Breese Teardrop Roadster

1911 Breese Paris Teardrop Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | October 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

Robert Breese worked at De Dion-Bouton and Renault, among others, before deciding he wanted to build his own cars. He wanted to produce them in America, and he managed to make a few prototypes while still in Paris that he was going to take home with him to begin production.

It’s thought that he managed to produce three examples, two of which survive (and they’re both in this sale). Breese would produce other cars in the U.S. later, but this was his start. While this example is powered by a lowly 7.5 horsepower straight-four, this car can hit 70 mph. It’s that light.

This example has known history back to 1927 and was restored in the early 1960s. It shows pretty well for a 55-year-old restoration, signs of care by the family that has owned it since the work was completed. This car is expected to bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $78,400.

Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Three Pre-War Cars from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1934 BMW 315/1 Roadster

Photo – Bonhams

Mercedes-Benz (and more specifically, Daimler) have been around for a long time, and have been a major producer of automobiles for essentially that entire time. Not so with BMW. It seems like the only Pre-War Bimmers that are any sort of common are 327/8/9s. Have you ever seen a 315?

This model was introduced in 1934 to replace the four-cylinder 303. The base 315 was a two-door sedan, cabriolet, or tourer. The 315/1 was the sports car variant. Built between 1934 and 1937, it shared the sedan’s chassis but had a slightly tuned engine. The 1.5-liter straight-six made 40 horsepower in this form. But, this particular car actually has an 80 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-six from the similar 319/1 Roadster. A swap was made at some point in the past.

Only 242 examples of the 315/1 Roadster were made – perhaps most people haven’t seen them. This car has been more or less dormant for 30 years, so some work is needed. Regardless, it should still command between $125,000-$175,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $134,400.


1915 Simplex Crane Model 5 Tourer

Photo – Bonhams

The Crane, Simplex, Crane-Simplex, and Simplex Crane is one confusing mess of marques. Henry Middlebrook Crane started his own car company in 1912 and it lasted through 1914. It was acquired by Simplex and in 1915 they merged the Crane line of cars into their own, as a separate model. From 1915 through the end of the company, the cars were branded as Simplexes and the model was the “Crane Model 5” which Crane introduced back in 1914. When Simplex went under, Henry Crane bought the remnants and sold the Crane-Simplex (as a marque) for about a year in 1922. CONFUSED YET?

What we have here is a Simplex Crane Model 5. It’s powered by a ridiculous 110 horsepower, 9.2-liter straight-six with a four-speed transmission. The two-seater sports tourer body is not original but is nice. Less than 500 Crane Model 5s were produced, making this quite rare today. It should bring between $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1913 Mercedes 28/60HP Phaeton

Photo – Bonhams

Daimler built some pretty impressive Mercedes-branded automobiles in the pre-Benz years. The 1913 28/60 was a development of the 28/50, which was introduced in 1910. Production of the 28/60 would continue until 1920 and power comes from a 60 horsepower, 7.2-liter straight-four.

This car has been in the same family for the last 40 years and was restored in 2008. It’s been actively toured, a testament to the usability of early Mercedes cars, despite their sometimes immense size. It’s well-outfitted in period accessories and should bring between $800,000-$1,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Carmel.

Update: Not sold.

Five Supercars from Mecum

Five Supercars from Mecum

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 23-25, 2018


2017 Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4

Photo – Mecum

Mecum has been knocking it out of the park lately when it comes to supercars. They have no less than four Bugatti Veyrons in their Monterey sale this year. But I think this Lambo steals the show. The Centenario is an Aventador-based supercar built in extremely limited quantities. Between 2016 and 2017, they churned out just 20 coupes and 20 roadsters.

The engine is a 6.5-liter V-12 that makes 759 horsepower and top speed is 217 mph. It’s more of a styling exercise than anything, kind of like the Reventon was to the Murcielago. All of these sold out when they were announced, so this very well likely is the first one to publicly come up for sale (I believe it may have been at a So-Cal dealership for a bit before hitting the block). Because of its rarity, and because it’s Lambo’s newest limited-production special, it will be expensive. Check out more info here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $2,250,000.


