February 2019 Auction Highlights

We’ll pick up where we left off last time, Scottsdale. This time it’s Russo & Steele, where this 2012 Lexus LFA blew everything else away, selling for $412,500. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Now we’re on to Retromobile in Paris, where RM Sotheby’s led it off with a huge number for this 1987 Ferrari F40 LM: $5,489,215.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Next, a couple of no-sales, which included the Ferrari SP30, the 2015 Morgan, the 1900 Panhard, the OSCA, and a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza. On the other hand, the Jordan 196 F1 car sold for $273,468. Click here for more results.

The second sale of the Retromobile week was held by Bonhams, and we featured a lot of cars from this event. On the extreme one end of the spectrum was the Red Bug buckboard we featured. It sold for $4,958. Now a quick rundown of no-sales from this auction: the Clement-Bayard, the beautiful Darracq, the 1911 Renault, the Bellanger, and a previously-featured Horch. The overall top sale was this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A for $1,794,086.

Photo – Bonhams

Cars that did sell include the 1909 Sears for $22,181, the 1913 FN also for $22,181, the Berliet for $43,058, the Hanomag for $66,544, the 1912 Hupmobile for $18,267, and the Pilain for $32,619. A pair of previously-featured cars sold here too: the 1971 Bizzarrini 128 Prototype for $110,907 and aPaige-Detroit for $37,838. Final results can be found here.

The final sale from Retromobile was Artcurial’s – and it was a big one. The top sale here was the Alfa 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta we featured for $18,997,883, which is apparently about the going rate for those cars. Other big dollar cars included the Voisin C16 for $128,471, the Panhard X86 Dolomites for $108,186, and all three Serenissimas: the Agena brought $500,360, the Ghia GT $513,883, and the ex-Le Mans Spyder a whopping $4,786,229. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1948 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet by Letourneur and Marchand that sold for $170,393.

Photo – Artcurial

Cars that failed to sell included the Voisin C11, the Mercedes 500K Cabriolet B, the Citroen Traction Avant Cabriolet, and the Talbot Barquette, while cars that did find new homes were the Voisin C3L for $60,885, the Dick Tricycle for $12,171, and the Rochet-Schneider for $35,160. More results can be found here.

Finally, we have Silverstone Auctions and their Race Retro Classic Car sale. The biggest money was the $381,813 paid for this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Ginetta G4 we featured sold for $40,824, but the De Tomaso Longchamp Spider failed to find a new home on the block. You can see more results from this sale here.

Two Knox Automobiles

1900 Knox Model A 5HP Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

How Harry A. Knox became to be an automobile manufacturer probably has something to do with how this car looks. His neighbor happened to be J. Frank Duryea, who along with his brother, was one of America’s first automobile producers. And their early cars looked a lot like this (three-wheelers included).

The auction catalog lists this as a c.1899, but my information says that Knox built their first 15 3-wheelers in 1900. Another 100 were built in 1901, and a 4-wheeler was added in 1902. This car is powered by a five horsepower, 1.6-liter single-cylinder engine.

The engine number is 28, which might mean this was actually built in 1901. In any case, it’s one of the earliest Knox cars around, and it is really, really cool. It should sell for between $100,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $106,400.


1910 Knox Model R Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Here’s a later Knox, and a much larger, more traditional example. When I think of this marque I think of tiny, early runabouts like this one. But later on, they certainly built big tourers as well.

The Model R was sold in 1910 through 1912 and it is powered by a 40 horsepower, 6.1-liter straight-four. It has shaft drive and is finished in an attractive combo of blue with red wheels. The restoration is described as older, but with big power on tap, it should be a nice, usable car.

The seven-passenger touring body style was only available on the Model R in 1912, after the wheelbase was extended to 122″. But who knows, anything is possible with old cars. This one should bring between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $156,800.

Pope-Hartford Limousine

1910 Pope-Hartford Model T Limousine

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Albert Pope attached his name to a lot of car companies. The Pope-Hartford, for instance, was built in Hartford, Connecticut between 1904 and 1914. It was one of the more successful marques with the Pope brand. Imagine if General Motors name each car after the city it was physically assembled in. It would be insane.

