Ginetta G4

1966 Ginetta G4

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23-24, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

When the Walkett brothers founded Ginetta Cars in 1958, do you think they had any idea their company would still be involved in the highest levels of motorsport 60 years later? They started out building kit cars and in 1961 they hit it big when the G4 went on sale.

The G4 was nice because it was a usable car and a great race car. With a fiberglass body and reliable Ford powerplants, the cars were competitive and sold well – about 500 were produced through 1969 when production stopped (though it restarted in 1981 and lasted through 1984 with about 35 additional “Mk IV” examples built). This car is powered by a 1.5-liter Ford inline-four.

Painted in bright orange, the car was recently restored, including work performed by Ginetta Heritage. It’s race and road ready and should cost between $32,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Lotus T125

2013 Lotus T125

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8-9, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s become pretty trendy lately for “major” manufacturers to build track-only cars for their wealthier clients to enjoy and pretend they are talented. Ferrari has done it, as has Aston Martin. In 2011, Lotus decided to try to do it in a completely different, balls-to-the-wall kind way.

Before the recession about killed the company and cost the CEO his job, Lotus head man Danny Bahar was flinging out cool concepts left and right with an awesome product roadmap that would’ve made Lotus a sports car contender again. Just like McLaren ended up doing with much better timing (and funding).

Anyway, one of his projects was this, the T125. It’s basically a customer F1 car. Power is from a 640 horsepower, 3.8-liter Cosworth V8. It’s got a bunch of F1 tech inside of it as Lotus was a constructor in F1 at the time. Basically, the car is way too intense for some rando rich guy to hop in and safely pilot around a track.

Despite that, Lotus planned an extravagant launch party in the basement of the Louvre where they told select clients that for about $1 million they’d get the car, a transporter, spares, and a professional driver to teach them how to use it. Then they could go race other people who bought in.

Well it didn’t work. Lotus ended up building as few as two of these, and rumor is not one of them was ever sold as intended. This one has the classic John Player Special livery and can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

OSCA MT4 by Morelli

1955 OSCA MT4-2AD 1350 by Morelli

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

OSCA was founded by a couple of the Maserati brothers after they left the company that bore their name. In existence for only 20 years (1947-1967), the company produced mainly sports racing cars, some of which just happened to be road legal – but road cars were not their primary concern.

The MT4 was actually their first product, going on sale in 1947. Different engine sizes were used and many of them sported different bodies. For example, here is a Frua-bodied car with a 1.5-liter engine. The car you see here is powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four.

OSCA built 72 examples of the MT4 from 1947-1963, a long time in race-car-land, which should say something about how good they were. The original body was an aluminum structure hand-built by the car’s original owner. It was ruined in an accident during the 1959 Targa Florio, and this Morelli coachwork was fitted in 1959.

This Italian racer has Targa Florio race history. What more do you want? It should bring between $1,250,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Two Racing Cars from Artcurial

1958 Talbot-Lago T14 America Barquette

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Fun fact: Talbot-Lago won Le Mans outright in 1950. Anthony Lago entered two sporty cars again in 1956 but didn’t pull off the victory. So he went back and tried to build some more road cars, though the company would ultimately be taken over in 1958.

A Talbot-designed inline-four was put into a new car called the T14 and it was not very good. So they turned to BMW, who supplied a 138 horsepower, 2.5-liter V8. The steering wheel was moved to the left side, for the first time in company history, as they were aiming to move these cars in North America. They even renamed the export model the America.

When the company was taken over by Simca in 1958, there were some unfinished T14s lying around. Former factory driver Georges Grignard scooped them up – along with some spare engines. With funding from a pair of French brothers, a short run of six Talbot Sports were finished much later on. This car is one of those and it was completed in the 1980s with a hand-crafted bare aluminum body in the style of those 1956 Le Mans-losing racers. It’s road-legal and pretty cool. It should sell for between $160,000-$205,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1954 Panhard X86 Dolomites by Pichon Parat

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

The Panhard Dyna was not an inherently sporty car. It was a front-wheel drive subcompact powered by a two-cylinder engine. It was very French. But the French love their racing, and the car you see here is proof that anything can become a pretty bad-ass looking race car.

