, the GLHS (“Goes Like Hell S’more”). This car uses a turbocharged 2.2-liter straight-four making 175 horsepower. That’s a lot as the base Corvette from 1986 only made 230. Only 500 of these were built and this one could bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $15,400.


1983 Dodge Shelby Charger Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the first car that Shelby got his hands on at Chrysler. They went on sale in 1983 and lasted through the 1987 model year. The engine is a 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower (the Shelby standard while at Chrysler). This model was much more common than some of the other Chrysler Shelbys, with 8,251 built in 1983 alone. Still, it should bring between $12,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $11,000.


1987 Shelby Lancer Hatchback

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the third product of the Chrysler/Shelby collaboration. The 1987 Shelby Lancer was actually built by Shelby. The 1988 and 1989 cars were built by Dodge. Shelby only built 800 in 1987 – half came with an automatic and the other half had a 5-speed manual (this car included). All were powered by the ubiquitous 2.2-liter turbocharged straight-four making 175 horsepower. The Dodge-built cars are actually rarer than the Shelby-assembled ones, but this is more collectible. It could bring between $20,000-$30,000 as it is essentially brand new. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $16,500.


1989 Shelby Dakota

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This was the only rear-wheel-drive Chrysler product that Shelby put his name on. They were built in 1989 only and this one is fresh – only 23 miles on the odometer. Luckily, it had something other than the 2.2-liter turbo unit used on the other cars. This truck has a 5.2-liter V-8 making… the same 175 horsepower that the little turbo four makes. In all, 1,475 were built, 995 of those were this red you see here (the rest were white). They cost $15,813 when new and this one should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale lineup.

Update: Sold $24,200.

Aryathis Concept

1989 Aryathis

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 15, 2015

Photo - Osenat

Photo – Osenat

Yes, that is the only photo supplied in the catalog that shows the entire car. Does this car look vaguely familiar? Like it might have once been something but it was reworked significantly and now it only barely resembles its IROC past?

That’s right, this is a redone Camaro. It’s a one-off concept car built by Automobiles High-Tech of Langres, France. They designed this car in 1994 and displayed it at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show. It’s based on an ’89 Camaro, hence the year listed above.

It’s powered by a 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The company planned to build 19 more examples but this ended up being the only one constructed. On the plus side, this is a fully functional car and has a nice, 1990s luxury interior. You can read more here and see more from Osenat here.

Update: Not sold.

MCA Centenaire

1989 MCA Centenaire

Offered by Coys | Monaco | May 9, 2014

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

MCA stands for Monte Carlo Automobile and the cars are referred to as Monte Carlos or as MCAs. I usually go with the shortened version. The company is the only automobile manufacturer ever based in Monaco (although the cars were actually constructed in Italy). It was founded by Fulvio Ballabio, a former race car driver, in 1983. The Centenaire was their first car.

This was the first production car with a carbon fiber chassis and body. The engine is a twin-turbo 5.2-liter Lamborghini V-12 making 720 horsepower. Not all of them had the turbos, however. At least one of these even saw track time.

In all, only five were built. This is likely #2 and was Ballabio’s personal car before he sold it to Lamborghini. The House of the Bull sold it back to Monte Carlo Automobile, who is offering it for sale to the public for what appears to be the first time. Production on these cars started in 1989 and was done by 1992.

Supercar manufacturers come and go pretty rapidly, but Monte Carlo Automobile is still around (check back next week for more). This is one of those mythological super cars that everyone has heard about online but no one has actually ever seen in person. Well here is your chance to own one. Don’t miss it. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Update: Sold $211,200.

Aston Martin AMR1

1989 Aston Martin AMR1

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Strangely, Aston Martin entered the LMP arena in 2011 with a car called the AMR-One. Not to be confused with this, the 1989 AMR1. Apparently, the folks at Aston Martin only write things down and never say them out loud.

This is a Group C prototype from Aston Martin that went up against the likes of Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche during the heyday of Group C racing. This is a ground effects car that generates massive amounts of downforce. The engine is a Callaway-massaged 6.0-liter Aston Martin V-8 making 723 horsepower. The racing history of this car includes:

  • 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship Brands Hatch – 4th (with David Leslie and Brian Redman)
  • 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship Nurburgring – 8th (with Leslie and Redman)
  • 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship Donington – 6th (with Leslie and Michael Roe)
  • 1989 World Sports Prototype Championship Spa – 28th, DNF (with Leslie and Roe)

And that was it for this car. Only four of these prototype racers were built and this is considered the best, most-original example around. It was sold from Aston Martin directly to the current owner in 2001. It has been regularly exercised on track at historic events, setting the fastest race lap at the 2013 Monterey Historics.

It comes with extensive spares and should sell for between $975,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Auctions.

Update: Not Sold, high bid of $825,660.