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

Chrysler GS-1

1954 Chrysler GS-1 Special by Ghia

Offered by RM Auctions | Fort Worth, Texas | April 27, 2013

1954 Chrysler GS-1 Special by Ghia

In the 1950s, Italian style caused quite a stir among American automotive executives. There were a number of “Italian-bodied” cars that sold on American shores with Detroit power. Quite a few Chryslers actually (unfortunately, they’d try this again in the early 1990s, to terrible results).

Those Detroit powerplants were impressive, too. This one has a 5.4-liter Hemi V-8 making 235 horsepower. What started all of this Italian body-building was a one-off show car built by Ghia for Chrysler export executive C.B. Thomas. The car was very well received on the European auto show circuit and Ghia ended up building about 40 specials based on Chryslers.

Only two of them were GS-1 Specials. The cars were based on the New Yorker Deluxe chassis and engine. How they differed from the rest of the Specials is what sets them apart. They were four-passenger cars with flat exhaust tips and special bits of Chrysler trim. They were to be used on the European auto show tour – including the 1954 Turin Auto Show. But this one was apparently never shown.

When Chrysler was “done with it” (they never actually did anything with it), they sold it into private hands. It passed to the daughter of the man who bought it directly from Chrysler and she used it for a few years until it was parked in the 1960s. It remained parked until 1999, when it was restored and sold to the current owner. It should sell for between $700,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $616,000.

Chrysler Newport Pace Car

1941 Chrysler Newport Indianapolis 500 Pacemaker by LeBaron

Offered by RM Auctions | Fort Worth, Texas | April 27, 2013

1941 Chrysler Newport Indianapolis 500 Pacemaker by LeBaron

The Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton was a limited-production car built by Chrysler in 1940 and 1941. U.S. automotive production ceased at the end of 1941 to make way for war production, making this the last truly grand pre-war American automobile.

Ford had just introduced the Continental and GM was showcasing its concept car in the form of the Buick Y-Job. Chrysler needed to show that they could do style as well and the Newport project was born. Walter P. Chrysler died in 1940 and soon after, his successor approached Ralph Roberts at the famed coachbuilder LeBaron to design a two-seat and four-seat concept car. The two-seater was the Thunderbolt, and the four-seat was the Newport. One of my favorite parts of this story is one of legend: that Roberts wanted to show what a 1941 Duesenberg Dual Cowl would have looked like had they stayed solvent.

Chrysler liked what they saw and ordered five more examples (of each) to be built – in 90 days – in time for the 1941 auto show season at the end of 1940. The Newport had flowing lines and hideaway headlights and drove up excitement for other Chrysler models. This particular car was the only Newport built that had exposed front headlights. And it was chosen to pace the 1941 Indianapolis 500. After the race, it became the personal car of Walter P. Chrysler Jr.

The engine is a 143 horsepower 5.3-liter straight-eight. This car was in all-original condition when it was acquired in 2000 by its then-owner. It was painted light green with green interior – what Walter Jr. wanted after he took the car home. It was sold by RM at Amelia Island in 2009 for $687,500. It has apparently been restored – or at least repainted to its, presumably, original color scheme. It is expected to sell for between $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $880,000.

February Auction Round-Up

There were some big sales this month that didn’t quite get their own recap (I’m not made of time, you know). First up is Bonhams’ sale in Boca Raton, Florida. Top sale went to our featured Duesenberg for $698,500. Cool cars were topped by this 1925 Stutz Series 695 Speedway Six Speedster that sold for $49,500. You can check out complete results here.

1925 Stutz Series 695 Speedway Six Speedster 1925StutzSeries695SpeedwaySixSpeedster_zpsd0bf3066.jpg

Top sale at Mecum’s auction of the Fran and Ron Green “Verde Classics Museum Collection” in Boynton Beach, Florida, went to this 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible for $130,000.

1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible 1961Chrysler300GConvertible_zpsfd59ea50.jpg

Our feature car from this sale, the Tri-Power Catalina Convertible, sold for $58,000. Some of my favorite cars from this sale included a 1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Limited (possibly the best-looking SUV ever built). It sold for $17,500. These things have always been collectible and will only continue to go up in value.

1990 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Limited 1990JeepGrandWagoneerLimited_zps57c22462.jpg

Then there was this 1957 Dodge Custom Royale Convertible. Old Mopars can be hard to find and this one is beautiful. It sold for $47,000. You can find complete results from this sale here.

1957 Dodge Custom Royale Convertible 1957DodgeCustomRoyaleConvertible_zps119be44f.jpg

Next up was Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro & Classic Car Sale held on February 23rd. The top sale was our featured Connaught Formula One car. It sold for $296,400. Our other featured car – er, bus – was a 1962 Leyland Routemaster. I’ve been corrected, it’s actually an AEC Routemaster. Anyway, it sold for $31,460. The coolest non-feature car was this 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile FIA race car for $129,200. Check out full results here.

1973 BMW 3.0 CSL Batmobile FIA Racecar 1973BMW30CSLBatmobileFIARacecar_zpsc9d6a427.jpg

We move over to H&H’s Pavilion Gardens sale of February 26th. Top sale was this 1929 Lagonda 2-Litre Low-Chassis Speed Model Tourer for $152,000.

1929 Lagonda 2-Litre Low-Chassis Speed Model Tourer photo 1929Lagonda2LitreLowChassisSpeedModelTourer_zps35f5a5c5.jpg

Right behind it was this, more attractive (in my opinion), 1935 Alvis Speed 20 SC Lancefield Drophead Coupe. It sold for just slightly less – $151,500.

