Duesenberg J-417

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Does this Duesenberg look a little like a… Cadillac? If you think so, there’s a good reason: this car was bodied by Fleetwood, as in the Fleetwood Metal Body Company. Founded in 1909, Fleetwood built bodies for many companies in its early days. But in 1925 it was acquired by Fisher and it became part of General Motors in 1931. A lot of Cadillacs bodied after 1931 wore Fleetwood bodies much like this one.

In fact, this is the second Fleetwood body that this car wore. The original owner swapped out the first body for this one, which he lifted from a Cadillac V-16. It wasn’t the only thing he changed, this chassis is currently on its third engine, J-417. The 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight that originally powered this chassis racked up 200,000 miles before being replaced. A second engine came and went as well. This car was used and enjoyed and didn’t find its second owner until the late 1950s.

Since then it has had a few other owners and was restored about 30 years ago. It’s a unique Model J with known history from new (the first owner ordered the car from Fred Duesenberg on the New York Auto Show stand in 1929). It should bring between $950,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

June 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from June, starting with H&H Classics’ second June sale, this one held at Woodcote Park. The top seller was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Vantage, featuring the world’s tallest antenna, which brought $317,992.

Photo – H&H Classics

The Tojeiro-Climax we featured failed to meet its reserve. More results can be found here.

We move across the Channel to Osenat’s June sale. The Tracta we featured brought big money ($786,394) – but it wasn’t enough to dethrone this 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet by Gangloff from the top of the sale sheet. It brought $1,414,979.

Photo – Osenat

Both of our other feature cars sold, with the other Bugatti in the sale bringing $321,130 and the Turcat-Mery $120,423. Click here for complete results.

Back to the U.K. for Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We weren’t able to feature anything from this sale, but the top sale was $97,257 for this 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo. More results from Brightwells can be found on their site here.

Photo – Brightwells

Next up: Barrett-Jackson’s “Northeast” sale. The top sale here was a basically brand new 2017 Ferrari 488 Spider that sold for $434,500 – which was definitely not a great deal for the buyer, as you can buy one of these off the lot for less (even with the same options). Someone got caught up in the auction fervor…

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Tiffany neo-classic we featured brought $13,200. You can see the rest of the results here.

Finally, we have Auctions America on the West Coast in Santa Monica. The top sale was this 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster that sold for $1,100,000.

Photo – Auctions America

The Ferrari 599 GTO we featured failed to sell, but the Duesenberg brought $880,000. And the spacey Tatra 603 sold for $41,800. Click here for complete results.

Tatra 603

1960 Tatra 603

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Czechoslovakia’s Tatra built some of the coolest looking sedans of all time. The 603 was the newest iteration of their streamlined, rear-engined, air-cooled spaceship-style cars that dated back to the Tatra 77 of 1934. The 603 was built in three series between 1956 and 1975.

There were slight styling changes over the course of production (that had slight name changes along with it). The original 603 was only built from 1956 through 1962. The engine is a 2.5-liter V-8 making 99 horsepower and 112 ft-lbs of torque.

The 603 was used by high-ranking Czech officials but it was also exported to other countries as well. What’s weird is that this car is listed as a 1960, but the original 603 had an alien-like tri-headlight design. This car seems to have the hood from the original model model but the headlight design of the 1968-1975 2-603 II. It’s confusing. But it’s still cool, and it should bring between $35,000-$45,000. These are handbuilt cars and only 20,422 were built between all three models. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Auctions America’s Santa Monica lineup.

Update: Sold $41,800.

Duesenberg J-259

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

To the knowing eye, it seems like this 1929 Model J is actually a little newer than it’s listed as being. Most 1929 Model Js are a little boxier and this one seems… well-rounded and a little smoother. That’s because the coachwork was updated in period by Bohman & Schwartz, the coachbuilder who did a lot of Duesenberg updating in the mid-1930s.

The Model J was built between 1929 and 1937… though the last engines and chassis were all built prior to then as it was difficult to sell the most glamorous automobile in American history at the height of the Great Depression. All Model Js were speedy, powered by a 265 horsepower Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight.

