Car Guy History: Henry Leland

If I’m posting this, it’s probably because auction houses haven’t gotten their most current upcoming auction catalogs online – that or I decided to feature this for the fun of it. I thought I’d dig back into the history of the automobile – a topic I really love – and find some interesting tales to tell. This is the first of those…

Henry Leland

Henry Leland

Henry Martyn Leland, born February 16, 1843, is best known for founding both Cadillac and Lincoln. But before we get to how he made a career off of Henry Ford (and became one of his main antagonists), we’ll throw in a little back story. In 1870, he opened a machine shop that would later supply engines to Oldsmobile (his first taste of the automobile industry). He had previously worked for Colt (firearms) – both of these gave him insight into the use of interchangeable parts – something successful early automotive pioneers championed heavily.

Trivia tidbit: he also invented electric barber clippers.

So here’s part one of how Henry Leland made a career off of Henry Ford: Cadillac. What does Henry Ford have to do with Cadillac? Well, he inadvertently founded it. Backtrack: in 1899, Henry Ford founded the Detroit Automobile Company with the backing of the mayor of Detroit, a senator, and William Murphy – father of Walter M. Murphy, who would later be a successful coachbuilder in Pasadena, California.

The Detroit Automobile Company built about 20 cars and went bankrupt and was dissolved in January 1901. In November of that same year, after Henry Ford had some minor racing success, he was able to convince some men (including William Murphy, again) to back him. Thus, from the remnants of the Detroit Automobile Company, the Henry Ford Company was founded. The following spring, Ford got into an argument with his backers. They gave him $900, the rights to his name, and showed him the door.

1900 Detroit Delivery Truck

1900 Detroit Delivery Truck. the first car built by a henry ford-owned company.

Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and we all know how that went. But the Henry Ford Company still had to be dissolved. Henry Leland was brought in to appraise the tooling and factory so it could be liquidated. Leland appraised everything and then offered his unsolicited advice: don’t liquidate – start a new company. He then offered them the idea to build a car using an engine he had developed for Oldsmobile. William Murphy said “Okay!” and quickly renamed the Henry Ford Company “Cadillac.”

1903 Cadillac Model A

1903 Cadillac Model A. built by leland-owned cadillac using the leland-desgned single-cylinder engine he developed for oldsmobile.

Cadillac was building cars by the end of 1902, before Henry Ford got his “Third Time’s A Charm” thing going. In 1905, Leland merged his machine shop into Cadillac. He also introduced interchangeable parts. In 1909, Leland sold Cadillac to General Motors for $4.5 million and remained a GM executive until 1917. That’s how Leland made his first fortune off of Henry Ford.

Now for Round 2: In 1917, World War I was in full swing. GM was still in the control of its founder, William Durant (who deserves his own Fun History Lesson). Durant was a pacifist and did not want to make anything for the military. Cadillac had been asked by the government to build Liberty aircraft engines. Durant refused. So Leland walked out.

And what did he do? He took the $10 million contract from the government and founded the Lincoln Motor Company with his son. He named it “Lincoln” after his hero, Abraham Lincoln – the man he voted for in 1864 (okay, so Leland made his second fortune off of the government, and not necessarily Henry Ford). When the war ended, Leland retooled the factory to build luxury cars. By 1922, the retooling had taken its toll and Lincoln was out of money – but their factory was worth about $16 million.

1922 Lincoln L-Series Touring

1922 Lincoln L-Series Touring. The L-Series was designed by lincoln under Leland ownership and remained in production long after they left.

Henry Ford sent in a bid of $5 million to buy Lincoln, which was rejected by a judge. He upped it to $8 million – the only bidder on the insolvent company. Ford was still bitter at Leland for his success with Cadillac and wanted to pay as little as possible for Lincoln. – just to demoralize the Lelands. The $8 million mostly went to pay of creditors, but Leland (and his son, Wilfred) remained as employees – not to run the company as originally promised by Ford, but to get it to a point where it wouldn’t go bankrupt again – i.e. throw quality out the door to save costs, which was, quite possibly, Leland’s most-loathed thing about the then-current automobile industry. A couple months later, an executive acting on Henry Ford’s authority, showed up to force Wilfred to resign. When Henry Leland realized Henry Ford was directly responsible for this, he, again, walked out as well.

