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.
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
Karl Martin was at first an oil man, then a coachbuilder, and then, in 1919 when he ended up in Bennington, Vermont, an automobile manufacturer. The Martin Wasp Corporation built cars from 1920 through 1924. Not very long. The catalog has this listed as a “Martin Wasp” but the cars were sold under the “Wasp” name.
They were powered by relatively ordinary 72 horsepower, 5.8-liter Wisconsin inline-fours (and later sixes), but the styling was quite unique. These were long, low cars that wore touring coachwork Martin described as “rickshaw phaetons.” Douglas Fairbanks bought one as a gift for his wife, Mary Pickford.
The cars were very expensive – this one would’ve cost $5,000 when new. Only 14 four-cylinder – and three six-cylinder – cars were built. The one you see here was actually assembled in the 1940s from leftover unused new parts that Martin retained after the factory had closed. Still, with only two other “real” Wasps in existence, it is pretty special. It should bring between $30,000-$50,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $51,520.
1931 Detroit Electric Model 99 Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | Tupelo, Mississippi | April 27, 2019
But this looks like a Ford Model A coupe. Or, as it was bodied by Fisher, a period Chevrolet. You would have no idea it was powered by a 15 horsepower DC electric motor if it didn’t say “electric” in the name.
It was part of the Harrah collection for many years and remains in original condition. The company only built 131 cars in 1931, and this is the only survivor. It may be the “newest” Detroit Electric in existence, as production petered out pretty dramatically after 1932. It should bring between $30,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18, 2019
Pinin Farina was responsible for what we’ll call the “base” Ferrari 250 GT Coupe. Produced from 1958 through 1961, these cars were the volume-leader model among so many special, limited-edition 250 GTs.
The car pictured here is about the farthest possible thing from a “base” model. This particular car was built specially for a Belgian Princess by Pinin Farina and has known ownership history from new. A restoration was completed in 1997 and it’s been on the show field at Pebble Beach.
Somehow, RM’s catalog entry is completely devoid of any technical information on the car. Power is likely from a 3.0-liter V-12, and this is thought to be one of four Coupe Speciales bodied by Pinin Farina, though the coachwork is unique. It should sell for between $11,000,000-$13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019
This sleek Italian-styled sports car from the early 1960s was actually built in Oakland, California, by International Motor Cars. The body was technically built in Italy by Intermeccanica, then shipped to Oakland for final assembly, where it would be mated to an American engine.
In this case, that American engine is a 3.5-liter Buick V8 making 225 horsepower. A more powerful variant, the 5000 GT, would receive a larger 4.9-liter unit. It has the styling of a contemporary Ferrari, and it’s probably much cheaper to maintain.
Production numbers are really weird for these. Initially, Apollo only built 42 cars (combined between both engine options), and then the design was sold and the car was sold as the Vetta Ventura. After that venture ended, Apollo sprang back up and built a few more cars. RM says this is one of 90. I’ll take their word for it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $134,400.
Update: Not sold, Mecum Phoenix 2019, high bid of $130,000.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Before we get into the coachbuilt rareness of this car, let’s start with a little model background. The Bentley Turbo R was a sedan introduced in 1985 and was produced in several iterations through 1999. It was sold in two wheelbases initially, long and short. An updated model went on sale in 1995, and the limited-edition Turbo S was sold in 1995.
In 1996, the short-wheelbase cars ended production. Prior to that, long-wheelbase cars were sold as the Bentley Turbo RL. After 1996, they were all long-wheelbase and the “L” was dropped. That’s a long-winded way to tell you that the car presented here is a long-wheelbase Turbo R. But (intrigue!) it’s a coupe. Bentley ever only sold it as a sedan.
