Arnolt-Bristol

1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Stanley Arnolt was a Chicagoan who decided in the 1950s that he wanted to import some cars from Europe. The first was called the Arnolt-MG and it was an Italian-bodied car based on an MG. After this followed brief flings with Aston Martin and Bentley before he arrived at Bristol Cars in England.

The body for the Arnolt-Bristol was designed by Bertone and the chassis and engine were supplied by Bristol. The cars were then shipped to Indiana for any final finishing needed before being sold. The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. Three models were offered: the stripper Competition, the mid-range Bolide racer with a folding windscreen and the better-appointed Deluxe road car.

This race car was kept by Arnolt and raced by the factory at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 29th (4th in class) with 49-year-old racing legend René Dreyfus (and co-driver Robert Grier) behind the wheel. It was sold to a privateer in 1963 who kept the car active in the racing scene in Canada. It’s since been restored and looks very nice. Only 142 of these were built and only 85 are known to exist. These are really cool American-European hybrid race cars and their prices has been pretty strong for years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Duesenberg J-254

1930 Duesenberg Model J Imperial Cabriolet by Hibbard & Darrin

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is a wonderful Model J Duesenberg. The profile view of this car screams “stately, high-quality automobile.” Introduced in 1929, the Model J was the crowning achievement of American motorcars up to that time (and for decades afterward).

It’s powered by a 6.9-liter straight-eight engine that puts out 265 horsepower. Every Model J’s body was custom built, and this car was bodied by Parisian coachbuilders Hibbard & Darrin. It’s a big, opulently-appointed car with an over-sized trunk out back to carry the luggage of the original owners: William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies. They carted this car all over the world with them on their travels.

This car has known ownership history more or less going back to when it was new. It’s been owned by famed members of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and was restored by a master Model J restorer. It was freshened after 2003 and hasn’t really been shown since. It’s a well-known Model J that has one of the most-famous first owners imaginable. You can find out more here and see more from RM here.

Healey Westland

1948 Healey Westland 2.4-Litre Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Donald Healey set up the Donald Healey Motor Company in 1945 and a year later he introduced his first road car, this, the Westland Roadster. At the same time he also built a sedan called the Elliott and there was a special, coachbuilt hardtop sedan version of the Westland called the Duncan.

The chassis were built in-house, but the engines were all 2.4-liter Riley straight-fours and in this instance, it made 104 horsepower. There’s a lot going on with the styling of the body, but it’s a nice British roadster on par style-wise with Sunbeams, Rileys and the like of the era.

This car was discovered in storage in L.A. and was restored in Australia. The current owner acquired the car in 2010 and had it repainted and freshened throughout. The Westland was a rare car – rarer than the later Silverstone – with just 64 examples built. It should bring between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile


1952 Gordini Type 16

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Amédée Gordini started working on cars in the 1930s. He built his first single-seaters right after WWII and now the Gordini brand is owned by Renault. As a team, Gordini competed in Formula One between 1950 and 1956. This is their 1952 racer… or at least that’s when it debuted.

The Type 16 was developed as a Formula 2 car for the 1952 season, which was what the regulations were for the World Driver’s Championship that year. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six and it was the third example built, debuting at the 1952 French Grand Prix. This car’s lengthy race history includes:

  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Reims, F2) – 1st (with Jean Behra)
  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Rouen, F1) – 7th (with Behra)
  • 1952 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Maurice Trintignant)
  • 1953 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Carlos Menditeguy)
  • 1953 Dutch Grand Prix – DNF (with Harry Schell)
  • 1953 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1953 French Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Italian Grand Prix – 5th (with Trintignant)
  • 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix – DQ (with Behra)
  • 1954 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1954 French Grand Prix – 6th (with Behra)
  • 1954 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Clemar Bucci)
  • 1954 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Paul Frère)
  • 1954 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Spanish Grand Prix – DNF (with Jacques Pollet)
  • 1955 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Pablo Birger)

Wow. That’s a lot of F1 races for one chassis over four different seasons (with some pretty big names from the era as well). The car was not necessarily competitive at the end of its career as F1 advances at a pretty breakneck pace, but it was still out there, grinding laps. The car was acquired in the 1970s by Christian Huet, who wrote the book on Gordini. The car was offered to him by Gordini himself before passing away.

It’s well-documented and currently has a different engine installed, although a 2.0-liter F2 engine does come with it. Apparently, Gordini only built 33 single-seater cars and 14 of those are in the Schlumpf hoard. This one should bring between $1,100,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.


