Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019
Photo – Mecum
The Ford Forty-Nine was a concept car introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show. It was a badass, black two-door that looked like a chopped ’49 Ford. The company also rolled out this, the convertible companion car. It runs and drives, but you won’t be able to register it.
Power is from a 3.9-liter V8 and it has rear-wheel drive and 20″ wheels. Imagine if Ford would’ve built something this cool. But they won’t. Ever. Because they’re Ford. Only Chrysler puts outrageous cars like this into production, or at least they used to. Maybe that’s why they’re always in financial trouble…
Anyway, this car sold at an RM auction in 2010 for $67,100. We’ll have to wait and see what Mecum can get for it 8½ years later. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
2001 Ford F-150 Lightning Rod Concept
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
Here’s another red Ford concept car (well, truck) from 2001. It was first shown at the 2001 Chicago Auto Show and you can tell that it had no hope for production because it lacked any sort of front bumper and the interior had a wild Maori tattoo theme going on (question for Ford: why?).
It does run and drive though, but you’ll never be able to register it for the road. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8, and I think the entire point of the exercise was to show that Ford could still do hot-rodding… if they wanted to.
This truck sold at an RM auction in 2012 for $46,200. Barrett-Jackson is offering it at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Padua, Italy | October 27, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
Horch really hit their stride in the 1930s. The last cars they built were sold in 1940 and some of them were quite extravagant. The 830 BL, and 930V sister car, were sold between 1937 and 1940. The 830 BL was the long-wheelbase model.
While the grand 853 cars were powered by a straight-eight engine, the 830 BL was offered with a pair of V8s, with this later car carrying the larger 3.8-liter V8 that made 92 horsepower.
This example was sold new in Sweden and has known ownership history from new. The car was rebuilt over a 24 year period and it is considered to be largely original. This big convertible – seriously, look at that parachute-like folded soft top – is one of approximately 6,400 830 models produced by Horch in the 1930s. It should bring between $350,000-$460,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 11-12, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The Playboy Automobile Company was founded in 1947 by Lou Horowitz, a Buffalo, New York-area Packard dealer who wanted something smaller to sell after WWII. The prototype was shown in late ’46 and the Playboy Convertible went on sale in 1947.
Early cars used a Hercules engine and this, one of the later cars, uses a 2.0-liter Continental straight-four making 40 horsepower. It features an early retractable hardtop and sat on a 90-inch wheelbase. Featuring three-abreast seating, this car topped out at 75 mph.
The company folded in 1951. This car is #88 of 97 built and 43 are thought to survive, including the original prototype (a total of 99 cars were made, only 97 were “production” models). A rare example of a Post-War start-up automobile company, this car was painted in 2010 and can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 11-12, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Here’s a marque produced by the Ford Motor Company that you probably aren’t familiar with. In Canada, GM and Ford have a history of needing to change the names of cars to get them to sell. GM did it with Beaumont and Acadian (and later, others), and Ford would do it with Meteor and Monarch.
Monarch was essentially a Canadian-market Mercury aimed at Oldsmobile. It was sold between 1946 and 1957, and then again from 1959 through 1961. Canadians had a lot more choice, brand-wise, than Americans because they got Mercury, Ford, and Lincoln too.
This car is powered by a V8 and was restored in 1995. In all, Ford sold just over 95,000 Monarchs over about a decade and a half. Only four 1951 Convertibles are still known to exist. And when was the last time you saw a Monarch? It’s a Canadian rarity. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Hershey.
Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
The Fina Sport was a dramatic and beautiful American-built, Italian-styled, 1950s dreamboat designed and constructed by automotive engineer Perry Fina. Fina gained a lot of knowledge working for Fiat and Isotta Fraschini – both in their early years – before returning home and setting up shop in New York to fine tune other people’s cars.
The first model he built under his own name was a coupe and then he opted for a convertible. Styled by Vignale in Italy, it clearly blends American and Italian lines. Power comes from a 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 good for 250 horsepower.
Fina only built a few cars and this is the only restored example in existence. The restoration was completed earlier this year and it’s ready and eligible for all the major shows. A rare car from a manufacturer that barely got anything out the door, this convertible should bring between $750,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 18, 2018
Photo – Mecum
The Edsel has not been treated fairly since the brand was eliminated from Ford’s lineup after the 1960 model year. The cars are great. They all have great style, as each model year (1958, 1959, and 1960) all had unique styling that has only gotten better with age. The 1958’s were pretty different from everything else (I love it and almost bought one last week on Bring-a-Trailer but chickened out at the last minute). By 1960 the styling was toned down dramatically to what you see here – which more or less resembles a Buick Electra 225 of the same vintage.
