De Tomaso Sport 5000

1965 De Tomaso Sport 5000

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021

Photo – Mecum

We’ve previously detailed the long and complicated history of the car that became the De Tomaso P70 aka the Ghia De Tomaso aka some race car that Carroll Shelby, Pete Brock, Medardo Fantuzzi, and Alejandro de Tomaso all had a hand in creating.

After Shelby bailed on the project to go run the GT40 program, Pete Brock sort of lingered around and talked de Tomaso into becoming his North American distributor for the P70 race car, 50 of which were supposed to be built. De Tomaso modified the design of the P70 slightly and built a second car, this one, and called it the Sport 5000.

It’s powered by a 4.7-liter (289) Ford V8 rated at 475 horsepower thanks to aluminum cylinder heads and four Weber carburetors. The car never got its competition career off the ground, only competing in a single race: the 1966 Mugello Grand Prix round of the World Sportscar Championship. But it broke on the first lap with driver Roberto Bussinello behind the wheel.

After that, de Tomaso put this car in storage, where it remained until his passing in 2003. It remains pretty much as-raced (except for whatever broke in 1966). You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum. In Florida. During a pandemic. Here. Good luck.

DAM/TPR 4100

1987 DAM 4100

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | November 13-14, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Group B rallying was one of the best classes of motorsport since… well, since motorsports. In the 1980s, there were some outrageous rally cars, and one such example was the MG Metro 6R4. Badged as a derivative of the frumpy Austin/MG Metro front-wheel-drive hatchback, the 6R4 was a rear-mid-engined four-wheel-drive monster powered by a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 capable of over 400 horsepower.

There were 220 examples of the 6R4 built, 20 of which were high-level competition cars. The other 200 were Clubman cars, which were sold to the public. Many of them ended up in the hands of privateer rally drivers. So what is this car then?

Well, Tony Pond was a works Austin-Rover rally driver. One of the team engineers was a man named David Appleby. When Austin-Rover (MG) pulled out of rallying in 1987, Pond and Appleby set up shop updating Clubman cars. Thus, the DAM/TPR 4100 was born.

This is the prototype. Pond and Appleby parted ways shortly after this car was built, but Appleby soldiered on without Pond and ended up producing 5-10 examples. Power is from a Cosworth-derived 2.5-liter V6 rated at 295 horsepower at an impressive 10,250 rpm. It’s got four-wheel drive, too.

This is like a cottage industry British supercar from the 90s (even though it was built in the late 1980s). It’s a car that never appears at public sales (or in public generally). The estimated price reflects it. The estimate is $190,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold. Silverstone actually says sold for an “undisclosed amount,” which is about the sketchiest thing I’ve ever seen on an online auction.

Renault 5 Turbo Touring Car

1987 Renault 5 Turbo Supertouring

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | November 14, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Renault 5 Turbo was the coolest hot hatch of the 1980s. The rally car variants are legendary. But I don’t think I’ve seen an R5 Turbo that I’ve wanted more than this one. It was built as a touring car for the French Supertouring Championship, which was a series that existed between 1976 and 2005.

Only six R5 Turbos were converted to this spec in 1986. Half of those were updated in 1987 (including this car) with a wider track, a lowered suspension, and a revised 1.4-liter stroker version of the turbocharged inline-four. Output was 410 horsepower. The other two updated versions have been retained by Renault.

This car had two race wins during the 1987 season, and it was also the championship-winning car. It was sold after the season to a hillclimb driver who managed to finagle factory support for his privateer effort. It broke after it was “out of warranty,” so he refinished it in its Supertourisme livery and lent it to the Prince of Monaco for display in his collection. It’s since been refreshed and now carries a pre-sale estimate of $390,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Kurtis 500E

1956 Kurtis 500E

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frank Kurtis built quite a few race cars in his day, but he only built one 500E. In fact, he only built three cars in 1956 in total, two of which were Novi-powered 500Fs. The E was produced for the Federal Engineering race team, and it was an evolution of the earlier 500D, except the engine was tilted to the left and the fuel cap shifted places on the tail.

The engine would’ve been an Offenhauser inline-four. The car currently houses a mock-up of an Offy, but it’s not actually powered. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1956 Indianapolis 500 – 7th (with Bob Veith)
  • 1957 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Billy Garrett)
  • 1958 Indianapolis 500 – 14th, DNF (with Bob Christie)
  • 1959 Indianapolis 500 – 14th, (with Jimmy Daywalt)
  • 1960 Indianapolis 500 – 17th (with Shorty Templeman)
  • 1961 Indianapolis 500 – 10th (with Norm Hall)
  • 1962 Indianapolis 500 – 21st, DNF (with Chuck Hulse)
  • 1964 Indianapolis 500 – Never arrived

Yeah, it was raced at Indy, a lot. It was supposed to go back in ’64, but they never ended up preparing it. The car’s trail went cold, until John Snowberger, went on the hunt for his dad’s old race cars (his father, Russ, was Federal Engineering’s crew chief for many of those Indy appearances). He found a rusty old frame in a Detroit-area shop, which later turned out to be the remains of the 500E. It has been semi-restored, and is now expected to bring between $90,000-$120,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $68,200.

Epperly Indy Roadster

1961 Epperly-Offenhauser Indianapolis

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Quin Epperly is another legendary mid-century name associated with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His cars first showed up at the 500 in 1955 and would continue to run there until the mid-engined revolution took hold.

