Porsche RS Spyder

2007 Porsche RS Spyder

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

Remember the glory days of the ALMS when Allan McNish and Dindo Capello dominated in the unbelievable Audi R8 and later the R10 TDI? Porsche likes to think of it as, “Remember when we came to the ALMS with an LMP2 car and beat the Audi LMP1 cars week after week?”

The ALMS, or American Le Mans Series, was the premier sports car series in the U.S. between 1999 and 2013 when it was merged into Grand Am and stripped of its identity. Porsche wanted to get back to prototype sports car racing and in 2006 (well, one race in 2005), they teamed up with Penske Racing with an LMP2 car (supposedly slower than LMP1) and came out swinging. They won the ALMS LMP2 crown in 06′ through ’08, beating the Audis outright in more events than they should have.

The Penske cars were bright yellow, wearing DHL sponsorship and the dynamic duo of Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas seemed unstoppable. The car you see here, wearing its bare carbon fiber birthday suit, was the last of six cars built for the 2007 season. It was to have been campaigned under the CET Solari Motorsport banner – but the team never made it to the track.

So this is basically an RS Spyder that was never driven in anger and comes from a private collection. A 3.4-liter V-8 mounted out back makes 503 horsepower. Porsche only built 15 RS Spyders in total and this is the first to ever come to auction. It carries no pre-sale estimate, but you can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $4,510,000.

Kurtis KK4000

1952 Kurtis KK4000

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Now we’re talkin’. Here is an Indy car from the early 1950s, back when these cars ran on dirt more often than pavement. It predates other Kurtis cars, namely their Indy Roadsters. Frank Kurtis built some of the most dominant race cars of this era and, especially in the early 1950s, they won just about everything.

The KK4000 was new for 1951 but race cars then tended to be fielded for years, even after they ceased to be competitive (a different KK4000 was raced until 1975). The 4000 series was a development of the earlier 3000 series and featured a lighter construction, thus making it faster. It’s powered by a 4.4-liter Offenhauser straight-four – probably the most legendary race car engine of all time.

Only 12 examples of the KK4000 were built and they rarely change hands. The race history of this chassis includes:

  • 1952 Indy 500 – DNQ (with Allan Heath)
  • 1953 Indy 500 – ?
  • 1954 Indy 500 – 21st, DNF (with Pat O’Connor)
  • 1955 Indy 500 – 30th, DNF (with Ed Elisian)
  • 1956 Indy 500 – DNQ (with John Kay)

It was entered in the ’53 500 but I can’t find who drove this chassis that race and if it even qualified. Bonhams doesn’t seem to know either. This car raced up through 1959 before it was retired and sold to a collector. It has been restored to 1955 race spec. This is a very rare, very historically important race car (this was the car Elisian was driving when he pulled over and tried to help Bill Vukovich after his fatal crash). It should sell for between $275,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, Mecum Indy 2018, $291,500.

Ginetta G16

1968 Ginetta G16

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 24, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ginetta, which has been building sports and racing cars since 1958, has built its fair share of road cars and race cars. And some of those models blurred the lines between both categories. The G16 was an evolution of the earlier G12 model. It’s a mid-engined race car that looked every bit the part of Can-Am racing superstar.

Built between 1968 and 1969, the G16 would accept a few different engines. This car is powered by a 2.0-liter BMW straight-four that puts out around 225 horsepower. It’s perfectly suited for the historic circuit even though this particular chassis had no race history when new.

In fact, this was the final G16 chassis built (#8 of eight – which also makes it one of the rarest Ginettas). It was owned by the Walklett family (the family that founded the company in 1958) until 2014. The current owner acquired the car and finished it to what you see here. It should sell for between $110,000-$135,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

The 1974 Indianapolis 500 Winner

1974 McLaren M16C

Offered by RM Auctions | Monterey, California | August 16-17, 2013

1974 McLaren M16C

I guess I can get right to it: the competition history for this car includes:

  • 1973 Indianapolis 500 – 9th (with Johnny Rutherford)
  • 1974 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Milwaukee 150 – 1st (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Pocono 500 – 1st (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Michigan 500 – 4th (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Trenton 300 Race 1 – 4th (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Trenton 300 Race 2 – 7th (with Rutherford)
  • 1974 Phoenix – 7th (with Rutherford)

As I think you’ll agree, only that second line really matters. It makes this car huge. Only a handful of Indianapolis 500 winning race cars are in private hands (that won prior to 1996). Rutherford started 25th, battled with A.J. Foyt for 50 laps and then took off, lapping every car on track with the exception of second place Bobby Unser – who finished 22 seconds behind J.R. That’s a beast of a race car and driver.

The M16C was introduced in 1973. This was a McLaren-factory car campaigned for the entire USAC season with Rutherford behind the wheel (Peter Revson was his teammate). This car won the pole at Indy in ’73. It was slightly redesigned for ’74 and Rutherford had to wait until Bump Day to make the field. This car was sold by McLaren to a privateer team, who failed to qualify for the 500 with it in 1977 and 1978.

