Bugatti 57 Torpedo

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Torpedo Tourist Trophy

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Type 57 was sort of the ultimate Bugatti. Produced between 1934 and 1940, it would be the final model the company produced before shutting down due to the war and really, considering their brief attempted comeback after the war, the last true Bugatti production car.

There were some hotted-up versions of the Type 57 that came after this, including the Type 57T, 57C, 57S, and 57SC, but this is the original, the plain-old Type 57. It is powered by a 3.3-liter straight-eight engine making 135 horsepower, which was the same engine that Bugatti used in their Type 59 Grand Prix cars – so the racing heritage was present even if most Type 57s were not destined for the track.

This car, however, did see track use – and has for most of its life. When new, it competed in the Ulster Tourist Trophy race in the U.K. The next owner DNF’d the car at the 1936 24 Hours of Spa. By 1939 the car was in Australia, where it would spend the next 75+ years. The car had been modified over time but the consignor, who bought the car in the 1970s, spent until 2010 restoring the car to its 1935 specification.

Only 630 examples of the Type 57 were built and this one has pretty decent race history (with Earl Howe and Pierre Levegh at the wheel no less). It should bring between $950,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Three Hispano-Suizas

Three Hispano-Suizas

Offered during Rétromobile 2018 | Paris France


1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe De Ville by Kellner

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The H6 was a line of Hispano-Suiza automobiles that were built in France (for the most part) between 1919 and 1933. The H6B was introduced in 1922 and could be had through 1929, even though the more powerful H6C was also on sale for most of that time.

The H6B features a 6.6-liter straight-six making 135 horsepower. This car was bodied by Kellner of Paris and sold new to a Parisian owner. In 1967, it was discovered in a French warehouse in all-original condition and was then restored. Refurbished in Switzerland in 2003, the current owner has had the car since 2008. Tell your chauffeur to get their hat ready, because this car is expected to bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.


1937 Hispano-Suiza J12 Sedan by Gurney Nutting

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Imposing. That’s the word I would use to describe this beautiful Hispano-Suiza. And imposing was probably the point as it was ordered new by a Maharaja. This was Hispano-Suiza’s grandest automobile, produced in limited numbers between 1931 and 1938. How limited? They only made between 100 and 120 of these cars – all sold as bare chassis only. The owner got to have the car’s body custom built.

This one wears a huge, sweeping sedan body by Gurney Nutting. The J12 is powered by a massive 9.4-liter V-12 that normally makes 220 horsepower. An upgraded engine displacing an additional 1.9-liters was available and it brought an additional 30 horsepower. It is believed that this car carries one of those very rare engines.

Formerly part of the Blackhawk Collection, it is being sold with a beautiful restoration. The interior on this thing is mint: the front bench seat is pristine black leather and the rear passenger compartment looks like a red velvet bordello. Listed as “one of the most desirable examples of the Hispano J12 in the world,” it should bring between $730,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info.


1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 Pillarless Sedan by Vanvooren

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Hispano-Suiza’s H6C was last produced in 1929. The massive J12 could be had between 1931 and 1938 and the K6 was introduced alongside the J12 in 1934. It was built through 1937 with just 204 examples produced.

Vanvooren actually bodied nearly half of all K6s built and this Pillarless Sedan is quite beautiful. It actually almost requires a double take to see that it is in fact a four-door sedan with those tight rear doors hugging the rear fenders. The engine is a 5.2-liter straight-six good for 120 horsepower.

This was one of the last K6s built and one of the last cars to leave Hispano-Suiza’s factory before they closed and turned to military production. Hidden during the war, it changed hands first in the 1950s before making its way to Sweden and then it’s next owner put it in a museum. Restored after 2010 in Germany, this well-traveled Hispano-Suiza has been on museum duty for the last few years. But it should still bring a healthy $220,000-$315,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

4 Pre-WWI Minervas

Pre-WWI Minervas

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018


1907 Minerva Type K 40HP Transformable Open-Drive Limousine Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams managed to snag an unreal collection of Minerva automobiles for their Rétromobile sale. This is the oldest of the bunch, dating to 1907 – which was just five years after the Belgian firm built their first cars.

The Type K features a 40 horsepower 6.2-liter straight-six. This car was aimed squarely at the top of the market – right at Rolls-Royce. It’s a gigantic car, with an open (or covered) driver’s compartment and an enclosed limousine rear (but also with a removable top… which I guess makes this entire car technically a convertible). The body is by Belvallette et Cie. It was purchased new off of Minvera’s stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.

It was discovered in 1966 and immediately placed in a museum. In 1981 it changed hands again and the collection it is coming out of acquired it in 1995. Did I mention that this 111-year-old car is entirely original? It’s been expertly preserved and it should bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.


