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.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 30, 2016
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
This is one of the earliest Model J Duesenberg’s we’ve yet featured. The car that took the world by storm in late 1929 still gets people’s attention today. The Model J is undoubtedly one of America’s greatest automotive achievements.
This is a “Disappearing Top” Convertible Coupe, built by the Walter M. Murphy Company of Pasadena, California. They built 60 Convertible Coupes, with only 25 of those being of the Disappearing Top variety. As a Model J, it is powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight engine.
This car was sold new with a Derham Sedan body attached to it. The original owner in Chicago sent it back to Duesenberg to have this body installed. This happened in 1934 and then it was resold. It has had many owners, but the current owner has had it for many years and used it often. In fact, he has driven this car round trip from Florida to Auburn, Indiana. The car’s second restoration was completed under his care and is being sold to benefit a liberal arts college. Read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 17-21, 2016
Photo – Mecum
The GS – or Grand Sport – began life as an option package on the Buick Skylark in 1965. It was essentially an engine upgrade and it became its own model in 1967 as the GS. In 1973, once the muscle car era had abruptly ended, the name was lengthened to Grand Sport.
The “Stage 1” was the king engine for the GS line and it was introduced in 1969. The 455 Stage 1 is a 7.5-liter V-8 rated at 360 horsepower and an awesome 510 lb-ft of torque. These cars were well-equipped from the factory with just about every bit of GM know-how built into them. That said, this is a relatively low-option car, as it was outfitted for performance and not necessarily luxury.
This car was restored just prior to 2011 and is one of only 67 4-speed Stage 1 Convertibles built in 1970. Only 19 are known to still exist, with this being the lowest-option model thought to have been built. It’s the biggest, baddest Buick of the muscle car era and it should bring between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 30, 2016
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
The ’57 Chevrolet is one of the most classic automotive designs – especially the Bel Air line. Two-door Bel Airs are highly sought after – convertibles even more so. But this isn’t a Bel Air… right?
Sort of. Reuben Allender was a rich man in the 1950s and he thought it was a good idea to sell a working man’s Cadillac based on a Chevrolet. He built some cars in 1956 and then tried again in 1957. Taking a Bel Air as a starter, the car was decked out with a bunch of options and featured a few external styling tweaks as well. The engine was the top-of-the-line 4.6-liter V-8 making 220 horsepower.
The most interesting part about this car is that it was sold through Chevy dealerships with a full factory warranty, yet the El Morocco was never a General Motors-produced vehicle. 1957 production totaled between 27 and 35 units, with only three believed to be convertibles. It’s the rarest ’57 Chevy there is. And it shouldn’t come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 15-24, 2016
Photo – Mecum
Rare Hemi week continues with this, Dodge’s bad-boy muscle car from 1970. The original Challenger model was produced between the 1970 and 1974 model years only. The 1970 model is the most collectible, followed by the ’71s.
What 1970 had and the other years didn’t was a Convertible. The R/T performance package was also available (it included beefy brakes, etc.). Only 1,070 R/T Convertibles were sold in 1970. Guess what, the Hemi makes it even rarer. Long the Holy Grail of muscle cars, the 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible had 14 built. Only nine Hemi Challenger Convertibles were ever made. Of those nine, this is one of four cars equipped with an automatic transmission.
The 425 horsepower, 7.0-liter “426 Hemi” V-8 is a numbers matching example on this low-mileage, restored car. In fact, it has covered less than 1,500 miles since the restoration was completed. It’s must-have muscle if you’re in that game. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.