Figoni et Falaschi Narval

1947 Delahaye 135MS Narval Cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo – Mecum

If this car were to be built today, it would ride about four inches lower. At least. That upside-down bathtub styling just looks right at home sucking on the ground. But the roads were different in 1947. Especially in France. And who am I to nitpick a Figoni et Falaschi design?

The Delahaye 135MS is powered by a 3.6-liter inline-six probably making about 145 horsepower. These cars were produced both before and after the war, technically from about 1938 through the end of Delahaye production in 1954.

The “Narval” name, if you haven’t figured it out, alludes to the car’s somewhat narwhal-like appearance. Only seven such Delahayes were bodied like this, and this one has been in the same hands for the last 50 years. It’s a million-dollar car, no doubt. You can see more about it here and more from Mecum’s Monterey sale here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $2,600,000.

Wendler-Bodied MB 320

1937 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet by Wendler

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | April 11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are two very interesting things about this car. First, quite obviously, are its looks, as it resembles nothing else Mercedes has ever built. Second is that the looks are very 1950s and the chassis is very 1930s. That’s because it was bodied in the early-1950s by Wendler, the company most famous for building the bodies for the Porsche 550.

The Mercedes W142 was also called the Mercedes Type 320, and it was produced between 1937 and 1942. In all, 7,017 examples were built in a wide variety of body styles. Power is from a 3.2-liter inline-six making 77 horsepower.

The post-war body features three headlights, which is certainly unusual. You could drive this car rather anonymously through a Mercedes-Benz festival and no one would be the wiser. That’s what I love about it – it is uniquely coachbuilt and removes all brand pretense from the equation. Believed to be one of four “Ponton” cabriolets built by Wendler, it is a one-off and should bring between $125,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Two Microcars

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29-30, 2019


1965 Goggomobil TS300 Cabriolet

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Goggomobil was built by Hans Glas GmbH between 1955 and 1969. There were a number of different models offered, with the TS coupe model available in TS250 or TS300 form.

They are powered by a 15 horsepower, 293cc 2-stroke twin. The cabriolet is very rare, with only seven examples produced. This former museum car carries a pre-sale estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $20,350.


1958 Biscuter 200-1 Furgoneta

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Biscuter was a microcar built by Autonacional of Spain. It is a descendant of Gabriel Voisin‘s post-war Biscooter French microcar. Different models were available, including the Pegasin sports car and this Furgoneta commercial van.

Power here is from a 197cc 2-stroke single-cylinder making a whopping nine horsepower. It’s wearing a wrap, which is an interesting thing to do to a classic car. Not many examples remain, and this one sports some pretty awesome wood work. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,675.

Hispano-Suiza by Chapron

1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet Le Dandy by Chapron

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8-9, 2019

Photo courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Hispano-Suiza was a Spanish/Swiss company that set up a French arm in 1911, which became their main factory in 1914. And in 1923, the French part sort of became its own company altogether, which is why this car is listed under “France” in our cars by country list.

The H6 went on sale in 1919 and was usurped by the H6B in 1922. More powerful than its predecessor, the H6B gets moved along by a 135 horsepower, 6.6-liter straight-six. It was a popular model and remained in production alongside the even-better H6C for a few years.

The Henri Chapron-built body currently on this car was added five years after it was originally sold, replacing whatever the original body was. The car has been stateside since the 50s, and has been winning awards at major shows for the last 15 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,352,500.

Citroen Traction Avant 11BL Cabriolet

1939 Citroen Traction Avant 11BL Cabriolet by Clabot

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

The Traction Avant was one of a few cars produced worldwide that saw a pre-war introduction and continued post-war success. Part of that probably had to do with the financial state of France after WWII and the associated engineering costs for developing a new vehicle. It’s kind of crazy that a car designed for 1934 was still being sold in a Western country in 1957.

There were a number of variants and also a number of coachbuilt models. The 11CV model went on sale in 1934 and can be further divided into two sub-models. This is an example of the 11BL, which meant that it is powered by the 11CV 1.9-liter inline-four but rides on the 7CV chassis.

This car is one of three Cabriolets bodied by Robert Clabot, and if the design looks vaugely Saoutchik-like, that’s because Clabot was once employed by Jacques Saoutchik. This flamboyant example of a common French car should bring between $285,000-$400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Three Voisins

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019


1929 Voisin C16 Berline by Ottin

Photo – Artcurial

The C16 was a model produced by Voisin between 1929 and 1932. However this car left the factory, the current body was added by Ottin of Lyon in 1932 and it’s a four-door sedan. The style is somewhat sedate by Voisin standards, but then again the wildest designs always came from in-house.

This car is powered by a 5.8-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and it was expensive when new, costing three times as much as the 2.3-liter variant. That said, this is the only known 5.8-liter C16 known to exist. It is listed as the “flagship” of the collection from which it is being sold – a family that has owned a handful of Voisin cars since new. Fun fact, this car (as are the others we’ll feature from this collection) are listed as national French monuments and as such, are unable to leave the country. This one should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $128,471.