Remarkably, both companies founded by Henry Leland still survive 100 years later – and I’m pretty sure he’s the only person to hold that distinction. Sure, he didn’t make a fortune from Henry Ford the second time around, but he did force Ford (out of spite) to spend $12 million (there was additional $4 million tax bill tacked on). Henry Leland had to be one of Henry Ford’s biggest adversaries for a majority of his career. And for that, he should be considered an automotive hero (let’s be honest, for all of Ford’s successes, he wasn’t exactly a saint).

In any case, Henry Leland (and his son, Wilfred) were engineers. They held quality above all things. And they were among the last of their kind. The companies they founded were transferred into the hands of penny-pinchers who wanted to build the most for the least. During Leland’s reign, Cadillac become known as “The Standard of the World” and there was a reason for that. Henry Leland is one of my automotive heroes – if for nothing else, than being a thorn in Henry Ford’s side for over 20 years.

Cadillac V-16 Madame X

1932 Cadillac V-16 Series 452B Madame X Imperial Sedan by Fleetwood

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2014

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

You’re looking at what some consider Cadillac’s crowning achievement. At the dawn of the Depression, many car makers were introducing new ultra-luxury cars. Duesenberg, Marmon, Cadillac and more all had new big-engined cars available. Cadillac brought out the V-16 in 1930. The first generation (through 1937) cars all used 7.4-lilter (452 cubic inch) V-16 engines. And they were all built-to-order.

Horsepower is rated at 165 and you could get the car in a variety of bodystyles – more than 70 in fact. This particular car was featured on Cadillac’s stand at the 1933 Chicago Auto Show and was bought off that stand by its first owner. The original owner’s family gifted the car to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and the current owner acquired it in 2011.

Between 1930 and 1940, 4,076 Cadillac V-16s were built – over 75% of which were built in 1931 alone. Only 300 were made in 1932. Only four “Madame X Imperial Sedans” were built. It was one of the most expensive and exclusive versions you could get and it cost around $7,000 when new. Fleetwood, which was part of GM in 1932, built the gorgeous body.

This car should sell for between $200,000-$240,000 – which seems like a steal (convertibles are more desirable). You can read more here and see more from Gooding here.

Update: Sold $264,000.

December 2013 Auction Roundup

The first sale of December was Bonhams’ London Sale. Our featured Jaguar C-Type was the top seller at $4,762,011. The second top seller also came from the fabulous Ecurie Ecosse collection. It’s a 1956 Jaguar D-Type and it brought $4,212,831.

1956 Jaguar D-Type

The coolest car from this sale also came from that collection. It was the Ecurie Ecosse team transporter (technically it’s a 1960 Commer TS3) and it sold for a huge $2,931,441.

1960 Commer TS3

This 1934 Aston Martin Ulster Two-Seater looks awesome and downright mean. It sold for $2,125,947.

1934 Aston Martin Ulster Two-Seater

Our featured Frazer Nash Targa Florio sold for $441,795. The oldest car in the sale, our featured 1903 Clement brought $569,937. The other four Ecurie Ecosse team cars all sold. The 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster brought $1,155,729.

1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Our featured Tojeiro EE-Buick Coupe brought $350,265. The other Tojeiro, this 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar, sold for $624,855.

1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar

Another prototype race car was this 1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax Type 57 Mark II. It sold for $359,418.

1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax Type 57 Mark II

And finally, the cheapest car of the bunch – a 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite. It went for a downright budgetary $101,304. And Schumacher’s Benetton sold for $1,009,281. Check out complete results here.

1961 Austin-Healey Sprite

Next up was H&H’s Chateau Impney sale where this 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe was the top seller at $328,600.

1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe

I didn’t get to feature any cars from this sale, but the first one I was going to feature was this beautiful 1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Drophead Coupe. It sold for $125,900.

1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Drophead Coupe

Other cars that were on my to-feature list included this 1919 Armstrong-Siddeley 30hp Open-Drive Limousine that ended up bringing $27,380.

919 Armstrong-Siddeley 30hp Open-Drive Limousine

I would’ve featured this 1928 Falcon-Knight Six-Cylinder Tourer but it’s not in the best of shape and I know there are other Falcon-Knight’s out there. But it’s still interesting. It sold for $18,400.

