June 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. I

We kick of June’s results with one from May, RM Sotheby’s in Villa Erba, Italy. The top sale was the Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe we featured. It sold for $3,757,824. The Talbot-Lago T26 we featured was also a million dollar seller, bringing $1,252,608. Would-be million dollar sales that failed to hit their reserves included the McLaren P1 GTR and a previously-featured, Pebble Beach-winning Mercedes-Benz 680 Torpedo Roadster. We’ll give Most Interesting to this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Prototype that brought $3,382,041.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Our other four feature cars all sold, with the WRE-Maserati leading the way at $814,195. The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato brought $513,569 and the Lancia Delta S4 Stradale a similar $551,147. The other Lancia we featured came in at $313,152. Click here for all of the results from this sale.

H&H Classics is holding two sales in June, the first of which was at the National Motorcycle Museum. The Rover we featured sold for $7,464. As is seemingly always the case, the top seller at this H&H sale was an E-Type, specifically a 1971 Jaguar E-Type Series III Coupe for $67,456. Click here for more results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Now we move to Bonhams Greenwich sale where two of our feature cars failed to sell: the Rickenbacker and Pierce-Arrow. The Rambler we featured sold for $73,700. The Bugatti was a strong seller, bringing $676,000, but it wasn’t enough to be the top sale, which went to this 1990 Ferrari F40 for $877,250 (which, compared the recent F40 prices, was kind of a steal). Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Bonhams

Next up, Aguttes in Lyon. The top sale was this 1993 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG that brought an impressive $156,885.

Photo – Aguttes

The Venturi we featured failed to sell. Check out complete results here.

Finally: Mecum in Portland. The top sale was this 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko for $395,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Plymouth Savoy we featured failed to sell. Mecum’s site has the rest of the results.

Abarth 1100 Ghia

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 1949, Carlo Abarth jumped off of the sinking ship that was Cisitalia to start his own business… utilizing the leftovers of Cisitalia. It started with sports cars and today is a trim level of sporty Fiats. Abarth only built cars in limited numbers and the 1100 you see here is a one-off.

There was a car called the Abarth 205 and they took a chassis from that car and fitted Fiat’s new 1100 engine to it. The car was sent to Ghia for this incredible Jet Age body, and voila! Originally, Fiat’s 1.1-liter straight-four made about 35 horsepower. Abarth no doubt increased that figure.

This Ghia masterpiece has all the right little details, not to mention a brilliant blue interior that will blow you away because you just don’t expect the vividness it provides. Exhibited initially by Ghia at the 1953 Turin Salon, this car was later shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show by its first owner, who re-christened it the “Vaughn SS Wildcat,” with V-8 underhood.

The car was rediscovered in 1982 and the current owner had it restored in 2015, correct Fiat engine re-installed. It’s an awesome – and remarkably small – 1950s Italian design. You’ll be the only one with anything like it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Monterey.

Talbot-Lago T26 by Franay

1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Cabriolet by Franay

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Post-war Talbot-Lagos have always been desirable and appreciated cars. This car was shown at concours shows when it was brand new. The fact that it sports body work from one of the most sought-after coachbuilders only strengthens its case.

The T26 Grand Sport went on sale at the end of 1947 and it was a short-wheelbase version of the T26, which was introduced a year earlier. They were the sporty car in Talbot-Lagos catalog and could be had as a race car. Road cars were also constructed, with bodies from Europe’s top coachbuilders. The T26 Grand Sport is powered by a 190 horsepower version of the T26s 4.5-liter straight-six.

Only 29 cars were built on the short wheelbase and only 26 still exist. This chassis was shown at the 1949 Paris Auto Salon. Franay painted it black in 1950 and had its grille updated in 1951. The car sold in 1960 for $800 and wasn’t restored until 2010, a few owners later. This one-off T26 GS will bring slightly more this year than it did in 1960; it has an estimate of $1,300,000-$1,650,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N# 110121.