1935 Alvis Speed 20 SC Lancefield Drophead Coupe photo 1935AlvisSpeed20SCLancefieldDropheadCoupe_zpsde620657.jpg

And the last car from this sale – one I almost featured, but ran out of time because of the Amelia Island sales – is this 1920 Calthorpe 10hp Super Sports. It sold for $18,700. Click here for full results.

1920 Calthorpe 10hp Super Sports photo 1920Calthorpe10hpSuperSports_zps6c2f2ff6.jpg

And finally, the largest (in terms of cars featured) sale we’ve ever covered: the incredible Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection. There really weren’t highlights outside of the cars we featured (we featured 80 of them). Here’s a rundown of our feature cars and what they sold for, listed from the top seller down to the cheapest we featured (p.s. If you own a F.M.R. Tiger, Reyonnah, Inter 175 or Peel P50 – get it out, dust it off and sell it – apparently it’s worth way more than anyone guessed):

You can check out complete results from this sale here.

Artcurial Retromobile 2013 Highlights

Artcurial’s sale at Retromobile in Paris had way too many interesting cars to be able to feature them all here on this site. We covered some of them – the Talbot-Lago T150C we featured was the stop sale at $1,861,738. The second-highest selling car was the Duesenberg we featured from this sale at $1,319,888. The oldest car in the sale, our featured 1898 Fisson, sold for $311,050. The second-oldest car in the sale was this 1908 Hispano-Suiza 12/15HP Double Phaeton for $72,831.

The other Hispano-Suiza in the sale, our featured H6C by Saoutchik, sold for $424,849. The only other million-dollar car was this 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet for $1,077,481.

One exceptionally rare car was this 1975 Bentley Corniche Convertible. While the Rolls-Royce Corniche is well-known, the sister Bentley version is very rare, with only 77 convertibles built. It sold for $133,524.

Other interesting cars included two wonderful French cars from the 1940s. First, a 1949 Citroen 15-Six Traction Avant Cabriolet by Worblaufen (below). It sold for $242,771. Then there was the 1946 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Cabriolet (second below) for $455,195.

The coolest American car in this sale (of the few that were offered) was a 1955 Chrysler ST Special Coupe by Ghia. It sold for $273,117.

The rest of our highlights are French cars (French auction house + French auction location = lots of French rarity). Our feature C.G. 548 failed to sell. This 1928 Voisin  C11 (below) did sell – for $103,177. And finally, this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Vanvooren (second below) brought $746,472. Check out complete results here.

Chrysler Diablo Concept

1956 Chrysler Diablo Concept by Ghia

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2013

1956 Chrysler Diablo Concept

Barrett-Jackson always seems to get some old concept cars to cross the block at their Scottsdale sale. This year is no exception. This Chrysler Diablo Concept was offered at RM’s 2008 Monterey sale, where it reached a high bid of $1.2 million and failed to sell. It was also listed as a 1958 for that sale. Barrett-Jackson lists it as a 1956 and I’ve seen it listed elsewhere as a 1957.

When Virgil Exner arrived at Chrysler, he was tasked with creating their concept cars from 1954. As many of the classic American coachbuilders had gone by the wayside, Exner turned to Italy and Ghia, one of the most respected Italian coachbuilders to construct the body for this car, which was designed by Exner with the use of a wind tunnel, hence its streamlined, aerodynamic look. The car is giant – based on the Chrysler 300 platform, it is one of the largest convertibles ever built by Ghia. The engine is a modified 6.4-liter V8.

This car is one of one and is in perfect condition. The details are fantastic – to emblem-ize the Diablo name, Exner used a pitchfork, which can be found on the rear fins. This car has been in a private collection for the past 25 years. Like I said before, this car failed to sell four and a half years ago for $1.2 million, but that’s about the price it should bring here. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $1,375,000.

1963 Chrysler 300

1963 Chrysler 300 Sport Series Convertible Coupe

Offered by RM Auctions | North Palm Beach, Florida | December 1, 2012

Photo – RM Auctions

Well this the last 300 offered from the Staluppi Collection and it is not a Letter Series car – although the Letter Series continued in 1963 with the “J”, 1964’s “K”, 1965’s “L”, the 1970 Hurst 300 and the 1979 300. The 1963 300J was not available in convertible form. But the 1963 Sport Series was. It was also available as a 4-door hardtop, sedan and 2-door hardtop. The Sport Series convertible still used a 6.8-liter V8 but it only put out 305 horsepower. Production was much higher – 1,535 300 Sport Series Convertibles were built  in 1963 while only 400 300Js were built in total. Needless to say, if you want to pick up most of the run of 300 Letter Series cars, then this is the sale for you. Estimate: $60,000-$75,000. You can read more here and check out more from RM’s sale of the Cars of Dreams Museum here.

Update: Sold $71,500.

300H Convertible

1962 Chrysler 300H Convertible Coupe

Offered by RM Auctions | North Palm Beach, Florida | December 1, 2012

Photo – RM Auctions

The front-end styling remained almost the same, but the fins disappeared for 1962. This was also the first year for the non-letter series Chrysler 300 (that is just “300” without a letter and referred to as the “Sport Series”, which was available with two or four doors). Styling differences between the two separate 300 models were non-existent. It was under hood where the difference lay. Power on the 6.8-liter V8 was back up to 380 and there were a few cars sold with a high-output 405 horsepower option. Production dropped significantly now that there was a cheaper alternative that looked the same. Only 570 were built, 435 coupes and 135 convertibles. Estimate: $60,000-$80,000. More info can be had here.

Update: Sold $74,250.