Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 16, 2022
If I call this a Ferrari, I annoy purists who insist it was never sold as a Ferrari, which is true. If I don’t call it a Ferrari, I get eye rolls from everyone who agrees that, even though they were badged as “Dinos” in the 1970s, they are, for all intents and purposes, Ferraris. This is also true.
A third truth is that these are beautiful cars that were underappreciated for a long time. I think of it like 911 owners who look down upon Boxsters… presumably because they cost less yet are just as capable with, perhaps, a better overall balance.
The Dino 246 was sold between 1969 and 1974, available in closed-coupe GT form or targa-top GTS form. There were 2,295 closed coupes built, which outnumbered the open cars by about a thousand. Power is from a 2.4-liter V6 rated at 192 horsepower.
This was a British-market example when delivered new in Rosso Chiaro over black. It was restored in the 2000s and now has an estimate of $305,000-$370,000. Click here for more info.
1952 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 GT Villa d’Este Cabriolet by Touring
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022
The 2500 version of Alfa Romeo’s 6C was really the best version of the model. Produced from 1938 through 1953 (with a break for the war), the car featured various improvements over its predecessors, which dated back to 1927.
There were some excellent coachbuilt versions of this chassis, including one-offs. But a few of the more “standard” variants also featured bodies from top European coachbuilders. One such model was the Ville d’Este, with bodies by Carrozzeria Touring. It’s powered by a triple-carbureted 2.4-liter inline-six that was rated at 110 horsepower.
The Villa d’Este was a coupe in standard form. It was also the final hand-built Alfa Romeo. Just 36 were built, with only five of those being cabriolets, which makes this one pretty special car. Click here for more info.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | March 18, 2022
Here’s another Bandini, one that seems somehow even smaller than the others. The 750 GT was not a model that ever entered “production” by Bandini and was instead a one-off. It features aluminum Zagato coachwork over a elliptical tube chassis that supposedly only weighs about 60 pounds.
Power is from a twin-cam 750cc inline-four rated at 67 horsepower when new. The car made its way to the U.S. by 1959, when it started upon a sports car racing career that included:
1960 12 Hours of Sebring – DNF (with Victor Lukens)
There were a few class victories sprinkled in during the 1960 season as well. The car was purchased by Ilario Bandini’s nephew in 1998, returned to Italy, and restored. It’s now offered from his collection with an estimate of $450,000-$700,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | January 2022
Kudzu was a racing car constructor that debuted in the late 1980s. The cars competed in IMSA’s GTP prototype category and came from racer Jim Downing’s shop. One of Downing’s race engineers was John Evans, who decided to try his hand at building prototype-style road cars.
Evans Automobiles was founded in the late 1980s as well, and this, I think, was their first offering. It’s based on a Kudzu chassis (or so the name implies) and features composite bodywork. Power is from a mid-mounted 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 rated at 300 horsepower. Top speed was said to be 178 mph. This was a homegrown American supercar in 1989.
Only two road-going Series I GTs were built, with this being the first, and it remaining with Evans until 2006. There were a few other Evans cars built in the 1990s as well. This is neat stuff – find another one. And it’s no kit car either. It was a ground-up build meant to be a limited-run car. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022
Iso is a name that goes back to some pretty sleek sports cars (or proto-supercars) of the 1960s and 1970s. They also produced what I’ve always considered to be Italian muscle cars, in addition to the original Isetta. The brand was revived in 2017 in collaboration with Zagato to introduce a Vision Gran Turismo prototype.
That led to a project dubbed the GT Zagato, or GTZ. The Rivolta family is still behind the cars, which are designed and built by Zagato. It’s based on a C7 Corvette Z06, but has a completely unique carbon-fiber body and shares no exterior bits with the Corvette, glass included. The supercharged 6.2-liter Z06 V8 makes 660 horsepower, enough to propel this very A3/C-esque design to 185 mph.
