Zagato Raptor

1996 Zagato Raptor Concept

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Sometimes design houses will build concept cars on behalf of a manufacturer. ItalDesign used to do it, along with Pininfarina and even Zagato, as was the case here. It was built in conjunction with Lamborghini and was ultimately intended to slot in Lambo’s model lineup below the Diablo.

Only one functional prototype was built (this car), and it borrows the Diablo VT‘s chassis and all-wheel-drive system. Power is from a 5.7-liter V12, and the car weighed significantly less than the one it was based on, thanks to carbon-fiber bodywork and a lack of doors. That’s right, the entire front section, windshield included, flips forward to allow entrance to the two-seat cabin.

It debuted at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show and was acquired by its current owner in 2000. The car was last shown and driven in 2008. You can see more about it here, and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $1,086,250.

Vector M12

1996 Vector M12

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is one of my favorite cars. Ever. Jerry Wiegert lost control of Vector in the mid-1990s, and it was taken over by Megatech, an Indonesian company owned by the son of the country’s “president” (read: dictator). Megatech also owned Lamborghini between 1994 and 1998.

The M12 was based on the Vector WX-3 prototype and the Lamborghini Diablo, a corporate cousin. It shares the same 492 horsepower, 5.7-liter V12 as the Diablo. Top speed was 189 mph and 60 arrived in 4.8 seconds. The design is pure land shark – a 90s wedge with a big spoiler. These cars are impossibly wide at the rear, and remarkably spacious inside with a crease at the beltline surrounded by glass on the scissor doors.

The M12 went on sale in 1996, and Megatech sold Lamborghini to Audi in 1998. The financial situation of Megatech was, well, miserable at this point, and Vector couldn’t afford to pay for the V12s anymore. So Vector shut down. Only 14 road-going M12s were built, along with three pre-production prototypes. Two of them are local to me, which is completely insane (one of which is the first car built). The one offered here is number five. It is the only one finished in purple and is being sold from the Lingenfelter collection.

The 90s were a wild time for supercars, and none of the M12’s competitors quite encapsulate the time quite as the Vector did. It’s also one of the rarest modern-day supercars that actually saw production, even though but a handful were completed. It is ludicrous in the best way possible, and I love it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jordan 196

1996 Jordan-Peugeot 196

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Last May, RM Sotheby’s sold a copy of Jordan’s 199 F1 car that was photographed in a very similar position to this car. I’m not sure whose collection these are coming out of (and frankly I really don’t feel like trying to figure it out), but one wonders if there will be more to come.

Jordan’s first year in F1 was 1991, and this was their 1996 car. Power is from a 3.0-liter Peugeot V10, an example of which this care retains. The team’s 1996 drivers were Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle, and the race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1996 European Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 British Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)

It was raced in a few other races as well, but those were the highlights. Trackable cars from F1’s V10 era are hard to come by, and you can read more about this one here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in Paris here.

Update: Sold $273,468.

Venturi 400 GT

1996 Venturi 400 GT

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

As Venturi is among our favorite exotic marques, this 400 GT was an easy pick from Artcurial’s upcoming Le Mans Classic sale. It’s a rare bird too, with just 13 examples produced between 1994 and 1996. It was much rarer than its racing counterpart, the 73 unit 400 Trophy.

Because it was based on the 400 Trophy race car, the GT shares the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. In street form, it’s good for 408 horsepower. Top speed is 180 mph – pretty good for a V-6 street car from 1996. In fact, upon introduction, this was the fastest French production car in history.

This example is the fourth 400 GT built and the catalog lists it as a 1998 but says it was first registered in 1996. It’s a 43,000 km car with two owners since 2002. It’s been well-preserved and taken care of – not something you can say about all high-end sports cars of this era. It should bring between $210,000-$280,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Venturi 260 LM

1996 Venturi 260 LM

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | June 10, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Another Venturi! When this car was built, the company was based in France, but now they’re headquartered in Monaco. The 260 LM is part of the Coupe 260 series of cars and, as such, is closely related to this Transcup 260 we featured a few years ago.

The 260 LM was a special edition of the Coupe 260 and it is powered by a 2.8-liter, 260 horsepower turbocharged V-6. The design is full-on classic, restrained 1990s sports car. What distinguishes the 260 LM from regular 260s are special wheels, Recaro seats, special paint and some decals.

Only 32 or 33 examples of the 260 LM were built between 1994 and 1996 with this car being the last one. It’s a 17,000 mile machine that has recently had major service performed, so it’s ready to go. The body looks good, not weathered as some Venturi examples can look after 20+ years. This should bring between $56,000-$67,000. Click here for more info or more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

F355 Challenge

1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 21, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Fun! As far as Ferrari race cars go, this is among my favorites. Yes, it certainly has something to do with three screen Sega arcade game that shared this car’s name in the late 90s/early 2000s. This is one of a long line of one-make (or one-model) racing cars produced by Ferrari (which actually started in 1993 with the 348 Challenge). You could take these racing against your friends in identical cars.

