June 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

The third sale Bonhams held in June was the liquidation of the Den Hartogh Ford museum in the Netherlands. Kind of a weird spot for one of the largest collections of Ford vehicles anywhere in the world, but everyone’s got their thing. In chronological order, the early Fords we featured sold for:

There were a bunch of interesting cars here, especially commercial vehicles. We’ll give Most Interesting to 1931 Ford Model AA Camper that brought $26,790.

Photo – Bonhams

Speaking of commercial vehicles, here are the results for the five we featured:

The rest of the results can be found here.

RM Sotheby’s liquidated the rest of the Dingman Collection and another Ford was the top seller. It’s an awesome Roush Racing 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra SCCA Trans Am that sold for $720,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Lincoln Continental was featured sold for $60,480. Final results can be found here.

On to July where Historics at Brooklands held a sale at the Brooklands Motor Museum. We featured a Renault Alpine and it sold for $44,738. The top sale was this 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia for $168,515. Click here for more results.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Next up, Artcurial’s Le Mans Classic sale. While the Venturi we featured failed to sell, the biggest sale of the day was $3,669,607 for this 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster.

Photo – Artcurial

The strange Sovam 1100 sold for $13,915. And the two Lambos both sold as well, with the Countach bringing $1,141,049 and the 400 GT $500,948. Click here for more results.

And finally, Brightwells Classic & Vintage sale. The Mini Marcos failed to sell but the Mini-Comtesse did, bringing $1,089. The top sale was this 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster for $178,661. The Bristol 400 brought $75,385 Click here for all results.

Photo – Brightwells

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

1952 Hudson Hornet 6 NASCAR

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Worldwide Auctioneers is liquidating the greatest collection of Hudson motorcars in the world. And after studying the catalog, I’m pretty sure this is the crown jewel (Italia included). Hudson’s Hornets dominated NASCAR in the early 1950s with legendary drivers like Marshall Teague, Tim Flock, Dick Rathmann, Buck Baker, and Herb Thomas. This was Herb Thomas’ actual race car from 1952 and 1953.

The Hornets were an underdog car that quickly rose to the top. They were six-cylinder cars in an eight-cylinder world. But their chassis design made the cars quick and nimble. Documents show this car was sold to Herb Thomas in July of 1952 to replace a wrecked Hornet. Driven to 15 victories, this very car led Thomas to the 1953 NASCAR championship. After the ’53 season, this chassis was retired and sold to a private owner who used it as a normal road car.

A different owner acquired it in the 1970s hoping to get it roadworthy. That never happened but by this point its racing heritage had been forgotten. It wasn’t until that owner sold the car to a former Hudson dealer and then-current parts supplier that the history of this car was uncovered. A sympathetic restoration followed, leaving the interior mostly intact.

The engine is a 5.0-liter straight-six with Hudson’s “Twin H-Power” intake system – all good for 170 horsepower (up from 145 from a car off the showroom floor). This is the only surviving example of the “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” racing program of the 1950s. Its legacy cemented by Paul Newman’s character in the Pixar movie Cars and a truly legendary NASCAR racer, this will remain collectible forever. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Blower Bentley

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The first Bentley was the 3-Litre model. In 1927, W.O. Bentley increased the displacement of the car and it became the 4½-Litre (the larger 6½-Litre was already on sale). These cars competed at Le Mans with the legendary “Bentley Boys” at the helm. One of them won it in 1928.

Then in 1929, Bentley and one of his engineers, Amherst Villiers, strapped a supercharger to the 4.4-liter straight-four. The Blower Bentley was born and it was an instant legend, setting several speed records. Horsepower jumped to 175 compared to the 110 from the normal car. Speeds of 100 mph were easily achieved, even on open roads.

