BMW 503 Cabriolet

1958 BMW 503 Series II Cabriolet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

In the mid-1950s, BMW had yet to have a real hit. They were still pushing Isettas on the German people, and alongside that, they were offering the ultra-exclusive 507 Roadster. Meanwhile, they were trying their hand at a luxury 2+2 with this, the 503.

Produced between 1956 and 1959, the 503 was powered by a 3.2-liter V8 that made 140 horsepower. The car could be had as a coupe or a convertible, and they all had four seats. This is a Series II example, the type of which was introduced in 1957. It featured a floor shifter for the four-speed manual transmission.

Only 413 examples of the 503 were built, and just 138 of those were drop-tops. This example was restored in 2002 and is certain to be its next owner’s ticket to any major car event worldwide. It is expected to bring between $410,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Alfa 75 1.8 Turbo QV

1992 Alfa Romeo 75 1.8 Turbo QV

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | September 26, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Yes, please. While not every Alfa Romeo 75 sedan looks like a sexy, boxy, homologation special, this one checks a lot of… er, boxes. The 75 was produced between 1985 and 1992. It was only available as a rear-wheel-drive sedan, and there were quite a few different variants offered, including a super rare Turbo Evoluzione model.

The 1.8 Turbo is powered by a, well, turbocharged 1.8-liter inline-four. Output was rated at 153 horsepower. Historics says this is an Italian-market limited edition QV model. What that means is unclear with regards to factory equipment, but the car has been “restored” (I think they mean modified) with BBS wheels, and IMSA-style rear spoiler, and a pretty slick Recaro interior.

If it isn’t stock, whoever built it had great taste. It’s the best-looking 75 I’ve ever seen. And the estimated price seems to think many will agree. It is expected to sell for between $22,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bean Super Sports

1927 Bean 18/50HP Super Sports Open Tourer

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | September 26, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Bean Cars was an offshoot of an older company that dated back to 1822. It was started as a foundry by Absolom Harper. Harper’s granddaughter married George Bean, who would take over the company in 1901. Cars didn’t arrive until 1919, which was more or less a frantic attempt to fill the void left by the lack of need for munitions after the armistice.

So for the next 12 years, Bean produced passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In 1926, they launched the 18/50HP, which was powered by a 3.0-liter Meadows-sourced inline-six. Only about 500 examples were produced before the end of 1927, and Historics reports that only four “Super Sport Open Tourers” were constructed.

It’s Bentley-esque, that’s for sure. But it’s also probably pretty usable. This, the only surviving model of its type, is expected to fetch $175,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Georges Roy Torpedo

1910 Georges Roy Type O Torpedo

Offered by Artcurial | Grezillac, France | September 27, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

Automobiles Georges Roy was founded in Bordeaux in 1906. They started out with single-cylinder cars and steadily worked their way up to sixes. The company was popular enough locally that it was able to survive for a few decades.

Passenger car production wrapped in 1929, and truck production continued on through 1932. This Type O Torpedo features a cylindrical engine compartment and circular radiator grille. Power is from a 2.2-liter inline-four.

The car actually appears quite large from the angle shown above, but its side-profile proportions make it seem much smaller. This is a rare touring car from a company not often represented at public sale. Seldom used in the last few years of museum duty, this car is offered with an estimate of $16,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Vauxhall Big Six BXL

1935 Vauxhall Big Six BXL Limousine by Grosvenor

Offered by Brightwells | Online | September 21, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The creatively-named “Big Six” was Vauxhall’s big six-cylinder car that was offered between 1934 and 1940. The model was actually updated midway through its life cycle, and the second generation of the car went on sale in 1937.

The BX/BY, or first, series of the Big Six spawned a third variant: the long-wheelbase, coachbuilt BXL. This example carries a limousine body by the Grosvenor Carriage Company of London. Power is from a 3.2-liter inline-six that could push the large car to 72 mph.

Only 796 examples of the BXL were built, and this is one of nine known to still exist. It’s got suicide rear doors and a luxurious rear passenger compartment. The pre-sale estimate is $15,000-$18,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Datsun 2000 Roadster

1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12-14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Datsun Fairlady (or Sports) was a series of sports cars that preceded the “Z” line of cars that remains in production today. The series began in 1959 with the ultra-rare Sports 1000 and continued in rarefied form until the 1965 launch of the 1600 Roadster. This was when they started appearing in the United States.

In 1967, the 1600 was replaced with the 2000 Roadster, which was the pinnacle of this line of cars. It would eventually be dropped in favor of the 240Z in 1970. Power is from a 2.0-liter U20 inline-four generating 133 horsepower.

