Armstrong Siddeley Special

1935 Armstrong Siddeley Special Mk II Touring Limousine

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | March 29, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Armstrong Siddeley was a company that came together when two other companies merged. Those companies were Armstrong Whitworth and Siddeley-Deasy. Each of those companies were the result of a merger of two other companies. Basically Armstrong Siddeley was the culmination of four different, earlier, automotive companies.

Armstrong Siddeley began in 1919 and produced cars until 1960. From that point on, they focused on aircraft and aircraft engines. Through a series of mergers, they are now part of Rolls-Royce (the aircraft company).

This Special is one of the rarest Armstrong Siddeleys ever built. It was introduced in 1932 and went on sale for 1933, being sold through 1937. Only 253 were built. It’s powered by a 5.0-liter straight-six that offered pretty good performance for its day. This would’ve been their attempt to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce.

This particular car was a factory demonstrator and is one of about 30 cars that are still in existence. Recently, it was owned by the a trustee of the National Motor Museum and the head of the Armstrong Siddeley Heritage Trust. It runs and drives, but needs a little work to be roadworthy. It will sell at no reserve and you can find more about it here (and more from H&H Classics here).

Update: Sold $28,777.

Townsend Typhoon

1957 Townsend Typhoon Mk II

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 3, 2016

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

We’ve featured another car called “Typhoon” from the same era as this one – but that one was British and this car was built by Frank Townsend of Tucson, Arizona during the fiberglass sports car craze of the 1950s. The first Typhoon was based on a ’49 Plymouth and was actually built by Townsend while in high school.

The second car was dubbed the Typhoon Mark I. A second one was later built (this car), that was originally a Mark I, but once the fenders behind the front wheels were cut away and the front end redone, they renamed it “Mark II.” It is powered by an Oldsmobile V-8.

It had a period race history in the NHRA and SCCA and is known as the “Purple People Eater.” Frank Townsend only managed to sell two additional Typhoon bodies after this car, putting total Townsend production at five cars – and they are all a little bit different. Fully restored and eligible for historic racing events, this car should bring between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Allard Palm Beach

1956 Allard Palm Beach Mk II

Offered by H&H Classics | Chateau Impney, U.K. | July 11, 2015

Photo - H&H Classics

Photo – H&H Classics

Sydney Allard starting building cars in the late 1930s to compete in hillclimb events. Not the civilized, paved hillclimbing that we know today, but trials – as in, up nearly-impassible dirt hills. After the war he started building some road cars – and nice ones at that. Then he moved to sports cars.

One such car, built near the end of Allard’s run, was the Palm Beach. First introduced in 1952, the car received a substantial upgrade to Mk II specification in 1956. The body was classed up and fit more with the times. And the engine was bumped up to six-cylinders only. This car uses a 2.6-liter straight-six from a Ford. Jaguar engines were also available.

This car is beautiful, having had a recent ground-up restoration. It was on the stand at the 1956 Earls Court Motor Show. After that, it was an Allard factory demonstrator. The Palm Beach ended production in 1958 with 80 built – only six of which were Mk II cars, making this exceptionally rare. This one should sell for between $125,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $138,880.

Supersonic Aston Martin

1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II Supersonic by Ghia

Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013

1956 Aston Martin DB24 Mk II Supersonic by Ghia

 The Aston Martin DB2/4 was the follow-up model to the Aston DB2 (on which this car was based). It was introduced in 1953 and the Mk II model came in 1955. Coachbuilt Astons from any coachbuilder are very rare. Ghia built a run of 15 “supersonic” cars in the 1950s and this was the last one built. It is also the only Supersonic attached to an Aston Martin chassis.

The engine in this car is likely the 2.9-liter straight six making either 140 or 165 horsepower, depending on compression (the catalog is vague on technical details. This auctions is being held in conjunction with Sotheby’s and is called “The Art of the Automobile,” so maybe it’s more about styling than driving, which is a shame). This car was acquired new by racing driver Harry Schell who sold it the following year to an American in New York. In 1974, the car was discovered outside a Detroit gas station by a young man who was able to track it down again in 2003 when he purchased it and began restoring it.

The restoration is exquisite and has proven successful, as this car wins awards just about every time it is shown. The DB2/4 is rare enough, with only 764 built. But this car has one-of-a-kind 1950s Space Age coachwork from one of the most famed coachbuilders of all time. It will likely bring between $1,800,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,310,000.

Aston Martin Mk II

1935 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Mk II

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 13, 2013

1935 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Mk II

Aston Martin built their first car in 1915 but production didn’t start until the 1920s. Early Astons are very rare and you don’t see many from prior to WWII. As far as what early Astons looked like – they all sort of resembled the car you see here.

The Mk II was introduced in 1934 and built through 1936 (yeah, they’re rare: only 148 were built). The company didn’t take off until the David Brown era, but it was models like this that allowed it to survive until Brown came along. Aston’s 1.5-liter engine was first bolted to a car in 1926 and lasted through 1935, with this being among the final Astons to use the 73 horsepower straight-four.

The body is a four-seat tourer by A. C. Bertelli and it’s very sporty, even with its long-ish looking wheelbase – they handled well and could do 80 mph. While the lot description doesn’t explicitly say so, it makes it sound like this car is in original condition – which would be incredible because this car looks like it was just restored. But it does come from long-term (50+ years) ownership where it was in a private museum (read: “collection”). It should bring a strong $150,000-$195,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Update: Sold $158,100.