This car originally carried a sedan body – one of three such cars delivered. Bentley had to homologate this model for racing, so 50 had to be built (and they were). This was the last of the first batch of 25 cars. The second owner wrecked it in 1935 and when Bentley rebuilt it, the engine was split from the car and fitted to a 3-Litre chassis. In 1984, the owners of the car decided to put it back the way it was supposed to be.

They sourced as many of the original parts as they could including the correct engine. It was re-bodied in Vanden Plas Tourer form and the project wrapped up in 1993. With two owners since, this rare and highly desirable Blower Bentley should bring between $2,700,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $2,654,569.

Marcos TS500

2003 Marcos TS500

Offered by Coys | Fontwell House, U.K. | July 12, 2018

Photo – Coys

Marcos Engineering lasted quite a while, from 1959 through 2007. Over the course of that time, they made a number of different models in varying quantities and each successive car looked like an evolution of the design before it (with one major exception). For example, compare the overall look of this TS500 to 1970’s Marcos 3-Litre.

The TS500 was an updated version of the company’s Marcasite TS250. Instead of a 2.5-liter V-6, the TS500 features a 320 horsepower, 5.0-liter Rover V-8. Sixty mph arrived in about four seconds and the car tops out around 160 mph.

Only a handful of these were made before Marcos switched up production to focus on the TSO before ultimately going out of business. This car was the original factory prototype and press car. It’s a 15,000 mile car with service records. A rare treat from a lost British sports car manufacturer, this convertible should bring between $33,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

McLaughlin-Buick

1936 McLaughlin-Buick Series 40 Special Sedan

Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | July 19, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

McLaughin started as a carriage building business in 1869. They founded the McLaughlin Motor Car Company in 1907 in Oshawa, Ontario. Then, they formed a partnership with Buick (to use their engines) and eventually were bought out entirely by General Motors. In 1918, they officially became General Motors of Canada Ltd. Beginning in 1923, the Canadian-built cars were branded as McLaughlin-Buick and were sold that way through 1942.

So this is essentially a Canadian-market Buick that was built in Canada. And at some point, it made its way to the U.K. The Series 40 Special was the entry-level Buick for 1936. It’s powered by a 93 horsepower, 3.8-liter straight-eight. Six different body styles were offered in ’36 with the sedan being far and away the most popular.

This example has been in the same family for the last two decades and shows 88,600 miles. Recent work to the gas tank and braking system mean that this car is ready for the road. It’s a stylish, middle class car from the 1930s and it serves as an interesting history lesson about General Motors. The pre-sale estimate is $18,000-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mini-Comtesse

1974 ACOMA Mini-Comtesse

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

ACOMA sarl of Angers, France, existed between 1975 and 1984. They were one of the pioneering French microcar manufacturers and were the largest such manufacturer in France at the end of the 1970s. This, the Mini-Comtesse, was their first model.

The tiny body is made of fiberglass. It features gullwing doors, so you can impress your supercar-driving neighbors. The engine is a 49cc single-cylinder and the single-seat interior is sparse at best. This is technically a five-wheeled vehicle – there is single front wheel (that is the driven wheel) and two wheels out back. There are also two tiny wheels outboard of the driven wheel to prevent Mr. Bean-style Reliant Robin tipovers.

ACOMA produced later models which all seem to be derivative takes on this car. For instance, the later Super Comtesse is a traditional four-wheeler that looks like a construction barrel had a love child with a cartoon pig. Interesting stuff. If you like microcars, this is an interesting one. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,089.

Dover Mail Truck

1929 Dover Super-Six Mail Truck

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Shipshewana, Indiana | August 4, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Dover was a short-lived brand of commercial vehicles introduced by Hudson in the summer of 1929. Not great timing. On the plus side, they were based on their Essex line of entry-level cars. So at least they were affordable.

The light-duty trucks were all Essex-based, so they used the same running gear, chassis, and bodywork from the firewall forward. The radiators were different and the commercial bodies were built by Biddle and Smart of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Dover scored a big sales win when the U.S. Postal Service ordered 500 examples for use as mail trucks. They were well-built enough that the USPS was still using some of them into the 1950s.