These are great little cars, and affordable too. I chose this one because I feel this is how they are supposed to look: with color-matched steel wheels wearing polished hubcaps. The tan soft top doesn’t hurt either. I feel like this one was transported here from a Yokohama back road from 50 years ago. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe

1926 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe by Park Ward

Offered by Bonhams | Chicester, U.K. | October 17, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

This Hispano-Suiza H6 (and later B and C variants) were produced between 1919 and 1933 by the French arm of the Spanish-Swiss company. We have featured exactly zero of the original H6 cars, two C models, and four Bs. Each of the Bs were large four-door cars, with the exception of the similarly large Le Dandy Cabriolet.

It never even really occurred to me that sporting coupes were available on this relatively large chassis. But I guess since they could pull it off on Duesenbergs, so why not. The H6B is powered by a 6.6-liter inline-six good for 135 horsepower.

This car debuted at the Olympia Motor Show in 1926 carrying coupe bodywork from Hooper. It was a show winner at many early Concours events, and it was re-bodied later on with this Park Ward coupe body that was originally attached to a 6.5-Litre Bentley. It’s a great adaptation and is said to be similar to the original Hooper body. The pre-sale estimate is $450,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ford Falcon Clan

1963 Ford Falcon Clan by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here is another coachbuilt example of something American you wouldn’t expect to have landed in the hands of an Italian design house. Ford and Ghia have partnered on quite a few show cars over the years, and Ford has actually had a stake in Ghia since 1970. But in the 1950s, Ghia was Chrysler’s turf. That all started to change about the time that this fastback Falcon appeared in 1964.

The car was built on a 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint chassis. It retained the Sprint’s 164-horsepower, 4.3-liter (260ci) V8. Ghia added the fastback body style that RM correctly notes as sort of predicting the upcoming Plymouth Barracuda.

It’s a neat-looking thing, but it somehow makes the relatively ho-hum Falcon appear just as ho-hum, yet even more of the period. I would have totally believed this was a factory body style if I didn’t already know it was a one-off. It’s expected to fetch $40,000-$75,000 (in other words, they have no idea what it’s worth). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

August 2020 Auction Highlights

We start near the end of August with Shannons where the Australia-only Statesman sold for $21,486. The top sale was this 1972 Porsche 911E coupe that brought $224,695… which seems like a lot. More results are available here.

Photo – Shannons

Mecum had a sort of Kissimmee bonus sale trying to make up for a bunch of canceled events (hey, you can do anything you want in Florida, pandemic or not). This 2018 Ford GT topped the charts at $935,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Nash Statesman (another Statesman, really?) we featured brought $19,800. Click here for complete results.

Finally, for August, was Dorotheum’s sale in Austria. The top sale here was this 1973 Dino 246 GTS for $521,053. We wrote up a few cars from this one, and the Austro-Adler led the way at $149,515.

Photo – Dorotheum

The Glas 1300 Cabriolet sold for $81,747, and the early BMW brought $23,843. The Tatra went for $20,436, and the Steyr-Fiat brought up the rear at $8,174. Click here for more results.

Another sale, this one in early September, that we featured quite a few lots from was RM’s Auburn sale. Three of those cars were among the top four highest sales: the Duesenberg ($632,500), the Kurtis 500B ($550,000), and the Epperly-Offy ($407,000), but the biggest money was reserved for this 1935 Auburn Eight Supercharged Speedster. It brought $770,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The other Kurtis, the 500E, sold for $68,200, and the Murena GT went for $41,250, which, for its rarity, seems like a helluva deal. It was actually consigned to their Palm Beach sale, but the entire collection it came from got shifted to this sale instead.

$18,150 would’ve brought home a fairly original Franklin Airman sedan, while a check for $17,600 ended up being good enough for a 1922 Studebaker. The fact that I could’ve had this Chalmers for $10,725 is upsetting. The Moskvitch brought $5,225, and the CitiCar $2,200. Click here for final results.

To wrap up this rundown, we head down the street to Worldwide Auctioneers’ Auburn sale. The only car we featured from this one was the Faraday Future prototype, which appears to have been withdrawn. Womp womp. You can look at more from this sale here.

Camaro Europo Hurst

1976 Chevrolet Camaro Europo Hurst by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The second-generation Chevrolet Camaro was in production for an eternity: 11 years between 1970 and 1981. Even by 1976, it was kind of long-in-the-tooth. And it was weak. The most powerful ’76 Camaro had the same 165 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that this car has. It was a long way from the ZL-1 (from only seven years earlier!).

One way to spice things up would be to let an Italian coachbuilder get their hands on one. In this case, it was Pietro Frua, who debuted his take on the Camaro at the 1976 Turin Motor Show with this car. It was later shown at 1977’s New York show, where the company displaying it said they were going to offer conversions of standard Camaros to look like Frua’s. They were going to call them the “Europo Hurst.”

It is unclear if any were actually made. I think this is actually an okay-looking car, and it’s definitely something different compared to what else was on sale in 1976. It is expected to bring between $80,000-$120,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.