Harroun Touring

1918 Harroun Model A-1 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | August 29-September 1, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

To win the very first Indianapolis 500 is kind of a big deal. Ray Harroun will be remembered for as long as that race continues… and then for another century or so. But after that 1911 victory, he retired from racing. And most people who know who he is have no idea what became of him after that.

Well, let’s backtrack. In 1905, Mr. Harroun built his own racing car before he got a job as a riding mechanic. So he knew his way around the mechanical parts of a car. In 1917, he set up shop in Wayne, Michigan, to build automobiles. And unlike some people who just slapped their name on the front of cars for the promotional benefit, Harroun actually designed the cars that carried his name.

The Model A-1 was built in 1917 and 1918. It’s powered by a 43 horsepower inline-four. This example is a little rough, but it’s believed to be one of two such examples in existence (and one of only 326 built in 1918). All-original, it’ll need a little TLC (and tires, at least) to get going again. But once it’s up and running it will be a roaming part of history. Harroun Motors closed in 1922. This car is estimated to sell for between $15,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

DB5 Shooting Brake

1965 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Radford

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There have been a few Aston Martin wagonserr, “shooting brakes” – over the years. They officially started with the DB5. The story is that company owner David Brown was annoyed that his hunting dog was destroying the front seats in his normal DB5, and he had nowhere to put his polo gear. I should’ve warned you that it was a very pretentious story.

The Shooting Brake versions of the DB5 share the same 282 horsepower, 4.0-liter inline-six as the coupes. But it has that extra bodywork and glass at the rear, courtesy of Radford, a British coachbuilder hired by Brown to build the bodies, as the Aston factory didn’t have the capacity to fill the special orders for these cars.

Only 12 examples of the DB5 Shooting Brake were built by the “factory” (i.e. by Radford). One for Brown, and 11 others for customers who saw Brown’s car and wanted their own. They are very hard to find today, and this example has been with three Swiss owners since new. It should bring between $1,000,000-$1,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

FXX

2006 Ferrari FXX

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Ferrari Enzo ushered in a new era of supercars when it went on sale in 2002. It spawned a new form of supercar: track-only variants. These have since given way to track-only cars from other major manufacturers. That track-only Enzo variant is this: the 2005-2007, invitation-only, FXX.

The FXX took the Enzo platform a step (or five) further. It is a hardcore track machine. The 6.3-liter V12 makes 789 horsepower. It can hit 60 in 2.7 seconds and tops out at 214 mph. The car was offered to Ferrari’s most exclusive customers. Only 29 were built initially, with a 30th produced for Michael Schumacher upon his initial F1 retirement. Eight more followed for other customers for a grand total of 38 cars.

Ferrari has since introduced an Evoluzione package that updates the FXX to a more dramatic spec. This car has not received that kit and thus remains as it was originally intended. It has only been driven once – at the Fiorano track by its current and first owner before it was delivered to his collection. You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.

Pantera Si

1990 De Tomaso Pantera Si

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Pantera was in production by De Tomaso for what seemed like a lifetime. Introduced in 1971, the cars carried wedge-shaped styling by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. Ford powerplants were standard, and the styling was updated in the 1980s to make it boxier and, well, more “80s.”

By the time 1990 rolled around, the car was extremely long in the tooth. Marcello Gandini was brought in to freshen the design up, and here is what he came up with. The car also received a partial chassis redesign and a new suspension setup. The old Ford 351 was replaced by a 302ci, 5.0-liter V8.

Only 41 were built – 38 of which were sold to the public – before De Tomaso shifted gears and moved on to the Guara after 1992. I’ve never seen one of these offered for public sale – not in the last 10 years anyway. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ferrari 196 SP

1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In any era of racing, manufacturers aren’t all that concerned with maintaining a chassis as “factory correct” as the intent is to win races. So race cars – be it in 1959 or 2019 – often go through rounds of development, which can include bodywork modifications and engine changes. By the time they retire from racing, they can be completely different from when they started.

And that’s what we have here. This chassis started life in 1962 as a 248 SP and later became a 268 SP after an engine change. At the end of 1962, the engine was swapped again to the current 2.0-liter V6 capable of 210 horsepower. The body is by Fantuzzi, and the competition history for this chassis (0806) includes:

  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 13th, 3rd in class (as 248 SP with Buck Fulp and Peter Ryan)
  • 1962 1000km of Nurburgring – DNF (as 268 SP with Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez)
  • 1963 Nassau Speed Week – various results (as 196 SP with Bob Grossman)

In 1972, the car was sold by Luigi Chinetti to French collector Pierre Bardinon, who sent the car to Fantuzzi for revised rear bodywork. It later spent time in the Maranello Rosso collection before being restored by its American owners in the early 2000s. It’s a pretty fantastic 1960s Ferrari sports prototype that should break the bank. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Vector M12

1996 Vector M12

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is one of my favorite cars. Ever. Jerry Wiegert lost control of Vector in the mid-1990s, and it was taken over by Megatech, an Indonesian company owned by the son of the country’s “president” (read: dictator). Megatech also owned Lamborghini between 1994 and 1998.