This example is powered by a 55 horsepower, 2.6-liter straight-six. It was discovered in Wyoming in the 1970s and purchased by the Harrah Collection (and then restored). It has spent time on display at NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana, and since then has been on display in the Hostetler Hudson Museum. Dovers were pulled from the market in late 1930 or early 1931 and they are extraordinarily rare today. Click here for more info and here for more Hudsons.

Bristol’s First Road Car

1949 Bristol 400

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

The Bristol Aeroplane Company was founded in 1910. It had a different name then, but they produced Bristol-branded airplanes for decades, helping the Allies win WWII in the process. Either in a dig at the defeated Germans (or because it was a great starting point), Bristol decided to build cars after the war and used the BMW 328 as their starting point.

Initially acquiring a license from Frazer Nash to build BMW cars, the first Bristol road car was the 1947 400. It’s powered by BMW’s 2.0-liter straight-six that made 80 horsepower. Built through 1950 (the 401 was introduced in 1948), all factory-built 400s were two-door sedans. At least one coachbuilt convertible was also built.

In all, 487 examples were produced. They were a great first start for one of the world’s most exclusive and private car companies. Painted in a striking shade of blue, this example features a rebuilt engine and a re-trimmed interior. It should bring between $66,000-$74,000. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $75,385.

Countach Periscopio

1975 Lamborghini Countach LP400

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

The Countach was the second, what we’ll call, “Mega-Lamborghini.” Originally there was the Miura, the first mid-engined supercar. There were other V-8 and V-12-powered cars in between but they weren’t outrageous. And if there’s one thing that Lamborghini does well, it’s being outrageous.

Originally penned by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, the Countach went on sale in 1974. The LP400 (LP, for the longitudinal mounting of the engine) was powered by a 375 horsepower, 3.9-liter V-12. Top speed was 167 mph. The LP400 was the first model and there would be a few others, as production rambled on through 1990. Lamborghini as a corporate entity changed hands a few times during the Countach’s production run so it was a car made with many “cooks in the kitchen,” if you will.

The other thing that changed between 1974 and 1990 was the preferred styling by customers. The Countach was sort of the torch-bearer for this as they got boxier and boxier with time. But this cool, sleek, original design is really the best-looking of the bunch.

This example was purchased new by a Saudi Prince and by the 1990s it made its way to Italy. An extensive restoration by the third owner followed, with a repaint in the original Giallo Fly. It’s traveled less than 6,000 km since the end of the restoration. Lambo only built 158 examples of the LP400, making it the second rarest variant of the Countach (after the LP400 S). It should sell for between $1,050,000-$1,160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artucurial.

Update: Sold $1,141,049.

Marendaz Sports

1936 Marendaz Special 13/70HP Sports Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 13, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has assembled quite the lineup for their Goodwood Festival of Speed sale. There’s an Aston DB4GT, a DB4GT Zagato, a Blower Bentley, and much, much more. But, to us, this is the most exciting car of the sale. Marendaz existed in England for 10 years: 1926 to 1936. In that time they turned out precious few cars and they are sporty.

This car, the 13/70, was available from 1932 through 1934. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter Continental straight-six rated at 70 horsepower. The factory used this engine but slimmed it down when new to 1.9-liters for tax purposes. So this car has the “correct” engine, but just not in the same specification it would’ve had when new. It’s got open four-seat coachwork with exhaust reminiscent of a Mercedes Type S.

Despite offering nearly 15 different models over the course of the short decade that Donald Marcus Kelway Marendaz’s company existed, they managed to only build between 80 and 120 cars in total. They’re sporty, very rare, and the entire history reminds one of manufacturers like Arab, Squire, and Alta. It’s an interesting old sports car for sure and the price should fall in the $93,000-$110,000 range. You can read more here and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Not sold.