Three Italian Microcars

1975 Casalini Sulky

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Casalini bills itself as the oldest microcar company in the world. Not the first, the oldest. They sold their first microcar in 1969 and are still selling tiny vehicles in Europe today. They built this thing – with slight modifications over time – from 1971 through 2000.

Let’s talk about that name, “Sulky.” It seems like it would only by driven by depressed divorcees and people who just failed out of graduate school. Just imagine passing a parade of these things on the highway, all of the drivers sobbing and listening to Adele (okay, so a sulky is technically a type of one-seat horse-drawn carriage).

This car is powered by a 50cc single-cylinder (later cars had 60cc singles then 250cc twins) situated above the rear wheels (which are driven). While the outside of this car looks a little rough, the photos of the engine compartment make it seem very clean, so it might actually be a runner. It will sell at no reserve and you can see more photos here.


1960 Lambretta Li 175

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Innocenti’s fame stems mostly from their line of Lambretta scooters that sold like crazy in Italy after WWII. They built a lot of cars too, but the Lambretta name is more well known than Innocenti’s. The first three-wheelers were badged as Lambrettas but later trucklets (there were vans too) were called the Innocenti Lambro.

This pickup model has a 175cc single-cylinder engine making 7 horsepower. This vehicle is listed in the auction catalog as a “circa 1960 Innocenti Lambro”, which, when coupled with the engine size, raises some questions. If it’s truly an Innocenti Lambro, it would be a Lambro 175 model, which was built from 1963 through 1965. There were also Lambretta-badged pickups with a 175cc engine built from 1959 through 1963. The real giveaway is the badging on it which clearly makes it a Lambretta Li 175, likely a Series 2 model at that. Top speed is 38 mph in case you’re hellbent on setting land speed records.

These aren’t seen too often today (especially outside of Italy) and this one, which is kind of rough, should sell for between $1,875-$2,500. Click here for more info.


1962 Moto Guzzi Ercole

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 8, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

This is (at least) the third commercial vehicle produced by a motorcycle manufacturer that we’ve featured. In the vein of the famous Vespa Ape and Lambretti Lambro, the Moto Guzzi Ercole is a scooter-based pickup truck (though this one seems larger). The Ercole was first introduced in 1946 by Moto Guzzi, Europe’s oldest continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer.

The Ercole would be made through 1980 and this one is powered by a hefty 500cc single-cylinder engine. This three-wheeler is really just a motorcycle up front (the inside of the “passenger compartment” is literally just a motorcycle) with a steel cage wrapped around it. The rear pickup bed is a dumper, which is nice. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.

AC 378 GT Zagato

2012 AC 378 GT Zagato Prototype

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | March 4, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The company formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd. is one of Britain’s oldest manufacturers. Since the end of WWII, the company has mostly built sports cars, some of which were quite famous, like that little roadster called the “Ace.”

When the 1970s arrived, it brought tough times for AC. It was a bumpy road that saw the company began building replicas of the Shelby Cobra – a car based on their Ace. Bankruptcy, joint ventures, and corporate sales followed. Production of Cobra replicas moved Germany and then in 2012, the company showed this concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

With an original design by Zagato, the 378 GT is powered by a 6.2-liter V-8 from General Motors that makes 437 horsepower. New management had set up a deal to produce these cars in South Africa (where the Noble and Superformance Cobra were also built) by Hi-Tech Automotive. But somewhere along the way, it all fell apart. This was the only AC-badged 378 GT Zagato built (it also nearly entered full-scale production as the Perana Z-One but only 10 ended up being built. There may have been other AC’s but it is more likely that someone has re-badged a Perana).

This fully road-legal and registered “pre-production prototype” has been owned and cared for by AC Heritage at the Brooklands Motor Museum. It’s an exciting piece from one of the world’s legendary marques. The estimate on this car is $130,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Meyers Manx

1963 Meyers Manx

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We all know that the 60s were a weird time. But that creativity that persisted throughout America brought us some cool stuff. And So-Cal surfer Bruce Meyers brought us this: the Dune Buggy.

Meyers was an artist, engineer, and even has some experience building sailboats. So he took the ubiquitous-in-California-in-1964 Volkswagen Beetle and ripped the body off it. Replacing it with an open-top fiberglass shell and big, off-road tires, it looked every bit the part of an off-road racer. He started selling kits in 1964 but they were expensive and he only found 12 takers.