2010 Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir

Photo – Mecum

Here’s another black supercar. This time it’s a Bugatti – one of at least four that Mecum has at their Monterey sale this year. The Veyron was produced for 10 years – 2005 through 2015 in four main models. But there were a number of special editions built along the way, including this Sang Noir, or Black Blood in French.

Twelve examples were produced and this is the only one with a red interior. Power comes from a quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 engine capable of 1,001 horsepower. The Sang Noir special edition was mostly an appearance package but I’m sure they charged a pretty penny for it. You know it will still continue to command a big price. You can read more about it here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,550,000.


1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Alpine Edition

Photo – Mecum

This Lamborghini is one of a few special edition Diablos that were built for the American market. The Diablo was produced from 1990 through 2001 and two such special editions were the Monterey Edition and the Momo Edition. The other was this, the Alpine Edition.

Based on the Diablo VT, the Alpine Edition is powered by a 523 horsepower, 5.7-liter V-12 and features all-wheel drive. It had nothing to do with skiing and instead was built to sort of commemorate the Lamborghini connection with Alpine stereos. For the most part, it looks like any other VT, but I guess you can say it’s a limited edition example. Only 12 were built. You can see more about this one here.

Update: Sold $253,000.


2017 Ferrari F12tdf

Photo – Mecum

And here is a special edition Ferrari. The F12berlinetta was Ferrari’s front-engine V-12 GT that they built between 2012 and 2017. As has been the case recently, they’ve gone and built a ridiculous track-focused version of the car and that’s what this F12tdf is. The TDF, which stands for “Tour de France” and references a historic road race and earlier Ferraris, was built in 2016 and 2017 only.

Power comes from a 769 horsepower, 6.3-liter V-12. This one is grey, which is unusual and looks really nice. Apparently, this particular car carries over $100k in options, which isn’t too big of a deal because these F12tdfs have been bringing insane money lately. Only 799 were produced, making it quite pedestrian compared to the other cars features here, and it’s almost as quick as a LaFerrari around Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit. And it’s that quick at a not-insignificant price discount. Does that make it a bargain? Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $1,000,000.


2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP650-4 Roadster

Photo – Mecum

Here’s another limited edition Lambo. The Murcielago was Lamborghini’s big V-12 car, the successor to the Diablo and the predecessor to the Aventador, that was built between 2002 and 2010. The LP 640 models were sort of the “second generation” of the car and there was an “LP 640 Roadster” built between 2006 and 2010.

But in 2009 (and for 2010 too) a special LP650-4 Roadster was offered. It’s got a 6.5-liter V-12 good for 641 horsepower, 10 more than the “normal” roadster. Top speed is 210 mph – quite quick for a drop top. Only 50 were built and every one of them is grey with orange highlights. This one sports only 179 miles, so it’s essentially brand new. You can read more here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $300,000.

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Three Coachbuilt Classics from Bonhams

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 24, 2018


1948 Talbot-Lago T26 Record Sport Coupe de Ville by Saoutchik

Photo – Bonhams

The T26 Record was a post-war model from French firm Talbot-Lago. The car was launched in 1946 and built through 1953. Along the way, there were steel-bodied two and four-door cars sold by the factory. But there were numerous coachbuilt one-offs built as well. Like the car you see here.

Power is from a 4.5-liter straight-six that produced 190 horsepower. The body is by Saoutchik and is a two-door, four-seat Coupe de Ville. The roof over the rear passengers’ seat is fixed, but the roof over the front seats pops off (and is stored in the rear section). It’s like a 1940s French Targa.

The current owner acquired the car in 2013 in original condition. A full restoration was commissioned in 2014, the result of which you see here. This was the only such car built by Saoutchik and it is presented in its original colors. It should bring between $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $962,000.


1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Sports Roadster by Mayfair

Photo – Bonhams

The 540K was the highlight of pre-war Mercedes-Benz engineering and style. Factory-bodied cars were beautiful, but sometimes an outside firm could take it just one notch up, like this 540K Sports Roadster from the Mayfair Carriage Company of London.

They took a 540K and among other things, added those rear fender skirts that are sliced to pieces with louvers. It’s rakish and almost looks like a hot rod someone would’ve designed in the last 15 years.

