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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

March 2017 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We’re back with more from Amelia Island, beginning with Gooding & Company where they sold a previously-featured Porsche 911 GT1 road car for $5,665,000 – a nice bump over the price the owner paid for it five years ago. The big-money Jaguar XKSS failed to sell, as did the Pegaso. Our Most Interesting award goes to David Brown’s personal 1949 Aston Martin DB Mk II which sold for $1,540,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Mazda’s 767B sold for $1,750,000 and the Cisitialia we featured brought $550,000. The rest of Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island results can be found here.

We didn’t get to feature anything from Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale, but I wish we would’ve featured the top seller, this 1950 Abarth (Cisitalia) 204A Spyder that sold for $1,001,000. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Motostalgia

And now, the final results from Amelia Island: RM Sotheby’s. The Ferrari 166 would’ve been the top seller, but it failed to meet its reserve. So top sale honors went to another of our feature cars, the Bugatti 57S by Vanvooren for $7,700,000. Other million dollar sales included the Lancia Tipo Bocca for $2,145,000, the Supercharged Stutz for $1,705,000, and a previously featured Lancia PF200 Spider that brought $1,248,500.

There were other cars that sold here that we had featured in the past. This beautiful coachbuilt Graham-Paige sold for $770,000 – earning its consignor over a half a million in profit in one year’s time. At the other end of the spectrum, this Atlas Babycar went for just $30,250 – roughly half of what it sold for four years ago.

We’ll give “Most Interesting” to this 1959 Devin D that we neglected to feature. It sold for $88,000.

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Other feature cars were the Zimmerli Roadster that went for $71,500 and the Meyers Manx that sold for $68,750. To see complete results, including the sale of the Orin Smith Collection, click here.

Now how about a couple of auctions in France? Aguttes held a sale in Lyon and this 1972 Dino 246 GT was the top sale at $335,171.

Photo – Aguttes

The Honda we featured brought $36,210. Complete results can be found here.

Finally, Osenat auctioned off the Perinet-Marquet Citroen collection. While we didn’t feature anything, this 1969 Citroen DS21 Cabriolet Usine was the top sale at $129,720. Click here for the rest of the results.

Photo – Osenat

Zimmerli Roadster

1948 Vauxhall-Zimmerli 18-6 Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In the U.S., auto production resumed more or less immediately following the end of World War II. In most of Europe, especially Germany and France, it took a little longer to get going again. And when it did, the cars in high demand were functional vehicles. But that didn’t stop two enterprising brothers from Switzerland for attempting to build a sports car around 1950.

Switzerland has never really had an active automobile industry anyway, so for the car to spring up there is weirder still. Werner and Fritz Zimmerli (who sold Chevys and Vauxhalls in their native town) designed a pretty roadster based on the Vauxhall Velox. The car uses a custom chassis and frame, but the running gear is all Velox: a 54 horsepower, 2.3-liter straight-six and a three-speed transmission move it down the road. The body is aluminium (with steel doors).

The finished product wasn’t complete until 1950 and the Zimmerlis kept the car until 1968. The current owner acquired the car in 2008 and performed a beautiful restoration. It is technically titled as a 1949 Vauxhall, thus its hyphenated name above, but it is a one-off, and a really cool one at that. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $71,500.

Ferrari 166 MM

1950 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta by Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

You’re looking at one of the earliest Ferraris. The 166 MM was one of the first Ferrari models – produced after only the 125 S, 159 S, 166 S, and the 166 Inter. The “MM” stood for “Mille Miglia”, the famous Italian road race that Ferrari won (actually finished 1-2) in 1949 with cars similar to this.

The cars are powered by a 2.0-liter V-12 making 140 horsepower. The Barchetta body is by Touring and, of Touring’s 25 Barchettas, this is #23. Only 32 166 MMs were built in total. One of the first owners of this car was a racing driver. And he took it racing. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1951 Mille Miglia – 6th in class (with Eugenio Castelotti and Giuseppe Rota)
  • 1953 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Ambrogio Arosio and Italo Di Giuseppe)

In early 1954, the car was already owned by someone else and racing hard in the United States. It’s been a respected car in the collector community pretty much since, winning awards at Pebble Beach as early as 1979. It’s Ferrari Classiche certified and retains all of its major original components. A Ferrari 166 is a hard to come by, but must-have for any serious collector. This is a great example and it’s expected to bring between $8,000,000-$10,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM Sotheby’s lineup.

Update: Not sold.