Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
The Pantera was in production by De Tomaso for what seemed like a lifetime. Introduced in 1971, the cars carried wedge-shaped styling by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. Ford powerplants were standard, and the styling was updated in the 1980s to make it boxier and, well, more “80s.”
By the time 1990 rolled around, the car was extremely long in the tooth. Marcello Gandini was brought in to freshen the design up, and here is what he came up with. The car also received a partial chassis redesign and a new suspension setup. The old Ford 351 was replaced by a 302ci, 5.0-liter V8.
Only 41 were built – 38 of which were sold to the public – before De Tomaso shifted gears and moved on to the Guara after 1992. I’ve never seen one of these offered for public sale – not in the last 10 years anyway. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | June 17, 2019
By the late-1980s, BMW wasn’t producing a two-door sports car. Sure, they had the M3 but that was an extension of the 3-Series lineup, and not its own thing. Then in 1989, the Z1 was introduced. It featured vertically-sliding doors that disappear into the door sills – a kind of bizarre feature that you aren’t really likely to find on any other cars.
Power is from a 2.5-liter inline-six making 168 horsepower. Although designed in the 1980s, the car appears more modern, like something to come out of the wild 90s. And since then, the design has held up well. While production only lasted through 1991, the Z1 was eventually succeeded by the Z3 in 1996.
Only 8,000 of these were made, and they were not sold new in the US. In fact, they didn’t really start appearing over here until the 25-year rule ran its course. This car, selling at no reserve, is expected to fetch between $45,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 6, 2019
The Jaguar XJ-S debuted in 1976. It was built in three series through 1996, and while that is only 20 years, it was light years in terms of car design based on what the common car looked like in the mid-1970s versus the mid-1990s. And the Jag evolved in its styling, but you can totally tell the first car was closely related to the last.
This car, however, is completely different. It looks from certain angles like a TVR Cerbera or an Aston Martin DB7 and has some hints of a modern version of those 7.0-liter Lister Jaguar monsters from the 1980s. What it actually is is a body kit from Paul Bailey Design and was, I think, built in some kind of conjunction with Jaguar.
Rumor has it that the Sultan of Brunei ordered the first one and ended up owning two. Only 11 were built between 1989 and 2001. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six that was originally rated at 221 horsepower. There were a few mechanical tweaks, but nothing major that should make it into the tire-shredding monster it certainly looks to be. I remember these from the 90s and think they’re pretty cool. This one should bring between $27,000-$30,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.
Update: Not sold.
Update: Not sold, Brightwells Leominster, May 2019.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
Jaguar was pretty heavily invested in Group C Prototype Sports Car racing in the late 1980s. They dominated in 1988 and had successes prior to that as well. But by the end of the decade, turbocharged cars were beginning to rule, so Jaguar worked with TWR (Tom Walkinshaw Racing, the team running their factory effort) to get in on the turbo action.
The XJR-11 was introduced in July 1989 and would be replaced by the XJR-14 for the 1991 season. The engine that they came up with was a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (for the Group C car, IMSA cars had a 3.0-liter version) capable of 750 horsepower. A slightly more reliable and de-tuned version of this engine would also power the XJ220 road car.
This particular chassis (490) competed in the 1990 World Sportscar Championship (WSC) with drivers Martin Brundle, Jan Lammers, and Alain Ferté. Turbochargers were outlawed in WSC for 1991, so this car went to Japan and competed in the 1991 All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship. Following that, it returned to TWR where it was restored and sold to a private owner.
The car competed in historic racing until 2010 when it was restored again to its WSC Silk Cut livery. This represents a pretty awesome opportunity to acquire a really good-looking, late Group C car in one of the best liveries of the era. It should bring between $1,500,000-$1,900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 25, 2018
Photo – Mecum
The IMSA GT Championship was an American racing car series that lasted from 1971 through 1998. Its shining moment was from 1981 through 1992, when a category called GTP existed. It featured prototype sports cars from some big name manufacturers like Porsche, Jaguar, Toyota, and Nissan.
