Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

1912 Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Oldsmobile became part of General Motors in 1908 and cars like this make it seem like the General left Olds alone for the first few years of their relationship. This does not look like a General Motors product, yet by 1913, Oldsmobile cars started to look more or less like everything else on the market. This Defender Speedster looks expensive and high-quality, not something from a company consumed with mass production.

The 1912 Oldsmobile lineup consisted of this, the “small” Defender powered by a 35 horsepower, 4.4-liter straight-four, the mid-sized four-cylinder Autocrat, and the gargantuan Limited six. Open-top Defenders went for $3,000 in 1912, a pretty sizeable amount in its day.

This well-restored car has been in the same collection for the last 12 years. It’s a rare model (only available in 1912 and 1913) seldom seen today. A great example of what Oldsmobile once stood for, it should bring decent money in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Olds 442 W-30

1970 Oldsmobile 442 W-30 Sport Coupe

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The 442 was a package originally introduced on the 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass and F-85. The name represented the original car’s four-barrel carburetor, four-speed manual transmission and dual exhausts. It remained an option on these cars through 1967 and in 1968 it became a standalone model that shared the same general style as the Cutlass.

1970 was the best year for Olds and their star muscle car, the 442. The engines were huge: this car has a massive 7.5-liter V-8 stuffed under the hood and it also carries the optional W-30 package which bumped the power to 370 horsepower (and 500 lb-ft of torque). It’s a monster and one the best performance cars GM had made up to that point.

In 1972, the 442 was demoted to an appearance package you could order for your Cutlass. The 442 was a short-lived muscle car icon and this car, with that W-30 package, was the most badass Oldsmobile you could buy. Only 262 W-30 Sport Coupes were made in 1970 and this is one of just 120 with an automatic transmission and air conditioning. It’s well-optioned and very nicely restored. And that green and white paint scheme is a great combo. This is a $100,000+ car and you can read more about it here. Click here for more from Mecum in L.A.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $50,000.

Oldsmobile IRL Support Vehicle

1999 Oldsmobile Bravada IRL Support Vehicle

Offered by Mecum | Denver, Colorado | July 8-9, 2016

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Okay, so this is sort of a weird one, I’ll admit. The Oldsmobile Bravada is not a collectible car. Never has been, never will be. It was Oldsmobile’s only SUV they ever made as their unfortunate demise preceded the SUV explosion we’ve had of late.

This is a second-generation Bravada (of three) and a platform mate of the Chevy Blazer and GMC Jimmy. The 1996-2001 Bravada was powered by a 4.3-liter V6 making 191 horsepower. This truck was actually used by the Indy Racing League as a support vehicle. It says “Official Pace Vehicle” but it doesn’t have a lightbar, so it isn’t clear if it was used to pace races or to drive wrecked racers back to the infield care center.

The graphics are kind of cool and you’d definitely have the coolest Bravada around. This was the first Bravada produced for the 1999 model year and it has covered only 10,926 miles since new. It is AWD and is really nice all around. It should bring a little more than your average used SUV. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $11,000.

Five Cars from the 1920s

1927 Whippet Model 96 Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

General Motors wasn’t the only American automaker expanding its brands in the 1920s. Willys-Overland was one of a number of other companies to get in on the game. Whippet was a marque introduced for the 1926 model year. It didn’t last long – it was gone after 1930 – but it did have an impact: boosting Willys into third place in the U.S.

The Model 96 was the smaller option in the Whippet line and was produced in every model year. It is powered by a 30 horsepower 2.2-liter straight-four. This car looks great. It was formerly part of the AACA Museum and has been used in Boardwalk Empire – which is something we’ve talked about in other posts. Interesting. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $23,100.


1929 Roosevelt Eight Sedan by Hayes

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Roosevelt is a very rare American automobile make. It was built by Marmon and introduced in 1929 – great timing. It was a smaller version of the larger Marmons and was the first American car with a straight-eight engine to be offered for sale for less than $1,000. The engine is actually a 3.3-liter straight-eight, making 77 horsepower.