1950 AGS Panhard Monomill

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s a strange, one-off single-seater. Called the Atelier Guérin Special, or AGS, this car was built by Pierre Guérin in Grenoble, France. It’s based around a Panhard car of the era and, quite unusually for an open-wheel race car, features front-wheel drive.

It’s powered by an 850cc Panhard twin. Apparently it was raced in period, but it isn’t really known where, though it did compete in some hillclimb events in Italy more recently and that’s probably where its specialty lies.

It finally left its hometown in 1990 and its then-new owner kept the car for 20 years. A few others have enjoyed it since then and now it’s on the open market. It’s a unique, period-correct time attack car waiting for a new owner to take it to the track. It should bring between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,452.

January 2018 Auction Highlights

We’ll start off January’s first results rundown with Bonhams’ final sale from December, their London Olympia sale. The top sale was this 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for $619,297.

Photo – Bonhams

Both of our feature cars from this sale sold, with the Bristol 411 bringing $58,459 and the TVR 2500 $33,845. Click here for more results.

Mecum held the first sale of 2018 (in Kissimmee, Florida). A number of our feature cars sold, beginning with two previously-featured wagons: a 1948 Buick that brought $29,700 and a 1969 Dodge Coronet 500 that sold for $19,800. The Plymouth Pickup sold for $36,300, the Dodge $55,000, and the ’72 International Pickup $26,400.

The top sale was this 2015 Ferrari LaFerrari for $3,410,000.

Photo – Mecum

Cars that didn’t sell included some pickups, like the Mercury, Ford, and Chevrolet. The Buehrig Carriage Roof Coupe we featured a while ago also failed to sell here. The Brumos Porsche 911 GT3 didn’t find a new owner in Kissimmee, after nearly a year of trying. The ZR1 Corvette and the Ruf BTR were also no-sales. More can be found here.

Next up, Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale. We featured a few of their “Reserve” cars – all of which failed to sell: the Talbot-Lago, Rolls-Royce Phantom III, a previously-featured Plymouth Concept Car, and a previously-featured Shelby Cobra Dragonsnake.

Meanwhile, the top sale was a charity car: a 2017 Ford GT. It brought $2,500,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

On to RM Sotheby’s in Arizona. Every car we featured from this sale sold, including both Alfa Romeos, with the Boano Speciale bringing $1,270,000 and the oldest surviving Alfa Romeo in the world, $445,000. Both Fords also sold, with the Model K selling for $252,000 and the Brewster-Ford $89,600. The top seller was this 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C for $2,947,500.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Rolls-Royce Phantom III from this sale did sell, bringing $593,500. And the beautiful Ferrari 212 Inter brought $1,187,500. Click here for complete results.

And finally, for this rundown, Gooding & Company in Scottsdale. The top sale was the Ferrari 275 GTB Speciale we featured. It sold for $8,085,000. The Bristol 402 we featured failed to sell, as did the Bugatti Type 29/30.

We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1963 Iso Grifo A3/L Prototype that brought $1,760,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Kaiser Dragon we featured sold for $37,400 and the D.B. HBR5 $47,300. Click here for more results and to see the cars that are still for sale.

OSCA 2000 S

1954 OSCA 2000 S by Morelli

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s a somewhat beefy-looking Italian sports car from the 1950s. Built by the Maserati brothers, this car features what is perhaps the largest engine stuffed into any OSCA automobile: a 2.0-liter straight-six making 165 horsepower.

While it might look like a small, Italian sports car from the 1950s, this particular car has some serious race cred. It’s first owner won the 1954 12 Hours of Messina race with this chassis before selling it to an Argentinian. It raced in South America at the 1000km of Buenos Aires and remained on that continent until it was discovered in the 1980s.

The original engine was never located, but a comparable six-cylinder lifted from a Maserati was installed and the restoration was completed in 2003. Only five 2.0-liter OSCAs (four of this model) were built and this is one of three carrying open bodywork by Morelli. It should bring between $1,050,000-$1,175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Paris.

Update: Sold $970,994.

Ford Model K

1907 Ford Model K Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before Henry Ford conquered the world with basic, affordable transportation, he spent the early years in his company just trying to keep it going (after two failed attempts). In 1904, he introduced the Model B which was Ford’s “upscale” model (because it had brass and wood trim and a decent engine). In 1906, it was replaced by the Model K, which was positioned at the top of the automobile market.

Ford didn’t really want to build this car, but his investors did. Featuring on the first  commercially available six-cylinder engines, the Model K is powered by a 6.6-liter straight-six that makes 40 horsepower. Priced at $2,500, it was the most expensive Ford product to date. Different body styles were offered and it was available through 1908. In 1907, the Model K was the best-selling six-cylinder car in the world, with nearly 500 sold.

