January 2019 Auction Highlights

January means one thing: Scottsdale. And we’ll start there with Bonhams where the 1951 Maserati we featured was the top sale at $2,755,000. Most of the other really big money cars all missed the target, which might say something about the top of the market (but we’ll see as the other sales all wrap up). The other Frua-bodied car, the Fiat 1100C, sold for $577,000. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible – mostly because I really want one. I just don’t have the $50,400 it would’ve required to take this one home.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured Abarth race car sold here for $16,800 – a long way from the $45k+ it brought at multiple previous auctions (weird, it has a different chassis number listed in this sale compared to previous sales, but has the exact same backstory). This car has changed hands multiple times in the last few years. Someone here either got a great deal, or the consignor finally unloaded an albatross at a loss (also, dibs on “Albatross at a Loss” as my next rap album name). Meanwhile, the Stevens-Duryea sold for $72,800. Click here for complete results.

Next up from Arizona is RM Sotheby’s, and there were a couple of cars that failed to meet their reserve, including a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale. But another Ferrari was top dog at this sale, specifically this 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO that sold for $3,360,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The biggest money feature car we had was the Vector WX-3 at $615,500, with the WX-3R coming up right behind it at a cool $500,000. The Lesovsky-Offy brought $201,600, the Rolls-Royce State Landaulette $190,400, the Hooper Bentley $128,800, the Apollo 3500 GT $134,400, and the Lone Star Touring $44,800. Click here for complete results.

Barrett-Jackson’s catalog is so large that I don’t feel like scrolling through the entire thing trying to find highlights and the top sale. Their user interface leaves a little to be desired, so I’m just going to look through Saturday’s results and assume that the top sale was in their prime time lineup. What I found: the overall top sale was, as it usually is here, a charity lot. The first 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition went for $2,500,000.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

That crazy Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 sold for $1,210,000, while the Paige Ardmore sold for $16,500 and the Ford Lightning Rod Concept $27,500. All of the results can be found here and you can scroll through them at your leisure if you have a spare five hours.

Next: Gooding & Company, where the 1902 Yale we featured brought $105,280, and the Ferrari 275 Prototype failed to sell. The biggest money was reserved for this 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta for $7,595,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Finally, we have Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale sale where this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the overall top sale at $990,000.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Our three Indiana-built feature cars all sold, with the two Duesenbergs falling in “good deal” range. The Duesenberg Tourster sold for $605,000, and the other Duesey brought $506,000. The Auburn Boattail rounds it all out at $291,500. Click here if you want more results from this sale.

Ferrari SP30

2011 Ferrari SP30

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

About five years ago, Ferrari embarked on a new program called their “special projects division” where they build exclusive cars for wealthy clients. I guess everyone wants to feel special. And buying a “normal” Ferrari isn’t special enough. And I guess they didn’t want Jim Glickenhaus to have all the fun rebodying their cars.

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was Ferrari’s front-engined V-12 grand tourer that they built between 2007 and 2012. There were a couple of factory hot-rodded versions, namely the 599 GTO, 599XX, the HGTE (which was more of an options package), and the SA Aperta.

The SP30 is a one-off model built exclusively for a wealthy Indian oil baron. It’s based on the 599 GTO and has revised bodywork. There is no information in the catalog listing, but because it is based on the 599 GTO, I guess we are to assume it is powered by a 661 horsepower, 6.0-liter V12.

These one-off Ferraris are likely to continue to increase in value. And this one will not come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

December 2018 Auction Highlights

The second of Bonhams’ early December sales was their London Olympia sale. The top sale was this 1921 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost London-to-Edinburgh Tourer that sold for $352,292.

Photo – Bonhams

The Talbot Tourer we featured brought an also-impressive $242,200, as did the other Rolls-Royce at $176,146. The Healey Abbott failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.

Onward to RM Sotheby’s sale held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The top sale was the huge price paid for this 1956 Ferrari 290 MM by Scaglietti: $22,005,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Mochet microcar we featured sold for $25,200, and a previously-featured Ferrari wagon sold for $313,000. Final results can be found here.

