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.
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.