The Eight (Roosevelt’s only model) was offered in four body styles with the Sedan being the cheapest and least fanciful. Named for Teddy Roosevelt, this rare survivor would be an awesome addition to a collection. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $10,450.


1924 Oldsmobile Model 30-B Turtle Deck Speedster by Schutte

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1924 Oldsmobile line consisted of a single model offered in a range of factory body styles and apparently coachbuilt ones as well. The engine is a 2.8-liter straight-six making 42 horsepower.

The story here is this awesome bod. The aluminium radiator looks like it was milled out of a solid block of metal. The solid metal wheels are amazing. The car only has a single door – on the passenger side of the car. It is full of special one-off features with an unusual body style from a smaller coachbuilder. It is thought that less than 10 Schutte-bodied cars exist and we’ve now featured two of them. Check out more on RM’s site.

Update: Sold $71,500.


1923 Wills Sainte Claire B-68 Gray Goose Special

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Roosevelt, Wills Sainte Claire was another short-lived American automobile manufacturer of respectable quality. This car, which is all-original, is a 68-series car. The variations of the Model 68 were built from 1922 through 1926. 1927 was the only year it wasn’t built.

It was Wills Sainte Claire’s largest model, using a 4.4-liter V-8 making 67 horsepower. In 1924, the Model 68 was offered in a bunch of body styles with the most interesting being the Gray Goose Special seen here (which is essentially a four-door touring car). This one has known ownership history from new and has only been owned by two different families in that time. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,200.


1920 Rauch & Lang Electric Model C-45 Dual Drive Coach

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Rauch & Lang traces its history back to Jacob Rauch, a blacksmith in Cleveland who opened his shop in 1853. Charles Lang was a real estate man from nearby and moved the company toward wagon building. In 1905, they turned to electric cars and became one of America’s premier electric car builders in the early days of automobiles.

They built cars through 1928 and this 1920 Model C-45 is how most of them looked. The company moved from Cleveland to Massachusetts in 1920 (after having merged with Baker Electric in 1917) and this car was the final example produced in Cleveland. It uses a three horsepower electric motor. This car can be driven from the left hand seat either in the front or rear, which is pretty interesting. Try that in your Buick. Click here to see more about this car.

Update: Sold $66,000.

Oldsmobile Autocrat

1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Oldsmobile Autocrat was Oldsmobile’s mid-range model for 1911. At the bottom was the Special, but significantly upward was the Autocrat, which was second only to the legendary Oldsmobile Limited.

This Autocrat was originally fitted with four-door Tourabout body work but its original (and long time) owner, John Henry Greenway Albert, fitted his own custom boattail aluminium body – which is what you see here. Albert owned the car from 1911 until 1968. He drove the car – a lot, racing it on the East Coast and driving it back home out west – even years after more sophisticated cars had come onto the market.

It is powered by a monstrous 40 horsepower 8.2-liter straight-four. The Autocrat was only built in 1911 and 1912. This example is an absolute driver, having been driven thousands of miles on tours and vintage races in the hands of its more recent owners. It’s been driven so much that it’s been restored three times. And it’s a looker too – kind of resembling something that, while a little more road-friendly, you may have seen at Indy in the early days. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $698,500.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Monterey 2017, $605,000.

French Front Oldsmobile

1904 Oldsmobile Model N Touring Runabout

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

This attractive Oldsmobile is a little different than the cars the company was famous for in its early years. The Curved Dash was Olds’ signature look in this era, but this Model N has what they called a “French Front” – a more traditional look styled after the cars coming out of France.

Available only in 1904 and 1905, the Touring Runabout was powered by a seven horsepower, single-cylinder engine of 1.9-liters. It was more upscale than the Curved Dash, featuring an Oldsmobile first: a steering wheel! It cost $100 more, too, at $750. It was available in either this green or a dark red.

