Well here’s a car I never thought I’d get to feature. Bruce Mohs had his hand in a lot of various ventures, including his namesake seaplane company (though it is unclear if he ever made a seaplane). In 1967, he introduced a wild thing of a car called the Ostentatienne Opera Sedan. It was based on an International truck and was crazy expensive. Only a prototype was built (and it survives).
In 1972, he introduced the Safarikar. It was also based on an International, using a Travelall frame, aluminum panels, and an exterior covered in padded Naugahyde. The radiator surround is cartoonish, and the car features a retractable multi-piece hardtop. The doors just slide straight out (so the people in the car could hunt while moving, thus the safari part of the name). Seating is from three abreast buckets up front and a rear bench that folds into a bed. Power is from a 6.4-liter V8.
Three of these were built, and two are known to survive. The story of this car is that it was found in a parking lot in Georgia. It was later restored over a period of four years. It’s now for sale in St. Louis. The price? Well, it’s less than $350,000 if you were worried about being able to afford it. Click here for more info.
For Sale by Dragone Classic Motorcars | Orange, Connecticut
This is a car with quite a few names. I’ll start at the beginning, and you can draw your own conclusions as to what it should be called (I just went with what the dealership selling the car calls it). The Ghia and Chrysler connection of the 1950s is well documented. Chrysler spent a lot of money designing fanciful show cars in the ’50s, with styling done by Ghia (well, styling by Exner, execution by Ghia).
Ghia showed a prototype dubbed “Gilda” in 1955. Then there was Dart concept was styled by Exner in 1956, and a second version called the Diablo also appeared in ’56. Then, in 1957, Ghia showed another evolution, called the Superdart. It was reportedly created for Chrysler, but there doesn’t appear to be any Chrysler badging on this car.
Power is from a 400 horsepower Hemi V8, and the car rides on a Chrysler 300C chassis. It debuted at the 1957 Turin Motor Show and later ended up in the U.S., where it was purchased by Dual Motors, who showed the car as a Dual-Ghia prototype. Most of the internet seems to just call this car a 1958 Dual-Ghia Prototype. Which is what it was last shown as. But it’s not what it was called originally.
A private owner purchased it shortly after Dual-Ghia’s 1958 New York show appearance and actually put nearly 40,000 miles on it over nearly two decades. It’s said to be original and unrestored. Be it a Chrysler, a Ghia, or a Dual-Ghia, it remains as a fantastic piece of ’50s styling excellence. It’s for sale in Connecticut with no price listed. Click here for more info.
Eric Broadley’s Lola Cars was a long-time race car manufacturer based out of the U.K. They built open-wheel and sports cars between 1958 and 2012. In the 1970s, one of their big focuses was prototype sports cars, which included fantastic-looking racers like this one.
The T290 series was introduced in 1972 and was produced for a few years in six different variants. In all, 108 examples of the series were built, including this T296, which was made for the 1976 season. It features an aluminum monocoque and was built to accept four-cylinder engines.
This was the first of eight T296 examples produced and was purchased new by Mader Racing Components. It’s competition history includes:
1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd, DNF (with Georges Morand, Christian Blanc, and Frederic Alliot)
1978 24 Hours of Le Mans – 40th, DNF (with Morand, Blanc, and Eric Vaugnat)
1979 24 Hours of Le Mans – 48th, DNF (with Vaugnat, Daniel Laurent, and Jacques Boillat)
It’s competitive career ended after the 1980 season, but before the decade was out, the car was active again on the historic circuit. It featured a Ford-Cosworth engine in-period, but is now powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter BMW M12 inline-four. This car a green card into almost any historic automotive event, and it can now be yours. Click here for more info.
The XK150, which was produced from 1957 through 1961, was the final iteration of Jaguar’s first post-war sports car, the XK120. The XK120 of 1948 featured a 3.4-liter straight-six designed by William Heynes, and that engine remained in various production vehicles through 1992 (!).
The XK150, like the cars before it, was offered in three body-style configurations: coupe, drophead coupe, or roadster. It could also be had in base, SE, or S form. The S and SE cars were either powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six or a larger 3.8-liter inline-six. This car has the latter, which was rated at 265 horsepower with triple SU carburetors – the most of any XK120/140/150 variant.
This roadster, or OTS (open two-seater) in Jaguar parlance, is finished in cream over red and was restored in 1998. This is best of all of the early XKs, and it’s now offered by private sale. Click here for more info.
The World Sportscar Championship was a serious place to be in the 1970s. Some of the most legendary race cars of all time came out of manufacturer desperation to win in this series. Its golden era was roughly between 1966 and 1981, when Group C appeared and everything changed.
So it’s no wonder that Alfa Romeo’s “33” line of endurance racing prototypes was updated fairly frequently between 1966 and 1977. The Tipo 33/3 was introduced in 1967, and by 1969 they realized they could do better. They entered the Tipo 33 TT 3 beginning in 1971.
