Ferrari F40

1989 Ferrari F40

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 11, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The first Ferrari “supercar” was the 288 GTO. But let’s be honest, it looks like a 308 GTB. The F40 is truly the first balls-to-the-wall Ferrari supercar. And it’s about time we featured one.

Only 1,311 examples were produced between 1987 and 1992, and it was one of the final cars approved by Enzo himself, which is part of the reason it is so special. As time has gone on, these cars have become more appreciated, more expensive, and sadly, much less used.

Some of that is due to it being a not super-friendly road car. Power is from a rear/mid-mounted twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V8 rated at 471 horsepower. The Pininfarina-designed body is made of composite materials and aluminum. It’s light. Sixty arrived in about four and a half seconds, and the car topped out just shy of 200 mph at 197. Unlike many of its F-car supercar brethren, there were racing versions.

This Italian-delivery example should bring between $870,000-$1,100,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Jaguar XJR-10

1989 Jaguar XJR-10

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16-17, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’ve featured quite a few of Jaguar’s XJR prototype sportscar racers over the years, and this one fills in the nice gap we had between the XJR-9 and XJR-11. It was used by Jaguar in the IMSA GTP series between 1989 and 1991.

The design is attributed to Tom Walkinshaw and Tony Southgate, and power is provided by a 650 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. Only three examples were built, and the competition history for this chassis (389) includes:

  • 1989 IMSA Portland – 1st (with Jan Lammers and Price Cobb)
  • 1989 IMSA Del Mar – 1st (with Lammers)
  • 1990 IMSA Lime Rock – 1st (with Cobb and John Nielsen)
  • 1991 IMSA Miami – 1st (with Raul Boesel)

Jaguar won the 1989 IMSA GTP championship, and this car competed in quite a few other races with just the wins highlighted above. Tom Walkinshaw Racing (Jaguar’s partner in this endeavor) retained the car until 1999, and it has since been campaigned in historic Group C events. It has also been restored. The pre-sale estimate is $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Railton F29 Claremont

1989 Railton F29 Claremont

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Enstone, U.K. | May 11, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Noel Macklin was a British entrepreneur who founded Invicta and ultimately sold it in 1933. Looking for something to do, he borrowed the last name of Reid Railton, who was famous for designing land speed record cars, and started a new car company.

Railtons were based on American Hudsons, and Macklin ended up selling the company to Hudson in 1939. History nerds know that a war broke out that year, and Railton was essentially DOA when Hudson took over.

In the late-1980s, William Towns (who designed this beauty, as well as the Aston Martin Lagonda) decided to try and relaunch the brand. Two models – both convertibles – were introduced and were based on Jaguar XJS mechanicals. In an effort to – well, I’m not sure what the intention was – the car was re-bodied on top of the original Jaguar body. Sure, why not.

But that XJS motor is still there – a 280 horsepower 5.3-liter V12. Only one Claremont and one example of the other car (the Fairmile) were produced. You can differentiate the two because the Claremont has rear wheel skirts. The only example produced, this car should bring between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $85,846.

1989 Larrousse F1

1989 Lola-Lamborghini LC89

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | April 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Larrousse Formula One was an F1 team founded by Gerard Larrousse and Didier Calmels in 1987. Based in Paris, the team used Lola chassis through 1991 and switched to Venturi-branded chassis for 1992. Their final two seasons, 1993 and 1994, they used cars designed in-house.

This car, LC89 chassis number 03, was a Lola-built car powered by a 3.5-liter Lamborghini V-12 capable of 600 horsepower. The engine was unreliable and 1989 was a disaster for the team, failing to qualify for or finish a majority of the races that year. The race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1989 US Grand Prix – 26th, DNF (with Philippe Alliot)
  • 1989 Canadian Grand Prix – 14th (with Alliot)
  • 1989 French Grand Prix – 11th (with Eric Bernard)
  • 1989 British Grand Prix – 16th (with Bernard)
  • 1989 Hungarian Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Michele Alboreto)
  • 1989 Belgian Grand Prix – 20th, DNF (with Alboreto)
  • 1989 Italian Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with Alboreto)
  • 1989 Portuguese Grand Prix – 11th (with Alboreto)
  • 1990 US Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Aguri Suzuki)
  • 1990 Brazilian Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Suzuki)

In addition to those races, it also failed to qualify for a few races, including the 1989 Mexican, Spanish, Japanese, and Australian Grands Prix. The car has been on museum duty for quite a while and is missing and ECU and some engine internals. Otherwise, it should sell for between $180,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

1989 Rolls-Royce State Landaulette

1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit I Emporer State Landaulette by Hooper

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit was produced in four different series between 1980 and 1999. A related model, the Silver Spur was produced alongside it and was identical except for a lengthened wheelbase. Interestingly, this one-off creation is actually a Silver Spirit – the short wheelbase car – but features a lengthened chassis, thus the extremely long stance.

That extension was nearly three feet in added length. This remarkably stately creation is a one-off custom landaulette by the famed coachbuilder Hooper. It was commissioned by an Australian charity (some charity if this what they spent their money on… turns out they never finished paying for the $1 million+ build cost and Hooper took the car back). The car is right-hand-drive, and the interior looks like a place Gordon Gecko would be very comfortable hanging out.

Power is from a 6.75-liter V8, and the car has had two real owners since Hooper let it go in 2010. One of one, it is among the final coachbuilt Rolls-Royces and should command big bucks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $190,400.

Ferrari 328 Conciso

1989 Ferrari 328 Conciso Concept Car

Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 10, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

With the current Ferrari market on fire, there are only a few models that can be purchased by mere mortals. The 1986-1989 328 GTB/GTS is one of them. The 328 was an evolution of the 308, but it had a larger engine and enhanced styling. Over 6,000 were made (with over another 1,000 Turbo models also made). But, as you can see, this is no ordinary 328 GTS.

