NSU Kettenkrad

1944 NSU Kettenkrad

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | March 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

It’s weird how war can create the need for vehicles that previously did not exist. Take this, the Kettenkrad – or, technically, the SdKfz 2. “Kettenkrad” is basically German slang for “tracked motorcycle.” This vehicle – it’s not technically a tank, and not technically a motorcycle, nor technically a tricycle (it has the right layout but more wheels than most trucks) – was designed and manufactured by NSU in Germany.

Produced between 1939 and 1948, the Kettenkrad was designed to be used by the German airborne, as it could fit in the cargo compartment of a Junkers Ju 52 – but it couldn’t be dropped via parachute. It’s powered by the 1.5-liter, 36 horsepower straight-four from an Opel Olympia. Top speed was 44 mph – making it the fastest tracked vehicle of WWII.

This has known ownership history back to 2011 (yep) and it’s been completely restored. Kettenkrads are a staple of every WWII movie set in Europe. By the time wartime production stopped in 1944, 8,345 of these had been built. Production resumed after the war as these were popular on farms. About 550 more were built through 1948. This immaculate wartime example should bring between $75,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $64,108.

Phoenix Tricar

1904 Phoenix 4.5HP Tricar

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. |  October 31, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Remember when cars were simple and passengers rode in wicker baskets in front of you, acting as both windscreen and front bumper? Well, yeah, it was a little before my time, too, but isn’t it interesting? Luckily it has three wheels, so you can register it as a motorcycle and you won’t have to worry about any of those pesky crash test standards.

The Phoenix Motor Company was founded by J. Van Hooydonk in London in 1903. They built bicycles, motorcycles and even a few more standardized motor cars through 1925. This tricar is powered by a 477cc twin making 4.5 horsepower.

Ownership history goes back a decade or two and it’s eligible for nearly all early car events and runs. It stands as an interesting insight into what once was thought as practical transport. It can be yours for between $24,000-$32,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $36,729.

RM Auctions Monaco 2012 Highlights

If you like auctions where there are a lot of million dollar cars, then RM Auctions’ May 11-12, 2012 sale in Monaco should bring a smile to your face as a stunning 13 cars sold for more than $1 million. The top sale was one of our feature cars – the 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Spider that sold for $6,526,800. The next two top selling cars were also feature cars here on the site: the 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder Tuboscocca sold for $3,263,400 – which was the same price brought by the 1966 Ferrari 206 S Dino Spyder. The next highest-selling car was a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A that brought $3,009,590.

After that, another of our feature cars, the amazing 2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP Le Mans race car sold for $2,175,600. Then another amazing performance car: a 2006 Ferrari FXX Evoluzione, which is basically a track-only Enzo on steroids, sold for $1,733,288.

Continuing down the list, we come across a few more feature cars. First, the 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 which sold for $1,595,440. Then the 9th Ferrari built, the 1948 166 Inter Spyder Corsa – hammered away for $1,307,950. Then we have the other Alfa Romeo prototype race car, the 1968 Tipo 33/2 Daytona selling for $1,305,360. Also selling for $1,305,360 was yet another Ferrari, a 1971 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spyder.

The next top-selling car – er, thing – was also the top selling boat of the sale (there’s a sentence I’ve never written). It’s also a Ferrari – or, at least, Ferrari-powered. It’s called a 1953 Timossi-Ferrari “Arno XI” Racing Hydroplane. It’s actually pretty amazing, looking like a WWII fighter plane with a hull instead of wings. And it’s powered by a 4.5-liter Ferrari Formula One V-12 engine making over 600 horsepower. It’s insane and sold for $1,124,060.

The other two million dollar cars were also Ferraris. The 1968 330 GTS sold for $1,102,304 and the 2000 F1-2000 ex-Michael Schumacher Formula One car brought a paltry $1,044,288. See if you can figure out which picture is which.

Other interesting sales include this 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II by Brockman. The body is solid copper – therefore you should not park it in a bad neighborhood. It sold for $203,506.

Some of our other feature cars were the 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider – which did not sell. The record-holding 1978 Rondeau-Cosworth sold for $464,128. This rare 1976 Lancia Stratos Stradale sold for $387,982.

We featured a pair of other Lancias: the 1995 Hyena, which sold for $116,032; and the 1964 Sport Prototipo Zagato, which brought $246,568.

The first day of this sale included a giant collection of Ducati motorcycles. The highest price realized for any of them was $325,757 for this race-winning 2010 Desmosedici GP10 CS1 with MotoGP rider Casey Stoner.

Another interesting sale was this 1953 Siata Daina Sport 1800 that sold for $224,812.

For things more affordable, you could have had this tongue-twister of a Mercedes – a 1934 Mercedes-Benz 200 W21 Sonnenscheinlimousine – for $36,260.

Our other two feature cars, the 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT and the ex-Fangio 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport failed to meet reserve and did not sell. Finally, the true odd-ball of the auction, the 1951 Piero Taruffi “Italcorsa/Tarf II” Speed-Record car sold for $116,032. You can read about its unique history via that link.

For complete results, click here.

Bonhams’ Vegas Motorcycle Sale Highlights

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show on The History Channel called American Pickers, but every once in a while they come across an old Harley-Davidson or Indian that is basically a pile of rusty parts held together by some invisible force. Then they’ll offer the owner of said motorcycle (sometimes sans motor) a bundle of cash. Sometimes as much as $10,000. It seems insane. Then you see this:

That’s a 1915 Indian 61ci Board-track Racing Motorcycle. In original condition – pulled from a barn or a basement somewhere. It’s a first-year model of the 61ci Big-Twin. It sold for $67,860. Which is quite a sum for something you can’t really ride. And there were at least a dozen unrestored barn-find motorcycles that brought more than $10,000. I don’t find it absurd that people are buying them – I understand wanting something rare and original and wonderful. What I don’t understand is where are people finding these? How many treasures are still out there to be found? It’s fascinating.

Here’s my other favorite barn-find:

It’s another Indian, specifically a 1906 Indian Camelback. Everything is there and supposedly it was ridden as recently as the 1970s, although it doesn’t look it. More interestingly, it was the personal bike of Paul du Pont of the famous du Pont family and founder of Du Pont Motors and, later on, owner of Indian motorcycles. This brought $72,540.

Other highlights included these two Vincents:

The first is a 1953 Vincent Black Shadow Series C. If you’re going to buy a classic motorcycle and money is no object, I recommend a Black Shadow. The second is a 1955 Black Prince that has appeared at auction after auction waiting for the right person to come along and finally bid over that reserve price. It finally happened. The Vincents brought $122,500 – each.

There was also this beautiful 1928 Henderson De Luxe Four:

This beautiful blue bike could’ve been yours for $70,200. Finally, we have two interesting motorcycles that are both “feet-forward.” And they were built almost 100 years apart. The first is the 1921 Ner-a-Car, of which a fair number were built. You just don’t see them that often anymore.

It sold for $9,360 and was stated as having been restored at the Indian factory in the 1940s although it is currently missing its exhaust. The other interesting motorcycles is this:

It’s a 2002 Gurney Alligator. I remember reading about this when it was first built. It looks really strange and it’s feet-forward design lends itself more toward a luge feeling than riding a motorcycle. Only 36 were built and they’re pretty quick with 70 horsepower and a top speed of about 140 mph. It sold for $15,210 – slightly more than your average cheap new motorcycle – but this will start conversations much more easily.

Although the Coventry-Eagle we featured a few weeks ago did not sell, some of these results show that there is real passion alive in the collector motorcycle hobby. For complete results, click here.