Three Decades of American Wagons

Three Decades of American Wagons

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 16-18, 2017


1948 Buick Super Estate Wagon

Photo – Mecum

The Buick Super was first introduced in 1940 and it only lasted a little over a year before the war broke out, though an upgraded 1942 model was brought to market. This model was built through 1948, which makes this car from the final year of manufacture for that series. The Super was Buick’s mid-level model for ’48 and four body styles were offered, with the Wagon you see here being the rarest.

The Model 59 was actually the “Estate Wagon” and it featured this beautiful woodwork from Ionia. It’s powered by a 5.2-liter V-8 making 115 horsepower. It’s a wonderful car sporting a 20+ year old restoration and a prime example of functional post-war Americana: a V-8 woody wagon. Only 2,018 of these were built. Click here for more info.


1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

Photo – Mecum

The first two generations of the Chrysler Town & Country were woodies. The last year for those was 1950 and for the 1951 model year, the name was applied to Chrysler’s station wagons (and would continue on their wagons through 1988 before becoming a minivan in 1990).

Chrysler’s 1953 model offerings included the six-cylinder Windsor and the eight-cylinder New Yorker. This car is powered by the New Yorker’s 5.4-liter V-8 making 180 horsepower. Only 1,399 of these were built in 1953 and they cost $4,077 when new. Read more about this one here.


1969 Dodge Coronet 500 Wagon

Photo – Mecum

This style of station wagon was really the last hurrah for the classic, huge American Family Truckster. In another decade or so minivans would be the vehicle of choice for families and behemoths like this were relegated to the scrap heap. Luckily, someone saved this big boxy family hauler.

Dodge’s 1969 four-door model lineup included the Coronet and the Polara/Monaco. Four-door Coronets were available in base Deluxe trim, mid-level 440 trim, or as a top-trim 500. This nine-passenger Coronet 500 Wagon was the best Coronet family carrier you could buy. It’s powered by a 6.3-liter V-8 making 300 horsepower. Only 991 of these were even sold in 1969, making this extremely rare today. The original base price was $3,392. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum in Vegas here.

Chrysler D’Elegance

1952 Chrysler D’Elegance by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 6, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The relationship between Chrysler and Ghia resulted in quite a few different designs during the 1950s. There were a series of Chrysler Specials including this one and this one. There were concept cars and the relationship bore fruit for DeSoto as well. Ghia benefited too, with Chrysler powering the Dual-Ghia and Ghia’s sports cars.

The car you see here, the D’Elegance, was a show car bodied for Chrysler by Ghia on a shortened New Yorker chassis. It’s a gorgeous two-seater with a built-in spare tire where the trunk would be. The engine is a 280 horsepower, 5.8-liter Firepower V-8.

This car has been listed as a 1952 or 1953 in various places, but it was built in 1952 and debuted at the 1952 Paris Auto Show. Each of these Italian-bodied 1950s Chryslers is different, bringing their own heightened sense of style and flair to what was already a stylish automotive landscape in the 1950s. This is definitely one of the best-looking of the lot and it should bring between $900,000-$1,100,000 at auction this December. Note: it sold for $946,000 in August of 2011. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

We’ll kick this one off with Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale in March. The top sale was this 1961 Aston Martin DP214 Replica GT Competition Coupe that brought $683,409 – that’s some serious replica money.

Photo – Bonhams

Both of our feature cars sold, with the 1903 Gladiator bringing $175,291 and the super cool NSU Kettenkrad $64,108. For the rest of the results, check out Bonhams’ site here.

Osenat held two sales in March, the second of which saw this 1932 Chrysler Imperial Custom Convertible by de Villars take top sale honors at $350,245.

Photo – Osenat

Our two feature cars both sold, with the Salmson race car bringing the most: $168,636. At the other end of the spectrum was the Georges Irat Roadster which sold for $32,430. You can see the rest of the results here.

Mecum’s Kansas City sale held in March saw this 2005 Ford GT go to a new home as the top seller at $300,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Pontiac Tojan we featured from this sale brought $13,500. You can see more from Mecum in Kansas City here.