Oldsmobile built 2,500 cars in 1904 between the Touring Runabout and a related model, the Light Tonneau. So rarity is guaranteed. This car was restored in the 1950s or 1960s by General Motors and remained in their Heritage Collection until 2011, so it has been well cared for. It’s a good-looking, early Oldsmobile. It should sell for between $65,000-$85,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $94,600.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2013 Highlights

Barrett-Jackson’s auction is so big in Scottsdale, Arizona in January – and it’s so well publicized (not to mention live results) that it makes it easy to catch all the action. And last year we found it necessary to split up the highlights over two posts (and weekends). This year, the first three days were kind of lackluster with regards to interesting cars (plus I don’t have the time), so I’m combining them into a single post.

The top sale for the first three days (charity cars notwithstanding) was a pitifully photographed 1968 Shelby GT500 KR that sold for $108,900. We only featured one car from these three days, a 1906 Success Highwheeler, which sold for $33,000.

Overall, the top sale was the first Batmobile ever made. Built by George Barris around the 1955 Lincoln Futura Concept car, this Batmobile has been in his possession since the end of filming when he bought it for $1. There are a lot of replicas out there, but this is the first one. It sold for $4,620,000. I would describe this price as bat$&!t crazy. Those replicas don’t sound so bad now.

1966 Lincoln Batmobile #1

One of the other most eye-popping results that will be making people rethink whether or not they will be keeping theirs was this 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible for $357,500.

There were a few other million dollar cars, starting with this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL that was purchased new by Clark Gable. It originally didn’t meet its reserve on the block but was sold shortly after for a slightly lower price. It sold for $2,035,000.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The next million-dollar car was one of our feature cars. The 1934 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Beverly Sedan sold for $1,430,000. There was another Duesenberg at this sale, that we featured a while back, that failed to meet its reserve. Another feature car that failed to sell was the Shelby EXP 500. The other car that came from Craig Jackson’s personal collection was the 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible that sold for $1,320,000. Another top sale was this 1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A SS Castagna Roadster for $1,320,000.

1929 Isotta-Fraschini Tippo 8A SS Castagna Roadster

Our featured Chrysler Diablo Concept car sold for $1,375,000. Another concept car was this 1954 Packard Panther Convertible that sold for $825,000.

1954 Packard Panther Convertible

More million-dollar cars: this 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Owens/Corning race car sold for $1,100,000.

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Owens/Corning Racecar

There was also a pair of 1940s French beauties that crossed the million-dollar mark. First, this 1949 Delahaye Type 175 Saoutchik Coupe de Ville sold for $1,210,000.

1949 Delahaye Type 175 Saoutchik Coupe de Ville

Then there was this 1947 Talbot-Lago T-26 Gran Sport by Franay that brought $2,035,000.

Of our three other feature cars, Fatty Arbuckle’s Pierce-Arrow failed to sell. The incredible Ruxton Sedan was stolen for $275,000. And the Hudson Italia sold for $396,000. There was another Isotta-Fraschini at this sale, a 1925 Tipo 8A S Boattail Roadster by Corsica. It sold for $935,000.

1925 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8A S Boattail Roadster by Corsica

There was also this 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Dick Harrell 427 that sold for $253,000.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Dick Harrell 427

This 1927 Bugatti Type 38 with Four-Seat Open Tourer coachwork by Lavocat et Marsaud sold for $715,000.

1927 Bugatti Type 38 Four-Seat Open Tourer by Lavocat et Marsaud

And finally, one of my favorite cars from this sale was this 1913 Fiat Tipo 55 Speed Car that brought $198,000. Which is less than it would have had it been sold elsewhere, I would bet. You can check out full results here (the final day of the auction is still on-going as I write this).

1913 Fiat Tipo 55 Speed Car

Bonhams 2012 Beaulieu Sale Highlights

We featured three cars from Bonhams September 8, 2012 sale held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire. The Waldron Wayfarer was withdrawn. The Wolseley Seven sold for $18,774 and the 1913 Humberette brought $36,809. Top sale went to a 1925 Bentley 3/4.25-Litre Speed Model Red Label Tourer for $253,000.