With some amount of balls, Pope branded their 1910 car the “Model T,” and it is powered by a 4.9-liter inline-four rated at 40 horsepower. It wears a Limousine body, though it was also delivered new with a separate touring car body. That delivery is interesting because the first owners were in Uruguay, of all places.

More interesting is that the first owner was the Uruguayan ambassador to the Vatican. Yes, that’s right, the actual Pope is thought to have ridden in this Pope. It has bounced around the U.S. over the last few decades (including a period where it was local to where I currently reside) and is said to have never been fully restored. It should bring between $160,000-$190,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Brabham BT26A

1968 Brabham-Cosworth BT26A

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Motor Racing Developments Ltd. was a Formula One constructor founded by driver Jack Brabham and engineer Ron Tauranac. It is commonly known as “Brabham.” The team competed for 30 years, between 1962 and 1992. Jack won the F1 championship in one of his own cars in 1966 – the only time that’s ever happened.

This chassis began life as a Repco-powered BT26 in 1968 with driver Jochen Rindt. The Repco was an unreliable unit, so the team switched to Cosworth power for 1969. With the new engine and some slight tweaks, the ’68 cars (including this one) were rechristened the BT26A. This car is powered by a 3.0-liter Ford-Cosworth DFV V8. It’s race history includes:

  • 1968 Canadian Grand Prix – 12th (DNF), with Jochen Rindt
  • 1968 United States Grand Prix – 11th (DNF), with Rindt
  • 1968 Mexican Grand Prix – 21st (DNF), with Rindt
  • 1969 Spanish Grand Prix – 6th, with Jacky Ickx
  • 1969 Dutch Grand Prix – 5th, with Ickx
  • 1969 French Grand Prix – 3rd, with Ickx
  • 1969 Canadian Grand Prix – 1st, with Ickx
  • 1969 Mexican Grand Prix – 2nd, with Ickx
  • 1969 Oulton Park Gold Cup – 1st, with Ickx

Not too shabby a record once the Cosworth was installed, which the car retains. It’s an impressive open-wheel car from the glory days of F1. It should bring between $1,100,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

S/N: BT26-3

Update: Sold $1,105,000.

1908 Welch

1908 Welch Model 4-L Seven-Passenger Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Brothers Fred and A.R. Welch built their first automobile in 1901 and entered production in 1903 in Chelsea, Michigan. The company moved to Pontiac, Michigan in 1904 and in 1909 they spun off a subsidiary producing a small car called the Welch-Detroit. General Motors acquired Welch in 1910 and quickly phased it out.

The 5.5-liter inline-four was rated at 50 horsepower and features an overhead camshaft and hemispherical combustion chambers. The OG Hemi. Only four “hemi-head” Welch cars are known to survive, and in 1908, this was the only body style you could get on a Model 4-L.

This car has known ownership history back to about 1910, and it was co-acquired by Henry Austin Clark Jr. in 1951. Restored prior to the early-1970s, it has been a mainstay in its current collection for decades. The Welch was one of the best cars in America in 1908, and this one should bring $250,000-$320,000 today. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $456,000.

Red Bug Electric

1924 Red Bug Electric Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The Smith Flyer went on sale in 1916, and it was a two-seat buckboard driven by a fifth wheel located out back. Briggs & Stratton bought the design in 1919, and it was sold as the Briggs & Stratton flyer thereafter. In 1924, they sold the rights to the Automotive Electric Service Corporation, who began to market the cars as the Red Bug (and sometimes the Auto Red Bug).

Between 1924 and 1928, two versions were offered: a gas-powered single-cylinder car and an electric one. They were more or less identical in looks and both cost $150. This 12-volt electric-powered version has only four wheels and was restored by its current owner.

Yes, these are real cars that you should be able to register for the road. The Indian motorcycle company allegedly bought the design in 1930, but no one really seems to know what happened, and they disappeared from the automotive landscape (though I couldn’t imagine driving one in the 1930s with a huge Duesenberg bearing down on you, much less an SUV today). This one should sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,958.