The F355 was produced for the 1995-1999 model years and the Challenge (which was only available as a coupe with a big rear wing out back) launched in 1995 as well. Challenge events were held throughout the model’s production run and this car competed in the Ferrari Challenge Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-8 making 370 horsepower.

When new, you could order an F355 Challenge direct from the factory, or buy an F355 coupe and spend $30,000 on a dealer-installed kit. Ferrari managed to build 108 of these before they switched to the 360 Challenge. This one was delivered new to Belgium and has covered approximately 8,300 miles. It should bring between $160,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $178,426.

An F1 Car for the Street

2009 Lola F1R

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

So wait, in what world is this car street legal? The U.K., that’s what world. A little background: Lola Cars was one of the most famous constructors of race cars between 1958 and 2012. They didn’t technically build or sell this car, but it’s based on their stuff and was built by their employees.

To explain: someone (presumably with a lot of disposable income) bet the engineers at Lola that they couldn’t build a street-legal Formula One car. Race car designers aren’t people that like to say “No” to a technical challenge, so they actually ended up doing it.

It started with a Lola chassis from 1996 or 1997 and most of the body panels that came with it. The engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter Cosworth straight-four making 370 horsepower that is driven via a five-speed manual transmission. It has lights, an increased ride height, parking brake and “fenders” over the open wheels.

The car is essentially brand new, having covered only 25 miles since its completion – probably because, as cool as it is, it is probably a little terrifying to ride between two tractor trailers while in this thing. This one-off supercar should bring between $68,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update II: Sold, Silverstone Auctions, July 2018, $69,277.

911 GT2 Evo

1996 Porsche 911 GT2 Evo

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | November 2-5, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The 993 generation of the Porsche 911 was produced between the U.S. model years 1995 and 1998. This generation’s Turbo model was the first to feature all wheel drive – but that was a no-go for the FIA, which required manufacturers to base their race cars on road cars – and race cars had to be rear wheel drive.

So Porsche decided to build a 911 called the GT2 that would be very similar to the Turbo, but without drive going to the front wheels. This car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-6 making 600 horsepower. The base GT2 was built between 1995 and 1998 and only made 444 horsepower, but as you can see, this Evo version produced much more and has a lot of racing bits bolted on to the car.

Only 11 GT2 Evos were built by Porsche, making it a very rare homologation special. It’s also pretty extreme, with a roll cage and a single seat – perfect for track days. Whether or not it is street legal I’m not certain, but I am sure there are states that would say “NO!” This exact car no-sold at Mecum in Monterey for about a million bucks, so expect it to take more than that to find a new owner in Dallas. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid $950,000.

Update II: Sold, Mecum Indianapolis 2017, $1,450,000.

Aston Martin Sportsman

1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Shooting Brake

Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Aston Martin has a great history of wagons – err… Shooting Brakes. A lot of the cars built earlier in Aston’s history were aftermarket jobs by outside coachbuilders. Not this thing. It was converted by Aston Martin themselves.

This car started life as a 1996 V8 Coupe, which is what the Virage was called from 1996 through 2000. Only 101 V8 Coupes were built. And only two were turned into wagons. The V8 Coupe was powered by a 5.3-liter V-8 making 330 horsepower.

This is a two owner car from new, with the current owner having used the car for hunting. I would presume it is fox or quail hunting or something as nothing could be more European. This is the last (or at least, most recent) Aston Martin Shooting Brake and it’s really cool. It should bring between $380,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more form this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ketchup & Mustard Viper

1996 Dodge Viper RT/10 Convertible

Offered by Russo & Steele, Scottsdale, AZ, January 18-22, 2012

This 1996 Dodge Viper is one of 166 Vipers built with red paint and yellow wheels. The McDonald’s look, which I’ve always heard referred to as “Ketchup & Mustard,” is one of the most iconic (perhaps unfortunately so for Viper owners) color combinations of Vipers. First generation RT/10s tend to be shown in red, while the second generation GTS Coupe is always blue with white stripes. Plus, the character “Nick Papagiorgio” (Rusty Griswold) in the movie Vegas Vacation won a Viper with this color scheme – which is perhaps where my affection for it comes from.

The car features the monster 8.0 liter V10 with a slight horsepower increase (for 1996) to 415. The color combination is love-it or hate-it, but it is rare and this particular car was a Canadian model originally (one of 30) but has been imported into the U.S.

No pre-sale estimates were given by Russo & Steele but you can read more about the lot here and find out more about the sale here. I expect a price between $30,000 and $40,000. But the paint scheme is kind of a wildcard.

Update: Sold $39,050.