1928 Falcon-Knight Six-Cylinder Tourer

And finally, one of only two F2 cars built by Gerald Smith. It’s a 1957 Smith Formula Two Single Seater and it sold for $61,700. You can check out full results here.

1957 Smith Formula Two Single Seater

We featured one car from Mecum’s Kansas City sale: this 1918 Cadillac. And it was stolen at a bargain price of only $29,000. The top sale went to another Cadillac from the same consignor. It was this 1931 Cadillac V12 Series 370 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood. It sold for $175,000. You can check out full results from this sale here.

1931 Cadillac V12 Series 370 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood

Coys got their December results posted in time for this recap. Our featured Victor Electric Highwheeler did not sell, but the Mercedes-Simplex brought an auction high of $1,174,900. You can see full results here. And the final sale covered this year is Bonhams’ Oxford sale, where this 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur sold for a sale-high $178,843.

1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur

Our featured Frazer Nash-BMW failed to sell and the Sunbeam Tourer brought $60,369. I thought this 1924 Crossley 19.6HP Sports Tourer was pretty cool for $31,127.

1924 Crossley 19.6HP Sports Tourer

And finally, our featured Vulcan Touring car brought an impressive $126,479 – bettering the upper end of its estimate. You can check our full results here.

1918 Cadillac Coupe

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 7, 2013

1918 Cadillac Type 57 Coupe

I think this is a very good-looking car. Cadillac has long touted that they are the “Standard of the World” and it’s early cars like this that make you believe it. Yes, they produced cars with twice as many cylinders, but this was one of the first big-engined road cars you could buy.

Cadillac’s L-Head V-8 engine was introduced in 1914 and became the first mass-produced V-8 engine in Cadillac’s 1915 models. It featured 5.2-liters of capacity and made 70 horsepower. The Type 51 was the first model to carry this motor and it evolved over the years, with the Type 61 ending the model’s run in 1923.

The Type 57 was available in the late Teens and this Victoria Coupe was an attractive, if not restrained design that offered a lot of power for those who wanted luxury without all the flash. I’m estimating that this car sells for between $40,000-$50,000. Click here for more from Mecum and here for more on this car.

Update: Sold $29,000.

Early October 2013 Auction Roundup

I didn’t forget about Russo & Steele’s Las Vegas sale back in September. I just didn’t have time to squeeze their results into the last post (I write these as far in advance as possible). The top sale there was this 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS for $321,750.

1974 Ferrari 246 Dino GTSInteresting cars were topped by this 1969 Ford Ranchero Rio Grande Special Edition which went for $18,700.

1969 Ford Ranchero Rio Grande Special Edition

Finally, there was this cool 1926 Cadillac Model 314 V-8 Four-Passenger Phaeton. It sold for $58,300. Our featured Ginetta failed to sell. Check out full sale results here.

1926 Cadillac Model 314 Four-Passenger Phaeton

Next up: Bonhams Zoute sale, held in Belgium. The top sale here was this nice 1957 Maserati A6C/54GT coupe by Allemano that sold for $686,439.

1957 Maserati A6C54GT

Our featured Austin Sheerline sold for $32,761. For interesting cars, I’m going to highlight two rare Porsches. First, a 1980 924 Carrera GT (one of 406 built). It sold for $49,922.

1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT Coupe

And this 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera RS. It is one of only 55 built and is a pretty serious machine. It sold for an impressive $366,621. Our featured Cottin-Desgouttes sold for $70,204. Check out full results here.

1994 Porsche 911 Carrera RS

And finally (for this post, there will be at least one more October post), RM’s annual Hershey sale. I love this event because RM finds some really old cars and not necessarily the biggest money cars. Just interesting stuff. The top sale was this 1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Convertible Roadster by LeBaron. It sold for $704,000.

1933 Chrysler CL Imperial Convertible Roadster by LeBaron

The second-highest selling car was also one of the most interesting. It was this 1910 Pierce-Arrow 48-SS Seven-Passenger Touring from the golden era of Pierce-Arrows – when they were the greatest cars in the world. It brought $687,500. The picture does not do the size of this grand thing justice.