Then he set up a real business and the Manx took off. This one is powered by a 1.8-liter VW flat-four (it was originally a 1.6). Production lasted through 1971 when tax problems forced the company to close. At the dawn of the new millennium, Meyers got back into business and you can still buy a Manx kit today. The original run saw about 6,000 made (from 1965-1971). This one is titled as a ’63 because that’s the year of the VW underneath it.

There are a lot of Beetle-based dune buggies out there, but a true Meyers Manx is a rare find. This has to be one of the nicest, being fresh off a $44,000 restoration. Buy it and tear around the beaches – just like Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair. It’ll sell at no reserve and bring someone a lot of fun. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Knox Surrey

1904 Knox Two-Cylinder 16/18HP Tudor Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s strange, but this is the first Knox automobile we’ve featured on the site. It’s weird because Knox automobiles aren’t that rare and it seems that at least one of them changes hands publicly each year. Harry Knox got into the automobile business because he was encouraged to do so by his neighbor. Usually this isn’t a great reason for starting a business, but in this case, Springfield, Massachusetts-based Knox was neighbors with a guy named J. Frank Duryea, one of the brothers behind one of America’s pioneering car companies.

Knox built passenger cars between 1900 and 1914 (and they continued building trucks and tractors through 1924). 1904 was the first year for the two-cylinder Knox, and this car is powered by a 4.5-liter twin making 16 horsepower.

The ownership history on this car is known since new. In the 1940s the car was rescued, as it had been converted as the power source for farm equipment. It passed around through a few collections and museums in the ensuing decades, with the most recent restoration work having been completed in 2012. It is London-to-Brighton eligible and completed the run in 2016.

Four body styles were offered on the 1904 Two-Cylinder Knox and this one features a soft-top Tudor Surrey. It is estimated to bring between $200,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Supercharged Stutz by Lancefield

1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 1929 Stutz line consisted of a single model, the Model M, and ’29 was the only model year that the company built a car by that name. Quite a few body styles were offered, and I’m talking like more than 30, but this one carries very sporty Coupe coachwork by Lancefield of London.

Stutz’s standard straight-eight engine would be produced by the firm from 1928  through the end of production in 1934. All Model Ms were powered by this 5.3-liter unit – but a select few were equipped with a supercharger that bumped power up to 185. This supercharged power plant was the result of a 2nd place finish for the marque at Le Mans in 1928. Bentley upped their game for 1929 and Stutz couldn’t afford to build a new engine, so they strapped a centrifugal supercharger to the one they had and sent it back to Europe where the best result attained was 5th at Le Mans in 1929.

Only three supercharged Stutz cars are known to exist and I’ve managed to see two of them in person, this car included. It is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s been restored and freshened multiple times in the past 20 years and in that time has sported owners such as Skip Barber and John O’Quinn. It is being sold out of a prominent Stutz collection based in Texas. The best way to describe this car is that it’s just one of those cars – an incredible automobile that has the engine, chassis, and body it was delivered with. An award winner all over the U.S., it will remain a prized possession among whoever is lucky enough to acquire it next. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Raleigh Safety Seven

1934 Raleigh Safety Seven

Offered by H&H Classics | Castle Donington, U.K. | February 23, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Many early automobile manufacturers began their corporate lives as bicycle companies. The Raleigh Bicycle Company was the same way – except that they remained the Raleigh Bicycle Company from their inception in 1888 through, well, today as they still build bikes.

The Raleigh Safety bicycle was an early popular product and in the early 1930s the company introduced the Safety Seven, their first motorized passenger vehicle. It’s a four-seat roadster powered by a 742cc V-twin. This example comes with a rare removable hardtop. Top speed was 55 mph.

It’s a three-wheeler and Raleigh planned a sedan version but it never got off the ground (but it was responsible for the beginning of the Reliant Motor Company in 1935). In the 1950s and 60s, Raleigh made scooters, but after that motorized vehicles disappeared from the company’s product lineup. This example has been restored and shows almost 85,000 miles. It should sell for between $8,600-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Evanta Barchetta

2015 Evanta Barchetta

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 25, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato is one of the all-time great automotive designs. But it isn’t one that has ever really been produced in replica form. The Evanta Motor Company of Hertfordshire never really built replicas of it either. Instead, they built a car that took the Aston’s classic looks and updated them for the 21st century.

