Lotus Excel

1989 Lotus Excel

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | April 20, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

Introduced in 1982, the Excel was a sort of evolution of the earlier Lotus Eclat. It was born out of the limited partnership between Lotus and Toyota when the latter’s Supra was in development.

This later Excel is powered by a 2.2-liter straight-four making 160 horsepower, which was the same engine used in Esprits of the era. There were a few special editions that made more power, but all cars more or less looked identical.

Production lasted 10 years and ended in 1992. It’s a little confusing trying to figure out how many were built because numbers vary everywhere you look. Somewhere between 1,400 and 2,500 were actually built, and about 10% of them are still registered in the U.K. A Lotus is an exotic car, and this is one of the best ways to get an exotic for a reasonable price. Figure $7,500-$8,750. Just hope you don’t suffer any crazy issues. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,818.

Lotus 59

1970 Lotus 59

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | March 10, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

The Lotus 59 was a successful Formula 2 racing car built by Lotus for the 1969 and 1970 seasons (although it was replaced mid-1970). The 59 chassis was actually used in Formula 3 as well as Formula B and Formula Ford in addition to F2. The only thing that changed on the car between the series was the engine.

This is an ex-Team Lotus car that competed in the European Formula 3 championship. It was a pay-to-drive ride for up-and-coming drivers looking to make an impression and attract a chance in a Formula One car. This car was raced by Bev Bond and was the winning car at the 1970 Oulton Park British Empire Trophy race.

Later, this car would be used in the Ron Howard movie Rush, where it stared as James Hunt’s F3 car. As an F3 car, this car would be powered by a 1.0-liter Cosworth straight-four making about 100-110 horsepower. You can read more here and see more from Coys here.

Update: Not sold.

Lotus Mk IIIB

1951 Lotus Mk IIIB

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 13, 2015

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Lotus Mark III was the third Lotus model produced. It came about when Colin Chapman and his partners modified three Austin Sevens to compete in the 750 Motor Club formula. One car was completed in 1951 before a man named Adam Currie came around to the Lotus shop and ordered this car, the Mk IIIB – the first Lotus ever sold to a customer.

It is also the first car to wear the legendary yellow Lotus badge. The engine is a massively reworked straight-four from a Ford 10 that was slimmed down to 1.1-liters. Horsepower is estimated at 50. The body is aluminium and the car was raced in period by Colin Chapman, Adam Currie, and successful hillclimber and Formula One driver Tony Marsh.

The car’s competition years lasted solidly through 1954. The current owner acquired the car in 1994 from long-term ownership dating back to the late 1950s. A restoration was performed in 1995, taking it back to 1953 race livery. This is an important Lotus, one of the oldest examples money can buy. It can be yours for between $250,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $247,500.

STP Turbine Indy Car

1968 Lotus 56

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

In 1967, Andy Granatelli entered the turbine-powered STP-Paxton Turbocar in the Indianapolis 500. The car nearly won the race at the hands of Parnelli Jones but a transmission bearing failure with eight laps to go ruined those plans.

Team Lotus took note of this impressive performance and they designed the Lotus 56 around a modified version of the Pratt & Whitney ST6B used in the Turbocar. The STN 6/76 made 500 horsepower in the 56. This car also has four-wheel drive.

So it dominated qualifying, with Joe Leonard taking the pole in one of three 56s entered for the race (a fourth was built, but was destroyed in Mike Spence’s fatal crash in testing). This car was raced by Graham Hill in the ’68 500. He crashed in turn two on lap 110, resulting in a 19th place finish. None of the 56s finished the race, but Joe Leonard was leading with nine laps to go when his fuel pump broke.

This car was owned by Richard Petty for many years and it has been restored to working, race-day condition. For the past year, it’s been on display on at the Speedway Museum in Indy. It’s an awesome piece of machinery and Indianapolis 500 history. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Barrett-Jackson’s lineup.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,200,000.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2016.