1910 Pierce-Arrow 48-SS Seven-Passenger Touring

I featured some of the most interesting cars of the sale. The Firestone-Columbus was apparently scratched from the catalog, as it didn’t even appear in the results. Both of the Schachts sold. The Model R went for a cheaper $19,800 while the earlier Model K sold for $41,250. The 1903 Stevens-Duryea brought $15,400. These two early GM cars were pretty cool: first a 1905 Cadillac Model E Runabout, which went for $71,500.

1905 Cadillac Model E Runabout

And second, this 1909 Buick Model G Roadster sold for $52,250.

1909 Buick Model G Roadster

Here’s a later Caddy. It’s one of two built and was originally owned by Bette Davis. It’s a 1940 Series 60 Special Town Car by Derham. It sold for $165,000.

1941 Cadillac Series 60 Special Town Car by Derham

While we’re on the coachbuilt theme, this 1933 Rolls-Royce 20/25 Enclosed Limousine Sedanca by Thrupp & Maberly is absolutely stunning. It sold for $159,500.

1933 Rolls-Royce 2025 Enclosed Limousine Sedanca by Thrupp & Maberly

The two “trucks” we featured both sold. The all-original Schmidt Prototype brought $18,700 and the International Harvester was hammered away right at the upper end of its estimate and sold for $44,000. This 1933 American Austin Station Wagon isn’t quite a truck, but it’s still cool for $30,800.

1933 American Austin Station Wagon

Our featured 1922 Liberty sold for $19,250. The Gardner Roadster brought $49,500. And finally, this 1912 Oakland Model 30 Touring. I love the look of this car from the big white wheels to the big whitewalls and low, folded-down windshield. It’s one I would absolutely love to own. It sold for $49,500. Check out full results here.

1912 Oakland Model 30 Touring

I lied. One more. This is from Mecum’s Chicago sale. The top sale (and far and away most interesting sale) was this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette. It was Harley Earl’s personal Corvette that was custom built for him. It is one of four Corvettes ever built with side exhaust like this. It’s one of a kind and sold for $1,500,000. Check out full results here.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

September 2013 Auction Roundup

Barrett-Jackson held a pretty big sale in Las Vegas the weekend of September 26-28, 2013. The top sale (not counting charity cars) was this 1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible. It’s actually pretty exciting to see the top sale at a Barrett-Jackson auction a true classic again after years of muscle cars dominating the headlines. It sold for $352,000.

1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible

Our featured Maharaja Rolls-Royce failed to meet its reserve and thus did not sell. My picks for most interesting are topped by this 1915 White Town Car which sold for $66,000.

1915 White Town Car

Then there was this 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty for $110,000.

1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty

And finally, this 1971 Dodge Demon 340 GSS which sold for $39,600. You can check out full results here.

1971 Dodge Demon 340 GSS

We featured a few tractors over a month ago from Mecum’s August Gone Farmin’ sale. The top sale there was this 1958 John Deere 620 H for $61,000. You can see the results of our highlighted tractors here.

1958 John Deere 620 H

The next sale (based on when I found the results posted) was Bonhams awesome “Preserving the Automobile” sale held in Philly at the Simeone Foundation. The top sale was this 1934 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Sports 2/4-Seater for $264,000.

1934 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Sports 24-Seater

A previously-featured Peerless sold for the second time this year, this time for $231,000 (and more than last time). The two Sears motorcars were featured both sold. The Model P brought $38,500 and the Model G Runabout brought a mega-cheap $3,850! Interesting cars were topped by this all-original 1931 Hanomag 3/16 Coupe for $21,450.

1931 Hanomag 316 Coupe

Our featured Stoddard-Dayton sold for $148,500. The related Courier sold for $20,900. Another cool car was this 1904 Knox 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope. It brought an impressive $143,000.

1904 Knox 1618hp Touraine 4-Passenger Stanhope

There was also this really early Auburn. It’s a 1912 Model 30L Speedster and it sold for $49,500. Our final feature car was the Jewel Runabout which went for $25,300. Check out full results here.

1912 Auburn Model 30L Speedster

Next up is Auctions America’s Fall Carlisle sale. The top sale was this 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible for $181,500.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

The most interesting car was this 1928 Plymouth Model Q Four-Door Sedan. It brought $17,325. Check out full results here.