Differences included a steel space-frame chassis and redesigned cylinder heads for the 3.0-liter V8 that upped output to 440 horsepower (at a shrieking 9,800 rpm). This car was a factory Autodelta racer, and it’s competition history includes:
1972 24 Hours of Le Mans – 4th (with Andrea de Adamich and Nino Vaccarella)
The car was sold in 1974 to a privateer and later passed through a number of collections. It raced at the Le Mans Classic in 2012 and was last on track there in 2018. Alfa shifted to 12-cylinders after this, making the 33 TT 3 the last great V8-powered Alfa prototype racer. It can now be yours, and more info is available here.
AC’s first post-war product was the 2-Litre, a kind of frumpy-looking thing using an engine that dated back to 1922. In 1953, they decided to put a sports car into production that was based on a John Tojeiro design. That same dated 2.0-liter engine was the initial underhood offering, but things soon got more exciting.
Beginning in 1956, AC offered a 2.0-liter inline-six from Bristol that made 120 horsepower. Sadly, this engine was also based on a pre-war design, but it made the car capable of 116 mph, which really upped AC’s sports car cred. They won their class at Le Mans and were popular on the sports car racing circuit. By 1961, a Ford-based 2.6-liter inline-six was offered for a short time. AC also offered a coupe version called the Aceca.
The Ace ceased production in 1963, but by that point, an American called Carroll Shelby had found the car and stuffed a V8 into it and called it the Cobra. The Ace name would also reappear in the 1990s on a different car.
In all, 463 Aces were built with a Bristol powerplant, the most common of the three engines offered. But it’s still rare, and it’s still “one of those cars.” It’s sports car royalty, and it’s for sale by Bonhams for $423,164. Click here for more info.
For Sale by Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd | London, U.K.
The Jensen CV8 was one of the fastest four-seat cars of the early 1960s. A two-door grand tourer, the CV8 was produced in three series between 1962 and 1966. Only 500 were produced, all but two of which were hardtop coupes.
The factory produced two non-coupes: a targa-like Sedanca and a single convertible, which is the car you see here. This car started life as a Mark II chassis and received some of the Mark III touches before it was completed.
Power is from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 330 horsepower. The car is now offered in London and has a long detailed story that you can read more of here.
The McLaren M8A was a Can-Am car developed by Bruce McLaren himself for the 1968 Can-Am season. The suffix kept changing all the way down to the M8F as the car’s progression developed. Can-Am, if you recall, was the most badass racing series of all time. The rules were simple: two seats, closed bodywork over the wheels, and a roll hoop. Run whatcha brung.
The M8F was developed for the 1971 season and used a lengthened chassis, an aluminum monocoque, and lower bodywork when compared to earlier cars. The car was designed around a Chevy V8, and this car featured a 7.5-liter unit accompanied by two turbochargers when new. That equated to 930 horsepower. Since being retired, that monster engine was replaced by a naturally aspirated V8.
The car competed in the Interserie Championship in 1972 and 1973. Interserie was kind of like a European Can-Am series that would go even more bonkers as time marched on. The M8F was the final iteration of Bruce McLaren‘s Can-Am creation, and this one can now be yours. See more about it here.
The classic longhood-style Porsche 911 was produced from 1965 until 1973. It reached its peak right at the end before the impact bumpers arrived. The Carrera RS (for Rennsport) debuted for 1973 and has become one of, if not the ultimate classic 911.
Available only in 1973, the Carrera RS 2.7 was powered by a 2.7-liter flat-six that was good for 207 horsepower. That might seem puny, but this is a driver’s car. In fact, it only exists because Porsche needed to homologate the 911 for racing. They ended up building 1,580 examples in 1973.
That number was split between Touring and Lightweight models, and a majority of them were Touring cars. Only 200 featured a lack of sound insulation, thinner glass, and thinner body panels. The Lightweight also lacked a radio, clock, glovebox, and more. This was the beginning of Porsche charging more for less.
Despite all of those missing items, this car was spec’d from the factory with an electric sunroof (one of only three Lightweights with that option). It’s finished in Light Yellow with the classic lower body graphics, and it will require quite the sum to take it home. Check out more about this car here.
For Sale by Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California
I thought we featured this car a long time ago, but apparently not. So here we are. The 1950s were the golden age of this sort of sports racing special. This particular car was named for two gentlemen: Bill Sadler and Van Meyer. The car started as Meyer’s own rail-frame special that he competed with for a number of years.
In 1958, he took that car to Bill Sadler, who ended up building a number of Sadler-branded race cars. He also heavily reworked Meyer’s special. It used a ladder frame and a Pontiac V8. The aluminum body is reminiscent of a period Maserati. Sadler was successful campaigning the car in hillclimb events before eventually selling it.
The car has changed hands a few times and has been restored twice, most recently in 2008. The engine was replaced over the years and is now a 5.6-liter Chevrolet V8 that makes 425 horsepower. Fantasy Junction sold this car once in 2015 (which is probably why I thought we featured it) and now they’ve got it back. It’ll run you $395,000. Click here for more info.