Duesenberg J-490X

1932 Duesenberg Model J Tourster

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 9, 2020

Photo – Mecum

So what’s the deal with the engine number on this one? The Model J that carries engine J490 is out there, alive and well. But this car also has a 265 horsepower, Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight that has “J490” stamped on it. But it also has an “X”… which most likely means this engine was returned to the factory during the 1930s, rebuilt, restamped, and sold. It probably carried a different number prior to the factory rebuild.

Meanwhile, engine J490 was probably rebuilt separately and used in another car. Remanufactured or not (many of these engines have been rebuilt over the years), this is still a real-deal Duesey engine and a real-deal Model J frame. The body, however, is a reproduction of a Derham Tourster.

This car is said to originally have had a Derham body, but it could’ve been a sedan or something and probably wasn’t one of the original eight Toursters. With this muddled history, the car is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. A bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $522,500.

250 GT Series II Cabriolet

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

There were quite a number of models in Ferrari’s 250 GT range, but only four drop-top models: the short- and long-wheelbase California Spider, and the less pricey Pinin Farina Cabriolets, which were offered in two series.

Pinin Farina’s Series II 250 GT Cabriolet was introduced in October 1959 and was the most expensive car in the 250 GT line when new. It is powered by a 240 horsepower, 3.0-liter V12. The differences between the Series I and Series II were slight but included revised front-end styling and four-wheel disc brakes from Dunlop.

This dark red example has had four owners since new and is the 68th of 200 examples produced. It should sell for between $1,300,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,462,500.

1927 Locomobile

1927 Locomobile Model 90 Sportif

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Locomobile was one of America’s earliest car companies, and they began by producing steam cars. Gasoline-powered vehicles followed, and the company survived WWI and into the 1920s. In 1919, the Model 48 was introduced, and it was the grandest car the company ever made.

A few years later, in 1922, Locomobile was acquired by Billy Durant, who was forming his post-GM empire, Durant Motors. Locomobile was at the top of the heap, alongside Durant, Star, Flint, and Rugby. It all went wrong after the stock market crash in 1929, and the brands disappeared after 1932, with Locomobile not even making it to the 1930s.

The Model 90 was introduced in 1926 and is powered by an 86-horsepower, 6.1-liter L-head inline-six. It rode on a 138-inch wheelbase, which was only four inches shorter than the mighty 48. This example is one of two Model 90 Sportifs known to exist and is thought to have once been owned by Cliff Durant, a racing driver, and Billy’s son.

You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.

Update: Sold $58,240.

Winton Big Six

1912 Winton Model 17-C Touring

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I. Love. Wintons. Alexander Winton is one of the most important figures in the early days of the automobile. He was the first person to formally set up production of cars in the U.S. A Scottish immigrant, Winton switched from bicycle production to experimenting with gasoline engines in 1896.

His first cars were sold in 1897. He sold 100 of them in 1899. By the teens, the company was fighting against the likes of Packard and Lozier near the upper end of the market, selling exclusively six-cylinder cars. Unfortunately, they ceased production in 1924. Cool fact: Winton set up a diesel engine building business that was ultimately sold to GM in 1930. It is still around as part of EMD.

This Model 17-C is powered by a 48 horsepower 7.5-liter inline-six. It was restored long ago and still remains well out of my price range, with an estimate of $200,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $140,000.

Duesenberg Opera Coupe

1926 Duesenberg Model A Opera Coupe

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Model A was Duesenberg’s first production automobile after years of building racing cars and engines. It was a few other firsts as well: it was the first car produced with hydraulic brakes and the first U.S.-based production car with a straight-eight engine.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter straight-eight, in fact, that makes 88 horsepower. Production lasted from 1921 through 1926, and only about 650 examples were produced. This one comes from near the end of the run and wears an Opera Coupe body by the McNear Body Company of Brookline, Massachusetts.

Just 21 (ish) examples of the Model A are known to exist, and this is the only one with this coachwork. It is expected to bring between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1902 Boyer

1902 Boyer 9HP Two-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Boyer was a French automobile manufacturer based near Paris, and their name is thought to first have appeared on a car in 1899. Sales to the general public were underway by 1901, with one- and two-cylinder cars available.

Boyer was related to Clement/Gladiator, as the head of the company was a director of one of their branches. The Boyer was also sold in the U.K. for a hot minute under the name York. The last Boyers were from 1906.

This car is powered by a 1.3-liter twin good for 10 horsepower. It’s been in the U.S. for many years, having been restored under current ownership. It’s also a multi-time participant in the London-to-Brighton run. It is said that this is the only remaining two-cylinder Boyer, and it should bring between $175,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl

1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton by Binder

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The J12 was the pinnacle of Hispano-Suiza motorcars. It was introduced in 1931 and replaced the H6 line of cars that dated back to 1919. The model was produced by the French arm of the company and lasted through the end of Hispano-Suiza production in 1938.

It’s powered by a 9.4-liter V12 equipped with two carburetors and good for 220 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It was no slouch in its day. This car carries beautiful dual cowl phaeton coachwork from Binder. Of the 114 examples of the J12 built, only 10 survivors are open cars.

Provenance is where this car really shines. It was purchased by Briggs Cunningham in 1954. It later made its way to the Collier Collection in Florida, where it remained until it went back to the West Coast in 1988, entering the Blackhawk Collection. That’s where the current owner bought it in the 1990s. That’s quite the lineage. The expected price tag is $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,425,000.

C3 L88s

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020

Photo – Mecum

L88-powered third-generation Corvettes are among the most collectible of the era. The C3 Corvette was produced for an eternity: 1968 through 1982. But all of the good ones were in the first four or five years of production. The L88 engine was only available for three years: 1967 through 1969.

The 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, though it is thought to have actually produced more than 550. It was based on Chevy’s NASCAR engine, and it was a hardcore beast. Only 80 cars were equipped with this engine in 1968, the first of two model years it could be had in a C3. This drop-top version should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $350,000.


1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.

This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Chalmers Touring

1914 Chalmers Model 24 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I think Chalmers has one of the most interesting histories of any defunct auto manufacturer. Its roots trace back to the Buffalo Automobile Company, which became Thomas, then Thomas-Detroit, then Chalmers-Detroit, then Chalmers. Chalmers would later merge into Maxwell, which is now Chrysler. A more detailed history can be viewed here.

The 1914 Chalmers model line consisted of the Model 19 and Model 24. This is an example of the larger model, which is powered by a 60 horsepower inline-six. Six different bodies were offered on this chassis, which was produced as the Model 24 only in 1914. This tourer would’ve cost its first owner $2,175.

This example has been active on the historic circuit since the 1950s, which says a lot about its usability. It is being offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,600.

Lotus 88B

1981 Lotus 88B

Offered by BH Auction | Tokyo, Japan | January 12, 2020

Photo – BH Auction

Back when you were allowed to be innovative when designing racing cars, Formula One went through an era where ground effects were all the rage. It started in the late 1960s and peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Things were getting pretty wild, and eventually, F1 cracked down, banning moveable aerodynamic devices.

Colin Chapman’s Lotus first started the wave, and they sort of ended it with this car, which was designed for the 1981 season. It features a twin-chassis layout that allows the standard chassis to hunker down at speed, while the second chassis works on mechanical grip. The other F1 teams were not amused and protested this car at every event. It practiced at the first two events, and later at the British Grand Prix (in 88B form), but it never raced.

Finished in John Player livery, the cars were used by drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis in practice. Only two examples were built, and they’re powered by Ford-Cosworth 3.0-liter V8s. It is eligible for pretty much any historic F1 event and is being offered from a private Japanese collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.