1928 Plymouth Model Q Four-Door Sedan

Cadillac Military Roadster

1914 Cadillac Model 30 Military Sport Roadster by Schutte

Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 27, 2013

1914 Cadillac Military Sport Roadster by Schutte

Well this car got lucky. I wouldn’t have featured it, but some auction houses are taking their sweet time publishing their online catalogs (thank you, Mecum, for being on the ball!). Anyway, at the last second, I chose between this and another car. Why’d I pick this over the other? Two reasons: 1. I asked somebody to pick for me. And 2. This car has been in the same family for 98 years! So when was the last time you saw one like this come up for sale?

Let’s talk about that 98 years: first of all, incredible. Secondly, this is not the original body on this car. The Cadillac Model 30 was introduced in 1909. It uses a 6.0-liter straight-four engine making 40-50 horsepower. In 1915, the Model 30 was given a V-8. The original body was a roadster body. But during WWI, the Schutte Body Company displayed a range of new bodies at the New York Auto Show.

So the owner, whose car was a little long-in-the-tooth style-wise, liked what he or she saw. The so-called “Military Sport” body was installed on this car between 1917 and 1919 (so it’s pretty close to original). It was called that because it was popular with military officers during the war. It was basic and “patriotic” due to its use of few materials (and lack of features).

This is the only Cadillac known to have a Military Sport body on it. The restoration is brand new and it’s in excellent, usable condition. Here’s a chance for a one-of-a-kind car. It should sell for between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s St. John’s sale.

Update: Sold $110,000.

2013 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance

Okay, so it’s been about a month since the 2013 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance (I’ve been busy!) was held in Cincinnati’s beautiful Ault Park. I was at the show bright and early and it was great. The weather was perfect and the rain held off until just after the show had completed (by literally minutes). While I managed to photograph every car on the show grounds, I’ll only show you some of the highlights here. I even managed to capture some of them on video.

Best in Show went to this 1938 Steyr 220 Special Roadster. I think most people knew going into the show that this was going to be the major award winner.

If this website were to give out an award for something – it would undoubtedly have gone to this 1911 Thomas Flyer K6-70 Flyabout. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to hear a starter on a 1911 Thomas Flyer, but I highly recommend trying to get the opportunity. It is a noise. Watching this thing being driven was one of my favorite points of the show. I’ll post video below!

Hands down the most popular car at this year’s show was the Goldfinger Aston Martin. This was the DB5 that was actually used in two James Bond films: Thunderball and Goldfinger. The best part? It was just sitting there so you could get up close and personal with it AND the owner was driving it around. You can see video of it here.

One of my other favorite cars was perhaps the most infamous of the show. It is a 1978 Monteverdi 375/4 High Speed Sedan. The High Speed 375/4 was built for a few years in very limited numbers. After production wrapped, the Royal Family of Qatar wanted a sedan version, so Peter Monteverdi built seven of them. This is one of those cars. It was exquisite and I took more photos of it than any other car there. Then, while lining up for awards, the owner (who brought the car here from Germany) was trying to keep the car running by revving the throttle. His foot slipped off the brake (or something) and he peeled out and smashed into the back of a McLaren MP4-12C Spider. Luckily no one was hurt and the McLaren will be fine. This thing will need slightly more repairs.

Some other cool cars included this 1908 Locomobile Model I 7-Passenger Touring, the restoration of which, concluded at something like 4 a.m. of show day.

This 1955 Cadillac Custom Viewmaster was one of seven built locally by Hess & Eisenhardt and was really cool as you rarely ever see a Cadillac wagon.

From the “you’ve got to be kidding” category: a 1996 Vector M12. This was the auto show car first displayed by the company and is painted in some hideously patriotic paint scheme. I couldn’t believe where the car was from – a small town not far from where I live and a place you definitely would not associate with supercars (more like beat-up pickup trucks and Ford Aerostars).

Two of the featured marques this year were Corvette and Porsche. There were some awesome Corvette race cars on the field but the most valuable has to be this 1957 Corvette SS Concept Car. I believe it resides at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum.

There were two Porsches that stood out (to me) above all others. First, this 1964 904 Carrera GTS:

And second, this 1955 550 1500RS Spyder. This car is so small but it’s worth about $3 million. And the sound! The engine is about the size of a lunchbox but it packs a punch. I couldn’t believe how loud and how enthralling the noise actually was.

