Spring 2020 Auction Highlights

Well, the world is a mess, and most auction houses have postponed or canceled more or less every scheduled auction that was scheduled to be held anytime in late March through… well I don’t even know yet. It’s mid-April as I begin typing this post, and the calendar has more or less cleared out through May and into June (Edit: it took until June to wrap this up).

But! There are still some results to cover, beginning with H&H Auctioneers’ late March sale, which was pretty much the last one to get in before everything went haywire. The top seller was this 1938 Lagonda LG6 Drophead Coupe that brought roughly $237,510 (this was the day that the markets tanked, so the exchange rate was at its lowest in a long time).

Photo – H&H Auctioneers

The Jensen CV8 we featured brought $46,980, and complete results are available here.

RM Sotheby’s shifted their entire Palm Beach sale to online-only, and the top sale ended up being this 1996 Porsche 911 GT2 for $891,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Intermeccanica Murena GT was withdrawn from the sale. More results can be found here.

H&H also had a sale in late April, even after things were shutting down. The top sale at this abbreviated sale was this 1967 Ford Mustang GT, and it sold for approximately $75,277.

Photo – H&H Auctioneers

The Austin sedan we featured sold for $10,949. More results are available here.

Osenat was one of the first houses to hold a mid-COVID (“mid” because it ain’t over yet) sale. The Panhard we featured didn’t sell, but the overall top seller was this 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S that sold for $950,518. Click here for additional results.

Photo – Osenat

Bonhams held an online sale at the end of May that included a Frazer Nash, an Allard L-Type, and a Lamborghini Urraco that we featured. Only the Lambo sold (for $75,178), and the top sale was for this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 that brought $184,400. Complete results are available here.

Photo – Bonhams

Auto Union 1000 S Coupe

1963 Auto Union 1000 S Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Auto Union was a group of German car brands under one umbrella. But strangely, there were never very many cars sold under the Auto Union marque. In fact, in most markets, the 1000 was the only car ever offered by the brand.

It replaced the DKW 3=6 and looked very similar to that car. Power is from a 981cc inline-three making 50 horsepower. It was produced between 1958 and 1965 and could’ve been had as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or, in SP form, a sports car.

These are very rare in the U.S., even though over 170,000 of them were built. The 1000 was eventually replaced by another DKW product as Auto Union continued to waver on its branding strategy. This example is in great shape and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Porsche 912

1965 Porsche 912

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is a car I like. Comically undervalued until recently when their prices started to climb, the 912 was an entry-level model situated below the 911 and was built between 1965 and 1969. Porsche built over 32,000 of them during that time.

It’s a 911 look-a-like powered by a 1.6-liter flat-four, instead of a flat-six like the 911. With 102 horsepower on tap, the 912 was lighter than the 911 and was a great handler. We’ve actually featured a 912 prototype, which was based on a 356, the car whose gap the 912 filled in Porsche’s lineup.

They aren’t rare cars (although the Targa variant is rarer than the coupe by some margin), but they carry all of the contemporary 911’s attractive lines at a steep discount. This one is estimated at $57,500-$79,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $61,699.

TVR Grantura

1961 TVR Grantura Series II

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Remember the Griffith? That insane short-wheelbase coupe powered by a huge Ford V8? Well, this is the AC Ace to the Griffith’s Cobra. TVR’s Grantura was built in a number of series between 1958 and 1967. No V8s here – these were all four-cylinder-powered.

Series II cars were built between 1960 and 1962, and like other Granturas, they feature a fiberglass body and mechanical parts from other cars on sale at the time. Some cars used bits from Volkswagens, MGs, Triumphs, or Austin-Healeys. This car is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-four from an MGA. That was a factory option.

With this engine, which produced 79 horsepower in the MGA, the Grantura was capable of 98 mph. Approximately 400 Series II cars were built, making it the most popular of all Granturas. This right-hand-drive example should bring between $27,000-$38,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,743.

E-Type Lightweight Continuation

1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Continuation

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well, we featured examples of Jaguar’s D-Type and XKSS continuation cars, so why not round it out with this E-Type Lightweight? All three of these are coming from the same collection, so somebody obviously had an “in” with Jaguar Classic.

Jaguar wanted to build 18 lightweight versions of the E-Type for use in competition in 1963, but they only manage to complete 12. The remaining six went into production in 2014. Differences from the standard cars included aluminum body panels and aluminum engine block for the 3.8-liter inline-six (that was now rated at 300 horsepower).

This car is not a replica, and it wasn’t built using an existing E-Type as a base. It’s a fresh, brand new, Jaguar-built E-Type Lightweight. This was the first continuation car built and was used by Jag as a promo car. It’s only covered about 700 miles since new. It’s now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Fiat 8V by Vignale

1954 Fiat 8V Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Can you believe that Fiat didn’t built a V8 until they introduced the 8V in 1952? They didn’t produce any eight-cylinder engines until that time, and the only reason the model is called the “8V” is because they didn’t want to get in a tussle with Ford over the use of “V8.”