Update: Sold $1,252,608.

Delta S4 Stradale

1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Ah, the sweet, overpowered world of homologation specials, specifically, Group B homologation specials. You see, Group B was the most intense and scariest form of rallying of all time and it occurred from 1982 through 1986. The cars were required to be based off of road-legal cars so manufacturers designed super sophisticated rally cars, and then added the barest of passenger niceties to sell a few hundred “road cars” to make their rally cars legal. But to be fair, the interior here is pretty nice.

There are a bunch of Lancia Delta special editions, such as the successor to this car, the HF Integrale of the late 1980s and early 1990s. But this was the Mack Daddy. It was an evolution of the supercar-esque Lancia 037 that preceded it. The Delta S4 rally car raced only in 1985 and 1986, the same years that Lancia built the Stradale road cars.

They are four-wheel drive, mid-engined rockets. Where the later HF Integrales were four-doors, these sported two. And the engine is a supercharged and turbocharged 1.8-liter straight-four making 300 horsepower. Top speed was 140 mph and 60 arrived in about six seconds. That’s serious mid-80s performance from a sub-2.0-liter four-cylinder car.

Lancia only built 200 of these and they don’t change hands often. This one should bring in the neighborhood of $490,000-$600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $551,147.

WRE-Maserati

1959 W.R.E.-Maserati

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Full disclosure: when I first saw this car posted by RM Sotheby’s I, first, did not recognize it as I had never heard of the WRE-Maseratis. Secondly, based on the photographs, I thought it was a 2/3 scale Maserati children’s car. I was wrong.

W.R.E. – or World Racing Enterprises – was basically just a shop that built a handful of race cars at the end of the 1950s. Due to the technical regulations of the era, the 2.0-liter Maserati straight-four was an in-demand engine in sports car racing and a couple of different cars utilized it. American Tony Settember had Briton John Wadsworth help him build the first WRE-Maserati.

When they went racing – and beat up everyone else on track – Italians Luigi Bellucci and Mannato Boffa wanted in. Bellucci oversaw the construction of two more cars (as Settember left the program). This is the second of just three examples of the W.R.E.-Maserati ever built. It has a successful racing debut but was soon not competitive enough to keep up with factory entrants and Bellucci ditched it for a true Maserati, a Tipo 61 Birdcage.

This car was restored in the late 1970s or early 1980s and has been in possession of its current Swiss owner since 1987. It’s an interesting Italian example of a 1950s sports car racing special. It should bring between $820,000-$1,050,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.

Update: Sold $814,195.

F355 Challenge

1996 Ferrari F355 Challenge

Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 21, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Fun! As far as Ferrari race cars go, this is among my favorites. Yes, it certainly has something to do with three screen Sega arcade game that shared this car’s name in the late 90s/early 2000s. This is one of a long line of one-make (or one-model) racing cars produced by Ferrari (which actually started in 1993 with the 348 Challenge). You could take these racing against your friends in identical cars.

The F355 was produced for the 1995-1999 model years and the Challenge (which was only available as a coupe with a big rear wing out back) launched in 1995 as well. Challenge events were held throughout the model’s production run and this car competed in the Ferrari Challenge Series in 1996, 1997, and 1998. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-8 making 370 horsepower.

When new, you could order an F355 Challenge direct from the factory, or buy an F355 coupe and spend $30,000 on a dealer-installed kit. Ferrari managed to build 108 of these before they switched to the 360 Challenge. This one was delivered new to Belgium and has covered approximately 8,300 miles. It should bring between $160,000-$220,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $178,426.

V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

1989 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato Volante

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

We recently featured the closed-top Coupe version of this car. RM is also selling a Coupe – and Bonhams, who is selling the Coupe I just linked to, is also selling a Volante. It’s a good time to be in the market for the rarest Aston Martins.

