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.

Milhous Collection Results

RM Auctions’ “recent” sale in Boca Raton, Florida of the eccentric Milhous Collection of cars – and many other assorted expensive things – was a big success, with every lot selling. The auction brought in a total of $38.3 million. Top sale was the 1912 Oldsmobile Limited Five-Passenger Touring we featured a while back. The estimate on the car was $1.4-1.6 million but the car ended up selling for $3,300,000 including fees.

The second-highest sale at the auction was not a car. It was this 1903 Ruth Style 38-B Fair Organ:

It’s gigantic and sold for $1,265,000. Of the top ten sales, six were automobiles and four were organs or orchestrations. All four of these musical pieces sold for over $1 million.

Our other feature cars included the stunning 1913 Alco Six Model H Touring Car that sold for $506,000. The Duesenberg Model J Murphy Convertible Sedan sold for $990,000. The 1932 Marmon Sixteen brought $552,500. Our other feature car, the one-of-a-kind Rounds Rocket Indy roadster sold for $275,000.

Other highlights were this 1933 Chrysler Custom Imperial Five-Passenger Phaeton.

It’s a former Otis Chandler car with impressive styling and a 135 horsepower. It sold for $1,210,000.

In addition to the Rounds Rocket Indy roadster, there were a few other race cars that sold too. First was this 1949 Snowberger-Offy built by former driver Russ Snowberger and driven by George Lynch who failed to qualify it for both the 1950 and 1951 Indy 500.

It sold for $192,500. There was also a 1962 Lesovsky-Offy (aka the Sarkes Tarzian Special) driven by Elmer George (father of IRL founder Tony George) in the 1962 and 1963 race.

It bettered it’s estimate by about $50,000, selling for $330,000. From a slightly more recent era, this 1984 March 84C Cosworth driven by Teo Fabi – in awesome Skoal Bandit livery – sold for $110,000.

The most “affordable” car sold at this sale, that was not a motorcycle or tractor, was a 1962 Corvette Convertible that sold for $66,000 – it was the only car not to break into the six figures.

The other interesting “vehicle” sold was a 1941 Ryan PT-22 Recruit airplane. These planes were very popular in general aviation after WWII because they could be bought as surplus for a few hundred dollars. There used to be a handful of them based at a local airport back in the late 1940s and 1950s. At least one ended up in a creek (no one was hurt). This example sold for $241,500, slightly higher than what was paid for it after the war.

For complete results, click here.

1912 Oldsmobile Limited

1912 Oldsmobile Limited Five-Passenger Touring

Offered by RM Auctions, Boca Raton, Florida, February 25, 2012

Cars do not come much more grand than this. Built for only three model years (1910, 1911, and 1912), the Oldsmobile Limited might very well be the greatest car Oldsmobile ever built. They were available in a number of bodystyles – and an unrestored barn-find 7-Passenger Touring model sold for $1.6 million at an RM Auction in 2007.

This is one of only 140 Limiteds built in 1912 (only 725 were built in total) and the only 1912 known to exist. The first owner was Canadian and it has passed through the collection of Otis Chandler on its way to the Milhous Collection in Florida. These cars are immense – they should really put something in the photo (like Shaquille O’Neal) so you can compare it to the largest wheels ever fitted to a production car – 42 inches (take that, rap stars). It’s seven feet tall and over 17 feet long. In other words, giant.

The 11.5 liter (!) T-head six-cylinder engine produces 60 horsepower and was enough for a capable top speed. There is a famous painting of an Olds Limited outrunning the 20th Century Limited (a train).

A new Limited in 1910 would run you $4,600. By 1912, the limousine model would require at least $7,000. So even the base model cost more than a three-bedroom house at the time. Well, that’s still true today. With a pre-sale estimate of $1,400,000-$1,600,000 you could trade a very nice house for this car. Pre-WWI cars do not come much better than this. For the complete catalog description, click here. To see the rest of the Milhous Collection, click here.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.