The cars were restyled for 1952 to more closely resemble what you see here, and a hardtop model was introduced in 1953. Named the “Le Mans” coupe, the hardtop commemorated Nash-Healey’s podium finish at Le Mans. It cost twice as much as a 1953 Corvette when new and features a body penned by Pininfarina.
Power in this car is from a 4.1-liter inline-six from Nash capable of 140 horsepower. Only 62 coupes were built for 1953, and only 30 are thought to survive. This one was restored in 1994 and is now being sold at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Amelia Island.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020
Charles Deutsch and Rene Bonnet built cars under the Deutsch-Bonnet marque until 1947 when they shortened it to DB. Their HBR5 model was sold between 1955 and 1961, with both road cars and race cars constructed.
The HBR5 was powered by an 848cc flat-twin. Cars with the smaller 747cc flat-twin were dubbed “HBR4,” such as this one here. It was purchased new as a road car and modified by its first owner, Jacques-Edouard Rey, for competition use.
It was successful its first time out, so much so that Rene Bonnet ended up building 10 factory examples. The interesting competition history for this car includes:
1960 Rallye Monte Carlo – DNF (with Andre Guilhaudin and Jacques-Edouard Rey)
1961 24 Hours of Le Mans – 20th (with Guilhaudin and Jean-Francois Jaeger)
The car remained in Rey’s possession until 1989, and it was restored in 1994 to its 1961 Le Mans configuration, which is how it sits today. How many cars have competed in the Monte Carlo Rally and Le Mans? This one should sell for between $155,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial in Paris.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020
Did you know this car existed? Five examples were built by Zagato between 2015 and 2016 to commemorate 100 years of Maserati and the 1957 Maserati 450 S Coupe Zagato Monster.
It’s designed primarily for the track (look at that big rear wing) and has a very post-2000 Zagato body. Also, it has butterfly-like doors, which is kind of cool. It’s powered by a front-mid-engined 4.2-liter Maserati V8 good for 460 horsepower.
It was over $1 million when new and is now expected to fetch between $670,000-$1,000,000 at auction in Paris. It’s a one-owner example of a car that Zagato only offered to their best customers. You may never get another chance to get your hands on one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020
L88-powered third-generation Corvettes are among the most collectible of the era. The C3 Corvette was produced for an eternity: 1968 through 1982. But all of the good ones were in the first four or five years of production. The L88 engine was only available for three years: 1967 through 1969.
The 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, though it is thought to have actually produced more than 550. It was based on Chevy’s NASCAR engine, and it was a hardcore beast. Only 80 cars were equipped with this engine in 1968, the first of two model years it could be had in a C3. This drop-top version should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $350,000.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020
Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.
This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2019
Rochdale Motor Panels and Engineering was founded in 1948 by Frank Butterworth and Harry Smith. They got their start producing automobiles in 1954, which were technically just fiberglass shells used by customers to re-body Austin Sevens.
The GT was the third such product launched by the company, and it went on sale in 1957. They had the Ford Popular in mind as a base, but by 1960 you could get it on Rochdale’s own frame, as the company had moved to produce its own cars outright with the introduction of the Olympic in 1959.
This example is based on a Ford Popular frame and is powered by a 1.5-liter Coventry-Climax inline-four producing 140 horsepower. The GT was far and away Rochdale’s largest success, with about 1,350 built in total. Rochdale closed its doors in 1973, and it is thought that only about 80 GTs survive. This one has been restored and is eligible for historic racing events. It should bring between $36,000-$49,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16-17, 2019
The Tipo 256 is a very rare pre-war Alfa based on the 6C 2500. It was a racing car that was introduced in 1939. A few things differentiate the 256 from other racing variants of the 6C, one of them being that the Tipo 256 was actually prepared by Scuderia Ferrari in Modena, and not by Alfa themselves.
Power is from a 125 horsepower, 2.5-liter inline-six. Other features include a shortened frame, larger fuel tank, lowered radiator, three Weber carburetors, and a stiffer suspension. This car was originally built as a Spider Siluro and it’s competition history includes:
1940 Mille Miglia – 36th, 7th in class (with Giovanni Maria Cornaggia Medici and B. Gavazzoni)
It competed in a number of other Italian road races in 1939 and 1940, when production of the 256 ceased. In all, it is believed that 20 examples were built. This one, like at least a few others, was re-bodied after its racing career ended. This Touring body you see above was fitted in 1941.
It remained in Italian hands until coming to Washington state in 2012. This marks the first time this chassis has ever been offered for public sale, and it is expected to fetch between $2,750,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
The Ferrari 375 MM was a race car. The MM stood for Mille Miglia, the famed Italian road race. That’s what the 26 examples of the 375 MM were destined for, along with the Carrera Panamericana and other similar events.
But sometimes exclusive Ferrari clientele convinced Enzo that his latest race car would make their perfect road car. Such was the case with this car, which was purchased by early Ferrari fan Bob Wilke. It’s powered by a 340 horsepower, 4.5-liter V12 and was the second-to-last 375 MM built.
It carries a striking body by Ghia and was the final Ferrari bodied by that particular carrozzeria. The paint scheme is spot on and compliments the Borrani wire wheels and the overall stance of the car exceptionally well. Debuting at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, the car was retained by Wilke’s family until 1974. It was never restored but has been repainted. It’s one of RM’s “big money Ferraris” and you can read more about it here. Check out more from this sale here.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 13, 2019
The Bristol 411 was produced in five different series between 1969 and 1976. Series III cars went on sale in 1972 and were succeeded in 1974 by the Series IV. The main difference from the Series II was some revised styling, including a shift to four headlights and that kind of cool front grille treatment.
The 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 also received a lower compression ratio for 1972. Series II features, including a self-leveling suspension, were retained. Still though, after seven years and five different iterations, Bristol only made 287 examples of the 411.
This one was restored in 2012 and purchased by the consignor in 2017. It should sell for between $45,000-$54,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019
Alpine was an independent French sports car producer that was eventually absorbed by Renault. Their cars were Renault-based, including the A108, which was a fiberglass-bodied, rear-engined sports car that was produced between 1958 and 1965.
But the most interesting Alpine ever built was not even built by Alpine. Or even in France. In 1962, Willys-Overland of Brazil – who already had an alliance with Renault – was chosen by Alpine founder Jean Redele as a partner to build the A108 under license. The result was the Willys Interlagos, which was produced in Brazil between 1962 and 1966.
I’ve actually seen one of these in person and they have a cool factor that goes well beyond the “tiny French sports car” look. The sheer rarity of the surviving Brazilian models sets them apart. Only 822 examples were built in Brazil and not many escaped. They actually even offered two additional body styles. Power is from a four-cylinder engine, and this car is selling without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2019
Stanley Arnolt began importing cars into the US from Europe in the 1950s and was later a manufacturer in his own right, based out of Chicago. When he was on a business trip in 1952 he ran into the folks from Bertone at an auto show and struck up a deal.
The deal was that Bertone would design bodies for Arnolt to fit on the chassis of other European cars. The first collaboration was the Arnolt-MG, which was offered as a coupe and convertible. Power is from a 54 horsepower, 1.3-liter inline-four. The mechanicals and chassis were from an MG TD.
Only 65 coupes were built before MG moved on to the TF, leaving Arnolt to find a new base car, which he did from the likes of Bristol, Jaguar, and Aston Martin. This car has been restored and looks as if it came from an entirely different decade than the MG TD on which it is based. It should sell for between $75,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.