1925 Bentley 3/4½-Litre Speed Model Red Label Tourer

Right behind that was this 1927 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster for $239,000.

There were a pair of interesting Delages at this auction, first: a 1913 Type R4 Two-Seat Raceabout (first below) for $68,000. And then a 1938 D6-70 Tourer with coachwork by Coachcraft. It (second below) sold for $82,800.

1913 Delage Type R4 Two Seater 'Raceabout'

1938 Delage D6-70 Tourer  Coachwork by Coachcraft

Other cars of interest included this 1910 Star 15hp Tourer. This is from the British Star Motor Company – entirely separate from the American marque of the same name that operated during the same period. This big touring car brought $57,000.

As far as oddball cars go, this 1958 Merry Olds Runabout is a 1950s replica of a Curved-Dash Oldsmobile from around 1902. There were a couple of companies that built such cars in the 1950s. This one was built by The Air Products Corporation of Ft. Lauderdale. These were not kit cars, but actual low-volume production cars with a throwback look. Now, why anyone would’ve wanted it for anything other than a novelty, I don’t know. I guess it would be nice to have the disposable income to buy a novelty car. It sold for $12,800.

1958 Merry Olds Runabout

And finally, there was this amazingly-sporty 1935 Riley 1.5-Litre Kestrel. This thing looks mean. The low-slung drophead coupe body was custom built during restoration and no doubt looks better than the saloon body it replaced. It sold for $99,100.

For complete results, click here.

 

 

 

2012 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance

The 2012 Ault Park Concours d’Elegance, held in one of Cincinnati’s most beautiful parks in one of Cincinnati’s most uppity neighborhoods, was held two weekends ago. The show was full of some of the finest cars from around the mid-west. This year’s featured marque was “A Century of American Power.” Classic Car Weekly was in attendance and here are some of our favorites.

Our pick for best in show was this 1929 Stutz Model M Lancefield Supercharged Coupe.  It came out of the Mitchell Collection in Texas and is the only surviving example of the five originally built. The low roof-line and gives this car a truly sporting presence.

One of the other awesome rides was this 1910 Oldsmobile Autocrat Prototype Race Car built for the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup. Old race cars like this are fascinating – they’re as big as trucks and the driver and riding mechanic were just hanging on, completely exposed to the elements in tiny little seats with absolutely no protection whatsoever. Also, don’t forget about the 7.7-liter four-cylinder hanging out front.

Oh, and check out these exhaust, which look like something of a battle tank:

I really enjoyed this 1911 Lozier Briafcliff, as it was gigantic. A gentlemen hanging around it all day tried to convince me that it was worth $40 million. I nodded and smiled but politely declined to tell him he was insane.

This 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 Spyder is one of three 5300 Spyders built. It has a 327 Corvette engine making 350 horsepower and a stunning interior.

One of the most mind-blowing aspects of this show, was that, on either side of the Stutz mentioned above, there was an SJ Duesenberg. Not a bad day when there are multiple SJ Duesenbergs vying for your attention. This one is a 1929 Bohman & Schwartz Disappearing Top Roadster. 320 horsepower and 140 mph in 1929 must have been incredible.

Another exotic was this 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, one of 338 built. Only when standing next to one of these do you realize how impossibly low they sit to the ground. What a wonderful machine.

MG was a featured marque this year. Two cars that really stood out included this brilliant blue 1934 NA Evans-Wilkinson Special, one of three built.

There other super-cool MG was this crazy 1985 Metro 6R4 Group B Rally Car from the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. It was built by Williams F1 for the rally circuit and, yes, crazy is the correct word.

Some other interesting, newer cars include this 1991 BMW Z1, a car you don’t see often, especially in America.

This track-day special (although it was listed as “street-legal”) 2009 Ariel Atom 3 drew a crowd, as you could look around it and see just about every part on/in/within it.

