Hughes-Kircher Special

1953 Hughes-Kircher Special

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 16, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

The 1950s were a great time for one-off road racing specials. Returning soldiers saw the light in Europe with their lightweight sports cars and came back with an increased technical know-how to get it done. And that’s what we have here.

Charles Hughes and Kurt Kircher teamed up to build this very pretty special. Kircher was an ex-GM man who helped develop the Powerglide transmission. Hughes was an ex-G.I. who happened to buy a Jaguar XK120. He took it to Kircher, now in Colorado, and used the XK120 engine, a tube-frame chassis, and an MG steering rack to create the first version of the Hughes-Kircher Special. The body was done in aluminum.

After a few years, the car ceased to be competitive. Somehow, the duo got their hands on a Mille Miglia-prepped 300SL race engine and plopped it under the hood. Later, that engine was swapped for a 240 horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six from a “standard” 300SL. It still has such an engine, just a different one, as the second straight-six was eventually reunited with its factory Gullwing chassis.

This car has raced all over the world and has been in some major collections. It’s been restored and looks as good as any period Ferrari. But it’ll be much cheaper – between $300,000-$400,000 will take it home. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $304,200.

July 2019 Auction Highlights

We shifting gears a little bit now. From here out, our monthly auction rundowns will only cover auctions from which we actually featured cars. Sorry all others, I don’t have the time. Life is busy. That also means it will be a straight-shot chronologically (well, based on when the results are published anyway). Previous rundowns used to be broken up a little bit, as we’d only feature one result from any particular auction house per highlight post. Not anymore!

We start this time around with Bonhams in Goodwood, where the top seller, by some margin, was the Williams F1 car we featured. It sold for $3,385,271, while the other F1 car – the Toyota roller – brought $86,416. Rounding it out was the Lister Storm for $583,311. Most Interesting goes to this 1956 Cooper T39 that sold for $151,228. Click here for more results.

Photo – Bonhams

Next up is Brightwells’ Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. This 1961 Jaguar XK150S coupe was the top sale at $134,401.

Photo – Brightwells

Cars we featured included the Maudslay ($74,264), the Mitsuoka Roadster ($26,130), and the Dennis flatbed (not sold). Final results can be found here.

Historics held a sale at Brooklands in July, and this 1981 Porsche 911 Turbo took top sale honors, selling for $114,822.

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

All three of our feature cars sold, with the Jensen bringing the most: $84,016. The Bristol 411 sold for $49,708, and the Healey $22,404. Click here for complete results.

Aguttes’ all-Citroen sale saw the Coupe Concorde we featured fail to find a new home. The Citela concept car we featured a while back also failed to sell here. Top money went to this 1968 Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet for $238,579.

Photo – Aguttes

Two other previously-featured concept cars did manage to sell here. The Eco 2000 SA 109 went for $1,137 and the Tubyk $7,156 – both way down from what they brought not all that long ago at a different sale. More results are available here.

Finally, we have Silverstone Auctions. Fresh feature cars in this sale consisted of the Renault 5 Turbo 2, which sold for $100,258. The top sale was $1,030,431 for this 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

A previously-featured AC Aceca sold here for $167,096. Final results are available here and here.

Jaguar XJR-10

1989 Jaguar XJR-10

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 16-17, 2019

Photo – Gooding & Company

We’ve featured quite a few of Jaguar’s XJR prototype sportscar racers over the years, and this one fills in the nice gap we had between the XJR-9 and XJR-11. It was used by Jaguar in the IMSA GTP series between 1989 and 1991.

The design is attributed to Tom Walkinshaw and Tony Southgate, and power is provided by a 650 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6. Only three examples were built, and the competition history for this chassis (389) includes:

  • 1989 IMSA Portland – 1st (with Jan Lammers and Price Cobb)
  • 1989 IMSA Del Mar – 1st (with Lammers)
  • 1990 IMSA Lime Rock – 1st (with Cobb and John Nielsen)
  • 1991 IMSA Miami – 1st (with Raul Boesel)

Jaguar won the 1989 IMSA GTP championship, and this car competed in quite a few other races with just the wins highlighted above. Tom Walkinshaw Racing (Jaguar’s partner in this endeavor) retained the car until 1999, and it has since been campaigned in historic Group C events. It has also been restored. The pre-sale estimate is $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jaguar Pirana

1967 Jaguar Pirana by Bertone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What we have here is a one-off sports car financed and built for the motoring department at a British newspaper in the late 1960s. It used off-the-shelf components and a very nice exterior design from Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The bodywork clearly foreshadows the Lamborghini Espada.