Leclere held a sale in Avignon in their native France. This one popped on my radar too late to feature anything, but a weak sell-through rate had this 1966 Ferrari 330 GTC go as the top seller for $838,800. Click here for full results. There were some interesting cars in this sale and we’ll be sure to feature more from their upcoming auctions.

Photo – Leclere Maison de Ventes

The final sale from March is the Imperial War Museum sale held by H&H Classics. The top sale was the long-ago featured Ferrari Nembo Spyder for $744,015. The Armstrong-Siddeley Special we featured sold for $28,777 and we’ll give Most Interesting to a similar car, this 1928 Armstrong-Siddeley 20HP Long Ascot Tourer that went for $22,811.

Photo – H&H Classics

And the Bitter CD we featured sold for a healthy $84,228. Click here to see the rest of the results from this sale.

Ghia Streamline X

1955 Ghia Streamline X Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

We generally don’t feature cars on Saturdays, but I’m making an exception here for two reasons: 1. the ownership history of this car tells me it is unlikely to come up for sale again anytime soon (if it sells) and 2. I just turned on Barrett-Jackson on Velocity for coverage of Friday’s sale (as I watch RM Sotheby’s on my laptop) and I happened to look at their catalog (which I was doing almost daily for about a month) and I found this car. It wasn’t in their catalog when I finalized the cars we were going to feature from Arizona’s sales but appeared as a late-add by Barrett-Jackson (or, at least, not a timely addition).

Anyway, we’re here, so let’s talk about what this is. Built at the the request of Chrysler chief Virgil Exner, this Ghia-bodied streamliner is the perfect Jet Age concept car. Why? Well it’s powered by a turbine for starters. It only puts out 70 horsepower (and idles at a bat shit crazy 54,000 rpm), but in the world of turbines and sleek aerodynamics, it was theoretically enough power to push this thing to 140-160 mph. The only cars doing that kind of speed in 1955 were doing it on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.

It debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and was dubbed “Gilda.” The interior (and the engine compartment) are wild and hearken back to an era when people dreamed of the “car of tomorrow.” Ghia eventually put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum where it stayed until 1969 when it was acquired by Bill Harrah. The Blackhwak Museum got it when that collection was dispersed and the current owner bought it in 2005. It’s been to Pebble Beach, Ville d’Este, and was even a no-sale at a Gooding auction years back.

Now Barrett-Jackson is featuring it as the wildest car in their lineup this year (well that, and this). Anyway, I’m writing this late on a Friday night for a Saturday morning post because it was starting to make me sick to my stomach that I was potentially missing out on featuring a car I’d never see offered for public sale again – it has, after all, spent most of its life in museums. Click here for more info. Price? Well the Blackhawk was offering it for $125,000 in 2001 and it no-sold at Gooding with an estimate of $1.0-1.3 million. Expect the owner to want more than that at Barrett-Jackson later today.

Update: Not sold.

September 2016 Auction Highlights

First up, Bonhams’ Chantilly Sale. There was a collection of Horch motorcars offered here and we were able to feature two of them. The streamlined coupe was withdrawn from the sale but the 780 B Cabriolet brought $712,701. The top overall seller was this 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster for $5,960,772. Click here for all of the results.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Hopping across the English Channel to London, we have RM Sotheby’s and the big money they drew for this 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT that went for $3,226,720.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A previously-featured Vallee sold here for $114,061. Our two feature cars both sold, with the Morgan bringing $172,592 and the Monteverdi $210,112. Full results can be found here.

Onward, and back to America, for Auctions America and their fall Auburn sale. The top two sales were both feature cars – and both Duesenbergs. The Franay Sunroof Model J sold for $715,000 and the Murphy Convertible Sedan went for $880,000. We’ll give our Interesting Sale award to this 1930 Buick Series 60 Sport Roadster that sold for $69,850.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

The Dart Highwheeler we featured sold for $14,300 and you can see all of the other sales (and cars still available) here.

