Meyers Manx

1963 Meyers Manx

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We all know that the 60s were a weird time. But that creativity that persisted throughout America brought us some cool stuff. And So-Cal surfer Bruce Meyers brought us this: the Dune Buggy.

Meyers was an artist, engineer, and even has some experience building sailboats. So he took the ubiquitous-in-California-in-1964 Volkswagen Beetle and ripped the body off it. Replacing it with an open-top fiberglass shell and big, off-road tires, it looked every bit the part of an off-road racer. He started selling kits in 1964 but they were expensive and he only found 12 takers.

Then he set up a real business and the Manx took off. This one is powered by a 1.8-liter VW flat-four (it was originally a 1.6). Production lasted through 1971 when tax problems forced the company to close. At the dawn of the new millennium, Meyers got back into business and you can still buy a Manx kit today. The original run saw about 6,000 made (from 1965-1971). This one is titled as a ’63 because that’s the year of the VW underneath it.

There are a lot of Beetle-based dune buggies out there, but a true Meyers Manx is a rare find. This has to be one of the nicest, being fresh off a $44,000 restoration. Buy it and tear around the beaches – just like Steve McQueen in The Thomas Crown Affair. It’ll sell at no reserve and bring someone a lot of fun. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Knox Surrey

1904 Knox Two-Cylinder 16/18HP Tudor Surrey

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s strange, but this is the first Knox automobile we’ve featured on the site. It’s weird because Knox automobiles aren’t that rare and it seems that at least one of them changes hands publicly each year. Harry Knox got into the automobile business because he was encouraged to do so by his neighbor. Usually this isn’t a great reason for starting a business, but in this case, Springfield, Massachusetts-based Knox was neighbors with a guy named J. Frank Duryea, one of the brothers behind one of America’s pioneering car companies.

Knox built passenger cars between 1900 and 1914 (and they continued building trucks and tractors through 1924). 1904 was the first year for the two-cylinder Knox, and this car is powered by a 4.5-liter twin making 16 horsepower.

The ownership history on this car is known since new. In the 1940s the car was rescued, as it had been converted as the power source for farm equipment. It passed around through a few collections and museums in the ensuing decades, with the most recent restoration work having been completed in 2012. It is London-to-Brighton eligible and completed the run in 2016.

Four body styles were offered on the 1904 Two-Cylinder Knox and this one features a soft-top Tudor Surrey. It is estimated to bring between $200,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Supercharged Stutz by Lancefield

1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 1929 Stutz line consisted of a single model, the Model M, and ’29 was the only model year that the company built a car by that name. Quite a few body styles were offered, and I’m talking like more than 30, but this one carries very sporty Coupe coachwork by Lancefield of London.

Stutz’s standard straight-eight engine would be produced by the firm from 1928  through the end of production in 1934. All Model Ms were powered by this 5.3-liter unit – but a select few were equipped with a supercharger that bumped power up to 185. This supercharged power plant was the result of a 2nd place finish for the marque at Le Mans in 1928. Bentley upped their game for 1929 and Stutz couldn’t afford to build a new engine, so they strapped a centrifugal supercharger to the one they had and sent it back to Europe where the best result attained was 5th at Le Mans in 1929.

Only three supercharged Stutz cars are known to exist and I’ve managed to see two of them in person, this car included. It is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s been restored and freshened multiple times in the past 20 years and in that time has sported owners such as Skip Barber and John O’Quinn. It is being sold out of a prominent Stutz collection based in Texas. The best way to describe this car is that it’s just one of those cars – an incredible automobile that has the engine, chassis, and body it was delivered with. An award winner all over the U.S., it will remain a prized possession among whoever is lucky enough to acquire it next. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Raleigh Safety Seven

1934 Raleigh Safety Seven

Offered by H&H Classics | Castle Donington, U.K. | February 23, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Many early automobile manufacturers began their corporate lives as bicycle companies. The Raleigh Bicycle Company was the same way – except that they remained the Raleigh Bicycle Company from their inception in 1888 through, well, today as they still build bikes.

The Raleigh Safety bicycle was an early popular product and in the early 1930s the company introduced the Safety Seven, their first motorized passenger vehicle. It’s a four-seat roadster powered by a 742cc V-twin. This example comes with a rare removable hardtop. Top speed was 55 mph.

It’s a three-wheeler and Raleigh planned a sedan version but it never got off the ground (but it was responsible for the beginning of the Reliant Motor Company in 1935). In the 1950s and 60s, Raleigh made scooters, but after that motorized vehicles disappeared from the company’s product lineup. This example has been restored and shows almost 85,000 miles. It should sell for between $8,600-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Nissan Pao

1989 Nissan Pao

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 17-18, 2017

Photo – Mecum

I just asked someone in the room when they thought this car was built and their answer was “1969.” Something funky was going on in Japan in the 1980s (and let’s face it, every year before and after that, too). Mazda and Toyota were building strange things, but Nissan was taking the cake.

Their “Pike” series of cars was a line of four small cars with far-out designs. The Pao was the second “Pike” car introduced and it was only sold during the 1989 through 1991 model years. It is powered by a 1.0-liter straight-four making 51 horsepower that could regularly get over 50 mpg.