The Edsel offerings for 1960 were slim. There was the Ranger (four-door, two-door, or convertible) and the Villager (wagon). When a company starts trimming its lineup to that degree, it’s a solid sign they’re on their way out. The 1960 cars were introduced on October 15, 1959, and the brand was discontinued that November 19th. That makes 1960 Edsels very rare and only 76 examples of the Ranger Convertible made it out the door. But it isn’t the rarest: both the 2-door Ranger Deluxe Hardtop and the nine-passenger variant of the Villager are harder to find.
A Ranger Convertible cost $3,000 from the factory and this car was one of the last products produced by the marque, rolling off the assembly line on the last day of production. It’s well-equipped and is powered by the optional 300 horsepower, 5.8-liter “Super Express” V-8 (a $58 option in the fall of 1959). It’s a show winner and should bring between $85,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Palm Beach, Florida | April 12-15, 2018
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
DeSoto was introduced as a new marque by Walter Chrysler for the 1929 model year and in 1933 Chrysler took it upmarket. In 1955 they introduced the Fireflite as their top-level car. For 1956 the cars were mostly carried over, but the introduction of the Adventurer put the Fireflite as the mid-level car in DeSoto’s lineup.
For 1956 the Fireflite could be had in four different body styles (plus a limited package on the convertible to commemorate the car’s use as the Indy 500 Pace car in 1956). A non-Pacesetter Convertible would’ve run you $3,454 in 1956 and 1,485 were built (pace cars included).
Power came from a 255 horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8. A no expense spared frame-off restoration was performed and the car wears two-tone Shell Pink and Charcoal. It looks like ice cream on wheels. DeSoto Convertibles always bring big money at Barrett-Jackson auctions, but most of those are ’57 or ’58 cars. It’ll be interesting to see if this beautiful car brings as much. It is coming from the famous John Staluppi Cars of Dreams Collection. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Brewster & Company was a company originally based in Connecticut that ended up in New York. They started as a carriage company and then turned to coachbuilding. Unlike most coachbuilders, Brewster also built some cars of their own right after WWI. That endeavor lasted 10 years before they went back to just coachbuilding.
In the 1930s, J.S. Inskip, the sales director at Brewster, purchased 135 bare Ford V-8 chassis and Brewster built custom bodies for the cars and sold them as Brewster-Fords. The cars were popular, but it wasn’t enough to save the business and Brewster was liquidated in 1937.
This car is powered by a 95 horsepower, 3.9-liter V-8. The styling is swoopy, for an American car, and that distinctive Brewster grille also works well for clearing snow off of rail tracks (we’re kidding… sort of). Only nine Convertible Sedans were built and only four are known to exist, with this being the best unrestored example. It should bring between $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Murphy
Offered by Auctions America | Santa Monica, California | June 24, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
To the knowing eye, it seems like this 1929 Model J is actually a little newer than it’s listed as being. Most 1929 Model Js are a little boxier and this one seems… well-rounded and a little smoother. That’s because the coachwork was updated in period by Bohman & Schwartz, the coachbuilder who did a lot of Duesenberg updating in the mid-1930s.
The Model J was built between 1929 and 1937… though the last engines and chassis were all built prior to then as it was difficult to sell the most glamorous automobile in American history at the height of the Great Depression. All Model Js were speedy, powered by a 265 horsepower Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight.
This numbers matching car was ordered new by an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Bodied by Murphy with some one-off features, the coachwork was updated by Bohman & Schwartz in 1934 at the owner’s request. The second owner acquired the car in 1959 when it showed an impressive 66,000 miles. Well cared for its entire life, this car should bring between $800,000-$950,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Convertible by J.S. Inskip
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016
Photo – Gooding & Company
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was Rolls’ middle-of-the-line model and it was produced between 1946 and 1958. In 12 years, only 1,883 were produced, keeping with Rolls-Royce’s exclusivity pattern.
But, as you can see, this is no ordinary Silver Wraith. It was ordered new by a wealthy New Yorker and first displayed at the 1949 New York International Motor Show. It is powered by a 4.3-liter straight-six making 126 horsepower (aka “Adequate”). The body, which was originally black, was bodied by J.S. Inskip, who was the Rolls-Royce importer in New York.
Not to oversell it, but this is one of the most stylish cars ever bodied by an American coachbuilder – especially after the war. The original owner put it up for sale in 1952 for $12,500. A couple of owners later, in the 1980s, the car was redone to it’s current, striking, purple. This five owner car will draw a crowd wherever it goes and is expected to bring between $1,250,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.