Lotus Type 49B

1968 Lotus Type 49B

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Remember how bad ass open wheel race cars used to be? Especially in the days before big rear wings when men had to manhandle them around courses. This one is now fitted with a wing, but it wasn’t always.

The Lotus 49 was designed for the 1967 Formula One season by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe. From the onset, this car was amazing. It blew everything else away, and Lotus teammates Graham Hill and Jim Clark dominated the opening weekend with this car.

Only nine Lotus 49s were built. Some of them were built as a Type 49 and later rebuilt as a Type 49B or 49C. The engine is a Cosworth DFV V-8 in 3.0-liter form capable of 408 horsepower. It is one of the best racing engines ever manufactured.

Want the competition history? I do – this car competed in the Tasman Series and Formula One:

  • 1969 New Zealand Grand Prix (as a Type 49) – 18th, DNF (with Graham Hill)
  • 1969 Levin International – DNF (with Hill)
  • 1969 Lady Wigram Trophy – 2nd (with Hill)
  • 1969 Teretonga International – 2nd (with Hill)
  • 1969 Australian Grand Prix – 4th (with Hill)
  • 1969 Sandown International 100 – 6th (with Hill)
  • 1969 Monaco Grand Prix (now in 49B configuration) – 4th (with Richard Attwood)
  • 1969 British Grand Prix – 7th (with Hill)
  • 1969 German Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Jo Bonnier)
  • 1970 South African Formula One Championship – 1st (with Dave Charlton)
  • 1971 South African Formula One Championship – 1st (with Charlton)

After the 1972 South African F1 season, the car was dismantled and purchased by a renown Australian Lotus collector who had the car restored. It’s been demonstrated and shown and now it can be yours. Only six Type 49s remain. This one has factory-Lotus F1 history and can be yours for between $1,200,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more form this sale.

Update: Sold $1,147,135.

September Results II

Our second post covering auctions for September starts with RM’s big London sale. They had a huge collection of Mercedes-Benzes cross the block, but the top sale actually went to our featured Maserati 250S for $3,340,000. Our featured Jaguar D-Type failed to sell. As did our featured Mercedes 500K Cabriolet C. The top-selling Benz was this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B for $1,287,400.

1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B

Our featured 1932 Mercedes-Benz 370 S sold for $1,208,900. On top of the “interesting cars pile” was the Lotus Esprit Submarine from the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. It sold for $967,000.

1977 Lotus Esprit Submarine

Another cool car was this 1975 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12 which brought $527,000.

1975 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 TT 12

Our featured Mercedes 290 Cabriolet A brought $435,000. And our featured Benz Doctor’s Cabriolet sold for $83,500. Other interesting cars include this 1948 Austin VM 30 Cabriolet for only $12,300.

1948 Austin VM 30 Cabriolet

I can’t pick just two or three cool Mercedes’ from this sale to highlight because so many of them are the more mundane road cars that you just don’t see anymore (which I find fascinating). These are restored examples of cars that they built a ton of, but it would probably be easier to find a 540K today. You really have to check out the full results here, but I’ll tease you with this 1952 Mercedes-Benz 170 Da Pick Up. It sold for $77,300.

1952 Mercedes-Benz 170 Da Pick Up

Bonhams held a sale during the Goodwood Revival. The top sale here was our featured Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Grand Prix car for $9,511,542. It was kind of a no-brainer that this would be the top sale, as Bonhams has been killing it lately with competition cars bringing huge sums. Apparently they currently hold world records for 11 different marques at auction, which is pretty impressive (they probably hold more, but don’t want to look up all of the smaller marques over the years).

Cool cars start with this 1936 Invicta 4.5-Litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer which sold for $307,413. Our featured Invicta did not sell.

1936 Invicta 4.5-Litre S-Type 'Low Chassis' Tourer

Our featured Connaught did not sell either. But this 1934 Singer 1.5-Litre Le Mans did. It actually raced in the 1934 24 Hours of Le Mans. It sold for $136,966.

1934 Singer 1.5-Litre Le Mans

Two other interesting cars: first this 1951 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster which brought a big $228,277.

