VLF Force 1

2015 VLF Force 1

Offered by Gooding & Company | Online | August 3-7, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

Yes, this is a Dodge Viper. Buuut, it’s Dodge Viper with Henrik Fisker-penned bodywork produced by VLF Automotive, a company originally founded by Bob Lutz to stuff V8s into formerly-electric Fisker Karmas.

VLF said, “Hey, we’re gonna build 50 of these things at $286,500 a pop.” Well, we all know how start-up supercar companies go. This car is the first of just five completed. It shares the Viper’s 8.4-liter V10, but it’s been cranked up to 745 horsepower. It’s said to hit 60 mph in three seconds and top out at 218 mph.

The design isn’t bad, but it looses some of that Viper meanness in an attempt to beautify it. Actually, it kind of looks like a Viper that is halfway finished eating a Jaguar F-Type. This car is expected to bring between $275,000-$325,000. Good luck finding another one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Statesman DeVille

1979 Statesman DeVille Sedan

Offered by Shannons | Online | August 19-26, 2020

Photo – Shannons (obviously)

Statesman was actually a standalone brand offered by General Motors in Australia. They were available from 1971 through 1984 and were sold through Holden dealerships. Statesmans (Statesmen?) were big cars that were better appointed than their Holden counterparts.

This is an HZ Statesman, which is the fourth generation. It was introduced in 1977 and was replaced in 1980. Two models were offered during this generation: DeVille and the Caprice. The car is powered by a 5.0-liter V8.

Equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes, a crushed velour interior, and a Radial Tuned Suspension. Statesmans are rarely seen outside of Australia, making this a great chance to grab one and export it. This car is expected to bring between $13,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mason Tourist King

1920 Mason Tourist King

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angles, California | August 14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

It’s rare when an American car from this era exists, while at the same time, practically zero information about it exists. The Mason Tourist King was produced in Newark, New Jersey, sometime between 1918 and 1920.

The car was produced as a prototype to show the U.S. government that it would make a great staff car. Features included to prove this point included a funky passenger seat that was attached to the door. This allowed for a flat sleeping area in the car.

Power is from a 55-horsepower, 4.6-liter Continental inline-six. Unfortunately, the car was produced right at the end of WWI, and no one was interested. It was saved long ago and was restored between 2010 and 2017 at a cost of over $500,000. It’s an interesting car and one that likely belongs in a museum (unfortunately). You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

RA4 Vanguard

1954 RA4 Vanguard

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 2, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

So no, this isn’t an Auto Union Grand Prix car, despite its looks. In fact, it was built a full 20 years after those cars dominated the European Grand Prix circuit. The “RA” cars were racing specials built by Hector Green and Jack Brewer in New Zealand between the end of WWII and the mid-1950s. Their first car kept evolving, and in 1951 they decided to replace it.

The RA4 Vanguard was the replacement, and its design and construction were heavily influenced by the pre-war Auto Unions. That’s because its builders consulted a then-declassified British intelligence document that investigated the construction of the German Grand Prix cars of the 1930s. Intriguing stuff.

Power is from a rear-mounted 2.1-liter inline-four from a Standard Vanguard that was supercharged and fitted with dual SU carburetors. Horsepower, when the car was running on methanol, was approximately 200. Wow.

The car competed regularly in New Zealand beginning in 1951 through about 1954. It’s been invited to the Goodwood Revival and has been owned by its current caretakers since 2017. Only five or six RA specials were built. You can read more about this one here and see more from this sale here.

Zenos E10

2016 Zenos E10 2.3 R Roadster

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 1, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Zenos Cars was founded in 2012 by Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards in Norfolk in the United Kingdom. They announced their first car, the E10, in 2013, and it was a lightweight mid-engine sports car. Production started in 2015, but the following year the company had some financial problems and everything stopped by 2017.

There was a base E10, the turbocharged S model, and the even-more-powerful R model. This is an example of the latter, and it is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter Ford EcoBoost inline-four that was rated at 350 horsepower. That engine went into a car that weighed about 1,600 pounds dry. That combo was good for a sprint to 60 mph in about three seconds, and it topped out around 150 mph.

Silverstone is offered two Zenos cars at this sale: this car and a base roadster. Neither car has ever been registered, and they are essentially brand new. Due to the company’s financial problems, I sort of want to think that these were two leftovers or demonstrators that are being liquidated. But that’s just conjecture. What is cool is that Zenos built over 100 examples of the E10, making it a legitimate production sports car. Here’s your chance to get one of the last new examples. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Moskvitch 400-420

1951 Moskvitch 400-420

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Moskvitch was a brand of automobile produced by the Soviet Union beginning in 1946. The first cars were actually built at a former Opel plant in East Germany. Production continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and afterward under a privately-owned company until 2002. Somehow, Volkswagen currently owns the brand name.

The cars were reliable and low-cost by Soviet standards, although they were not always easy to get. The 400 was based on the pre-war Opel Kadett and went on sale in December 1946. The “400” meant that the car was powered by a 23-horsepower 1.1-liter inline-four, and the “420” meant that it was a sedan.

Other body styles were offered, and the model was ultimately succeeded by the short-lived 401 in 1954. Between the 400 and 401, 247,439 examples were produced. I have no particular history on this car, as this post is being written well in advance of RM’s catalog going online. But, these are rarely seen in the U.S. (or even Western Europe), and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Alfa Romeo RZ

1993 Alfa Romeo RZ

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | July 23-30, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s always fun when a manufacturer rolls out an unnecessary, limited-edition specialty car. Think of things like the Lancia Hyena, the Alfa SZ/RZ, and even the Chevy SSR (I like them, leave me alone). They just make life more interesting.

