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.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 15-24, 2016
Photo – Mecum
The 1970-1971 Plymouth ‘Cudas are the best muscle cars. Yeah, that’s sort of a sweeping statement (and entirely opinion)… but it’s true. We’ve featured a 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’71 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible (and a ’70 ‘Cuda Convertible that is supposed to look like a Hemi), but never a ’70 Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible. Which is what this car is.
Hemi ‘Cuda Convertibles are among the rarest of muscle cars: only 11 were built in 1971 and only 14 were built in 1970. That Hemi is a 7.0-liter V-8 rated at 425 horsepower. This car is one of five (of the 14) equipped with a four-speed manual transmission. On top of that, this car is loaded with options and was sold new in British Columbia.
It came back to the U.S. in 1999 and was restored. It’s covered a little over 27,000 miles in its life. Offered in factory-correct Lemon Twist paint, this car will easily break the million dollar mark. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Florida.
1973 Land Rover Range Rover Convertible Suffix B by SVC
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 14, 2015
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Nowadays, Range Rovers are synonymous with Rodeo Drive and uppity neighborhoods everywhere. While still the most capable vehicle on Earth, most are pampered and driven to Whole Foods and not the unknown expanses of the planet. When did that start? There’s an argument that it could’ve been with this car.
There’s also a new James Bond movie out and there’s been a lot of talk about the advertising power of Bond. Well, this vehicle speaks to that, too. In the film Octopussy, Roger Moore (as James Bond) drove a convertible Range Rover. After that, demand existed, so Special Vehicle Conversions Ltd. of Sussex offered such a vehicle.
In the 1980s, the company converted some classic Range Rovers (Gen I went on sale in 1970) – so while this truck is a 1973, the conversion happened in the 80s. The engine is a 3.5-liter V-8 making 155 horsepower with fuel-injection and 130 without.
So what about that Rodeo Drive thing? Well, convertibles aren’t practical in any sense of the word, especially with “go anywhere” type trucks. It’s for fashion. But you know what, it looks great and is surely loads of fun. This example has been restored and should bring between $54,000-$61,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 25, 2015
Photo – Brightwells
Well what do we have here? This certainly doesn’t resemble your average automobile from 1974. It’s always interesting to see what cars people decide to build replicas of… but this car isn’t even a replica. It’s doesn’t look like any singular early 1900s car. It’s just a “modern” version of an old car.
Albany was founded by Bryan and David Shepherd and their little convertibles were available from 1971 through 1997. Over 110 were built by the end of the 1970s. This car is based on Triumph mechanicals and uses a donor 1.5-liter straight-four. It’s Edwardian motoring with modern convenience (well a 1970s Triumph is probably just as reliable as a car from the 1900s).
This car represents a very affordable way to get into old cars, with a pre-sale estimate of $10,500-$13,750. It’s simple to use and you’ll be the only one at your local show in one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1934 Cadillac V-16 Series 452-D Convertible Sedan by Fleetwood
Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
With the top up, these big Cadillac Convertible Sedans seem a little boring. While certainly not ordinary, their four-door appearance belies that true beauty under that hood. With the top down they are magnificent. Can’t you just picture FDR riding around in the back?
The V-16 Cadillac was introduced in late 1929 for the 1930 model year. It’s one of the greatest American automobiles ever built. The engine is quiet, powerful and silky smooth. It was the first V-16 American automobile to go into production. The 452 refers to the cubic inches of displacement offered by this 7.4-liter V-16 that makes 185 horsepower.
The original V-16s were sort of boxy, but by 1932 they were redesigned to be sleeker and this 1934 Series 452-D looks quite Art Deco and windswept. It’s amazing how quickly automotive design matured between 1929 and 1934.
This car was bought new by a stockbroker in New York. It was specially ordered and the body was built by Fleetwood, which by this time was part of General Motors. In 1949, the engine was removed from this car and put in a race car. Luckily the chassis and body were kept and eventually reunited with the power unit a little over five years ago. The current owner acquired it in 2012. This huge car is one of not very many – by the mid-1930s, V-16 Cadillac production was down to about 50 or less per year, making this very rare. It should sell in the neighborhood of $450,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 5, 2015
Photo – Auctions America
It’s amazing the history that can be found when you have the right car. It’s sort of like a royal bloodline – you can trace it all the way back. And this car has known ownership history from new.
This Model J (powered by the 6.9-liter straight-eight making 265 horsepower) is not wearing its original clothes. When it was new, it had a LeBaron Sweep Panel Phaeton body on it. The body you see here was originally on J-121, which was owned by one of Chicago’s Wrigleys.
Murphy was the most prolific of Duesenberg coachbuilders and this was their most popular two-door body style. Since its original owner (who owned a radio station in Chicago), this car has spent time at the Blackhawk Collection, the Imperial Palace Collection, and the collection of Dean Kruse. It’s been restored since 2007 and is immaculate. It should sell for between $1,500,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015
Photo – Russo & Steele
You’re looking at one of the most beautiful American cars of all time (yes, even though the body is all Italian). Dual Motors of Detroit was founded by Eugene Casaroll. He bought the rights to the Ghia-designed 1955 Dodge Firebomb concept car and put it into production. He called it the Dual-Ghia. And it’s great.
Dual Motors shipped a Dodge chassis to Turin where Ghia would add this gorgeous body and then ship it back. Once home in Detroit, the cars were fitted with a 5.2-liter Dodge D-500 V-8 making 230 horsepower. The engine sounds fantastic and is throaty enough that if the sleek European body threw you off, the engine would definitely alert you to its inherit American-ness.
The cars were only built in 1957 and 1958 and they were the expensive favorites of celebrities like Frank Sinatra. Around 100 of these were built (some say 117) and 73 remain. They’re crazy rare but come up for sale at a startling rate for their rarity. But that’s not to say that trend will continue. So if you want one, get your hands on it ASAP. They sell in the $300,000-$400,000 range. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 13, 2015
Photo – Brightwells
DARE (UK) Limited is the company that brought you this wild car in the late-1990s. It was also founded by the same family who founded (and later sold) Ginetta. The company is still around, currently building new versions of a pair of old Ginetta models. Interesting.
The DZ was a courageous design that fit squarely in the time period in which it was manufactured (i.e. the late-90s). These were the years of the Ford Indigo Concept and the Plymouth Prowler. Apparently, the burning question in the 90s was “How do I drive an open-wheel car on the highway?”
It is powered by a mid-engined 2.0-liter straight-four making 130 horsepower (although this car was originally turbocharged to 210 ponies, it has since been bumped back to natural aspiration). It might not seem like a lot, but this car is extremely light. It was targeted at Lotus cross-shoppers. Ultimately, only ten were built, with this being the first and factory demonstrator. It’s pretty awesome and should bring somewhere between $18,000-$21,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.