WRE-Maserati

1959 W.R.E.-Maserati

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Full disclosure: when I first saw this car posted by RM Sotheby’s I, first, did not recognize it as I had never heard of the WRE-Maseratis. Secondly, based on the photographs, I thought it was a 2/3 scale Maserati children’s car. I was wrong.

W.R.E. – or World Racing Enterprises – was basically just a shop that built a handful of race cars at the end of the 1950s. Due to the technical regulations of the era, the 2.0-liter Maserati straight-four was an in-demand engine in sports car racing and a couple of different cars utilized it. American Tony Settember had Briton John Wadsworth help him build the first WRE-Maserati.

When they went racing – and beat up everyone else on track – Italians Luigi Bellucci and Mannato Boffa wanted in. Bellucci oversaw the construction of two more cars (as Settember left the program). This is the second of just three examples of the W.R.E.-Maserati ever built. It has a successful racing debut but was soon not competitive enough to keep up with factory entrants and Bellucci ditched it for a true Maserati, a Tipo 61 Birdcage.

This car was restored in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been in possession of its current Swiss owner since 1987. It’s an interesting Italian example of a 1950s sports car racing special. It should bring between $820,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $814,195.

January 2017 Auction Highlights

We have a leftover from 2016 to start with, that being Bonhams’ December Sale. The top seller was this 1967 Aston Martin DB6 that brought $454,529.

Photo – Bonhams

A pair of our feature cars failed to sell: the Lola and the Stanley. The Métallurgique exceeded its estimate, bringing $46,475. The Delahaye went for $78,276 and the Daimler $72,618. Click here for complete results.

Moving into 2017, we start with Mecum in Kissimmee. The top sale was this 1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder for $920,000.

Photo – Mecum

Now on to our feature cars, of which there were many. Of the three Mustang SVT Cobra Rs, only the 1995 sold, bringing $35,000. The other two did not. The Impala Z11 also failed to meet its reserve.

Previously-featured cars that also failed to sell here include this Packard and the Hupp Comet. Of the five Max Wedge Mopars, the ’63 330 brought $70,000 and the Belvedere $140,000. The ’64 440 failed to sell at that same price. The Polara 500 and Dart 330 will both remain a mystery as to what happened because they’ve yet to be updated, even though every other lot was. Full results can be found here.

Moving into the week of sales in Arizona, we have RM Sotheby’s where the Ferrari 365 GTS we featured sold for $3,602,500. It was only outsold by the top seller, the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen for $6,600,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The brand new Isotta Fraschini sold for $434,500 and the Cord L-29 $236,500. Click here for all of the results.

Now we’ll move on to the big daddy of Scottsdale auctions, Barrett-Jackson. We featured quite a number of cars, but not the top-seller, which was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $1,485,000.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Ghia Streamliner we featured at the last second failed to sell, but everything else did. Big dollar cars included the Chevrolet CERV-I (that we had previously featured) that sold for $1,320,000. Another previously featured car was the Ford EX Concept that brought $110,000 here. Steven Tyler’s Hennessey Venom GT went for charity at $800,000.

The Duesenberg from this sale sold for $880,000 and the Callaway brought $115,500. The Falcon F7 supercar went for $148,500, the Pontiac Kammback Concept brought $44,000, and the pair of Goggomobils sold for $12,100 each. Click here for complete results.

The last auction for this post is Gooding & Company’s Arizona results. The top price paid was $3,300,000 for this wonderful 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix. Look at it – what a car.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The top selling of our feature cars was the Ferrari Superfast for $2,915,000. The AMC AMX/3 was pretty far behind, but still brought strong money at $891,000. The outlandish Tempo Matador sold for $132,000 and the Fiat 1100 failed to meet its reserve. Find complete results here.

Maseratis in Monterey

1957 Maserati A6G/54 Spider by Frua

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

It seems like each year there is a theme among auction houses as to a certain type of car that is, for whatever reason, more prevalent at the Pebble Beach sales than usual. Two years ago it was open-wheeled race cars. This year it’s Maseratis. Both Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s are offering difference collections of Maseratis. The car you see here is probably the best one available.

The A6G/54 was introduced in 1954 (and built through 1956) and was the final version of the A6G, a car that dated back to 1947. It is powered by a 160 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-six and four body styles were offered, though none were built by Maserati themselves. Frua offered a Coupe and Spider, while Zagato and Allemano also offered a style each.

