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.
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.
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.
2009 Lola F1R
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2016
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.
1996 Porsche 911 GT2 Evo
Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | November 2-5, 2016
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.
1996 Aston Martin V8 Sportsman Shooting Brake
Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 5, 2015
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.
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.