1951 Jaguar XK120 3.8-Litre Competition Roadster

And this super-cool 1985 Audi Quattro SWB Coupe. A very rare rally car for the road, it brought $185,409.

1985 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupe

And finally, let’s go to our featured Jaguar XJR-8 race car. It sold – but that’s all the information that was provided. Bonhams didn’t provide a final amount – but I will refer to it as a “mysterious sum in the neighborhood of $1.4 million.” Anyway, you can check out the full results here.

Ex-Mansell John Player Special

1984 Lotus Type 95T

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 17, 2013

1984 Lotus Type 95T

There are a few racing liveries that really stand out above others. Among them: Gulf, Martini and – of course – John Player Special. The tobacco company started sponsoring Lotus Formula One cars in 1968. This black and gold paint scheme would be a part of F1 through the 1986 season and the current Lotus F1 team uses the colors – albeit with different sponsors.

The Lotus 94T was raced at the end of the 1983 Formula One season without much success (a lone podium and many retirements). It was competitive, but not great. For 1984, Lotus introduced the 95T. It was powered by a Renault-Gordini 1.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. In race trim it made about 700 horsepower. For qualifying, that number was bumped up over 1,100! Four cars were built for that season to share between Lotus drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis.

This car was driven by Mansell and includes the following race results (I can’t find if Mansell drove this particular car at more races than this or not):

  • 1984 Monaco Grand Prix – 13th (with Nigel Mansell)
  • 1984 Dallas Grand Prix – 6th, from first career pole (with Mansell)

It has since been retrofitted to accept computer input, making it easy to start and drive today (for historic events and parade laps). This is a Turbo Era F1 car that was raced by an F1 Champion. It’s also from one of the racing’s most storied manufacturers and carries one of racing’s most emblematic paint schemes. It can be yours for a price they won’t estimate. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in California.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $450,000)

Lotus 340R

2001 Lotus 340R

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 27, 2013

2001 Lotus 340R

The Lotus 340 was based on the first generation of the Lotus Elise. They were built in 2000 and offered for the 2000 and 2001 model years (although there is an unusually-titled 2004 offered alongside this car at this sale).

So why is it such a special edition? Because look at the thing, that’s why. There is no roof. There are no doors. I hope it’s sunny when you go for a drive. Short of an Ariel Atom, have you seen something so out there? I’m pretty sure they aren’t even road-legal in the U.S. (although they are in the U.K.). Most see track duty and many probably just sit in collections. Only 340 were made.

The engine is a 1.8-liter straight-four making either 177 or 187 horsepower, depending on the extra Lotus goodies you have installed. Top speed is 130 mph but it will hit 62 mph in 4.4 seconds – it only weighs 1,550 pounds. The price was about $40,000 brand new, and this one is expected to sell for between $35,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Silverstone’s sale.

Update: Not sold.

Bonhams/H&H June 2013 Highlights

Bonhams’ Banbury Run sale was held last week and the top sale was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 which sold for $208,817.

1966 Aston Martin DB6

Our feature cars both sold. The 1899 Columbia Motor Buggy sold for $17,966. The ex-works demonstrator Javan R1 sold for $17,068. Interesting cars included this 1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe with coachwork by Barker. It sold for $34,136.

1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe by Barker

Other cool cars included this 1929 Morgan Anzani Aero – a fairly early Morgan three-wheeler. It sold for $44,916.

1929 Morgan Anzani Aero

And finally, this 1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus “Rally Car.” These are moderately cool cars (the early-80s weren’t exactly “cool car” times) and this one sold for $17,966. Click here for full results.

1981 Talbot Sunbeam-Lotus

Next up was H&H Auctions’ sale held at Rockingham Castle in the U.K. Our featured AC Ace Brooklands sold for $19,342. Top sale was this 1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe which brought $226,834.

1937 Bentley 4.25-Litre Vanden Plas Coupe

Interesting sales were definitely led by this 1918 Le Zebre Sports. I don’t remember coming across it when I looked for cars to feature, otherwise I surely would have. It sold for $123,088.

