F355 Challenge

1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 21, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Fun! As far as Ferrari race cars go, this is among my favorites. Yes, it certainly has something to do with three screen Sega arcade game that shared this car’s name in the late 90s/early 2000s. This is one of a long line of one-make (or one-model) racing cars produced by Ferrari (which actually started in 1993 with the 348 Challenge). You could take these racing against your friends in identical cars.

The F355 was produced for the 1995-1999 model years and the Challenge (which was only available as a coupe with a big rear wing out back) launched in 1995 as well. Challenge events were held throughout the model’s production run and this car competed in the Ferrari Challenge Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-8 making 370 horsepower.

When new, you could order an F355 Challenge direct from the factory, or buy an F355 coupe and spend $30,000 on a dealer-installed kit. Ferrari managed to build 108 of these before they switched to the 360 Challenge. This one was delivered new to Belgium and has covered approximately 8,300 miles. It should bring between $160,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $178,426.

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.

P1 GTR

2016 McLaren P1 GTR

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Along with the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 is among the three great supercars from the mid-2010s. Ferrari did a track version of their hypercar, and so did McLaren, with this “track-only” P1 GTR.

What sets it apart from the road car is the fact that it comes with its own track day series, among a multitude of performance options. They stripped some weight out of it and bumped the power. The electric-hybrid 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes a combined system output of 986 horsepower. There’s more grip, more outlandish aerodynamics, and even more speed.

McLaren opted to sell just 58 of these (offering them to existing P1 owners first). Of the 58 GTRs built, 27 were sent to Lanzante, a company in England who turns these track-only cars into street legal race cars. The fact that nearly half of the GTRs built are now street legal says, I think, that we may have reached the tipping point on performance track day specials. I’d bet most of the GTR owners don’t have anywhere near the talent required to squeeze even 75% of this car’s capability out on a track. So why not drive it on the street? It’s one of the rarest, flashiest cars ever built. It’s perfect for the billionaire who has everything else.

This is the first P1 GTR to come up for public auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N #012.

Update: Not sold.

Abarth 207/A

1955 Abarth 207/A by Boano

For sale at Fantasy Junction | Emeryville, California

Photo – Fantasy Junction

Carlo Abarth’s little company first put its name on cars at the tail end of the 1940s. In the following decades they were responsible for many “Fiat-Abarth” cars and even some original designs of their own. While a lot of these originals were prototype race cars, there were some very obscure cars that could’ve been used on the street too (it would take some creative talking at your local DMV to get a license plate on this one, however).

The 207/A was built in 1955 and it’s a sports racing car built at the request of an importer in the U.S. The 207/A, with sporty body by Boano, was powered by a 1.1-liter straight-four from the Fiat 1100. Of course, Abarth had their way with the engine and it’s more powerful than it would’ve been in any Fiat.

This particular example is the first 207/A built and its period racing history includes:

  • 1955 12 Hours of Sebring – DQ’d, with John Bentley and Jim McGee

It continued to race through 1957 and didn’t see the track again until it entered the historic circuit in 1986. It’s been restored and is fully prepped and ready for the track. Only 10 were built and they do not change hands often. Get your hands on the very first one for $275,000. Click here for more info.

Mazda 767

1989 Mazda 767B

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

No, this is not the Le Mans-winning Mazda 787B. This is the model of IMSA GTP class racing car that came before it. Mazda’s program actually started with the 717C in 1983 and a couple of iterations later, the car you see above was built. The 767 was built by Mazdaspeed for the 1988 season and then it was updated to 767B spec for 1989.

This car, sporting the perfect orange and green livery, is powered by a 2.6-liter 4-rotor Wankel that makes an insane 630 horsepower. It is one of three built and was a Mazda factory race car. It’s competition history includes:

  • 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans – 12th (with Yojiro Terada, Marc Duez, & Volker Weidler)
  • 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans – 20th (with Terada, Takashi Yorino, & Yoshimi Katayama)

Mazda sold the car in 1991 to a privateer who continued to campaign it through 1992. The next owner acquired it in 2003 and the current owner bought it in 2013. It has been restored and comes with the body work from Le Mans in 1989. It’s an extremely rare prototype race car, a direct ancestor of a Le Mans-winning racer. Gooding & Co. estimate that it will bring between $1,800,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,750,000.

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.

Fiat Giannini 750 Sport

1950 Fiat Giannini 750 Sport by Lotti

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Giannini brothers opened a garage in 1885 and started servicing Itala cars in 1922. Shortly thereafter they got involved with racing which led them to a profitable business (that an offshoot of still exists today) wrenching on Fiats.

In the 1940s, the Giannini brothers were building some really solid engines. In fact, they set world speed records in a Fiat Topolino using their know-how. The car you see here was actually built by the Benedetti brothers of Florence and was bodied by Carrozzeria Lotti of the same town. The car was originally based around a Fiat 1100, but later the engine was swapped for a Giannini 750cc straight-four.

This car has period race history, including:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – 125th (with Carlo Chiti and a co-driver named Cioni)

The current owner has had this car since the early 1990s. It’s certainly one of a kind and even its name had to be created in order to tell what it is. It’s been completely restored and is likely eligible for historic events. It should bring between $270,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Alitalia Stratos

1976 Lancia Stratos Group IV

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Okay, so maybe it’s not an actual Lancia works rally car sporting the most famous of rally car liveries, but it is a racing Stratos that has competition history that just so happens to sport that very same green and white Alitalia livery.

The Stratos was the first purpose-built rally car from a major manufacturer. Yes, at one time, Lancia was a major manufacturer (they are lucky to still be around right now, as the current top brass at Fiat seems to have completely forgotten that they exist). In order to race the Stratos, Lancia had to build road-going versions, which it did – about 400 in total. It was a supercar in its day, powered by the feisty 2.4-liter V-6 from the Ferrari Dino. Depending on engine tune, it can put out between 190 and 320 horsepower.

It might not seem like a lot, but the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout of this featherweight car makes it an absolute handful. I mean, the guys you see in old videos jumping these things over little humps on mountain roads are – and there’s no graceful way to say this – batshit crazy. At its limit (and on dirt or snow no less), this has to be one of the most difficult cars to drive that has ever been built.

This three-owner car has known race history back to 1993, so its unclear if it was built as a competition car from new, or converted from one of the homologated road cars. Either way, the owner picked the right paint job. It should sell for between $370,000-$480,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Alfa Romeo Tipo B

1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Alfa Romeo P2 was built between 1924 and 1930 and it won the inaugural Automobile World Championship, the precursor to the European Championship (which itself was a sort of precursor to modern Formula One). The Alfa Romeo P3 (or Tipo B) was introduced halfway through the 1932 season. It was the first monoposto (true single seat) race car on the circuit.

The engine is a 255 horsepower, supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight – a really stout motor. The car was instantly successful, racking up victory after victory in the major Grands Prix across Europe. This particular car was campaigned by none other than Scuderia Ferrari for the 1934 and 1935 seasons. Because the record keeping of the day wasn’t the best, no one can say with certainty who raced this car where, but it is believed (and likely) that it was driven in period by Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi, and Pierre Louis-Dreyfus.

This example is the sixth of seven second-series “wide body” examples built out of a total of about 13 cars in all. It has known ownership history from new and is in spectacular condition. If you want to feel like a true racing hero, you should buy this and take it to a track day. The Alfa P3 is one of the greatest and most dominant race cars of all time and this is your chance to get one. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $4,177,896.

340 America Competizione

1952 Ferrari 340 America Spider Competizione by Vignale

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Ferrari 340 America was the first model of the Ferrari “America” cars which would reach their pinnacle in the 1960s with the Ferrari 400 Superamerica. They all wore bodies by either Ghia, Vignale or Touring. Built from 1950 through 1952, the 340 America would be replaced by the exceedingly rare 342 America.

This car is powered by a 4.1-liter V-12 making 280 horsepower. It’s stout and a performer. It was raced in period and by the factory. Its competition history includes:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Piero Taruffi and Mario Vandelli)
  • 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans – 42nd, DNF (with Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant)

Only 22 examples of the 340 America were built – eight of which were sold as decked-out luxury tourers for the street. Of the remaining 14, only three were spec’d as Competizione models from Ferrari. This, car #17, is one of those cars (and it is also one of only four bodied as a Vignale Spider).

The consignor acquired the car in 2011 after it had passed through countless other owners. The restoration dates to 2000, but it’s been lovingly cared for and lightly used on the historic circuit – namely the historic running of the Mille Miglia. This former factory racer will bring big money when it crosses the block in January. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $6,380,000.