Three Prototypes

Three Prototypes

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018


2004 Ford GT Confirmation Prototype CP4

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

We’ve featured prototypes of the original Ford GT40, but here’s one of what we’ll call the “second coming” of the GT. The original concept car for this model debuted in 2002 and it’s thought that Ford built nine “confirmation prototypes” of which this is CP4, or vehicle #00007. Its purpose was to be the test bed for ride, steering, handling, and climate control systems.

All black, it was the first GT to hit 200 mph. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 making 550 horsepower. It joined the collection it is being sold from in 2012 and it is street legal. It’s the only “CP car” from the GT program that is road-registered and not governed to 15 mph. It’s thought that only four GT prototypes remain and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $467,500.


1997 Ford Ghia Vivace Concept

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Well here’s a weird one. It looks like the love child of a Ford Ka and a last-gen Mercury Cougar (it’s actually based on a Mondeo platform aka the Ford Contour). It’s honestly pretty crazy this car still exists at all. It’s just a rolling concept car – there’s no engine, no interior. It’s just a two-door coupe body with some wheels on a chassis.

Ford and Ghia teamed up for two concept cars in 1997 just to explore new shapes and using aluminium space-frame construction. The body is fiberglass, the wheels don’t steer, and the doors don’t even open. It’s like having a rolling brick. Not much to do with it other than look at it. But hey, at the same time, you’re going to be the only person who has one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,650.


1960 Seagrave Prototype

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

In 1960, the Seagrave Fire Apparatus, the longest-running producer of fire apparatus in the United States dating back to 1881, decided they wanted to build passenger cars. But not just normal American passenger cars, but economy cars. This in 1960, when American automobiles were perhaps approaching their largest.

This two-door hardtop is much smaller than the photo above makes it look and it weighed in at only 1,700 pounds. Seagrave managed to build three prototypes (two in fiberglass, one in aluminium), and this fiberglass example was powered by a 2.7-liter Continental straight-four engine capable of 65 horsepower. It was pulled out of a barn in Michigan in 2013 and is restoration ready. It’s one of the most interesting cars for sale in Auburn this year. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,000.

Bond Equipe

1970 Bond Equipe 2-Litre GT Mk II

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | April 21, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Bond Cars Ltd was a British manufacturer primarily known for their three-wheeled vehicles, namely the Bond Minicar and the Bond Bug. The Equipe, which was introduced in 1963, was their first foray into the world of four-wheeled vehicles.

The Equipe was built through 1970 when Reliant, who had acquired Bond, shuttered Bond’s Preston, England, factory. There were five different Equipe models with this, the 2-Litre being available from 1967 through the end of production in 1970. A two-door Saloon and Convertible were offered. This is obviously the saloon. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter Triumph straight-four that made 95 horsepower (or 105 as the catalog states).

Styling on the 2-Litre differed rather dramatically from earlier cars and it was the final iteration of the model. In all, 591 examples of the two-door saloon were built, which makes it rarer than its convertible counterpart. This 48,000km example looks nice and will go under the hammer in Switzerland later this month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Cannon GT

1964 Cannon GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Mike Cannon was originally from Australia but it was when he came to the U.K. that he got hooked on trials racing. He made quite a name for himself at it and ended up building a series of really basic trials cars – about 120 in total – that saw a fair amount of success on the off-road hillclimbs.

In the 1960s, Cannon decided to take his skills to the pavement and his goal was to beat the popular – and winning – Diva GT. He built a spaceframe chassis and coated it with fiberglass and aluminium skin. Underneath is a 1.1-liter Ford straight-four.

It is believed that only two of these were ever actually built. It kind of looks like a British Cheetah. It’s been pretty active on the historic racing circuit and is looking for a new wheelman (or woman) to keep it going. It should sell for between $34,000-$41,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,256.

Abarth Monomille

1963 Fiat-Abarth Monomille GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Padua, Italy | October 28, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Fiat-Abarth 750 was a tiny sports car manufactured by Abarth beginning in the late 1950s. The famous Zagato “Double Bubble” variant is highly sought after today. Thanks to that car’s success, in late 1960, Abarth shoved a larger engine in their Fiat 600-based car and the Monomille was born.

Early Scorpione cars carried bodies by Beccaris and this, a later GT version, sports a fastback body by Sibona & Basano. The engine is a 1.0-liter straight-four that was tuned in the 1990s to 80-ish horsepower (up from the original 60). These cars were expensive when new, costing nearly a third more than a Porsche 356.

This pricing model might explain why the Monomille is so rare today. This car, whose restoration was completed three years ago, is one of four GT models that still exist. It should bring between $110,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $120,111.

Jensen GT

1975 Jensen GT

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 8, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Brothers Richard and Alan Jensen built their first Austin Seven-based cars in the mid-1920s. In the 1930s they began modifying Fords before turning to full scale production of their own designs in 1935.

In 1972 the company introduced the Jensen-Healey, the best-selling car in company history. It was a two-door convertible that lasted through 1976, when the company folded. A year prior to that, they presented this “shooting brake” version of the Jensen-Healey, and called it the GT. This wagon-esque car featured a tiny rear seat and shared the Healey’s 2.0-liter straight-four (which was a Lotus-designed engine) that makes 144 horsepower.

This is, perhaps, the best-looking Jensen GT I’ve ever seen. Well-restored, it’s a 61,000 mile car in bright Atlantic Blue with a large cloth sunroof, chin spoiler and wire wheels. The GT was only produced for a span of eight months, with just 511 cars constructed before Jensen closed up shop. This one should bring between $17,900-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $20,194.