And what a splendid job they did. Other Evantas resembled other Astons, but all the cars were “original” designs. Founded in 2008, Evanta put cars on the market shortly thereafter and in 2013 they presented the “Barchetta” – an open top roadster that incorporates the DB4GT’s overall aesthetic as well as its “Double Bubble” roof in the form of the twin headrests behind the cockpit.

The engine is a 6.2-liter V-8 from Chrysler that makes 470 horsepower. The one piece body shell is made of fiberglass and Kevlar and is incredibly light. This car sports just five miles since completion. Production was supposed to be limited to 49 examples but Silverstone Auctions points out that Evanta is in administration and is essentially being liquidated. The company’s owner, Ant Anstead, will warranty this new example through his new company. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Nissan Pao

1989 Nissan Pao

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 17-18, 2017

Photo – Mecum

I just asked someone in the room when they thought this car was built and their answer was “1969.” Something funky was going on in Japan in the 1980s (and let’s face it, every year before and after that, too). Mazda and Toyota were building strange things, but Nissan was taking the cake.

Their “Pike” series of cars was a line of four small cars with far-out designs. The Pao was the second “Pike” car introduced and it was only sold during the 1989 through 1991 model years. It is powered by a 1.0-liter straight-four making 51 horsepower that could regularly get over 50 mpg.

These cars were only ever sold in Japan and could be had with a cloth sunroof. Their retro styling was, strangely, ahead of its time. In just 1.5 years of production, Nissan moved 51,657 cars – which they managed to sell all of in just three months. This 65,000 mile example is a rare bird in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,500.

Bugatti 57S

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Some of the highest-dollar Bugattis come from the Type 57 family of cars that was produced by the firm between 1934 and 1940. In 1936 they introduced a few updated versions of the model, among them the Type 57S – a lowered variant that gave the car a sportier stance.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-eight making 170 horsepower. The 57S was successful on the European racing circuit and about half of the cars were bodied by the factory. There were 22 chassis that were unsold by mid-1938, when the 57S was killed off. Most of these ended up in coachbuilders’ hands and this car is one of four Vanvooren Cabriolets built in Paris (three of which are known to still exist).

This car has known ownership history since new and was on long term display. RM has brought the car back to being a runner and driver, but it’s not quite ready for long distance trips. Only 42 Type 57S chassis were built and this is, again, one of just three Vanvooren Cabriolets remaining. It’s a matching-numbers, unrestored car (though it has had certain mechanical elements rebuilt for functional purposes). It’s fantastic. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Amelia Island.

January 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt II

A few more from Scottsdale, starting with Bonhams. The Ferrari California Spider we featured would’ve been the top sale, had it reached its reserve. Instead, this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition was the top sale at $7,370,000.

Photo – Bonhams

Other big dollar cars included two of our feature cars: the Mercedes S-Type brought $4,812,500 and the Ferrari 340 America $6,380,000. The Abarth Scorpione sold for $116,600. Click here for complete results.

Next up, Worldwide Auctioneers and their inaugural Arizona sale. We didn’t get to feature anything from these guys, but the top sale was $1,980,000 for this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster. Click here for more results.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Finally, from Scottsdale, we have Russo & Steele. Their top sale was this 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet A that brought $423,500.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Our featured Falcon Mk III failed to sell. Click here for complete results.

Before we move on to Retromobile results, let’s jump back to December to Coys’ True Greats sale where this 1969 Porsche 911 S/T was the top seller for about $856,000. Click here for all of the results from this sale.

Photo – Coys

Now we move to Paris and the three Retromobile sales, the first of which is RM Sotheby’s. The top sale was the incredible Alfa Romeo Tipo B that went for $4,177,896. The OSCA and Porsche 917 failed to sell but the Porsche 901 Prototype went for $692,337. I know it’s kind of cliché to list a Ferrari as “most interesting” but this one is too pretty not to. It’s a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB in Verde Pino that sold for $2,059,106. Click here for complete results.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s