The M12 was based on the Vector WX-3 prototype and the Lamborghini Diablo, a corporate cousin. It shares the same 492 horsepower, 5.7-liter V12 as the Diablo. Top speed was 189 mph and 60 arrived in 4.8 seconds. The design is pure land shark – a 90s wedge with a big spoiler. These cars are impossibly wide at the rear, and remarkably spacious inside with a crease at the beltline surrounded by glass on the scissor doors.

The M12 went on sale in 1996, and Megatech sold Lamborghini to Audi in 1998. The financial situation of Megatech was, well, miserable at this point, and Vector couldn’t afford to pay for the V12s anymore. So Vector shut down. Only 14 road-going M12s were built, along with three pre-production prototypes. Two of them are local to me, which is completely insane (one of which is the first car built). The one offered here is number five. It is the only one finished in purple and is being sold from the Lingenfelter collection.

The 90s were a wild time for supercars, and none of the M12’s competitors quite encapsulate the time quite as the Vector did. It’s also one of the rarest modern-day supercars that actually saw production, even though but a handful were completed. It is ludicrous in the best way possible, and I love it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

375 MM Speciale by Ghia

1955 Ferrari 375 MM Coupe Speciale by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Ferrari 375 MM was a race car. The MM stood for Mille Miglia, the famed Italian road race. That’s what the 26 examples of the 375 MM were destined for, along with the Carrera Panamericana and other similar events.

But sometimes exclusive Ferrari clientele convinced Enzo that his latest race car would make their perfect road car. Such was the case with this car, which was purchased by early Ferrari fan Bob Wilke. It’s powered by a 340 horsepower, 4.5-liter V12 and was the second-to-last 375 MM built.

It carries a striking body by Ghia and was the final Ferrari bodied by that particular carrozzeria. The paint scheme is spot on and compliments the Borrani wire wheels and the overall stance of the car exceptionally well. Debuting at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, the car was retained by Wilke’s family until 1974. It was never restored but has been repainted. It’s one of RM’s “big money Ferraris” and you can read more about it here. Check out more from this sale here.

Denzel 1300

1955 Denzel 1300

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This may look like some kind of early Porsche or Volkswagen sports car, but it isn’t. It is certainly related to those cars but is its own thing entirely. Wolfgang Denzel built cars in Vienna, Austria between 1948 and 1959. Very few were made.

Early examples used a Volkswagen chassis, but by 1952 the cars used a custom-built frame. Bodies were done in aluminium, and running gear was sourced from Volkswagen (though some later cars used Porsche powerplants instead).

This car carries a replacement 1.3-liter flat-four and a later-style Denzel body. It was sold new in Portugal, where it remains today. Only about 65 of these 1300 model examples were built and approximately 30 survive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Jaguar Pirana

1967 Jaguar Pirana by Bertone

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

What we have here is a one-off sports car financed and built for the motoring department at a British newspaper in the late 1960s. It used off-the-shelf components and a very nice exterior design from Marcello Gandini at Bertone. The bodywork clearly foreshadows the Lamborghini Espada.

Power is from a Jaguar 4.2-liter inline-six, and the car uses an E-Type 2+2 frame and chassis as well. It also carries Jaguar badging, even if Jaguar didn’t officially have much to do with the final product. The car debuted at the 1967 Earl’s Court Motor Show and was first sold at auction in 1968. It stayed in the US for a long time and was purchased by its current owner in 2011.

The auction catalog makes a big deal of the fact that the car is called a “Pirana” – without the “H” – and how it was Bertone’s personal choice to spell it that way. It then goes on to say that the car was restored to its Earl’s Court specification. Photos clearly show “Piranha” badging on the rear. What’s the deal with that? At any rate, it will sell at no reserve this August. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Willys Interlagos

1963 Willys Interlagos Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Alpine was an independent French sports car producer that was eventually absorbed by Renault. Their cars were Renault-based, including the A108, which was a fiberglass-bodied, rear-engined sports car that was produced between 1958 and 1965.

But the most interesting Alpine ever built was not even built by Alpine. Or even in France. In 1962, Willys-Overland of Brazil – who already had an alliance with Renault – was chosen by Alpine founder Jean Redele as a partner to build the A108 under license. The result was the Willys Interlagos, which was produced in Brazil between 1962 and 1966.

I’ve actually seen one of these in person and they have a cool factor that goes well beyond the “tiny French sports car” look. The sheer rarity of the surviving Brazilian models sets them apart. Only 822 examples were built in Brazil and not many escaped. They actually even offered two additional body styles. Power is from a four-cylinder engine, and this car is selling without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.