375 America

1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The first America model from Ferrari went on sale in 1950. Ferrari stuffed their largest V-12 engines into these big (for the day) GT cars. Many of them were coachbuilt. And very few were built. The third model in this line was the 375 America, built in 1953 and 1954 only.

A 4.5-liter V-12 provided power. Rated at 296 horsepower, it could propel the car to 160 mph. This particular car was bodied by Vignale and is finished in burgundy with a silver greenhouse, the original colors it came with.

It was purchased new by an American and spent many years in the U.S., making up part of the Blackhawk Collection at one point. It found itself in the Netherlands for a while, again coming stateside in 2009 before being refinished in its original paint scheme. Only 12 examples of the 375 America were built and this is the first up to come up for sale since 2011. It’s a big money Ferrari and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Duesenberg J-488

1931 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Derham

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 25, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

This black Model J is one of five such units produced by the Derham Body Company of Philadelphia. Derham traced their roots back to Joseph Derham’s 1887 carriage factory and later produced bodies for the likes of Stutz, Pierce-Arrow, Cadillac, Duesenberg, and more.

This is a Duesenberg Model J – one of the greatest cars ever built. This particular car is supercharged, and thus is a retroactive “Model SJ.” But the supercharger isn’t original. When supercharged, the 6.9-liter straight-eight makes 320 horsepower. This car began life as a factory demonstrator and was later owned by Jean Harlow’s 1930s husband as well as Buster Keaton’s son, James Talmadge.

At some point early in this car’s life, parts of the engine were exchanged with the factory-supercharged J-208. When the current owner acquired the car in 1977, he set about making it whole again. He located J-208 and swapped the parts back, making both cars better for it. He later sourced a supercharger, taking J-488 back to how it would’ve been set up in the late-1930s.

And now here it is, wonderfully restored and correct – on sale for the first time in 41 years. It should bring between $1,750,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Patriarca 750 Berlina

1949 Fiat-Patriarca 750 Berlina Sport by Faina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

With its almost-Porsche-like looks, this Patriarca 750 Berlina is one of many specials built on the backs of small Fiat road cars. Post War Italy didn’t have an economy to support a lot of fancy car sales, so companies like Fiat focused on small, affordable cars for the masses.

But that doesn’t mean Italians still didn’t love motorsport. So people like Rodolfo Patriarca and Carlo Abarth took to modifying these cars for sport. This car was based on a Fiat 500C and has an 81 horsepower, 750cc straight-four tuned for racing by Giannini.

Built by Patriarca for gentleman driver Sesto Leonardi, the competition history for this car includes:

  • 1950 Targa Florio – 3rd in class
  • 1950 Mille Miglia – 1st in class

It continued to race through 1953, with at least one more appearance at the Mille Miglia. It’s wonderfully restored and eligible for many historic events. You can read more here and see more from RM here.

Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This, of course, is an example of the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO – the most sought-after car in the world, or at least according to its price. Bonhams set a record during the Pebble Beach weekend in 2014 selling another ’62 GTO for just over $38 million. So why feature another one of these grand touring cars? Well, because this one wears a different body.

The 250 GTO – or Gran Turismo Omologata – were homologated race cars built by Ferrari between 1962 and 1964. Only 36 were made and they’re powered by a 3.0-liter Colombo V-12 rated at 296 horsepower. This one has blue seats, which look pretty cool.

Most of the GTOs looked like this, including this car when new. For 1964, the final run of three cars were bodied with “Series II” coachwork. Four earlier, Series I cars, including this one, were rebodied in the more streamlined design. In fact, this was just the third 250 GTO constructed so it lived a solid two years with its first body before heading back to Scaglietti to match the 1964 cars. It is one of two with an extended roof like the 250 LM.

The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1962 Targa Florio – test car for Phil Hill and Mauro Forghieri
  • 1963 Italian 3-Litre GT Championship – 1st (with Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi)
  • 1963 Targa Florio – 4th, 1st in class (with Gianni Bulgari and Maurizio Grana)
  • 1964 Targa Florio – 5th, 1st in class (with Corrado Ferlaino and Luigi Taramazzo)

Acquired by Greg Whitten (of Microsoft fame) in 2000, this 250 GTO is being offered for public sale. Obviously, no estimate is given, and RM Sotheby’s is requiring you to be vetted to even bid on this car. I guess you can’t have some schmo bidding $40 million on something when their net worth tops out in the seven-digit range. Anyway, it’ll sure be interesting to see what it brings – if it sells. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Gulf-Mirage GR8

1975 Gulf-Mirage GR8

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

John Wyer is a name closely associated with Gulf Oil racing. He made a name for himself winning the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans as a team owner with an Aston Martin. Ford hired him to run their GT40 program (it didn’t go well and he was replaced by Carroll Shelby). So he went out and created his own company, J.W. Automotive Engineering. And the race cars they built were called Mirages.

1967 was the first season for Mirage race cars and in 1975 their new car was called the GR8. It featured an aluminium monocoque chassis and a fiberglass body. Power came from a 482 horsepower, 3.0-liter Ford Cosworth V-8. It definitely has the look of one of those weird-in-retrospect 1970s prototype race cars. But it was pretty stout on track. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1975 24 Hours of Le Mans – 3rd (with Vern Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud)
  • 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Jean-Louis Lafosse and Francois Migault)
  • 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2nd (with Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jarier)
  • 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 10th (with Schuppan, Jacques Laffite, and Sam Posey), as Renault-Mirage M9
  • 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 24th, DNF (with Schuppan, Jaussaud, and David Hobbs), as Ford M10

A different GR8 won the race in ’75 and this car underwent some development along the way, becoming a Renault-Mirage M9 in 1978 when a smaller Renault engine was installed and in 1979 it got the Ford Cosworth engine it sports now, thus it was then called a Ford M10. But still, five years for the same chassis at Le Mans – with three podiums at that – is pretty impressive.