Power is from a Jaguar 4.2-liter inline-six, and the car uses an E-Type 2+2 frame and chassis as well. It also carries Jaguar badging, even if Jaguar didn’t officially have much to do with the final product. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show and was first sold at auction in 1968. It stayed in the US for a long time and was purchased by its current owner in 2011.

The auction catalog makes a big deal of the fact that the car is called a “Pirana” – without the “H” – and how it was Bertone’s personal choice to spell it that way. It then goes on to say that the car was restored to its Earl’s Court specification. Photos clearly show “Piranha” badging on the rear. What’s the deal with that? At any rate, it will sell at no reserve this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $324,000.

Jaguar C-X75

2016 Jaguar C-X75

For sale at Kaaimans International | Tollerton, U.K.

Photo – Kaaimans International

Jaguar has a pretty good history with supercars. During the 1950s and 1960s, they were producing the fastest cars in the world. They did it again in the 1990s. In 2010, they partnered with the Williams F1 team to build this, the C-X75. The original concept car used four electric motors – one at each wheel – whose batteries were fed by two diesel-powered turbines.

Pretty wild stuff. The package itself is pretty exotic, with hints of the F-Type at the front end. It would’ve made for a great (traditional) hybrid supercar. They were going to build an electric version, but the economy sucked, so they didn’t.

But what they did do in 2013 before the production car’s hopes were dashed, was build a limited run of developmental prototypes. Five of them, supposedly. Here’s where it gets confusing. They built five of these development cars, right? Well, they also supplied seven of them to the makers of the James Bond film Spectre. One of those seven is said to also have been one of the five prototypes. So what are we at then, 12 cars?

The other non-prototype six were custom-built for the movie, some to be crashed, etc. They had space frame construction, spartan interiors, and were really meant just to be pretty from the outside. Both the prototypes and Bond cars were reportedly powered by turbocharged and supercharged 1.6-liter engines paired with two electric motors. That combination was good for 890 horsepower.

This car, however, has a plaque inside stating it is one of four stunt vehicles used in the movie. And the online listing states it has a 5.0-liter engine. So I really don’t know how to wrap this all up and make sense of it, other than to say it looks beautiful. If it runs and is street legal in Europe, I’m sure it’s grand (except for that workhorse concept car-like interior). At any rate, it will be too expensive for most, with the price being available upon request. Click here for more info.

April 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We start off this highlight reel with H&H Classics’ Pavilion Gardens sale. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to feature anything, but this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster was the top seller at $155,278. Click here for more results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Next up is Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale, and we didn’t get to feature anything from this sale either. The top sale was kind of a surprise – $412,500 paid for this 1947 Buick Super 8 Custom Convertible. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Next up are two liquidation sales of entire collections, the first of which is the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi. The 1948 Tucker was far and away the top sale, bringing $1,985,000.

Photo – Bonhams

This sale was a great entry point to Duesenberg ownership, with the Model J sedan we featured selling for an “affordable” $450,500. The only other six-figure car was the Owen Magnetic at $128,800.

Here’s a rundown of all of the other cars we featured:

Click here for more results.

The sale of the Guyton Collection by RM Sotheby’s included some fascinating cars, foremost among them was the Duesenberg Model X, which ended up selling for $527,500. Meanwhile, this Model J sold for $1,105,000. And the overall top sale was $1,325,000 for this 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Roi-des-Belges touring car.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Continuing down, we had the Ruxton Roadster at $747,500, the Du Pont Model G for $368,000, and the Mason Touring and Gothic Lincoln at $112,000 each. The H.C.S. was a relative bargain at $49,840. Click here for more results, including a huge amount of automobilia.

Finally, we have half of a Silverstone Auctions doubleheader: the Heythrop Classic Car Sale. No feature cars here, but the top sale was this 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa for $102,343. Click here for the rest of their results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

XJ220

1995 Jaguar XJ220

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Enstone, U.K. | May 11, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

This is the fourth different Jaguar XJ220 we’ve featured – and the first, plain Jane road car. It’s listed as a 1995 model, though the last XJ220 rolled off the assembly line in May 1994. So that’s believable enough. Silverstone Auctions has another XJ220 in this same sale that is titled as a 1997 – with no explanation given. Which is weird.

