Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 4, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
Recently I was able to spend some time at America’s Packard Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and, in their really cool building, they’ve restored a Packard sales manager’s office as it would’ve looked in the 1920s. Within the office sits a book – the actual Dayton, Ohio, automobile register from 1923(ish), open to a random page. I was reading it, looking at the different marques of cars registered in the area that year, and among the many Fords and Maxwells was a lone Rickenbacker. And it blew my mind.
There were so many auto manufacturers operating in America in the 1920s (not to mention the oddball import). They were around. They aren’t nearly as rare as they are today. They were just another car. But the odds of seeing one in Dayton, Ohio, seems really small. Just think, maybe people in 60 years will wonder “what did America’s roads look like when they were populated with Merkurs and Geos?”
Anyway, it was mind-blowing because Eddie Rickenbacker, man among men, had a little car company that only existed between 1922 and 1927. His cars were excellent but not well received (Eddie’s competition did their best to shut him down). This car is powered by a 58 horsepower, 3.6-liter straight-six. It has four-wheel brakes – the Rickenbacker was the first car in its class with this now-standard feature.
This example has been restored and is probably the only Rickenbacker currently on the market, as they are quite sought after. It should bring between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
What time period do you define as the “golden age” of coachbuilding? Is it the 1930s? If so, I would be inclined to agree, but at the same time, I’d be doing a great disservice to the 1950s because there were some really fantastic coachbuilt cars built during that decade. The Lancia Aurelia alone had some great designs.
The Aurelia was Lancia’s luxury car (which was also available as a coupe and convertible in addition to the standard sedan) between 1950 and 1958. It featured the first production V-6 engine and this car carries a 2.0-liter V-6 making 90 horsepower. It rides on a B52 chassis, which was the slightly lengthened B21 chassis that Lancia offered to coachbuilders.
This one went to Vignale and it was fitted with this body that resembled nothing else that Lancia built. The company only sold 98 B52 Aurelias between 1952 and 1953 (with 86 of those being from ’52). It’s a cool car that will stand out anywhere it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.
Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 13, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
In the mid-to-late 1980s (and through the early 1990s), Aston Martin was just barely getting by. Like, they were producing cars by the handful before Ford got involved. Take this for instance, the V8 Vantage Zagato, which was built between 1986 and 1990 and resulted in just 89 cars completed.
Aston Martin and Zagato have a long history together and this car reignited the flame. The “V8 Vantage” nameplate has been a popular model name over the years and this V8 Vantage was based on the aging Aston Martin V8 that dated back to 1969. It shares the same, old (Bonhams calls it “proven”) 5.3-liter V-8 spec’d to 432 horsepower, which was pretty serious for 1987. It was quick, too: 60 mph arrived in 4.8 seconds.
Only 52 coupes were built and they were expensive, costing $156,600 when new. But because they came out at the height of the supercar craze, prices skyrocketed and a few years after their introduction they were selling for nearly half a million dollars. This one should bring between $370,000-$500,000. Aston built a further 37 convertibles which are even more sought after. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 16-21, 2017
Photo – Mecum
The Dodge Challenger was the platform mate to the Plymouth ‘Cuda. While they have similar characteristics, they have quite different styling. The Barracuda was more angular, more aggressive, while the Challenger was slightly curvier and carried a more luxurious stance. While there might be something slightly luxurious about its looks, this car was all performance underneath.
The first generation Challenger was built from 1970 through 1974, with 1970 being the peak year for the car. The R/T was only available for ’70 and ’71 and Mopar’s 7.0-liter 426 Hemi V-8 was only available those years as well. This 425 horsepower beast has an automatic transmission – one of only 150 Hemi automatic Challengers built in 1970.
Listed in the Chrysler registry, this well restored R/T Hemi is sort of a sleeper in copper paint. A lot of people like these cars in bright colors and the restrained look here does the car some good. It’s simply one of the best muscle cars, and while it won’t be expensive as the Convertible variant, it will still not be cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017
Photo – Gooding & Company
The Z-102 from Spanish manufacturer Pegaso is the most exotic car to come out of post-WWII Spain. The cars were built in Barcelona, but bodied by some of Europe’s finest coachbuilders, in this case by Saoutchik of Paris.
This Z-102 is powered by a 2.8-liter V-8 producing 170 horsepower. This Saoutchik Coupe was one of seven built (there was also a Cabriolet). It’s one of the most striking designs of 1950s sports cars – at the same time sexy and aggressive.
Sold new in Paris, it was later owned by Bill Harrah and in 2002 came into the possession of the Imperial Palace Collection. It’s second restoration was completed in 2008. Only 84 Z-102s were built and each one is highly sought after. Costing approximately $17,000 when new, this car should bring between $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The 1929 Stutz line consisted of a single model, the Model M, and ’29 was the only model year that the company built a car by that name. Quite a few body styles were offered, and I’m talking like more than 30, but this one carries very sporty Coupe coachwork by Lancefield of London.
Stutz’s standard straight-eight engine would be produced by the firm from 1928 through the end of production in 1934. All Model Ms were powered by this 5.3-liter unit – but a select few were equipped with a supercharger that bumped power up to 185. This supercharged power plant was the result of a 2nd place finish for the marque at Le Mans in 1928. Bentley upped their game for 1929 and Stutz couldn’t afford to build a new engine, so they strapped a centrifugal supercharger to the one they had and sent it back to Europe where the best result attained was 5th at Le Mans in 1929.
