Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
Over the last five years or so, there has been this trend of coachbuilders and styling houses going out on their own to build limited-run cars. Such cars are then branded by the company that designed them. For instance, instead of “Maserati GranTurismo by Touring,” the company just called it a Touring Sciadipersia. Oh wait, that’s the car we have here.
It is based on Maserati’s GranTurismo and even retains Maser’s trident badging. But the body has been reworked, apparently in an attempt to mimic the Qvale Mangusta (how have we not featured a Qvale Mangusta!?). Anyway, this car shares the same 454-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 with the GranTurismo Sport. It hits 60 in 4.8 seconds on the way to a 186-mph top end.
Touring planned to build 15 of these, but only one coupe and one convertible were ever completed, which makes this one of one. Pricing was never released when they were new, but this one is expected to bring between $460,000-$700,000 now. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by BH Auction | Osaka, Japan | December 20, 2020
A few weeks ago we featured Honda’s first sports car (and second-ever automobile), the Honda S500. Well, the S500 was replaced in 1964 by this, the S600. The car launched as a roadster, much like the S500 before it, and in early 1965, the coupe variant was introduced.
Power is from a 606cc inline-four that still featured Keihin motorcycle carburetors (four of them). The water-cooled, DOHC unit powered the rear wheels via chain drive and produced 57 horsepower from the factory. Top speed was about 90 mph.
The S600 was produced until 1966 when it was replaced by the S800, which was also available in coupe and roadster form. Only 1,800 S600 coupes were built in two model years, making it much rarer than the convertible (of which over 11,000 were built).
This car is listed as a 1967, and it is apparently one of just eight built after S600 production officially wrapped in 1966. There’s got to be more to that story, but I don’t have it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
It never even really occurred to me that sporting coupes were available on this relatively large chassis. But I guess since they could pull it off on Duesenbergs, so why not. The H6B is powered by a 6.6-liter inline-six good for 135 horsepower.
This car debuted at the Olympia Motor Show in 1926 carrying coupe bodywork from Hooper. It was a show winner at many early Concours events, and it was re-bodied later on with this Park Ward coupe body that was originally attached to a 6.5-Litre Bentley. It’s a great adaptation and is said to be similar to the original Hooper body. The pre-sale estimate is $450,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020
Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.
The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:
It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.
This is the kind of weird European cottage industry stuff I expect to see in a Monegasque auction. Venturi, which originally produced cars in France, is now based in Monaco. Their heyday was the early 1990s, and they produced a dizzying array of models considering the company wasn’t around for all that long.
The Atlantique was a fiberglass-bodied series of cars featuring a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. There were turbo and naturally aspirated versions, both with a 3.0-liter V6. But prior to that car’s introduction in 1994, there was the Coupe 260 Atlantique, which wasn’t technically part of the “Atlantique” line. It went on sale in 1991, and just 25 examples were produced through 1993.
The car was based on the 260 APC, a design that dated to the 1980s, and is powered by a 2.8-liter V6 that made 260 horsepower. It was lighter than the APC, and all were finished in this lovely shade of blue. This example was the final one built, and it is expected to fetch between $56,000-$78,000. Click here for more info, and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
Auto Union was a group of German car brands under one umbrella. But strangely, there were never very many cars sold under the Auto Union marque. In fact, in most markets, the 1000 was the only car ever offered by the brand.
It replaced the DKW 3=6 and looked very similar to that car. Power is from a 981cc inline-three making 50 horsepower. It was produced between 1958 and 1965 and could’ve been had as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or, in SP form, a sports car.
These are very rare in the U.S., even though over 170,000 of them were built. The 1000 was eventually replaced by another DKW product as Auto Union continued to waver on its branding strategy. This example is in great shape and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020
This is a car I like. Comically undervalued until recently when their prices started to climb, the 912 was an entry-level model situated below the 911 and was built between 1965 and 1969. Porsche built over 32,000 of them during that time.
It’s a 911 look-a-like powered by a 1.6-liter flat-four, instead of a flat-six like the 911. With 102 horsepower on tap, the 912 was lighter than the 911 and was a great handler. We’ve actually featured a 912 prototype, which was based on a 356, the car whose gap the 912 filled in Porsche’s lineup.
They aren’t rare cars (although the Targa variant is rarer than the coupe by some margin), but they carry all of the contemporary 911’s attractive lines at a steep discount. This one is estimated at $57,500-$79,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe
My two favorite C4 Corvettes are as follows: 1. the ZR-1. 2. the Grand Sport. This sale has what has to be the best examples of the latter. The Grand Sport was built to celebrate the end of C4 production and was only offered in 1996. The name was taken from the Grand Sport race cars of the 1960s.
Power is from a 330 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. They were only offered in Admiral Blue with white stripes and red hash marks. This is one of 810 coupes built, and it shows just 177 miles. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $74,250.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
Doubletake? The only difference between this car and the other Grand Sport is that it is a convertible. Admiral Blue paint with white stripes and red hash marks – meet a white soft top. This car also uses a 5.7-liter V8 making 330 horsepower.
The convertible Grand Sport was much rarer than the coupe, with just 190 built. It’s only covered 162 miles since new, which makes it essentially, well, new. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
Can you believe that Fiat didn’t built a V8 until they introduced the 8V in 1952? They didn’t produce any eight-cylinder engines until that time, and the only reason the model is called the “8V” is because they didn’t want to get in a tussle with Ford over the use of “V8.”
Between 1952 and 1954, Fiat produced just 114 examples of its 2.0-liter V8-powered 8V. Power was rated between 104 and 125 horsepower depending on which iteration of the engine the car received, although the catalog is short on that detail.
This is the 80th example produced, and it features dramatic bodywork from Vignale. It was produced as a follow up to a Michelotti-penned show car called the Demon Rouge. 8Vs are never cheap, and short of a Supersonic, this is about the best-looking example I’ve seen. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | March 26-27, 2020
Here is another Hans Glas rarity. The 1300 GT debuted at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show and was updated to 1700 GT specification in late 1965. Most of the cars were coupes, but a limited number of cabriolets were also produced. BMW bought Glas in 1966, and in 1967, they launched the BMW 1600 GT, a BMW-badged version of this car with a bigger engine.
This 1300 GT is powered by a 1.3-liter inline-four rated at 74 horsepower. That enabled a top speed of 106 mph. Styling was actually by Frua, and only 5,013 coupe examples were built between the 1300 and 1700 models.
Finished in blue over black, this car is sold at no reserve with a spare engine. It’s a rare coupe that will stand out wherever it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.