Four Cars from Rétromobile

Four Cars from Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018


1947 Dolo Type JB10

Photo – Artcurial

There were a lot of car companies that popped up after World War Two showing prototypes at auto shows and then promptly disappearing. Dolo was one such marque. Usually these cars exist only in grainy scans of old sales literature developed when the company’s founders thought they had a chance to make it big.

The JB10 was shown by Brun, Dolo & Galtier at the 1947 Paris Auto Salon. It was a front-wheel drive car powered by a 592cc flat engine making 23 horsepower. I don’t believe the engine is still with this car, however. The roof was a Plexiglas dome, which is kind of weird. The company went around taking orders (and payments) but never honored them. The company did build a second car but its whereabouts are unknown.

This car was discovered in storage at the Montlhéry circuit and entered the collection it is being offered from in 1967. It’s all-original and was originally blue. As a one-off it should bring between $7,500-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.


1931 Salomon Prototype

Photo – Artcurial

Jean-Marie-Jules Salomon co-founded Le Zebre early in his career. He later worked for Citroen and then Peugeot. From 1928 through 1939 he worked at Rosengart. While at Rosengart (which did pretty well building light cars themselves), Salomon designed and built his own cyclecar prototype.

This light, two-seat roadster features a tubular axle and front brakes. The body is aluminium, which wasn’t all that common in 1931. It’s powered by a two-stroke single-cylinder engine. It’s in pretty original condition and would require a full restoration (it’s missing things like gauges, the entire floor, you know… some basics). But still, it’s a unique car from the 1930s and it can be yours for between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,301.


1927 Taupin 1100 Prototype

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s yet another one-off prototype car from this same collection. Not much is known about this history of this car, other than it seems to be assembled and custom made. The radiator is from a Darmont. The engine is a SCAP unit of 1.1-liters.

It was built by an actual engineer, so there was some thought put into it. The wheels have independent suspension, so it sits very low. It’s almost like the grandfather of the Ariel Atom… if an Atom only had three wheels. Customized by the owner to add such creature comforts as a cushion to sit on, this thing is largely original and just might be in running condition. It should cost the next owner between $6,000-$9,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $23,363.


1948 De Coucy Prototype Record

Photo – Artcurial

What we have here was someone’s – a Count de Coucy, to be more specific – idea of a land speed record car. A trained engineer, de Coucy built some high-revving engines of his own design – we’re talking engines that revved to 10,000 rpm in the 1930s. In 1935, he designed a 500cc engine capable of that 10,000 rpm.

Unfortunately, he was arrested by the Germans during WWII as a part of the Resistance and then his workshop was bombed in 1943. In 1948 he took the chassis from a Formula One car he was working on and built a single-seater enclosed record car. The 500cc engine never made it in, but it now carries a 1.1-liter straight-four instead (which is not completely installed). The car was never run and is being sold in hopes that someone will pick up the cause. It should bring between $6,000-$9,500. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $55,488.

Citroen Concept Cars

Citroen Concept Cars

Offered by Leclere | Aulnay sous Bois, France | December 10, 2018


1980 Citroen Xenia Concept

Photo – Leclere

Leclere has been tasked with unloading some extras from Citroen’s private collection. Among the many cars are more than a few concepts, including this 1980 Xenia. First shown at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show, this wagonoid design study was what wagons were supposed to look like in the year 2000. Apparently Citroen didn’t see the SUV craze coming.

Presumably unpowered (but hey, it has solar panels to run the air conditioning!), this would make an interesting piece in any collection. It should bring between $17,500-$29,500. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $8,616.


1983 Citroen Eco 2000 SA 109

Photo – Leclere

Warning: this car is MUCH smaller than it appears. It is not mini-van-esque in size as its shape might belie, but (and look at the old cars parked nearby) it’s a miniature version of a compact car. The Eco 2000 program began to see if they could build a car that got great gas mileage and the lowest possible drag coefficient.

