March 2020 Auction Highlights

March begins with Amelia Island, where Bonhams sold this 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster for $7,100,000.

Photo – Bonhams

The 1907 Renault Vanderbilt Racer was another big sale, bringing $3,332,500. Two old German cars sold, but the final sales prices were not listed, presumably because the new buyer is weird. They were the Opel Phaeton and the Demarest Benz. The other Benz failed to sell, as did a previously-featured Boyer and Knox.

The Volkswagen Kubelwagen sold for $58,240, and the Schwimmwagen $145,600. And the Marcos GT went for $33,600. Final results can be found here.

RM’s Amelia sale boringly saw this 2003 Ferrari Enzo sell for the most money (there were so many cool classics here, so a late model Ferrari is kind of a bummer). It sold for $2,782,500.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, led by two Duesenbergs. The Stationary Victoria sold for $1,325,000, and the Convertible Coupe brought $1,132,500. Cars that crossed the $100k mark included the Talbot-Lago at $250,000 and the Muntz Jet at $117,600.

The 1907 Cadillac sold for $53,200, the Nash-Healey brought $89,600, and the Offy-powered Indy car went for $95,200. A previously-featured Roamer also sold for $95,200. Click here for complete results.

Historics Auctioneers held a sale on March 7. The EJS-Climax we featured way back failed to sell here, as did the Bristol Brigand and the Panhard 24. The top sale was for this $404,519 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II.

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

The Mean Can-Am sold for $36,928, and more results can be found here.

Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale saw this 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton by Kellner lead the way at $2,205,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Porsche 356B Super Coupe sold for $395,500, and the Lamborghini failed to sell. More results are provided here.

Aguttes’ March sale might just be the last one we get to recap for while, considering that most sales in late March and heading into April and May have been either canceled or postponed until later in the year. You know, pandemic and all.

The Facel Vega we featured sold for about $74,345, and the overall top sale was this 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca for $750,825. The rest of the results are posted here.

Photo – Aguttes

Porsche 356B by Beutler

1961 Porsche 356B Super Coupe by Beutler

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The 356B was built by Porsche between 1960 and 1963 and featured styling and technical advances compared to earlier cars. This particular example is one of five constructed by Beutler of Switzerland. It’s… bookish.

Power is from a 1.6-liter flat-four good for 75 horsepower. Design cues for this four-seat coupe include a larger greenhouse and a flat rear deck, both striking features when compared to the standard, quite round, 356. The two-tone paint is also a win.

This is believed to be the one that Beutler showed at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show. The rare coachbuilt bodywork really runs the price up, though. You’re looking at a pre-sale estimate of $400,000-$600,000 to take this home. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $395,500.

Centenario Roadster

2017 Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4 Roadster

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

Lamborghini launched the Centenario at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show to celebrate company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. It’s based on the Aventador SV and shares that car’s carbon-fiber monocoque, although it uses more extreme aerodynamics. It’s also the first Lambo with rear-wheel steering.

The engine is also shared. It’s a 759 horsepower, 6.5-liter V12, which is more output than in the SV. The car will hit 60 in 2.8 seconds and tops out at 217 mph. This car is finished in a really nice two-tone blue with a lot of carbon fiber exterior accents.

Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were built. This roadster is expected to bring between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

January 2020 Auction Highlights

We kick off in January with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona where the top sale was this 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster that sold for $2,370,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, with the V-16 Cadillac leading the way at $1,105,000. Following that was the Hispano-Suiza at $445,000 and the Shelby Series I at $91,840. Other sales included the Chalmers for $61,600, the Locomobile for $58,240, and the Kaiser for $10,080. Click here for complete results.

Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual-Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000. The Model A Duesenberg, and a previously-featured Model J, both failed to sell. More results are available here.

We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.

Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.

On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.

Across town was Russo & Steele, who managed to move this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,045,000. The Rambler Marlin we featured went for $8,800. A great buy. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Finally, we have Bonhams at Retromobile. The top overall sale was this 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport that sold for $5,045,740.

Photo – Bonhams

Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.

Other sales included the Devin D for $100,914 and the Toyota F1 roller for $90,823. No sales were the Bugatti 39, Zagato Mostro, and the previously-featured Miller Shooting Brake and Brasier saloon. More results can be found here.

Bugatti Type 59

1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

After Bugatti’s Type 35 series of cars finished their run as some of the best Grand Prix cars of the era, Bugatti went and introduced the Type 51 in 1931. The development of that car culminated in the Type 59 of 1933, the last pre-war Bugatti Grand Prix car.

