Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 10, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
With the current Ferrari market on fire, there are only a few models that can be purchased by mere mortals. The 1986-1989 328 GTB/GTS is one of them. The 328 was an evolution of the 308, but it had a larger engine and enhanced styling. Over 6,000 were made (with over another 1,000 Turbo models also made). But, as you can see, this is no ordinary 328 GTS.
Built in 1993, this car is based on a 1989 328 GTS (which was the Targa model). The body was constructed by Bernd Michalak Design Studio of Germany and is all aluminium. It still has the same engine – a 270 horsepower, 3.2-liter V-8. Top speed is reportedly over 170 mph.
One intriguing part of this design is the fact that the car has no doors. You’re supposed to just step into the car (there isn’t a roof either – or roll bars – so you can’t do a Dukes of Hazzard-style entrance either). It does come with helmets for the driver and passenger though.
First presented at the 1993 Frankfurt Motor Show, it appeared the following year at the Geneva Motor Show as well. It bounced between owners on either side of the Atlantic before the current owner bought it in 1999. Major service was carried out in 2014 and it is road legal (at least in Belgium where it is currently registered).
Looking like a cousin of the Ford Indigo Concept Car of the mid-1990s, this car has covered approximately 6,000 miles since it was built. It’s obviously a one-off and is being sold without reserve (or a pre-sale estimate, though it should easily set a record for a Ferrari 328 at auction). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2017
Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers
Yesterday we featured a car owned by Brooks Stevens. Today we feature a car designed by Brooks Stevens. Stevens was an industrial designer best remembered in automobile circles for designing some great cars. In the 1950s he wanted to build a nice ride in the European tradition at a time when there were a lot of European-American cars coming out from American manufacturers.
So he took a 1954 Cadillac chassis and penned an original body for it. There’s a swooping “V” at the front, a long hood, and a removable hardtop for open air driving. The body was built by Spohn of Germany and the engine is an all-American 5.4-liter V-8 making 230 horsepower.
Dubbed “Die Valkyrie” after the Wagner opera, you can just imagine that famous piece of music emanating from this car as it stalks up behind you, that big V at the front trying to root you off the road.
This car was shown at the 1954 Paris Auto Salon and the 1955 New York Auto Show. Stevens bought the car for his wife from the financial backer who funded the project. It remained in his stewardship until 1997 when the current owner acquired it. It’s a one-of-one custom GM Concept Car and should bring big money when it goes under the hammer in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, England | May 21, 2016
Photo – Bonhams
Does this look like an Aston Martin Vanquish to you? Well it’s not. The Vanquish didn’t go on sale until 2001 and this concept car is from 1998. It debuted at the 1998 North American International Auto Show in January of that year. It was designed by Ian Callum.
But this wasn’t just some fanciful pie-in-the-sky concept car. No, Aston Martin made sure it was a fully functional driver. It is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 making 450 horsepower – which is essentially the engine that ended up in the Vanquish. It is the first Aston Martin built with a paddle shift gearbox.
This car is being sold by Aston Martin. It is not eligible to be registered for the road, but can be shown at events. Aston has only shown it once since the auto show. It’s a one-off, fully-functional concept car coming straight from the factory. It should bring between $130,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 27-29, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
This may be a car you are not familiar with. It looks like a normal 1965 – or, 1964½, my apologies – Mustang that got struck in a trash compactor. Believe it or not, this was actually a Ford factory concept car, its construction having been outsourced to Dearborn Steel Tubing Industries. This car was originally the 10th Mustang Prototype, but designer Vincent Gardner cut 16 inches out of the wheelbase and re-designed the entire body behind the firewall.
Ford had no intentions of ever building a two-seat-only Mustang because a car with four seats has broader appeal than does one with room only for two. But just for the hell of it, Ford decided to have this concept built anyway. After a few shows and magazine covers, Ford decided enough was enough and planned to have the car scrapped.
But Gardner had other plans. He stole the car and hid it in a warehouse… but he failed to continue to pay his rent and the warehouse’s owner found the car and called the cops. When the Mustang went missing, Ford’s insurance paid them for it, fearing it lost. So now the insurance had the car and Ford already had their money. So they sold it to one of their employees who kept it until 1968 when the current owner acquired it.
It was kept hidden away until the past 15 years, when it was restored and shown at various shows. In fact, here’s a video I took of it driving around last summer. The engine is a 4.9-liter V-8 and the body is fiberglass. Obviously, this is the only Mustang quite like this and it should sell for between $400,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | August 30, 2014
Photo – Auctions America
Looks pretty manly, doesn’t it? I remember concept cars of this era – seeing auto show highlights in AutoWeek or some such publication (the internet still wasn’t my main source for news) and seeing these somewhat outrageous show cars. Many from the late-90s through the early-00s have a similar look about them.
This one is based on a standard Ford Explorer. The Sportsman was designed for fishermen. It comes with fishing rods and the self-deploying running boards offer storage for said rods (really a good idea that I’m surprised we don’t actually see on production cars). The roof rack is removable. There’s actually even a built-in fish tank in the rear. *Fish not included.
