Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

We’ve featured a pair of Plymouth Superbirds in the past. One was a former NASCAR race car, and the other was Hemi-powered. Aside from the 426ci Hemi, Plymouth offered another engine in the “base” Superbird – a 440ci V8.

It came in two forms. One had a single four-barrel carburetor and made 375 horsepower, and the other, as this car has, is the same 7.2-liter V8 but with three two-barrel carburetors (the “Six-Barrel”) good for 390 horsepower.

This car is finished in Limelight Green, and it looks amazing. Production numbers, somehow, aren’t quite known. Everywhere you look gives you a different answer. It’s thought that about 1,920 Superbirds were produced in total. Only about 665 of those were Six-Barrel 440 cars. This one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

August 2019 Auction Highlights

We’ll start in August with Mecum’s Harrisburg sale, where an insane thing happened: the Plymouth Superbird we featured (that also happened to be Richard Petty’s former race car), failed to sell… for $3,500,000. Yeesh. The overall top seller was this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Sox & Martin drag car for $429,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Mecum

Now we move to Monterey, and we’ll start with Bonhams Quail Lodge sale. The top sale was the Ferrari 340 America we featured. It brought $3,635,000. No-sales among our feature cars included the Shelby/De Tomaso racer, the Siata 208 CS, and, I’m pretty sure, this Stutz Monte Carlo. Most Interesting is awarded to this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier sedan by Gangloff that went for $246,400.

Photo – Bonhams

Other highlights here included the Fran Roxas-bodied Duesenberg for just $478,000, the Hughes-Kircher Special for $304,200, the 1928 Cunningham for $80,000, and a previously-featured 12-seater Delahaye for $86,800. Click here for complete results.

Pivoting back to Mecum for their Monterey sale, we find that the top seller was this 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that sold for $2,750,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Ferrari 250 Monza was a no-sale at $20,000,000 – which just means that they had exceedingly high expectations for a car they didn’t seem too sure what it was. Other no-sales included the Delahaye Narval and previously-features cars such as this Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, a Talbot-Lago, the Lamborghini Centenario, a Corvette ZR2 convertible, and the Dragonsnake Cobra. The Gerhardt-Offy and Lola-Menard also failed to sell.

But, Arie Luyendyk’s ’97-winning car went for $440,000. Other sales included the Mercedes Alpine racer for $330,000 and a previously-featured McLaren 675LT Spider for $253,000. Click here for the rest of the results.

Next up is Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale. We’ll start with the no-sales, which included the Alfa Superflow, Jaguar XJR-10, and, I think, a previously-featured OSCA. The biggest seller was this 1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider that sold for $9,905,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Ferrari we featured, the Niki Lauda F1 car, sold for $6,000,000. Other Italian sales included the Alfa 256 for $2,755,000 and the Isotta Indy car for $2,645,000.

And our other feature cars, in decreasing order, were the Duesenberg Sport Berline for $2,040,000, the Studebaker Indy car for $1,105,000, and the Tatra for $412,000. Click here for more results.

And to wrap this post up, RM Sotheby’s much-talked-about sale, where the expected star, the 1939 Porsche, failed to sell after mass confusion. They did manage to set a record for a McLaren at auction, selling this 1994 McLaren F1 “LM-Spec” car sold for $19,805,000. These cars are not done appreciating.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other no-sales included the Ferrari 196 SP, the Ferrari 375MM, the Vector M12, a Duesenberg, and a previously-featured Maserati. On the “cheap” side of things, we have the 1990s Pantera for $240,800, the Jaguar Pirana for $324,000, and a previously-featured Rolls-Royce for $665,000.

Seven-figure cars included the Lincoln Indianapolis Concept at $1,105,000, the Aston DB5 wagon for $1,765,000, the Ferrari FXX for $3,520,000, and the GT40 Roadster for $7,650,000. Click here for final results.

Richard Petty’s Superbird

1970 Plymouth Superbird NASCAR

Offered by Mecum | Harrisburg, Pennsylvania | July 13-August 3, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Well here’s something you don’t see every day: an actual ex-Richard Petty be-winged Superbird. Plymouth built the Superbird in the hopes of dominating NASCAR. Also, it had the intended effect of luring Richard Petty back to driving Chrysler products, as he had jumped ship in 1968 to go run Fords.

This Superbird was restored by the Pettys and has apparently been authenticated as the real deal, though he likely ran multiple cars throughout the season as this is described as the superspeedway and large oval car. Petty won 18 races in 1970, leading to the huge wing and other aero effects being quickly banned from competition.

Power is from a 426ci Hemi V8 that was built by Petty Enterprises, which means it is probably producing more than the 425 horsepower quoted by the factory. The top speed of these cars is over 190 mph, which is pretty impressive if you consider the gearing the street cars had.

This piece of NASCAR history should draw inspired bidding. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $3,500,000.