1910 Minerva Model S 26HP Open-Drive Landaulette

Photo – Bonhams

The 1910 Minerva range consisted of three models, the entry-level 16HP, the top-of-the-line 38HP, and this, the mid-range 26HP Model S. The engine is a Knight sleeve-valve 4.1-liter straight-four. The body looks extremely complicated with a retractable top out back and a removable hardtop for the driver, which when both are down, leaves a little piece of roof sticking up in the middle.

This car was delivered new to France and returned to Belgium in 1918. The current collection acquired the car in 1999 and there was a restoration, but no one seems to know when it was performed. At any rate, it’s aged nicely and should bring between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.


1911 Minerva Model Z 38HP Open-Drive Limousine

Photo – Bonhams

This Minerva looks a little bit newer than 1911, which I guess is a testament to its great design. The Model Z was the “big” Minerva for 1911, powered by a 6.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-four making 38 horsepower. The body almost has a “C-Cab” look to the driver’s compartment, which is very stylish. Unfortunately, the coachbuilder is unknown.

This car was delivered new to Spain and entered the current collection more than 30 years ago. It’s thought to be mostly original, but it will require some freshening as it’s been sitting for a few years. Compared to some of the other Minervas in this sale, this car is on the cheap side, with a pre-sale estimate of $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info.


1912 Minerva Model CC 38HP Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Just like in 1910 and 1911, the 1912 Minerva line consisted of three models of differing power outputs with this, the 38HP model being the largest. It’s powered by a sleeve-valve 7.2-liter straight-four rated at 38 horsepower. That large displacement coupled with the Knight engine made for exceptionally smooth running.

This is a big touring car equipped with a second windshield for the rear passengers. Delivered new to the U.K., this car was pulled from a Scottish barn in the 1960s and restored as-needed before the end of the 1970s. It’s been on static display in this collection for up to the last 15 years, which means it’ll need a little TLC if you want to take it out on the road. It should sell for between $55,000-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

1912 FN Tourer

1912 FN Model 2000 Five-Seat Tourer

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

FN – short for Fabrique Nationale – still exists as an arms manufacturer, the industry with which the company began in the 1880s. They branched into bicycle manufacturing (and were a long-running motorcycle manufacturer) before they built their first automobile in 1899.

Full-on production of cars didn’t start until 1906 and those first examples were Rochet-Schneiders built under license. This model, the Model 2000, (which was introduced in 1908), is powered by a 2.0-liter straight-four engine and has a five-seat open-tourer body. Driving this car is a daytime-only experience as this car does not have headlights.

Not much is known about the history of this particular example (including things like, when the last time it was started), but FN cars are pretty nice and they were Belgium’s longest-lived auto manufacturer, existing until 1935. This one should bring between $30,000-$42,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Imperia Fabric Saloon

1926 Imperia Type 8-25SS 8HP Fabric Saloon

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Based in Liège, Imperia automobiles were first introduced in 1906. The company would grow throughout the 1910s and into the 20s, acquiring Metallurgique, Nagant, and Excelsior along the way. In 1934 they merged with Minerva but the merger disbanded in 1939. Imperial built a few cars after the war but the marque was gone by 1949.

The most interesting thing about Imperia (I think) was that their factory in Belgium contained a test track along the roof (which you can still see on Google Earth). The car you see here has a fabric roof and it powered by four-cylinder engine that probably displaces 1.1 liters, which would mean it makes 27 horsepower.

Imperias aren’t all that common today and this one has been owned by the consignor for the past 12 years. It’s a small, light, and affordable Belgian classic. It should bring between $24,000-$36,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Tojeiro-Butterworth

1956 Tojeiro-Butterworth AJB Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another one-off sports racing special carrying the name of John Tojeiro. In this case, Tojeiro wasn’t really involved with building the car at all. Instead, a racer named Major Ronald Clare Clifford Palmer bought a chassis from Tojeiro’s company and built his own car, using an engine from Archie Butterworth.

Butterworth had been designing and driving race cars since the end of WWII and had created a series of small four-cylinder engines for Formula 2 competition. It was one of these engines that Palmer and a friend purchased to install in this car. It’s a 1.5-liter flat-four, race-prepped and ready to run.

The body was custom built and pretty much looks like they sprayed liquid fiberglass over the components and let it dry. It’s a tight fit, which helps keep the weight down. The current owner bought it in 2011 and this thing has been completely gone over. It’s raced in historic events are some great tracks around Europe and now it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy it. It should bring between $110,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Knox Touring

1910 Knox Type O 5-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Ever heard the saying “right place, right time?” Well Harry Knox lived it. He lived next door to automotive pioneer Frank Duryea who told him he should get into the auto business himself. So Knox set up the Knox Automobile Company in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1900.