That Eco 2000 program lasted from 1981 through 1984 and four prototypes were built. This was the third one and it was built for wind tunnel testing. It should sell for between $3,500-$8,250. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $11,268.


1984 Citroen Eco 2000 SL 10

Photo – Leclere

Here’s another Eco 2000 prototype. This was the final and most sophisticated of the four Eco 2000 cars and it actually looks more like a road car than the wind tunnel model shown above as it was actually shown to the public. It’s a roller, as Citroen is keeping the only example that has an engine.

This car should sell for between $9,500-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $19,222.


1991 Citroen Citela Concept

Photo – Leclere

The Citela was Citroen’s take on the urban EV… back in 1991. This car was first shown at the French Pavilion of the 1992 World Expo in Seville, Spain. It had an electric motor and powers two inboard rear wheels (notice how you can’t seem them from this angle?). It sort of just looks like an over-sized mobility scooter.

The powered version (that Citroen still has) will do 68 mph and makes 26 horsepower. A couple of these prototypes were built in varying body styles and this one is just a roller. It should bring between $11,750-$14,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $17,233.


1999 Citroen Berlingo Flanerie by Sbarro

Photo – Leclere

The Berlingo is a van built sold by Citroen. The first generation was introduced in 1996. Switzerland-based Sbarro got their hands on this one and made it wacky. In all, they did at least three takes on the Berlingo. This one has four rows of seats and looks like an amusement park vehicle, like something that would be used in Jurassic Park.

This is the only one like it and it is currently missing running gear. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a Berlingo power unit and pop it back under hood. This should bring between $10,500-$13,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $12,593.


2010 Citroen Tubyk Concept

Photo – Leclere

No, this is not a panda with wheels. Instead, it is a modern take on Citroen’s TUB light van of 1939-1941. The TUB was the first van ever to feature a sliding side door. This concept van debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. It’s full-on French weird in that they-just-might-build-it kind of way.

This one isn’t powered but it should bring between $23,500-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the Citroen’s on offer.

Update: Sold $43,747.

Austin EXP1 Prototype

1917 Austin 20 EXP1 Prototype

Offered by H&H Classics | Duxford, U.K. | November 15, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Coming out of the First World War, the Austin Motor Company of England needed to get back into the swing of automobile production. So they built this four-door tourer in 1917. Austin’s test driver drove it all over the U.K. hyping Austin’s new car that is based on this: the 20.

The first generation of the 20 was available from 1919 through 1929. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower and it’s capable of 60 mph. By the time production started in 1919, their test driver had raised over £6 million in pre-orders for the 20, making his tour a wild success, especially because Austin beat many competitors to market after the war.

This car was discovered as a rolling chassis and was pulled out of a hedge and restored about 15 years ago. There aren’t a lot of automobile prototypes still around from this era, making this a rare treat. As a piece of British automotive history, this car should bring between $60,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

TVR Tina

1967 TVR Tina Prototype by Fissore

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 11-12, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Few car companies have undergone more corporate ownership changes than TVR. In 1965 the company was purchased by Arthur Lilley and his son. It took a while for production to get going again on previous models but the demand really wasn’t that strong. So the new TVR commissioned Fissore to build a prototype two-door sports car. Fissore returned with this, the Tina (named for the daughter of Gerry Marshall, a British racing driver and associate of the TVR owners).

Unveiled at the 1966 Turin Auto Show, the Tina was shown as both coupe and convertible. They were based on the Hillman Imp, so the 55 horsepower 875cc straight-four is located in the rear. TVR lacked the funds to get this project off the ground and in 1967, once the Griffith had been put out the pasture, TVR went with the new Tuscan instead.

Tina Marshall, this car’s namesake, inherited it when her father passed in 2005. It was restored to the condition you see here. The Tina Convertible Prototype is still out there, but here’s your chance to acquire the coupe. It should bring between $40,000-$52,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

The First DB4GT

1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Asrton Martin DB4, DB5, and DB6 are the best looking of all the classic Astons (though I will forever maintain that the DB7 is the best looking period, especially the convertible). The DB4 was built between 1958 and 1963 until the DB5 took its place.

