’70 Hemi Cuda Convertible

1970 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 15-24, 2016

Photo - Mecum

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.

Update: Sold $2,675,000.

Range Rover Convertible

1973 Land Rover Range Rover Convertible Suffix B by SVC

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 14, 2015

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

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.

Update: Sold $51,250.

Albany Convertible

1974 Albany Convertible

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 25, 2015

Photo - Brightwells

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.

Update: Not sold.

Cadillac V-16 Convertible Sedan

1934 Cadillac V-16 Series 452-D Convertible Sedan by Fleetwood

Offered by Bonhams | Ebeltoft, Denmark | September 26, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

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.

Update: Sold $429,764.

Duesenberg J-147

1929 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 5, 2015

Photo - Auctions America

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.

Update: Sold $1,402,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2017, $1,430,000.

Dual-Ghia

1958 Dual-Ghia Convertible

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015

Photo - Russo & Steele

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.

Update: Sold $412,500.

Dare DZ

1998 Dare DZ Convertible

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 13, 2015

Photo - Brightwells

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.

Update: Sold $15,385.

DB4 Vantage Convertible

1962 Aston Martin DB4 Series IV Vantage Convertible

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 9, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB4 is the car that started a styling trend that would continue for over a decade in a handful of models. They’re beautiful cars with a lightweight body, as designed by Carrozzeria Touring. They were built between 1958 and 1963 in five different series with each successive series featuring slight styling tweaks.

This is a Series IV car. It is also a “Vantage” car – Aston speak for the biggest and baddest available. In this case, it means it features a triple-carbureted version of the DB4’s 3.7-liter straight-six, making an impressive 266 horsepower. Vantage cars were only available beginning with the Series IV launch in 1961.

Of the total 1,110 DB4s built (not counting DB4GTs), only 136 hard tops were built with the Vantage engine. An even fewer 32 convertibles had the same motor. Only 70 DB4 Convertibles were built in total. And yes, this car is a pre-Volante terminology Aston Martin “convertible.” It’s a rare car.

This car was purchased new by actor Peter Utsinov and it is left-hand drive. It has seen very little use since the mid-1980s and has never been restored. It will need a little attention before you take it out on the road, but that shouldn’t hamper the price too much – it is estimated to bring between $1,400,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,332,827

Raindrop Caddy

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Raindrop Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Fort Worth, Texas | May 2, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The third generation Cadillac Eldorado was new for 1957. Back in these days, car manufacturers were making styling changes for every model year. It’s when Detroit was king and the money was a-flowin’. This car is a very special Cadillac – not only is it an Eldorado Biarritz, it is a GM factory prototype.

It started life as a 1958 Eldorado Biarritz, the top trim of Cadillac’s halo model. GM updated it with many upcoming 1959 features, including the over-the-top tail fins that made the ’59 Caddy so iconic. The interior is one-of-a-kind but the engine is a standard Series 62 335 horsepower 6.0-liter V-8.

It’s a boat, for sure, but it has a very special feature, dubbed “Raindrop.” The system uses a humidity sensor that detects water in top-down driving. When a few drops trip the sensor, the top of the trunk separates and slides away, allowing the roof to fold up and close automatically. Even the windows roll themselves up. It’s a fascinating piece of engineering.

This car was given to Harley Earl when he retired and he used the car around Florida in his later years. It was subsequently restored and is being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Sold $324,500.

Stutz Super Bearcat

1932 Stutz DV32 Super Bearcat Convertible by Weymann

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We recently featured another Stutz DV32, but this one is a little sportier. The Stutz Bearcat is legendary in the world of cars – being one of the first sports cars, introduced prior to WWI. When it was introduced in 1932, the Fred Duesenberg-designed DV32 engine was a monster. And Stutz was out to recapture their sporting glory.

They stuffed a 5.3-liter straight-eight engine putting out 156 horsepower into the tiniest of chassis (at just 116 inches, which is just shy of two feet longer than an MG TD, but with double the cylinders). Look how short this car is – and how much of it is just cowl. It’s the 1932 equivalent of strapping yourself to a rocket.

The body on this car is by Weymann and it’s actually fabric (so it’s pretty light). In fact, this car still has its original skin! This is in part thanks to the meticulous care it has been given most of its life, spending long periods of time in important collections, including that of Dr. Fred Simeone. But not only is this a piece of history – it’s a usable one, having been exercised regularly by its current owner, a Stutz expert.

It can now be yours for somewhere in the neighborhood of $850,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $1,012,000.