AAR ‘Cuda

1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda AAR

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 16, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The Plymouth Barracuda was only built between 1964 and 1974, but it stands among the best muscle cars of the era. While Hemi ‘Cudas and Hemi ‘Cuda convertibles are certainly cool, the AAR is really, really cool. And so is its corporate cousin: the Dodge Challenger T/A.

What it amounted to was essentially an option package. It was supposed to be a street version of the ‘Cuda Trans-Am racing car that was campaigned by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers, hence the AAR designation. They were all powered by 5.6-liter (340) V8s equipped with the “Six Pack” of three two-barrel carburetors. Output was rated at 290 horsepower.

Only available in 1970, the cars could be had in a variety of wild colors, and all of them had a flat black hood and side graphics. This one is finished in Moulin Rouge. Only 2,724 examples were built in a two-month production run. Mecum has a rare estimate on this one: $60,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Sold $53,900.

Plymouth Asimmetrica

1961 Plymouth Asimmetrica Roadster by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While based on one of their chassis, this is no hum-drum Plymouth Valiant. This car, dubbed “Asimmetrica” for its asymmetrical design, was one of the last projects kicked off between Chrysler and Ghia during Virgil Exner‘s design reign at Chrysler. Or, at least that’s the thought. Some people say this was a Ghia thing all around.

Built as kind of a successor to the Plymouth XNR Concept, this was supposed to be a “more realistic” car that could actually be built in limited numbers and sold to the general public. Yes, this was the restrained version. The plan was to build a run of 25 of these, but it’s thought that only two were ever made.

Power comes from a NASCAR-spec 2.8-liter Hyper-Pak slant-six making 101 horsepower. Displayed at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and, later, the Geneva Show, this example was purchased off the Geneva stand by novelist Georges Simenon. Acquired and restored by the Blackhawk Collection in 1989, the current owner purchased the car in 2000. A wild example of unrestrained early 60s design, it should bring decent money in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $335,000.

June 2018 Auction Results

Bonhams leads off our June results rundown with their Aston Martin sale, held in Reading, England, this year. The top sale was this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible for $1,179,543.

Photo – Bonhams

Another convertible, the DB MK III we featured, sold for $523,694. Click here for more results.

Next up, H&H Classics at the Motor Sport Hall of Fame. The overall top sale was this 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Drophead Coupe that brought $146,421. The GSM Delta we featured failed to meet its reserve. Click here for complete results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Onward to Mecum in Denver. The VW Samba Bus was the third top seller, bringing $118,250. The #1 sale was this resto-mod 1970 Plymouth Barracuda Convertible (in Plum Crazy!) for $181,500.

Photo – Mecum

The Asquith Shetland brought $13,200. Click here for more results.

Osenat held back-to-back sales, one of which appeared to be a collection of old cars recently pulled out of a large warehouse. There was some interesting stuff here and the largest sale was this 1931 Renault Type TG1 Nervastella Sport Sedan by Million-Guiet. It went for $148,031. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

Finally, Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We didn’t feature anything, but this 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL350 was the top sale at $25,209. Click here for all of the results.

Photo – Brightwells

Coachbuilt Plymouth

1935 Plymouth Deluxe Model PJ Cabriolet by Tüscher

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 16, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

When you think coachbuilt classics of the 1930s, Plymouth is likely not the first brand that comes to mind. When Chrysler introduced the Plymouth brand in 1928, it was a budget brand – the entry point into the marketplace for the Chrysler Corporation.

The 1935 line was called the Model PJ and it was available in three trims: the Standard Six, the Business Six, and the Deluxe. There were nine body styles offered on the Deluxe trim. Some of them were quite common, and others quite rare. But for the day, they were all inexpensive.

This particular car found its way to Switzerland where it was bodied by Tüscher in Zurich (they’re still around, building bus bodies). This was not the only 1930s Plymouth that they turned into an opulent convertible, either. You have to admit, this car looks downright diplomatic. I don’t have the exact history of its use or ownership, but the catalog listing does say it was very expensive when new, so it probably went to someone special.

It’s powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six that makes 82 horsepower. The restoration looks fantastic and is 10 years old. It should bring between $86,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Six Collectible Pickups

Five Classic American Pickup Trucks (and one Canadian)

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-13, 2018


1939 Chevrolet Master Pickup

Photo – Mecum

The Chevrolet Master was produced between 1933 and 1942. After the war their model names would change, but the pickup truck had been part of their lineup for some time prior to that. Their pickups from this era shared the same basic design as their passenger cars as they were all offered as part of the same model line.

This truck is powered by Chevy’s 3.4-liter straight-six, likely producing 85 horsepower. The dark green shortbed example you see here was restored about 1,500 miles ago and it has a wooden bed. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $30,000.


1939 Plymouth Model PT81 1/2 Ton Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Yes, Plymouth built pickup trucks (other than the Scamp and Arrow). Before WWII started, they built some beautiful pickups. They built the Model PT line of trucks between 1937 and 1941, with the 1939 model dubbed “PT81.”