1918 Le Zebre Sports

Other cars included this pretty 1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer (first below) which sold for $18,024 and the 1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer (second below) which went for $58,027. Check out complete results here.

1926 Buick Standard Six Tourer

1920 Sunbeam 16hp Tourer

March 2013 Auction Round-Up

The first auction that happened in March was Bonham’s Oxford sale. Top sale went to this 1968 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Re-Creation that was converted from an original 1968 Ferrari 365GT. It sold for $382,700. A real 250 GT would’ve brought much more.

1968 Ferrari 365/250GT SWB Re-Creation photo 1968Ferrari365-250GTSWBRe-creation_zps892f9a2f.jpg

Other interesting cars included this 1975 Lotus Elan +2S 103/5 Coupe, which for $15,600, seems like a bargain for a Lotus Elan.

1975 Lotus Elan +2S 130/5 Coupe photo 1975LotusElan2S130-5Coupeacute_zps1c95708e.jpg

Our feature cars both sold. First, the 1922 Benjamin cyclecar brought $29,500. And the Charron Charronette sold for $12,150. Other cool cars included this 1927 McLaughlin-Buick Model 28.496 Master Six Tourer. It sold for $90,200.

1927 McLaughlin-Buick Model 28.496 Master Six Tourer photo 1927McLaughlin-BuickModel28496MasterSixTourer_zpsf99ec5a8.jpg

This 1989 Royale Sabre Roadster was a throwback car built in the U.K. in the early 1990s based around a late 1980s Ford. It’s definitely interesting for $5,200.

1989 Royale Sabre Roadster photo 1989RoyaleSabreRoadster_zps2d65a6a3.jpg

And finally, this 1918 De Dion-Bouton Model HD 15CV 2.9-Litre Charabanc may not have been too expensive. It also wasn’t the cheapest car at the sale. But for the sheer number of doors on this thing, it qualifies as interesting. It could’ve been yours for $13,800. Click here for full results.

1918 De Dion-Bouton Model HD 15cv 2.9-Litre Charabanc photo 1918DeDionBoutonModelHD15cv29-litreCharabanc_zpse8a0c176.jpg

Next up was Gooding’s sale at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The top sale there was this 1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer for $2,750,000.

1928 Bentley 4.25-Litre Semi-Le Mans Tourer by Vanden Plas photo 1928Bentley425-LitreSemi-LeMansTourerbyVandenPlas_zps1423d194.jpg

Among our four feature cars, only the Aston Martin Short Chassis Volante failed to sell. Of the two Duesenbergs, the Model JN brought $594,000 and the Model J brought $462,000. One interesting car was this 1938 H.R.G. Airline Coupe with coachwork by A. Crofts. It sold for $253,000.

1938 H.R.G. Airline Coupe by A. Crofts photo 1938HRGAirlineCoupebyACrofts_zpsabcd178a.jpg

The rest of our highlights are all million-dollar cars, most of them Ferraris. At the low end, a 1969 365 GTC brought $1,072,500.

1969 Ferrari 365 GTC photo 1969Ferrari365GTC_zps058c84a5.jpg

Then there was the 1966 275 GTS for $1,127,500 followed by a 1995 F50 for $1,375,000 (second below).

1966 Ferrari 275 GTS photo 1966Ferrari275GTS_zps90c45ddc.jpg

1995 Ferrari F50 photo 1995FerrariF50_zps34dbfab4.jpg

Two similar million dollar Ferraris – see if you can tell the difference (for $750,000). First, a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for $1,650,000 (first below). Then, a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy for $2,365,000. They look identical but aren’t (obviously).

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 photo 1967Ferrari275GTB-4_zpsda93c354.jpg

1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose Alloy photo 1966Ferrari275GTBLongNoseAlloy_zps1e73c290.jpg

Our featured Fiat 8V Supersonic brought $1,760,000. The final million dollar car was this 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster with coachwork by Brewster. It brought $1,980,000. Full results can be found here.

