Pontiac El Catalina Prototype

1959 Pontiac El Catalina Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 15-19, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The Pontiac Catalina was Pontiac’s entry-level full-sized car in 1959. It was a big car and the convertible was certainly a looker. It was offered as a two-door coupe or convertible or a four-door sedan or wagon. It was not offered as a pickup truck. Or car-based pickup truck.

Chevrolet had that market cornered within GM with their El Camino (there was a GMC version for a short while as well). Pontiac, throughout their 84 year history, never sold a pickup truck. This El Catalina Prototype was built to tease the possibility for a 1960 model that never came to be.

It’s powered by a 6.4-liter V-8 good for 300 horsepower. It’s well-equipped and has been well-shown, winning awards nearly everywhere it went. If you want a one-off factory Pontiac or a genuine GM concept car, here’s your chance. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $340,000.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2019, high bid of $240,000.

Pontiac Tojan

1991 Pontiac Tojan Knightmare

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | March 24-25, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Ford Mustangs have their famous aftermarket tuners, specifically, Saleen. General Motors never quite had the same thing (they did in the 60s, with Yenko and the like). But for more modern Camaros and Firebirds, you were pretty much left to either DIY or hope GM put out some factory monster. Most GM tuners were focused on Corvettes.

Enter Nebraska-based Knudsen Automotive (who also built a low-run neo-classic). They lent their hand to turning third generation Pontiac Firebirds into more exotic-looking sports cars. Between 1985 and 1991, they made 133 Tojans. Only three of those were “Knightmares.” Powered by Pontiac’s 5.7-liter V-8, this Knightmare also features the optional rear wing that looks like it was plucked directly off a Countach.

The point of the Tojan was, for some serious cash (about $55,000 in the late 80s), give you an American sports car that could keep pace with a Ferrari 308. This 41,000 mile car with cousin-to-KITT appearance is pretty rare. I saw a red Tojan at a car show once and it definitely got my attention. Click here to see more about this car and here for the rest of Mecum’s Kansas City lineup.

Update: Sold $13,500.

Trans Am Kammback

1985 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Kammback Concept

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 14-22, 2017

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The third generation of the Pontiac Firebird went on sale in 1982 and stayed in production through 1992. The Trans Am model was sort of the Firebird-equivalent of the IROC-Z Camaro.

The Trans Am was the hot version of the Firebird, and in 1985 it used a 5.0-liter V-8 making 190 horsepower. This is no ordinary Trans Am, however, as it features a “Kammback” – a huge station wagon like hatch on the rear end that looks more like a pickup truck cap. This genuine General Motors factory concept car began as a well-equipped Trans Am (and possibly a factory test mule) before getting the prototype treatment.

It was also used as a pace car during the 1985 racing season for series including IMSA. GM kept it for 13 years until it was sold to Detroit-area car collector John McMullen. It was purchased from that collection in 2007 by John O’Quinn for $66,000. It’s not road legal because it has an experimental VIN number but it still has 36,000 miles and has been restored. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $44,000.

Update: Sold, Mecum Kissimmee 2019, $40,700.

Pontiac Banshee Concept

1964 Pontiac Banshee XP-833 Concept

Offered by Dragone Auctions | Greenwich, Connecticut | May 30, 2015

Photo - Dragone Auctions

Photo – Dragone Auctions

The Ford Mustang was an industry-altering car. When Ford announced it, everyone had to react, including General Motors. Head of Pontiac, John DeLorean, quickly green-lit the Banshee concept in 1963 and the first one, this one, was built in 1964. It toured the auto show circuit in 1965 and was a big hit.

This car is a driver and is powered by a straight-six. The Banshee never saw production as it would have competed directly with Corvette sales. Instead, there are definitely a few lines on this car that you can see in the first generation Firebird and the third generation Corvette.

There were four Banshee concepts, with the XP-833 being the first. Two were built and both still survive (the other is a white, V-8 convertible). This is one of one and should sell for between $600,000-$650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Pontiac Bonneville Concept

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Concept

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2015

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Here is one of the highlights from Barrett-Jackson’s upcoming sale in Scottsdale. This car rolled across the Barrett-Jackson block in 2006 for $2.8 million, going into the collection of Ron Pratte – who is selling his entire collection at this year’s sale.

Two of these cars were built for GM’s Motorama in 1954. One was bronze and the other green (guess which one this one is!). This one toured dealerships all over the country. The engine is a 4.4-liter straight-eight making 230 horsepower.

The design is a pure 1950s jet age show car. The top is a canopy and the rear makes it look like there’s a jet engine hidden somewhere under the fiberglass. And it’s the first Pontiac to wear the Bonneville name. This is a fantastic chance to acquire a supremely rare and beautiful concept car from the golden age of concept cars. It should clear the 2006 benchmark price. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Sold $3,300,000.

