Bentley Empress II

1991 Bentley Turbo RL Empress II Coupe by Hooper

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before we get into the coachbuilt rareness of this car, let’s start with a little model background. The Bentley Turbo R was a sedan introduced in 1985 and was produced in several iterations through 1999. It was sold in two wheelbases initially, long and short. An updated model went on sale in 1995, and the limited-edition Turbo S was sold in 1995.

In 1996, the short-wheelbase cars ended production. Prior to that, long-wheelbase cars were sold as the Bentley Turbo RL. After 1996, they were all long-wheelbase and the “L” was dropped. That’s a long-winded way to tell you that the car presented here is a long-wheelbase Turbo R. But (intrigue!) it’s a coupe. Bentley ever only sold it as a sedan.

That’s where Hooper comes in. The coachbuilder, with a longtime association with Bentley and favored car-crafting masters of the British Royal family, built this two-door aluminum-bodied coupe. Still powered by a 296 horsepower, 6.75-liter turbocharged V8, the car features streamlined coachwork and a bespoke interior. Only five were built, and this car – the fourth built – was used in Hooper’s advertising. It’s one of two left-hand-drive examples and is being sold from the Calumet Collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Mochet CM-125

1954 Mochet CM-125 Luxe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Los Angles, California | December 8, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Georges Mochet built microcars in Puteaux between 1946 and 1958. Prior to that he built pedal-powered cars under the Velocar name. But when he started powering them (even in desperate, post-war Europe, people weren’t necessarily thrilled with having to pedal), sales took off.

Early cars were kind of bizarre, but the company hit their stride once the Mochet Type K gave way to the CM-125. Power in this little runabout is from a 125cc single-cylinder engine that made five horsepower. That may sound sad, but in France at the time that meant you didn’t even need a driver’s license to operate one (and they are street legal). It would even evolve a commercial variant.

This example was part of the Bruce Weiner collection, where it was restored. It is now offered with an estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Find out more here and see the rest of the RM Sotheby’s Petersen lineup here.

Jaguar XJR-6

1985 Jaguar XJR-6

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

When Jaguar decided to go sports car prototype racing in the 1980s, the first car (numerically-speaking) they built was the XJR-5 which was intended for the IMSA GTP series. Meanwhile, in Europe, the World Sportscar Championship was eagerly awaiting some fast cats, and Jaguar obliged, with this, the XJR-6.

Destined for Group C greatness (or so they hoped), this car was built – as the entire Jag WSC program was – by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Using a carbon-composite and Kevlar monocoque, the XJR-6 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 capable of 745 horsepower. The race history for this particular chassis (285) includes:

  • 1985 1000km Mosport – 3rd (with Jean-Louis Schlesser, Mike Thackwell, and Martin Brundle)
  • 1985 1000km Spa – 32nd, DNF (with Hans Heyer and Schlesser)
  • 1985 1000km Fuji – 30th, DNF in a semi-aborted race (with Heyer and Steve Soper)

In all, six examples of the XJR-6 were built, and this one saw some action in pre-season 1986 testing, but it never raced after 1985. It’s a pretty awesome race car (with gullwing doors!), and I’m sure it has an amazing sound to accompany its looks. It should bring between $2,800,000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1936 Talbot Sports Tourer

1936 Talbot BG110 Sports Tourer by Vanden Plas

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The English arm of the Talbot company came under the control of the Rootes Group in 1935. The new owners began axing Talbot historical models and introducing replacement models. And before long, all of the cars were branded as Sunbeam-Talbot.

One of the last such models to be axed – in 1937 – was the BG110, which began life as the 110 in 1935. Power is from a 120 horsepower 3.5-liter straight-six. Top speed was 95 mph, and the car was sort of the pinnacle of pre-Rootes English Talbot design.

What’s semi-unique about this car is that it is one of 13 or 14 BG110s that were bodied by Vanden Plas in aluminum. The rest of the cars were all bodied in-house, and only 89 examples of the 110/BG110 were produced in total between 1935 and 1937. This restored example has had three owners since new and should bring between $120,000-$170,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $242,200.

Phantom III Sedanca de Ville

1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville by Gurney Nutting

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

This car now makes the Phantom III the Rolls-Royce model we’ve featured most. Built between 1936 and 1939 (yes, this is listed as a 1935… perhaps it was a very early example titled based on the date it was constructed), the Phantom III wasn’t a huge seller. Only 727 units were built.

It’s powered by a 7.3-liter V12 and horsepower was, of course, adequate (okay it was more like 160). Every one of them was coachbuilt, and this car carries a very pretty Sedanca de Ville body from Gurney Nutting.

What’s so special about it? Just look at it. That color scheme… those swoopy front fenders… and those rear wheel skirts. It’s the complete package! It should sell for between $180,000-$230,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $176,146.

Healey Abbott

1953 Healey Abbott Drophead Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

In addition to attaching his name to everything under the sun, Donald Healey also built cars on his own. Between 1946 and 1954 the Donald Healey Motor Company churned out seven models of their own design that weren’t associated with Nash, Jensen, or Austin.

The Abbott was one of the last models to be introduced, going on sale in 1950. The name came from E.D. Abbott Ltd, a Surrey-based coachbuilder that actually built the body for this car (which is quite attractive compared to some of their other cars). All models were Drophead Coupes, and this particular car is powered by a 2.4-liter Riley twin-cam straight-four.