Mecum’s inaugural Louisville sale ended on September 10th and, while we didn’t feature anything from this sale, the top seller was this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS6 Convertible for $280,000. Check out full results here.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

And the last auction for this rundown is Artcurial’s dispersion of the Normandy Tank Museum in France. We featured an M4 Sherman that sold for $330,540 but the top sale was a different M4 Sherman (technically, a 1944 Chrysler M4A4 Sherman) for $387,242. Click here for more WWII relics.

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

M4 Sherman

1944 Chrysler M4 Sherman

Offered by Artcurial | Catz, France | September 18, 2016

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

This is not your father’s Chrysler. Or, if he’s a World War II veteran, maybe it is. The Medium Tank, M4 (aka the M4 Sherman) was the most popular American tank of WWII (and thereafter). They were in service from 1942 through 1955 and some countries used them until 1990.

There were 16 variants of this tank, with this being an M4(105) which was built between February 1944 and March 1945. Only 800 were built, making it one of the rarer variants. Nearly 50,000 Shermans were built of all types.

This historical monster is powered by a 16-liter, 9-cylinder radial engine built by Continental. Horsepower is in the 300-450 range and this fully restored example is described as “quite pleasing to use and drive.” This is a great piece of WWII and American history and one that doesn’t come up for sale often. It’s incredibly cool and should sell for between $225,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $330,540.

Chrysler ST Special by Ghia

1955 Chrysler ST Special by Ghia

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 10-18, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Chrysler and Ghia teamed up quite a bit in the 1950s, developing concept car after concept car. They also collaborated on some production specials, like the ST seen here. Between 1952 and 1955, Ghia built a number of beautiful coupes on standard Chrysler frames. This one rests on a New Yorker chassis.

The engine is a 250 horsepower 5.4-liter V-8 and the car was sold new off of Ghia’s stand at the 1955 Turin Auto Show. I find differing production numbers everywhere I look, but the consistent thing is that the ST Special was the rarest of the Ghia Specials. As few as four may have been built (although that number could be as many as 40). This is, perhaps, the final one. And they’re all a bit different.

Finished in this nice copper color, this car was restored in 2012 from barn-find condition. Until then, it had spent most of its active life in France. And now it’s for sale publicly for the first time in a long time. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $550,000.

Chrysler Plainsman Concept

1956 Chrysler Plainsman Concept by Ghia

Offered by Auctions America | Burbank, California | August 1-2, 2014

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Chrysler had a pretty good relationship with Ghia in the 1950s. The famed Italian design house built some pretty good-lookin’ rides for this one of Detroit’s Big Three during the decade. You might not call this car “good-lookin'” but it definitely screams “1950s.”

The design is by Virgil Exner and it certainly is of the era. I’m not sure about the name, however, and am pretty confident no one would buy a car called the “Plainsman” (although that would be a very apt name for the Camry). The original engine is gone, but since the 1960s it’s used a 440 (7.2-liter) V-8 making 375 horsepower.

This is said to be the only known station wagon concept car from the 1950s still in existence. It has an international history: being sold to a high-ranking Cuban official in the 1950s before the revolution. He had to smuggle the car out of the country when Castro took over and he had to flee. After that, it went to Australia where it was converted to right-hand drive and used regularly. Once back in the U.S., it was re-converted to left-hand drive and used even more. This car is highly original and it sold in 2010 for $90,000. You can see more here and check out more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $176,000.

May 2013 Auction Highlights

May had a number of sales in it, first among them was Bonhams’ Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia sale in Hendon. The top sale was this 1956 Bentley S1 Continental by Mulliner for $426,066.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured Ansaldo and Bianchi failed to sell. Our featured OSI-Ford brought $29,029 and the Ferrari 612 Sessanta $153,309. The coolest non-feature car was this 1949 Bentley Mk VI Countryman Shooting Brake by Harold Radford. It sold for $89,836. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Worldwide Auctioneers held their annual Houston sale in April and our featured Hupmobile brought $66,000. Top sale was a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda for a very strong $489,500. You’ll have to check out full results on your own.