Swiss Cheese Catalina

1963 Pontiac Catalina Super Duty Swiss Cheese

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 17, 2014

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

The second-generation Pontiac Catalina was produced between 1961 and 1964. These were prime drag racing years and Pontiac got in on the action with its Catalinas. Especially with those equipped with the Super Duty engine packaged.

Not sold for street use, the Super Duty was a 6.9-liter V-8 making 405 horsepower. It also got a heavy duty transmission – and in this case, a special “Swiss Cheese” chassis where the company cut sections out the boxed frame and drilled holes in the frame rails, resembling the cheese for which it was nicknamed. This would be acceptable for drag cars that only need to go straight. Probably a bit of flex if you tried to take it around some corners though.

This particular example is said to be the “most famous” of the 14 Swiss Cheese Catalinas built. It was an NHRA record holder in C/Stock with a 1/4 mile pass of 12.27 at 114.64 mph. It’s a monster of a car with a monster of a reputation. And it will command a monster of a price: the pre-sale estimate being between $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Sold $530,000.

September 2013 Auction Roundup

Barrett-Jackson held a pretty big sale in Las Vegas the weekend of September 26-28, 2013. The top sale (not counting charity cars) was this 1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible. It’s actually pretty exciting to see the top sale at a Barrett-Jackson auction a true classic again after years of muscle cars dominating the headlines. It sold for $352,000.

1931 Lincoln Model K Convertible

Our featured Maharaja Rolls-Royce failed to meet its reserve and thus did not sell. My picks for most interesting are topped by this 1915 White Town Car which sold for $66,000.

1915 White Town Car

Then there was this 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty for $110,000.

1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty

And finally, this 1971 Dodge Demon 340 GSS which sold for $39,600. You can check out full results here.

1971 Dodge Demon 340 GSS

We featured a few tractors over a month ago from Mecum’s August Gone Farmin’ sale. The top sale there was this 1958 John Deere 620 H for $61,000. You can see the results of our highlighted tractors here.

1958 John Deere 620 H

The next sale (based on when I found the results posted) was Bonhams awesome “Preserving the Automobile” sale held in Philly at the Simeone Foundation. The top sale was this 1934 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Sports 2/4-Seater for $264,000.

1934 Aston Martin 1.5-Litre Sports 24-Seater

A previously-featured Peerless sold for the second time this year, this time for $231,000 (and more than last time). The two Sears motorcars were featured both sold. The Model P brought $38,500 and the Model G Runabout brought a mega-cheap $3,850! Interesting cars were topped by this all-original 1931 Hanomag 3/16 Coupe for $21,450.

1931 Hanomag 316 Coupe

Our featured Stoddard-Dayton sold for $148,500. The related Courier sold for $20,900. Another cool car was this 1904 Knox 16/18hp “Touraine” 4-Passenger Stanhope. It brought an impressive $143,000.

1904 Knox 1618hp Touraine 4-Passenger Stanhope

There was also this really early Auburn. It’s a 1912 Model 30L Speedster and it sold for $49,500. Our final feature car was the Jewel Runabout which went for $25,300. Check out full results here.

1912 Auburn Model 30L Speedster

Next up is Auctions America’s Fall Carlisle sale. The top sale was this 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible for $181,500.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

The most interesting car was this 1928 Plymouth Model Q Four-Door Sedan. It brought $17,325. Check out full results here.

1928 Plymouth Model Q Four-Door Sedan

Early August 2013 Auction Highlights

August is a very busy month for classic cars – just in the Monterey area alone there are five major auctions. So we’ll cover early August as its own thing. First up, Auctions America’s huge and awesome sale in Burbank, California. Top sale was this 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster for $825,000.

1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Roadster

Our first feature car was the 1951 Glasspar and it brought $52,800. The other car we featured from this sale was an Edwards America roadster which sold for $66,000. Interesting cars was this auction’s bright spot. I’ll just go through them as I come to them… First, how about a 1976 Manta Mirage for $22,000?

1976 Manta Mirage

Then there’s this 1950 Pearson-Kurtis Front-Wheel-Drive Indy 500 car that was never actually raced. It’s got an Offy under the hood and is in barn-find condition – and it still managed $192,500.

1950 Pearson-Kurtis FWD

A rare 1967 Ghia 450SS Convertible sold at this sale. These cars are awesome. This one brought $129,250.

1967 Ghia 450SS Convertible

This 1953 Bohman Special Roadster was built by the son of the “Bohman” in “Bohman & Schwartz” – the celebrated coachbuilder. It was built for the movie “Johnny Dark” starring Tony Curtis. It sold for $104,500.

