BMW Z8

2001 BMW Z8

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 14, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The Z8 was BMW’s retro-inspired halo car that was sold between 2000 and 2002, with a revised Alpina Roadster available for 2003. The car was styled after BMW’s legendary 507 (one of, if not the first, car this site featured was a 507).

Power is from a 4.9-liter V8 rated at 395 horsepower. It could hit 60 in 4.2 seconds and was limited to a 155-mph top end. This car retains its factory body-color hardtop and is one of 62 built finished in red over Crema leather. A total of 5,703 Z8s were produced. While they are sought after today, their $128,000 base price when new did not move them off of dealer lots quickly 20 years ago.

That said, good luck picking one up for under $150,000 today. They’ve aged pretty well and are certainly a future classic. Click here for more info on this one, and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.

1947 Kaiser

1947 Kaiser Custom

Offered by Mecum | Tulsa, Oklahoma | June 11-12, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Henry J. Kaiser had many successful businesses before getting into automobiles, including a construction company that built the Hoover Dam along with Kaiser Shipyards, Kaiser Aluminum, and Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser-Frazer Motors’ first year of production was 1947, and two models were offered on the Kaiser side of things: the Special and Custom.

These models were some of the first fresh post-war designs, and the higher-spec Custom retailed for $2,301. It’s powered by a 3.7-liter inline-six rated at 100 horsepower when new. The Custom was much rarer than the Special, with only 5,412 produced (compared to over 65,000 Specials).

This one is said to be largely original. Kaiser ran into financial problems in 1949 and everything declined thereafter, although some of their designs were still quite solid. This launch-year Kaiser looked pretty sharp when it was new (they were styled by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, after all). And they are still pretty interesting. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Nash Metropolitan

1957 Nash Metropolitan

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Here is a car I adore. Partly because it is adorable, but also because it is affordable. The car was designed by Nash in the U.S. with the aim of offering a less expensive and economical alternative to the big behemoths rolling out of Detroit. But the cars were actually produced in England by Austin.

Series I examples were introduced in 1953, and this Series III hardtop would’ve sold for $1,527 when new. Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four that was factory rated at 52 horsepower. Metropolitans were sold as Austins in the U.K. and under the Nash brand in the U.S. through 1957. Hudson-branded models were also offered until Nash and Hudson were phased out in ’57. From 1958 through 1962, Metropolitan was a standalone marque.

This restored example is finished in teal and white (excellent) and features houndstooth upholstery. Affordable when new, they remain an inexpensive way to get into 1950s American (or British, depending on your perspective) cars. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $17,600.

Duesenberg J-586

1936 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Rollston

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The 6.9-liter Lycoming straight-eight that powers this Model J Duesenberg is the third-to-last “J” engine by number. Only J-587 and J-588 are later. This is the final Rollston-bodied Model J, and Mecum states that it was the last completed car to leave the Duesenberg showroom. It was shown at the 1936 New York Auto Show with a price tag of $17,000.

The 265-horsepower car rides on a long-wheelbase chassis and was purchased new by the then-president of Coca-Cola. It was later owned by jazz musician Charles Kyner for 46 years. The restoration was completed in 1990.

These later Model Js have such different bodywork than the earlier cars. It seemed like there was more “freedom” for the designers to rework the area forward of the cowl. This one is striking from the head-on view, and the interior looks like a nice place to be. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $2,800,000.

Lada 2107

1989 Lada 2107

Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 8-10, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Here is a car that was around forever. The Lada, which is what the cars were known as in the U.K. and much of mainland Europe, were actually produced by VAZ in the Soviet Union and, later, Russia from 1980 through 2012. 2012! Inside of Russia they were known as VAZ (with various model designations hyphenated thereafter) or Zhiguli.

They were actually based on the Fiat 124 platform, which was licensed like crazy all over Eastern Europe. That car debuted in 1966. And VAZ was still making versions of it in 2012. 2012!

The 2107 model was in production in various forms beginning in 1982, and it was the “Deluxe Sedan,” which means it had a big chrome front grille. This is sort of the base deluxe model, which is powered by a carbureted 1.5-liter inline-four. It’s bare-bones proletariat transportation. But it’s a pretty rare sight in the U.S. (or anywhere in this condition). Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $8,000.

Cadillac V16 Aerodynamic Coupe

1934 Cadillac Series 452D Aerodynamic Coupe by Fleetwood

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Wow. Cadillac built V16-powered cars for 10 years between 1930 and 1940. The Series 452D was built for 1934, and quite a few body styles were offered, perhaps none more dramatic than this “Aerodynamic Coupe” designed and built by Fleetwood. Mecum refers to this as “the world’s first fastback coupe.”

