Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019
The Griffith is a storied name in TVR history, and it was originally launched by Jack Griffith in the U.S. The idea was simple: stuff a V8 in a TVR Grantura and create a monster. The Griffith Series 200, 400, and 600 were built throughout the early and mid-1960s. They were sold as TVRs in the U.K.
In 1991, TVR introduced the Griffith 500. A range of engines were available, and this car has the best one: a Cosworth-developed 5.0-liter V8. It was rated at 340 horsepower and could hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. That was really fast in the 1990s. Especially in this price range.
This generation of the Griffith represents some serious, devilish fun. In all, 2,351 examples of the Griffith 500 were built through 2002. This one should bring between $25,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Syon Park, U.K. | October 19, 2019
It’s too bad the photos of this car aren’t better, because it’s a wild thing. Marcos was founded in 1959, but by the 1990s they were on shaky ground and had been for quite a while. They were bankrupt (for the second time) in 2000. This was pretty much it for Marcos (though there was a brief revival). They went down swinging in the 90s with some outrageous stuff.
It started with the Mantis in 1968, and Marcos styling just sort of evolved from that point. In the 80s and early 90s, there were all sorts of takes on the Mantis: the Mantula, Martina, Mantara… and a fresh Mantis. Around 1993, Marcos wanted to get back into motorsport. In order to do so, they had to build road-going versions of whatever they wanted to race.
And the LM-series of cars were born. Built in 400, 500, and 600-spec, the LM was a limited-production series. Only 30 were built in total, 14 of which were LM400s. Power is from a 3.9-liter Rover V8 making 190 horsepower. It’s unclear how many of the 14 LM400s were convertibles.
This one should sell for $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
1997 G-Force-Oldsmobile GF01
We’re starting here with Arie Luyendyk’s 1997 Indy 500-winning car. I have an unpopular opinion (influenced heavily by nostalgia) that the 1996-1998 Indy 500s were the greatest. I was up there for Fan Fest (or whatever it was called) as a kid and fell in love this era of open wheel cars. Between Arie and Buddy Lazier, I’m not sure who had a more profound impact on my love for the 500.
G-Force was founded in 1991 by Chip Ganassi and Ken Anderson, and they began building cars for the Indy Racing League in 1997. The car above was the very first GF01 constructed. And it was a beast. Powered by a 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V8, this GF01 took pole and the win at Indy in 1997 (other GF01s swept the podium). The competition history for this ex-Treadway Racing chassis includes:
1997 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1997 Texas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1998 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1999 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Sam Schmidt)
The car was restored by Treadway Racing in its ’97 500 racing livery and is just missing onboard telemetry and an ECU to make it functional. Indy 500-winning cars don’t change hands often, which makes this pretty special. Oh, by the way, the second-place car from ’97 is also offered at this sale. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $440,000.
1995 Lola-Menard T95/00
In 1995, the Indy 500 was still part of the CART season. We’ve actually featured another Lola T95/00 with Indy history, but it was Cosworth-powered. This car is “Menard”-powered, which mostly means it features a turbocharged 3.6-liter Buick V6 built by-and-for Team Menard.
This Menard-entry in 1996 ended up winning the pole with Scott Brayton behind the wheel. Unfortunately, he was killed testing a back-up car in practice a few days after securing pole. Menard pulled Danny Ongais out of a nine-year retirement to run the car. He was 53-years-old on race day. This car’s competition history includes:
1996 Indianapolis 500 – 7th (with Danny Ongais)
Both of Brayton’s pole-winning cars (1995 and 1996) are being offered at this sale. I chose this one because of its amazing Glidden/Menards livery (and Campbell Hausfeld, a company local to me)… although the other Quaker State/Menards car is quite attractive (and a photo of a similar-liveried car hung on my bedroom wall as a kid). Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $150,000.
Here’s something a little older. Fred Gerhardt’s Fresno, California-built open-wheelers were all over the USAC circuit in the late 1960s. They were a competitive chassis that ran many races between about 1965 and 1971. Somehow, it is said that Gerhardt only built 11 examples. I think the “in 1967” part of that sentence was missing from the catalog.