These cars were only ever sold in Japan and could be had with a cloth sunroof. Their retro styling was, strangely, ahead of its time. In just 1.5 years of production, Nissan moved 51,657 cars – which they managed to sell all of in just three months. This 65,000 mile example is a rare bird in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $12,500.

Bugatti 57S

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Some of the highest-dollar Bugattis come from the Type 57 family of cars that was produced by the firm between 1934 and 1940. In 1936 they introduced a few updated versions of the model, among them the Type 57S – a lowered variant that gave the car a sportier stance.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-eight making 170 horsepower. The 57S was successful on the European racing circuit and about half of the cars were bodied by the factory. There were 22 chassis that were unsold by mid-1938, when the 57S was killed off. Most of these ended up in coachbuilders’ hands and this car is one of four Vanvooren Cabriolets built in Paris (three of which are known to still exist).

This car has known ownership history since new and was on long term display. RM has brought the car back to being a runner and driver, but it’s not quite ready for long distance trips. Only 42 Type 57S chassis were built and this is, again, one of just three Vanvooren Cabriolets remaining. It’s a matching-numbers, unrestored car (though it has had certain mechanical elements rebuilt for functional purposes). It’s fantastic. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Amelia Island.

Ginetta G16

1968 Ginetta G16

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 24, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ginetta, which has been building sports and racing cars since 1958, has built its fair share of road cars and race cars. And some of those models blurred the lines between both categories. The G16 was an evolution of the earlier G12 model. It’s a mid-engined race car that looked every bit the part of Can-Am racing superstar.

Built between 1968 and 1969, the G16 would accept a few different engines. This car is powered by a 2.0-liter BMW straight-four that puts out around 225 horsepower. It’s perfectly suited for the historic circuit even though this particular chassis had no race history when new.

In fact, this was the final G16 chassis built (#8 of eight – which also makes it one of the rarest Ginettas). It was owned by the Walklett family (the family that founded the company in 1958) until 2014. The current owner acquired the car and finished it to what you see here. It should sell for between $110,000-$135,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1928 Tracta

1928 Tracta D2 Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

SA des Automobiles Tracta was a French car company founded by engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire in 1926. Tracta built some of the first successful front-wheel drive vehicles anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, business was never super profitable and Grégoire shuttered his company in 1934 to become a design consultant.

Interestingly, a front-wheel drive Tracta won its class at Le Mans in 1927 and continued to compete there through 1930. This car is powered by a 1.6-liter straight-four from SCAP. The body on this car looks really long, but it’s a two-door sports car and it is eligible for the Le Mans Classic.

This example was sold new in the U.K. – one of just a few ever sold there. It was restored (mostly, anyway – the interior looks original) in the 1980s while owned by a front-wheel drive specialist. It’s a driver and will be a talking point wherever it goes. Tractas were never built in large numbers and don’t change hands often. This one should bring between $64,000-$85,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $63,938.

Ferrari Nembo Spyder

1964 Ferrari 330 GT Nembo Spyder

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

There are four “Nembo” Ferrari Spyders (though one might be a coupe) and Nembo refers to two men: Giorgio Neri, Luciano Bonacini, Italians based in Modena with their own car shop. In the 1960s they started doing one-off Ferraris and it is thought that one of their early 250 GT-based Nembo Spyders was the basis for the design of the 275 NART Spyder, which this car sort of resembles.

The first three Nembo Spyders were all unique. This car, the fourth and final, wasn’t commissioned until the 1980s. A British collector wanted it made and the car was to be based around a 1964 330 GT 2+2. That means under the hood lies a 4.0-liter V-12 that makes 300 horsepower.

The wheelbase was also shortened at the time of construction, giving it a racier look than the four-seater 330 GT would’ve had. It is noted that all four of the Nembo Spyders (of which, this is the only one with a 4.0-liter V-12 and the only one in RHD) are ineligible for Ferrari Classiche certification because they are all technically re-bodied cars. It’s obviously very rare and quite attractive. It will be interesting to see what it brings at auction, but it is being sold at no reserve and the proceeds will benefit an air ambulance service. You can read more about it here and see more cars from H&H Classics here.

Bugatti Brescia Torpedo

1923 Bugatti Type 27 Brescia Torpedo

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Bugatti Brescia was the marque’s first true road car. It was introduced as the Type 13 in 1910. More “Types” would follow, such as the Type 15, 17, 22, and 23. Production of the Brescia lasted through 1926 and their racing counterparts scored victories across Europe, lending some real credibility to the Bugatti brand.

The little-seen Type 27 was a development of the Types 22 and 23 (which different only slightly from earlier cars). The engine in the Type 27 is a 1.5-liter straight-four making 50 horsepower. The sporty Torpedo coachwork is thought to be the work of coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud.

This example had eight owners in its first three years! In the 1930s, it is said that it was used as a getaway car for robberies in Paris. Most of its ownership history is known and the famous automotive hoarders known as the Schlumpf brothers attempted to purchase this car in 1959. Luckily for enthusiasts everywhere, they were rebuffed. This car was mechanically restored in 2006 and is ready to drive. It should bring between $410,000-$580,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $541,015.