Duesenberg J-519

1935 Duesenberg Model J Cabriolet by d’Ieteren

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 5-6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We’ve featured a lot of Duesenberg Model J’s – far more than any other model of car – in fact, we’ve featured nearly every Model J that has come up for public sale since 2011. But none of them look quite like this.

This car was bodied by d’Ieteren in Brussels (with this being the last Duesenberg Model J bare chassis shipped to Europe, where it arrived in Paris before going to Belgium). D’Ieteren traces their roots back to 1805 and they’re still in business – coachbuilding was just a blip on their radar. They managed to make this car looks small, modern, sleek, and sporty. It’s an excellent design.

As a standard Model J, this is powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight. J-519 came back to America after WWII. Restored for a second time in the late 1990s, the current owner acquired it in 2000. This is a big money car and as of this writing is among the most expensive cars that are on offer at this sale. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Hershey.

Georges Irat OLC3

1939 Georges Irat OLC3 Cabriolet

Offered by Aguttes | Linas, France | September 24, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Georges Irat founded his eponymous car company in 1921 in Chatou, France. Irat was an engine builder by trade, so full automobiles were a natural extension. Georges’ son Michel also had a car company. It was called, guess what, Michel Irat.

The OLC3 is powered by a 1.9-liter straight-four that makes 55 horsepower (or 11 CV). It is the same engine Citroen used in their 11CV Traction Avant. Irat’s chassis design was ahead of its time: this car features front-wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension.

This Cabriolet is one of the final cars Georges Irat made before the end of production due to the outbreak of war (they tried again after the war but only a few cars were made). Restored in 2003, the current owner acquired this car a decade ago. It’s a French car of the 1930s that has comparable style to some of the more lauded French marques like Talbot-Lago or Delage. It’s offbeat, in that sense, and can yours for between $65,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Hispano-Suiza K6 Cabriolet

1935 Hispano-Suiza K6 Cabriolet by Brandone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The great Hispano-Suiza began in 1904 in Spain. Over the course of the company’s life, even though its name translated to Spanish-Swiss, it shifted some automobile production from Barcelona to Paris. Most of the big, beautiful, later cars produced by the firm came out of France, including this mighty K6.

This was Hispano-Suiza’s six-cylinder model, powered by a 135 horsepower, 5.2-liter straight-six. Introduced in 1934, it was the replacement for the H6 series of cars that dated to the end of WWI. Hispano-Suiza was building 12-cylinder cars alongside the K6, but the K6 was the final model the company introduced as their automobile production wound up in 1938.

This car carries beautiful, long sweeping body work by Carrosserie Brandone, a coachbuilder that did not body as many cars as some of their French counterparts of the day. Past owners of this particular car include the Blackhawk Collection and Peter Mullin. Only about 70 examples of this model was built and this one is quite imposing. It should bring between $2,060,000-$2,320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Three Late Ferraris

1952 Ferrari 342 America Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s really packed their Monterey catalog this year, so much so in fact that I thought they were finished adding cars to it so I mapped out which cars to feature over the three weeks prior to the Pebble Beach Weekend. And then they added these three rare Ferraris. Time is tight, so they are being combined into one post. Enjoy the Ferrari overflow!

The 342 America was the second car in the Ferrari America line, produced in 1952 only. It’s powered by a 4.1-liter V-12 making 200 horsepower. This particular car is the only 342 America bodied by Vignale and it totally has that early-1950s Ferrari appeal.

The amazing thing about the 342 America is that Ferrari only built six examples (with this being the first). Six! That’s it. It’s one of the rarest road-going Ferraris ever made. Only three of them were drop tops and this car was delivered new to Switzerland. The current owners acquired it in 2007 and had it restored to the spec you see here. The estimate on this car is $2,250,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,255,000.


1954 Ferrari 500/735 Mondial Spider by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The car in this photograph definitely has the look of a child’s car. But it is not, as it is a true Ferrari race car. It started life as a 500 Mondial, the third car in Ferrari’s Monza line of sports racers. Bodied by Pinin Farina, it doesn’t quite resemble other 500 Mondial Spiders by the same coachbuilder.