Nissan won the championship in 1989 and this was the follow-up car to the series winning GTP ZX-Turbo. It debuted in the middle of the 1990 season and the competition history for this chassis includes:
1992 IMSA Grand Prix of Mami – 1st (with Geoff Brabham)
1992 12 Hours of Sebring – 2nd (with Brabham, Derek Daly, Gary Brabham, and Arie Luyendyk)
1992 IMSA Road Atlanta – DNF (with Geoff Brabham)
Brabham crashed it at Road Atlanta and that was sort of it for this chassis. It was later comprehensively restored and is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 capable of 750 horsepower. It’s eligible for historic racing in the U.S. and in Europe (against Group C racers from the same era). Works GTP cars don’t change hands publicly all that often, so this is an interesting opportunity to get one of the big ones. You can read more here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 28, 2016
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
We’ve recently featured a Mercedes-Benz 190 Evolution I. That car was the 1989 homologation model for DTM. This, the Evolution II, came a year later and looks more or less the same other than a larger rear wing. It has all the looks of a road-going DTM machine. It’s a pretty extreme body kit for what was supposed to be a sensible sedan.
The engine here is a 2.5-liter straight-four making 235 horsepower – a substantial enough increase over the Evo I. Top speed is 155 mph. Only 502 of these were built and all sold out immediately upon going on sale.
This is car 262 and it only has 1,723 miles on it, making it essentially brand new. It should bring between $200,000-$225,000. That’s a lot of money for a 26-year-old car that originally sold new for $80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 15, 2015
Photo – Brightwells
Marlin Sportscars Ltd has been around since 1979 when it was founded in the U.K. by Paul Moorhouse. All six models that the company has produced have been based around other cars. They’re kit cars (even though you can technically buy one already built).
The Roadster was Marlin”s first model, first introduced in 1979. Kits were sold up through about 1990 when a new model took its place. Original cars were based on the Triumph Herald while later cars (like this one) were based on the Morris Marina. The engine is a 1.8-liter straight-four.
Marlin is still in business, building sports cars as they have been for decades. It you want a throwback roadster with pre-war or immediate post-war looks, and you’re on a budget: look no further. This is expected to bring between $2,300-$3,100. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | June 26, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Can you believe the Williams F1 team has been around since 1978? Considering they do not have huge funding dollars from a road-car division and were founded by a travelling grocery salesman and an engineer, they’ve done pretty well.
The FW13 was used in the final four races of the 1989 season and for 1990 it was updated to the spec you see here, and dubbed FW13B. It is powered by a naturally-aspirated Renault 3.5-liter RS2 V-10 and the car was used for the entire 1990 season.
The racing resume for this car includes:
1990 United States Grand Prix – 3rd (with Thierry Boutsen)
1990 Brazilian Grand Prix – 5th (with Boutsen)
1990 Japanese Grand Prix – 4th (with Boutsen)
1990 Australian Grand Prix – 6th (with Boutsen)
This car may never have won a race, but its sister cars did in the hands of both Boutsen and teammate Riccardo Patrese. The Canon Williams livery is a great 1990s F1 paint scheme. If you want to take this to track days, you’ll need to put in a little work as the Renault V-10 is currently inoperable (although it is correct). It should sell for between $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 23, 2015
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The first generation Lancia Delta went on sale in 1979 and continued in production through 1994. That’s a long time. But it wasn’t the same stale car for 15 years – as it grew closer to the end, the cars got more and more extreme.
The Delta was also Lancia’s rally car for the late-1980s. The Delta Integrale 8v won the 1988 World Rally Championship. A variant of that car was sold to the 4WD-buying public as the Delta HF 4WD beginning in 1986. At the end of 1987, it was replaced by the Delta Integrale 8v. In 1989, the Delta Integrale 16v went on sale.
The engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged straight-four making 200 horsepower. This was the ultimate hot hatch for 1990. Top speed was 137 mph and with its 47/53 front-rear torque split, the 4WD car could hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. That’s quicker than a Ferrari Mondial, which was on sale at the same time and had twice the cylinder count. More extreme versions were yet to come. This is a recently-serviced, 71,000-mile car that can be yours for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s lineup.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 13, 2015
Photo – Gooding & Company
Last year we featured another AAR-Toyota Eagle IMSA GTP car but from 1992. This was a predecessor to that car. Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR), which dates back to the 1960s, was tasked with taking Toyota to the top in IMSA in the late 1980s.
This car goes by a couple of names. Sometimes it’s referred to as the Eagle Mk II GTP and sometimes it goes by HF89 (for aerodynamicist Hiro Fujimori). And other times, because this car was built in 1990, it is called an HF90. The driver for most of this car’s competition history was Juan Manuel Fangio II. It won five races and was the first Toyota GTP car to top the podium.
It’s powered by a 680 horsepower turbocharged 2.1-liter straight-four. That is a lot of power from such a tiny engine, so it probably sounds insane. It’s probably also a lot of fun (if you’re experienced) and terrifying if you aren’t. This be-winged early-90s prototype racer can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.