January 2019 Auction Highlights

January means one thing: Scottsdale. And we’ll start there with Bonhams where the 1951 Maserati we featured was the top sale at $2,755,000. Most of the other really big money cars all missed the target, which might say something about the top of the market (but we’ll see as the other sales all wrap up). The other Frua-bodied car, the Fiat 1100C, sold for $577,000. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible – mostly because I really want one. I just don’t have the $50,400 it would’ve required to take this one home.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured Abarth race car sold here for $16,800 – a long way from the $45k+ it brought at multiple previous auctions (weird, it has a different chassis number listed in this sale compared to previous sales, but has the exact same backstory). This car has changed hands multiple times in the last few years. Someone here either got a great deal, or the consignor finally unloaded an albatross at a loss (also, dibs on “Albatross at a Loss” as my next rap album name). Meanwhile, the Stevens-Duryea sold for $72,800. Click here for complete results.

Next up from Arizona is RM Sotheby’s, and there were a couple of cars that failed to meet their reserve, including a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale. But another Ferrari was top dog at this sale, specifically this 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO that sold for $3,360,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The biggest money feature car we had was the Vector WX-3 at $615,500, with the WX-3R coming up right behind it at a cool $500,000. The Lesovsky-Offy brought $201,600, the Rolls-Royce State Landaulette $190,400, the Hooper Bentley $128,800, the Apollo 3500 GT $134,400, and the Lone Star Touring $44,800. Click here for complete results.

Barrett-Jackson’s catalog is so large that I don’t feel like scrolling through the entire thing trying to find highlights and the top sale. Their user interface leaves a little to be desired, so I’m just going to look through Saturday’s results and assume that the top sale was in their prime time lineup. What I found: the overall top sale was, as it usually is here, a charity lot. The first 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition went for $2,500,000.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

That crazy Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 sold for $1,210,000, while the Paige Ardmore sold for $16,500 and the Ford Lightning Rod Concept $27,500. All of the results can be found here and you can scroll through them at your leisure if you have a spare five hours.

Next: Gooding & Company, where the 1902 Yale we featured brought $105,280, and the Ferrari 275 Prototype failed to sell. The biggest money was reserved for this 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta for $7,595,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Finally, we have Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale sale where this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the overall top sale at $990,000.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Our three Indiana-built feature cars all sold, with the two Duesenbergs falling in “good deal” range. The Duesenberg Tourster sold for $605,000, and the other Duesey brought $506,000. The Auburn Boattail rounds it all out at $291,500. Click here if you want more results from this sale.

December 2018 Auction Highlights

The second of Bonhams’ early December sales was their London Olympia sale. The top sale was this 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer that sold for $352,292.

Photo – Bonhams

The Talbot Tourer we featured brought an also-impressive $242,200, as did the other Rolls-Royce at $176,146. The Healey Abbott failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.

Onward to RM Sotheby’s sale held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The top sale was the huge price paid for this 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti: $22,005,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Mochet microcar we featured sold for $25,200, and a previously-featured Ferrari wagon sold for $313,000. Final results can be found here.

Aguttes held a sale in December that had a few cars sprinkled in, the most expensive of which ended up being this 1994 Ferrari 348 GTS for $74,305. Full results can be found here.

Photo – Aguttes

And now we’re into 2019, beginning with Mecum’s epic Kissimmee sale that lasted for almost two weeks. Somehow, a LaFerrari Aperta we featured failed to meet its astronomical, irrational reserve at a bid of over $6 million. However, its sister car from the same collection, a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari was the overall top seller at this sale for $3,300,000. Which was below the pre-sale estimate. Go figure.

Photo – Mecum

Here’s a rundown of other feature cars from this sale that failed to find new homes: Pontiac El Catalina Prototype, Tramontana GT, Corvette ZR2, McLaren 675LT Spider, and the Brumos Edition Porsche (yet again).

Now onto some better news. The previously-featured Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold here – for almost double what it brought in 2013: $2,200,000. Other big dollar cars included Duesenberg J-255 for $935,000 and a Ford Torino King Cobra for $192,500.