Aguttes held a sale in December that had a few cars sprinkled in, the most expensive of which ended up being this 1994 Ferrari 348 GTS for $74,305. Full results can be found here.

Photo – Aguttes

And now we’re into 2019, beginning with Mecum’s epic Kissimmee sale that lasted for almost two weeks. Somehow, a LaFerrari Aperta we featured failed to meet its astronomical, irrational reserve at a bid of over $6 million. However, its sister car from the same collection, a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari was the overall top seller at this sale for $3,300,000. Which was below the pre-sale estimate. Go figure.

Photo – Mecum

Here’s a rundown of other feature cars from this sale that failed to find new homes: Pontiac El Catalina Prototype, Tramontana GT, Corvette ZR2, McLaren 675LT Spider, and the Brumos Edition Porsche (yet again).

Now onto some better news. The previously-featured Shelby GT500 Super Snake sold here – for almost double what it brought in 2013: $2,200,000. Other big dollar cars included Duesenberg J-255 for $935,000 and a Ford Torino King Cobra for $192,500.

The other two feature cars we have – both factory prototypes – both sold. The Ford Forty-Nine Convertible went for $51,700, and the Pontiac Trans Am Kammback sold for $40,700. Click here for complete results.

And finally, we move to another early January sale: Silverstone Auctions’ Autosport International sale. The Griffith we featured sold, but is still listed as “result to follow.” Once it’s posted we’ll update our Griffith page, so check back if you just have to know. The top seller was yet another Ferrari, this time a 1970 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 for $257,360. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

1900 Panhard

1900 Panhard et Levassor 16HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The setup of the modern cars we drive can trace their roots back to something designed by Panhard et Levassor around the turn-of-the-century. Their system was simple: four wheels, engine up front, rear-wheel drive, and a transmission. Yeah, they were the first company to use a gearbox… and a steering wheel… and a front-mounted radiator. You get the idea.

This car is powered by a 4.4-liter straight-four engine that was rated at 16 taxable horsepower when new. Only eight of these cars were built between 1899 and 1900. Then, the engine was updated for 1901, and Panhard cranked out 153 additional examples through 1903.

It was restored during British ownership, where it remains, and it has been updated with modern conveniences like an electric starter. It’s a great London-to-Brighton car and should cost its next owner between $315,000-$375,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Jordan 196

1996 Jordan-Peugeot 196

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Last May, RM Sotheby’s sold a copy of Jordan’s 199 F1 car that was photographed in a very similar position to this car. I’m not sure whose collection these are coming out of (and frankly I really don’t feel like trying to figure it out), but one wonders if there will be more to come.

Jordan’s first year in F1 was 1991, and this was their 1996 car. Power is from a 3.0-liter Peugeot V10, an example of which this care retains. The team’s 1996 drivers were Rubens Barrichello and Martin Brundle, and the race history for this chassis includes:

  • 1996 European Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 Canadian Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)
  • 1996 British Grand Prix – 6th (with Brundle)

It was raced in a few other races as well, but those were the highlights. Trackable cars from F1’s V10 era are hard to come by, and you can read more about this one here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in Paris here.

Update: Sold $273,468.

250 GT Speciale

1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Pinin Farina was responsible for what we’ll call the “base” Ferrari 250 GT Coupe. Produced from 1958 through 1961, these cars were the volume-leader model among so many special, limited-edition 250 GTs.

The car pictured here is about the farthest possible thing from a “base” model. This particular car was built specially for a Belgian Princess by Pinin Farina and has known ownership history from new. A restoration was completed in 1997 and it’s been on the show field at Pebble Beach.

Somehow, RM’s catalog entry is completely devoid of any technical information on the car. Power is likely from a 3.0-liter V-12, and this is thought to be one of four Coupe Speciales bodied by Pinin Farina, though the coachwork is unique. It should sell for between $11,000,000-$13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Vector Avtech Roadster

1993 Vector Avtech WX-3R Roadster Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A week ago we featured the coupe version of this car, the Vector Avtech WX-3. This is the topless form, the WX-3R Roadster. Nothing says over-the-top supercar quite like a rear-engined V-12 roadster with no roof, scissor doors, and headrests that appear to be taller than the ridiculously-raked windshield.

