Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 3, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
In addition to attaching his name to everything under the sun, Donald Healey also built cars on his own. Between 1946 and 1954 the Donald Healey Motor Company churned out seven models of their own design that weren’t associated with Nash, Jensen, or Austin.
The Abbott was one of the last models to be introduced, going on sale in 1950. The name came from E.D. Abbott Ltd, a Surrey-based coachbuilder that actually built the body for this car (which is quite attractive compared to some of their other cars). All models were Drophead Coupes, and this particular car is powered by a 2.4-liter Riley twin-cam straight-four.
Production wrapped in 1954, with just 77 units produced, putting it right in the middle when it comes to Healey rarity. Only 20 are thought to remain roadworthy. This well-restored and well-used example should bring between $58,000-$71,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 22, 2018
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
The Alvis TD 21 was a big jump, design-wise, for Alvis. The TC 21 was a much more old-school British automobile and the TD 21 (and transitional TC 108G) looked thoroughly modern for the late 1950s. Something you could compare to an Aston Martin of similar vintage. The TD 21 was built between 1958 and 1963 before being replaced by the TE 21.
Power comes from a 3.0-liter straight-six that made 115 horsepower. This is a Series I car, which were built between 1958 and 1961. TD 21s could be had as a Coupe or Drophead Coupe and all cars sat four at topped out at 103 mph.
This 17,000-mile example has an automatic transmission which has been rebuilt. It’s a classy British drop-top that’s ready for touring. It should bring between $69,000-$79,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Aston Martin’s model history is pretty straightforward, especially concerning their grand touring cars. Going backward in time, we have the current DB11, the concept-only DB10, the DB9, (strangely no DB8), the beautiful DB7, the DB6, DB5, DB4… and then it gets weird. There was a DB1 and a DB2. But then there was a DB2/4, an evolution of the DB2 that ultimately evolved into this, the DB Mk III. No DB3, though. Got it? Good.
The DB Mk III was updated version of the DB2/4 and it went on sale in 1957 and was available through 1959. The standard powertrain was a 2.9-liter straight-six good for 162 horsepower. This car carries a rare DBD high-output engine that creates 195 horsepower. Only 551 examples of this model were produced and most of those were two-door saloons. Only 85 were Drophead Coupe convertibles and only 14 of those have the 195 horse engine.
This was the first Aston production car to sport their signature grille that their cars still carry today. The body design was by Tickford, who was also responsible for the convertible variant.
This example has known ownership history since new. It spent much of the 1990s being overhauled but the most recent major renovations took place in 2006 and 2007. The current owner acquired the car in 2011. It shows just over 65,000 miles. A beauty and a rarity, this elegant Aston should command between $400,000-$470,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | October 25, 2017
Photo – Brightwells
Founded in Birmingham in 1904, the Calthorpe Motor Company produced cars until about 1928. You’d think, having existed for over 20 years, we would have featured an example from this marque before, but we haven’t (more on that in a bit).
In 1917, Calthorpe acquired Mulliner, the famed coachbuilder of Bentleys and such. When Calthorpe failed in 1924, Mulliner was spun off and survived. Guess who built the body for this car. That’s right, Mulliner! It’s powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four making 10 horsepower. Only two models were offered in 1923 and this was the baby of the two. The 10-15 was available from 1922 through 1926.
Restored in the 1980s, this is believed to be one of about 10-12 Calthorpes that still exist even though they built roughly 5,000 cars after WWI (so no wonder we haven’t featured one: they never come up for sale). This is an affordable British classic rarer than just about everything else at its price point. It should bring between $15,600-$18,300. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 23, 2017
Photo – Historics at Brooklands
Sydney Allard got his start in the car business building racing specials – primarily “trials” specials – for off-road hillclimbs in the 1930s. After WWII, he started with series production of sports cars, the first of which was the J1. In 1947 he introduced this, the M-Type.
Built between 1947 and 1950, the M-Type (sometimes referred to as the M1) was only built as a two-door Drophead Coupe. It’s powered by a 3.6-liter Ford V-8 making 85 horsepower. In total, about 500 were built before it was replaced by the very limited production M2 and M2X.
The look of the car almost has a ready-for-off-road look to it. Kind of like a Volkswagen Kübelwagen. But sportier, of course. This example was delivered new to Northern Ireland and was restored in the 1990s. It has been used on longer distance drives in recent history and should bring between $35,000-$44,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The TE 21 was the penultimate Alvis motorcar ever built. Introduced in 1963, the TE 21 would be offered as a coupe or convertible (er, Drophead Coupe) through 1966. Production on the next model, the TF 21, would wind up in 1967 and Alvis pretty much just became a defense contractor after that.
