300SL Sportabteilung

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Race Car

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 10, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” is one of the “must-have” collector cars for serious collectors. And serious collectors need only apply, because in recent years, prices for 300SLs have skyrocketed from around the $500,000 mark to an easy million. Total production of 300SL coupes was about 1,400 examples. Alloy (or aluminium-bodied) cars are highly sought after and very rare. But this is a different animal.

You’re looking at one of only four factory-prepped steel-bodied 300SL Gullwing race cars. Many Gullwings saw competition, usually in the hands of privateer weekend racers, but this is the real deal. Mercedes-Benz sent this car to their sporting department (or “Sportabteilung”) to beef it up to see what the stresses of racing did to their road car.

The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-six making an estimated 240 horsepower – more than a standard road cars. Other upgrades included a lower ride height, competition exhaust, better brakes, and more. Its factory race history is unknown, but it is believed that the car was used as a trainer by Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, John Fitch, and others.

Mercedes sold the car to a guy in Paris who entered it in the 1956 Tour de France, in which the car finished second at the hands of Stirling Moss. The father of the current owner acquired the car in 1966. It sat for 40 years and was only recently “refurbished” to road-worthy condition. It has never been fully restored. It is the first of the four Sportabteilung Gullwings and one of only two known to still exist. It will likely become the most expensive 300SL to ever publicly trade hands. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Lightweight Mustang Prototype

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302R Lightweight

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 12-17, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

We love one-offs and prototypes here at ClassicCarWeekly.net. This is a one-off prototype race car built by Ford. But let’s zoom way out. The Mustang Boss 302 was re-introduced for the 2012 model year (and was built through 2013). The 302R was the race car variant that Ford campaigned in Grand Am’s GS class. There was also the hard-core Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Edition road car that fell somewhere in between.

The 302R was a good race car, but it was heavy. So Ford attempted to homologate a lightweight version that would let teams play with weight distribution. But Grand Am nixed the idea because the 302R was competitive as is. So only one lightweight race car was built – this one.

It uses a race variant of the road car 302’s 444 horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 (even though the car started life as an plucked-off-the-line Boss 302, like all 302Rs). This car was never raced. Instead, it was sent to a Ford dealer in Illinois. It appears to have been kept in the family and is now being offered for sale with an estimate between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Indy.

Update: Sold $130,000.

NASCAR Corvette

1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster Race Car

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2014

Photo - Barrett-Jackson

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

The Corvette is one of America’s signature automobiles – it’s the signature American sports car of all time. And America’s most-popular form of motorsport is NASCAR… so it’s only natural that there exists a Corvette with NASCAR history.

Ed Cole sent a few Corvettes south to be turned into race cars in 1955/1956. Two of them were destined for NASCAR (this one and a 1955 model). The ’53 ‘Vette seen here was given a high-output 1956 engine: a 4.3-liter V-8 (remember, the Corvette didn’t get a V-8 until 1955), making a minimum of 240 horsepower.

This car is said to have ran on the beaches of Daytona and at tracks such as Martinsville, Raleigh and Bowman Gray Stadium (although I have been unable to verify this). This is a super-rare piece of racing and Corvette history and should command a large sum. I actually saw this car in person this year and got to see it drive (video here, it sounds great!). I asked the representative of ProTeam Corvette who was guarding the car if they were selling anything interesting from their reserve collection this year and he failed to mention that this very car was going to cross the bliock. Oh well, I can buy it now if I so choose. Click here for more info and here for more from Barrett-Jackson.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $2,000,000.

Here’s some actual video of it:

Top Open-Wheel Cars in Monterey

Open-Wheel Race Cars

Offered during the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend | August 15-17, 2014


 1986 March 86C Cosworth

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

This was the car in CART in 1986. Fielded by Truesports, the March 86C was campaigned by Bobby Rahal for the 1986 season. It is powered by a 700 horsepower 2.7-liter Cosworth turbo V-8. Just take a look at this car’s competition history:

  • 1986 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Bobby Rahal)
  • 5 other wins that season
  • 1986 CART Championship

The chance to own an Indy 500-winning car is a very rare thing, and one this cool driven by such a legend makes it even better. The car still retains its race-winning engine. It should sell for between $1,750,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info.