These are technically still in production, I guess, and in the last year they’ve built 19 of them. This is apparently the only one imported and registered in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
1963 Abarth-Simca 1300 GT Coupe by Sibona & Basano
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Le Castellet, France | November 19, 2021
Abarth used cars from many different manufacturers as base cars for their wild creations. In this case, the base car is a Simca 1000, which was a small, rear-engined sedan produced by the French marque between 1961 and 1978.
Confusingly, there were Simca-Abarth variants of the 1000, which were really just hot sedans. What we have here is an Abarth-Simca. It’s a GT car that Simca wanted Abarth to build that they could take racing.
It’s got a Simca 1000 floor pan, an Abarth-tuned 1.3-liter twin-cam inline-four, and a Simca 1000 four-speed manual gearbox. The cars were eventually homologated for FIA competition, and they were successful in European road racing events.
This car was sold new in Italy, where it was campaigned successfully. From there, it has kind of a complicated ownership history, and frankly it’s too late in the day for me to make much sense of it. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here. The pre-sale estimate is $405,000-$500,000.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 9, 2021
Ferrari’s 250 GT line of cars spawned many sub-models, beginning with 1954’s GT Europa. In 1955, Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Coupe, which could initially be had as a Boano or Ellena variant. The cars were named after their respective coachbuilders, even though both were from the same family. Felice Mario Boano’s namesake company was only around from 1954 through 1957, at which time he renamed the company Carrozzeria Ellena after his son-in-law, who took over the business that would last through 1966.
The two coupes are distinct from each other, but both share the same 3.0-liter Colombo V12 good for 237 horsepower. Only 50 examples of the 250 GT Ellena were built between 1957 and 1958. This one, like others, features a wonderful two-tone paint scheme with a maroon lower body and a silver roof.
This car, #25, was first registered in Rome and made its way to the U.S. in the 1970s. It spent over two decades in a private New York collection and was restored in the U.K. in 2005. It now carries an estimate of $970,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020
The 365 GT 2+2 (of no relation to the 365 GT4 2+2, which was the first of the “400” line of cars) was Ferrari’s followup to the successful 330 GT 2+2. Introduced in 1967, the 365 GT 2+2 would also be relatively successful, with Ferrari building 809 examples through 1971. In Ferrari-speak, this means they were churning them out.
Styling was by Pininfarina, and the car has a faint pretty strong 500 Superfast look to it. Power is from a Colombo V12 – the 4.4-liter engine put out 320 horsepower. They did build 14 drop-top versions, the 365 California. But they cost 10 times as much as one of these.
That’s right, this car is one of the least expensive entry points into classic Ferrari ownership (and by classic, I mean before everything got all boxy). The estimate on this car is $150,000-$180,000. Not bad for a 60s-era Ferrari. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Palm Beach, Florida | March 20-21, 2020
What we have here is the obvious love child of a Lamborghini Espada and a Reliant Scimitar. Between 1967 and 1969, Intermeccanica (who was then still building cars in Italy before a move to the US and then Canada) built 11 of these two-door shooting brake wagons.
They were powered by 7.0-liter Ford V8s and seat four. They’re very rare and very cool. Intermeccanica built some sleek sports cars around this time before moving into the replica business, where they remain today.
This example is selling at no reserve from the collection of a disgraced yoga master who fled the U.S. to avoid prosecution. The funds go to the people that were owed money by this piece of trash. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 5, 2020
Okay, so maybe labeling this car as a Gemballa and not a Porsche is giving Gemballa a little too much credit. It’s a Porsche Carrera GT… with some subtle mods and some not-so-subtle paint. Visual modifications include Gemballa wheels, a roof-mounted air intake, and relocation of the reverse lights.
Mechanical modifications aren’t all that extreme considering what some people do to supercars. A freer-flowing exhaust system, a revised intake system, an adjustable coil-over suspension, and a Gemballa clutch were also added. These things added 40 horsepower to the output of the 5.7-liter V10 for a new rating of 645 horsepower.
This is one of three “Gold Edition” Mirages, and I think what that means is pretty self-explanatory. Only 25 Mirage GTs were built. That accounts for 2% of all Carrera GT production. It’s had just one owner, who also happens to be an Olympic gold medal-winning soccer player. You can see more here and more from RM in Paris here.