1928 Voisin C11 Cabriolet by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

The C11 was Voisin’s best selling-model and was offered between 1926 and 1929. What is neat about this particular car is that it is a two-door convertible with a rumble seat. So many Voisins received sedan or streamlined coachwork that it’s almost weird to see a “sporty” looking variant.

Power is from a 2.3-liter sleeve-valve straight-six, and this car is said to be heavily optioned with mechanical equipment from the factory. The body is a one-off from Lyon-based Simon Pralavorio. It should bring between $105,000-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1926 Voisin C3L Berline by Simon Pralavorio

Photo – Artcurial

The C3L, which is different from the C3C (though I’m not exactly sure how), was offered by Voisin between 1922 and 1928. It is described by the auction catalog as the “car used by Presidents” which I guess means these were quite stately in their day.

They are powered by a 4.0-liter sleeve-valve straight-six and were capable of speeds over 75 mph. This car was also bodied by Palavorio and is said to have been the family’s favorite of all of their Voisin cars. It has a chauffeur’s compartment and an all-original interior. The price should be in the neighborhood of $80,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale, including more Voisins.

Update: Sold $60,885.

Delahaye 235 by Antem

1952 Delahaye 235 Cabriolet by Antem

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 10, 2018

Photo – Aguttes

When you think “coachbuilt” Delahaye, images of windswept cars from the 1930s or 1940s are probably what you imagine. But the company actually survived into the 1950s – 1954 to be exact when rival Hotchkiss acquired them and phased out the name.

Shortly before that, however, Delahaye introduced the 235. It was built between 1951 and 1954 and it actually looked like a modern car (for comparison, check out this 1951 Delahaye legacy model that just looks live an evolution of the earlier coachbuilt stuff). Anyway, the 235 is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six that made 152 horsepower. Top speed was over 100 mph, and the factory cars carried bodies from Chapron.

Only 85 examples of the 235 were built (they were expensive). Antem bodied 14 of them. Only one was a convertible, this one. It should sell for somewhere in the neighborhood of $230,000-$355,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Rinspeed R39

1983 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet R39 by Rinspeed

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 22, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

There is more than one way to skin a cat, which is a disturbing send-your-child-to-a-psychologist-because-they-might-be-a-sociopath sort of way to say there are multiple ways to solve a problem. And the problem Rinspeed set out to solve in the early 80s was this: Porsche didn’t sell a Turbo Cabriolet (they wouldn’t until 1986). Also, it didn’t have enough side strakes.

So what do you think they did? A) take a Turbo and cut the roof off or B) take a Cabriolet and shove a turbo engine in the back of it? Sorry ASC fans, the answer is B. Other modifications included a 928-style front and rear end and, of course, side strakes (which would only magnify in intensity as the decade wore on).

The 930 Turbo engine – a 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six – is largely unmodified so it still puts out about 296 horsepower. The chassis was reinforced to handle this uptick in power. And about the R39 name: it was originally “939” but Porsche owned that for some reason, so they lopped off the first 9 and added an R for Rinspeed. 939 was decided upon because 11 + 28 = 39 (get it? like 911 + 928 = 939).

Anyway, these are super rare examples of 80s decadence and questionable taste. And I love it. It should bring between $90,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Coachbuilt Plymouth

1935 Plymouth Deluxe Model PJ Cabriolet by Tüscher

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

When you think coachbuilt classics of the 1930s, Plymouth is likely not the first brand that comes to mind. When Chrysler introduced the Plymouth brand in 1928, it was a budget brand – the entry point into the marketplace for the Chrysler Corporation.

The 1935 line was called the Model PJ and it was available in three trims: the Standard Six, the Business Six, and the Deluxe. There were nine body styles offered on the Deluxe trim. Some of them were quite common, and others quite rare. But for the day, they were all inexpensive.

This particular car found its way to Switzerland where it was bodied by Tüscher in Zurich (they’re still around, building bus bodies). This was not the only 1930s Plymouth that they turned into an opulent convertible, either. You have to admit, this car looks downright diplomatic. I don’t have the exact history of its use or ownership, but the catalog listing does say it was very expensive when new, so it probably went to someone special.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six that makes 82 horsepower. The restoration looks fantastic and is 10 years old. It should bring between $86,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

’42 Continental Cabriolet

1942 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hampton, New Hampshire | June 23-24, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It all changed for Lincoln in 1940. They were among the first to really move into the “modern” era of automobiles. The Model K that dated to 1931 was out of production and the Lincoln-Zephyr and Continental were on sale. These were clean, modern-looking designs and the Continental was just stellar.

In December of 1941, everything changed. America was at war and automobile production was about be put on hold for years. Very few 1942 model year cars were built in the U.S. The 1942 Continental was the rarest of the pre-war Continentals with just 136 Cabriolets and 200 Coupes built.

All were powered by a 4.8-liter V-12 that made 130 horsepower. The restoration on this car is described as “older” but “well-preserved.” It’s known to have been part of quite a few collections over the years and comes out of the Dingman Collection after only about 18 months as a part of it. See more about this car here and more about this collection here.

Update: Sold $60,480.