This example is powered by a rear-mounted Ford 4.2-liter DOHC V8. It was purchased new by Walter Weir, who entered the car in the ’67 500 for F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini, who died at Monaco a few weeks before Indy. Thus, the competition history for this car includes:
1967 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Al Miller)
1968 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1969 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1971 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (with Bill Puterbaugh)
It has had several owners since and has been restored. It’s eligible for historic events and can now be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018
2004 Ford GT Confirmation Prototype CP4
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
We’ve featured prototypes of the original Ford GT40, but here’s one of what we’ll call the “second coming” of the GT. The original concept car for this model debuted in 2002 and it’s thought that Ford built nine “confirmation prototypes” of which this is CP4, or vehicle #00007. Its purpose was to be the test bed for ride, steering, handling, and climate control systems.
All black, it was the first GT to hit 200 mph. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 making 550 horsepower. It joined the collection it is being sold from in 2012 and it is street legal. It’s the only “CP car” from the GT program that is road-registered and not governed to 15 mph. It’s thought that only four GT prototypes remain and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $467,500.
1997 Ford Ghia Vivace Concept
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
Well here’s a weird one. It looks like the love child of a Ford Ka and a last-gen Mercury Cougar (it’s actually based on a Mondeo platform aka the Ford Contour). It’s honestly pretty crazy this car still exists at all. It’s just a rolling concept car – there’s no engine, no interior. It’s just a two-door coupe body with some wheels on a chassis.
Ford and Ghia teamed up for two concept cars in 1997 just to explore new shapes and using aluminium space-frame construction. The body is fiberglass, the wheels don’t steer, and the doors don’t even open. It’s like having a rolling brick. Not much to do with it other than look at it. But hey, at the same time, you’re going to be the only person who has one. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $1,650.
1960 Seagrave Prototype
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
In 1960, the Seagrave Fire Apparatus, the longest-running producer of fire apparatus in the United States dating back to 1881, decided they wanted to build passenger cars. But not just normal American passenger cars, but economy cars. This in 1960, when American automobiles were perhaps approaching their largest.
This two-door hardtop is much smaller than the photo above makes it look and it weighed in at only 1,700 pounds. Seagrave managed to build three prototypes (two in fiberglass, one in aluminium), and this fiberglass example was powered by a 2.7-liter Continental straight-four engine capable of 65 horsepower. It was pulled out of a barn in Michigan in 2013 and is restoration ready. It’s one of the most interesting cars for sale in Auburn this year. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018
1997 Shelby Aurora V-8 Can-Am
Photo – Bonhams
The Shelby Can-Am was a racing series that used purpose-built race cars from Carroll Shelby. All cars were identical and powered by 255 horsepower V-6 engines. The series – which was open to amateurs – ran from 1991 through 1996 in the U.S.
Originally, Shelby wanted to offer a bigger, badder version of the car. He only built one prototype – and this is it. It’s powered by the then-popular 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V-8. It was tuned to make 500 horsepower and was the same engine used in the Series 1 sports car. This is the only example built and it ran some test laps at Willow Springs but otherwise has been sitting in Ol’ Shel’s personal collection since. This would be a fun track day toy for someone and it should cost them between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $100,800.
1983 Dodge Shelby Ram Prototype
Photo – Bonhams
The first generation of the Dodge Ram was produced from 1981 through 1993. The beginning of production coincided time-wise with Chrysler’s relationship with Carroll Shelby. You might think it’s weird to have Shelby’s name on a truck, but hey, he built a Dakota and a Durango.
This one-off Ram was partly a styling exercise (to mimic the styling of the recently introduced Shelby Charger). But because Shelby couldn’t help himself, the motor was spruced up as well: it’s a 300 horsepower, 5.9-liter V-8. It’s a pretty decked out truck all around. This is coming from Carroll’s personal collection where he maintained this 11,000 mile truck since new. It should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Arrows Grand Prix International was founded by five men in 1978 when they all left the Shadow team to venture out on their own. Based in Milton Keynes initially, Arrows became known as Footwork for the 1991-1996 F1 seasons and ended up folding after the 2002 season.