This is the fifth of 10 Frua Spiders and one of only 60 A6G/54s built in total. It was sold new in the U.S. and has spent a majority of its life on the west coast. Restored in the 1990s, this beautiful car does not come with a pre-sale estimate, which should tell you what you need to know regarding affordability. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.


1951 Maserati A6G 2000 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesty of RM Sotheby’s

The A6G 2000 was the second iteration of the Maserati A6. Produced in 1950 and 1951 only, the cars saw increased displacement in the straight-six engine (to 2.0-liters) which makes 100 horsepower.

This example was sold new in Italy and has been in the U.S. since 1970. The handsome Pinin Farina body is the sort of typical body you could expect to see on one of these chassis. Except that you should never expect to see one as this is the second of just nine built by Pinin Farina (of about 15 cars built in total). It has been restored twice since 2000 and should bring between $400,000-$500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1971 Maserati Ghibli SS Spider

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

There have been three Maserati Ghiblis: the current sedan, a largely forgotten coupe of the 1990s, and this, a beautiful Ghia-styled Grand Tourer from the 1960s and 70s. A Coupe and Spider were available and in 1969, to partner with the base Ghibli, an SS was released.

The difference was that the SS came with a 4.9-liter V-8 making 335 horsepower. Think of what was going on in America at the time – this engine put it smack dab in the middle of muscle car territory. The difference is in the gearing: this car tops out at 170 mph (while most muscle cars were geared for the ¼ mile). This example was restored in 2009 and is noted in the lot description as “the best Ghibli out there.”

Only 128 Ghibli Spiders were built and only 30 of those were of the 4.9-liter SS variety. The estimate on this car is between $1,750,000-$2,250,000. You get what you pay for. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,500,000.


1971 Maserati Quattroporte Prototipo by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The original Maserati Quattroporte was a sedan built between 1963 and 1969. Maserati was out of the sedan game until 1976. But in those years between, something strange occurred. And it resulted in two amazing cars.

The story is that Frua designed this prototype Quattroporte sedan and showed it at the 1971 Paris Auto Salon. A second was built for Aga Khan IV and that was it. This is one of the rarest Maseratis outside of cars like the Boomerang. It is powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 making 290 horsepower (from the Maserati Indy). This car is rumored to have been owned and used by the Spanish royal family. Most recently, it’s been in the Riverside Automotive Museum and should sell for between $175,000-$225,000, which seems like a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $88,000.


1948 Maserati A6/1500 Coupe by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 20-21, 2016

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Remember when we said that Pinin Farina’s Coupe on the A6G 2000 was sort of the prototypical design for this car? Well here’s proof we aren’t crazy. This car is a little earlier, as the A6 1500 was the predecessor of the A6G 2000 having been built between 1947 and 1950. Believe it or not, it was Maserati’s first production road car.

The engine is a 1.5-liter straight-six making 85 horsepower. Only 61 were built and 59 of those carry Pinin Farina coachwork. This example, a long time Texas resident, was restored in 1998 and the engine was redone in 2005. It’s never been shown, but was raced back in 1949 and 1950. As an important piece of Maserati history, it could bring between $800,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company in Pebble Beach.

Update: Sold $852,500.

Maserati 8C 3000

1933 Maserati 8C 3000 Biposto

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Well here is a serious race car. Pre-war Maserati racers were some of the best in their day, competing head-to-head against the likes of Alfa Romeo and Bugatti. The Maserati Tipo 26M gave way to the 8C 2800. When their eight-cylinder engine was upped in capacity, the 8C 3000 was born in 1931. This is the fourth 8C 3000 built and it was built in 1932 for the 1933 season. The 8C 3000 was the final two-seater Grand Prix car Maserati built.

It’s powered by a 2.8-liter straight-eight engine, supercharged to make 220 horsepower. The crankcase for this car was discovered in the 1960s and later an axle was found (along with some other parts). The car is reconstructed of parts but is faithful to the original. There are two existing 8C 3000s that are more complete, but this is still a special car.

It’s one you can use in historic racing – or even on the road. It’s fast, powerful, light and it probably sounds glorious. No pre-sale estimate is being provided so it should be expensive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,001,000.

Maserati Mistral Spyder

1966 Maserati Mistral Spyder by Frua

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Mistral was a grand tourer built by Maserati between 1963 and 1970. It was Maserati’s true two-seater for the period. The convertible Spyder model was introduced in 1964 (and also lasted through 1970).

