When you bought a Model J Duesenberg, what you were buying from the company was a chassis, engine, firewall, and front grille. The rest of the car, more or less, would come from a coachbuilder of your choosing.
But someone had designed that front grille – so what if that guy designed the entire package? Well that someone was Gordon Buehrig, and he designed the Victoria Coupe for Judkins, who applied the bodywork to two separate short-wheelbase Model J chassis. This is one of them.
It’s powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight putting out 265 horsepower. This car has known ownership history back to new and was restored in the early 1990s, with a more recent freshening. It’s been in the Hyman Ltd collection for four years and is now for sale for just a smidge under $2 million. Click here for more info.
For sale at Kaaimans International | Tollerton, U.K.
Jaguar has a pretty good history with supercars. During the 1950s and 1960s, they were producing the fastest cars in the world. They did it again in the 1990s. In 2010, they partnered with the Williams F1 team to build this, the C-X75. The original concept car used four electric motors – one at each wheel – whose batteries were fed by two diesel-powered turbines.
Pretty wild stuff. The package itself is pretty exotic, with hints of the F-Type at the front end. It would’ve made for a great (traditional) hybrid supercar. They were going to build an electric version, but the economy sucked, so they didn’t.
But what they did do in 2013 before the production car’s hopes were dashed, was build a limited run of developmental prototypes. Five of them, supposedly. Here’s where it gets confusing. They built five of these development cars, right? Well, they also supplied seven of them to the makers of the James Bond film Spectre. One of those seven is said to also have been one of the five prototypes. So what are we at then, 12 cars?
The other non-prototype six were custom-built for the movie, some to be crashed, etc. They had space frame construction, spartan interiors, and were really meant just to be pretty from the outside. Both the prototypes and Bond cars were reportedly powered by turbocharged and supercharged 1.6-liter engines paired with two electric motors. That combination was good for 890 horsepower.
This car, however, has a plaque inside stating it is one of four stunt vehicles used in the movie. And the online listing states it has a 5.0-liter engine. So I really don’t know how to wrap this all up and make sense of it, other than to say it looks beautiful. If it runs and is street legal in Europe, I’m sure it’s grand (except for that workhorse concept car-like interior). At any rate, it will be too expensive for most, with the price being available upon request. Click here for more info.
Here’s another over-the-top supercar from Ken Okuyama Design. It is said that production was supposed to have been undertaken, with a maximum of five examples to be produced. But it is unclear if any examples other than this were built.
The car is based around a Ferrari 599 GTB chassis, but the top has been lopped off in favor of a true roadster body style with rear-hinged batwing-style doors. The body is made of carbon fiber, and power is from a 6.0-liter V12 making 702 horsepower.
It will be interesting to see what cars like this do in the future. It’s like the modern-day equivalent of a 1930s coachbuilt special or a 1950s fiberglass one-off. It is for sale in Tokyo, and more info can be found about the car on Okuyama’s website.
Ken Okuyama is a Japanese industrial designer and heads his own design company. He used to work a Pininfarina and was responsible for cars like the Ferrari Enzo and 599 GTB Fiorano. Under the auspices of his own company, Ken Okuyama Design, he has crafted a handful of over-the-top supercars
This is the Kode 0, a one-off creation that resembles the spawn of a Lamborghini Aventador and Huracan. Power is from a 6.5-liter V12 making 700 horsepower. And while Okuyama won’t admit it, it’s pretty obvious this is based around Lambo bits and pieces. The body is made of carbon fiber, and some of it isn’t painted.
This is the only example built. More information about it is available on Okuyama’s website here. It is for sale in Tokyo (the dealer’s website isn’t working at the moment). Price is available on request.
This might be the most exciting classic commercial vehicle to be offered for public sale in years. You will never see another one. Especially not in this condition. Little Giant was the name under which a line of commercial vehicles from the Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company were sold.
They were only actually offered between 1911 and 1917 – a very short time and were sold on a 1-ton chassis powered by a flat-twin engine and 2-speed gearbox. A few “factory” body styles were offered, including this bus (which appears to function more like a paddywagon).
Only 10 examples from this marque are thought to still exist, and as I said, you won’t find another in this condition. This one was found in 2009 and restored to “better than new condition” – which is a serious understatement. Even calling it a Concours restoration seems like you’re slighting the work put in. It really is amazing, and you can go buy it in St. Louis today. The price isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. Click here for more info.
For sale at Galantica Collection | Crans-Montana, Switzerland
Photo – Galantica Collection
American cars of the late-1970s weren’t great. There were some that were okay, but why Peter Monteverdi chose the Plymouth Valiant as a base for his new boutique luxury car, the Sierra, I’m not really sure. He must’ve gotten a hell of a deal.
The Sierra was sold primarily as a sedan and somewhere between 20 and 50 of those were built. He also built a very limited Cabriolet – so limited that only two were built. These were based on the Dodge Diplomat of the era. The cabriolet has a 178 horsepower, 5.9-liter V-8. Styling was by Fissore and it helped turn the dud of a Dodge into something resembling a nice Fiat.