1953 Bohman Special Roadster

The award for “The Car I Would’ve Bought Had I Been There” goes to this 1924 Dodge Four-Door Sedan for only $5,500!

1924 Dodge Four-Door Sedan

For something a little rarer, this 1939 Steyr 220 Cabriolet should fit the bill. And the bill was $60,500.

1939 Steyr 220 Cabriolet

Check out this super rare 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R (one of 107 built) with only 600 original miles. The price reflects it: $46,750 (which has to be some kind of record for a Fox body Mustang).

1993 Ford Mustang Cobra R

This I love. The sale was in Burbank – home of movie studios and Hollywood and all that. Well how about this extravagant golf cart? It was used in the Jim Carrey movie “The Grinch.” This car thing is straight out of Whoville. And it sold for $38,500. (It’s referred to in the catalog as a 2000 Cinema Vehicle Services Family Sedan). It’d definitely be cool to cruise in around a small town (on the sidewalks of course).

2000 Cinema Vehicle Services Whoville Family Sedan

Taking a 180 car-wise, this 1912 Buick Model 35 Touring was a car I kinda wanted to feature, but couldn’t squeeze it in. It sold for $28,600.

1912 Buick Model 35 Touring

Concept cars always get my attention – even if they aren’t that exciting. This 1988 Pontiac Fiero Concept was a 232 horsepower Fiero Concept that never made it to production. It’s one of one. It sold for $3,520. And I think that’s enough cars. You can check out the rest of the results here.

1988 Pontiac Fiero Concept

The other early-August auction was Silverstone’s semi-small (at least in comparison to the one above) CarFest North sale. The top sale was this 1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Roadster which brought $111,600.

1973 Jaguar E-Type Series III Roadster

Check out complete results for that sale here.

Tri-Power Catalina Convertible

1959 Pontiac Catalina Tri-Power Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Boynton Beach, Florida | February 23, 2013

1959 Pontiac Catalina Convertible

For 1959, Pontiac dropped the Chieftain name and started using “Catalina” instead, which sounds 1. more politically correct (in today’s insane terms) and 2. way cooler – especially for a convertible as the word “Catalina” has a two semi-exotic connotations in my mind (a flying boat and an island). Although, if your first thought when you hear “Catalina” is salad dressing, you have my deepest sympathy (and absolute understanding).

This bodystyle for the first generation of the Catalina was available for 1959 and 1960 only. This particular car is gorgeous. I’ve never looked at late-1950s Pontiacs in the same light as I do Chryslers (300 Letter Series) and Cadillacs. But I do now. Part of it is the whitewalls and chrome wire wheels. The engine is a 6.4-liter V8 (the only option available, although varying compression ratios and carburetor setups allowed for different power outputs). This is a Tri-Power car, using three Rochester 2-barrel carbs making 318 horsepower.

You don’t see many of these – especially in this condition with “all the goodies.” It comes from Fran & Ron Green’s Verde Classics Museum in Boynton Beach, Florida. The whole museum is going under the hammer. I don’t see why this isn’t a $100,000 car. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the collection on offer.

Update: Sold $58,000.

December Auction Roundup

All of December’s big auctions happened early in the month. The very first one occurred on December 1st in North Palm Beach, Florida. It was the sale of John Staluppi’s “Cars of Dreams” Museum. Every car sold at no reserve and the top sale was actually a giant carousel – but the top selling car was this 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible.

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

Our featured cars were the entire Chrysler 300 Letter Series. Their sales breakdown is as follows:

  • 1955 Chrysler C-300 – $88,000
  • 1956 Chrysler 300B – $115,500
  • 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible – $154,000
  • 1958 Chrysler 300D Convertible – $198,000
  • 1959 Chrysler 300E Convertible – $176,000
  • 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible – $170,500
  • 1961 Chrysler 300G Convertible – $137,500
  • 1962 Chrysler 300H Convertible – $74,250
  • 1963 Chrysler 300 Sport Series Convertible – $71,500

For complete results, click here. Next up was Bonhams sale at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands in Weybridge. The top sale was this 1931 Invicta 4.25-litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer for $750,000.

1931 Invicta 4½-Litre S-Type Low-Chassis Tourer

Our featured Pagani Zonda failed to sell. Our featured SS 100 was the fourth highest-selling car at $402,800. The Fiat 1500 with beautiful cabriolet Ghia coachwork sold for $128,600. And our final feature car, the 1904 Winton, sold for $218,800. Other interesting cars included an early 1913 Austin 10hp Coquette for $44,444.

