Uhlenhaut Coupe

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe

Sold by RM Sotheby’s | Stuttgart, Germany | May 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We rarely feature a car after it sells, but this one sort of snuck up on everybody. The Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart owned both examples of the “Uhlenhaut” coupe until recently, when they decided to part with one of the two. Why? Who knows. Maybe Daimler is cash-strapped. It’s kind of a weird situation when a well-funded museum decides to do a quick cash grab for a priceless piece of automotive history. Supposedly there were conditions on this private auction, like that the new owner isn’t allowed to re-sell it.

Anyway, a little history. This is not a 300SL Gullwing coupe. The 300 SLR was a full-fendered open-cockpit racing car based on the W196 Formula One car. The SLR was the company’s entry into the World Sportscar Championship. The cars won the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio before the program was quickly shuttered after the 1955 Le Mans disaster.

Meanwhile, motorsport chief Rudolf Uhlenhaut designed a road-going coupe version of the SLR, later dubbed the Uhlhenhaut coupes. Two were built. The engine was a 3.0-liter straight-eight that made about 305 horsepower. This coupe could do 180 mph. In 1955.

This one was the second one built and has been owned by Mercedes-Benz since new. It was restored in the 1980s and has been displayed and demonstrated on various occasions over the years. So how did it fare?

Sold: $142,000,000.

AMC AM Van Concept

1977 AMC AM Van Concept

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Highland Park, Illinois | June 1, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well look at AMC, predicting the minivan yet somehow also treating their futuristic minivan prototype with all of the gaudiness of late-1970s van life culture. This thing is kind of like an inflated Pacer, with some styling cues definitely carried over.

There’s no engine – never was – but it has “Turbo” and “4×4” badging, so they were definitely thinking outside of the box. The body is fiberglass, and those turbine wheels look great with white-letter BFG tires. Oh, and side pipes! On a van!

Too bad it never made it past this prototype roller stage. It’s been part of a concept car collection for the last 35 years. Click here for more info.

Volpini Formula Junior

1958 Volpini Formula Junior

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Gian Paolo Volpini joined forces with Egidio Arzani in 1954 to form Arzani-Volpini. They intent was to make the Formula One grid, which they did for once race in 1955 with driver Luigi Piotti in a modified, used Maserati.

Eventually Scuderia Volpini dropped the name of engine builder Arzani and stuck to the lower open-wheel rungs. This Formula Junior single-seater is powered by a 1.1-liter Fiat inline-four that has been tuned to put out 90 horsepower.

This car had a long history in the U.S., with one of its more recent owners campaigning it at historic events over the last 20-ish years. It’s now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info.

F430 Scuderia Spider 16M

2009 Ferrari Scuderia Spider 16M

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari’s F430 was the follow up to the relatively similar looking 360 Modena. Like the Modena before it, the F430 got some spicy special editions as production neared its end. The F430 was offered from 2005 through 2009, and it got a Spider variant during that span. Later came the 430 Scuderia, which was a track-focused special that for some reason lost the “F” prefix.

Then, for the final model year, Ferrari dropped the entire “F430” name for the model’s last hurrah: the limited-edition Scuderia Spider 16M, the latter part of the name in celebration of Ferrari’s 16th Formula One constructor’s title, which they won in 2008. Think of it sort of like a drop-top version of the track-ready Scuderia.

The 4.3-liter V8 puts out 503 horsepower, and the car got a lot of lightness added by way of carbon-fiber bits. It could do some serious hairdo rearranging at its 196-mph top end. Only 499 were built, and they look better in black than red. You can read more about this one here.

Grand Prix Masters Reynard

2005 Reynard-Cosworth 2KI

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Grand Prix Masters was a short-lived racing series intended for retired Formula One drivers to compete in what were essentially re-bodied Champ Cars. The series held one race in its first “season” in 2005 and two the following year. All of the cars were Reynard 2KI chassis.

They featured a Cosworth-derived 3.5-liter V8 that made more than 650 horsepower (the engine was actually built by Nicholson McLaren). This particular chassis is owned by Nigel Mansell, who actually won two of the three races ever contested in the series in this car. The complete Grand Prix Masters competition history for this chassis includes (all with Mansell):

  • 2005 Kyalami South Africa – 1st
  • 2006 Losail Qatar – 1st
  • 2006 Silverstone England – 15th, DNF

So, pretty dominant. Although with that DNF, it allowed Eddie Cheever to technically win the championship. Since then, the car has been on display, so it needs a mechanical freshening. It’s being sold at no reserve. Click here for more info.