This car debuted alongside the coupe at Geneva in 1993 and is powered by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V8 and a GM automatic transmission that could take this thing to over 200 mph. Series production never occurred, and this remains a one-off, fantastically 90s, supercar prototype. I literally had a poster of this car on my bedroom wall as a kid.

This is the first time this car has ever been for sale publicly, as it is being sold from company founder Jerry Wiegert‘s personal collection. It should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $500,000.

Vector Avtech WX-3

1993 Vector Avtech WX-3 Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If my schoolgirl-like giddiness for this car becomes too distracting in the text that follows, please just bear with me. I love Vectors. They are outrageous. The company traces its roots back to the 1970s when founder Gerald Wiegert showed his first prototype, the W2, in 1978. The W8 was their first production car in 1989.

The Avtech WX-3 debuted in 1992 and was to go into production with three engine options. This, the coupe version (just wait until next week), is finished in a beautiful shade of Brilliant Aquamarine, though it was originally silver.

Wiegert lost control of the company shortly after this car debuted and the new owners, while barred from using this design, more or less did anyway with the very similar-looking M12 that used Lamborghini engines. This car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-liter V8 putting out 1,000 horsepower.

This is the only car like it in the world, and Wiegert has never parted with it, until now. It’s so over-the-top in a wonderfully 90s kind of way. I just love these cars. The details are just so extreme, to wit: its shark-like appearance and the fact that the fuel cap looks like it was ripped right off of a Cessna. It is expected to bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $615,500.

Lesovsky Indy Roadster

1949 Lesovsky-Offenhauser

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Classic race cars take a special breed of person. They’re high-maintenance cars and you can’t exactly take them to the local cruise-in. And the older they are, the crazier they can be. Before big money moved in, there were a lot of people with a lot of different ideas building cars that ran within inches of each other. They were individuals, not spec cars. And because of that, old race cars are awesome.

This car was built by Lujie Lesovsky’s L.A. Lesovsky Race Car Engineering, an open-wheel race car constructor active from the late-1940s through the early-1960s. It’s a short-wheelbase car powered by a Meyer-Drake Offenhauser inline-four making 300 horsepower. 

The racing history for this chassis includes:

  • 1948 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ
  • 1949 Indianapolis 500 – 3rd, with George Connor
  • 1950 Indianapolis 500 – 8th, with George Connor
  • 1951 Indianapolis 500 – 30th, with George Connor
  • 1952 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bill Taylor
  • 1953 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bill Taylor
  • 1954 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, with Bob Christie

Well there you have it – three Indy 500 starts with a podium finish. The car was also raced in period by Bill Holland and Len Sutton, the latter of which wrecked the car in a race in 1955. After that, it never raced competitively again. It was preserved and later restored to its “Blue Crown Special” livery.

This Offy-powered Lesovsky is one of very few such cars that survive today. They don’t change hands often, but when they do the prices make you take note. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $201,600.

Apollo 3500 GT

1963 Apollo 3500 GT Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This sleek Italian-styled sports car from the early 1960s was actually built in Oakland, California, by International Motor Cars. The body was technically built in Italy by Intermeccanica, then shipped to Oakland for final assembly, where it would be mated to an American engine.

In this case, that American engine is a 3.5-liter Buick V8 making 225 horsepower. A more powerful variant, the 5000 GT, would receive a larger 4.9-liter unit. It has the styling of a contemporary Ferrari, and it’s probably much cheaper to maintain.

Production numbers are really weird for these. Initially, Apollo only built 42 cars (combined between both engine options), and then the design was sold and the car was sold as the Vetta Ventura. After that venture ended, Apollo sprang back up and built a few more cars. RM says this is one of 90. I’ll take their word for it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $134,400.

S/N: 1004