When it was restored later on, the car was reverted to as it was in victory lane in 1974. It changed hands for a record price in 1991 and has been used (by Rutherford) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The engine is a 2.6-liter turbocharged Offenhauser straight-four making 800 horsepower. That’s more than current Indy cars. At any rate, it’s rare that a 500 winner can be bought. This one should sell for between $1,250,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monterey.

Update: Sold $3,520,000.

S/N: M16C-5

Ex-Mansell John Player Special

1984 Lotus Type 95T

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

1984 Lotus Type 95T

There are a few racing liveries that really stand out above others. Among them: Gulf, Martini and – of course – John Player Special. The tobacco company started sponsoring Lotus Formula One cars in 1968. This black and gold paint scheme would be a part of F1 through the 1986 season and the current Lotus F1 team uses the colors – albeit with different sponsors.

The Lotus 94T was raced at the end of the 1983 Formula One season without much success (a lone podium and many retirements). It was competitive, but not great. For 1984, Lotus introduced the 95T. It was powered by a Renault-Gordini 1.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. In race trim it made about 700 horsepower. For qualifying, that number was bumped up over 1,100! Four cars were built for that season to share between Lotus drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis.

This car was driven by Mansell and includes the following race results (I can’t find if Mansell drove this particular car at more races than this or not):

  • 1984 Monaco Grand Prix – 13th (with Nigel Mansell)
  • 1984 Dallas Grand Prix – 6th, from first career pole (with Mansell)

It has since been retrofitted to accept computer input, making it easy to start and drive today (for historic events and parade laps). This is a Turbo Era F1 car that was raced by an F1 Champion. It’s also from one of the racing’s most storied manufacturers and carries one of racing’s most emblematic paint schemes. It can be yours for a price they won’t estimate. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in California.

Update: Failed to sell (high bid of $450,000)

The 6th Austin-Healey Built

1953 Austin-Healey 100 Special Test Car

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 12, 2013

1953 Austin-Healey 100 Special Test Car

You’re looking at one of the first Austin-Healeys built. It was the sixth Austin-Healey built and it was one of several pre-production cars that were to be used “testing” on famous race tracks all over Europe. They are referred to as Special Test Cars and, while they look nearly identical to production cars, they were lighter (thanks to a lot of aluminium) and faster on the track. Only four Special Test Cars were built. The first three were eventually road-registered. This car has always remained in race/testing guise.

The engine began life in Austin’s “experimental shop.” The 2.7-liter straight-four received a special camshaft, a lighter flywheel and spruced up carburetors. Power was more than the production car’s 90 horses – it was rated at 103 for Le Mans. This car also has a significant competition history:

  • 1953 Mille Miglia – 417th (seriously), DNF (with Bert Hadley and Bertie Mercer – yes, two people named Bert shared this car. The 1950s were a different time)
  • 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans – 12th overall, 2nd in class (with Maurice Gatsonides and Johnny Lockett)

After Le Mans, the car had its appearance changed to that of a road car and was used in testing for the media (although they didn’t know they were testing a lightweight racing special all gussied up to look like a road car). Later, it was used to test new braking systems for future Healey models and it was also used as a personal car by the Healey family. The first private owner acquired the car in 1962.

It passed through many owners before it was restored in the mid-1990s in Australia. That restoration was “refreshed” in 2009 and was painted to look like it did at Le Mans in 1953 – and it’s a wonderful color. This is the only Special Test Car that looks anything like it did in 1953 – it has almost all of its original bodywork and parts. It has never been molested, wrecked or altered. It is super rare and very important in the world of Healeys and it should command it in price with an estimate between $780,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Goodwood sale lineup.

Update: Sold $1,186,763.

Maserati 300S

1955 Maserati 300S

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 11, 2013

1955 Maserati 300S

The Maserati 300S was a development of the Maserati 200S – a competent sports racing car in its own right. The 300S was introduced for 1955 and produced through 1958. In all, 28 were constructed.

The cars use a 3.0-liter straight-six making about 245 horsepower. This car was ordered by and delivered new to Briggs Cunningham. He brought it to America so his driver Bill Spear could campaign it. It’s race history includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • 1955 12 Hours of Sebring – 3rd (with Bill Spear and Sherwood Johnston)
  • 1955 SCCA National Sports Car Championship – 2nd, in Round 4 (with Spear)
  • 1955 SCCA Nationals (Road America) – 5th (with Spear)
  • 1955 Watkins Glen Grand Prix – 2nd (with Spear)

The car left Spear’s ownership at the end of 1955 and the next owner campaigned it at various SCCA events, although less competitively. In the 1970s, it was used in some historic races before being sold to a collector who preserved it. The current owner acquired it around 2006.

The car is offered in “race-prepared” condition. This is one of the premier racing models from the very competitive mid-1950s: the era of Jaguar D-Types, Porsche 550 Spyders, Ferrari Monzas and the like. It’s one of the finest racing cars from some of the golden years of post-war sports car racing. And it’s in all-original condition. It is expected to sell for between $5,500,000-$7,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,093,965.

