The Best BMW 335

1940 BMW 335 Four-Door Cabriolet by Autenrieth

For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California

Photo – Fantasy Junction

The modern BMW 335 is a six-cylinder car and a member of BMW’s 3-Series lineup. It’s a popular model, but it sits sort of near the bottom of the BMW range. But in 1940 the 335 was as good as it got (unless you hopped up to the sports car-only 328). Introduced in 1939, this model didn’t really get a fair shot with the war about to break out. It was produced into 1941 before passenger car production was halted.

This car is powered by a 90 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six (hey look at that, BMW’s model name numbering system used to make sense!). Top speed, dependent on body style, was up to 90 mph. This model could be had as a four-door sedan, two-door cabriolet, or, as you see here, a stately four-door cabriolet.

It seems like Mercedes-Benz (and even Horch to a lesser extent) always gets all of the spotlight when it comes to these Reich-era open-top Autobahn cruisers. Pre-war, BMW rarely enters the conversation unless you’re talking about the 328. Part of the reason is scarcity. Only 415 examples of the 335 were built. Only five four-door cabriolets still exist (of the 40 built by this coachbuilder). Compare that to some of the Mercedes survival numbers and it’s easy to see why the Benzes always show up in films.

This example was restored in 2007 and it still looks fresh. You have to wonder who was in a position to buy such an extravagant car in 1939 and what life it lived during the war. It was brought to the U.S. by a member of the military and it remained here pretty much ever since. This car marked a high point for BMW that they wouldn’t equal for quite some time. It’s currently for sale in California for $495,000. Click here for more info.

Ligier JS4

1980 Ligier JS4

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | November 25, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brookands

Guy Ligier was a racing driver who got his start in the 1950s after his career as a rugby player ended. From the driver’s seat, Ligier transitioned to Formula One team owner. His Equipe Ligier team made over 300 starts between 1976 and 1996 (it became Prost Grand Prix for 1997). They managed to win a few races in the 70s and 80s.

So I’m sure you’re thinking “This little box on wheels does not look like something that a proper F1 manufacturer should be making.” But Ligier was all over the board. They built mid-engined sports cars and in 1980 they introduced this, the two-seater JS4. It’s powered by a rear-mounted three horsepower 50cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine. Built between 1980 and 1983, the company moved nearly 7,000 of them in 1980 alone.

Equipe Ligier used one as a pit vehicle at F1 races (that car still exists and is currently located at one of America’s greatest car museums in Nashville). Ligier actually still builds and sells microcars… so I guess it turns out this is exactly what kind of road car an F1 team should be making. Who knew? This one is selling at no reserve. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

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.

Austin EXP1 Prototype

1917 Austin 20 EXP1 Prototype

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | November 15, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Coming out of the First World War, the Austin Motor Company of England needed to get back into the swing of automobile production. So they built this four-door tourer in 1917. Austin’s test driver drove it all over the U.K. hyping Austin’s new car that is based on this: the 20.

The first generation of the 20 was available from 1919 through 1929. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower and it’s capable of 60 mph. By the time production started in 1919, their test driver had raised over £6 million in pre-orders for the 20, making his tour a wild success, especially because Austin beat many competitors to market after the war.

This car was discovered as a rolling chassis and was pulled out of a hedge and restored about 15 years ago. There aren’t a lot of automobile prototypes still around from this era, making this a rare treat. As a piece of British automotive history, this car should bring between $60,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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.

TVR Tina

1967 TVR Tina Prototype by Fissore

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 11-12, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Few car companies have undergone more corporate ownership changes than TVR. In 1965 the company was purchased by Arthur Lilley and his son. It took a while for production to get going again on previous models but the demand really wasn’t that strong. So the new TVR commissioned Fissore to build a prototype two-door sports car. Fissore returned with this, the Tina (named for the daughter of Gerry Marshall, a British racing driver and associate of the TVR owners).

Unveiled at the 1966 Turin Auto Show, the Tina was shown as both coupe and convertible. They were based on the Hillman Imp, so the 55 horsepower 875cc straight-four is located in the rear. TVR lacked the funds to get this project off the ground and in 1967, once the Griffith had been put out the pasture, TVR went with the new Tuscan instead.

Tina Marshall, this car’s namesake, inherited it when her father passed in 2005. It was restored to the condition you see here. The Tina Convertible Prototype is still out there, but here’s your chance to acquire the coupe. It should bring between $40,000-$52,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Mercedes-Simplex Raceabout

1908 Mercedes-Simplex 65HP Two-Seater Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Daimler marque became “Mercedes” in 1902 and the Mercedes-Simplex is largely considered to be the first “modern” car – a departure from the horseless carriages that preceded it. Available as a number of models between 1902 and 1910, the Simplex had engines ranging from 18 horsepower all the way up to 65 – as in the beast you see here.

