Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

I always forget how rare these are. 1953 was the first year for Cadillac’s new halo car, the Eldorado. It was actually the top-of-the-line model of the Series 62 range and was intended as a limited-production specialty car. Only 532 examples were produced.

It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 210 horsepower. It was very expensive when new, running $7,750. A four-door Series 62 sedan would’ve run you $3,666, and a ’53 Chevy 150 Business Coupe cost $1,524. So yeah, not cheap. But oh so pretty.

The model was redesigned for 1954 and production really started to ramp up, leaving these launch cars as rare, special things. This one is about perfect in Azure Blue with a matching interior. I’d say “it can now be yours,” but I want it. So go away. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

This is the best Chevelle. These are not the best colors for it, but it’s still the best. The second-generation Chevelle was built from 1968 through 1972. The design got bulky and blocky for 1970, which ended up becoming one of the best designs of the era.

The Chevelle model range in 1970 was confusing to say the least, with a couple of different sub-model lines. The SS packages were only available on Malibu sub-models, specifically the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible body styles. So that technically makes this car a Chevelle Malibu Convertible optioned with the RPO Z15 SS 454 option. The base SS 454 came with a 360 horsepower, 7.0-liter V8. This car was further optioned with the 7.0-liter LS6 V8, which bumped power to 450 horses.

Production numbers are pretty confusing for Chevelles – as are verifying if they’re “real” or not (it’s a nightmare). There were 7,511 Malibu convertibles produced, and there were 4,475 LS6-optioned cars made. So SS 454 LS6 convertible production was somewhere in the middle of that Venn diagram. These also happen to be the biggest-money Chevelles. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Jensen CV8 Convertible

1965 Jensen CV8 Convertible

For Sale by Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd | London, U.K.

Photo – Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd.

The Jensen CV8 was one of the fastest four-seat cars of the early 1960s. A two-door grand tourer, the CV8 was produced in three series between 1962 and 1966. Only 500 were produced, all but two of which were hardtop coupes.

The factory produced two non-coupes: a targa-like Sedanca and a single convertible, which is the car you see here. This car started life as a Mark II chassis and received some of the Mark III touches before it was completed.

Power is from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 330 horsepower. The car is now offered in London and has a long detailed story that you can read more of here.

C4 Grand Sport Corvettes

The C4 Grand Sport

Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020


1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe

Photo – Mecum

My two favorite C4 Corvettes are as follows: 1. the ZR-1. 2. the Grand Sport. This sale has what has to be the best examples of the latter. The Grand Sport was built to celebrate the end of C4 production and was only offered in 1996. The name was taken from the Grand Sport race cars of the 1960s.

Power is from a 330 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. They were only offered in Admiral Blue with white stripes and red hash marks. This is one of 810 coupes built, and it shows just 177 miles. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $74,250.


1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

Photo – Mecum

Doubletake? The only difference between this car and the other Grand Sport is that it is a convertible. Admiral Blue paint with white stripes and red hash marks – meet a white soft top. This car also uses a 5.7-liter V8 making 330 horsepower.

The convertible Grand Sport was much rarer than the coupe, with just 190 built. It’s only covered 162 miles since new, which makes it essentially, well, new. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $68,750.

’67 L88 Convertible

1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The legendary L88 Corvette was available from 1967 through 1969. That spanned two different generations of the Corvette, which means that 1967 was the only year you could have Chevy’s monstrous V8 in a C2 Corvette. Only 20 were sold that year, and I have no idea about the breakdown between coupes and convertibles.

The high-compression, 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, even though the actual output was probably over 550. Unfortunately, the car was very expensive and required 103-octane fuel, which wasn’t all that easy to come by at your local service station in 1967. Of the 20 built for the model year, quite a few went direct to racing teams. After all, the car was essentially a race car that happened to be street legal. This one was raced, including at the:

  • 1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 11th, 2nd in class (with Cliff Gottlob and Dave Dooley)

The car competed for eight years, apparently winning 150 races. It was purchased by Dana Mecum in 2013, and he’s now letting it go, assuming it hits what is sure to be a stratospheric reserve (c’mon Mecum, have a little faith in your own event and go no reserve!). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Shelby GT350 Convertible

1966 Shelby GT350 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The first Shelby Mustang was the 1965 GT350. It was also the best Shelby Mustang. It has those classic first-gen looks and isn’t as bulky looking as later models. Plus, they had racing pedigree. But most of those cars were hardtops.

Not this one. Yes, they built convertibles, but just a few of them. Only four were produced for 1966, and this was the first one. It’s an ex-factory test car, and the other three were more-or-less prototypes as well. It was apparently the only first-gen GT350 with gold stripes that wasn’t a Hertz car.

The GT350 is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 rated at 271 horsepower. This one wears an older restoration and will be going under the hammer at Mecum’s Indy sale, which is currently scheduled for June. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

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.

Update: Sold $330,000.

Fiat 519S Torpedo

1924 Fiat 519S Torpedo Sport Speciale Convertible by Bertone

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Fiat 519 was produced between 1922 and 1927 in a few different forms, including the 519S, which rode on a shortened wheelbase compared to other models. It was offered in different factory body styles, but customers could also have coachbuilt bodies constructed, as is the case with this example.

It carries a boattail Torpedo body from Bertone and is powered by a 40 horsepower, 4.8-liter inline-six. Top speed was about 79 mph. This particular car was discovered in a barn in Australia in 2011 and subsequently restored.

Only 2,411 examples of all 519 models were produced. Just 25 of those were of the 519S variety, and this is said to be the only remaining example. It’s a beautiful – and early – example of Bertone coachwork. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

The Original Jensen Interceptor

1957 Jensen Interceptor Convertible

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 13, 2019

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The Jensen Interceptor was a grand touring car built between 1966 and 1976. It’s probably Jensen’s most well-known product. But before they churned out over 6,400 of those, there was another Interceptor. This one. It was the second car introduced by Jensen after WWII, and it went on sale in 1950.

Three body styles were offered, all two doors: a sedan, a convertible, and a sort of targa model. The 4.0-liter inline-six was from Austin and made 125 horsepower, good enough to push the car to 95 mph.

A grand total of 88 examples were built through 1957, and only 32 of those were convertibles. That makes this quite a rare car today. It should sell for between $83,000-$90,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $84,016.

Duesenberg J-329

1930 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Sedan by Murphy

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | St. Louis, Missouri | May 4-5, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This Model J has been with the current collection since 2012 and has known ownership back to the early 1930s in St. Louis. Actually, it has more than that, it has pre-ownership history, as prior to its sale in St. Louis, it was used as a loaner by period Indianapolis 500 driver Leon Duray.

The Model J is powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight developing 265 horsepower. This one wears its original convertible sedan body from the Walter M. Murphy Company. It also retains its original chassis and engine.

It’s not a car that has been used much over the years – it is said to show only a little over 7,000 original miles. Restored in 2003, this Model J is going under the hammer at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $1,105,000.