The Only W196 Mercedes in Private Hands

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R

Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 12, 2013

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R

There’s been a lot of talk about this car and its forthcoming auction held at Bonhams’ sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. There’s talk of it breaking all kinds of auction records. It seems every time a car comes with that kind of talk, it mysteriously disappears and is never auctioned because it cannot be authenticated. Well this one can.

The W196 was Mercedes-Benz’s entry for the 1954 and 1955 Formula One seasons. Their drivers included Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss – two of the biggest names in the history of motorsport. Mercedes withdrew from competition of all kinds in 1955, and they went out on top with this car.

This is the only W196 that is not owned by Mercedes themselves or housed in a mega-museum. It is the only surviving W196 to have won multiple Grands Prix. Fangio clinched his second Drivers’ title driving this car. And it remains in nearly that state today – unrestored, original and complete. Mercedes has inspected the car and said that, with the exception of a few pieces, this is exactly how the car was prepared for its final race in 1955. That’s amazing.

Chassis #00006/54 can be lightly prepped and run in the condition it is in today. No need to restore it (please don’t!). The mechanicals are described as being pretty complex for 1954 and the engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter straight-eight making about 290 horsepower. It was a beast and its competition history is as follows:

  • 1954 German Grand Prix (Nürburgring) – 1st, from Pole (with Juan Manual Fangio)
  • 1954 Swiss Grand Prix (Bremgarten) – 1st, with Fastest Lap (with Fangio – who clinched his second title by winning this race)
  • 1954 Italian Grand Prix (Monza) – 4th (with Hans Hermann)
  • 1954 Spanish Grand Prix (Pedralbes) – 12th, DNF (with Hermann)
  • 1955 Italian Grand Prix (Monza) – 11th, DNF (with Karl Kling)

After its final race, the car came into the control of Daimler-Benz’s “Exhibition Department,” which showed the car at events around the world. It was then used for testing in the 1970s before Benz swapped it for another car at a museum in England. When the museum wanted to add on to the their building, they sold the car. The new owner sold it a while later to a man who paid a world record (and undisclosed) price for it. In the 1990s, it was acquired by Friedhelm Loh, a German businessman, who ran the car in a few historic races such as the Monaco Historic Grand Prix and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Then he sold it. Now it can be yours, if you happen to be wealthy in the most villainous of ways.

Obviously, no estimate was provided for this car because anything that has sold for a “world record price” is unlikely to have an estimate attached to it. It should bring an incredible amount – should it actually meet its reserve. I have to say, this is a very exciting car, as cars of this magnitude so rarely come up for sale. And to think, what could end up being the world’s most expensive car could have plaid seats! Only 14 W196s were built and only nine survived until Daimler decided to restore a written-off chassis. Now there are ten of them – and this is the only one you can buy. Daimler owns seven of them and two are in other museums.

Click here for more information and photos and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.

Update: Sold $29,614,692.

ASA RB 613

1966 ASA RB 613

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | June 10, 2013

1966 ASA RB 613

The ASA 1000 GT was a small Italian coupe built through the mid and late 1960s. It used a small 1.0-liter engine that was developed by Ferrari engineers. It was like a mini-Ferrari.

But what’s a small Italian sports car without any racing pedigree? ASA decided to go racing in 1966 and they went to Carrozzera Corbetta for a more aerodynamic and racy body. They integrated a roll bar into the rear bodywork – hence the model name, “RB.” They also upped the engine: this car has a 1.3-liter straight-six making 124 horsepower. (The “613” in the model name ostensibly standing for “6” cylinders “1.3” liters).

Only three of these cars were built and the model was never intended for public sale. They were factory-built race cars. Two of them competed at Le Mans. This one did not. But it does have a historic FIA certificate and is prepped and eligible for some historic racing events. It is expected to sell for between $360,000-$440,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial in Paris.

Update: Sold $291,184

1953 Connaught Formula One Car

1953 Connaught Type A

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23, 2013

1953 Connaught Type A

Old race cars can be quite interesting. Especially when they competed at the highest level of motorsport and in the “heyday,” as it were – Formula One in the 1950s. Connaught Engineering was founded by Rodney Clarke and Mike Oliver in Send, England, in 1950.

They made their debut at the 1952 British Grand Prix with a four car effort. In total, the team competed in 18 races over eight seasons, contesting every British Grand Prix and other assorted races. 1953 was their hallmark season, the one where they entered the most races (4).

The Type A was run for four seasons (1950-1954). The cars used a 2.0-liter Lea Francis straight-four making 145 horsepower. With the right gearing, it could do 160 mph. I’ve really tried to do some research to find out who drove this car and in what races, but I’m just not finding what I want. Silverstone lists it as having been driven by Roy Salvadori, John Coombs, Kenneth McAlpine, Ron Flockhart and Bill Whitehouse, with Whitehouse having the most success as a privateer. It has been active in historic racing for some time.

Packaged with a bunch of spares, this historic race car is expected to sell for between $315,000-$395,000. It is one of nine built. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Silverstone’s lineup.

Update: Sold $296,400.