The engine is a 4.6-liter V-8 making 240 horsepower and it does run and drive (although you can’t register it, unfortunately). It’s the only one like it ever built and sold four years ago for $49,500. This time around it carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Auctions | Plymouth, Michigan | July 26, 2014
Photo – RM Auctions
Packard is one the most revered American automobile manufacturers of all time. Their glory years were from their founding by James Ward Packard and his two partners in Warren, Ohio, in 1899 up through their huge pre-war touring cars and limousines. They built some of the finest cars money could buy. Unfortunately, their post-war fortunes were not as grand. They merged into Studebaker and the marque disappeared for 1959 (after two years of selling re-badged Studebakers).
Or did it? Well, yes, it did – but that didn’t stop the new owners of the Packard trademark – Packard Motor Car Company of Phoenix, Arizaon – from constructing this “new” Packard in 1999. The styling is unique and has little bits of classic Packard styling added in (like the grille). It’s a four-door luxury sedan prototype in working order – a concept car for the road. The styling can be polarizing for some, but I don’t really mind it as it reminds me of the kind of crazy era of concept cars that proliferated through the 1990s. I’m thinking “Chrysler Thunderbolt” here.
The coolest part is that this car is all-original. It’s not a re-bodied Lincoln or something like that. The chassis is aluminium. It has four-wheel drive. The engine is a 8.6-liter V-12 making 573 horsepower. It’ll hit 60 mph in only 4.8 seconds. Not bad for a sedan – from 1999.
This car popped up on eBay in 2009 and I don’t know the outcome, but it hadn’t met its reserve by the time it hit $125,000. So I’m guessing they want more. On the plus side, should you choose to spend it, you’ll have the newest Packard on the block. Read more here and check out more from RM here.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 23, 2013
So what in the world do we have here? Actually, this car has shown up on this site before – it was sold at Auctions America’s 2013 Auburn Spring auction earlier this year, where it brought $9,570. And it’s set to cross the block again.
The Quicksilver was actually built by Ghia in Turin at Ford’s request. Ford debuted the futuristic (minivan? crossover? wagon?) at the 1983 Geneva Auto Show. The car was a hit and Ford toured the thing all over the world, hitting auto shows until 1986.
The car sits on a stretched version of an AC 3000 ME (a very rare British sports car from the era) chassis and uses a mid-mounted 2.8-liter V-6. It seats five and is fully functional, albeit not road-legal. It would be a most-amusing car to own and weird out everyone in town. Absolutely no one would be able to guess what it is. And it can be yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of ten grand. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum’s sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2013
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
In 1953, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette. Ford was working furiously trying to get the Thunderbird launched and Chrysler was wondering what they were supposed to be doing. There were a number of fabulous concept cars from Chrysler in the 1950s, but just about zero of them ever made it to production.
The Belmont was a one-off concept introduced at the 1954 Chicago Auto Show. Styling was by Virgil Exner and the body was made out of fiberglass – a first for Chrysler. The engine is a 3.9-liter V-8 making 150 horsepower. With only two seats, this would have been a perfect car to battle the Corvette and Thunderbird. But perhaps as a DeSoto and not necessarily a Plymouth. But it was not to be and this was the only one built.
It was originally a very nice light blue color but whenever it was restored, it was repainted red. It recently made appearances at Amelia Island and Pebble Beach and is currently looking for a good home – which, with a car of this caliber, shouldn’t be too hard to find. Look for it to bring between $750,000-$1,250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,200,000.
Update II: Not sold, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018.
Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013
This outlandish-looking Lincoln was designed and built in Italy by Gian Carlo Boano. There are some aircraft-inspired design elements that really take you back to the golden age of concept cars: the 1950s. I love the exhaust (even though the aren’t even functional and don’t match the number of cylinders under the hood).
What is underhood is a 200 horsepower 5.6-liter V-8. The car debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and Ford purchased it from Boano right after. Ghia had a successful run with Chrysler in the 1950s and Boano wanted the same thing with Ford. Ford offered Boano a 10-year contract after this car was built, but Boano decided to partner with Fiat instead. So much for that.
The car has had a few owners since it left Ford’s ownership and was owned by one man for over three decades. The restoration was completed a little over 10 years ago and the car was shown at Pebble Beach in 2001. This has to be one of the most stylish Lincolns ever built. It will command a pricey sum. The pre-sale estimate is $2,000,000-$2,500,000. For more info click here and for more from this awesome sale, click here.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, England | June 29, 2012
There are a few Lotus concept cars/styling models on offer at Bonhams’ Goodwood sale. I chose to feature this one because it of its somewhat sad 1980s-vision-of-the-future styling – which is both a plus and a minus. It’s only a minus because it looks so dated. But that’s part of what makes it cool. The instrument panel looks like it was taken from KITT from Night Rider or something. The exterior was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and is very 80s.
It is based on a Lotus Esprit and you can tell. There is a lot of Esprit in there – maybe because both were designed by Giugiaro. It has a 4.0-liter V8 putting out 335 horsepower. It was also to have futuristic things such as traction control, anti-lock brakes, self-leveling suspension and active noise cancelling. The concept car was a hit on the show circuit in 1984.
But then General Motors trundled along in 1986 and bought up Lotus. The Etna was sent to storage. Fortunately, it was sold to the public in 2001 and the then-owner got the car into running condition. So here is your chance to buy a fully-functional road-going, one-of-a-kind Lotus. The price? $140,000-$200,000. For more information, click here. To check out some of the other Lotus concepts, click here.