That’s right, this is a two-door coupe. On a 154″ wheelbase. That’s 20 inches longer than a 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, which has two additional doors. This car does have a spacious rear passenger area, though. But still, ye gods.

The 7.4-liter (452ci) V16 made 169 horsepower, and the car could hit 100 mph. This is one of America’s greatest-ever cars. And this is perhaps its best body style. Not to mention, it’s purple.

So how rare is it? Well, for a combination of 1934 and 1935, Cadillac produced just 150 examples of the V16. Just three Aerodynamic Coupes were built. This one spent a decade in the Blackhawk Collection before being purchased by its current owner in 2007. Mecum is not auctioning this car but is sort of “presenting it for sale” at their Glendale sale. If you have to ask how expensive it is, you cannot afford it. Click here for more info.

Alfa 1600 Junior Zagato

1973 Alfa Romeo 1600 Junior Zagato

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

It may not look like it, but this is actually part of the same series of Giulia/Sprint/GTVs cars such as this one. But the styling is radically different, which is where the “Zagato” part comes in. Alfa’s 105/115 Series of coupes went on sale in 1963 with the Giulia Sprint GT, and the general styling would continue on through 1976’s GT 1300 Junior.

Zagato applied their boxy-yet-aerodynamic bodywork to two cars in the series, including the 1600 Junior Z seen here (there was also a 1300 version, although it was just called the “Junior Zagato”). This one is powered by a 1.6-liter Twin Cam inline-four rated at 108 horsepower. Top speed was 118 mph. The 1600 Junior Z was actually based on the floorplan of the Alfa Spider 1600, and it went on sale in 1972.

Only 402 were built through 1973, although sales continued through 1975. This is one of 12 known to be the U.S., and you can read more about it here. See more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $52,800.

2002 Turbo

1974 BMW 2002 Turbo

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

This site doesn’t feature too many post-war German cars, but people love BMW’s 2002. The name was a little short-sighted, but I guess they never imagined having to try and Google “BMW 2002” only to get a ton of results for 2002 325Cis.

The 2002 was mixed in with a number of other visually similar but mechanically different models, including the 1602, 1802, 1502, 1600, and 1800. The 2002 went on sale for the 1968 model year and would be offered in base, cabriolet, ti, and tii forms through 1976. There was one model that topped all of those, and it was the Turbo, which was sold between 1973 and 1975. Only 1,672 examples were produced.

It was BMW’s first turbocharged production car and features a turbocharged, fuel-injected 2.0-liter M10 inline-four rated at 168 horsepower. Top speed was 130 mph. The Turbo is easily the most sought-after 2002 variant, with prices that can easily climb into the six figures. Check out more on this one here, and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $154,000.

Nelson-LeMoon

1928 Nelson-LeMoon Stake Truck

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 25, 2021

Photo – Mecum

A.R. LeMoon sold his first truck in 1910, and in 1913, the Nelson & LeMoon company of Chicago started selling vehicles under the Nelson-LeMoon name, which would last through 1927. At that time, Nelson was dropped again, and production wrapped up in 1939 (when Mr. LeMoon shifted to becoming a dealer for Federal trucks). In 29 years, the company produced approximately 3,000 trucks. Not a lot. And many of them remained in the greater Chicago area.

This truck is powered by a Waukesha inline-six and was purchased by the current owner in 1979. It was essentially a derelict at that time, but has been restored. It must be one of the nicest examples in existence. It’s now a stake bed truck, and the cab forward is pretty much how it would’ve looked when new.

It’s an interesting, all-American pre-war heavy commercial vehicle. And it’s from a marque most people have never heard of, let alone seen. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $20,350.

Yenko Stinger

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger Stage II

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Cars with flat-six engines mounted out back are supposed to be very sporty, almost race cars. Or so I hear. So why was the Corvair labeled a danger, and why did Chevy never make sit sportier than the base model ever was?

Enter Don Yenko, who would become even more famous for modifying Camaros in the late 1960s. He started by hotting-up Corvairs into “Stinger” form. He wanted to make the Corvair SCCA eligible, but it didn’t really fall into a pre-existing category. So he modified an example to fit. But the SCCA required 100 production examples before that version would be race-eligible. So 100 1966 Yenko Stingers would end up being built. This is #50.

The changes from the base car varied from example to example. This car has a “Stage II” flat-six rated at 190 horsepower. It also has four carburetors, a limited-slip differential, a front spoiler, and a four-speed manual transmission. It’s a cool car and among the coolest of Corvairs. Read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $82,500.