It is powered by a 250 horsepower, supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight. Only eight examples were built. Ralph Lauren has one, but his is restored. This car is as it was in 1938. It’s an ex-factory Bugatti team car, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1934 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Rene Dreyfus)
  • 1934 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Dreyfus)

After the 1935 season, the car’s supercharger was removed and it went sports car racing with revised bodywork. In 1938, it was painted in its current black and was acquired by King Leopold III of Belgium. It’s had four owners since and is now estimated to bring “in excess” of $13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bugatti Type 35C

1928 Bugatti Type 35C

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

Bugatti’s Type 35 line of Grand Prix cars were some of best racing cars of their era. Their design has held up well, and this car has about every bit of patina you could ask for, wearing a repaint from approximately 1932.

The 35C is powered by a supercharged 2.0-liter inline-eight capable of 125 horsepower. It features four-wheel drum brakes and a four-speed transmission. This particular example was entered by the Bugatti factory in the 1928 Targa Florio. Results are unknown, but Louis Chiron drove one of the team’s two 35C entries, Gastone Brilli-Peri the other. They finished 40th and 50th, respectively.

Only 50 examples of the 35C were built, and this one has known ownership history since new, including three Belgian owners spanning the last 60 years. Mechanically restored, the car otherwise remains as it was in the 1930s. Gooding expects this to bring “more than $4 million.” Click here for more info and here for the other lots from this interesting sale.

250 GT Series II Cabriolet

1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Cabriolet by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

There were quite a number of models in Ferrari’s 250 GT range, but only four drop-top models: the short- and long-wheelbase California Spider, and the less pricey Pinin Farina Cabriolets, which were offered in two series.

Pinin Farina’s Series II 250 GT Cabriolet was introduced in October 1959 and was the most expensive car in the 250 GT line when new. It is powered by a 240 horsepower, 3.0-liter V12. The differences between the Series I and Series II were slight but included revised front-end styling and four-wheel disc brakes from Dunlop.

This dark red example has had four owners since new and is the 68th of 200 examples produced. It should sell for between $1,300,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,462,500.

Duesenberg Opera Coupe

1926 Duesenberg Model A Opera Coupe

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Model A was Duesenberg’s first production automobile after years of building racing cars and engines. It was a few other firsts as well: it was the first car produced with hydraulic brakes and the first U.S.-based production car with a straight-eight engine.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter straight-eight, in fact, that makes 88 horsepower. Production lasted from 1921 through 1926, and only about 650 examples were produced. This one comes from near the end of the run and wears an Opera Coupe body by the McNear Body Company of Brookline, Massachusetts.

This is said to be the only Model A with this coachwork. It is expected to bring between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl

1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton by Binder

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

The J12 was the pinnacle of Hispano-Suiza motorcars. It was introduced in 1931 and replaced the H6 line of cars that dated back to 1919. The model was produced by the French arm of the company and lasted through the end of Hispano-Suiza production in 1938.

It’s powered by a 9.4-liter V12 equipped with two carburetors and good for 220 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It was no slouch in its day. This car carries beautiful dual cowl phaeton coachwork from Binder. Of the 114 examples of the J12 built, only 10 survivors are open cars.

Provenance is where this car really shines. It was purchased by Briggs Cunningham in 1954. It later made its way to the Collier Collection in Florida, where it remained until it went back to the West Coast in 1988, entering the Blackhawk Collection. That’s where the current owner bought it in the 1990s. That’s quite the lineage. The expected price tag is $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,425,000.

1913 Isotta Indy Car

1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’re kind of saving the best for last for this year’s Monterey auctions. What we have here is an early Isotta Fraschini… with period Indianapolis 500 race history. Isotta was founded in 1900, and most of their surviving cars in private hands tend to be the big, beautiful ones from the late 1920s and early 1930s.

To see one this “early” – 13 years into their production – is pretty rare. The engine is a 135 horsepower, 7.2-liter inline-four. A monster. The Tipo IM was built specifically to compete at Indy at a time when many manufacturers were hoping for glory at the Brickyard for the promotional benefit that would surely follow. If only Indy still had that kind of manufacturer pull and aura of innovation. The racing history for this chassis includes:

  • 1913 Indianapolis 500 – 17th, DNF (with Teddy Tetzlaff)
  • 1914 Indianapolis 500 – 27th, DNF (with Ray Gilhooey)

Only six examples of the Tipo IM were built. This one DNF’d at Indy twice, first with a broken drive chain and again in 1914 after a blown tire resulting in a driver-ejecting spin and subsequent rollover. Gilhooey and his riding mechanic survived.

By 1917 it had been re-bodied in New York and sold to a private owner as a road car. It was restored by a later owner in the 1960s and was purchased by the consignor in 1995. Since then, the car has been restored again, this time to its 1914 Indy 500 specification. Many early 500 cars didn’t survive. This one has, and it’s wonderful. The pre-sale estimate is $3,000,000-$4,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,645,000.