Alfa Tipo 33 TT 12

1974 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 was a series of awesome prototype racing cars built by Alfa between 1966 and 1977. We’ve previously featured the Tipo 33/2 and 33/3, which were two of the earlier designs. The TT 12 was the second-to-last version and it was built between 1973 and 1976.

Prior to this car, the Tipo 33s were V-8 powered. For 1973, they opted to install a 3.0-liter flat-12 that puts out 500 horsepower. The “TT” does not stand for “twin turbocharged” but instead references the car’s tubular chassis. This was a factory race car, owned and operated by Autodelta S.p.A. and under their direction, it competed in the following races:

  • 1975 1000km Monza – DNF (with Henri Pescarolo and Derek Bell)
  • 1975 1000km Spa – 1st (with Pescarolo and Bell)
  • 1975 1000km Nurburgring – DNF (with Pescarolo and Bell)
  • 1975 6 Hours of Watkins Glen – 1st (with Pescarolo and Bell)

That’s just a few of the big races it competed in, as it ended up winning at least one more. For 1976, Alfa replaced the 33 TT 12s with the next generation car and this example was parked. In 1980, Autodelta dealt this car to a collector in California who has owned it since. It’s shown up at the Monterey Historics six times over the years and you can take it there next year. Only six of these were built and this one should bring between $2,400,000-$2,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

The First DB4GT

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Asrton Martin DB4, DB5, and DB6 are the best looking of all the classic Astons (though I will forever maintain that the DB7 is the best looking period, especially the convertible). The DB4 was built between 1958 and 1963 until the DB5 took its place.

Among the most sought-after DB4s were the DB4GTs. These were lightweight, short-wheelbase, near-racing spec cars. Nineteen of them sported bodies by Zagato. One of them received a Jet Age body from Bertone. In all, 75 DB4GTs were built – but this is the first.

The GT came with an upgraded engine, a 302 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-six to be exact. Top speed was 151 mph – pretty stout for something pre-1960. The story of this car is that program manager John Wyer took an early DB4 chassis, shortened it, and wrapped it in aluminium to save weight. They tested it at Le Mans and actually entered in the 1959 race. Here’s how it fared:

  • 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd (of 53), DNF (with Hubert Patthey and Renaud Calderari)

So maybe that race entrance was a little premature. After Le Mans, Aston converted this car to road spec and pushed it into service as a press car. The first real owner came in 1961 and it turned out to be a relative of the Royal family. The current owner acquired the car in 1986 and had the factory restore it in 1989. Between their original acquisition and now, the car was at one point owned by actor Rowan Atkinson.

At the time of writing, RM has not yet published an estimate for this car. It won’t come cheap, and rightly so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

L’Uovo

1950 Ferrari 166 MM/212 Export by Fontana

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This early Ferrari is certainly a unique design. Check out how short that windshield is. Driving it has to feel as if you are just strapping yourself to an engine and hanging on for dear life. It sort of has a proto-pontoon fender look to it, but it all curves inward at the passenger compartment before the bobbed rear end. It’s aggressive, racy, and screams “competition Ferrari.”

This car was purchased new by the Marzotto brothers in Italy in 1950. It has serious competition history in period, including:

  • 1950 Targa Florio – DNF (with Umberto Marzotto)
  • 1950 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Umberto Marzotto and Franco Cristaldi)
  • 1951 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Giannino Marzotto and Marco Crosara)
  • 1952 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Guido Mancini and Adriano Ercolani)

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t super successful in it’s day, but it still ran at the biggest races in the world. After the 1950 racing season the car was rebuilt by Carrozzeria Fontana, with the body you see here having been constructed at that time. Dubbed “L’uovo,” or the egg, it was designed to be aerodynamic and light.

After the 1952 season, the original 166 MM engine was replaced by an engine from Ferrari’s newer 212 Export model, which would mean that it carries a 2.6-liter V-12, which makes 175 horsepower (though this is unclear from the catalog description). In 1953 the car made it’s way into Californian ownership. In 1986, an Italian buyer brought the car home from the U.S. and had it restored. Displayed infrequently, the car has competed in the modern Mille Miglia a few times in the last 20 years.