Production wrapped in 1954, with just 77 units produced, putting it right in the middle when it comes to Healey rarity. Only 20 are thought to remain roadworthy. This well-restored and well-used example should bring between $58,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

SS Jaguar 1½-Litre

1936 SS Jaguar 1½-Litre Coachbuilt Saloon

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 28, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Time to indulge in my favorite thing: breaking down make and model histories. SS Cars Ltd. was the result of the Swallow Sidecar Company – founded by William Lyons and William Walmsley – turning to automobiles. This occurred in 1934 (even though cars had sort of been on the table since 1932). The company became Jaguar in 1945 – thanks a lot, Nazis (but seriously, even the SS Cars logo looked like it was ripped off of an SS officer’s uniform).

Prior to 1935, the company had a few products, namely the SS1 and SS2. Sports cars came next with the SS 90 and SS 100 (or SS Jaguar 90 and SS Jaguar 100). Jaguar was a model name with various trims and engines. The SS Jaguar sedans went on sale in 1935 as the SS Jaguar 1.5, Jaguar 2.5, and Jaguar 3.5. They would be produced until 1940 and would go on sale again in 1946 as the Jaguar 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5 (without the SS).

And what we have here is an SS Jaguar 1.5. It was available as a sedan or 2-door drophead coupe. This sedan is called a “Coachbuilt Saloon” but there is little evidence it was coachbuilt in anything more than name. Power is from a replacement Ford Kent 1.6-liter straight-four, which is unfortunate.

The lot description says that this car is the oldest surviving Jaguar in the U.K. and one of just five 1936 Jaguars to exist worldwide (yes, there are older non-Jaguar SS cars). One of 10,980 made, it should bring between $26,000-$33,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $36,499.

November 2018 Auction Highlights

We start off our November rundown with Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale. The Darracq we featured was the top sale, bringing $779,115. Other big dollar cars included the very early Peugeot for $463,202, a previously-featured Schaudel for $156,891, $149,420 for the Liberia, and the Star that brought $113,559. We’ll give Most Interesting (of the few cars left that sold that we didn’t feature) to this 1903 De Dion-Bouton 8HP Two-Seater that sold for $70,974.

Photo – Bonhams

The 1902 Rambler brought $62,756 and the Wolseley sold for $89,652. Click here for final results.

On to France, for a sale from Osenat. The Chenard et Walcker we featured didn’t find a new home, but this 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 did, selling for $280,945. More results can be found here.

Photo – Osenat

Mecum’s second-to-last sale of the year was held in Las Vegas, and the Bugatti we featured from this sale took top honors, bringing $1,012,000, while the lilac Duesenberg sold for $770,000. On a related note, Most Interesting goes to this lilac 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet (with Woodlight headlights!). It sold for $203,500.

Photo – Mecum

A previously-featured V12 Cadillac failed to sell here… again – as did the Talbot-Lago that came from the same collection as the Duesey and Bugatti. The Black buggy brought $7,700, and, fun fact, you could buy 100 Black buggies for the same price as the Duesenberg! Complete results can be found here.

The Aguttes sale held in Lyon saw this 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Coupe sell for $151,092 – the overall top sale.

Photo – Aguttes

Meanwhile, that crazy gullwing Alfa Romeo handily beat its pre-sale estimate, bringing $121,467. The Delahaye failed to sell, and more results can be found here.

Italian auction house Aste Bolaffi held a sale of classic cars in Turin in November. The sale included many scale models from Bertone and a handful of real cars as well. We didn’t feature anything (because it wasn’t on my radar), but the top sale was this 1999 Ferrari 456M for $77,602. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Aste Bolaffi

Jaguar XJ220C

1993 Jaguar XJ220C

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

For some reason, the Jaguar XJ220 is a car that people don’t love. I guess because it has a V6 or something, people think it’s an “inferior” supercar. But it’s still a supercar. It was the fastest car in the world upon its introduction. And, as you can see, it has racing heritage.

That’s right, for a brief period, Jaguar tracked these monsters with a factory effort. Well, factory in that the whole thing was run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. But it was funded by Jag. Just four lightweight XJ220 competition cars were built. The racing history for this chassis includes:

  • 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans – 1st in class (with John Nielsen, David Brabham, and David Coulthard)

Well, that’s technically only partially correct. While they won their class, they were disqualified later on because of some weird appeal-filing timing mishap. A very bureaucratic disqualification.

The race-trim version of this car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 tuned to 500 horsepower, which is actually less than the road car, but with all of the lightweight components installed, it was probably much quicker.

After staying in the TWR collection for a while, this car was sold to the Sultan of Brunei before coming back to the U.K. in 1999. It can now be yours for between $2,900,0000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

TVR Taimar

1981 TVR Taimar

Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | November 28, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

The M Series was a line of cars produced by TVR in the 1970s, specifically between 1972 and 1979. Models included the 1600M, 3000S, and this, the Taimar. But this car is listed as a 1981, you say. Yes, we’ll get to that.

The Taimar was a hatchback powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that made 142 horsepower. It was the second-to-last M Series car to be introduced, going on sale in late 1976. Only 395 examples were built through 1979.

This car is listed as a 1981 because it was the final Taimar registered in the U.K. – and likely wasn’t first registered until 1981. At any rate, it’s described as being in good condition and should sell for between $9,000-$12,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,198.