The V8 Vantage Zagato was produced in limited quantities between 1986 and 1990. They’re powered by a 430 horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8. That’s a lot of power for 1989 – so much so that the hood is fitted with a “power bulge” – a term that I’ll just go ahead and leave alone for now. Try finding a faster convertible from that year. It’s not going to happen.

Or one that’s rarer. Aston only built 37 convertibles of this type and this is the only left-hand-drive example. The bright yellow paint is the best indicator that you’ve got a supercar here. Zagato’s boxy styling was great for the era but now it just screams of the era, which isn’t a bad thing as things tend to come back around. Aston ended the 80s on a high note with this car and the price reflects it. This should bring between $490,000-$600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $513,569.

Talbot-Lago Teardrop Coupe

1937 Talbot-Lago T150C-SS Teardrop Coupe by Figoni et Falaschi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here we go. It seems like 10 years ago cars like this were winning every major show and bringing the top money at every big sale. Then it sort of cooled off. We’re glad to see something this exotic back on the big auction stage.

Talbot-Lago introduced the T150 in 1937. They produced a competition model, which appended a “C” to the T150 model designation. Some of these were competition cars sold to the public which were bodied by coachbuilders as road cars (see photo above). The “SS” signifies a short-wheelbase car, which was even more desirable. This car is powered by a 140 horsepower, 4.0-liter straight-six.

This is one of two “Goutte d’Eau” coupes bodied by the legendary Figoni et Falaschi. What that means is it’s a Teardrop Coupe and the front fenders are enclosed. Those wheel covers make the entire car look extremely aerodynamic. The design is one of the best of the era and this car would be a centerpiece to any collection.

Hidden during WWII, it was re-bodied as a convertible in Switzerland in the late 1940s. The current owner acquired the car in 1987 and in 2000 had it brought back to original specification. The result is fantastic. It should bring between $3,500,000-$4,150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $3,757,824.

Aurelia B52 by Vignale

1952 Lancia Aurelia B52 2000 Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

What time period do you define as the “golden age” of coachbuilding? Is it the 1930s? If so, I would be inclined to agree, but at the same time, I’d be doing a great disservice to the 1950s because there were some really fantastic coachbuilt cars built during that decade. The Lancia Aurelia alone had some great designs.

The Aurelia was Lancia’s luxury car (which was also available as a coupe and convertible in addition to the standard sedan) between 1950 and 1958. It featured the first production V-6 engine and this car carries a 2.0-liter V-6 making 90 horsepower. It rides on a B52 chassis, which was the slightly lengthened B21 chassis that Lancia offered to coachbuilders.

This one went to Vignale and it was fitted with this body that resembled nothing else that Lancia built. The company only sold 98 B52 Aurelias between 1952 and 1953 (with 86 of those being from ’52). It’s a cool car that will stand out anywhere it goes. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Sold $313,152.

P1 GTR

2016 McLaren P1 GTR

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 27, 2017

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Along with the LaFerrari and the Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 is among the three great supercars from the mid-2010s. Ferrari did a track version of their hypercar, and so did McLaren, with this “track-only” P1 GTR.

What sets it apart from the road car is the fact that it comes with its own track day series, among a multitude of performance options. They stripped some weight out of it and bumped the power. The electric-hybrid 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 makes a combined system output of 986 horsepower. There’s more grip, more outlandish aerodynamics, and even more speed.

McLaren opted to sell just 58 of these (offering them to existing P1 owners first). Of the 58 GTRs built, 27 were sent to Lanzante, a company in England who turns these track-only cars into street legal race cars. The fact that nearly half of the GTRs built are now street legal says, I think, that we may have reached the tipping point on performance track day specials. I’d bet most of the GTR owners don’t have anywhere near the talent required to squeeze even 75% of this car’s capability out on a track. So why not drive it on the street? It’s one of the rarest, flashiest cars ever built. It’s perfect for the billionaire who has everything else.

This is the first P1 GTR to come up for public auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N #012.

Update: Not sold.