This one-off, big money Ferrari will go under the hammer next month. For more information, check out RM Sotheby’s site here and see more from this sale here.

GT350H

1966 Shelby GT350H Fastback

Offered by Mecum | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | August 3-5, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Hertz is a company that has been involved with automobiles since 1923. At one point they were part of the Yellow Coach company, a manufacturer of buses that eventually became part of GM. In the 1960s, Shelby built a run of special cars for the rental car agency: the GT350H.

The GT350 is powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 that was modified by Shelby to put out 306 horsepower. The Hertz cars were almost all painted black with gold stripes. Dubbed “Rent-a-Racer,” the GT350H could be picked up at your local Hertz counter – if you were a member of their Sports Car Club.

Back in the day, people rented these and entered them in SCCA events. The fun legend is that some would be returned to Hertz with remnants of a welded-in roll cage. There were 999 of these built – and those that hadn’t been totaled in racing accidents (it had to have happened at least once) were returned to Ford after a specified amount of time. Ford removed any go-fast parts aspiring race car drivers may have installed and then flipped the cars onto the public market.

Imagine something like this today. It would never happen. It’s like if you could roll up to Avis and request a new Dodge Demon to take to the drag strip. Society, as litigious as it has become, would never allow for it. This is a piece of motoring history because it is a product of its time. And because of that, it is really, really cool. This well documented, well presented example can be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Vauxhall Lotus Carlton

1991 Vauxhall Lotus Carlton

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 29-30, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

You’re looking at the coolest car to ever wear the Vauxhall badge. It began life as a Vauxhall Carlton (which was the British version of the Opel Omega). This generation of the European full-size sedan/wagon (or “executive car”) was built between 1986 and 1993.

The hotted up Lotus version was available only from 1990 through 1992. Lotus took the standard Opel 3.0-liter engine and massaged it into a 3.6-liter straight-six and then strapped two turbochargers on top for a final power rating of 377 horsepower. That’s still pretty serious today. Sixty arrived in five seconds and the top speed was listed at 176 mph, which is pretty crazy. It outperformed many cars that were much more expensive when new – and most of those had two fewer doors as well.

The Lotus Carlton could be had in one color: Imperial Green, which looks black from nearly every angle and in every photograph. They weren’t cheap when they went on sale and that is reflected in the low build count. Opel wanted to built 1,100 examples but they only ended up selling 950 – split between Opel and Vauxhall, with this version being much rarer. Only 320 Vauxhall Lotus Carltons were produced and this example has a remarkable 4,500 original miles on the odometer. It should bring between $77,500-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-417

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Does this Duesenberg look a little like a… Cadillac? If you think so, there’s a good reason: this car was bodied by Fleetwood, as in the Fleetwood Metal Body Company. Founded in 1909, Fleetwood built bodies for many companies in its early days. But in 1925 it was acquired by Fisher and it became part of General Motors in 1931. A lot of Cadillacs bodied after 1931 wore Fleetwood bodies much like this one.

In fact, this is the second Fleetwood body that this car wore. The original owner swapped out the first body for this one, which he lifted from a Cadillac V-16. It wasn’t the only thing he changed, this chassis is currently on its third engine, J-417. The 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight that originally powered this chassis racked up 200,000 miles before being replaced. A second engine came and went as well. This car was used and enjoyed and didn’t find its second owner until the late 1950s.

Since then it has had a few other owners and was restored about 30 years ago. It’s a unique Model J with known history from new (the first owner ordered the car from Fred Duesenberg on the New York Auto Show stand in 1929). It should bring between $950,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Renault 5 Turbo

1981 Renault 5 Turbo

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 29-30, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Renault 5 was a hatchback built by the French company in two different series, the first lasting from 1972 through 1985 (though the early cars don’t resemble this one at all). A second generation was built between 1984 and 1996. There was nothing particularly sporty about the 5 – some used engines as small as 782cc.