Next up was RM’s Monaco sale, where our featured Ferrari 275 GTB/C for $7,860,283. All five of the classic F1 cars we featured ended up selling, with the Brabham-Repco topping this list at $1,502,701. The Ferrari F1-89 brought $847,678. The Renault beat its estimate for $315,953. The Hesketh missed its estimate for $385,308. And the Tyrrell went for $246,597. The Bentley R-Type Fastback sold for $963,270. Ferraris dominated, the second-biggest sale was this 1969 250 GT Cabriolet Series I by Pinin Farina for $6,473,174.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Our other featured Ferraris all fared fairly well, except the 575 GTZ, which failed to sell. The 599 SA Aperta killed it, selling for $955,564. And the 575 Superamerica brought $300,540. The Maserati 450S failed to sell, as did the Aston Martin AMR1. Our featured Bizzarrini brought $755,204. The Porsche 959 Prototype sold for $655,024 while this 1956 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1500 GS Speedster by Reutter went for what, if it isn’t, has to to be close to a record for a 356: $1,155,924.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Mirage M12 sold for way below its estimate: $115,592. The Lister-Jaguar “Knobbly” went for $1,618,294. And last but not least, the Alpine M64 sold for $431,545. Whew. We featured a lot of cars from this sale, but it was pretty awesome. You should check out the full results here.

Now onto another Bonhams sale: the estate of Ralph W.E. Cox Jr. in Cape May, New Jersey. The top sale was our featured Premier Racebout for $143,000 – way more than the top end of the estimate. The Ford Model AC sold for $88,000 and the Waltham Buckboard $12,320. Those are essentially the highlights, car-wise, but this 1929 Savoia-Marchetti S-56 is pretty cool and it brought $100,000. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Motostalgia’s sale in Houston in conjunction with the Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance featured a Duesenberg that we had featured previously. But it failed to sell. The top sale there was this 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Cabriolet Continental for $335,500. You can check out full results here.

Photo - Motostalgia

Photo – Motostalgia

Coys’ Monaco sale saw all four of our feature cars sell. The Autobianchi Jolly brought $72,730. And the MCA’s went a follows: Rascasse V12 – $114,560; ALA50 –  $135,500; Centenaire – $211,200. See complete results here.

Next up, Auctions America’s annual Auburn Spring sale at their headquarters in Indiana. The top sale here was this awesome 1934 Chrysler Custom Imperial Airflow for $213,400.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Our featured Frazer Manhattan sold for $27,500. “Biggest Boat” award goes to this beautiful 1957 Mercury Monarch Turnpike Cruiser Two-Door Hardtop for $51,700. Check out full results here.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

And back to Bonhams: their amazing all-Aston Martin (and Lagonda) sale. This thing is crazy lucrative for Bonhams with nearly everything selling (of course, our featured Lagonda Prototype didn’t). And selling for a lot. In total, 43 cars sold and all but five of those were six-figure dollar amounts. Four sold for less than $100,000 and the top seller was this 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 Volante for $1,273,284. What an event. Click here for full results.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

And then more from Bonhams, who had a very active month. Their Spa Classic sale featured some really nice cars – the most expensive of which turned out to be our featured Ferrari 308 rally car for $835,163. The Hommell we featured did not sell. Check out full results here.

The biggest seller at  Mecum’s annual Spring Classic in Indianapolis was a 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 for $885,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

We featured three cars from this sale and somehow they all ended up being drag cars from the 1960s. Neither of the Mercurys sold, but the Pontiac Catalina was this sale’s #2 seller at $530,000. Interesting vehicles were topped by this beautiful 1937 Diamond T Model 201 Deluxe Cab pickup for $58,000. Check out full results on Mecum’s website.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Finally, the biggest sale Silverstone’s May Sale was this 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT for $421,000-ish.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

We didn’t get to feature a car from this sale, but you can check out full results here.

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