The A18 was the team’s 1997 car, the first year back under the “Arrows” name, but with new owner Tom Walkinshaw. The car was originally fitted with a Yamaha 3.0-liter V-10 engine. This chassis was driven by reigning F1 World Champion Damon Hill who was bizarrely dropped by his team after winning the championship. Exact results are unknown, but it definitely had some DNFs.
The Yamaha engine was unreliable, but luckily the owner is supplying it with an Asiatech 3.0-liter V-10. Because Arrows no longer exists, there are quite a few of their chassis in private hands. This one should bring between $190,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 30, 2016
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The Paris-Dakar Rally is one of the premier off-road racing events in the world. It’s one that has, for a long time, seen major manufacturer entries and participation. Mitsubishi, long a competitor in rally competition, was one of those manufacturers.
Homologation rules are in effect for a variety of series worldwide and Dakar is no different. Manufacturers, in order to maximize their chances, will build a race car and then build a “road car” variant (that is usually extreme in looks and performance… not to mention price) so that they can say to the event organizers: “Hey, we are entering the production class because our race car is obviously based on a road car.” It’s a little backwards, but this practice is responsible for some awesome road cars.
In 1997, Mitsubishi sold about 2,500 Pajero Evolution models to the public. They were essentially a Pajero SUV with a wild body kit and a 260 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. The interior is by Recaro. This is a pretty sporty SUV, considering it was built in 1997 and “sporty SUVs” weren’t really yet a thing. At any rate, it’s really cool – and a little bizarre. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015
Photo – Mecum
Players of Gran Turismo will no doubt recognize this as one of the “Porsches” that they get to drive, albeit virtually, due to Porsche’s asinine exclusivity contract with EA. Instead, the video gaming generation became quite familiar with the outrageous products of Germany’s Ruf Automobile.
Founded by Alois Ruf, the company began modifying Porsches in the 1970s and the company is recognized as an actual automobile manufacturer in its own right by the German government (as their cars are built from Porsche chassis and modified before being sold).
At any rate the CTR2 was the followup to the legendary CTR “Yellowbird.” The CTR2 was built between 1995 and 1997 and based on the 993-generation 911 Turbo. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six making 520 horsepower. Geared to the moon, this car is good for over 215 mph.
Only 16 CTR2s were built (with an additional 15 “Sport” models). You rarely see them, especially in the U.S. Supercar collectors, you need this. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | March 28, 2015
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Renault isn’t really a company known for their sports cars. In the 1980s, they had the 5 Turbo, one of the hottest of hatches of the era. In the 1990s, Renault decided they needed a vehicle that would draw attention to their brand. So they turned to their in-house sporting division, Renault Sport (a division that traces its roots back to Alpine and Gordini), to build one.
The Spider went on sale in 1996 and was discontinued in the 1998 model year. They were powered by a mid-rear-mounted 2.0-liter straight-four making 148 horsepower. Renault also hosted a one-make racing series for these cars that lasted from 1995 through 1999.
This car is a 1990s classic. It’s one of the more unique vehicles produced by any major manufacturer during the decade and will be always be collectible for both its one-of-a-kind styling and rareness. Only 1,635 were built and this is one of only 60 right-hand drive examples. It should sell for between $27,000-$33,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
This is a rather new infantry fighting vehicle produced by German defense contractor Rheinmetall AG. The Marder IFV has been in service since 1971, when most of them were built. Beginning in the late-1980s, many of the early Marders were upgraded to the specification you see here. While it’s listed a a 1997, it’s likely much older, but was upgraded in the 90s. The engine is a 22.4-liter six-cylinder making 600 horsepower. You can buy this for between $150,000-$175,000. Read more here.