American classics (and muscle cars) were prevalent, with muscle cars being part of the featured “American Power” motif. Easily the most interesting among them was this 1964 Studebaker Commander Super Lark – the only production steel-bodied R-3 package car with the 5.0-liter supercharged V8, which was built for Studebaker by the Granatelli Brothers. It was the fastest compact car in the U.S. when it was built, turning sub-13 second 1/4 miles in excess of 110 mph.

Other fantastic American (or semi-American) classics include this 1957 Dual-Ghia D-500 Convertible. Dual-Ghias are simply beautiful cars and this one in red was no exception.

And finally, this 1964 Buick Riviera looked amazing in Coral Mist, my new favorite automotive color. It has the 425 cubic inch Super Wildcat V8, making 360 horsepower.

And what would any good car show rundown be without a trip through the parking lot, a car show in itself. Some of the more impressive cars I saw included a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible. It looked mean, and made me wonder why GM hadn’t built these before.

This Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster was pretty classic and it looked fun, as it drove past me with four people packed in and on it, having a good time.

This Lamborghini Diablo SV got the attention of the high-school student within me – and plenty of others.

And finally, from the environmentally responsible crowd, this Fisker Karma gathered a lot of interest from onlookers saying things like “What is that?” and “I’ve never seen one of these.” While this car might look like some kind of extended coupe, it is actually a very long car in person – much bigger than you’d think.

Auctions America Ft. Lauderdale Highlights

Auctions America recently offered a boatload of cars at their Ft. Lauderdale, Florida auction (seriously, it felt like it took forever to sift through the results). The top sale was $341,000 for this 1933 Chrysler CL Phaeton. It is one of only 36 built.

The second biggest sale went to a muscle car: a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS LS6 Convertible. It’s one of the best looking muscle cars of the era and it’s equipped with the monster 454cid V8 underrated at 450 horsepower. It sold for $198,000.

And the third biggest sale was a more-or-less brand new (391 miles) 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Off the lot examples are supposed to cost about $190,000. This one sold for $178,200. Basically, they just bought a new car.

We featured a few really interesting cars from this sale including the 1959 Berkeley SE492 Twosome that ended up selling for $16,500. Another featured microcar was the 1957 David Convertible built in Spain. It sold for $25,300. And the final featured microcar was the  tongue-twisting 1952 Kleinschnittger F125 Convertible that brought $44,000. There were two other very rare microcars at this sale that I was supposed to feature on the site but for whatever reason didn’t. First was this 1959 PTV 250 Convertible that brought $20,900.

The other was this street-legal but spartan 1955 Kapi JIP Convertible for $8,500.

Other interesting lots included a 1952 Chevrolet Styleline done up in period-correct taxicab livery. It’s really sharp and sold for $36,300.

There were also some coachbuilt American cars from the 1970s and 1980s that included this 1979 Cadillac Le Cabriolet. It was 1 of 200 built by Hess & Eisenhardt for GM, as GM was still in their “no convertible” days. It looks good and could’ve been yours for $15,400.

The other was a 1985 Oldsmobile Toronado Caliente Convertible converted by the American Sunroof Corporation (ASC), who appear to have built more aftermarket convertibles than most automotive companies did in the 1980s. It sold for $10,175.

While we’re on the subject of Oldsmobiles, allow me to point out this 1984 Hurst/Olds. It isn’t exactly exotic, but I really like it and for $7,040, it’s quite affordable – which is the big draw to auctions like these where you can find yourself a real steal.

The other apparent steal that I would’ve liked to have snatched up was this 2000 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. They were only made from 1998 until 2002 and they cost over $220,000 when new. And now you could’ve bought one for $35,200! That’s 3-Series money! Maintenance nightmare waiting around the corner? Maybe. But it’s a small price to pay for rolling around town feeling like Jay-Z.

The 1999 Shelby Durango we featured sold for $13,750 – which is about as cheap as you’re going to find something with Carroll Shelby’s name on it. The 1912 Clement-Bayard Torpedo we featured was apparently withdrawn from the sale, as it is not listed as either sold or unsold in the auction results. For complete results, check out Auctions America’s website.