Ford offered three other models in 1907: the Model N, Model R, and Model S. Come 1909, they would be selling only one model: the Model T. About 1,000 Model Ks were built in total and only 10 Roadsters are known to exist. This one has been only owned by two different families in the past 110 years. It was restored – nearly half a century ago. It’s a really cool, rare Ford from the pre-T era. In this barn-find condition, it should bring between $175,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Arizona lineup.

Update: Sold $252,000.

320 Cabriolet F

1942 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet F

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This wartime Mercedes-Benz might look big and imposing (and it is), not unlike a certain other large Mercedes touring sedan we recently featured, but it is, in fact, the smaller 320 model (W142, in internal MB-speak). The 320 was the replacement for the 290, which it took over duties for in 1937. It lasted through 1942, when Germany was forced to focus all of its production might on military needs.

The 320 was offered in two wheelbases, short and long. This is a long wheelbase car and it could’ve been had with a variety of bodywork, including bodies from outside coachbuilders. The base model was a four-door limousine, but there were four convertible versions offered from in-house coachbuilder Sindelfingen as well: Cabriolets A, B, D, and this, the seven-seater Pullman Cabriolet F.

The other thing this car has going for it is that it is equipped with the optional (beginning in 1938) engine with increased cylinder bore. It’s a 3.4-liter straight-six that makes 77 horsepower (which is actually the same rating the smaller, standard engine offered). This car, which looks very much like an Indiana Jones chase vehicle, has an older restoration. Mercedes pushed out 7,017 320s in total and I’m not sure how many carried this rare body style. It should bring between $130,000-$155,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $197,262

Magnate Barchetta

2005 Magnate P708 Barchetta

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Giotto Bizzarrini stopped building “production” cars (even though they were all very limited in number) in 1969. Since then, a number of cars have shown up wearing his name, including a few P538 cars built using leftover components, and a number of concept cars.

There were concept cars using the Bizzarrini name in 1990, 1998, and a couple since the year 2000, including one called the P708 Barchetta. Developed with input from Bizzarrini himself, the P708 was shown around, seeing if there was any interest in a production version. It was supposed to be seen as a modern take on the classic P538.

Power comes from a 7.0-liter Chevrolet V-8 making 505 horsepower. The body is carbon fiber and it was built by a company called Magnate out of Thailand. It was purchased by an American in 2013 and only then was the car made driveable. It has since covered 1,000 miles. It’s listed as a “2005” because that is when construction of this car began, even if it took many more years to fully realize the final product.

At some point, the branding on the car switched from Bizzarrini to Magnate. What country of origin would you file this under? It had an Italian name, originally, but now sports a name (and body) from Thailand. It was completed in America but started out in Germany. It’s multi-national, for sure, and should bring between $335,000-$565,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $109,198.

Phantom III Pillarless Saloon

1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Pillarless Saloon by Vesters & Neirinck

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

By definition, the Rolls-Royce Phantom III was not a sporty automobile. It was a huge car, introduced by Rolls in 1936 and it lasted through 1939. The bare chassis alone weighed in at just over two tons. It featured a big, 7.3-liter V-12 making about 160 horsepower, which was a decent amount of power, but not enough to scoot the pure massiveness of this car along at any decent clip.

But, I suppose, that has never been the point of a Rolls-Royce, V-12 or otherwise (the Phantom III was the first V-12 RR and the last one until 1998). Because these were sold as bare chassis, it was kind of up to the coachbuilder of your choice to make it seem sporty and that is where Vesters & Neirinck of Brussels succeeded wildly with this car. The low, extremely solid-looking roof, swoopy fenders and two-tone paint really do make this car look sporty. And the fact that it lacks B-pillars is icing on that design cake.

Now let’s talk about this car’s downright bizarre ownership history. It is said that during WWII this car was used by the King of Belgium and Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. In the late 1950s the car was in Germany and a decade later it was in the U.S. where it had a series of owners. Then, in the 1980s, it was purchased by G. Gordon Liddy (of Watergate infamy). He sold it to Charles Nelson Reilly, who, because he was way before my time, became known to me thanks to Alec Baldwin’s not-as-over-the-top-as-you-might-think impression of him on Saturday Night Live.

Restored between 1992 and 1994, this car won its class at Pebble Beach and has been in the same collection for nearly 20 years. Only 727 Phantom IIIs were built and this is, so far, the best-looking example I’ve seen (though we featured another wild one a few weeks ago). It should bring between $550,000-$750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $593,500.