Finally, I have to give a shout-out to this car. It is the best-looking MGA (it’s a 1959) I have ever seen and this color is amazing in person. I talked to the owner and he said that something like 1% (or less) of MGAs were painted this color back in the day but no one wanted them so dealers sprayed them red and they drove off the lot. Only a fraction of the cars were sold without the repaint and those who bought them must be quite proud today because the combination of this soft teal and whitewall tires is outstanding.

Be sure to check out some of our videos from the show at our YouTube channel! These cars are ever better then they are in-motion and making noise. Sorry I couldn’t capture the smells for you too! And check the show’s website here for more winners.

December Auction Roundup

All of December’s big auctions happened early in the month. The very first one occurred on December 1st in North Palm Beach, Florida. It was the sale of John Staluppi’s “Cars of Dreams” Museum. Every car sold at no reserve and the top sale was actually a giant carousel – but the top selling car was this 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible.

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Our featured cars were the entire Chrysler 300 Letter Series. Their sales breakdown is as follows:

  • 1955 Chrysler C-300 – $88,000
  • 1956 Chrysler 300B – $115,500
  • 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible – $154,000
  • 1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible – $198,000
  • 1959 Chrysler 300E Convertible – $176,000
  • 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible – $170,500
  • 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible – $137,500
  • 1962 Chrysler 300H Convertible – $74,250
  • 1963 Chrysler 300 Sport Series Convertible – $71,500

For complete results, click here. Next up was Bonhams sale at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands in Weybridge. The top sale was this 1931 Invicta 4.25-litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer for $750,000.

1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer

Our featured Pagani Zonda failed to sell. Our featured SS 100 was the fourth highest-selling car at $402,800. The Fiat 1500 with beautiful cabriolet Ghia coachwork sold for $128,600. And our final feature car, the 1904 Winton, sold for $218,800. Other interesting cars included an early 1913 Austin 10hp Coquette for $44,444.

1913 Austin 10hp Coquette

There was also this 1924 Frazer-Nash 1.5-Litre Super Sports Roadster for $107,000.

1924 Frazer Nash 1½-Litre Super Sports

And finally, one for the weird, this 1963 Hillman Imp “Flatmobile.” It is the World’s Lowest Car. It was one of a handful of weird one-offs in this sale. It’s only 19 inches high… and would be one of the last vehicles I would ever want to ride in. It sold for $15,700. For complete results, click here.

1963 Hillman Imp 'The Flatmobile'

H&H’s December 5th sale at Newbury Racecourse had this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 as its top sale. It went for $431,000. Our featured Allard P2 Safari failed to sell.

1965 Aston Martin DB5

The second-highest selling car was this 1925 Vauxhall 30/98 OE-Type Tourer. It sold for $287,000.

1925 Vauxhall 30/98 OE-Type Tourer

Then there was this 1980 MG B Roadster that was styled by Aston Martin. It’s one-of-a-kind and was sold for $17,900. For complete results, click here.

1980 MG B by Aston Martin

Mecum’s December Kansas City auction had quite a number of cars cross the block. The only one we featured, a Mark II Sunbeam Tiger failed to sell. A car we featured from when it was for sale in St. Louis, a Vespa 400, sold at this sale for $22,500, $9,000 less than the asking price at the dealership. Top sale was a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO factory drag car for $140,000.

2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Actually, it was co-top sale. The other $140,000 sale was this pretty awesome 1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Twister Edition. It is one of only 48 made.

1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Twister Edition

Another cool muscle car was this awesome-in-green 1971 Pontiac GTO “Judge” that sold for $92,500.

The other two “interesting” cars were a pair of Buicks. First this 1928 Master Six Opera Coupe that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time at the same dealership that the Vespa came from. It also sold for $22,500. Mmmm, wood-rimmed wheels.

1928 Buick Master Six Opera Coupe

Then there was this 1985 Century Convertible. It’s a V6 car – and Buick never built a Century convertible in this bodystyle, so it’s an aftermarket job. Maybe it’s just because I owned a ’92 Century that I was drawn to this thing, but it was also the cheapest car in the sale and it looks like it’s in really good shape. It sold for $1,250. Complete results can be found here.