Before it left the factory, Ferrari installed an engine from the slightly-earlier 735 S race car. That means this 500 Mondial is powered by a 2.9-liter straight-four that puts out 225 horsepower. That’s actually quite an upgrade over the Mondial’s comparatively weak 170 horsepower, 2.0-liter unit. To this day, no one knows why Ferrari built this car this way.

Sold new to a man in California, it spent its early days tearing around tracks on the West Coast in regional sports car races. The current owner has had the car since 1999, meaning it is being offered from relatively long-term ownership. It’s one of only 13 Pinin Farina Spider-bodied 500 Mondials. And possibly the only one with a 735 S engine. It should bring between $4,000,000-$5,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,850,000.


1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is one of the more obscure Ferraris. But because it’s a sports racer from the 1950s, that means it’s worth a huge amount of money. Ferrari’s chief competition during the 1955 World Sportscar Championship were cars like the Jaguar D-Type. So Ferrari went head-to-head, developing a monster six-cylinder engine to take down the English.

This car is powered by a 360 horsepower 4.4-liter straight-six. This chassis began life as a 118 LM and was one of two examples of that model to be upgraded by the factory to 121 LM specification. In this new spec the cars were unbelievably fast: capable of over 180 mph! The race history for this car includes:

  • 1955 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Paolo Marzotto as a 118 LM)
  • 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans – DNF (with Maurice Trintignant and Harry Shell as a 121 LM)

After that, Ferrari sold it and it entered service as a privateer car in California road races. Unfortunately, driver Ernie McAfee was killed while racing this car in Northern California. The then-owner rebuilt it and the present owner acquired it in 1997. This is a rare chance to acquire a factory Ferrari Le Mans racer. One of just four 121 LMs built, it should bring between $6,500,000-$7,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $5,720,000.

Voisin C28 Cabriolet

1938 Voisin C28 Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

It seems like there is maybe one of Gabriel Voisin’s automobiles that trade hands each year. This year, it looks like this beautiful, windswept C28 Cabriolet is the one you can get your hands on. The C28 was introduced in 1936 and we featured a relative of this car previously.

Voisin used sleeve-valve engines in his cars. This car is likely powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six with a power rating of 102 horsepower. Racing cars they were not. Instead, these were mechanical marvels with beautiful coachwork and sometimes wild interiors. This is one of the more restrained Voisins I’ve seen come up for sale. Part of the reason is that the coachwork was done outside of the factory, something that, while common in its day for cars of this stature, was quite uncommon for Voisin.

The body was designed by R. Saliot, a Voisin service center. They didn’t have the ability to actually build the body, so they outsourced their design elsewhere. This car is one of two with coachwork known to have been designed by Saliot (the other one won Pebble Beach). It was actually applied to this chassis when it was about 10 years old, which is why it looks a little post-war.

It is known that a monk acquired this car before selling it at auction in the late 1960s. Restored in the early 2000s, it comes from a “prominent” collection. Only about 60 C28 Voisins were built and this one is the only one quite like it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

OSI 1200 S

1965 OSI 1200 S Cabriolet

Offered by Artcurial | Monaco | July 2, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

OSI – or Officine Stampaggi Industriali – was an Italian company that stamped parts for other cars. It was founded by Luiggi Segre, the head of Ghia. They built parts for the likes of Innocenti, Fiat, and Ford. But at the 1963 Turin Motor Show, OSI presented a car of their own, this, the 1200 S.

Powered by a Fiat 1.2-liter straight-four, the car features a body designed by Giovanni Michelotti. It’s an attractive small car, reminiscent of small Fiat spiders of the day. It looks great with the full rims and whitewalls.

Built between 1964 and 1966, it could be had as a coupe or convertible. Artcurial says only 28 of these were built, but other sources list that number as high as 280. A different source says about 200 were sold. However you stack it, they’re extremely rare. To be the only one one your block with one will set you back between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $27,247.

Talbot-Lago T26 by Franay

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet by Franay

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Post-war Talbot-Lagos have always been desirable and appreciated cars. This car was shown at concours shows when it was brand new. The fact that it sports body work from one of the most sought-after coachbuilders only strengthens its case.

