Patriarca 750 Berlina

1949 Fiat-Patriarca 750 Berlina Sport by Faina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

With its almost-Porsche-like looks, this Patriarca 750 Berlina is one of many specials built on the backs of small Fiat road cars. Post War Italy didn’t have an economy to support a lot of fancy car sales, so companies like Fiat focused on small, affordable cars for the masses.

But that doesn’t mean Italians still didn’t love motorsport. So people like Rodolfo Patriarca and Carlo Abarth took to modifying these cars for sport. This car was based on a Fiat 500C and has an 81 horsepower, 750cc straight-four tuned for racing by Giannini.

Built by Patriarca for gentleman driver Sesto Leonardi, the competition history for this car includes:

  • 1950 Targa Florio – 3rd in class
  • 1950 Mille Miglia – 1st in class

It continued to race through 1953, with at least one more appearance at the Mille Miglia. It’s wonderfully restored and eligible for many historic events. You can read more here and see more from RM here.

Four 20s Cars from Bonhams (and one from the Teens)

1923 Daimler TS 6.30 Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has been killing it with their Beaulieu Sale the past few years. Because this time of year is so jam packed with great sales, we ended up doing this sort of thing last year too. So we’re going to squeeze four cars from the 20s (and one from the teens) to make sure we’re capturing the most interesting cars that we aren’t likely to see again for some time.

The British version of Daimler was founded in 1896 and actually lasted through the 2007 model year. This large tourer from 1923 is powered by a 5.0-liter, sleeve-valve straight-six making 30 horsepower. It’s a model that dates back to 1913, so I guess it was a little long-in-the-tooth a decade later – but you’d be hard pressed to tell as this six-seat tourer looks quite nice. The body is by Maythorn.

The car does run and has been in present ownership since 1993. It should be a relatively affordable large classic as it carries a pre-sale estimate of $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,331.


1928 Bayliss-Thomas 12/27HP Two-Seater Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bayliss-Thomas was a company that is primarily known for a brand of motorcycles called “Excelsior.” These are not the same Excelsior bikes made in the U.S., as this company was based in Coventry. In 1920 they decided to start building cars, but couldn’t use “Excelsior” and had to settle for their corporate name, Bayliss-Thomas.

Produced only through 1929, the company managed to churn out just over 1,000 cars in a 10 year span. Introduced in 1925, the 12/27 featured a 27 horsepower 1.5-liter Meadows straight-four and a three-speed gearbox. Five body styles were offered with this Sports Tourer being among the smallest. This example has been on static display at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, since 1974. It has been slowly restored but is not currently running. It’s certainly a rare car that isn’t seen often. In this state it should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1925 Vauxhall 30/98HP OE Velox Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams features a lot (like, really a lot) of old Vauxhalls over the course of a year. And this site has been ignoring them for too long. These cars are highly sporty and very popular in their native Britain. It is said that this model is favored over 3-Litre Bentleys of the period.

The 30/98 was first introduced in 1913, designed primarily for competition. Most were built after WWI ended and this particular sub-model, the OE, started finding homes in 1923 (and it lasted through 1927). The engine by this point was a 4.2-liter straight-four that actually made 110 horsepower. The chassis is described as “lightweight” – or lightweight for 1925. This car can comfortably cruise at modern highway speeds – and then some, with racing models capable of over 100 mph.

Even with the adoption of four-wheel brakes for the OE, the design was quite dated by the time it went on sale. Only 312 examples of the OE 30/98 were built. This four-seat Velox tourer was bodied in-house and looks as if it was aimed squarely at the competition from Bentley. Imported from Australia decades ago, the current owner acquired this car in 2012 and performed a fresh restoration. This sporty piece of British motoring history should bring between $280,000-$330,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $277,432.


1925 Fiat 510 De Luxe Berlina

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

When one thinks of old Italian cars, it’s easy to think of just things that are sporty or just things that are small. But there were also big sedans – just like those from France, the U.K., and America. In fact, Fiat’s Tipo 510 was the biggest car they built at the time. It was available for the 1920 through 1925 model years.

The engine is a 3.4-liter straight-six making 46 horsepower (or 53 if you had the upgraded “S” version). Top speed in this version is about 60 mph. The “S” also had a shorter wheelbase, as Fiat offered the standard 510 in just one length.

This example was sold new to Denmark and the current owner acquired it in 2001. It’s been cared for by conscientious owners its entire life. One of the last 510s built (of about 14,000 total), this big Fiat should bring between $26,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $25,309.


1914 Calcott 10½HP Two-Seater with Dickey

Offered by Bonhams | Beaulieu, U.K. | September 2, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Calcott Brothers started building bicycles in 1886 and, like many other bicycle manufacturers, turned to motorcycles – for them in 1904. The next logical step, cars, followed in 1913. The marque was acquired by Singer in 1926 and phased out after the head of the company passed away.