Only three supercharged Stutz cars are known to exist and I’ve managed to see two of them in person, this car included. It is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s been restored and freshened multiple times in the past 20 years and in that time has sported owners such as Skip Barber and John O’Quinn. It is being sold out of a prominent Stutz collection based in Texas. The best way to describe this car is that it’s just one of those cars – an incredible automobile that has the engine, chassis, and body it was delivered with. An award winner all over the U.S., it will remain a prized possession among whoever is lucky enough to acquire it next. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
Talbot-Lago presented their “Sport” model at the 1954 Paris Motor Show. Also called the T14, it would be produced in a few forms – all in limited numbers – through 1959. It was the final Talbot-Lago-branded automobile built.
The first run of cars were powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but it was lackluster and in 1957 Talbot-Lago decided they’d be better off buying an engine from another manufacturer to install in their cars. The resulting cars were called the T14 America and are powered by a BMW-sourced 2.5-liter V-8 making 138 horsepower.
In the three model years the America was offered (1957 through 1959), only a dozen were built. After the brand was taken over by Simca in 1959, they constructed a few more examples, all powered by Simca’s anemic 95 horsepower Ford-based motor.
This BMW-powered example was one of the last cars built before the Simca takeover. The restoration dates to the early 2000s and looks fantastic, with just over 5,500 miles since new. It should sell for between $470,000-$580,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 21, 2017
Photo – Barrett-Jackson
We generally don’t feature cars on Saturdays, but I’m making an exception here for two reasons: 1. the ownership history of this car tells me it is unlikely to come up for sale again anytime soon (if it sells) and 2. I just turned on Barrett-Jackson on Velocity for coverage of Friday’s sale (as I watch RM Sotheby’s on my laptop) and I happened to look at their catalog (which I was doing almost daily for about a month) and I found this car. It wasn’t in their catalog when I finalized the cars we were going to feature from Arizona’s sales but appeared as a late-add by Barrett-Jackson (or, at least, not a timely addition).
Anyway, we’re here, so let’s talk about what this is. Built at the the request of Chrysler chief Virgil Exner, this Ghia-bodied streamliner is the perfect Jet Age concept car. Why? Well it’s powered by a turbine for starters. It only puts out 70 horsepower (and idles at a bat shit crazy 54,000 rpm), but in the world of turbines and sleek aerodynamics, it was theoretically enough power to push this thing to 140-160 mph. The only cars doing that kind of speed in 1955 were doing it on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans.
It debuted at the 1955 Turin Auto Show and was dubbed “Gilda.” The interior (and the engine compartment) are wild and hearken back to an era when people dreamed of the “car of tomorrow.” Ghia eventually put it on display at the Henry Ford Museum where it stayed until 1969 when it was acquired by Bill Harrah. The Blackhwak Museum got it when that collection was dispersed and the current owner bought it in 2005. It’s been to Pebble Beach, Ville d’Este, and was even a no-sale at a Gooding auction years back.
Now Barrett-Jackson is featuring it as the wildest car in their lineup this year (well that, and this). Anyway, I’m writing this late on a Friday night for a Saturday morning post because it was starting to make me sick to my stomach that I was potentially missing out on featuring a car I’d never see offered for public sale again – it has, after all, spent most of its life in museums. Click here for more info. Price? Well the Blackhawk was offering it for $125,000 in 2001 and it no-sold at Gooding with an estimate of $1.0-1.3 million. Expect the owner to want more than that at Barrett-Jackson later today.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
APAL began as a Belgian company that built cars based on Volkswagens and Porsches, beginning in Liege in 1961. As the years went on, APAL turned more toward replicas and beach buggies, eventually relocating to Germany in 1998. They still sell kits and parts today.
Edmond Pery, the founder of APAL, understood fiberglass: how to make it and why it was great for cars. The Horizon was an original design that kind of resembles a VW Beetle-based kit car of the era… like a Bradley or something. This car is VW-powered as a 1.7-liter flat-four sits well behind the passenger compartment. It puts out an impressive 100 horsepower.
Good news for sun lovers: this car is technically a targa: the roof panel is removable and can be stowed on board. This particular example has been restored and has never been road registered, making it, essentially, a brand new car. Only 10 Horizon GT Coupes were built out of a total of about 150 APAL coupes of original design. This rarity should bring between $53,000-$74,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 14, 2017
Photo – Coys
In 1967 Peter Rix joined Julian Booty’s Vintage Sports Car Garage and they changed the name to the Lenham Motor Company. Their first cars were based around the Austin-Healey Sprite. Racing cars and other models followed. Production ceased in 1982 but the company was revived later on and is still doing some work.
The Le Mans was a GT car based on the Sprite and the engine is likely a 1.3-liter straight-four making in the neighborhood of 65 horsepower (if this particular car is based on a Mk IV Sprite). The body is fiberglass and the car is fully race-prepped for vintage racing.
What makes this car interesting is that it was the final official Le Mans Coupe converted by Lenham. It’s a neat, rare little race car that would be a great way to get into historic racing and it should sell for between $24,500-$30,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.