Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022
This coachbuilt beauty is one of 28 constructed by the Beutler brothers, coachbuilders based in Switzerland. It’s based on a Volkswagen Beetle and was designed and produced before the Karmann Ghia. Basically, Beutler saw the potential for a rear-engine sports car based on VW mechanicals before VW did.
The engine is a 1.2-liter flat-four good for 31 horsepower. So “sports” car is a bit optimistic. But nothing Volkswagen made was “fast” until much later. The engine is mounted out back in a lovely upholstered compartment.
The issue was that this cost more than a Porsche 356 when new (and 2.5 times more than a Beetle). This car was restored over an 11-year period ending in the 2000s. It hasn’t been used or shown much since, and it now carries an estimate of $80,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Gstaad, Switzerland | July 3, 2022
It’s always interesting when auctions take place outside of the “normal” locations of the U.S., the U.K., or France. Places like Switzerland usually bring out some real weirdos, car-wise. And this Swiss-built Monteverdi is the perfect example as to why more auctions should take place in otherwise less-often-visited countries.
The Monteverdi High Speed was a series of coupes, convertibles, and sedans that were attractively styled and powered by big American V8s. The first model was the 375S, of which we have an example here. These were styled by Frua and look very Maserati-ish. Power is from a 7.2-liter Chrysler V8 that was rated at 450 horsepower.
This one was sold new in the U.S. and was owned by Jay Leno for a time prior to the consignor’s purchase. Between 10 and 12 of these were built over a six-month span. The pre-sale estimate here is $70,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 18, 2022
The Hudson Deluxe Eight first appeared under that name in 1934 and would continue to be produced through 1938. This first-year model was a Series LU, and nine body styles were offered that year.
Power is from a 4.2-liter inline-eight was rated at 108 horsepower when new. The Convertible Coupe featured a rumble seat and a soft top, and this one is finished in cream with orange accents. Production totals for 1934 were not released.
The age of the restoration here is unknown, but it appears to have held up well. Plus, it’s got mid-1930s artillery-style wheels, which are always a plus. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 3, 2022
This is the third Jaguar XK120 we’ve featured, and all three have been coachbuilt cars with bodies that would not have come from the Jaguar factory. The XK120 launched in 1948 at the London Motor Show. Roadsters came first, and coupes and drophead coupes followed thereafter.
This coupe is the only XK120 bodied by Pinin Farina. It was at shows in 1955, which would’ve been after the XK140 entered production. It is an SE, or Special Equipment, model, meaning that the 3.4-liter inline-six was modified with higher-lift camshafts and a dual-exit exhaust for a horsepower bump to 180.
This car came to the U.S. via Max Hoffman, and a restoration was carried out in 2015. The result was a second-in-class at Pebble Beach in 2017. This one-off Jag has an estimate of $900,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6, 2022
The American Austin. The original cute microcar. Okay, so it’s actually a license-built version of England’s Austin Seven, which was originally introduced in 1923. American Austin was set up in Delaware in 1929, with production beginning the following year in Butler, Pennsylvania. The company eventually went bankrupt, and production ceased in 1935. The company was reformed in 1938 as American Bantam, who would go on to design the original Jeep.
Three different types of coupes were sold by American Austin in 1934 (the company also offered pickups and vans). I have no idea which one this is, but prices ranged from $295 to $385 when new. Coachwork is from the Hayes Body Corporation, hence why the American versions were more stylish than their British counterparts. Power is from a 747cc inline-four good for 15 horsepower.
This one has four-wheel drum brakes and was restored in 2012. Check out more about it here and see more from Mecum here.
However, that popularity faded into the 1920s. As time wore on, sales plummeted while styling became more mainstream. Bankruptcy occurred in the early 1930s, and the last production Detroit Electrics were sold in 1935. After that, they were available on a per-order basis. Only a “handful” (as if they can fit in your hand) were sold between 1936 and 1939. The company advertised up until 1942.
This is one of the last examples produced, and by this point, the company wasn’t even producing its own bodies anymore. This is a Willys coupe with a Dodge front end. Yes, there is a grille and hood louvers… even though there is not an engine. Late Detroit Electrics were five-horsepower cars, and they even retained the very early cars’ tiller steering! Check out more about this one here and see more from this sale here.
1963 Abarth-Simca 1300 GT Coupe by Sibona & Basano
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Le Castellet, France | November 19, 2021
Abarth used cars from many different manufacturers as base cars for their wild creations. In this case, the base car is a Simca 1000, which was a small, rear-engined sedan produced by the French marque between 1961 and 1978.
Confusingly, there were Simca-Abarth variants of the 1000, which were really just hot sedans. What we have here is an Abarth-Simca. It’s a GT car that Simca wanted Abarth to build that they could take racing.
It’s got a Simca 1000 floor pan, an Abarth-tuned 1.3-liter twin-cam inline-four, and a Simca 1000 four-speed manual gearbox. The cars were eventually homologated for FIA competition, and they were successful in European road racing events.
This car was sold new in Italy, where it was campaigned successfully. From there, it has kind of a complicated ownership history, and frankly it’s too late in the day for me to make much sense of it. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here. The pre-sale estimate is $405,000-$500,000.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-14, 2021
Walter Glockler was a Volkswagen and Porsche dealer based in Germany. He had a number of Porsche-based specials built between the late 1940s and mid-1950s. This is actually the last of the six of them. In 1954, he acquired a replacement 356 Pre-A chassis to build his only coupe-bodied special.
It is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cam flat-four (from a Porsche 550 Spyder… a car that owes its existence to a Glockler special) that was fitted in the 2000s. This car was originally intended to compete in the 1954 Mille Miglia, but was not finished in time. Instead it took part in a French/Italian road rally.
It later spent time at the Porsche factory before being exported to the U.S. It went back to Germany in the 90s and was restored the following decade (when the engine was swapped). This is an interesting piece (it even has Glockler-Porsche badging), and should bring a decent sum. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 9, 2021
Ferrari’s 250 GT line of cars spawned many sub-models, beginning with 1954’s GT Europa. In 1955, Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Coupe, which could initially be had as a Boano or Ellena variant. The cars were named after their respective coachbuilders, even though both were from the same family. Felice Mario Boano’s namesake company was only around from 1954 through 1957, at which time he renamed the company Carrozzeria Ellena after his son-in-law, who took over the business that would last through 1966.
The two coupes are distinct from each other, but both share the same 3.0-liter Colombo V12 good for 237 horsepower. Only 50 examples of the 250 GT Ellena were built between 1957 and 1958. This one, like others, features a wonderful two-tone paint scheme with a maroon lower body and a silver roof.
This car, #25, was first registered in Rome and made its way to the U.S. in the 1970s. It spent over two decades in a private New York collection and was restored in the U.K. in 2005. It now carries an estimate of $970,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021
A few weeks ago we featured a Nash Metropolitan, which is what this car is usually referred to as. But, it was actually built under four different brands including Nash, Hudson, Metropolitan, and Austin. The easy way to identify an Austin is the right-hand-drive layout.
Actually, Austin built them all and then shipped most of them to the States for sale by Nash/Hudson/AMC. Metropolitans aren’t uncommon in the US (I love them), but the Austin version sure is. This one is still in England though.
Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four (sourced from the Austin A50 Cambridge) that made about 68 horsepower. While the Metropolitan launched in the US in 1953, they didn’t go on sale in the UK until the very end of 1956, making this a very early UK model. Austin-branded production continued through 1959. There were no ’60 models in the UK, and 1961 cars were just known as “Metropolitans” as they were in the US. Both coupes and convertibles were available.
This one looks good and should bring between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.