Three different engines were offered in this car. This car has the smallest, a 3.5-liter straight-six making 235 horsepower (only 20 less than the largest, 4.0-liter engine). This car is thought to be one of the cars shown at the 1966 Turin Motor Show.

The restoration on this car dates back to the mid-1990s with significant work having been completed in 2012. It has covered 88,000 miles in its life. This car has a removable hardtop and is one of 125 Spyders built. Only 12 Spyders were fitted with the 3.5-liter engine and only 20 Spyders were right hand drive, like this car. It should sell for between $610,000-$760,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold for an undisclosed amount.

HRG-Maserati

1949 H.R.G.-Maserati Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 12, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

H.R.G. built light cars and racing specials between 1936 and 1956 in Tolworth, England. There were six factory models offered over the years, built in various amounts. This was not one of them. It is a one-off special commissioned by then-BBC presenter John Gilbert.

They took the chassis from their 1500 model and stretched it a little bit (this car looks very long and narrow). Gilbert also had a spare eight-cylinder Maserati engine lying around that came from one of their 1930s Brooklands racers that he wanted installed. The body was built to look like a Maserati racer, too.

Eventually, the Maserati engine was replaced – multiple times over the years so it could make more and more power. Right now it houses a 2.4-liter Jaguar straight-six. A six-cylinder Maserati cylinder block is included with this sale. The car was raced at Goodwood back in the day and is fresh off restoration in 2014. It should sell for between $94,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,027.

Maserati Boomerang

1972 Maserati Boomerang Concept by Italdesign

Offered by Bonhams | Chantilly, France | September 5, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This wild – and iconic – 1970s Italian concept car was designed by the master himself, Giorgetto Giugiaro. This is a concept car in the classic sense of concept cars – out there ideas that really don’t have a shot at production. But unlike many, this thing is not only fully functional, but road registered.

It’s powered by a 4.7-liter V-8 from a Bora making 310 horsepower. The engine is mounted in the rear and the driver sits in a sort of glass greenhouse. The front of the sharp wedge has a giant, (and we mean giant) Maserati trident slapped on there so there’s no mistaking what company this car represents. Remember, this is from 1972 – cars that actually looked like this (wedges sharp lines and creases… think Lotus Esprit) were on sale for decades after.

The Boomerang premiered at the 1971 Turin Motor Show and made its rounds across Europe in 1972: Geneva, Paris, London, Barcelona. It was sold after the Barcelona show to a Spanish resident until a German took it home with him in 1980. It was restored and appeared at shows as early as 1990. A few other owners have had the pleasure to be this car’s caretaker and it had another slight restoration in 2003. It’s been welcomed at car shows all over the world and will continue to be. This is a rare chance to own a true concept car from one of the greatest automotive designers of all time. No pre-sale estimate is available, but if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $3,714,522.

Maserati 200 SI

1956 Maserati 200 SI

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

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

This is a special Maserati. It was the first 200S chassis produced and was a factory race car for all of its early life. At the end of 1956, the car returned to the factory to be turned into a 200 SI – which meant it now met requirements for FIA sanctioned races due to slight mechanical changes.

The engine is a 195 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-four. Immediately after transformation in SI form, it was sold to a privateer in Venezuela. Some of the highlights of this car’s competition history includes:

  • 1955 Targa Florio – DNF (with Giovanni Bracco)
  • 1956 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Luigi Bellucci)
  • 1956 Gran Premio di Napoli – 1st (with Bellucci)
  • 1956 Gran Premio di Bari – 1st (with Jean Behra)
  • 1956 Rheinland-Pfalz Preis Nurburgring – 2nd (with Stirling Moss)

Look at some of those names. This car was driven by some of the world’s best. Luigi Villoresi drove this car in the final race of his career. In one race in Havana, Stirling Moss outran a more powerful, six-cylinder Maserati 300S. The car was once owned by Jim Hall, founder of Chaparral and has spent extensive time in a Japanese collection.

The car is completely operable and organizers of historic events would love to have this thing show up. Only 28 200S cars were built and the 200 SI was only built for 1957 (except for this factory development car) before being replaced by the 250S in 1958. This is an exceptional car and it won’t come cheap. Read more here and check out more from Gooding & Company in Amelia Island here.

Update: Not sold.