Rallying was the place to be seen in 1980s Europe, and Renault wanted a part of the action. They developed the 5 Turbo as a rally car. It was essentially nothing like the front-engined, front-wheel drive 5 hatchback, as these are mid-engined, rear-wheel drive cars. The engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged straight-four that made 158 horsepower. It was a serious hot hatch – one of the first such factory specials.

In order to take it rallying, Renault built some road-going models as well. This is one of 3,576 of the original 5 Turbos. This car was delivered new to Switzerland and sports a brilliant two-tone blue paint scheme (which is a respray) and awesome 1980s-style “Turbo” graphics. This 40,000 mile example should bring between $92,225-$105,400. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Adams Roadster

1985 Adams Roadster

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | July 26, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Dennis Adams worked at Lister Cars and Marcos at different points in his career and also he built a few cars of his own. Perhaps the most famous is the Probe 16, also known as the Durango 95 from A Clockwork Orange. In the 1980s he designed this Jaguar-based Roadster with a very neoclassic-like look.

Originally powered by a 2.8-liter engine, this car now boasts a 4.2-liter Jaguar straight-six with three carburettors. Depending on which era the engine came from (it was around a while), this car probably makes somewhere between 168 and 265 horsepower. Top speed is claimed to be over 100 mph.

The Adams Roadster was built between 1985 and 1999 and only 17 were ever constructed. The green paint is somewhat striking and the interior looks like it’s definitely been used but still shows nice with no noticeable cracks or tears. This rare Jaguar-powered machine should bring between $25,500-$38,250. Click here for more info and here for more from H&H Classics.

The Asteroid

1951 Tojeiro-JAP

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 27, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

We’ve featured a number of Portugal-born John Tojeiro’s cars over the years. No two are quite alike, and this little race car is different from all of them. This is also the earliest Tojeiro we featured, as it was the second car to ever bear his name.

The other person’s name associated with this car is that of Brian Lister. It was the first chassis he ever built (he wouldn’t found his own company until 1954). The wild design was inspired by a magazine article that Lister read about attaching a JAP engine to a Jowett Jupiter chassis. (JAP = JA Prestwich Industries, a British company that built a ton of small engines from around 1910 through the 1950s).

So Lister and Tojeiro took a 1.1-liter JAP V-Twin and stuck it in this custom chassis. It’s technically mid-engined, I guess, since you can see the engine sticking through the hood behind the front wheels. It was nicknamed “The Asteroid” and was very successful on track in its day.

This car was discovered in a barn, its body having been modified over the years. Silverstone’s catalog has pictures of it when it was new and it does look a little different. It was completely restored and is road registered in the U.K. The pre-sale estimate is between $117,000-$143,000 for this piece of racing history. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

The Machine

1970 AMC Rebel Machine

Offered by Mecum | Denver, Colorado | July 20-22, 2017

Photo – Mecum

AMC, whose history is long, tangled, and very interesting (but we won’t go into it here), seemed to build two kinds of cars during the course of their existence: 1. absolute garbage or 2. kind of cool, fast, sporty muscle cars. Even within the Rebel line, which was built between 1967 and 1970, it was a 50/50 split (though in 1967 it was technically not an AMC, but a Rambler… before that marque was merged back into the AMC line).

1970 was the final year for the Rebel and it could be had as a sedan or a two-door hardtop coupe. The base engine was a straight-six and a range of V-8s were offered as well. They also built a top-of-the-line muscle car and they called it “The Machine,” which is a pretty badass, if not lofty, name for a car.

The Machine is powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 making 340 horsepower. That was a decent enough rating, but it was still well short of what the big motors from Ford, GM, and Chrysler were making in 1970. This example is well-optioned and looks very nice. It’s one of 1,000 painted in the iconic red, white, and blue paint scheme – out of a total of 2,326 Rebel Machines built. This is one of the coolest cars AMC ever built and it can be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Denver.

Update: Sold $50,000.