The other two feature cars we have – both factory prototypes – both sold. The Ford Forty-Nine Convertible went for $51,700, and the Pontiac Trans Am Kammback sold for $40,700. Click here for complete results.

And finally, we move to another early January sale: Silverstone Auctions’ Autosport International sale. The Griffith we featured sold, but is still listed as “result to follow.” Once it’s posted we’ll update our Griffith page, so check back if you just have to know. The top seller was yet another Ferrari, this time a 1970 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 for $257,360. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Five Old Convertibles from Bonhams

Five Old Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019


1908 Clement-Bayard AC4I Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Bonhams has a great number of interesting, early cars in their Retromobile catalog this year. We’ll be featuring five of the most interesting pre-WWI tourers (okay four, and one landaulette). Clement-Bayard was founded by Adolphe Clement, whose career is worthy of its own post.

I usually picture smaller cars, or very early cars, when thinking of Clement-Bayard, but this car proves that they also built quite large, expensive tourers as well. This car is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four. It is said to be original and unrestored, which is pretty impressive. It should sell for between $86,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1911 Renault Type CC Torpedo

Photo – Bonhams

The Type CC was a mid-sized Renault built in 1911 and 1912. It is sometimes referred to as the 14CV and is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 16 horsepower. I’ve seen one of these in person (or a model very similar) and they’re a little smaller than you might think. But they make great old car noises.

This one carries a body from Million-Guiet that has some nice details. Check out the shape of the lower part of the windshield, for instance. Good luck finding replacement glass. Partially-restored, this car should bring between $69,000-$100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1912 Hupmobile Model 32 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

In a sea of old French cars offered by Bonhams in Paris, here’s an American one. The Hupp Motor Car Company of Detroit built cars from 1909 through 1940. They didn’t make it to the other side of WWII, but their cars were well-known and respected for many years prior.

The Model 32 went on sale in 1912 and is powered by a 32 horsepower straight-four engine. Production continued through 1915. This one was exported to Ireland in 1990 and was restored there in 2009. It’s a perfect example of an early American touring car and should sell for between $17,000-$23,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $18,267.


1913 FN Type 2700 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

Gotta love the lighting assistant standing to the side in the photo above (though I’d gladly take that job). FN was a Belgian company, and quite a few of them have been sold from this very collection. Here’s a smaller Model 2000 version, for example.

While that car may physically look larger, it has a smaller engine. The car you see here is powered by a 2.7-liter straight-four. The 2700 was introduced shortly before WWI broke out, and it is thought that only 16 examples were produced before the company’s focus shifted to the war. This one doesn’t wear its original body (it was used as a fire engine at one point) but should still bring between $29,000-$40,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $22,181.


1912 Berliet Type AM 15HP Brougham de Ville

Photo – Bonhams

And finally, we have a Berliet – another French car. Not a full convertible, this car is described as a Brougham de Ville, which means the owner got to ride in the covered section out back while the chauffeur sat up front, exposed to the elements.

This car is powered by a 15 horsepower straight-four engine and was acquired by the collection from which it is being sold in 1963. The body was fitted during this time but is pretty accurate to what a car would’ve looked like in 1912. This one should command between $52,000-$63,000. More can be found here, and more from this sale can be found here.

Update: Sold $43,058.

Darracq Touring

1914 Darracq Model V-14 16hp Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

Alexandre Darracq founded his automobile company in Suresnes, France in 1896. In 1903 he sold the controlling interest in his company to a bunch of Englishmen. Darracq still ran the company from Paris, but things were going poorly by the time WWI broke out. By 1920, the company had purchased Clement-Talbot and Sunbeam and was renamed STD Motors – now a fully British company.

After that, French-built Darracqs were called Talbot-Darracqs for a brief bit before the Darracq name was dropped altogether. The two different companies have a convoluted history thereafter.

This French-built Model V-14 is powered by a 16 horsepower straight-four engine and was delivered new to Ireland. It looks much sportier than it probably is, but the car was once driven by Phil Hill, so who knows. It should bring between $46,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.