Built in 1993, this car is based on a 1989 328 GTS (which was the Targa model). The body was constructed by Bernd Michalak Design Studio of Germany and is all aluminium. It still has the same engine – a 270 horsepower, 3.2-liter V-8. Top speed is reportedly over 170 mph.

One intriguing part of this design is the fact that the car has no doors. You’re supposed to just step into the car (there isn’t a roof either – or roll bars – so you can’t do a Dukes of Hazzard-style entrance either). It does come with helmets for the driver and passenger though.

First presented at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show, it appeared the following year at the Geneva Motor Show as well. It bounced between owners on either side of the Atlantic before the current owner bought it in 1999. Major service was carried out in 2014 and it is road legal (at least in Belgium where it is currently registered).

Looking like a cousin of the Ford Indigo Concept Car of the mid-1990s, this car has covered approximately 6,000 miles since it was built. It’s obviously a one-off and is being sold without reserve (or a pre-sale estimate, though it should easily set a record for a Ferrari 328 at auction). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $138,690.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Monaco 2018, $128,811.

Sauber C9

1989 Sauber-Mercedes C9

Offered by Coys | Fontwell, U.K. | September 7, 2017

Photo – Coys

Coys has a serious race car for it’s Goodwood sale this year. The Sauber C9 was one of the preeminent Group C race cars from the late 1980s. Introduced in 1987, it was developed from the Sauber C8 race car and was much more successful than it’s predecessor.

Co-designed by Peter Sauber, the C9 is powered by a 5.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 with two turbochargers. That combination made 700 horsepower in the most basic of forms and over 900 if you cranked up the boost. The most famous C9s were those painted solid silver that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on their way to the World Endurance Championship in 1989 (and they won the Championship again in 1990). This car is the only C9 that still wears the 1988 AEG livery – it was retained by Sauber for display in his museum after the 1988 season.

I do not have access to any race records for this particular chassis (C9-A2). The current owner purchased this car from Peter Sauber in 2010 – after 20 years of museum duty. It was restored in 2015 and a fresh engine was constructed by the original engine builder. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can see more here and more from Coys here.

Update: Sold, approximately $2,377,000.

Ruf Yellowbird

1989 Ruf CTR Yellowbird

Offered by Artcurial | Monaco | July 2, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The so-called “Yellowbird” is the car that put Ruf Automobile on the map. Built from 1987, the CTR (which stood for “Group C Turbo Ruf”) was not actually based on a Porsche Turbo, but instead the 911 Carrera 3.2 of 1987.

Ruf had their way with the stock motor and by the time they were done with it, it was a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter flat-six that was seriously underrated at 469 horsepower (it was actually likely closer to 500 or more). It was a monster supercar in its day, having a higher top speed than just about anything, topping out at a whopping 213 mph, with 60 arriving in about 3.6 seconds. It outperformed everything from Ferrari and Lamborghini upon introduction and the only thing Porsche had on it was that the 959 was quicker to 60.

It’s a legendary machine that actually looks better than the 911 Turbos (930) that it sort of competed against. If you’re familiar with the Yellowbird, you’ll notice that this car doesn’t quite look right. And you’re correct. The original owner of this car ordered this CTR from Ruf and it looked like all of the other 28 Yellowbirds that Ruf built. The current owner acquired it in 1992 and wanted something that was more usable on the track.

By 1995 it had the appearance it has now, with a full roll cage, an RSR-type spoiler out back, slight exterior trim changes, and racing wheels and tires. But it is still a true, factory-built Ruf CTR – one of only 29 completed. Ruf later converted another 25 Porsche 911 Carreras to CTR specification, but those cars are still titled as Porsches (as Ruf is designated as a separate manufacturer).

This is the first one of these I can remember seeing for sale. They’re legendary, and rightfully so. This one is expected to bring between $560,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s Monaco lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Tiffany

1989 Tiffany Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 21-24, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Gather round neoclassic fans! What we have here is a Tiffany. It was built by Classic Motor Carriages Inc. of Opa-Locka, Florida. This company is best remembered (if at all) as the manufacturer of the Gazelle neoclassic/Mercedes SSK replica. The Tiffany, with its Zimmer Golden Spirit looks, was probably the nicest car they built.

The Tiffany is based on then-modern Mercury mechanicals. It’s powered by a 4.9-liter Ford V-8 and has such amenities as a power sunroof, power steering and a nice 1980s sound system. And, oh yeah, as is required in a neoclassic: it has a musical horn.

These are perfect cars if you like to drive in parades and/or are a budding fashion designer with a penchant for stealing Dalmatian puppies. CMC got hit with a big lawsuit in 1994 and they are sort of still in business under another name, but their days in the turn-key neoclassic business are long behind them. 1989 was the final year for the Tiffany and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $13,200.

V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We recently featured the closed-top Coupe version of this car. RM is also selling a Coupe – and Bonhams, who is selling the Coupe I just linked to, is also selling a Volante. It’s a good time to be in the market for the rarest Aston Martins.

The V8 Vantage Zagato was produced in limited quantities between 1986 and 1990. They’re powered by a 430 horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8. That’s a lot of power for 1989 – so much so that the hood is fitted with a “power bulge” – a term that I’ll just go ahead and leave alone for now. Try finding a faster convertible from that year. It’s not going to happen.

Or one that’s rarer. Aston only built 37 convertibles of this type and this is the only left-hand-drive example. The bright yellow paint is the best indicator that you’ve got a supercar here. Zagato’s boxy styling was great for the era but now it just screams of the era, which isn’t a bad thing as things tend to come back around. Aston ended the 80s on a high note with this car and the price reflects it. This should bring between $490,000-$600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $513,569.