Maserati 6CM

1937 Maserati Tipo 6CM

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 13, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Grand Prix racing in the 1930s was a sport for men. These things were dangerous, powerful, and fast. The 6CM was Maserati’s single-seater built between 1936 and 1940. The 6CM was Maserati’s factory team car for 1938 and 1939, while it was used primarily by privateers upon its introduction in 1936.

The engine is a supercharged 1.5-liter straight-six making 155 horsepower, later bumped to 175. This car was sold to a British privateer who competed it in races around England in a few non-championship events. After the war, it ran in the 1948 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, qualifying as a reserve entry and not starting the race.

In 1950, it came stateside, becoming part of Bill Harrah’s massive collection. In 1985, when the collection was dispersed, the car went back to the U.K. and was restored. It has competed in a few historic events multiple times, including the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and Goodwood Revival. Only 27 Tipo 6CMs are thought to have been built and not many remain. This car should bring between $1,000,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $984,190.

August 2014 Auction Recap

August was a record-setting month for the classic car industry. The first sale of the month was Auctions America’s California sale where this 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster topped the numbers at $1,155,000.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Our featured Chrysler Plainsman sold for an impressive $176,000. You can check out full results here.

We didn’t feature anything from Barrett-Jackson’s Reno sale, and frankly I don’t have the time to sift through their site looking for highlights as the process there is just too clunky. So we’ll move on.

Auctions in August of course means Monterey and Pebble Beach. We’ll start with the star of the weekend: Bonhams and their Ferrari 250 GTO which ended up bringing $38,115,000, an all-time record price for any car at auction. It’s an appropriate price for the car, and not the stratospheric number many predicted. It’s a good sign. We featured a number of cars from Bonhams, including this Kissel Kar, which sold for $140,800. The other Ferrari we featured, the 1978 321 T3 F1 car sold for $2,310,000. And the other F1 car, the Brabham-Cosworth, sold for $1,034,000.

Our featured Porsche 908/03 failed to sell. Our pick for the most interesting non-feature car that sold goes to this 1913 Pope-Hartford Model 31 Portola Roadster for $192,500.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our other feature cars both sold: the Speedwell brought $869,000 and the 1908 Napier $1,034,000. Check out full results here. Next up, Mecum in Monterey, where this 1961 Ferrari 250 Series II Cabriolet was the top seller for $2,250,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

None of our feature cars broke the million dollar mark, although the Kremer-Porsche was close at $930,000. A Duesenberg we featured a long time ago and failed to sell a couple of times before, finally sold here for $1,425,000. The Shelby Turbine car failed to sell, as did the Lester-MG.

Two cars we featured a long time ago that failed to sell also turned up at this sale and failed to sell again. They were the Delage Aerosport and a 1910 Locomobile. The Avia III race car we featured from a dealership was offered here, but it too failed to meet its reserve. The one-off Lazzarrino did sell, for $135,000. Check out full results here.

RM’s Monterey sale was just as impressive as Bonhams. The top seller was the #2 of the weekend, the 1964 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale, at $26,400,000. The Ferrari 250 GT N.A.R.T. Spider brought $1,017,500. The Ferrari F1-2000 sold for $1,804,000. But the Ferrari 333 failed to sell, as did the March-Cosworth. The AAR Eagle-Santa Ana sold for $104,500. What a choppy paragraph.

Cool, non-feature cars were topped by this 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder by Vignale for $764,500. RM also sold the prototype of this model for considerably more, making this seem like a deal.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype brought $6,930,000 and the Lancia PF200 C sold for $1,100,000. This 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 Paxton Prototype was a car I wanted to feature but didn’t get a chance to. It sold for $572,000.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Our other three feature cars were all much older. The amazing 1926 Rickenbacker sold for $946,000. The Stevens-Duryea went for $302,500 and the 1911 Mercer Raceabout, $2,530,000. Check out full results here.

Next up, Gooding & Company: $15,180,000 took home this top-selling 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider.

Photo - Gooding & Company

Photo – Gooding & Company

Our top feature car was the Maserati 250F for $4,620,000 and the Alfa Tipo 256 was right behind it at an even $4,000,000. Our featured Duesenberg and Ferrari 330 GT Speciale both failed to meet their reserves. The AAR-Toyota Eagle GTP brought $1,045,000. Check out full results here.

Last but not least on the Monterey peninsula, Russo & Steele. Our only feature car was the Lola-Mazda from the 80s – it brought $132,000. The top sale was this 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $1,320,000. Check out full results here.

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele