Hommell Barquette

1996 Hommell Barquette

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022

Photo – Artcurial

Michel Hommell’s small cottage industry sports car company existed from 1990 to 2003. The Barquette was a track car launched in 1994 alongside a road-going version called the Berlinette, which was essentially produced to homologate this racing version.

The 2.0-liter inline-four produced 155 horsepower, enough to push this car to 130 mph. Competition events included a one-make racing series that was in action from the mid-1990s through the early 2000s.

This is the fourth of 52 examples produced. From the timeline in the catalog, it appears this car was originally black but was bought by the current owner in 1998 and repainted this blue. The wheels have been more recently painted, and now the car has an estimate of $31,000-$42,000. It’s like an off-brand Renault Sport Spider. Click here for more info.

Giai Speciale

1946 Giai Speciale

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022

Photo – Artcurial

Philippe Giai was a Citroen dealer from Provence before and after WWII. Prior to the war, he built a Rosengart-based sports special. After the war, he built a Peugeot-based sports special. This is that car.

The chassis was from a 1939 Peugeot 202 and was modified, and for power he relied on the 202’s 1.1-liter inline-four that made about 29 horsepower new. A tubular structure was built around the chassis, and a Darl’Mat-inspired body was mounted over the top.

The car was used in hillclimb events from 1947 into the 1950s. It was restored in 2008 and has been in the same ownership since 2004. The pre-sale estimate is $74,000-$95,000. Click here for more info.

Alfa 1900C by Ghia-Aigle

1956 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint Barchetta by Ghia-Aigle

Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Who needs doors? Certainly not Giovanni Michelotti, who designed this car while working for Ghia-Aigle. Carrosserie Ghia S.A., Aigle, started out as a subsidiary of Ghia but based in Aigle, Switzerland. It became independent in 1953 and employed Mario Boano, Michelotti, and Pietro Frua at different points. Ghia-Aigle closed in 1988.

Alfa Romeo’s 1900C was a short-wheelbase version of the 1900, which itself was sold from 1950 through 1959. The styling of this chassis was inspired by Riva speedboats. It is one of about 10 1900Cs bodied by Ghia-Aigle.

Power is from a 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 115 horsepower in Super Sprint spec. This one has known ownership history, with original delivery in Switzerland and a long time spent off the road. It’s expected to sell for between $300,000-$400,000. Click here for more info.

Hanomag 20B

1940 Hanomag Type 20B Fire Truck

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022

Photo – Dorotheum

Like so many others, Hanomag’s roots trace back to a mid 19th-century industrial company. Steam engines, farm equipment, and tractors came before cars, which arrived in the 1920s. During WWII, they became a major player constructing vehicles for the German army, including perhaps their most famous vehicle, this half-track.

The 20B was a four-wheel drive personnel carrier produced between 1937 and 1940. In all, about 1,700 were built. Power is from a 2.0-liter inline-four (there were also Stoewer versions of this car as well as a six-cylinder BMW version). Output was just under 50 horsepower. It’s got a five-speed manual transmission with a crawler first gear.

Production ceased in 1940 because they were too heavy and hard to repair. Stoewer kept building a refined Type 40 version until 1943. Almost none of these still exist. This one was intended to be, and was, bodied as a fire truck by Karmann in 1940. It is impressive that it still exists. The pre-sale estimate is $26,000-$37,000. Click here for more info.

Four Former F1 Cars

Four Former F1 Cars

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022


1983 Renault RE40

Photo – Artcurial

First up is Renault’s 1983 entrant, the RE40. It led them to second place in the constructor’s championship that season, with drivers Eddie Cheever and Alain Prost, the latter of whom drove this car. And won a race in it.

The powerplant is a turbocharged 1.5-liter Renault-Gordini V6 that made about 640 horsepower. The competition history for this chassis, #3, includes:

  • 1983 San Marino Grand Prix – 2nd (with Alain Prost)
  • 1983 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Prost)
  • 1983 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Prost)
  • 1983 U.S. Grand Prix – 8th (with Prost)
  • 1983 Italian Grand Prix – 19th, DNF (with Prost)

It was also used as a test car for both drivers during the season. It was restored in 1995 and is now being offered directly from Renault’s collection. The estimate is $850,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info.


1986 Tyrrell-Renault 015

Photo – Artcurial

Tyrrell Racing was actually around for quite a while, debuting in 1971 and lasting through 1998. That puts this car sort of right in the middle of their existence. The 015 was designed by Maurice Philippe and featured power from Renault.

The Renault-Gordini engine is a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6, which this chassis, #3, retains. Its competition history is not described, but the teams driver’s were Martin Brundle and Philippe Streiff, the latter of whom kept this car at the end of the season. He traded it to Renault in 1994 for a 1984 Renault F1 car.

Renault is now selling it, with an estimate $160,000-$260,000. Click here for more info.


1993 Williams-Renault FW15

Photo – Artcurial

Williams‘ FW15 was the team’s car for 1993. It was designed by a who’s who of F1: Patrick Head, Adrian Newey, Paddy Lowe, and Eghbal Hamidy. A Renault 3.5-liter V10 was stuffed out back, and the combination proved super successful: Williams won the constructor’s championship, with driver Alain Prost taking the driver’s championship. The team’s other driver was Damon Hill.

Unfortunately, this is not a race chassis and has never had an engine in it. It’s purely a display car and has been retained by “the constructor” since new. Renault is selling other cars, so it’s unclear if this is coming from Renault or Williams, but I’d assume Renault. The estimate is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.


1997 Benetton B197

Photo – Artcurial

Benetton’s 1997 car was the B197, designed under technical director Pat Symonds. It featured power from a 3.0-liter Renault V10 capable of up to 755 horsepower. Unfortunately, this is a pure display car as well, so it’s never even had an engine mounted in it. That said, the body is a real ex-F1 car body, complete with Mild Seven livery.

Benetton utilized Jean Alesi for the entire season along with Gerhard Berger, who was replaced by Alexander Wurz for three races mid-season due to health issues. Berger won a race upon his return, proof that someone else in your seat makes you step up your game. The estimate here is $42,000-$84,000. Click here for more info.

BMW DA-3 Wartburg

1930 BMW 3/15 DA-3 Wartburg

Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | July 2, 2022

Photo – Dorotheum

It’s pretty amazing how many early BMWs this auction house manages to round up for sale. This is a derivative of BMW first car, the 3/15. First sold as the Dixi 3/15, the 3/15 would be sold in a few series under the BMW marque.

The DA-3 Wartburg was sold in 1930 and 1931. It was only offered as a roadster, making it BMW’s first “sports car.” BMW used a front drop axle to lower the frame, and the aluminum body featured boattail styling. Power is from a 747cc inline-four that got increased compression in the Wartburg for a rated output of 17 horsepower.

Only 150 of these were built, with 100 in the first year and 50 in the second. This one was restored about 20 years ago and now has an estimate of $58,000-$79,000. Click here for more info.

VW Beutler Coupe

1959 Volkswagen Beutler 1200 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

This coachbuilt beauty is one of 28 constructed by the Beutler brothers, coachbuilders based in Switzerland. It’s based on a Volkswagen Beetle and was designed and produced before the Karmann Ghia. Basically, Beutler saw the potential for a rear-engine sports car based on VW mechanicals before VW did.

The engine is a 1.2-liter flat-four good for 31 horsepower. So “sports” car is a bit optimistic. But nothing Volkswagen made was “fast” until much later. The engine is mounted out back in a lovely upholstered compartment.

The issue was that this cost more than a Porsche 356 when new (and 2.5 times more than a Beetle). This car was restored over an 11-year period ending in the 2000s. It hasn’t been used or shown much since, and it now carries an estimate of $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.

Force India VJM02

2009 Force India VJM02

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | June 24, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

The current Aston Martin F1 team, who came into existence after sort of acquiring/taking over the Force India team, has been selling off leftover Force India cars. And why not? This, I think, is the third in the last few years.

The VJM02 was the team’s second car and was powered by a 2.4-liter Mercedes-Benz V8, which this car no longer has. It was used for the 2009 season, during which Force India employed drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil. The competition history for this chassis, #1R, consisted of testing events with Fisichella, Vitantonio Liuzzi, and Bertrand Baguette.

So it may be a roller, but it’s an otherwise complete modern F1 car from just before the KERS era (KERS was optional in 2009, and Force India did not use it). The estimate is $74,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Teilhol Tangara

1989 Teilhol Tangara

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 2, 2022

Photo – Artcurial

The Citroen Mehari was a weird recreational pickup thing that was produced from 1968 through the late 1980s. Think about how much cars changed in that time. Well the Mehari held strong to its 2CV underpinnings.

Meanwhile, Renault wanted to compete and hired Teilhol of Courpiere, France, to design and build just such a competitor. That was the Renault Rodeo. When the Mehari went out of production, Teilhol started building this, the Tangara. It had 2CV mechanicals and pre-dyed fiberglass-reinforced-plastic body panels.

Power is from a flat-twin of unstated displacement. Only about 1,100 of these were built from 1988 through about 1990. This one has a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000. Click here for more info.

Bugatti 59/50S

1935 Bugatti Type 59/50S

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | June 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Aucions

Spoiler alert: Bugatti Fridays, as has been the case here in June, will continue next week with a Bugatti Type 43 that has a replacement body and a replacement engine. This car has a similar story. And it is this: in the 1960s, a huge collection of parts was acquired by the guy who would end up putting this car together.

Among those items were four (!) Type 59 frames he brought back to the U.S. with him. The Type 59 was sort of the ultimate evolution of the pre-war Bugatti racing car. Only eight were constructed (although it is unclear how many frames were built). This car uses frame number two.

The supercharged 5.0-liter inline-eight is supposedly a special engine that was previously used in a speed record car in 1933 before being used in Robert Benoist’s 1935 French Grand Prix race car. The assembler of this car got that engine and put it in this chassis, then built a body around it that replicates Benoist’s race car. All of this was completed in the 1990s. It’s pretty amazing, really, and the auction listing notes a list of factory Bugatti parts used in the build, including the piano-wire wheels.

So it’s not that different from the Type 43 described above. It just so happens that all of the replacement bits were put on the car many decades later. This is a one-of-a-kind Bugatti with some pretty detailed history. The auction ends today, click here to see where the bidding ends up.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $500,000.