That’s where Hooper comes in. The coachbuilder, with a longtime association with Bentley and favored car-crafting masters of the British Royal family, built this two-door aluminum-bodied coupe. Still powered by a 296 horsepower, 6.75-liter turbocharged V8, the car features streamlined coachwork and a bespoke interior. Only five were built, and this car – the fourth built – was used in Hooper’s advertising. It’s one of two left-hand-drive examples and is being sold from the Calumet Collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1976 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2000 GT Veloce Gullwing Coupe
Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 10, 2018
Photo – Aguttes
The original 4-door Alfa Romeo Giulia went on sale in 1962 and spawned the Series 105/115 Coupes that followed in 1963. There were quite a few variants of the 2-door Giulia. This car began life as a 2000 GT Veloce, a model offered between 1971 and 1976.
Such cars were powered by a 2.0-liter Twin Cam straight-four that made 130 horsepower. They’re great-looking cars, as were most Alfa 2-doors from this era. One thing they didn’t offer from the factory though: gullwing doors.
Some enterprising German decided to build such a car, because, why not? After all, Mercedes-Benz did it 20 years before, so how hard could it be? The car was fully restored and finished in brown. The new doors look seamless – as if this was how the car was born. It’s funky. We love it. It’s a unique one-off creation that is expected to bring between $55,000-$90,000 at auction. Click here for more from Aguttes.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | October 20, 2018
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
The Isabella was a car built by Carl F.W. Borgward GmbH between 1954 and 1962. It was the brand’s volume model and the one they are best remembered for. It was available as a two-door sedan, wagon, pickup, coupe, and convertible.
This car is powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four, as were all Isabellas. Power was rated at 75 horsepower and they were underpowered compared to their competition. The Coupe was not initially available and went on sale halfway through the production run.
Unfortunately, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1961 and various conspiracy theories persist to this day as to why, and Borgward himself died in 1963. It makes for an interesting read, but I don’t really want to go down that rabbit hole right now. This blue example should bring between $24,000-$26,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | October 17, 2018
Photo – H&H Classics
The S800 was Honda’s third sports car, after the S500 and S600. It was the second that could be had as a coupe or convertible. We’ve previously featured an S800 Roadster and this is the much rarer coupe variant.
Introduced in 1966, the S800 is powered by a 791cc DOHC straight-four. These cars are screamers, with a tachometer that lets you rev it like it’s a superbike. Along with the Datsun Roadster, these were Japan’s answer to tiny British cars from Austin-Healey, MG, Triumph, and the like.
This 56,000-mile example has had three owners. Apparently, it has a starter issue, so it will need a little work before being roadworthy. Only 11,536 S800s were built, many of them drop-tops. This rare coupe should bring between $14,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
A 404 error is what you get when a server can’t find what you’ve asked it for. The Bristol 404 was not an error, but it’s pretty hard to find when you go looking for one: between 1953 and 1958 the company only built 52 examples.
The 404 and 405 were two models manufactured side by side. The 404 was a two-door coupe with a very short wheelbase, whereas the 405 was a longer wheelbase four-door sedan that could also be had as a two-door convertible. These were the first Bristol cars to completely break away styling-wise from their predecessor’s BMW lineage.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter straight-six that could be had in 105 or 125 horsepower versions. This car was restored some years ago and is being sold out of a collection of Bristol road cars. It’s a nice example of one of the rarer models from one of Britain’s rarest automobile manufacturers. It should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The first America model from Ferrari went on sale in 1950. Ferrari stuffed their largest V-12 engines into these big (for the day) GT cars. Many of them were coachbuilt. And very few were built. The third model in this line was the 375 America, built in 1953 and 1954 only.
A 4.5-liter V-12 provided power. Rated at 296 horsepower, it could propel the car to 160 mph. This particular car was bodied by Vignale and is finished in burgundy with a silver greenhouse, the original colors it came with.
It was purchased new by an American and spent many years in the U.S., making up part of the Blackhawk Collection at one point. It found itself in the Netherlands for a while, again coming stateside in 2009 before being refinished in its original paint scheme. Only 12 examples of the 375 America were built and this is the first up to come up for sale since 2011. It’s a big money Ferrari and you can find out more about it here. Click here for more from RM Sotheby’s.