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Derby Speedster by Brewster photo 1929PhantomIDerbySpeedsterbyBrewster_zps2d2fc62b.jpg

Then we move on to RM Auctions’ sale also held at Amelia Island. The top sale was out featured Duesenberg SJ by Walker-LaGrande for $4,510,000. Our featured Pegaso was the only one of our feature cars that failed to sell. As is normally the case, the million-dollar club featured a few Ferraris including a 1965 275 GTB (below) for $1,375,000 and a 1952 225 Sport Tuboscocca by Vignale for $1,237,500.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB photo 1965Ferrari275GTB_zps18261f1d.jpg

1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Tuboscocca by Vignale photo 1952Ferrari225SportTuboscoccabyVignale_zps7e6e3430.jpg

The only other million dollar cars were our featured Lozier, which more than doubled the lower end of its estimate and sold for $1,100,000. The other was this 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston which sold for $1,512,500.

1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston photo 1933StutzDV32ConvertibleVictoriabyRollston_zps74d8d79f.jpg

Interesting sales were highlighted by this gorgeous 1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Langenthal that I so desperately wanted to feature but ran out of time. It sold for $330,000.

1947 Delahaye 135 MS Coupe by Langenthal photo 1947Delahaye135MSCoupebyLangenthal_zpsb3bf03f3.jpg

A couple of our older feature cars were the Derham Tourster Duesenberg for $825,000. And the beautiful Hispano-Suiza Transformable Torpedo brought $495,000. This 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Convertible Sedan by Floyd-Derham sold for $473,000.

1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A Convertible Sedan by Floyd-Derham photo 1929Isotta-FraschiniTipo8AConvertibleSedanbyFloyd-Derham_zps2c652348.jpg

The three oldest cars we featured all sold. First, the Tribelhorn Electric brought $77,000. The unrestored Locomobile sold for $176,000. And the big, brilliant Austin Touring car sold for $379,500 – shy of its estimate. There were a trio of rare Cord L-29s at this sale and these two were very interesting. First, this 1930 L-29 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck sold for $990,000.

1930 Cord L-29 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck photo 1930CordL-29SportCabrioletbyVollampRuhrbeck_zps44a629ea.jpg

Then there was this 1929 L-29 Town Car by d’Ieteren Freres that sold for $154,000. Our featured Marmon Two-Door Prototype sold for $407,000. Check out full results here.

1929 Cord L-29 Town Car by d'Ieteren Freres photo 1929CordL-29TownCarbydIeterenFreres_zps362f73c5.jpg

Now on to Osenat’s auction, where the top sale was a 1936 Cord 810 Sportsman convertible, of which there was no reasonably good picture I could snag. It sold for $129,000. Both of our feature cars sold. The Darracq-Italiana brought $32,985 while the the Voisin Flatbed Prototype sold for $23,220. The other most interesting car was another Voisin prototype, a 1956 Biscooter C31 Prototype with bodywork I haven’t seen before. It brought $25,800. Check out full results here.

1956 Voisin Biscooter C31 Prototype photo 1956VoisinBiscooterC31Prototype_zps6ec0d683.jpg

And finally, Auctions America’s Ft. Lauderdale sale. Our featured Ron Fellows Edition Corvette sold for $52,800. Our featured Baldwin Motion Phase III Corvette brought $136,400. The 1977 Panther DeVille did not sell. Top sale went to a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that sold for $880,000, which sounds like a new high sale for Auctions America.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL photo 1955Mercedes-Benz300SL_zps091faa49.jpg

Our other feature car, the Lexus LFA, sold for $319,000. Other cool cars included this 1960 Chevrolet Nomad for $26,400.

1960 Chevrolet Nomad photo 1960ChevroletNomad_zpsf6ba0566.jpg

And finally, this 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight sold for $106,700. Check out full results here.

1963 Ford Galaxie 500 Factory Lightweight photo 1963FordGalaxie500FactoryLightweight_zpsc67ba50d.jpg