Scottsdale 2015 Auction Highlights

January is a big month for auctions, so let’s get right into it: Bonhams in Scottsdale. The top sale there was this 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C for $9,405,000.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Two of our feature cars didn’t sell, the Aston Martin DB5 and the Ferrari 250 Europa. Our featured Humber brought $148,500 and the Mazda Cosmo $110,000. Check out full results here.

Next up was Barrett-Jackson’s mega-sale where our featured 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake was the top sale, after it crossed the block for $5,115,000. The next two top sales were the GM Futurliner (which was actually sold for charity) for $4,000,000 and the Pontiac Bonneville Concept for $3,300,000. The Pininfarina X Sedan brought $330,000.

Since the top sale was one of our feature cars, we’ll go ahead and name this 1940 Cadillac Series 75 Towncar by Brunn as Most Interesting, among the seemingly infinite number of interesting cars offered this weekend. It was well-bought at $115,500.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Most of the cars at Barrett-Jackson are sold at no reserve, meaning the the highest prices takes it, no matter what. But once the “Salon Collection” of really nice classics rolled across the block, it became a parade of No Sales. Among them, our feature cars: 1953 NASCAR Corvette, a previously featured Duesenberg, the Chrysler ST Special, and the Lotus Turbine Indy Car.

The very interesting Packard Sightseeting Bus sold for $291,500. The Perana Z-One sold for $73,700 and the Caddy Northstart LMP brought $104,500. Check out full results here.

Next up is RM’s sale, which was technically in Phoenix. Their top sale was this 1964 Ferrari 250 LM by Scaglietti which was sold for $9,625,000.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Our three feature cars from this sale all sold, with the Miura SVJ bringing the biggest sum at $1,897,500. The Ghia L6.4 brought $412,500 and the Lightspeed Magenta sold for $16,500. Check out full results here.

The fourth auction of this rundown is Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale sale where – you guessed it – another Ferrari topped the sale. This time it’s a 1959 250 GT LWB California Spider for $7,700,000.

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Our two feature cars both sold, with the DKW exceeding its estimate and selling for $132,000. The Ferrari 641 F1 car brought $990,000. See full results at Gooding’s website.

To round out our Scottsdale coverage, we have Russo & Steele and this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster as their top sale for $1,430,000.

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

Our feature car from this sale, the 1959 Echidna, brought an impressive $162,800. Click here for full results.

Cadillac Model B

1904 Cadillac Model B Runabout

Offered by Coys |  Maastricht, Netherlands | January 10, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

This Lithuanian collection has a fairly impressive amount of old Cadillacs and Lincolns. And those two marques pretty much make up the entire collection. This is the earliest car in the sale and it’s a rare Cadillac Model B.

1904 was the second year of Cadillac production and two models were offered, the A and the B, both in a variety of body styles. The Model B was only available for 1904 and 1905 only. It uses a rear-mounted 1.6-liter single-cylinder making eight-ish horsepower. Prices were $900 – except for this Runabout, which came in at $800. The difference between the A and B was slight – this car’s slightly longer wheelbase is one giveaway.

Cadillac production for 1904 totaled 2,319 split between the A and B, making this very nice Model B quite rare. It should sell for between $75,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Update: Sold $54,440.

Cadillac LMP

2000 Cadillac Northstar LMP

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

What you’re looking at is essentially General Motors’ only foray into the wild world of modern prototype racing. Between 2000 and 2002, under the guise of the Cadillac brand, GM took on the otherworldly Audi R8, among others.

The Northstar LMP (named for Caddy’s Northstar V8 engines) was built from the ground up by Riley & Scott. A version of the Northstar V8 was situated behind the driver – a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 making 650 horsepower. The competition history for this Cadillac factory team chassis includes:

  • 2000 24 Hours of Daytona – 14th (with Eric van de Poele, Wayne Taylor, and Max Angelelli)
  • 2000 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th (with van de Poele, Taylor, and Angelelli)
  • 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans – 21st (with Franck Lagorce, Butch Leitzinger, and Andy Wallace)
  • 2000 Petit Le Mans – 8th (with Lagorce, Leitzinger, and Wallace)

GM cancelled the program after 2002 to focus on their very successful Corvette racing program. These pop up for sale now and then, but only seven were built (two are in this sale). I remember hearing once that GM stripped most of the electronics out of these things before releasing them into the wild… so you can buy it, but it might be hard to use on a track day. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $104,500.

October 2014 Auction Highlights

First up in October is Bonhams’ always interesting Preserving the Automobile sale in Philadelphia. The top sale was this 1907 American Underslung 50HP Roadster for $1,430,000.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We featured three cars from this sale, and the Stanley failed to sell. The Cunningham brought $162,250 and the National $28,050. Check out full results here. Next up is H&H Auctions’ Imperial War Museum Sale. A previously feature Puritan Steam Car showed up here, but failed to sell. The top sale was this 1923 Bentley 3-Litre Tourer for $252,500.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

Our featured Regal Underslung sold for $39,477. Check our full results here. Next up in October was RM’s Hershey sale where this 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster by Fleetwood with single-family ownership since 1933 sold for $1,100,000.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

We featured a bunch of cars from this sale, so here’s the rundown: the Dodge Royal Pace Car brought $49,500; the Zoe Zipper $13,200; the 1923 Yellow Cab $33,000; the G.N. Cyclecar $110,000.