This truck is powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six. It’s well optioned and wonderfully restored. PT Plymouth pickups aren’t that easy to come by and they’re some of the prettiest trucks you can get. You can see more about this one here.

Update: Sold $36,300.


1941 Ford 1/2 Ton Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Mecum finds some great old pickups for their sales. The 1941 Ford was introduced, obviously, in 1941 and was the same model they picked up after the war ended, producing it through 1948. But, their 1941 Pickup used the leftover styling from 1940. So this truck was part of the newer line of cars (with a new-for-’41 color, Lockhaven Green), but still looks like an older one.

The engine here is an 85 horsepower, 3.6-liter Flathead V-8. This example had a frame-off restoration that took it back to as-new condition… likely better-than-new. Ford pickups never go out of style, and this is a great one. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $32,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2018, $37,400.


1957 Dodge D100 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

The 1957 Dodge pickups are great-looking trucks, especially the ultra-rare D100 Sweptside. As discussed in that post, the D100 was actually part of the C Series of pickups that Dodge offered between 1954 and 1960. The D100 was the 1/2 ton model.

In 1957, the engine was either a six or eight and this truck has the 5.2-liter Red Ram V-8 making 204 horsepower. And it. Is. Clean. This is a great color scheme for a truck, very 1957. The 1950s offered some pretty pickups, and this is no exception. See more here.

Update: Sold $55,000.


1959 Mercury M100 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

Yes, even Mercury got in on the pickup game after WWII. The Mercury M-Series was offered between 1946 and 1968. Sold primarily in Canada, these trucks more or less mirrored Ford’s American offerings with slightly different exterior styling.

This third generation truck is the Canadian equivalent of the Ford F100, meaning it’s the 1/2 ton model. Two engines were offered in 1959, a 3.7-liter straight-six or a 4.8-liter V-8, and this truck is equipped with the former. It’s a step-side pickup that presents well enough. This is an interesting truck and a rarity in the U.S. Click here for more.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $16,000.


1972 International 1210 Pickup

Photo – Mecum

International Harvester, now a company that builds tractors and semis, used to build passenger vehicles. The final examples rolled off the line in 1980, and those were SUVs. True pickup production ended in 1975 when they built their final example of the D-Series Light Line pickup rolled off the line. These trucks were built between 1969 and 1975.

This Model 1210 was the 3/4 ton model and it’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-8. It’s got 4-wheel drive and this example appears to be a survivor. International-branded pickups don’t get the credit they deserve in collector circles as everyone wants a Ford, Chevy or Dodge. These were the workhorse trucks. IHC would be doing good business today if they had remained in the market, but instead you’ll have to settle for a time capsule like this one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $26,400.

Plymouth Pickup

1939 Plymouth Model PT81 1/2 Ton Pickup

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-13, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Yes, Plymouth built pickup trucks (other than the Scamp and Arrow). Before WWII started, they built some beautiful pickups. They built the Model PT line of trucks between 1937 and 1941, with the 1939 model dubbed “PT81.”

This truck is powered by a 3.3-liter straight-six. It’s well optioned and wonderfully restored. PT Plymouth pickups aren’t that easy to come by and they’re some of the prettiest trucks you can get. You can see more about this one here.

Update: Sold $36,300.

July 2017 Auction Highlights

July was a lull in the auction world between a packed June and an always-huge August. We start this with H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum. The top seller at this sale was this 1929 Bugatti Type 44 Saloon by Vanvooren that brought $258,555.

Photo – H&H Classics

The Adams Roadster we featured sold, bringing $22,900 (you can see all of the results here). And we’ll stay in the U.K. for the first half of Silverstone Auctions’ two-parter, the Classic Race Car Sale. The Tojeiro-JAP failed to meet it’s reserve, but the top sale was this $295,492 1990 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Works Rally Car. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Next up, Mecum’s Harrisburg sale. A previously-featured Stutz failed to sell at this auction. The top sale was this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird for $415,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Hertz Rent-a-Racer Shelby we featured sold for $120,000. Complete results can be found here.

Let’s jump back to June to cover Russo & Steele’s Newport Beach auction. The top sale there was $292,600 for this 2006 Ford GT.

Photo – Russo & Steele

The Fiat 1200 TV we featured failed to sell. Check here for more results.

Here we go… the first of the Pebble Beach sales: Bonhams in Carmel. The top sale, as predicted, was the single-owner McLaren F1 we featured that ended up bringing an astonishing $15,620,000. The 1904 Premier we featured blasted past its estimate, selling for $341,000. A couple of no-sales included the Maserati Mistral, Ferrari 312 F1 car, the Lotus Indy car and a previously-featured 1904 Humber.

We’ll give Most Interesting to this 1957 BMW 503 Cabriolet by Bertone that we really wanted to feature but ran out of time. It sold for $583,000.

Photo – Bonhams

A rare model of Horch we featured a long time ago while it was for sale at a dealership sold at this auction for $102,300. Click here for more from Bonhams.