Among the most sought-after DB4s were the DB4GTs. These were lightweight, short-wheelbase, near-racing spec cars. Nineteen of them sported bodies by Zagato. One of them received a Jet Age body from Bertone. In all, 75 DB4GTs were built – but this is the first.

The GT came with an upgraded engine, a 302 horsepower 3.7-liter straight-six to be exact. Top speed was 151 mph – pretty stout for something pre-1960. The story of this car is that program manager John Wyer took an early DB4 chassis, shortened it, and wrapped it in aluminium to save weight. They tested it at Le Mans and actually entered in the 1959 race. Here’s how it fared:

  • 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans – 52nd (of 53), DNF (with Hubert Patthey and Renaud Calderari)

So maybe that race entrance was a little premature. After Le Mans, Aston converted this car to road spec and pushed it into service as a press car. The first real owner came in 1961 and it turned out to be a relative of the Royal family. The current owner acquired the car in 1986 and had the factory restore it in 1989. Between their original acquisition and now, the car was at one point owned by actor Rowan Atkinson.

At the time of writing, RM has not yet published an estimate for this car. It won’t come cheap, and rightly so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,765,000.

Shelby Series II

2007 Shelby Series II Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 16-19, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Cars bearing Carroll Shelby’s name first appeared in 1962. It’s been more a less a steady stream of different cars since, from his long association with Ford, to his brief stint with Chrysler in the 80s. The thing almost all Shelby cars have in common is that they are hopped up versions of already existing vehicles, from the AC Ace to the Ford Mustang to the Dodge Omni.

But in 1998 Shelby American introduced a car called the Series 1. It was a clean-sheet design and the company built 249 of them in 1999, all fully road legal and ready to go. While the cars were being built, however, Shelby American was acquired by another company (they got everything, including the Series 1, except for the Cobra “continuation” business). When that company went bankrupt on an unrelated matter, Carroll Shelby bought the Series 1 rights back. He built a handful of additional Series 1 cars in 2005.

In 2006, Shelby found some new backers who wanted to put the Series 1 back into production. The car was slightly restyled and rechristened the Series II. Three Series II Prototypes were built, with this being the only one in black (they were largely based on some of the leftover Series 1 cars that Shelby built, as this car was actually constructed in 2005). It is powered by a supercharged 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V-8 making 550 horsepower. If it sounds weird that you’d built a raw American sports car powered by an engine from an Oldsmobile sedan, remember they used that V-8 in IndyCar, too. $225,000 was to be the going rate, but some federal emissions laws changed and the project was cancelled.

This pristine example has only 22 miles on it. Shelby cars are still super collectible, so if you want one of the newest – and rarest – look no further. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.

S/N # CSX5505

Update: Not sold, high bid of $400,000.

Lambretta Mink

1968 Lambretta Mink Prototype

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | July 8, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Primarily known for their scooters, Lambretta was a brand name owned by Innocenti. They operated out of Milan between 1947 (the height of scooter-mania in Italy) and 1972 (when both brands were sold to British Leyland – a death sentence).

Lambretta did try their hand at vehicles other than scooters, but their products apparently never progressed beyond three wheels. There were commercial vehicles, and this prototype microcar. This car was not built by the Lambretta factory but was constructed by the UK Lambretta importer. Production never began and this was the only example made.

Top speed of this Lambretta scooter-powered (200cc, single-cylinder) microcar is 30 mph. It’s a one-off, 4,000-mile car and it should bring between $11,500-$16,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $15,866.

HPD ARX-03

2012 HPD ARX-03

Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | May 11-13, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Everyone has heard the saying “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” – meaning, if your race cars run up front, it does wonders for your brand. So Honda, for some reason, decided to build race-winning LMP prototype sportscars, but, not under their own name. Or even Acura’s. But under the “Honda Performance Development” brand – and then abbreviate it so no one knows “Honda” is even building these.