The TE 21 is powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. These luxurious two-doors were sporty as well, with a top speed of about 110 mph. The body was based on a design by Graber of Switzerland but was massaged and built by Mulliner Park Ward of London. It’s a very attractive car.
This early example was ordered off the 1964 London Motor Show stand and was used regularly through 1975 when it was parked. Rediscovered in 2008 by its current owner, this car was extensively restored and shows beautifully. Showing just over 40,000 miles, this is one of just 352 TE 21s built – and less than 100 of those were drop tops. It should bring between $93,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The history of the automobile in the immediate aftermath of World War II is pretty interesting. In the United States, many car manufacturers resumed production of their pre-war models, but in Europe, the widespread destruction threw everything into chaos. BMW’s pre-war manufacturing activities took place in Eisenach. But the Soviet Union held the territory when production resumed in 1946.
And BMW was headquartered in Munich. So the Soviet Eisenach factory was producing BMWs without BMWs consent. When the Eisenach factory came under control of the East German government and BMW sued to get their name (and badge) back. So the Eisenach factory changed its name to EMW (Eisenach Motor Works) and continued producing pre-war BMWs, like the 327 you see here.
The 327 was first introduced in 1937 and was built through 1941. Production resumed in 1946 with all 1946 through 1951 cars being badged as BMWs (although they were not sold, officially, by BMW). Cars built from 1952 through the end of production in 1955 were badged as EMWs. EMW would later go on to become Wartburg.
The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 55 horsepower. This car was in a museum for the last five years and was recently restored. It is a numbers matching car. Only 505 327s were built after the war, with an unknown split between BMW and EMW. This one should sell for between $140,000-$185,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
1939 Darracq T120 Major 3-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014
Photo – Bonhams
Someday I’ll have to do one of our “Car Guy History” posts about Darracq’s corporate history, but until then I’ll answer your question: no, this is not a Talbot-Lago. Well, I mean, it is a Talbot-Lago – but the brand name of this car is a Darracq. See, today’s proliferation of brand-engineered mini-SUVs wasn’t the first time stuff like this has happened.
Because of the weirdness in the history of the Talbot name, Talbot-Lago cars were only “sold” in France. The Rootes Group in England owned the Talbot name everywhere except France, so for more generic-looking exports (to places like the U.K. and Sweden, where this car was bought new), Talbot-Lago badged their cars “Darracq.” This is essentially a badge-engineered Talbot-Lago T120 Major.
The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-six and the car has spent most of its life in Sweden and Denmark. In the last 10 years, it came to the U.K. via a sale at Retromobile in Paris. It was freshened (the restoration was done in the late-80s) and used for touring. Bonhams describes this car as “elegant” – which it certainly is. It should sell for between $120,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Talbot is one of the most confusing marques in automotive history. The car you are looking at here is a British-built Talbot (the French cars were almost all hyphenated with another name). The standalone British Talbot began producing cars in 1904. And, as a separate make, Talbot ceased to exist in 1938 – before it was resurrected in 1980 (in France). It died again, unceremoniously, in 1987.
In 1919, Talbot was bought by Sunbeam – giving them access to superior engineering. This car uses a 1.7-liter straight-six making 35 horsepower. This car spent most of its life in its home country of the U.K. but the current Austrian owner acquired it a few years ago.
This is a very old car that is in very good condition. Only a few Talbot 14/35s are known to exist. This one should sell for between $13,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in London.
1952 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupe by Graber
Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 19, 2012
The Aston Martin DB2 went on sale in May of 1950 and was produced through 1953. It features a 2.6-liter straight-six. In Vantage spec – which included larger carburetors and a higher compression ratio – it made 125 horsepower. The car on offer here has had a little engine work done during restoration and is currently producing 140 horsepower.
“Vantage” was an upgrade on many early Astons (through the 1960s) before it became a stand alone model. The DB2 was the first Aston with such an option. This model was also one of only a few Astons that were sent out to coachbuilders. The factory offered a Drophead Coupe starting toward the end of 1950 – 102 were built (there were 411 DB2s produced in total). Three were sent out to Carrosserie Graber in Switzerland for custom bodywork. Of the three, this is the only survivor. There are some marked differences between the Graber Drophead Coupe and the factory Aston. The biggest of these is the grille which is more rectangular than the traditional Aston three-part grille. It’s also lighter.
Ownership is known from new and the car has undergone a lengthy restoration and refurbishment. All issues have been sorted out and this beautiful car is ready to be driven and is eligible for a number of historic events. The pre-sale estimate is $420,000-$490,000. For the complete catalog description, click here and for more of Bonhams’ Aston Martin sale, click here.