Between 1952 and 1954, Fiat produced just 114 examples of its 2.0-liter V8-powered 8V. Power was rated between 104 and 125 horsepower depending on which iteration of the engine the car received, although the catalog is short on that detail.

This is the 80th example produced, and it features dramatic bodywork from Vignale. It was produced as a follow up to a Michelotti-penned show car called the Demon Rouge. 8Vs are never cheap, and short of a Supersonic, this is about the best-looking example I’ve seen. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Arkley SS

1966 Arkley SS

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | June 24-27, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

John Britten’s Arkley was a kit car launched in 1970. The SS was a fiberglass re-body for cars such as the MG Midget or Austin-Healey Sprite. This car is based on a 1966 Austin-Healey Sprite.

Power is from a 1.1-liter inline-four from a Morris Minor, and the car features front cycle fenders with the headlights perched between them and the hood. You can still clearly see the Sprite underpinnings along the sides of the car near the doors.

About 1,000 Arkley kits were produced during the initial run. The rights were sold in the late 1980s and were available again for a short time thereafter. This one is offered at no reserve from RM’s “Essen” sale, which has been pushed back to June and is now online-only. You can read more about the car here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $1,357 (really?)

Cord 812 SC Sportsman

1937 Cord 812 SC Sportsman

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the ultimate iteration of the Cord 810/812. Introduced in 1936, the front-wheel-drive 810 was styled by Gordon Buehrig and featured an independent front suspension and a design like nothing else in the world at the time. The car was renamed the 812 for 1937, which was more-or-less an attempt to spruce up the fact that they had a lot of leftover 810s from the year before. Supercharging also became an option in 1937.

The supercharger bumped power from the 4.7-liter Lycoming V8 to 170 horsepower. Two different wheelbases were used in ’37, and four body styles were offered on the shorter of the two, including the $2,585 Sportsman two-door cabriolet. The supercharger bumped the price by another $2,000, which is insane. Imagine adding 77% of the car’s price back on as options. Oh wait, you can probably do that on a Porsche.

Reliability issues early in production really put a wet blanket over the initial enthusiasm for the model, which was originally envisioned as a “baby Duesenberg.” About 3,000 examples were built in total, only 64 of which were reportedly SC Sportsmans. This one is now going to sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

D-Type Continuation

1955 Jaguar D-Type Continuation

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This time last week we were talking about Jaguar’s XKSS continuation series of cars. This week, it’s time to talk D-Types. This is, perhaps, the most legendary Jag. The D-Type won Le Mans three straight years: 1955, 1956, and 1957. The company managed to get 71 built, though they planned on building 100.

Which leads us to this. A couple of years ago Jaguar announced that they would finish off the 25 cars to get them to the 100 they initially wanted (though the 25 they didn’t build were intended to be XKSS examples, and nine of those never got built due to a fire… the math works, trust me).

These continuation cars were built by Jaguar using the same processes they used in 1955. Power is from a 3.4-liter inline-six. You could get them in short or long-nose form, and this is an example of the former. It’s covered less than 200 miles with its first owner.

The D-Type we featured in 2013 failed to sell with a high bid of $6.2 million. This one, supposedly built the same way, should bring significantly less. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

XKSS Continuation

1957 Jaguar XKSS Continuation

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The XKSS was the road-going version of the Jaguar D-Type racing car. Basically, Jaguar had unsold D-Types that they converted to sell to Americans who wanted a high-performance sports car. They planned to build 25 of them, but a fire broke out at the factory in February 1957 after only 16 were sold.

So in 2016, Jaguar decided they would build the other nine that never got completed back in the day. From scratch. They digitally scanned a few surviving XKSS cars and built the new ones using the same construction methods from the 1950s. Major changes include a modern fuel cell and redesigned seats. Power is from a 3.4-liter inline-six that Jaguar rated at 250 horsepower in 1957.

So what do we have here exactly? Well, it depends on how much of an asshole you want to be (pardon my French). Whoever edited the Wikipedia article for these referred to them as “replicas” (presumably the page was edited by an actual XKSS owner or some Jag purist). At the same time, this is a factory-built XKSS. It wasn’t built by Tempero or some other actual “replica” builder. True, it might not be an “actual” XKSS from 1957, but it’s still a Jaguar product. It’s almost certainly more authentic than any “continuation” Cobra out there.

When Jaguar announced this program, they noted that they were going to charge over $1 million for them. And they sold. But this is the first time one of the “new” ones has come up for sale. An XKSS from the ’50s will run you over $10 million. This one, which was built in 2017 and has 51 miles on it, will sell without reserve. So we’re all about to find out its real value. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.