The program started in 2007 with the HPD ARX-01 (which, to be fair, was branded as an Acura for the first few seasons). The car was very good. The ARX-03, the most recent car, debuted in 2012. This one is powered by a Honda HPD twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6. With the V-6, this car is spec’d to compete in the international LMP2 (or P2) class. It ran in the ALMS and was eligible for FIA World Endurance Championship races.

This car is an ex-Level 5 Motorsports car, the race team founded by Scott Tucker whose assets were seized by the government when Tucker was indicted on RICO charges. The race history or this chassis includes:

  • 2012 12 Hours of Sebring – 4th, 1st in Class (with Scott Tucker, João Barbosa, and Christophe Bouchut)
  • 2012 Petit Le Mans – 2nd, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Bouchut, and Luis Díaz)
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2012 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker and Bouchut)
  • 2013 12 Hours of Sebring – 6th, 1st in Class (with Tucker, Marino Franchitti, and Ryan Briscoe)
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Team Champion
  • 2013 ALMS P2 Drivers Champion (Tucker)

That’s a pretty impressive resume for a five-year old car. And it’s had some big names from the current era of sports car racing behind the wheel. The HPD LMP program was wound down for 2017 when Acura went GT racing with its new NSX. As the years go by, these HPD prototypes will probably be forgotten about by most people and will eventually be popular on the historic circuit. This well-raced example should bring between $75,000-$100,000 – a steal. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N # ARX-03/02

Update: Sold $110,000.

The First Porsche 917/10

1970 Porsche 917/10 Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Porsche 917 is one of the most legendary series of race cars ever built. It began with cars like this on tracks like the Nurburgring, Le Mans, and Spa. It culminated in the mighty 917/30 dominated the Can-Am Series right out of existence.

There were 53 of the original 917s built beginning in 1969. At the end of 1970, Porsche had updated the car, dubbing it the “917/10.” This is the first 917/10 built, the prototype used for developing 917/10s that came after it. Wind tunnel testing began in 1971 and during that testing this car sported five different bodies. Over the years it has also been fitted with several different engines. It is currently restored to “1971 wind tunnel specification” with a 5.0-liter flat-12 making about 630 horsepower providing the oomph.

During testing, the car was driven by drivers such as Jo Siffert and Mark Donohue. After testing was completed, it was sold to a privateer who campaigned the car around Europe, the U.S. and South America. Between the end of the 1973 racing season and 1997, the car sat in storage.

Restored between 1998 and 2000, the car then entered the historic circuit. It was then restored again to the condition you see here, which is very interesting. Only about 14 917/10s were ever built. This one should bring between $4,850,000-$5,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Porsche 901 Cabriolet

1964 Porsche 901 Cabriolet Prototype by Karmann

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 8, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Porsches are hot right now. Like really, really hot – especially anything that is air-cooled. The first generation of the 911 went on sale in 1964 and the prices for this generation have gone through the roof. Let’s also remember that Porsche originally wanted to call the 911 the 901, but Peugeot objected on copyright grounds, so they added a “1.” But Porsche had already built 82 cars with “901” badging and some of them are still out there.

The first true 911 Cabriolet didn’t go one sale until 1982, so this car is extraordinarily special in that regard. Sure, there was the Targa that showed up in 1966, but it had that pesky rear window and roll-over hoop. This is the only drop-top 911 from this era – and what makes it even better is that it is from the prototype line of 901 cars. It is the second-earliest 901 Prototype known to exist and most of the 13 Prototype Coupes were destroyed back in the day.

The engine is a 130 horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-six and the convertible work was carried out by Karmann, a longtime Volkswagen collaborator. Porsche parted ways with this car in 1967, selling it to a German racing driver who wanted to save it. An American collector acquired it directly from him in 2001 and rebuilt the engine, making the car roadworthy. But the body and interior are all-original. The current British owner is selling the car at auction – the first time it has ever been available for public sale. If you thought Porsche prices were high already, wait for the hammer price on this one. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $692,337.