This car is another Offy-powered roadster, originally equipped with a 255ci inline-four. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1961 Indianapolis 500 – 33rd, DNF (with Don Branson)
  • 1962 Indianapolis 500 – 5th (with Bobby Marshman)
  • 1963 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Bud Tingelstad)

Like so many other Indy roadsters, it was once part of the Bob McConnell collection for a number of years. It has been restored to its 1962 500 livery. It really looks the part of bad-ass Indy roadster, doesn’t it? The pre-sale estimate is $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $407,000.

Kurtis 500B

1953 Kurtis 500B

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Frank Kurtis was a legendary race car designer, and his 500B was an iteration of his earlier 500/500A cars. They first hit the track in about 1953, and they would be competitive for a few years thereafter, although they would eventually be topped by later, greater cars.

It’s powered by an Offenhauser inline-four, and the competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1953 Indianapolis 500 – 10th (with Jimmy Davies)
  • 1954 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ (with Davies)
  • 1955 Indianapolis 500 – 3rd (with Davies)
  • 1956 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Al Herman)

This car was formerly part of the Bob McConnell collection, and it wears its 1955/1956 “Bardahl Special” livery. Only eight examples of the 500B were built, and this was the last. It’s an Indy podium finisher and is expected to bring between $350,000-$450,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $550,000.

Grid-Porsche

1983 Grid-Porsche S2

Offered by Bonhams | Los Angeles, California | August 14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Grid Motor Racing of Leamington, England, went Group C racing with this Porsche-powered prototype in the early 1980s. Grid stood for Giuseppe Rise and Ian Dawson, the two men behind the project, and they built two sports racing prototypes, with this being the second.

This car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter Porsche flat-six good for 500 horsepower, and the body is made of glass-reinforced plastic. It’s hung over a monocoque featuring aluminum honeycomb panels. Though listed as a 1983, the car made its racing debut in 1984, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans – 53rd, DNF (with Dudley Wood, John Cooper, and Barry Robinson)

It was dead last at Le Mans, having covered just 10 laps. Fortunately, that’s enough to grant you access to nearly any historic event you want to participate in. And it did have more successful outings later that season.

The current owner bought it in 2012 and listed it on Bring a Trailer late last year where it was bid to $200,000. Seemed like a good price, but they seem to think that can get $275,000-$325,000 at Bonhams. It will be interesting to see what the result ends up being. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

RA4 Vanguard

1954 RA4 Vanguard

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 2, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

So no, this isn’t an Auto Union Grand Prix car, despite its looks. In fact, it was built a full 20 years after those cars dominated the European Grand Prix circuit. The “RA” cars were racing specials built by Hector Green and Jack Brewer in New Zealand between the end of WWII and the mid-1950s. Their first car kept evolving, and in 1951 they decided to replace it.

The RA4 Vanguard was the replacement, and its design and construction were heavily influenced by the pre-war Auto Unions. That’s because its builders consulted a then-declassified British intelligence document that investigated the construction of the German Grand Prix cars of the 1930s. Intriguing stuff.

Power is from a rear-mounted 2.1-liter inline-four from a Standard Vanguard that was supercharged and fitted with dual SU carburetors. Horsepower, when the car was running on methanol, was approximately 200. Wow.

The car competed regularly in New Zealand beginning in 1951 through about 1954. It’s been invited to the Goodwood Revival and has been owned by its current caretakers since 2017. Only five or six RA specials were built. You can read more about this one here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Not sold.

Inaltera GTP

1976 Inaltera-Cosworth GTP

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | July 14-22, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Jean Rondeau was a racing driver that drove open-wheel and saloon cars before moving on to sports racing prototypes in 1976 when he joined the Inaltera team. Inaltera was a wallpaper company, an industry whose natural extension is prototype sports cars to contest Le Mans.

This example, the first of three built, was the team’s test car. It is powered by a 3.0-liter Cosworth V8. Though it did not compete at Le Mans in 1976, it would enter the race the following year. It’s competition history includes:

  • 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans – 4th (3rd in Class), with Jean Rondeau and Jean Ragnotti

After that, Inaltera pulled out of motor racing. Rondeau ventured on, building similar cars under his own name. He would later become the only person to win Le Mans with a car bearing his own name.

This car went to Switzerland after the 1977 season along with the other two Inaltera chassis. The current owner acquired all three later that year and sold the other two, keeping this one. It is now offered with an estimate between $510,000-$625,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $440,902.

GT350R Prototype

1965 Shelby GT350R Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020

Photo – Mecum

The GT350 was the most badass 1965 Mustang. But how do you take that up a notch? You turn it into a factory race car, of course. That’s what Shelby did with 34-ish of their launch-year GT350s. The R was built for SCCA B-Production competition.

This car is the first GT350R built and was used by Shelby American as a factory race car, racking up 10 B-Production victories in 1965, along with the national championship – the latter with driver Jerry Titus. It was also the test mule for Shelby before they built the 34 customer cars.

Famed drivers Ken Miles, Bob Bondurant, Chuck Cantwell, and Peter Brock all also drove this car in period. It’s been restored and retains a 4.7-liter 289 V8 that made somewhere north of 300 horsepower. Mecum bills this as the “most historically significant Shelby Mustang in the world” which might be a little much. In any case, it’s likely to be among the most expensive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,850,000.