Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII

1913 Hispano-Suiza Alfonso XIII Boattail

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Hispano-Suiza had only been around for about eight years when they introduced the Alfonso XIII in 1912. Named for the King of Spain (who enjoyed and purchased their cars), the Alfonso is considered to be one of the first sports cars. Not all of them were sporty, however.

Power is supplied by a 3.6-liter inline-four good for 64 horsepower. This car rides on the long-wheelbase chassis and carries a reproduction boattail body. A two-seater body dating back to at least the 1920s accompanies the car and is believed to be the car’s original.

Ownership history is known back to the early 1920s, when it was bought by a university student in England, who would own the car until his death in 1978. It’s only had three owners since. This is one of the best cars of its era, and it’s rare to see such a fine example changing hands. You can see more about it here and more from RM in Paris here.

Shelby Series I Prototype

1999 Shelby Series I Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Shelby Series 1 was a legitimate, home-grown American sports car. It was the first Shelby-branded car to start from a clean-sheet design. They managed to produce just 249 examples – all in 1999.

Power is from a 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V8. That may sound lame, but remember that engine was also the basis for Olds’ Indy car engine around this time. Power in the Series 1 production cars was rated at 320 horsepower, and a top speed of 170 mph was reported.

This is actually a pre-production prototype and demonstration car. A couple of these prototypes were built. Later on, after the Series 1 program went bust, a Series II was introduced, but never advanced beyond the prototype stage. At no reserve, this car is expected to fetch $120,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Dyna-Veritas

1952 Dyna-Veritas Cabriolet

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 5, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Veritas was a sports car manufacturer that was founded in the wake of WWII in West Germany. They got their start by modifying BMW 328s. That eventually gave way to building sports cars and even single-seat race cars. They definitely caught the racing bug, and soon realized it was expensive.

In order to fund their racing program, they started producing this road car. Called the Dyna-Veritas, the car is powered by a Panhard Dyna-sourced 745cc flat-twin that produced 38 horsepower. Coupe and convertible body styles were offered.

The front-wheel-drive convertible was bodied by Baur, and only 176 examples of the Dyna-Veritas were built. This is one of 10 surviving examples and is selling without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

H6B Transformable Cabriolet

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B Transformable Cabriolet by Belvallette

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This French-built Hispano-Suiza is from the middle of the H6 line and is one of many such cars built by the company to carry a beautiful coachbuilt body. The H6B was introduced in 1922, and the entire line lasted through 1933.

This car is bodied by Belvallette of Paris. It’s a four-door convertible, with suicide doors up front and a semi-formal three-position convertible top. The engine is a 135 horsepower, 6.6-liter inline-six. The original owner of the car is known, but the trail goes dark for over 60 years before the car reappeared in 1984 in original condition.

Since restored, the car has resided in a few prominent U.S.-based collections since. It is now estimated to be worth between $375,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Kaiser Vagabond

1949 Kaiser DeLuxe Vagabond

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Kaiser-Frazer was an American car company that popped up after WWII. Kaiser sold its first cars in 1947, and by 1955 the company was gone. During their short lifespan, they built some really cool cars, including this, the Vagabond.

Technically part of the DeLuxe line, the Vagabond was sold alongside a four-door DeLuxe Sedan, a four-door DeLuxe Convertible, and the Virginian, a four-door hardtop. The Vagabond was actually a utility sedan and it had a beautiful cargo area:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The rear seats fold flat for increased cargo space, and a covered spare tire is present in the left-rear doorwell, making that door virtually unusable. From the outside, this looked like an attractive-enough sedan. But with that rear hatch and wood-slat cargo area, it’s quite a looker from the inside. And functional too.

Power is from a 3.7-liter inline-six capable of 100 horsepower. It is estimated that only 25 of these were produced for the 1949 model year. While the DeLuxe Vagabond might sound like a stylish hobo, this car is one of Kaiser-Frazer’s best pieces of work. It should sell for between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

1927 Locomobile

1927 Locomobile Model 90 Sportif

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Locomobile was one of America’s earliest car companies, and they began by producing steam cars. Gasoline-powered vehicles followed, and the company survived WWI and into the 1920s. In 1919, the Model 48 was introduced, and it was the grandest car the company ever made.

A few years later, in 1922, Locomobile was acquired by Billy Durant, who was forming his post-GM empire, Durant Motors. Locomobile was at the top of the heap, alongside Durant, Star, Flint, and Rugby. It all went wrong after the stock market crash in 1929, and the brands disappeared after 1932, with Locomobile not even making it to the 1930s.

The Model 90 was introduced in 1926 and is powered by an 86-horsepower, 6.1-liter L-head inline-six. It rode on a 138-inch wheelbase, which was only four inches shorter than the mighty 48. This example is one of two Model 90 Sportifs known to exist and is thought to have once been owned by Cliff Durant, a racing driver, and Billy’s son.