Bonhams is actually offering three different Calcott cars in this sale. This 10.5HP model is an example of the first model the company produced. Introduced in 1913, these were built through 1917. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four making, you guessed it, 10.5 horsepower. Most Calcotts were light cars and this one is quite pretty in bright blue with matching rims. This ex-museum car has been in storage since 2015 and needs a little work to make it roadworthy, but it’ll be worth it. It should bring between $19,000-$26,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $23,820.

Phillips Berlina

1982 Phillips Berlina

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 1-3, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Hello neo-classic fans! The 1980s were a weird time: people rolled up the sleeves on their white sport coats, wore huge glasses with big hair, and wanted to drive modern cars that looked like they were built in the 1930s. These weren’t replicas, but luxury cars with classic looks.

Charles W. Phillips decided to build just such a car. From 1980 through 1983, the Phillips Motor Car Corporation of Pompano Beach, Florida, built the Berlina Coupe in limited numbers. It’s not a kit car, but was sold as a fully-built automobile, even though it is based on a stretched C3 Corvette chassis. The body is fiberglass and made to evoke the pre-war Mercedes-Benz 540K.

This car is powered by a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V-8 making 200 horsepower (Corvettes weren’t all that sporty in 1980). Top speed was about 110 mph. It has leather interior and is decked out with about all the features you could hope for in 1982. They’re certainly striking and less than 90 were ever made. The cost when new was about $85,000 – but it will bring less than that at auction. Read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $17,500.

Abarth TC Race Car

1967 Fiat Abarth TC Berlina Corsa

Offered by Bonhams, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 19, 2012

This is the ultimate hot-hatch – with the exception that the rear hatch is in the always-open position and beneath it is a 1050cc Abarth four-cylinder engine making about 110 horsepower. This car could take down much bigger and more powerful cars. That much power pushing this little weight makes for an incredibly tossable and fun race car.

And this car is race ready. Buy it and go. That little Abarth scorpion logo is good for a few seconds off your lap time. This car was discovered rotting in a backyard in California in 1997 and period-correct Abarth parts were sourced in order to complete the rebuild.

Bonhams’ pre-sale estimate is $50,000-$70,000. More info here with more on the sale here.

Update: Sold $46,800.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams Monterey sale 2012, $30,475.

Update III: Sold, RM Arizona 2014, $46,750.

Bonhams at Petersen Automotive Museum – Results

Bonham’s November 12th, 2011 auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles sold a few interesting cars that we’ll talk about here. One that did not sell was the 1906 Holsman Model G-10 High-Wheel Runabout we featured here a few weeks ago.

On the upper-end of things was a 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine that was once owned by Elvis Presley. It’s Elvis-association brought in $172,000 – which is a lot, but then again, this is a lot of Cadillac. This result would appear to show that, in this case, Elvis’ name is worth approximately $100,000.

On the interesting side was this 1981 Phillips Berlina T-Top:

Neo-classics were all the rage in the late 1970s and early 1980s. There were quite a number of companies sprouting up in the U.S. that sol old-style cars on modern running gear. Every one of them looks like something Cruella de Vil would drive. This particular car from the Phillips Motor Car Company is built upon a C3 Corvette chassis and uses the donor car’s L82 V8. Chances are you could find numersou Excaliburs or Zimmers for sale at any one time, but this Florida-built Phillips is much rarer. It sold for $10,350.

The next car was featured in the the Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. It’s a 2004 Lexus that is fairly memorable from it’s role in the film (if you happened to see it). The car was featured prominently in the movie ads and at least one Lexus campaign if I recall correctly.

It doesn’t have much in the way of an interior – just a driver’s seat, a steering wheel, and some video screens. In the movie it was run on fuel cells (as that was the world-saving technology being touted as “the future” in 2004). Whether it runs or not in real life is another story. This car would work best as a pretty sculpture that sits in the middle of your collection. It brought $101,790.

Going back more than a hundred years we find this wonderful 1902 Autocar Type VIII Rear-Entrance Tonneau:

This car is a driver and is eligible for the London-to-Brighton Run. It’s attractive rear-entrance tonneau bodywork is a kind of marvel. Like three-door coupes today with their hidden rear-doors, this was an early attempt to build a somewhat sporty-looking two-seater with extra hidden seating and space behind the driver. Autocar traces its roots back to 1897 but they built their last “car” in 1911. They are still in business today, making large “vocational” trucks – thus making them, off the top of my head, America’s oldest vehicle manufacturer that’s still operating today. This car sold for $64,350.

Finally, we come to this 1951 Studebaker Land Cruiser Sedan.

It’s not remarkable – Studebaker made a good number of these – but it’s fresh (2007) restoration really looks good. It has a 120 horsepower V-8 and Studebaker’s stand-out “Bullet Nose” design. There’s just something about this car that struck me as intriguing. Do you agree or am I crazy?

For complete results, click here. Individual car pages are linked above.