In 1987, the car was retrofitted with its 1978 GR8 bodywork and passed between several collectors. It’s well-sorted and wears the best livery in racing. It can be yours for between $2,500,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-563

1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Speedster by LaGrande

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

So why is this among the most exciting cars to come to market in at least a decade? Well, for one it’s among the greatest American motorcars ever made and two, it’s been in a long-term collection that you’d think would never consider parting with it. More on that in a minute.

The SSJ was the ultimate evolution of the already-amazing Duesenberg Model J. The Model J transformed into the awesome “SJ” when a supercharger was added. That bumped power from 265 to 320. Duesenberg developed two “SSJ” cars – they were also supercharged and had an exceptionally short wheelbase. Power from the supercharged 6.9-liter straight-eight was bumped to 400 horsepower for the SSJ, thanks to parts borrowed from the “Mormon Meteor” land speed record car.

400 horsepower. In a road car. In 1935. How are you still even reading this? Shouldn’t your mind have been blown by this point? It would be another 20+ years before American roads saw that kind of stock horsepower again.

These two SSJs – this one, the first one, was sold new to Gary Cooper. The other one, in 1936, went to Clark Gable. The legend is that they would race these two Depression-era supercars in the Hollywood Hills. The fact that these two huge stars both got one of these cars is no coincidence. Duesenberg thought the publicity might help save the company. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Cooper only kept the car a short time (and reportedly had it repainted shortly after taking possession) and it had seven other owners before Briggs Cunningham acquired the car in 1949. In 1986, Cunningham’s collection was sold to Miles Collier and it’s been a highlight of that collection since, spending quite a while on display in the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. It was at this extensively-financed museum that I pretty much assumed this car would stay forever. But it isn’t. Anyone can buy it – well anyone with “In Excess of $10,000,000+,” as Gooding & Company hilariously estimates it will bring.

At any rate, it’s an iconic piece of American motoring history that might get locked away again for a long time. It’s exciting to see something like this come out from behind the doors of a big collection. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Fina Sport Convertible

1956 Fina Sport Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Fina Sport was a dramatic and beautiful American-built, Italian-styled, 1950s dreamboat designed and constructed by automotive engineer Perry Fina. Fina gained a lot of knowledge working for Fiat and Isotta Fraschini – both in their early years – before returning home and setting up shop in New York to fine tune other people’s cars.

The first model he built under his own name was a coupe and then he opted for a convertible. Styled by Vignale in Italy, it clearly blends American and Italian lines. Power comes from a 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 good for 250 horsepower.

Fina only built a few cars and this is the only restored example in existence. The restoration was completed earlier this year and it’s ready and eligible for all the major shows. A rare car from a manufacturer that barely got anything out the door, this convertible should bring between $750,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Ferrari 250 MM

1953 Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are a lot of different “250” models from Ferrari. It started with the 250 S, then came this, the 250 MM. It would evolve into cars like the 250 Testa Rossa, 250 GTO, 250 P and 250 LM. And those are just the racing variants.

The 250 MM was a stout little thing produced in 1952 and 1953. The Colombo V-12 was enlarged to 2.5-liters and produced 237 horsepower when it was dropped into the slightly longer (than the 225) wheelbase of the 250 MM. Named for the famous Mille Miglia road race in Italy, and to commemorate Ferrari’s recent victory there, the 250 MM was one of the premier racing cars for independent drivers of the early 1950s.

This particular car saw action on the privateer sports car circuit in Sweden when new. Down the line, this car was owned by racing driver Jo Bonnier and was eventually registered in Switzerland. Later owners had the car in Italy, England, France, Germany, and finally the United States. In beautiful condition after a recent cosmetic freshening, this will be another of RM’s mega-dollar cars in Monterey. It is one of just 31 250 MMs built and one of only 18 such cars that wear a Pinin Farina Berlinetta body. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Aston Martin DP215

1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

How do you make an Aston Martin DB4GT look downright pedestrian? Well the DB4GT is one of the most sought-after competition Astons… so you’ll have to show up with something pretty intense. Well how about this DP215? It’s the only one the factory made and they built it exclusively for Le Mans.

Aston returned to works sports car racing in 1962 with the DP212, or Design Project 212. It had some aerodynamic issues (like you know, wanting to take off at high speed) and they evolved the car from there. A pair of DP214s raced the 1963 sports car season and the DP215 was the ultimate evolution. It’s a one-off car built to show what Aston’s engineers were capable of. Aerodynamic and with a Kamm tail, this car was extremely fast, hitting just a tick over 198 mph on the Mulsanne Straight.

It’s powered by a 4.0-liter straight-six with aluminium heads that’s good for 323 horsepower. Driven by Phil Hill and Lucien Bianchi at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, this car was 12 seconds a lap faster than a 250 GTO. It ultimately retired due to gearbox failure.

Aston held on to the car until the 1970s, even after selling all of the other DP cars. The engine was separated and wasn’t reunited with the car until about 15 years ago. It’s been expertly restored and it’s been used. As a one-of-one Aston works racer, it’ll bring big money. The proof is that you need to be pre-approved by RM Sotheby’s to even bid on this car. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.