Giancarlo Minardi’s Formula One team first appeared on the grid in 1985. In their first 46 races, the team saw at least one car running at the finish only eight times. While they were more reliable in later years, they weren’t much more successful. The team’s best finish was fourth, which happened three times. But they did have a pretty loyal fanbase. The team lasted through the 2005 season, and their new owners rebranded the team as Toro Rosso for 2006.
The M198 was their chassis for the 1998 season, which saw drivers Shinji Nakano and Esteban Tuero on the team. This chassis was the first one built, and it is powered by a 3.0-liter Ford Zetec-R V10 that made about 710 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis includes:
1998 Australian Grand Prix – 16th, DNF (with Shinji Nakano)
1998 Brazilian Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Nakano)
1998 Argentine Grand Prix – 13th (with Nakano)
After that, the car was refinished in the team’s 1999 livery and used as a show car. It still wears that scheme today. Since 2011, the car has been restored and used at events. It’s now for sale with an asking price of about $579,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 17-April 1, 2021
“I want a Jaguar Mark II but I don’t want it to be an unreliable nightmare. Also, I want it to be a hatchback and look like a crappy hatchback, from the side.” Well then do I have the car for you. The Viewt is the car that put Mitsuoka on the map. It’s basically a re-worked Nissan Micra (or March) that is supposed to look like a Jaguar Mark II from the front.
This first-gen example is based on the 1992-2003 K11 generation of the Nissan Micra. Most Viewts were four-door sedans, but it looks like someone convinced them to tack their front end on a hatchback. Power is from a 1.0-liter inline-four that produced 54 horsepower when new.
The Viewt is technically still in production but on an updated Nissan platform. Over 12,000 have been produced thus far, a very small percentage of which I believe to be two-doors. This relatively low-mile example should sell for between $4,000-$7,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Turbo R is based on the 933-generation of the Porsche 911, which was produced between 1994 and 1998. The 993 was the last air-cooled variant of the 911. And it’s Turbo model was a beast. That’s where the Turbo R gets it start.
Ruf took the 993 Turbo’s twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six and tweaked it to put out 490 horsepower (about 88 more than stock). It also got a revised suspension and a Ruf body kit and wheels. An integrated roll cage was helpful if things went wrong on the way to the Turbo R’s 204-mph top speed. This example has all-wheel drive.
The Turbo R was only produced in 1998, and just 14 were built. A 993 Turbo S can bring upwards of $300,000. This should easily sail into that range. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Aguttes | Sochaux, France | September 20, 2020
At first, I thought that, after PSA’s acquisition of Opel, the company was shedding itself of part of its heritage collection. Brightwells is selling off part of Vauxhall’s heritage collection, and now we have this sale of Citroen and Peugeot prototypes and old cars, all from Peugeot’sMuseee de l’Aventure. That collection houses over 450 vehicles, with just 130 on display. So it appears that they are just thinning the herd.
We’ve actually featured one of Sbarro’s Berlingo-based creations before. This is another. Whatever is under the hood is not stated, but it’s almost certainly an inline-four of between 1.4 and 2.0 liters in displacement.
This prototype is described as a leisure vehicle for windsurfers. Which is a very specific demographic. The interior is bizarre, it has no roof, and it has no doors. Remember when companies made concept cars with no relevant production details? This car carries a pre-sale estimate of $16,500-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 26, 2019
The Brooke ME190 was designed by Toby Sutton and produced by his company, Brooke Cars beginning in 1994. Its looks and two-abreast seating are very reminiscent of the LLC Rocket, but it is said that this car was designed first.
Powertrains for the ME190 differed, but all of them were mounted behind the driver. This car is powered by a Honda 1.8-liter inline-four from a Civic Type R that has been tuned to put out more than 200 horsepower (the stock ME190 made 190 horsepower).
Only about eight examples were produced before the company ran into financial trouble and closed down. Another company bought the rights and produced only slightly more updated versions called the Double R. This car should bring between $20,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Southam, U.K. | September 28, 2018
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The original Ruf BTR was produced in the 1980s and was based on the legendary 930 Turbo. They were available through 1989, but Ruf wouldn’t build the successor until 1993. Maybe they were waiting on the next generation of turbocharged 911s. If they were, they got impatient.