1985 Buick Century Convertible

The coolest auction of the month was Auctions America’s sale of some WWII vehicles from (what was) Dean Kruse’s National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana. There were some seriously cool trucks on offer. The top sale went to one of our featured half-tracks. They sold as follows:

  • 1945 Daimler-Benz DB10 Sd.Kfz. 8 – $200,000
  • 1940 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C Sd.Kfz. 251/1 – $160,000
  • 1942 Borgward H kl 6 – $145,000
  • 1944 White M16 – $95,000
  • 1944 Auto Union Hl kl 6p – $75,000
  • 1943 Opel Maultier – $65,000
  • 1943 Opel Maultier Panzer-Werfer 42 Rocket Launcher – $60,000
  • 1943 Ford Maultier – $42,500
  • 1941 Autocar M3 – $38,000
  • 1939 Unic Kegresse P107/U304(f) – $20,000

Then we featured five cool trucks available at this sale, they sold as follows:

  • 1942 GMC DUKW-353 – $97,000
  • 1940 Humber Hexonaut GS 6×6 Amphibious Prototype – $47,500
  • 1940 Breda 40 4×4 Artillery Tractor – $37,000
  • 1942 Mercedes-Benz L3000S – $32,000
  • 1939 Latil M2TL6 4×4 Tractor – $10,000

Other interesting vehicles included this 1944 Phanomen-Granit 1500A 4×4 Kfz. 70 personnel car for $72,500.

1944 Phanomen Granit 1500A 4x4 Kfz 70 Personnel Car

Next up, a 1944 Steyr 1500A/01 4×4 Kfz. command car that was hammered away for $130,000.

And the final” thing” (some of these looked like cars built on truck chassis and some of them didn’t have wheels at all… these aren’t typical vehicles) from this sale, an awesome 1940 Horch Type EFm 4×4 cross-country personnel car that sold for $150,000. Complete results can be found here.

And, finally, Osenat’s December 9th sale was the latest held in the month. Top sale was a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster for $117,000.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

The most interesting vehicle, by a landslide, was our featured 1908 Doriot-Flandrin Type E, but it failed to meet it’s reserve and did not sell. The most interesting car that did sell was this 1929 Chenard & Walcker 1550 Grand Sport Torpedo that brought $108,000. For complete results, click here.

1929 Chenard & Walcker 1500 Grand Sport Torpedo

RM London 2012 Highlights

RM Auctions’ 2012 London sale was held earlier this week. Our featured Ferrari 250 Tour de France was the top seller at $3.1 million. The Alloy Mercedes 300SL failed to sell, but was bid far beyond the Ferrari. As far as very early cars go, there was only one – this 1904 Cadillac Model F Four-Passenger Touring that sold for $90,000.

1904 Cadillac Model F Four-Passenger Touring

We featured a pair of supercars: a Maserati MC12 (that didn’t meet its reserve) and a Koenigsegg CCX that did, selling for $397,000. Other interesting cars included this 1970 Astra RNR2 FVC race car powered by a Ford-Cosworth engine that sold for $72,000.

1970 Astra RNR2 FVC - Ford Cosworth

How about these two little Italian cars, first a 1964 ASA 1000 GT (first below) sold for $58,702. The second car below is a 1963 OSCA 1600 GT. It sold for substantially more at $261,900.

1964 ASA 1000GT Ferrariana by Bertone

And speaking of little, I really liked this 1974 DAF 33 Variomatic. And it was affordable too, coming in at an auction low of $11,750.

This sale had a couple of really awesome Alfa Romeo 6Cs. First, this 1930 6C 1750 GS Testa Fissa is gorgeous and sold for $1,265,000.

1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Testa Fissa

Then there is this 1934 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 that sold for $451,500.

And finally, this post-war Alfa 6C – a 1948 6C 2500 S Cabriolet by Pinin Farina. It sold for $298,000, which, for whatever reason, seems like a good deal.

1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

Another Italian car (kind of a trend here) is this 1956 Fiat Abarth 750 GT Double Bubble coupe by Zagato. It sold for $126,000. A car along similar lines (that is: “tiny”) was our featured Ogle SX1000 GT. It sold for $23,400.

Two more cars to show you: first a 1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Saloon by Mann Egerton sold for the “wow, that’s all it costs for a Bentley?” price of $36,000.

1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Saloon by Mann Egerton

And finally, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff sold for the “yeah, Bugattis ain’t cheap” price of $993,000.

Our featured (and super awesome) Aston Martin DB6 Shooting Brake failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.