This X86 is based on the Dyna 120 and was built as a Dolomites race car by coachbuilders Pichon and Parat. It was campaigned around France in period and was at one point damaged in an accident. The large front grille opening the car now wears is the result of crash repairs.

The engine was updated by a later owner to an 851cc flat-twin. It’s probably eligible for a bunch of historic events and should sell for between $115,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $108,186.

Serenissima Spyder

1966 Serenissima Spyder

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Giovanni Volpi was a Venetian who operated a racing team called Scuderia Serenissima (La Serenissima was an Italian name used to describe the Most Serene Republic of Venice). Volpi’s team competed in F1 and some sports car stuff. He was closely aligned with Ferrari. Until…

Some ex-Ferrari people, namely Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, bolted from Ferrari and founded a company called ATS, which Volpi helped finance. Ferrari was not pleased and refused to sell Serenissima any 250 GTOs.

So what’s an enterprising Italian to do? In 1963, Volpi founded Automobili Serenissima to build his own cars. Supposedly, eight were built in total and only five survive. Well, Volpi is still alive and apparently is selling three of them at auction in a few weeks, including this car, which is chassis no. 5.

It appears that chassis no. 5 may have started life as a Serenissima Jungla – a closed coupe that was later turned into a spyder and shown in road car form. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V8 and was turned into a racing car shortly after its introduction. It raced at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Jean-Claude Sauer and Jean de Mortemart. A broken gearbox in the fifth hour led to the car’s retirement from the race.

The car is presented in as-raced condition and is not currently running. It is the only Serenissima car to race at Le Mans (they intended to race the Jungla GT but it did not appear). Even still, it should command between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $4,786,229.

Jordan 196

1996 Jordan-Peugeot 196

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Last May, RM Sotheby’s sold a copy of Jordan’s 199 F1 car that was photographed in a very similar position to this car. I’m not sure whose collection these are coming out of (and frankly I really don’t feel like trying to figure it out), but one wonders if there will be more to come.

Jordan’s first year in F1 was 1991, and this was their 1996 car. Power is from a 3.0-liter Peugeot V10, an example of which this care retains. The team’s 1996 drivers were Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle, and the race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1996 European Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 British Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)

It was raced in a few other races as well, but those were the highlights. Trackable cars from F1’s V10 era are hard to come by, and you can read more about this one here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in Paris here.

Update: Sold $273,468.

Lesovsky Indy Roadster

1949 Lesovsky-Offenhauser

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Classic race cars take a special breed of person. They’re high-maintenance cars and you can’t exactly take them to the local cruise-in. And the older they are, the crazier they can be. Before big money moved in, there were a lot of people with a lot of different ideas building cars that ran within inches of each other. They were individuals, not spec cars. And because of that, old race cars are awesome.

This car was built by Lujie Lesovsky’s L.A. Lesovsky Race Car Engineering, an open-wheel race car constructor active from the late-1940s through the early-1960s. It’s a short-wheelbase car powered by a Meyer-Drake Offenhauser inline-four making 300 horsepower. 

The racing history for this chassis includes:

  • 1948 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ
  • 1949 Indianapolis 500 – 3rd, with George Connor
  • 1950 Indianapolis 500 – 8th, with George Connor
  • 1951 Indianapolis 500 – 30th, with George Connor
  • 1952 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bill Taylor
  • 1953 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bill Taylor
  • 1954 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bob Christie

Well there you have it – three Indy 500 starts with a podium finish. The car was also raced in period by Bill Holland and Len Sutton, the latter of which wrecked the car in a race in 1955. After that, it never raced competitively again. It was preserved and later restored to its “Blue Crown Special” livery.

This Offy-powered Lesovsky is one of very few such cars that survive today. They don’t change hands often, but when they do the prices make you take note. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $201,600.