The BTR2 is powered by a turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six that made 420 horsepower. It was the first 933 Turbo offered to the public, beating Porsche to the punch by a few years. Porsche would use two turbos in their car and it ended up making less power. This car had a top speed of 191 mph.
Only 18 examples of the BTR2 would be produced through 1998. Fifteen of those were coupes like this one, but only five of those were right-hand drive as this one is. It’s got a built-in roll cage if you want a track toy. And even if you don’t, it would still be an awesome weekend rocket. It should bring between $195,000-$260,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 6, 2018
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
Remember these? Back in the 1990s, high-end sport utility vehicles weren’t all that common. Outside of a Range Rover, your choices among Rodeo Drive-cruising super utes were pretty slim. That is unless you went Italian and bought a Laforza.
Introduced in 1985 in Italy, this SUV was sold in Europe as the Rayton-Fissore Magnum. It was based on an Iveco 4×4 that was built for the military. Designer Tom Tjaarda was responsible for prettying it up for road use. The European engines were small four-cylinders and turbo diesels.
When the Magnum was exported to the U.S. for the first time in the late 1980s, they were rebranded as the Laforza. The biggest difference was that the trucks for the U.S. got big V-8s. This example has a supercharged, 6.0-liter GM V-8, which was unique to the “Magnum Edition” which was offered only from 1999. The final trucks were built in 2003.
This Magnum Edition is one of the last five thought to have been built. It’s got 4-wheel drive and a Pininfarina-styled body. Though limited in production, these were able to be found on the lots of used exotic dealers in Florida and California 20 years ago. Now they’re just oddballs and who knows – maybe their collectibility is just starting to hit (RM has another one set for their Auburn Spring sale in May). This should bring between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 5, 2016
Photo – Aguttes
French sports car maker Venturi set up shop in 1984 when two former Heuliez engineers, Claude Poiraud and Gerard Godfroy, decided to venture out on their own. See what I did there? Thirty years later the company is still around but now they are based in Monaco, have new owners, and they don’t really build cars like they used to.
The Atlantique model was built between 1991 and 2000. Two models were offered, with the 300 being the high output version. This one is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 281 horsepower (this particular car was later massaged to 310 horses). Naturally-aspirated and top-of-the-line Bi-Turbo versions of the 300 were also offered. The body is fiberglass and it has aluminium doors, hood, and trunk.
This 27,000 mile example is one of less than 700 Atlantiques built in total and is probably among the last constructed as Venturi went bankrupt in 2000. It’s a pretty car and one we adore, as far as obscure exotics go. This is the first Atlantique I’ve seen come up for public sale in years and it should bring between $61,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 23-25, 2016
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The Lamborghini Diablo is one of the best supercars of the 1990s. In the mid-1980s, the Mimran Brothers of Switzerland acquired the company and started planning to replace the Countach. They sold the company to Chrysler before it could enter production, but once Chrysler got their feet under them, the Diablo was launched.
The SV (or SuperVeloce – words the company now spells out on its high-performance models) was introduced in 1995. For 1998, there was a limited edition version of the already-special SV. Called the Monterey Edition, it featured twin scoops on the roof from the earlier SE30 special edition. Standard SV features included a 510 horsepower 5.7-liter V-12.
Only 20 Monterey Editions were built, but they were quickly overshadowed once the Diablo was facelifted for 1999. This model was one of the last to use pop-up headlights and the 1999 model year cars had fixed lamps up front. Power was also increased for 1999.
On a side note, this particular car has been screwed with, having been supercharged to make 790 horsepower. Hopefully it’ll hold together! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, England | May 21, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Does this look like an Aston Martin Vanquish to you? Well it’s not. The Vanquish didn’t go on sale until 2001 and this concept car is from 1998. It debuted at the 1998 North American International Auto Show in January of that year. It was designed by Ian Callum.
But this wasn’t just some fanciful pie-in-the-sky concept car. No, Aston Martin made sure it was a fully functional driver. It is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 making 450 horsepower – which is essentially the engine that ended up in the Vanquish. It is the first Aston Martin built with a paddle shift gearbox.
This car is being sold by Aston Martin. It is not eligible to be registered for the road, but can be shown at events. Aston has only shown it once since the auto show. It’s a one-off, fully-functional concept car coming straight from the factory. It should bring between $130,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.