1913 Austin 10hp Coquette

There was also this 1924 Frazer-Nash 1.5-Litre Super Sports Roadster for $107,000.

1924 Frazer Nash 1½-Litre Super Sports

And finally, one for the weird, this 1963 Hillman Imp “Flatmobile.” It is the World’s Lowest Car. It was one of a handful of weird one-offs in this sale. It’s only 19 inches high… and would be one of the last vehicles I would ever want to ride in. It sold for $15,700. For complete results, click here.

1963 Hillman Imp 'The Flatmobile'

H&H’s December 5th sale at Newbury Racecourse had this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 as its top sale. It went for $431,000. Our featured Allard P2 Safari failed to sell.

1965 Aston Martin DB5

The second-highest selling car was this 1925 Vauxhall 30/98 OE-Type Tourer. It sold for $287,000.

1925 Vauxhall 30/98 OE-Type Tourer

Then there was this 1980 MG B Roadster that was styled by Aston Martin. It’s one-of-a-kind and was sold for $17,900. For complete results, click here.

1980 MG B by Aston Martin

Mecum’s December Kansas City auction had quite a number of cars cross the block. The only one we featured, a Mark II Sunbeam Tiger failed to sell. A car we featured from when it was for sale in St. Louis, a Vespa 400, sold at this sale for $22,500, $9,000 less than the asking price at the dealership. Top sale was a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro COPO factory drag car for $140,000.

2012 Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Actually, it was co-top sale. The other $140,000 sale was this pretty awesome 1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Twister Edition. It is one of only 48 made.

1970 Ford Mustang Mach I Twister Edition

Another cool muscle car was this awesome-in-green 1971 Pontiac GTO “Judge” that sold for $92,500.

The other two “interesting” cars were a pair of Buicks. First this 1928 Master Six Opera Coupe that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time at the same dealership that the Vespa came from. It also sold for $22,500. Mmmm, wood-rimmed wheels.

1928 Buick Master Six Opera Coupe

Then there was this 1985 Century Convertible. It’s a V6 car – and Buick never built a Century convertible in this bodystyle, so it’s an aftermarket job. Maybe it’s just because I owned a ’92 Century that I was drawn to this thing, but it was also the cheapest car in the sale and it looks like it’s in really good shape. It sold for $1,250. Complete results can be found here.

1985 Buick Century Convertible

The coolest auction of the month was Auctions America’s sale of some WWII vehicles from (what was) Dean Kruse’s National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana. There were some seriously cool trucks on offer. The top sale went to one of our featured half-tracks. They sold as follows:

  • 1945 Daimler-Benz DB10 Sd.Kfz. 8 – $200,000
  • 1940 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C Sd.Kfz. 251/1 – $160,000
  • 1942 Borgward H kl 6 – $145,000
  • 1944 White M16 – $95,000
  • 1944 Auto Union Hl kl 6p – $75,000
  • 1943 Opel Maultier – $65,000
  • 1943 Opel Maultier Panzer-Werfer 42 Rocket Launcher – $60,000
  • 1943 Ford Maultier – $42,500
  • 1941 Autocar M3 – $38,000
  • 1939 Unic Kegresse P107/U304(f) – $20,000

Then we featured five cool trucks available at this sale, they sold as follows:

  • 1942 GMC DUKW-353 – $97,000
  • 1940 Humber Hexonaut GS 6×6 Amphibious Prototype – $47,500
  • 1940 Breda 40 4×4 Artillery Tractor – $37,000
  • 1942 Mercedes-Benz L3000S – $32,000
  • 1939 Latil M2TL6 4×4 Tractor – $10,000

Other interesting vehicles included this 1944 Phanomen-Granit 1500A 4×4 Kfz. 70 personnel car for $72,500.

1944 Phanomen Granit 1500A 4x4 Kfz 70 Personnel Car

Next up, a 1944 Steyr 1500A/01 4×4 Kfz. command car that was hammered away for $130,000.

And the final” thing” (some of these looked like cars built on truck chassis and some of them didn’t have wheels at all… these aren’t typical vehicles) from this sale, an awesome 1940 Horch Type EFm 4×4 cross-country personnel car that sold for $150,000. Complete results can be found here.

And, finally, Osenat’s December 9th sale was the latest held in the month. Top sale was a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster for $117,000.

1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster

The most interesting vehicle, by a landslide, was our featured 1908 Doriot-Flandrin Type E, but it failed to meet it’s reserve and did not sell. The most interesting car that did sell was this 1929 Chenard & Walcker 1550 Grand Sport Torpedo that brought $108,000. For complete results, click here.

1929 Chenard & Walcker 1500 Grand Sport Torpedo