The T26 Grand Sport went on sale at the end of 1947 and it was a short-wheelbase version of the T26, which was introduced a year earlier. They were the sporty car in Talbot-Lagos catalog and could be had as a race car. Road cars were also constructed, with bodies from Europe’s top coachbuilders. The T26 Grand Sport is powered by a 190 horsepower version of the T26s 4.5-liter straight-six.

Only 29 cars were built on the short wheelbase and only 26 still exist. This chassis was shown at the 1949 Paris Auto Salon. Franay painted it black in 1950 and had its grille updated in 1951. The car sold in 1960 for $800 and wasn’t restored until 2010, a few owners later. This one-off T26 GS will bring slightly more this year than it did in 1960; it has an estimate of $1,300,000-$1,650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N# 110121.

Update: Sold $1,252,608.

Honda S800

1968 Honda S800 Cabriolet

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | March 18, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Honda is known for their economy cars and hatchbacks. But the second production car they ever built was a sports car, the 1963 S500. The S800 was introduced two generations later in 1966. It wouldn’t have a successor until 1999’s S2000.

The S800 was produced as a coupe and convertible and its targeted competitors included the likes of the Austin-Healey Sprite and MG Midget. It’s basically Japan’s first take on the classic English roadster. Take that Mazda Miata. The engine here is a 791cc straight-four making 78 horsepower. And it revs to almost nine grand, so it’s going to sound awesome with the top down.

Only 11,536 examples of the S800 were built between 1966 and 1970. The current owner acquired this example in the early 1990s and had it restored. The bright yellow paint looks great and the styling on this cars continues to improve with age. With less than 20,000 miles since the restoration, it’s still relatively fresh and ready to rev. It should bring between $24,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $36,210.

Cisitalia 202 SC

1947 Cisitalia 202 SC Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

From 25 feet (or, you know, in photos), this Cisitalia might look like any number of postwar sports cars. But it’s coachbuilt – by Vignale, no less – and the details on this car are fantastic.

The 202 was Cisitalia’s main road car, introduced in 1947 and produced through 1952. There were some pretty exotic versions of it, including the CMM and the famed SMM Spider Nuvolari. It’s borderline blasphemous to call any Cisitalia “pedestrian” but I think the attractive yet subdued styling on this Cabriolet, coupled with the fact that it lacks any real racing pretensions, is what makes it special.

This car is powered by a 63 horsepower, 1.1-liter straight-four. Coupes came first, but the Cabriolet is rarer, with only about 60 built (of a total 202 production run of 170 cars). This example was discovered in Argentina before coming stateside in 2003. The restoration dates all the way back to 2016 and the chassis number is an early one. It is expected to bring between $525,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Gooding’s Amelia Island lineup.

Update: Sold $550,000.

Tipo Bocca Astura

1936 Lancia Astura Series III Tipo Bocca Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Astura was Lancia’s large car, built between 1931 and 1939. While production overlapped with the Dilambda that the Astura was to replace, it was Lancia’s flagship car and the competitor to the big Alfa Romeos, Delehayes (and the like) of the era. Built in three series, this Series III car is one of 1,243 examples built between 1933 and 1937. It was the most popular series.

The Series III was powered by an 82 horsepower 3.0-liter V-8. While power seems a little light (it was), the car was relatively light as well, with Lancia suggesting that external coachbuilders keep the coachwork to a specific weight. Coachbuilt Asturas are pretty cars, this one being no exception. Pinin Farina’s sleek design was every bit as stylish as the cars coming out of France in the mid-1930s. Also, it has a power top. How many cars from 1936 can say that?

This is one of 328 short wheelbase Series III Asturas built. It is also one of six “Tipo Bocca” (as Pinin Farina called them) Cabriolets built for one specific Lancia dealer in Italy (these six were split between short and long wheelbase chassis). The car made its way to America in 1947 and the current owner acquired it in 2011. It was exquisitely restored thereafter and won awards at both Amelia Island and Villa d’Este. And rightfully so – it’s gorgeous. Price when new? A not insignificant $4,200. Price today? An even less insignificant $2,000,000-$2,600,000. Click here for more info and here fore more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,145,000.