1935 Duesenberg Model J Special Berline by Judkins
For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri
Photo – Hyman Ltd.
I was recently at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana, and I was talking to someone who worked there who described the Model J Duesenberg to me as a “clean sheet, ground-up, no expense spared design to rival the best Europe had to offer.” Well the designers really over-delivered and the result was essentially the best car in the world.
Three different wheelbases would ultimately be offered, with this car sporting the optional “long” wheelbase, which is the preferred length for cars with opulent, closed bodywork. After 1932, a bare chassis (which included the 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight engine) would run you $9,500. A majority of the Model J engine and chassis were built in 1929 and 1930 but the economy didn’t produce as many buyers as boss man E.L. Cord might’ve liked and Duesenberg continued to sell chassis up through 1937.
This car was purchased in 1935 and sent to Judkins in Massachusetts to be fitted with this “Special” sedan body. It’s been fully restored to as-new condition and has already won awards. It’s now for sale in St. Louis for just over $1 million. Click here for more info.
For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California
Photo – Fantasy Junction
The modern BMW 335 is a six-cylinder car and a member of BMW’s 3-Series lineup. It’s a popular model, but it sits sort of near the bottom of the BMW range. But in 1940 the 335 was as good as it got (unless you hopped up to the sports car-only 328). Introduced in 1939, this model didn’t really get a fair shot with the war about to break out. It was produced into 1941 before passenger car production was halted.
This car is powered by a 90 horsepower, 3.5-liter straight-six (hey look at that, BMW’s model name numbering system used to make sense!). Top speed, dependent on body style, was up to 90 mph. This model could be had as a four-door sedan, two-door cabriolet, or, as you see here, a stately four-door cabriolet.
It seems like Mercedes-Benz (and even Horch to a lesser extent) always gets all of the spotlight when it comes to these Reich-era open-top Autobahn cruisers. Pre-war, BMW rarely enters the conversation unless you’re talking about the 328. Part of the reason is scarcity. Only 415 examples of the 335 were built. Only five four-door cabriolets still exist (of the 40 built by this coachbuilder). Compare that to some of the Mercedes survival numbers and it’s easy to see why the Benzes always show up in films.
This example was restored in 2007 and it still looks fresh. You have to wonder who was in a position to buy such an extravagant car in 1939 and what life it lived during the war. It was brought to the U.S. by a member of the military and it remained here pretty much ever since. This car marked a high point for BMW that they wouldn’t equal for quite some time. It’s currently for sale in California for $495,000. Click here for more info.
For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California
Photo – Fantasy Junction
Carlo Abarth’s little company first put its name on cars at the tail end of the 1940s. In the following decades they were responsible for many “Fiat-Abarth” cars and even some original designs of their own. While a lot of these originals were prototype race cars, there were some very obscure cars that could’ve been used on the street too (it would take some creative talking at your local DMV to get a license plate on this one, however).
The 207/A was built in 1955 and it’s a sports racing car built at the request of an importer in the U.S. The 207/A, with sporty body by Boano, was powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four from the Fiat 1100. Of course, Abarth had their way with the engine and it’s more powerful than it would’ve been in any Fiat.
This particular example is the first 207/A built and its period racing history includes:
1955 12 Hours of Sebring – DQ’d, with John Bentley and Jim McGee
It continued to race through 1957 and didn’t see the track again until it entered the historic circuit in 1986. It’s been restored and is fully prepped and ready for the track. Only 10 were built and they do not change hands often. Get your hands on the very first one for $275,000. Click here for more info.
Can we just state the obvious here and say that this car is just plain beautiful. I can see how some people might say that it’s garish, but supercars are supposed to be gaudy to some degree. This thing – from the design, to the beautiful blue color and carbon fiber accents, to the wheels, to the missing roof, to the big spoiler – it is just perfect. It’s almost unreal, looking more like a made up supercar from a video game than something you’d actually see on the road. But I think that’s the point.
The Koenigsegg CCX (and its derivatives) were on sale between 2006 and 2010. The CCXR was the “eco” model of the CCX. Eco is kind of misleading: it can run on E85 or “standard” 98 octane fuel. The engine is a twin-supercharged 4.7-liter V-8 that, when fueled with an ethanol blend, will pump out a ludicrous 1,018 horsepower. Top speed is listed as “in excess of 250 mph” and 60 arrives in just 3.1 seconds. Only a handful of cars ever built can attain this kind of performance.
Only 48 CCXs were built of all types. This car is a standard CCXR (not one of the two Special Edition cars) but it is a one off in its features and color and name. There is a roof should you find it necessary to drive it in the rain. It was built for a member of the royal family of Qatar but was road registered in London at one point and is now for sale in Dubai. You’ll need to inquire here for price.