July 2020 Auction Highlights

Jumping right in, Artcurial’s Monaco sale saw this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL lead the way at $1,621,037.

Photo – Artcurial

The Venturi we featured sold for $65,501. Other cars that sold can be viewed here.

RM had a “European” online sale a week before having an “American” version, which is kind of weird, but I guess it you’re going to bundle cars together, you might as well do it by where they are located, or at least by what continent they are located on. Anyway, the Inaltera prototype sold for about $440,902. The top sale was $1,685,805 for this alloy-bodied 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB. Final results can be found here.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Onward to H&H Classics’ online sale. The two feature cars we had from this sale failed to find new homes and were re-consigned to H&H’s next sale in August (they were this Renault and this Willys). The top sale was this 1965 Alvis TD21 Drophead Coupe that brought $66,032. More results are available here.

Photo – H&H Classics

Bonhams’ MPH online sale is up next. The Lagonda V12 we featured failed to sell, but the Le Zebre went for $12,503. The top sale was this 1927 Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model that sold for $294,205. Click here for additional results.

Photo – Bonhams

And, finally, we have RM’s other online sale, the American one. We only featured one car from this one, the Alfa Romeo RZ, and it sold for $61,600. Top sale honors go to this 2005 Ford GT. All $291,500 of it. Final results can be seen here.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

500K Offener Tourenwagen

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Offener Tourenwagen

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured five examples of the 500K – one of the finest automobiles to ever have been produced by Mercedes-Benz. Four of them were cabriolets, and there was one Sports Roadster. What they all have in common is that they are sporty drop-tops. They may have had back seats, but the focus was on making them look like convertible coupes.

Not this car. While it may have two doors, it also has a long convertible top so that rear-seat passengers still had an open view to the outside world. This was the autobahn cruiser for someone who regularly took his friends out to show off. Imagine taking three of your friends and blasting down the highway with the top down in one of these. Incredible.

Power is from a 160 horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter inline-eight (100 horsepower without the supercharger engaged). Bonhams’ catalog description refers to this as a Cabriolet A and an Offener Tourenwagen, and it is most definitely the latter. It also claims that only 16 such cars were built on the 500K chassis, but the number 28 is reported elsewhere.

The takeaway is that it’s rare. It’s also one of the best 500Ks, apart from the Autobahnkuriers. This one should bring between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Mercedes-Benz 630K Sports

1928 Mercedes-Benz 630K Sports Tourer by Sindelfingen

Offered by Bonhams | Brussels, Belgium | September 6, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

What would become the Mercedes-Benz 630K actually started out as the pre-merger Mercedes 24/100/140 in 1924. Beginning in 1926, the line was renamed the 630, and short-wheelbase K variants went on sale later that year.

They were powered by a supercharged 6.3-liter inline-six that made 138 horsepower with the supercharger engaged, which was done by matting the gas pedal. It was an expensive car, and not all that many were sold before the model went away at the end of 1929. Only 377 630Ks were built after the merger.

This example was bodied by the factory and was first used as a Mercedes-Benz display car. It’s first owner used it competitively until the Nazis came to power, causing him to flee to Finland, where he would later crash the car. It remained in its wrecked state until 1989, when it was discovered and brought back to Germany to be restored.

The work wrapped up in the 1990s, and the car is now being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $680,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Puch 500 GE

1993 Puch 500 GE

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | March 26-27, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The civilian version of the Mercedes-Benz Geländeagen was introduced in 1979 and remains in production today looking pretty much the same. Up until 2000, the trucks were sold in Austria (and a few select other European markets) under the Puch brand.

The G-Wagen was updated in 1990, and the first V8-powered variant was introduced in 1993. It was called the 500 GE. Only 446 were produced between 1993 and 1994. Power is from a 5.0-liter V8 good for 237 horsepower. The V8 wouldn’t reappear until 1998. And, of course, MB would drop much larger, more powerful engines in these later on.

Of those 446 500 GEs, only three were Puch-branded, with this being the first. It’s finished in a great color and features a very ostentatious Puch badge on the front grille. Sure, this truck may be a footnote in the world of Mercedes vehicles, but that’s kind of what makes it interesting. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

January 2020 Auction Highlights

We kick off in January with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona where the top sale was this 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster that sold for $2,370,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, with the V-16 Cadillac leading the way at $1,105,000. Following that was the Hispano-Suiza at $445,000 and the Shelby Series I at $91,840. Other sales included the Chalmers for $61,600, the Locomobile for $58,240, and the Kaiser for $10,080. Click here for complete results.

Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual-Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000. The Model A Duesenberg, and a previously-featured Model J, both failed to sell. More results are available here.

We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.

Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.

On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.

Across town was Russo & Steele, who managed to move this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,045,000. The Rambler Marlin we featured went for $8,800. A great buy. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Finally, we have Bonhams at Retromobile. The top overall sale was this 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport that sold for $5,045,740.

Photo – Bonhams

Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.

Other sales included the Devin D for $100,914 and the Toyota F1 roller for $90,823. No sales were the Bugatti 39, Zagato Mostro, and the previously-featured Miller Shooting Brake and Brasier saloon. More results can be found here.

Mercedes-Benz SS

1929 Mercedes-Benz SS 27/140/200 Sport Tourer by Fernandez & Darrin

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

Before there was the S-Class, there was the S-Series, which started with the Model S, which was a nice, big car introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 1926. This line of cars was responsible for the best Mercedes cars before things like the 540K rolled out.

It was topped by the SS in 1928, as shown here. This car is believed to wear a body from Fernandez and Darrin and was sold new in New York. Three versions of the SS were offered between 1928 and 1934. This is an example of the early, entry-level model, which is powered by a supercharged 7.1-liter straight-six that made 140 horsepower in normal mode and 200 with the supercharger engaged. This power rating was only available through 1930.

Things got even more intense with the SSK, but that’s another story for another day. Only 111 examples of the SS were built, and this example should bring between $6,500,000-$8,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Not sold.

November 2019 Auction Highlights

We’re starting in November with Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Show sale. This multi-day sale saw this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 bring the biggest bids. It sold for $799,889.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Range Rover limo we featured sold for $42,903. Full results can be found here.

Onward to Osenat, where this 1975 Ferrari Dino 246 GT sold for $264,580. The Ballot sedan we featured brought a strong $79,374. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

At Historics’ November sale, an AC Buckland we featured a few years back found a new home for $55,555. The overall top sale was $309,959 for this 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. More results are available here.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Next up is Brightwells’ Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. The top sale here was an interesting one. It’s a 2011 Morgan Plus Four SuperSports factory race car and the factory transporter, which is a late-80s/early-90s Ford-based RV. Oh, and the trailer. The whole package cost someone $69,861.

Photo – Brightwells

The TVR we featured didn’t sell, but the other five cars did, led by the Bedford pickup for $13,018. Everything else was really cheap, including the $10,848 Scimitar, the $7,232 Commer campervan, the $5,496 Morris pickup, and the $3,037 Rover Scout concept car. The rest of the results can be found here.

Finally, RM Sotheby’s held a sale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. If you’re imagining a sale chock full of supercars, well, you’re right. In fact, the Pagani Zonda we featured ended up as the top sale at $6,812,500. Not far behind it was Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2002 at $6,643,750. The other feature cars that crossed the million-dollar mark were the Zagato Raptor at $1,086,250, the Koenigsegg Agera at $1,356,250, the Ferrari 126 C2 at $2,143,750, and the Ferrari FXX-K at $4,281,250.

We’ll award most interesting to 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster due to its 1990s poster car-ness. It sold for $169,625.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other Lambo highlights include the “brand new” Diablo VT 6.0 SE that went for $525,000, as well as the Concept S, which failed to sell. Click here for complete results.

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.

170VS Gelandesport

1938 Mercedes-Benz 170VS Gelandesport

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The Mercedes-Benz 170V went on sale in 1935 and quickly became the marque’s most popular model up through the outbreak of WWII. The 170S was introduced in 1949 and was built through 1952 and was slightly larger than the earlier V (which also remained in production into the 1950s).

What we have here is the sole survivor of the 10 170VS examples built – a car known as the Gelandesport. It was specially-built by Mercedes-Benz to compete in the 1938 Deutsche Alpenfahrt, a three-day rally that took drivers through the Alps from Munich to Vienna.

Power is from a 1.9-liter inline-four capable of 65 horsepower. It was discovered by an American in Germany in 1950 and was purchased in 1990 by the current owner, who began a restoration in 1995. That work completed in 2018, and the car is now a highlight of an already-packed Mecum Monterey catalog. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $330,000.