At 212 mph, the XJ220 was the fastest production car in the world at the time of its introduction. Power is from a 542 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. It features an aluminum chassis and body as well as a well-appointed interior.

Celebrities lined up to buy them when they were new, but they gained a reputation for disappointment over time, and I’m not sure why. Maybe the V6 wasn’t exotic enough. The prices sort of bottomed out and never took back off again like the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F50. This one is expected to bring between $420,000-$485,000 – a relative supercar bargain.

This car is finished in Le Mans Blue and was brought to the UK in 2015 out of a collection in Malaysia. Supercar collections in Southeast Asia are always interesting, and you have to wonder what kind of stories this car could tell. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $429,230.

XJS Monaco

1990 Jaguar XJS Monaco

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 6, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

The Jaguar XJ-S debuted in 1976. It was built in three series through 1996, and while that is only 20 years, it was light years in terms of car design based on what the common car looked like in the mid-1970s versus the mid-1990s. And the Jag evolved in its styling, but you can totally tell the first car was closely related to the last.

This car, however, is completely different. It looks from certain angles like a TVR Cerbera or an Aston Martin DB7 and has some hints of a modern version of those 7.0-liter Lister Jaguar monsters from the 1980s. What it actually is is a body kit from Paul Bailey Design and was, I think, built in some kind of conjunction with Jaguar.

Rumor has it that the Sultan of Brunei ordered the first one and ended up owning two. Only 11 were built between 1989 and 2001. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six that was originally rated at 221 horsepower. There were a few mechanical tweaks, but nothing major that should make it into the tire-shredding monster it certainly looks to be. I remember these from the 90s and think they’re pretty cool. This one should bring between $27,000-$30,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, Brightwells Leominster, May 2019.

November 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

There were three other auctions held at the end of November, including Historics at Brooklands’ Mercedes-Benz World sale. The 1911 Sunbeam we featured sold for $34,834, and the top sale was this 1987 Porsche 911 Turbo that brought $122,065. Click here for more results.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Next up is Brightwells where this 1998 Ferrari 355 F1 Spider brought $64,575.

Photo – Brightwells

The SS Jaguar we featured sold for $36,499 while the Bristol and the Itala both failed to sell. Click here for further results.

Onward to H&H Classics where the Bristol we featured from this sale sold, bringing $43,071. The overall top sale was $143,572 paid for this 1961 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster.

Photo – H&H Classics

The TVR Taimar sold for $11,198 and complete results can be found here.

The first of two Bonhams sales held in December was their Bond Street Sale. We featured two racing Jaguars (XJ220 C and XJR-6), but both failed to sell… as did quite a few other cars. The top sale by a decent margin was this 1958 BMW 507 Series II Roadster. It sold for $3,018,677. Click here for additional results.

Photo – Bonhams

Mecum will round out this rundown with their Kansas City sale. We didn’t get to feature anything, but this 2006 Ford GT was the top sale at $308,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Mecum

Jaguar XJR-6

1985 Jaguar XJR-6

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

When Jaguar decided to go sports car prototype racing in the 1980s, the first car (numerically-speaking) they built was the XJR-5 which was intended for the IMSA GTP series. Meanwhile, in Europe, the World Sportscar Championship was eagerly awaiting some fast cats, and Jaguar obliged, with this, the XJR-6.

Destined for Group C greatness (or so they hoped), this car was built – as the entire Jag WSC program was – by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Using a carbon-composite and Kevlar monocoque, the XJR-6 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 capable of 745 horsepower. The race history for this particular chassis (285) includes:

  • 1985 1000km Mosport – 3rd (with Jean-Louis Schlesser, Mike Thackwell, and Martin Brundle)
  • 1985 1000km Spa – 32nd, DNF (with Hans Heyer and Schlesser)
  • 1985 1000km Fuji – 30th, DNF in a semi-aborted race (with Heyer and Steve Soper)

In all, six examples of the XJR-6 were built, and this one saw some action in pre-season 1986 testing, but it never raced after 1985. It’s a pretty awesome race car (with gullwing doors!), and I’m sure it has an amazing sound to accompany its looks. It should bring between $2,800,000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.