The 65 horsepower (which is available at a rumbling 1200 rpm) comes from a very large 9.4-liter straight-four that. A normal 65HP Simplex would only have 9.2-liters, but this one has probably had many engine rebuilds over the course of its life, thus slightly increasing its displacement.

The biggest of all Simplexes, this model was offered between 1903 and 1909. The chassis you see here originally sported a 40/45HP engine when it was sold new in New York. It was acquired by Lindley Bothwell in the 1930s or 40s already sporting this… sporting body. What the original coachwork looked like is a secret lost to time.

This is going to be one of the more expensive cars to find a new home at this sale and no pre-sale estimate is available. These big horsepower, early German machines are incredibly hard to come by today. This is a rare chance to acquire one with known history going back 80 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,072,500

Austro-Daimler

1912 Austro-Daimler Touring Victoria

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | October 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler was a German marque (there was also a British one) who set up an Austrian subsidiary in 1899 (it became independent around 1905). These cars were built under the Austro-Daimler marque until 1934 when Austro-Daimler AG merged with Steyr, becoming Steyr-Daimler-Puch. During the 1930s, the company produced some very nice, large cars. As you can see above, they were doing the same thing before WWI.

The weird thing about this car is that it carries no chassis plate and the only markings on the car at all are on the radiator, which appears to be British. It is thought that this might be one of very few Austro-Daimlers built in and/or for the U.K.

The engine is not native to this car, but it has probably been in it for most of its life. It’s a Wisconsin M-Series, an 11.9-liter straight-four monster. The bodywork is British and likely from a major coachbuilder, but no one knows which one. The stuffing is coming out of the front seats, making it a prime candidate for restoration. Oh, and this car has appeared in a couple of films, namely Chaplin and Titanic. It should bring between $120,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $176,000.

Two-Cylinder Packard

1902 Packard Model G Four-Passenger Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

If you told me this was being offered straight out of the Harrah Collection, I’d believe you. If you’ve ever wandered through the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, you’d know that the first part of it is full of cars just like this (and if you haven’t, DO IT).

Only 400 Packards were built between the company’s founding in 1899 and the end of 1903. Packard offered two models in 1903: one was the single-cylinder Model F and the other was this, the twin-cylinder Model G. It was the only two-cylinder model Packard ever sold and this is the only one left. That engine is a 6.0-liter flat-twin that makes 24 horsepower. Those are some massive cylinders, at three liters a piece.

The Model G is a massive automobile: it weighed in at over 4,000 pounds – even with aluminium fenders! Only four of these were built and they were fabulously expensive, with one reputedly going to a Rockefeller. This one has been in this collection for over seven decades and was damaged in a fire some years ago. The body was exactingly rebuilt and, as they say, it “ran when parked.” This piece of Packard history – one of the oldest Packards in private hands – should bring between $250,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $423,500.

Barney Oldfield’s Benz

1908 Benz 75/105HP Prinz-Heinrich Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Benz has some automotive connotations, namely its current existence as half of Mercedes-Benz. But if you think back about Benz and know enough to know that Benz sort of started this whole car thing, you probably think of the Benz Patent Motorwagen. But they also built some amazing sports cars. Two engineers working for Benz in the early days developed what is, perhaps, the world’s first road-going sports car. It was built to compete in the Prinz-Heinrich Tour – a demanding 1,200 mile rally.

Hans Nibel and Georg Diehl created this car to compete in that race (note: this car is listed as a “circa 1908” but the catalog makes it seem like this model was first shown closer to 1910). It features a live rear axle and shaft drive (most big power cars from this era sported two semi-frightening chains that drove the rear wheels). The engine is fantastic for 1908: it’s a 7.3-liter straight-four that made 105 horsepower, which is a lot for the time. A team of three of these competed in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup.

This model was only available through 1912 and very few were made as they were quite expensive. Only a handful survive – including, probably, the three Vanderbilt Cup cars. We pick up the history of this car around 1915 when it was being used by Barney Oldfield in appearances all over the country. He eventually sold it to a brewer in L.A. before it made its way into the Lindley Bothwell collection in the 1930s (where it’s been since).

Restored in 2006, just in time for the 2006 Goodwood Revival, this is an incredible piece of history with just three known owners going back 100 years. This is the type of car that only exists in one of three places: 1. museums 2. historical photos or 3. long-term European collections that are rarely, if ever, broken up. But here it is, straight from Los Angeles for you to bid on. No estimate is being provided because it’s one of the big money cars from this sale (which is likely to be remembered for some time). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,870,000.