A previously featured 1905 Fiat that failed to sell in 2013 finally sold here for $825,000. The International Charette sold for $77,000 and the Spacke Cyclecar $38,500. The Staver Roadster blew away its estimate, selling for $132,000. The Queen sold for $52,250, the Orient Buckboard $30,250, and the 1902 Covert $44,000. The Armstrong Phaeton failed to sell. Check out full results here.

The fourth auction of this round-up is Bonhams’ Zoute sale where this 1989 Ferrari F40 (which was formerly owned by Nigel Mansell) sold for $881,337. A previously featured Jaguar Bertone Prototype sold for $76,382. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Finally, Mecum’s Chicago sale. There was a litter of low-mileage Ford GTs and this 2006 Heritage Edition was the top sale at $475,000. Our featured Buick GNX sold for $97,500. Click here for full results.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Another Batch of Military Vehicles

The Littlefield Collection

Offered by Auctions America | Portola Valley, California | July 11-12, 2014

 1942 Cadillac M5 Stuart

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Labeling this as a Cadillac might be a little misleading, but Cadillac did build it – so why shouldn’t they get the credit? The M5 was a version of the M3 Stuart – one of the most popular light tanks of the Second World War. General Motors was behind it and the M5 was basically an M3 with upgraded armor.

In all, 2,074 M5s were built – only 1,470 were built by Cadillac in Michigan. This tank has been given a new engine and fresh restoration. It runs and drives wonderfully and is usable. The engines are twin 8-cylinders from Cadillac making a combined output of 220 horsepower. It can do 36 mph and be yours for $100,00-$150,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $310,500.

ca.1975 Panhard M3

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Continue reading

April 2014 Auction Recap

April was kind of a busy month for auctions, so let’s get to it. First up is Silverstone’s Restoration Show Sale, where the top sale went to this half-complete 1962 Facel-Vega HK500 restoration project. It sold for $107,500.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

It was an interesting sale and I suggest you check out the full results here. Then we’ll move over to Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale where the top sale was a charity car (so we’ll ignore it). But the top actual sale was this 1935 Packard Twelve Model 1207 Coupe Roadster by Dietrich – one of the last bodied by Dietrich. It sold for $330,000.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Most Interesting goes to one of the first lots of the sale, this 1978 Puma GTE for only $6,270.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Also interesting (and yellow) was this 1988 Pegasus. The Pegasus was a re-worked Trans-Am but were actually titled as unique cars. Only 25 were built and this one cost someone $33,000.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The final car I’ll showcase from this sale was the 1994 Chevrolet Highlander Concept (which is actually a 1992 Chevrolet S-10). It sold for $7,920. Check out full results here.

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Now on to Mecum’s Houston sale. The top sale there was our featured Ford GT40 Prototype for a cool $7,000,000. Our featured Locomobile and Cadillac failed to sell – and so did the Dragonsnake Cobra, even though it was bid to $1.1 million. Cool cars were topped by this 1934 Cadillac Fleetwood V-12 All-Weather Phaeton for $165,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Another great, old car was this 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Huntington Limousine by Brewster. It brought $145,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Our featured Edsel Bermuda sold for $55,000. Check out complete results here. Earlier in April, Mecum held one of their tractor sales, and we featured five from this sale. Here’s the rundown:

  • Minneapolis 12-25 – Not sold
  • Rumely Oilpull L 15-25 – $10,500
  • Minneapolis-Moline Jet Star Orchard – $14,500
  • Rumely Oilpull X 25-40 – $20,000
  • Bull Little Bull – $81,000 – top sale of the auction

Complete results can be found here. Now we move on to H&H’s Imperial War Museum sale. The top result here was this 1969 Aston Martin DB6 for $265,300.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

Our featured AC Greyhound brought $73,850. And the Marmon Speedster we featured almost doubled the high end of its estimate, selling for an awesome $90,300. Click here for full results. And finally, Mecum’s Kansas City sale, where this 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback brought $220,000 to be the top seller.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

We didn’t get the chance to feature anything from this sale, but two past feature cars did sell here, including a 1920 Cadillac for $24,250 and a very rare Abbott-Detroit Roadster for $35,000. Click here for full results

Cadillac Type 59

1920 Cadillac Type 59 Four-Passenger Phaeton

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 10-12, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

I really love the look of 1920s Cadillacs. There were some very fancy cars available for purchase in the 1920s but it’s really hard to beat the good looks and understatement of this car.

The Type 59 was the second-to-last version of the Type 51. The Type 51 was new for 1915 and a war broke out right after that. It was Cadillac’s first V-8 powered car. The Type 59 was built for 1920 and 1921 only and uses a 5.1-liter V-8 making about 31 horsepower.

This car is in very nice and very usable shape – which is a big win for anyone looking to purchase it. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum in Houston here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $25,000.

Update II: Sold, Mecum Kansas City, 2014 for $24,250.

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 he 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.