Jaguar XJR-6

1985 Jaguar XJR-6

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

When Jaguar decided to go sports car prototype racing in the 1980s, the first car (numerically-speaking) they built was the XJR-5 which was intended for the IMSA GTP series. Meanwhile, in Europe, the World Sportscar Championship was eagerly awaiting some fast cats, and Jaguar obliged, with this, the XJR-6.

Destined for Group C greatness (or so they hoped), this car was built – as the entire Jag WSC program was – by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Using a carbon-composite and Kevlar monocoque, the XJR-6 is powered by a 6.5-liter V12 capable of 745 horsepower. The race history for this particular chassis (285) includes:

  • 1985 1000km Mosport – 3rd (with Jean-Louis Schlesser, Mike Thackwell, and Martin Brundle)
  • 1985 1000km Spa – 32nd, DNF (with Hans Heyer and Schlesser)
  • 1985 1000km Fuji – 30th, DNF in a semi-aborted race (with Heyer and Steve Soper)

In all, six examples of the XJR-6 were built, and this one saw some action in pre-season 1986 testing, but it never raced after 1985. It’s a pretty awesome race car (with gullwing doors!), and I’m sure it has an amazing sound to accompany its looks. It should bring between $2,800,000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jaguar XJ220C

1993 Jaguar XJ220C

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

For some reason, the Jaguar XJ220 is a car that people don’t love. I guess because it has a V6 or something, people think it’s an “inferior” supercar. But it’s still a supercar. It was the fastest car in the world upon its introduction. And, as you can see, it has racing heritage.

That’s right, for a brief period, Jaguar tracked these monsters with a factory effort. Well, factory in that the whole thing was run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. But it was funded by Jag. Just four lightweight XJ220 competition cars were built. The racing history for this chassis includes:

  • 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans – 1st in class (with John Nielsen, David Brabham, and David Coulthard)

Well, that’s technically only partially correct. While they won their class, they were disqualified later on because of some weird appeal-filing timing mishap. A very bureaucratic disqualification.

The race-trim version of this car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 tuned to 500 horsepower, which is actually less than the road car, but with all of the lightweight components installed, it was probably much quicker.

After staying in the TWR collection for a while, this car was sold to the Sultan of Brunei before coming back to the U.K. in 1999. It can now be yours for between $2,900,0000-$3,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Atlanta, Georgia | October 27, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It seems like many people love their Porsches in Gulf Oil colors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best racing liveries there is, not to mention they are great colors. But when it comes to racing Porsches, the Rothmans livery is where it’s at.

And speaking of “where it’s at” – this car is where it’s at. Let’s start with the 959. It was Porsche’s first true full-bonkers supercar. It was the most technologically-advanced car in the world at the time of its introduction. They went on sale to the public in 1986.

This 1985 car is called a 959 and what it represents is Jacky Ickx’s intent to take a Porsche to the world famous Paris-Dakar rally. But let’s back up. Porsche introduced a concept car in 1983 called the Gruppe B. It was essentially the 959 in concept car form.

Ickx entered three Porsches in the ’84 Paris-Dakar. They were based on the contemporary 911 SC RS. For 1985, Porsche offered up three purpose-built 959 rally cars. This is one of those cars and it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six 911 Carrera engine with all-wheel drive. It was sort of an “almost-959.” All three cars failed to finish the race, including this one piloted by Dominique Lemoyne and René Metge.

It all came together in 1986 when Porsche put the 959-spec engine in the next batch of rally cars and ended up with a 1-2 finish at the Paris-Dakar. Only seven 959 rally cars were built, three in ’85, three in ’86, and one Le Mans prototype. Porsche kept five of them and one was destroyed in a fire. This is the only true 959 rally car in private hands.

It’s a pretty awesome opportunity to acquire a Porsche that most hardcore Porsche collectors will never have the chance to own. Oh yeah, and it also sports that Rothmans livery. It should bring between $3,000,000-$3,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $5,945,000.