375 America

1954 Ferrari 375 America Coupe by Vignale

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.

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Bitter SC 3.9

1985 Bitter SC 3.9 Coupe

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | June 24, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Erich Bitter began producing his own cars in 1973. The first car, the Opel-based CD, was offered through the end of the decade. He followed it up with another Opel-based sports car, the SC.

Launched in 1979, the SC Coupe was built through 1985. There was a limited edition convertible and an ultra-exclusive sedan as well. Two different engines were available: a 3.0-liter straight-six and the hot version: a 3.9-liter straight-six that this car carries. It’s good for 207 horsepower – up from 177 in the base car.

Personally, I think the SC is the best-looking of all of Bitter’s cars. He managed to make just 461 Coupes total and this is one of just 31 right-hand drive examples made. Rare, this car is expected to bring between $24,000-$30,000, which is about the right price. Perhaps, as 80s stuff becomes more collectible, these will rise in price. Who knows. You can see more from Brightwells here.

Update: Not sold.

Whippet Coupe

1928 Whippet Model 98 Coupe

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 21-23, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Whippet was a small car built by Willys-Overland between 1926 and 1930. Upon its introduction, it was the smallest car on sale in America. The Model 98 was Whippet’s six-cylinder model that went on sale in 1928, replacing 1927’s Model 93A. The Model 98 would evolve into the Model 98A for 1929 and 1930.

The Model 98 is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six (even though the catalog description says it’s a four-cylinder… there are clearly six spark plugs present. So that makes me question the displacement too). It was available in five different body styles for 1928 and the cheapest one cost just $615. The advertisements read “the world’s lowest price six!”

Well, it won’t be the world’s lowest price six when it sells at no reserve at auction this week because this thing looks mint. It’s beautifully presented and you can read more about it here. Click here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Sold $13,970.

LaFayette Coupe

1924 LaFayette Model 134 Coupe

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 21, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

LaFayette has an interesting history. Founded secretly by Charles Nash and staffed with ex-Cadillac designers and engineers, the first LaFayettes hit the market in 1921. It was a full-on luxury car aimed squarely at Cadillac. At first, it was a completely separate endeavor from Nash Motors.

After a slow start, LaFayette was reorganized and moved from Indianapolis to Milwaukee with Nash Motors as the largest shareholder, effectively making it a Nash subsidiary at last in 1923. Later that year Nash introduced the Ajax at the low end of the market and LaFayette became part of that division.

This car is powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 good for 100 horsepower. Seven body styles were offered in 1924, which was the final year for production as Nash sort of gave up on the venture. This four-door coupe (that’s right, LaFayette was almost 100 years ahead of the times) was a four-passenger car. The only two-passenger LaFayette was the Roadster. When new, this car cost a not-insignificant $6,300. Only 2,267 LaFayette motorcars were produced (with just 441 of those being produced in 1924) making this extremely rare. This car, which is selling in England, sports a claimed $200,000 restoration and is expected to bring between $35,000-$48,000. If you want to make a quick buck, buy this for even the upper end of that estimate, ship it to the U.S. and take it to auction at Hershey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $63,614.

Cannon GT

1964 Cannon GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Mike Cannon was originally from Australia but it was when he came to the U.K. that he got hooked on trials racing. He made quite a name for himself at it and ended up building a series of really basic trials cars – about 120 in total – that saw a fair amount of success on the off-road hillclimbs.

In the 1960s, Cannon decided to take his skills to the pavement and his goal was to beat the popular – and winning – Diva GT. He built a spaceframe chassis and coated it with fiberglass and aluminium skin. Underneath is a 1.1-liter Ford straight-four.

It is believed that only two of these were ever actually built. It kind of looks like a British Cheetah. It’s been pretty active on the historic racing circuit and is looking for a new wheelman (or woman) to keep it going. It should sell for between $34,000-$41,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,256.

Kellison J4R

1959 Kellison J4R Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Can we all agree that this looks like a late model race car? Like it should be sideways, sliding around a dirt short track somewhere? But it’s not, it’s a Kellison J4R, a fiberglass hot rod sold in the 1950s and 60s by Jim Kellison.