This numbers matching car was ordered new by an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Bodied by Murphy with some one-off features, the coachwork was updated by Bohman & Schwartz in 1934 at the owner’s request. The second owner acquired the car in 1959 when it showed an impressive 66,000 miles. Well cared for its entire life, this car should bring between $800,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

599 GTO

2011 Ferrari 599 GTO

Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

“GTO” are letters used sparingly by Ferrari. Gran Turismo Omologato is a term reserved for very special Ferraris – special enough that it has only applied to three cars in their history: the legendary 250 GTO, the 288 GTO (arguably the company’s first supercar), and this, the 2010-2012 599 GTO.

This model started life as the 599 GTB Fiorano in 2007. The company introduced a track day model in 2009 called the 599XX. It’s mission was to be extreme: and it was successful, becoming the fastest production car-based automobile to ever lap the Nordschleife. So Ferrari decided to build a road-going version of the 599XX. And this is that car.

The 6.0-liter V-12 makes 670 horsepower. When it was introduced, it was the fastest-ever Ferrari road car (around the company’s test track), hitting 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and topping out at 208 mph. Only the LaFerrari is quicker today.

Ferrari limited production to 599 examples, with just 125 coming stateside. This 2,700 mile example should bring between $650,000-$750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

Update: Not sold.

May 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. I

Starting off our recap of May’s auction activity we have Brightwells’ second April sale, Modern Classic Cars and Motorcycles. We featured a Lotus Excel that sold for a reasonable $7,818. The top seller off an overall low sell-through rate was this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SL for $15,636. Click here to see the rest of what sold.

Photo – Brightwells

Next, we have one of two Osenat sales held in May. Two feature cars failed to sell, the Roamer and the Lorraine-Dietrich. The top sale was this 1927 Bugatti Type 40 that sold for $380,346.

Photo – Osenat

The Talbot sedan we featured brought $24,263 and you can see the rest of Osenat’s results here.

Bonhams has a pair of sales in May as well, the first being their Aston Martin sale. The V8 Vantage Zagato we featured failed to sell, but the top sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $721,955. Click here for more Astons.

Photo – Bonhams

We’ll keep it in the U.K. for Silverstone Auctions’ May Sale. We featured a Farbio GTS, but it failed to meet its reserve. The #1 sale at this auction was this 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S “Leichtbau” for an impressive $717,756. Those Porsche prices don’t quit! Click here for more from Silverstone Auctions.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Finally, for this post, Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale. Top sale honors went to this 2012 Ferrari 458 GTD Race Car for $462,000.

Photo – Auctions America

The Buick Hellcat tank we featured was near the top, selling for $247,500. There were a couple other military vehicles that we’ve featured before that went across the block in Auburn again. Leading the way was this White Half-Track for $82,500. Next came the GMC “Duck” for $49,500. And finally, this tracked Opel rocket launcher for $41,500.

The two other feature cars both sold for decent sums with the Cunningham Hearse bringing $137,500 and the HPD ARX $110,000. Click here for complete results, including some absolute bargains that prove Auctions America is still a hidden enough gem that makes it a buyer’s paradise.

The Original Hellcat

1944 Buick M18 Hellcat

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 12, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

World War II tanks are just awesome. And the Buick-built M18 Hellcat was one of the best. It was the most effective American tank destroyer in WWII and the fastest American tracked armored vehicle until the M1 Abrams of 1980. As a tank destroyer, this thing was designed to destroy other tanks. What’s manlier than a tank built to eliminate its own kind? Not much.

Designed in 1942, the M18 entered service in 1943 and Buick turned out 2,507 of them through October of 1944. It’s powered by a 350 horsepower, Continental nine-cylinder radial engine. Top speed was 55 mph. Imagine one of these bearing down on you at top speed. Pretty frightening.

The pre-sale estimate is between $275,000-$350,000. WWII tanks in great condition trade hands for big money. They are both rare and desirable because of the generation of soldiers they represent. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America.

