1939 Imperial

1939 Chrysler Imperial Sedan

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 20, 2019

Photo – H&H Classics

The Imperial is one of Chrysler‘s classic nameplates. Last used on a kind-of-sad Y-body sedan in 1993, the name dates to 1926. Between 1931 and 1933, Imperials were the best product Chrysler had and rivaled the best from Cadillacand Lincoln. And for a little while, Imperial was a brand in its own right.

The 1937-1939 Imperial was produced in fairly limited numbers and in two distinct series. This five-passenger sedan model has an unknown production total, as sedan production between the Imperial, Saratoga, and New Yorker combined to total 10,536 units. It’s a C-23 series Imperial (the Custom Imperial C-24 cars were even more expensive and much rarer).

The 5.3-liter inline-six was good for 130 horsepower and a 95 mph top speed. This particular car was assembled as a knock-down kit in England and is said to be one of 16 right-hand drive examples built – and the only one remaining. It’s a big European version of a pre-war American sedan. It is being sold at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,861.

Chrysler New Yorker T&C

1953 Chrysler New Yorker Town & Country

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

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.

Update: Sold $48,000

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.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $26,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2018, $29,700.


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.

Update: Sold $48,000


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.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $13,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2018, $19,800.

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.

Update: Sold $885,000.

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.

S/N: N558768

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

Update: Not sold, Mecum Phoenix 2019, high bid of $450,000.

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.