LaFerrari Prototype

2012 Ferrari LaFerrari M6 Development Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The LaFerrari was one of the three major hybrid hypercars to debut in the 2010s along with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. But each of those cars underwent heavy development cycles, and not all of them were pretty.

What we have here is a “LaFerrari Prototype” that is actually a heavily modified Ferrari 458 Italia that gave its dignity to be fitted with a bunch of test equipment and essentially operate as a development mule. This car was from the first phase of testing and was codenamed the M6.

It has a version of the LaFerrari’s hybrid powertrain stuffed in its modified chassis. It sounds as if it has a version of the Enzo’s 6.0-liter V12 paired with an F1-derived KERS system and an electric motor. Ferrari sold this car, complete with its factory camouflage, to a private owner in 2016.

It’s a runner, but can’t be registered (or apparently used on public race tracks). But for someone with a private Ferrari collection (or a private race track), the purchase could make sense. No pre-sale estimate is available, and you can read more here.

iC Modulo M89

1990 iC Modulo M89

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

iC is an abbreviation for “Italian Cars,” a company founded by Italian designer Carlo Lamattina. The goal with this particular model, which is like a late-80s Polaris Slingshot, was to prove that three-wheeled vehicles could be exciting and/or fun to drive.

The rear-mounted powerplant here is a BMW K75S-sourced 750cc inline-three that made about 75 horsepower new. The body is made of carbon-fiber- and Kevlar-reinforced plastic. Top speed was almost 125 mph.

The current owner of this car, former F1 champion Nigel Mansell, was gifted this car by its designer after taking pole at the 1992 Italian Grand Prix. This example was the first of what was at least a few produced. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Isdera Spyder

1989 Isdera Spyder 036i

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Isdera, the elusive German boutique carmaker, has been around since the early 1980s. They have not produced many cars since then, but the ones they have are all pretty outrageous and striking. The Spyder was their first model, going on sale in 1982.

The first Spyders were 033i variants with 1.8-liter Mercedes-Benz inline-fours. Then came the 033-16, with a 2.3-liter engine. In 1987, they launched the 036i, which featured a 3.0-liter Mercedes inline-six making 217 horsepower. Only 14 Spyders total are believed to have been built, which each one taking 12 months to complete.

This car was modified and updated by Isdera in 2011, basically restored in different colors and fitted with a 276-horsepower, 3.6-liter AMG inline-six. Isderas rarely change hands, especially at auction. You can read more about this one here.

Fiat 1100 Cabriolet

1950 Fiat 1100 Cabriolet by Stabilimenti Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Fort Lauderdale, Florida | March 25-26, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Fiat’s 1100 was primarily known as a tiny family sedan (or wagon) that was produced from 1953 through the end of the 1960s. Before that there was another, different 1100. That model offered in a variety of body styles between 1937 and 1953. The car you see here was from the tail end of the earlier model.

This cabriolet we have here is one of more than a few coachbuilt examples and was bodied by Stabilimenti Farina, which was related to Pinin Farina in that it was founded by Battista’s uncle and employed him before he left to launch his own company. The Stabilimenti closed in 1953.

The 1100 was powered by a 1.1-liter inline-four rated at 35 horsepower. It may not look super flashy or ahead-of-its-time, but this was a classy car in Italy in 1950. And it’ll probably get you into quite a few fancy shows today. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet

1953 Cunningham C-3 Cabriolet by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There aren’t too many Vignale-bodied American cars, but the Cunningham C-3 is one. But there aren’t too many Cunningham C-3s, either. Only about 24 C-3s were built, all Vignale-bodied. Apparently another dozen or so chassis were built, and some of those were completed individually later on with bodywork limited only by their builders’ imaginations.

Power is from a 5.4-liter Chrysler Hemi V8 that made 220 horsepower when new. C-3 coupes are more common, and just five cabriolets were built. It’s definitely Vignale styling, and it’s another example of American muscle with a sleek Italian body – a common theme of performance cars of the 1950s and 60s.

This was a New York car when new and was shown at Pebble Beach as early as 1956, appearing there most recently in 2015. It was even owned by Briggs Cunningham’s daughter at one point. The pre-sale estimate is $900,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,215,000.