Available as a kit or a ready-to-run complete car (which would’ve run you a pricey $6,700 in 1960), the J4 was available between about 1958 and sometime in the early 1960s. This one is powered by a 497 horsepower, 6.6-liter V-8 and was originally set up as a race car (the “R” denotes a lightweight racing body, as on this J5R).

The current owner acquired this car in 2001 and wanted to be able to use it on the street, so he had it converted to a street-legal setup making it an awesome road and track car. The J4 was available as a Coupe or much rarer Roadster. About 300 examples of the Coupe were built and this one should sell for between $35,000-$55,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $28,000.

Juan Peron’s Ferrari

1952 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari’s weren’t always red. In fact, this yellow and black paint scheme with whitewalls and knock-off wire wheels is one of the most brilliant Ferrari road car liveries we’ve seen in a while.

The 212 Inter was introduced at the 1951 Brussels Motor Show and produced in either 73 or 82 examples through the following year. This particular chassis (#49) was on Ferrari’s stand at the 1952 Paris Salon where it was purchased by Juan Perón, President of Argentina. The car remained in his possession until he was forced out of Argentina in 1955. In 1987 it was sold to a European and the car was then restored. The current owner acquired it in 1999

The 212 Inter is powered by a 150 horsepower 2.6-liter V-12. Bodies were supplied by different coachbuilders including Vignale and Touring. This is a one-off body by Ghia and it is fantastic. The proportions are perfect and that understated from end with dim headlights just begs you to buy it. The livery it sports is what it looked like on the Paris stand in 1952.

Early Ferraris are some of the best looking Ferraris and this one has pretty impressive provenance. It is expected to bring between $1,600,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,187,500.

Saoutchik-bodied Talbot-Lago

1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe by Saoutchik

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 13-21, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

It’s kind of crazy to think this car is from 1951, especially if you consider the golden age of coachbuilding to be in the 1930s. This was pretty late in the game to get a custom-bodied car from a major coachbuilder as luxury cars pretty much standardized themselves not too long after this car was built.

But it helped that there was such a luxurious manufacturer like Talbot-Lago still operating at this point. The T26 Grand Sport was new for 1948 and Talbot-Lago sent all of the road cars to coachbuilders (there were race cars bodied in-house). This one was bodied by the legendary Jacques Saoutchik and it’s pure art.

Under the hood you’ll find the 4.5-liter straight-six that pumps out 190 horsepower. This body is one-of-one and is from one of the most sought-after coachbuilders of the post-WWII era. Few T26 Grand Sports were built and even fewer remain. You’ll need at least a million to top the reserve, but in the meantime, check out more about this one here and see more from Barrett-Jackson’s ever-expanding Scottsdale lineup here.

Update: Not sold.

TVR 2500

1971 TVR 2500 Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The TVR Vixen of 1967 was an evolution of the Grantura that dated back another five years (the first Granturas go back to 1958, but the styling of the Series III cars is mostly represented here). While the styling may have been a carryover, the drivetrain underneath was the real news.

The first Vixens were powered by a 1.6-liter Ford unit. But the same year the Vixen was introduced, TVR also launched the Tuscan, which had a V-8 or V-6. Unfortunately neither of these engines met U.S. emissions standards so TVR built a best-of-both-worlds car: the 2500 (or as it was called in the U.S., the Vixen 2500).

Built in 1971 and 1972 only, the 2500 was powered by a 2.5-liter Triumph straight-six that made a modest 105 horsepower. This made it the most powerful Vixen model, but it lacked power when compared to its competition.

Fortunately, a recent owner of this particular example had this car restored in the 1990s. In the process, they hopped up the engine a little bit, making it more of a performer. Only 289 of these were built (though an extra 96 cars were constructed with a different chassis from the M Series… of which there was a “2500M” model that is unrelated to the car pictured above and the 96 “2500”s built on their shared chassis. Confused yet?).

This car should bring between $29,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $33,845.