Talbot-Lago T26 by Franay

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet by Franay

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Post-war Talbot-Lagos have always been desirable and appreciated cars. This car was shown at concours shows when it was brand new. The fact that it sports body work from one of the most sought-after coachbuilders only strengthens its case.

The T26 Grand Sport went on sale at the end of 1947 and it was a short-wheelbase version of the T26, which was introduced a year earlier. They were the sporty car in Talbot-Lagos catalog and could be had as a race car. Road cars were also constructed, with bodies from Europe’s top coachbuilders. The T26 Grand Sport is powered by a 190 horsepower version of the T26s 4.5-liter straight-six.

Only 29 cars were built on the short wheelbase and only 26 still exist. This chassis was shown at the 1949 Paris Auto Salon. Franay painted it black in 1950 and had its grille updated in 1951. The car sold in 1960 for $800 and wasn’t restored until 2010, a few owners later. This one-off T26 GS will bring slightly more this year than it did in 1960; it has an estimate of $1,300,000-$1,650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N# 110121.

Update: Sold $1,252,608.

Duesenberg J-365

1933 Duesenberg Model J Sunroof Berline by Franay

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Many French cars of the 1930s had gorgeous bodies applied to them by the top coachbuilders of France while many American cars of the 1930s had gorgeous bodies applied to them by the top coachbuilders in America. But there was some mixing and matching, like this 1933 Duesenberg Model J with a very rare sedan body that features a sunroof – built by Franay of Paris.

The Model J is powered by a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight. This particular engine, J-365, was originally fitted with a Kellner Town Car. But in late 1931, it was re-bodied (and the Kellner body was applied to J-516). With the new Franay body, J-365 was featured at the 1931 and 1932 Paris Salon.

It’s first owner, a famous socialite, bought the car in 1934 and it remained in Europe until coming to California in 1971 having had two owners since 1988. Only two Model Js were originally fitted with a sunroof and this one should bring between $750,000-$950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $715,000.

R-Type Continental by Franay

1954 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback by Franay

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 10, 2014

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Bentley R-Type was introduced in 1952 to replace the Mark VI, which was Bentley’s first Post-War car. The R-Type Continental was a two-door variant of the R-Type with increased power. It is significantly rarer and more sought after.

The aforementioned power comes from a 4.6-liter straight-six making 178 horsepower, which is about 45 more than the standard R-Type. Bentley R-Type Fastbacks are pretty popular, but most (all but 15) were coachbuilt by Mulliner. This one was built in France by Franay.

It is one of only three Franay Fastback Continentals and one of only five Franay-bodied R-Type Continentals in total. And it is one of two that are left-hand drive. This car has undergone a recent (date unknown) mechanical restoration and is ready to run. Of the 2,323 R-Types built before production ended in 1955, only 207 were Continentals. And this is one of the best of them. The pre-sale estimate is $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest or RM’s Monaco lineup.

Update: Sold $963,270.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Highlights Pt. II

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – but especially Saturday – are the big days at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona. The past few years have seen this event be strictly a No Reserve auction with every car that crosses the block selling, but this year there were some heavy-hitters in the auction’s new “5000 Series” of classics that did in fact have a reserve. And not all of them were met – like the 1955 Flajole Forerunner we featured a few weeks ago: it was a no-sale.

A few of the other cars we featured did sell – and for a boatload of money. The 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A by Castagna sold for $1,100,000. The 1928 Daimler Double Six P.1.50 Limousine brought $1,155,000. The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Town Car was hammered sold for $1,045,000. Another “bargain” was the 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II which sold for $1,430,000. Keep in mind, all of this happened within about an hour’s time.

One car we didn’t feature was this 1947 Bentley Mark VI by Franay:

It came from the collection of collector Ron Pratte and sold for $2,750,000, which was just barely more than I was going to offer to pay for it. The other mega-sales included the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow. The live television broadcast of the auction showed an overhead shot of the Silver Arrow and the lines of that car are actually perfect. It is breathtaking. It sold for $2,200,000. And the top sale of the entire auction was the 1948 Tucker Torpedo (also from Ron Pratte’s collection) which was hammered away for an astounding $2,915,000 – about three times my estimate of $1 million.

The only other million dollar sale was this all-original 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing:

$2,200,000 brought this car home. It only had 4,149 original miles on it and was one of 146 Gullwings built that year. Other highlights from Saturday included a 2009 Devon GTX – one of just two produced. It’s a Dodge Viper-based supercar that went out of production as quickly as it entered it because the Viper was axed just after the GTX was announced.

A 650 horsepower American supercar that was originally supposed to cost $500,000 sold for $220,000.

Another car that has started to interest me a little more is this Chevrolet Corvette 2003 Commemorative Edition built by Advanced Automotive Technologies. It’s a standard 2002 Corvette with a custom built body. Coachbuilding isn’t quite as vogue as it used to be but I think over time these cars won’t depreciate wildly like some other “customs.” It sold for $66,000. Another one sold on Friday for $88,000.

And of course ultra-rare muscle cars are the order of the day at Barrett-Jackson. Among Saturdays highlights was this barn-find (yet mechanically “refreshed”) 1965 Shelby GT350. I hope whoever bought it doesn’t restore it – although they paid a pretty penny for it at $385,000. 

Another rare Ford was this 1969 Ford Talladega Prototype. This car was built by Ford for Ford. It’s the only red Ram Air Talladega built. Regular Talladegas aren’t something you see everyday, much less a factory prototype. $137,500 sale price. Oh, and do everyone a favor. If you’re going to sell your car at auction and you‘re responsible for the photography: get a quality camera.

Friday also had its share of highlights including the Nash Bridges Cuda we featured. Last time it sold it was right at about $150,000. This time it sold for $88,000. Other interesting Friday cars included this 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air III Convertible ($158,400).

There were a pair of ultra-rare and very famous 1960s drag cars. First, this 1964 Ford Thunderbolt sold for $242,000.

And right after that crossed the block, this 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock rolled across. It’s an actual “Mr. Five & Fifty” drag car built by Hurst for Chrysler. It also sold for $242,000.

Something from the quirky side was this 1929 Ford Model A Snow Bird built by B.P. Arps Company of Wisconsin. This was something that was done back in 1929 and there are multiple of them out there. It could have been yours for $66,000.

In 1987, Buick took their not-your-daddy’s-Regal Grand National and souped it up to 276 horsepower and 360 lb-ft torque and called it the GNX. They built 547 of them and recently that have become the most collectible American car of the 1980s. This time capsule example with only 1,200 miles on it sold for $88,000. For a 1980s Buick.

The only thing truly odd to cross the block on Sunday was this 1971 Kelsen Sports Rider Electric. It was a street-legal microcar built in from 1963-1973 in California. There were a number of companies who built similar vehicles and I’m not sure I’d drive any of them on the street. A golf course, maybe. When new in 1971 it cost $1,295. It sold on Sunday for $1,540. It’s not really appreciation if you’ve had to sit on it for 40 years to make $250. I used to have a ’92 Century – maybe I should have held on to it and used it to start a retirement fund.

There were also hundreds of other interesting cars. Check out full results at Barrett-Jackson’s website.