APAL Horizon

1968 APAL Horizon GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

APAL began as a Belgian company that built cars based on Volkswagens and Porsches, beginning in Liege in 1961. As the years went on, APAL turned more toward replicas and beach buggies, eventually relocating to Germany in 1998. They still sell kits and parts today.

Edmond Pery, the founder of APAL, understood fiberglass: how to make it and why it was great for cars. The Horizon was an original design that kind of resembles a VW Beetle-based kit car of the era… like a Bradley or something. This car is VW-powered as a 1.7-liter flat-four sits well behind the passenger compartment. It puts out an impressive 100 horsepower.

Good news for sun lovers: this car is technically a targa: the roof panel is removable and can be stowed on board. This particular example has been restored and has never been road registered, making it, essentially, a brand new car. Only 10 Horizon GT Coupes were built out of a total of about 150 APAL coupes of original design. This rarity should bring between $53,000-$74,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,969.

Cheetah GT

1964 Cheetah GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Shortly after the sporty Corvette went on sale, tuners got their hands on it and began modifying it for racing. Bill Thomas was one of those tuners and he began his career in 1956. GM was impressed and paid him to help with the Corvair and Chevy II.

Thomas also opened Bill Thomas Race Cars in 1960 in Southern California. When Ford partnered with Shelby, General Motors felt a little left out and went to Thomas to see what could be done about it. Thing was, GM had a ban on factory racing so they had to support the program covertly.

So Bill Thomas and Don Edmunds designed the Cheetah. Chevrolet supplied the 400+ horsepower 5.5-liter V-8 and a bunch of other parts. The first two cars were bodied in aluminium by California Metal Shaping. After GM gave the thumbs up, the rest of the cars were fiberglass, done by Contemporary Fiberglass. GM wanted 100 cars to homologate it for FIA competition but they cancelled their support after only 11 cars were made between 1963 and 1965.

This is the fourth fiberglass Cheetah built. It was one of three purchased by Alan Green Chevrolet in Seattle and the only one of those to see action on the track, competing in the SCCA. A subsequent owner converted it for street use, which included stamping his own serial number on the chassis and replacing the body. In 2012, the original body was put back on the car.

There were extra chassis and bodies completed, but only 11 actual cars were ever built, turn-key, by the factory. These are legendary American performance machines that are much rarer than Shelby’s counterpart (and also like the Cobra, originals are way outnumbered by replicas). They rarely change hands and this fully restored example should bring between $300,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1957 Frick Special

1957 Frick Special GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 5, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Bill Frick found his automotive niche prepping and modifying race cars in the 1950s and 60s. He worked in NASCAR and had his own shop in New York. Before the War, Frick got his start swapping engines and he returned to his origins in the 50s when Cadillac introduced a new V-8.

In 1953 Frick created a car called the “Studillac” which had a Cadillac V-8 stuffed into a 1953 Studebaker. He got the car bodied by Vignale and set up shop to offer them for sale. But ultimately only three were built – the original “Studillac” prototype, a convertible and this coupe.

The engine is a 5.4-liter Cadillac V-8 making a very solid 270 horsepower. The body, designed by Michelotti and built by Vignale, resembles other Vignale cars of the era, specifically those from Ferrari. This car cost $9,000 when new and was first sold in Michigan.

The current owner acquired it in 1989 and the car is all original (though, it has been repainted). It has a tick over 40,000 miles and known ownership history from new. It’s the only one like it and should bring between $180,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Diablo GT

2001 Lamborghini Diablo GT

Offered by Coys | Monaco | May 14, 2016

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

The Lamborghini Diablo was one of the best supercars of the 1990s. It was the brand’s main model and was in production between 1990 and 2001. It started production while Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler and continued through Megatech’s rocky years and on into the “present” under the stewardship of Volkswagen’s Audi.

The Diablo got a slight facelift in 1999 and there had been various models of the Diablo produced previously and that continued right up until the end. One of the final special edition models was the GT. It was the “track day” variant – it had a spartan interior, more aggressive bodywork and a tuned engine. That engine is a 5.7-liter V-12 making 575 horsepower. It is rear-wheel drive.

Only 80 Diablo GTs were produced and they cost nearly $300,000 when new. They were never officially sold in the U.S. (though there are some cars here). This is car #73 and it is as it was from the factory, with the exception of a nicer radio (yes, those are the stock wheels). It’s been in Europe all its life and is expected to bring between $700,000-$775,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold, about $700,000.

Puma GT

1972 Puma GT Coupe

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 1, 2016

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Brazil is on the board! It’s always interesting to add a new country to our geographical list of cars and Brazil is the newest addition. Puma was based in São Paolo and they got their start in 1966. Brazil was a strange case –  it’s a huge country and imported cars were very expensive. Only manufacturers that built cars in Brazil really sold them there: like GM and VW.

So what do you think this Puma is based on? That’s right, a Volkswagen. It’s got a rear-mounted 1.6-liter flat-four. Complete cars were available in Brazil and some were exported to the U.S. in kit form. A convertible was also offered.

The Puma GT was built between 1968 and lasted up through 1995 when the company went under (the car’s popularity across the sea is one reason the company sprang back to life in 2006 in South Africa). This GT is one of 330 Coupes built in 1972 (they built 484 total cars that year). Puma’s total production as a marque was over 22,000 cars. This car is fully restored and comes out of a Brazilian collection. It should bring between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,250.