Gulf GT40

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey California | August 17, 2012

The genesis of the Ford GT40 is a well-known story. Henry Ford II wanted Ferrari. Enzo said no. Ford set out to destroy them on the track – and succeeded brilliantly. The Gulf-Mirage story isn’t quite as popular, but it’s just as interesting.

While the GT40 was conceived and designed in Dearborn, it was built in England by Ford Advanced Vehicles (FAV). After the 1967 season, Ford cancelled the project, effectively ending FAV. A number of road-going models (as well as race cars) had already been produced.

The head of FAV was John Wyer, a former race engineer and team manager. He was actually the team owner of the winning 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans team – when Carroll Shelby, head of the GT40 race team, was driving. Anyway, when FAV was scuttled, Wyer stepped up and reformed it as John Wyer Automotive Engineering (JWAE).

One of the customers of the road-going cars happened to be Grady Davis, Vice-President of Gulf Oil. He liked the car and thought it might be a good platform to carry the Gulf Oil name in competition. He funded JWAE to build race cars specifically for the purpose. These cars were badged as “Mirage”s.

Wyer based the first Mirage prototype (the M1) very closely on the, unsuccessful in competition, Mk I GT40. The car you see here was the third of three lightweight Mirage M1 race cars built. The Mirage M1 was competing against the very successful Ford’s Mk II and Mk IV GT40s in 1967. When the 1968 rules were announced, Ford pulled out of the GT40 project and it was left to privateer teams. Wyer found a curious loophole: prototypes would be limited to 3.0-liters while sportscars (with at least 50 road version having been constructed) were allowed 5.0-liters. Wyer took the Mirage M1 cars back to Slough, where JWAE was based, and converted two of them to GT40s.

Now Wyer had quite a car on his hands. These “Mk I” GT40s (built after the Mk II, III and IVs) won the 1968 and 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans. The competition history of this car, Mirage M.10003/Ford GT40 P/1074, is as follows:

  • 1967 1000km Spa (as a Mirage M1) – 1st (with Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson)
  • 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans – 47th, DNF (with Ickx and Brian Muir)
  • 1967 BOAC 500 (Brands Hatch) – DNF (with Thompson and Pedro Rodríguez)
  • 1967 1000km Paris at Montlhéry – 1st (with Ickx and Thompson)
  • 1968 Daytona 24 Hours (as GT40) – 33rd, DNF (with Paul Hawkins and David Hobbs)
  • 1968 12 Hours of Sebring – 28th (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km Monza – 1st (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km Nürburgring – 6th (with Hobbs and Brian Redman)
  • 1968 Six Hours of Watkins Glen – 2nd (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Hawkins and Hobbs)
  • 1968 1000km of Paris at Montlhéry – 8th (with Jean Blaton & Hughes de Fierlandt)
  • 1969 BOAC 500 (Brands Hatch) – 5th (with Hobbs and Mike Hailwood)

Perhaps, one of this car’s more interesting assignments was that of camera car for the 1971 film Le Mans starring Steve McQueen. The roof was cut away and heavy 1960s-era 35mm cameras were installed. The car was driven at speeds up to 150 mph with a daring camera operator in the passenger seat. The car made runs of the pit lane prior to the start of the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans for filming. Whether or not it ran during the race, however, is unknown.

The car passed through a few hands, being reconstructed as a GT40 in the 1970s and restored again in 1983. The most recent restoration was completed in 2002. Behind the driver sits a 440 horsepower Ford 289 V8. And all around the driver shines the brilliant blue/marigold Gulf colors that gives this car away as something truly special. The original Mirage M1 bodywork is included with the car.

If a Ford GT40 is a car you feel you must own, there is perhaps no other example, save for the Le Mans-winning Mk IV sitting in the Henry Ford Museum, that you should rather have than this. RM listed the estimate as “available upon request” – hinting that if you need even inquire, it is out of your reach. Expect it to go for millions. For the complete description, click here. And for more from RM in Monterey, click here.

Update: Sold $11,000,000.

Turner Mk II

1961 Turner Mk II

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 16, 2012

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Jack Turner opened his sports car business in 1951 and quickly started production on small British sports cars such as this 1961 Mk II. The company produced sports cars similar to MGs (the first car was a re-worked MG) and the like. Six different models were available until the company closed (voluntarily) in 1966. They could be purchased as full, complete running cars – or in kit form.

This is a Mk II, of which about 150 were produced (a fire burned the factory records) from 1960 until 1963. Front suspension was based on a Triumph Herald and engines options came from Ford, Austin and Coventry Climax. This particular car as a 1275cc A-Series straight-four from BMC – the stalwart of tiny British four-cylinders.

Turners are rare cars – only 317 are known to exist, their locations split almost evenly between the U.S. and the U.K. with the U.S. having a handful more more. They are quite attractive (especially with those awesome Minator or Minator-esque wheels) and when was the last time you saw one? The pre-sale estimate is $22,500-$29,000. For the complete catalog description, click here. And for the rest of Silverstone Auctions’ Spring Sale lineup, click here.

Update: Not sold.