Update: Sold $247,500.

Cunningham Hearse

1929 Cunningham V-8 33286 Hearse

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 13, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Some people think hearses in general are creepy. I don’t. But this one is. It’s that ornate, Victorian-like coachwork that makes it look like it should be driven by a ghost in a tuxedo and a top hat. Cunningham built attractive passenger cars from 1911 through 1929. From 1929 through 1936, they concentrated on hearses, ambulances and other car-based commercial vehicles (something they’d been building since practically day one).

This car is powered by a 45 horsepower, 7.2-liter V-8. That’s an embarrassing amount of power from such a big engine, considering Duesenberg’s eight-cylinder engine from 1929 was making 265 horses. But who cares, really, because as heavy as this car looks, it’s enough power to cruise at parade speed, which is really the only thing you’re going to do with it unless you own a funeral home and a time machine.

This car comes from a Detroit-area funeral home and before that it was used in Chicago. The wooden carvings on the side are very intricate. It’s an interesting enough automobile that it was on display for a time at the Henry Ford Museum. Only 5,600 Cunninghams were produced over 30 years – so good luck finding another one like this. It should bring between $80,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $137,500.

HPD ARX-03

2012 HPD ARX-03

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-13, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Everyone has heard the saying “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” – meaning, if your race cars run up front, it does wonders for your brand. So Honda, for some reason, decided to build race-winning LMP prototype sportscars, but, not under their own name. Or even Acura’s. But under the “Honda Performance Development” brand – and then abbreviate it so no one knows “Honda” is even building these.

The program started in 2007 with the HPD ARX-01 (which, to be fair, was branded as an Acura for the first few seasons). The car was very good. The ARX-03, the most recent car, debuted in 2012. This one is powered by a Honda HPD twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6. With the V-6, this car is spec’d to compete in the international LMP2 (or P2) class. It ran in the ALMS and was eligible for FIA World Endurance Championship races.

This car is an ex-Level 5 Motorsports car, the race team founded by Scott Tucker whose assets were seized by the government when Tucker was indicted on RICO charges. The race history or this chassis includes:

  • 2012 12 Hours of Sebring – 4th, 1st in Class (with Scott Tucker, João Barbosa, and Christophe Bouchut)
  • 2012 Petit Le Mans – 2nd, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Bouchut, and Luis Díaz)
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker and Bouchut)
  • 2013 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Marino Franchitti, and Ryan Briscoe)
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker)

That’s a pretty impressive resume for a five-year old car. And it’s had some big names from the current era of sports car racing behind the wheel. The HPD LMP program was wound down for 2017 when Acura went GT racing with its new NSX. As the years go by, these HPD prototypes will probably be forgotten about by most people and will eventually be popular on the historic circuit. This well-raced example should bring between $75,000-$100,000 – a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # ARX-03/02

Update: Sold $110,000.

April 2017 Auction Highlights

We’ll kick off April with Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. The top seller was this 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,200,000.

Photo – Auctions America

Both Lamborghinis we featured failed to sell, the Diablo and Jalpa. Oh, and the Suzuki Cappuccino we featured was withdrawn from the sale. Check out complete results here.

On to Mecum in Houston. This 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback was the top sale at $325,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Oakland we featured sold for $30,000 and the Stutz seemed like a bargain at $35,000. Click here for more results.

Early April is when Barrett-Jackson holds their annual Palm Beach sale. We only featured one car: a Torino Talladega that sold for $41,800. The top sale was this 2006 Ford GTX1 that brought $401,500. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Next up, Brightwells and the first of their two April sales. The top sale at this one was this 1923 Vauxhall OD 23-60 Kington Tourer that went for $80,730.

Photo – Brightwells

Both of our feature cars sold, with the Riley bringing more at $47,196. The McEvoy Special came in at $28,566. A previously-featured Aster sold for $32,292. Click here for everything else.

Finally, Worldwide Auctioneers held their Texas Classic Auction. We featured a beautifully original 1912 Cadillac that sold for $36,300. The top sale was this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,111,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers