Tojeiro-Butterworth

1956 Tojeiro-Butterworth AJB Sports

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Here is another one-off sports racing special carrying the name of John Tojeiro. In this case, Tojeiro wasn’t really involved with building the car at all. Instead, a racer named Major Ronald Clare Clifford Palmer bought a chassis from Tojeiro’s company and built his own car, using an engine from Archie Butterworth.

Butterworth had been designing and driving race cars since the end of WWII and had created a series of small four-cylinder engines for Formula 2 competition. It was one of these engines that Palmer and a friend purchased to install in this car. It’s a 1.5-liter flat-four, race-prepped and ready to run.

The body was custom built and pretty much looks like they sprayed liquid fiberglass over the components and let it dry. It’s a tight fit, which helps keep the weight down. The current owner bought it in 2011 and this thing has been completely gone over. It’s raced in historic events are some great tracks around Europe and now it’s someone else’s turn to enjoy it. It should bring between $110,000-$160,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

DB HBR5

1956 D.B. HBR5

Offered by Gooding & Company | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 20, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

Charles Deutsch and Rene Bonnet teamed up for the first time in 1938, applying both of their surnames to automobiles. In 1947, they would shorten it to just “D.B.” and would continue building cars through 1961 when Bonnet ventured out on his own, until his new company was scooped up into Matra.

The HBR5, of which we’ve already featured a highly customized example that has different body work than this car, was a sports and racing car built between 1955 and 1961. In total, 450 were built and this one is powered by a 65 horsepower, 848cc flat-twin. That’s a decent amount of power from such a tiny engine.

But with a lightweight fiberglass body, these were stout cars in their class on the track. For example, this car, while owned by famed designer Brooks Stevens, competed in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring, failing to finish with drivers Guy Storr and Hal Ullrich. D.B. cars don’t come up for sale often (I’ve featured nearly every one of them in the past five years and we’re now standing at “four”). This one should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $47,300.

Kurtis Kraft 500G

1957 Kurtis 500G

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 17, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Indy roadsters, as this style of race car is often called, are the coolest cars that ever raced at Indianapolis. These were driven by men who muscled them around the track, two hands on a steering wheel that looked like it came out of a bus. Frank Kurtis’ cars – when equipped with that Offy underhood – were unstoppable in the 500.

The KK 500G was an evolution of earlier Kurtis 500 cars but with upgraded aerodynamics. This particular chassis was at one point owned by Smokey Yunick – his first “major league” open-wheel race car. It’s competition history includes:

  • 1957 Indianapolis 500 – 5th (with Andy Linden)
  • 1958 Indianapolis 500 – 30th, DNF (with Paul Goldsmith)

After it’s brief history on the Championship circuit, it was used a supermodified car before being rescued by a major Indy roadster collector and restored to the condition you see here. It’s still powered by the legendary 4.2-liter Offenhauser straight-four. Only 14 Kurtis-Kraft 500Gs were built and they’re one of the best-looking of their type. This one should bring between $300,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

911 GT3 Brumos

2012 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 4.0 Brumos Edition

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-14, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Porsche is the king of factory-built customer race cars and they’ve been doing it for quite some time. These racers are built on the same production line as the road cars. One of their premier outlets for such cars is Brumos Porsche of Jacksonville, Florida. Brumos Racing has been a staple at Florida’s endurance races (Sebring, Daytona) for a long time with drivers like Hurley Haywood.

This generation of the 911 GT3 Cup (the 997) was introduced in 2009 and built through 2011 with a 3.8-liter engine. However, this 2012 car features a version of the 4.0-liter flat-six from the GT3 RS 4.0 that makes more than 450 horsepower in this application. This is a full-fledged race car and it is not street legal – though it does have two seats if you want to scare your friends.

The last five U.S.-spec 997 GT3 Cup cars were all 4.0-liter cars sent to Brumos and sold as “Brumos Edition” racers. Jerry Seinfeld had one – it brought over $450,000 in 2016. Mecum has been trying to move the car you see here for what seems like ever. Hopefully it finds a new owner this January in Florida. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $300,000.

Barney Oldfield’s Benz

1908 Benz 75/105HP Prinz-Heinrich Raceabout

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | November 11, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Benz has some automotive connotations, namely its current existence as half of Mercedes-Benz. But if you think back about Benz and know enough to know that Benz sort of started this whole car thing, you probably think of the Benz Patent Motorwagen. But they also built some amazing sports cars. Two engineers working for Benz in the early days developed what is, perhaps, the world’s first road-going sports car. It was built to compete in the Prinz-Heinrich Tour – a demanding 1,200 mile rally.

Hans Nibel and Georg Diehl created this car to compete in that race (note: this car is listed as a “circa 1908” but the catalog makes it seem like this model was first shown closer to 1910). It features a live rear axle and shaft drive (most big power cars from this era sported two semi-frightening chains that drove the rear wheels). The engine is fantastic for 1908: it’s a 7.3-liter straight-four that made 105 horsepower, which is a lot for the time. A team of three of these competed in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup.

This model was only available through 1912 and very few were made as they were quite expensive. Only a handful survive – including, probably, the three Vanderbilt Cup cars. We pick up the history of this car around 1915 when it was being used by Barney Oldfield in appearances all over the country. He eventually sold it to a brewer in L.A. before it made its way into the Lindley Bothwell collection in the 1930s (where it’s been since).

Restored in 2006, just in time for the 2006 Goodwood Revival, this is an incredible piece of history with just three known owners going back 100 years. This is the type of car that only exists in one of three places: 1. museums 2. historical photos or 3. long-term European collections that are rarely, if ever, broken up. But here it is, straight from Los Angeles for you to bid on. No estimate is being provided because it’s one of the big money cars from this sale (which is likely to be remembered for some time). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,870,000.

Sauber C9

1989 Sauber-Mercedes C9

Offered by Coys | Fontwell, U.K. | September 7, 2017

Photo – Coys

Coys has a serious race car for it’s Goodwood sale this year. The Sauber C9 was one of the preeminent Group C race cars from the late 1980s. Introduced in 1987, it was developed from the Sauber C8 race car and was much more successful than it’s predecessor.

Co-designed by Peter Sauber, the C9 is powered by a 5.0-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 with two turbochargers. That combination made 700 horsepower in the most basic of forms and over 900 if you cranked up the boost. The most famous C9s were those painted solid silver that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans on their way to the World Endurance Championship in 1989 (and they won the Championship again in 1990). This car is the only C9 that still wears the 1988 AEG livery – it was retained by Sauber for display in his museum after the 1988 season.

I do not have access to any race records for this particular chassis (C9-A2). The current owner purchased this car from Peter Sauber in 2010 – after 20 years of museum duty. It was restored in 2015 and a fresh engine was constructed by the original engine builder. No pre-sale estimate is available but you can see more here and more from Coys here.

Lotus 34

1964 Lotus Type 34

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Lotus was far from the first European car company to try and conquer the Indianapolis 500, after all Peugeot won the third running. But there are few car companies that really left as an indelible a mark at the Speedway quite like Lotus did. They brought the rear-engined revolution. They were the rear-engined revolution. The 1964 Type 34 was their second “Champ Car” made specifically for American ovals.

The Type 34 was an evolution of Colin Chapman’s original Indy entrant, the Type 29. Lotus teamed with Ford for power and this car features by a 495 horsepower 4.2-liter V-8. It has a two-speed manual transmission. It’s racing heritage includes practice for the ’64 500 and the following:

  • 1964 Milwaukee Mile – DNF (with A.J. Foyt)
  • 1964 Trenton 200 – 1st (with Parnelli Jones)
  • 1965 Phoenix 150 – DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Trenton 100 – DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Indianapolis 500 – Pole, 15th, DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Milwaukee Mile – DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Langhorne 150 – DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Trenton 150 – 1st (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Indianapolis Raceway Park – 4th (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Langhorne 125 – 2nd (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Atlanta 250 – DNF (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Trenton 200 – 1st (with Foyt)
  • 1965 Phoenix 200 – 1st (with Foyt)
  • 1966 Trenton 200 – 3rd (with Foyt)

That’s quite the history, even if the transmission gave out on the car seemingly more often than not. But it was quick in its day with who else but A.J. Foyt at the wheel. Foyt kept the car until 1992 when the current owner acquired it. The restoration is fresh, having been completed earlier this year.

All four of A.J.’s 500-winning cars are owned by the Speedway Museum. This pole-winning car (which set a lap record at Indy) is referred to as one of the most significant Foyt cars in private hands by the catalog. It is the winningest Indy Lotus and one of only two Type 34s in existence – the other at the IMS Museum. Get it while it’s hot – but it won’t come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1957 Arnott-Climax

1957 Arnott-Climax 1100 GT

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

Three quick things we love about this car: 1. that shade of green; 2. the fact that it’s a factory race car from a cottage industry sports car manufacturer that has survived this long and; 3. gullwing doors!

There aren’t many car companies out there founded by women, but Daphne Arnott managed to produce about 25 cars – some for the road, some for the track – between 1951 and 1957 in London. She started with F3 cars and ultimately ended up with Coventry Climax-powered sports cars that competed at Le Mans. This car uses a 1.1-liter Coventry Climax straight-four that makes 94 horsepower.

The body is aluminium and just enough of it exists to cover all the important pieces underneath. This was one of only a few “factory race cars” the company ever had, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans – 44th, DNF (with Jim Russell and Dennis Taylor)

After the ’57 24 Hours, the team (and automobile-building portion of the company) folded. This car was parked in the Arnott workshop for over 15 years before being rescued in the early 1980s. The new owner restored it and it’s had a few other caretakers since, successfully completing some touring rallies along the way.

Being the only Arnott quite like it, of only a few automobiles produced in total, it should bring between $350,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 312 T5

1980 Ferrari 312 T5

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Bravo on the photo, Bonhams. This shot was clearly captured with a car drifting around Sonoma Raceway in the background. Anyway… Ferrari’s 312T line of Formula One racing cars competed in F1 between 1975 and 1980. This car was the last of the series.

Ferrari’s driver lineup for 1980 was the same as 1979: Gilles Villeneuve and Jody Scheckter. This was Scheckter’s car for much of the 1980 season (even though it has Villeneuve’s name by the driver’s compartment). This car was the fastest of all the 312Ts: it’s powered by a 515 horsepower 3.0-liter V-12. The race history of this car includes:

  • 1980 South African Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 U.S. Grand Prix West – 5th (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 Belgian Grand Prix – 8th (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 Monaco Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 French Grand Prix – 12th (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 British Grand Prix – 10th (with Scheckter)
  • 1980 German Grand Prix – 13th (with Scheckter)

Defending World Champion Scheckter retired at the end of the 1980 season and when he went, so did this series of Ferrari F1 cars, as they moved forward into the turbo era. Bonhams is not publishing a pre-sale estimate with this car, but the T3 we featured a few years ago sold for $2,310,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Aston DBR1

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

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

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

On their home page, RM Sotheby’s describes the DBR1 as “the most important Aston Martin ever built.” Why’s that? Because David Brown bought Aston Martin in 1947 and set his sights on winning Le Mans. With the DBR1, he finally succeeded, putting his little car company in the spotlight and ensuring its survival for decades to come.

This car is not the Le Mans winning car, but the first of five DBR1s built (chassis #2 triumphed at Le Sarthe). This was built in 1956, there was one example in 1957, one in 1958, and two in 1959. If you’re a big fan of Astons, perhaps this car reminds you a little bit, styling-wise, of the DB3S.

This DBR1 is powered by a reproduction 3.0-liter straight-six developing 302 horsepower. The owner had the engine specially constructed for this car so it could be used in historic events without fear of damaging the original 3.0-liter unit (which peaked at 255 horsepower).

The competition history of this factory race car includes the following:

  • 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans – 14th, DNF (with Tony Brooks and Reg Parnell)
  • 1957 1000km Nurburgring – 6th (with Roy Salvadori and Les Leston)
  • 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Leston)
  • 1958 12 Hours of Sebring – 52nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Carroll Shelby)
  • 1958 1000km Nurburgring – DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans – 34th, DNF (with Salvadori and Stuart Lewis-Evans)
  • 1959 12 Hours of Sebring – 62nd, DNF (with Salvadori and Shelby)
  • 1959 1000km Nurburgring – 1st (with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman)

What a race history! Tony Brooks, Roy Salvadori, Carroll Shelby, and Stirling Moss all drove this car in period. And it won the 1000km of the Nurburgring (with Moss at the wheel, no less). The current owner, a major Aston Martin collector, has owned this car since 2009. RM hasn’t published estimates at the time of this writing, but it’s possible this one gets tagged with the ubiquitous “Inquire.” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $22,550,000.