S/N: 86C-13

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,550,000.


2000 Ferrari F1-2000

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The F1-2000 was, you guessed it, Ferrari’s F1 car for the 2000 season. And guess who drove for Ferrari in 2000? That’s right, Michael Schumacher. And it was one of those seasons that he had with Ferrari where he nearly won everything on the calendar. He also won the championship. This car won the 2000 Brazilian Grand Prix. The engine is a monster: 3.0-liter V-10 making 770 horsepower. It should sell for between $1,750,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more.

S/N: 198

Update: Sold $1,804,000.


1970 Brabham-Cosworth BT33

Offered by Bonhams

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

You’re looking at the final car driven by Jack Brabham in Formula One. In fact, he won his final grand prix in this car – the 1970 South African Grand Prix. What’s even better, this is a Brabham chassis and he remains the only person to ever win in a car bearing his own name. The car looks fabulous. The engine is too: it’s a Cosworth V-8 of 3.0-liters and puts out 430 horsepower at an ear-shattering 10,000 rpm. It can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,034,000.


1978 Ferrari 312 T3

Offered by Bonhams

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Ferrari 312 T3 was Ferrari’s second car for the 1978 Formula One Season. The car used for the first two races was a carryover from 1977. The T3 was introduced for the third race. This car was driven primarily by Carlos Reutemann (who won the 1978 British Grand Prix in it). It also driven by Gilles Villeneuve. Villeneuve won the 1978 Race of Champions (a non-points F1 race) in this car. The engine is a 530 horsepower 3.0-liter Flat-12. Ferrari built five of these cars and this one is offered in more-or-less as-raced conditions and has spent many years in the Maranello Rosso Collection. It should sell for between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $2,310,000.


1969 AAR Eagle-Santa Ana

Offered by RM Auctions

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Here’s the last open-wheel car we’ll feature from Monterey (mostly because I just lost all of the work I did on this post and had to start over – there are other awesome racers this weekend). This car comes from AAR, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers. It was their car for 1969 and it uses a 5.2-liter Ford V-8. AAR built four of them, three of which raced at the Indy 500 that year. This one did not, although Gurney did run it in practice. The only racing this car has ever done is on the historic circuit and it has been in the same ownership for nearly a quarter of a century. It can be yours for between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $104,500.

Shadow DN8

1977 Shadow DN8

Offered by Coys | Nurburg, Germany | August 9, 2014

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Is there a better place to sell a competition car than at an auction at the Nurburgring? The car you’re looking at is a very special one. But first, a little history. Shadow was a race car team and manufacturer that began in the Can-Am series in 1970. In 1973, they went abroad into Formula 1.

The team was founded by Don Nichols. This car is coming from his personal collection – he has been the sole owner since it was built in 1977. The engine is a 3.0-liter Cosworth DFV V-8. This car was driven during the 1977 Formula One season by Alan Jones. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1977 Austrian Grand Prix – 1st (with Alan Jones)
  • 1977 Dutch Grand Prix – 13th (with Jones)
  • 1977 Italian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Jones)
  • 1977 U.S. Grand Prix – 9th (with Jones)
  • 1977 Japanese Grand Prix – 4th (with Jones)

That’s right, this is a Formula One race-winning car – the only race Shadow ever won. It was restored to its race-winning livery in 2013 and is ready for the historic circuit. This should sell for between $495,000-$565,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Coys’ lineup.

Update: Sold about $582,900.

A Ferrari Rally Car

1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Group B by Michelotto

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 18, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

When one thinks of Ferrari race cars, they think of Formula 1 or sports cars. Hardly anyone pictures rally cars. And yet, that’s what we have here. Not only a Ferrari rally car, but a Ferrari 308 rally car – one of the cheapest Ferraris money can buy today.

But this car ain’t cheap. Let’s start with a little history… the FIA brought about Group B rally in 1983. Michelotto built and campaigned Ferrari race cars and they jumped at the chance race in Group B. But Ferrari didn’t want to build 25 homologation specials in order to take it racing. So Michelotto took standard road-going cars and turned them into rally cars. No specials needed if the road car is quick enough to be made into a racer. The engine is a 2.9-liter V-8 making 288 horsepower.

This is a 1976 Ferrari (the 308 was fiber glass until 1977, when it became steel) that Michelotto converted to rally status in 1983. They only built four of them and this is the first and most successful of those four, having won the Spanish rally championship and coming in as “Vice-Champion” in Italy (which makes it sound like a proponent of gambling and drugs). The other three cars all had more powerful engines.

You can pick up a road-going 308 for about $35,000. If you want a Michelotto Group B 308, be prepared to shell out between $760,000-$1,000,000. Yikes! Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Spa sale lineup.

Update: Sold $835,136.

Corvette Challenge

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 25, 2014

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Challenge

The Corvette Challenge was a one-make racing series that lasted two seasons – 1988 and 1989. The SCCA was the sanctioning body and some major racing stars turned out to compete, including Boris Said, Tommy Kendall, Andy Pilgrim, and Jimmy Vasser.

The cars cost $33,043 with an additional $15,000 payable to Protofab Engineering for race prepping. The cars were street-legal and all spec’d the same (Z51 performance handling package, roll cage, fire suppression system, etc.). The engine was a stock 250 horsepower 5.7-liter V-8.

In total, 56 Challenge cars were built for 1988 and only 46 of them ever started a race. This one was the series champion, having been driven by Stuart Hayner. It won a single race (Mosport) and had a total of four podium finishes. Consistency wins championships.

The car has covered what Mecum is calling “3,892 Sunday Driven” miles – aka race distance. These are rare cars and most Corvette people know what they are when they see them. They’re interesting and come from a time when Corvette motorsport presence was kind of thin. It would be an interesting addition to any collection. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Did not sell, high bid of $8,500.

Jag XJR-5

1982 Jaguar XJR-5

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 17, 2013

1982 Jaguar XJR-5

Jaguar really didn’t do much for itself as a sporting marque between the years of about 1955 and 1980. Sure, some of their cars competed in the hands of privateers over the years, but a factory effort was missing. That changed when Bob Tullius’ Group 44 race team was staring down a shut down.

Jaguar came calling and essentially absorbed the race team to be their factory effort in the prototype arena. The goal was to compete in IMSA GTP and the FIA World Endurance Championship (and later, Le Mans). It’s very aerodynamic and uses an aluminium tub, Kevlar composite body panels and Lockheed disc brakes. The engine is a mid/rear-mounted 6.0-liter V-12 making 625 horsepower. If geared correctly, this thing can do 217 mph.

You’re looking at the first XJR-5 built. It wears serial number 001 and it’s race history consists of the following:

  • 1982 Road America 500 Miles – 3rd overall, 1st in class (with Bob Tullius and Bill Adams)
  • 1982 Six Hours of Mid-Ohio – DNS after a practice crash (with Tullius and Adams)
  • 1983 100 Mile Laguna Seca – 2nd (with Tullius)

Bob Tullius owned this car after its brief racing career ended and he drove it at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed. It was acquired directly from him by its current owner. It has been recently restored and track-tested.

This is a historically significant race car: it was the first XJR prototype and it spawned a series of successful prototypes (and even a sports car) that were competitive for the next 11 years. One of these last sold in 2006 for less than $250,000. Things may have changed little since then. We’ll see. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $475,000).

S/N: 001

Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport

1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 12, 2012

A few weeks ago we talked about the partial history behind Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq (specifically, the Darracq history leading up to “STD Motors”). Well, when STD fell apart in 1935 and Darracq went its own way, Talbot was re-organized by Antonio Lago, a Venetian sent to save Talbot from the scrap heap of history.