The Alfa Romeo SZ, or Sprint Zagato, was built between 1989 and 1991. It was a hardtop coupe and 1,036 were built. The RZ, or Roadster Zagato, was offered from 1992 through 1994 and only 278 were built. It’s boxy, distinctive, and the suspension is based on the Alfa 75 IMSA car. It is apparently quite the driver’s car.

Power is from a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 207 horsepower. The roadster could hit 60 in 7.5 seconds, which doesn’t sound all that quick, but hey, it’s only got 207 horsepower. It’s a momentum machine, capable of great gobs of grip. This example is a rare sight in the U.S. and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Benova Sports

1927 Benova B3 Sports

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 1, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Benjamin was a car company founded in 1921 by Maurice Jeanson not far from Paris. They specialized in cyclecars, or light cars with small engines and cycle-type wheels. In 1927, the company opened a second factory and rebranded from Benjamin to Benova, which supposedly meant “New Benjamin.”

Anyway, the new company lasted through 1929. At least 300 examples of the B3 were built between 1927 and 1929 and they were powered by a 945cc Chapuis-Dornier inline-four. Factory bodies included a coupe and two torpedos.

This car is quite sporty, wearing a racing-style body dressed in French Grand Prix Car blue (not a real paint color name). It almost looks like a cross between a period Indy car and an Amilcar. But it’ll be cheaper than either of those with an estimate between $19,000-$22,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

June/July 2020 Auction Highlights

Auctions have been pretty few and far between for the last few months, and some traditional tent auctions have turned to offering cars online. One such sale was RM’s Essen sale, which was originally scheduled for late March and shifted to online-only in June. No-sales included the Puch G-Wagen.

The overall top sale was this brand-new 2020 Porsche 935 Martini that brought approximately $1,480,782.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Diablo SE30 we featured brought $259,136, the EuroBrun F1 car $99,952, and the Porsche 912 $61,699. Other sales included the Ginetta G33 for $27,147, the TVR Grantura for $19,743, the Glas 1300 GT for $17,892, the Glas S 1004 for $13,573, and the Neckar for $12,031.

Finally, on the affordable side of things, the Ginetta G20 could’ve been had for $10,180, the Panther Lima for $8,329, and the Arkley SS for a paltry $1,357. Click here for final results.

Mecum held a sale in North Carolina to liquidate a private collection. At least I think it was in North Carolina. There was some weird online bidding stuff too. Pretty confusing. At any rate, this 1969 Dodge Daytona was the top seller at $231,000.

Photo – Mecum

All of our feature cars sold (everything sold), including the Buick GSX for $140,800. The Grand Sport Corvettes brought $68,750 for the convertible and $74,250 for the coupe. Complete results are provided here.

Mecum’s annual Indianapolis sale got shifted to July this year. The overall top seller was the prototype Shelby GT350R we featured. It sold for an impressive $3,850,000. Big-money no-sales included the L88 Corvette convertible race car, the Diedt-Offy Indy car, the Chevelle LS6 convertible, and the Ferrari 275 GTB/4. The high bids for those cars are available at their respective links. Most Interesting is awarded to this 1924 Lincoln Model L Limousine for $24,750 because old Lincolns rock.

Photo – Mecum

Other no-sales included Richard Petty’s ’71 Road Runner, the Dodge Lil Red Express, the Hemi GTX, the ’53 Eldorado, and the obviously-cursed Brumos-Edition 911 GT3. The Kurtis 500H was withdrawn.

On a positive note, a lot of cars estimated to bring lesser amounts found new homes, including the Checker Marathon for $6,600, the Nash Rambler for $24,200, a previously-featured Erskine Panel Truck for $28,600, and the Zimmer Golden Spirit for $24,200. The Cougar Eliminator brought $104,500, the GT350 convertible $1,100,000, a previously-featured Shelby Series 1 prototype $115,500, and the Ferrari F512M $396,000. More results, yes there are more results, are available here.

Dorotheum’s scooter and microcar sale had some interesting vehicles on offer, including this 1963 Peel P50 that sold for $97,265.

Photo – Dorotheum

We featured five cars from this sale. Here’s how they fared:

Complete results are presented here.

Finally, Historics’ Windsorview Lakes sale, where the awesome Spyker LM85 we featured sold for $281,472. The top sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $703,682.

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Our two other feature cars both sold, with the Humber bringing $27,443 and the Brooke Double R $24,648. More results can be found here.

Lagonda V12

1939 Lagonda V12 Sports Saloon

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | July 25, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Someone shopping for a large British luxury car in the late 1930s had some solid choices. There was of course Bentley and Rolls-Royce, but you could also choose from the likes of SS, Alvis, Brough Superior, Railton, and Lagonda.

In 1936, Lagonda introduced the V12, which featured a 4.5-liter V12 designed by W.O. Bentley and rated at 180 horsepower. It was the company’s first car to feature more than six cylinders. Production started in 1938 and ended at the outbreak of war in 1940.

Just 189 examples were produced. Lagondas have always been very exclusive cars, but the V12 is exclusive even by Lagonda standards. This one is largely original and is one of the final examples built. Its stately four-door sedan body will hold back the value a bit when compared to sportier body styles and open cars, but it should still command between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.