You can read more about it here and see more from RM here.

Chalmers Touring

1914 Chalmers Model 24 Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

I think Chalmers has one of the most interesting histories of any defunct auto manufacturer. Its roots trace back to the Buffalo Automobile Company, which became Thomas, then Thomas-Detroit, then Chalmers-Detroit, then Chalmers. Chalmers would later merge into Maxwell, which is now Chrysler. A more detailed history can be viewed here.

The 1914 Chalmers model line consisted of the Model 19 and Model 24. This is an example of the larger model, which is powered by a 60 horsepower inline-six. Six different bodies were offered on this chassis, which was produced as the Model 24 only in 1914. This tourer would’ve cost its first owner $2,175.

This example has been active on the historic circuit since the 1950s, which says a lot about its usability. It is being offered without reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

November 2019 Auction Highlights

We’re starting in November with Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Show sale. This multi-day sale saw this 1965 Aston Martin DB5 bring the biggest bids. It sold for $799,889.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Range Rover limo we featured sold for $42,903. Full results can be found here.

Onward to Osenat, where this 1975 Ferrari Dino 246 GT sold for $264,580. The Ballot sedan we featured brought a strong $79,374. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

At Historics’ November sale, an AC Buckland we featured a few years back found a new home for $55,555. The overall top sale was $309,959 for this 1971 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman. More results are available here.

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Next up is Brightwells’ Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. The top sale here was an interesting one. It’s a 2011 Morgan Plus Four SuperSports factory race car and the factory transporter, which is a late-80s/early-90s Ford-based RV. Oh, and the trailer. The whole package cost someone $69,861.

Photo – Brightwells

The TVR we featured didn’t sell, but the other five cars did, led by the Bedford pickup for $13,018. Everything else was really cheap, including the $10,848 Scimitar, the $7,232 Commer campervan, the $5,496 Morris pickup, and the $3,037 Rover Scout concept car. The rest of the results can be found here.

Finally, RM Sotheby’s held a sale in Abu Dhabi at the end of November. If you’re imagining a sale chock full of supercars, well, you’re right. In fact, the Pagani Zonda we featured ended up as the top sale at $6,812,500. Not far behind it was Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari F2002 at $6,643,750. The other feature cars that crossed the million-dollar mark were the Zagato Raptor at $1,086,250, the Koenigsegg Agera at $1,356,250, the Ferrari 126 C2 at $2,143,750, and the Ferrari FXX-K at $4,281,250.

We’ll award most interesting to 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster due to its 1990s poster car-ness. It sold for $169,625.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Other Lambo highlights include the “brand new” Diablo VT 6.0 SE that went for $525,000, as well as the Concept S, which failed to sell. Click here for complete results.

V-16 Sport Phaeton

1930 Cadillac V-16 Series 452 Sport Phaeton by Fleetwood

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 16-17, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

When Cadillac was “the standard of the world,” their V-16 models were the standard among Cadillacs. These were some of the grandest cars money could buy at the dawn of the Depression, and they remain one of only a handful of sixteen-cylinder cars ever built.

The V-16 was introduced in 1930 in Series 452 form, as we have here. Over 50 body styles were offered. This car carries body style 4260, a dual-cowl sport phaeton that was produced by Fleetwood, which would officially become part of GM in 1931.

Displacing 7.4-liters, the V-16 made 175 horsepower in 1930. This car would’ve cost about $6,500 when new – a fortune in 1930. GM later said they lost money on every V-16 they built, though they managed to move 3,251 examples in 1930. Only 85 Sport Phaetons were built in 1930 and 1931 combined, an estimated 17 of which survive.

This example was sold new in Cleveland and has been restored twice. It will now sell in January at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Ferrari 126 C2

1982 Ferrari 126 C2

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 126C was Ferrari’s 1981 Formula One car. It replaced the 312T series of cars that dated back to 1975. For 1982, the chassis was heavily updated to C2 specification, and it was iterated upon thereafter through 1984.

Power is from a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 that made about 600 horsepower in race trim. Driving duties for 1982 were split between Gilles Villeneuve (who died mid-season), Didier Pironi, Patrick Tambay, and Mario Andretti. No single driver competed in every race. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1982 British Grand Prix – 3rd (with Patrick Tambay)
  • 1982 French Grand Prix – 4th (with Tambay)
  • 1982 German Grand Prix – 1st (with Tambay)
  • 1982 Italian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Mario Andretti)
  • 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix (Las Vegas) – 19th, DNF (with Andretti)

The car left Ferrari’s private collection in 2000 and has been used in events since. This race-winning F1 car from the Scuderia is the only survivor of seven examples of the type built. It should sell for between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,143,750.