In addition to rejuvenating the company – and building some of the most desirable coachbuilt French automobiles in existence – he took the company racing. Talbot-Lago cars competed in Formula One and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – where they scored an improbable 1-2 finish in 1950. The competition history on the car offered here includes:

  • 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans – 42nd, DNF (with Louis Rosier & Juan Manuel Fangio)
  • 1952 Monaco Grand Prix – 12th, DNF (with Rosier & Maurice Trintignant)
  • 1952 Grand Prix de Reims – DNF (with Eugène Chaboud)
  • 1952 Coupè du Salon – DNF (with Georges Grignard)
  • 1952 12 Hours of Casablanca – DNF (with Grignard & Lino Fayen)
  • 1954 Coupè de Paris – Withdrawn after Guy Mairesse was killed driving this car in a practice crash

Not exactly a spotless record, but Fangio drove this car. After Mairesse’s death at Montlhèry in April of 1954, the car was locked in a garage (still sitting on the transporter). In 1958, the present owner bought the car and had it back on track by 1961 and by 1963 was competing solely in historic events. In 1968, the body was restored to the style you see here (it had been fitted with fendered sports car bodywork in 1952). In 1989 the car underwent a more comprehensive restoration but it has remained competitive in historic races, basically since it left competition of the less-historic and more current type. It retains the 200+ horsepower 4.5-liter straight-six.

It’s an amazing opportunity: buy a car that was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s kind of a big deal. The estimate is $1,310,000-$1,975,000. For the complete catalog description, click here. And for more on RM in Monaco, click here.

Update: did not sell.

Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

2007 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP

Offered by RM Auctions | Monaco | May 12, 2012

The 24 Hours of Le Mans has had some historic battles between manufacturers since it began back in 1923. The latest of these battles has been between Audi and Peugeot. Beginning in 2007, Peugeot took Audi head on with this car, the 908 HDi FAP. Like its competitor, it is diesel-powered – a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V12 making in excess of 700 horsepower.

I should probably come clean and admit that I am a massive Audi fan. However, I will also admit that these cars are far more attractive than any of the Audi prototypes they raced against. They are gorgeous – and those wheels! The 908 was a worthy competitor to Audi’s R10 and R15, but it only got the better of them at Le Mans once – in 2009 when they finished 1-2.

The competition history of this car includes:

  • 2007 1000km Monza – 1st, in it’s debut race (with Nicolas Minassian and Marc Gené)
  • 2007 1000km Valencia – 36th, DNF (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans – 30th, DNF (with Minassian, Gené and Jacques Villeneuve)
  • 2007 1000km Nürburgring – 2nd (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2007 1000km Spa – 46th, DNF (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2007 1000km Silverstone – 1st (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2007 Mil Milhas Brasil – 1st (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2008 12 Hours of Sebring – 11th (with Minassian, Stéphane Sarrazin and Pedro Lamy)
  • 2008 1000km Catalunya – 1st (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2008 1000km Monza – 5th (with Minassian and Gené)
  • 2008 1000km Spa – 1st (with Minassian, Gené and Villeneuve)
  • 2008 24 Hours of Le Manes – destroyed in practice crash (with Gené)

Peugeot suddenly cancelled it’s LMP program in 2012. If you never had a chance to see these cars come whistling by you at Tertre Rouge or come flying at you at the Indianapolis and Arnage corners, well you’ve missed something beautiful. When a gasoline-powered prototype car races past, they are burbling and popping and spitting fire at an incredible volume. Not so with these cars. They are eerily quiet and you can hear them punch a hole in the air. It’s amazing. If you missed out on it, I’m sorry – but here’s your chance to buy one – and it’s the first time one has been offered for public sale.

It is expected to bring $2,000,000-$2,400,000 and is being sold directly from Peugeot. It comes with a commitment to three years of technical support from Peugeot Sport, as modern race cars are technology-laden. But it isn’t free. For the complete description, click here. And for more on RM in Monaco, click here.

Update: sold $2,175,600.