When I think of Knox cars, this is what I picture. But what we have here is a large touring car. Knox started moving this direction around 1905, but their cars really started getting big in 1908. The Type O (which I show to be a 1909 model, though this one is listed as a 1910) was offered in two different wheelbases. This is the longer of the two.

It’s powered by a 45 horsepower, 6.1-liter straight-four. The Five-Passenger Touring body style was one of four offered in this chassis configuration and it cost $3,000 when new. The restoration of this example was completed in 2011. These later Knox cars don’t show up often, and the price of this one reflects that: it carries a pre-sale estimate between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Scottsdale lineup.

Update: Sold $145,000.

Molzon Concept Corsa

1968 Molzon Concept Corsa GT38

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

This aggressive-looking one-off was the pride and joy of former General Motors designer William Molzon. Molzon worked at GM under Larry Shinoda and wanted to create a sports car that was designed with both the design and engineering in mind from the get-go.

In 1963 he started his effort. The chassis is light, built using one-inch steel tubing. The engine is a race-modified 2.7-liter flat-six tuned to produce 200 horsepower. The body is fiberglass and it was hand-laid by Molzon over a Styrofoam base. The transmission is from a first-generation Porsche 911.

Weighing in at about 1,100 pounds, it’s about as nimble as things came in the 1960s. And it looks loud too, like it barks (in fact, it almost has a dog-like stance). But few people probably know just how loud it is – this car has only covered 959 since new. Molzon kept the car for 50 years, just recently departing with it earlier this year. Featured in Road & Track in 1970, the Molzon Concept Corsa GT38 should bring between $100,000-$125,000 in Scottsdale 2018. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $41,800.

Sabra Sport

1962 Sabra Sport Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Sabra was Israel’s first and only sports car. Built in limited numbers by Autocars Co. Ltd of Haifa, the Sabra Sport was built alongside a few Autocars-branded models that were a little more ordinary-looking. The design of the Sabra was accomplished by Autocars purchasing the rights to the Ashley kit car.

The body is fibgerlass and it was built by Reliant, who actually ended up building the first 122 cars in England. They themselves built a version of the Sabra as the “Sabre” under their own marque. This is one of those “Israel-by-way-of-Tamworth, England” cars. It was delivered new to a Sabra dealer in the U.S.

The engine here is a 1.7-liter Ford straight-four making 61 horsepower. You could buy these in Coupe form as well. Only 379 were built between 1961 and 1968, including both the drop-top and hard-top models. Autocars Ltd actually lasted into the 1980s.

This car was never sold by that Florida dealer and was instead put in storage. It was discovered in 2000 with just 40 miles on it (!). It Completely restored thereafter, it has covered just 650 miles since new. It’s incredible. This example should bring between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $40,700.

November/December 2017 Auction Highlights

We’re winding up 2017 and we’re starting with Historics at Brooklands at Mercedes-Benz World. Two cars here shared the “top sale” honors. They were this 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL:

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

And this 1994 Lamborghini Diablo VT. Both brought $182,216.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The Peugeot van we featured failed to sell, but the Ligier microcar went for just $2,987 -a steal for a true oddity. Click here for complete results.

Brightwells sort of snuck a sale in under our radar in late November and we didn’t get to feature anything from it. The top sale was $89,965 for this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster. Click here for more results.

Photo – Brightwells

Next up, Bonhams’ first of two December sales held in London. This, the Bond Street Sale, appropriately saw this very Bond-esque ex-Paul McCartney 1964 Aston Martin DB5 bring the most money of any car in the sale: $1,811,994.

Photo – Bonhams

That means that the Ferrari 288 GTO (and the Bristol 411) failed to sell. Click here for more from this sale.

RM Sotheby’s held their “Icons” sale in New York City and this 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione blew everything else away, selling for $17,990,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The three cars we featured from this sale all sold, with the Pagani bringing the most at $1,850,000. The Marmon sold for $962,000 and the Chrysler Special $885,000. Click here for the rest of the big dollar cars (and they were all big dollar cars).

Finally, for 2017, Leclere auctioned off some of Citroen’s private reserve. The top sale was the Tubyk Concept we featured for $43,747. The 1980 Xenia Concept missed its estimate, bringing just $8,616. Most Interesting goes to this semi-bizarre 2007 Citroen Jumpy “Snow Atlantic” by Sbarro which sold for $21,210.

Photo – Leclere

The other Sbarro creation was the topless Berlingo and it sold for $12,593. The two Eco 2000 prototypes both sold with the 1983 version bringing $11,268, while the 1984  version brought $19,222. And the Citela Concept sold for $17,233. Click here for complete results.