Power comes from a 178 horsepower (with supercharger engaged) 5.4-liter supercharged straight-eight. This car made its way from the U.K. to Canada in 1955 where it was subsequently damaged in a fire. Restored over a period of 20 years, it eventually found its way to the Imperial Palace collection in the 1990s, remaining there until 2002. The current owner acquired it in 2007 and this rival to the factory Special Roadsters can be yours for between $3,500,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $3,277,500.


1946 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Van Leersum

Photo – Bonhams

This is a classic French design. Swoopy and full of curves, it’s reminiscent of many of the best French coachbuilt classics.

The 135M was part of Delahaye’s 1935-1954 135 line of cars. Introduced in ’36, it was available until the end of 135 production in 1954. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six good for 113 horsepower. A Dutch car from new, the body was also applied in the Netherlands by Van Leersum of Hilversum, one of the last cars they bodied.

In addition to the Netherlands, this car was known to have been kept by various owners in France and Belgium. Restored and painted to highlight its curves, this car is coming from a large European collection and can be yours for between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Not sold.

Plymouth Asimmetrica

1961 Plymouth Asimmetrica Roadster by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

While based on one of their chassis, this is no hum-drum Plymouth Valiant. This car, dubbed “Asimmetrica” for its asymmetrical design, was one of the last projects kicked off between Chrysler and Ghia during Virgil Exner‘s design reign at Chrysler. Or, at least that’s the thought. Some people say this was a Ghia thing all around.

Built as kind of a successor to the Plymouth XNR Concept, this was supposed to be a “more realistic” car that could actually be built in limited numbers and sold to the general public. Yes, this was the restrained version. The plan was to build a run of 25 of these, but it’s thought that only two were ever made.

Power comes from a NASCAR-spec 2.8-liter Hyper-Pak slant-six making 101 horsepower. Displayed at the 1961 Turin Motor Show and, later, the Geneva Show, this example was purchased off the Geneva stand by novelist Georges Simenon. Acquired and restored by the Blackhawk Collection in 1989, the current owner purchased the car in 2000. A wild example of unrestrained early 60s design, it should bring decent money in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $335,000.

American-bodied Isotta Fraschini

1927 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A S Roadster by Fleetwood

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Isotta Fraschini dates to 1900, when it was founded by Cesare Isotta and the three Fraschini brothers: Vincenzo, Antonio, and Oreste. Cars were available from the outset, with production wrapping up about the time WWII came around (though five units were produced after the war).

The legendary and most well-regarded models in the company’s history were from the Tipo 8 line. The Tipo 8A was the second-generation model, available from 1924 through 1931. It’s powered by a 7.4-liter straight-eight and horsepower depended on which car you bought. This is a “Sport” model, so it rides on a shortened wheelbase.

NYC-based Fleetwood bodied two similar Tipo 8As in period. This one was custom built for legendary silent film star Rudolph Valentino but, unfortunately, he died before the car was delivered. The current owners bought the car in 2001 and had RM do a thorough, award-winning restoration, as the car has been shown successfully on multiple occasions since. It’ll be a big dollar car when it crosses the block in Monterey. Click here for more info and here for more from RM.

Update: Not sold.

1910 National Semi-Racing Roadster

1910 National Model 50 Series S Semi-Racing Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 3, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

National is a brand closely linked with racing, specifically the Indianapolis 500. National was founded by L.S. Dow and Philip Goetz to produce electric cars. They eventually switched to gasoline-powered cars, a new direction pushed for by eventual company president Arthur C. Newby, who would go on to co-found the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

National won a lot of races prior to 1910 and even won the 1912 Indy 500. This is a 1910 Model 50 and it’s powered by a massive 8.1-liter straight-four rated at 50 horsepower. The 50 horsepower four was first introduced in 1907 and 1910 would be the car’s final year. It was National’s mid-level model and was sold mainly as a seven-passenger touring car.

This car is a two-passenger racing car. It’s unclear if this is the original style, but likely not as the history of this car isn’t really known prior to the 1990s when it was restored to as you see here. It’s been on museum duty for 15 years but has seen some limited use in tours and rallies. It’s truly an awesome piece and if you’ve ever seen one of these old National race cars in person, you’d remember it. They’re quite impressive. This one should bring between $125,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $147,840.

Scripps-Booth Type C

1917 Scripps-Booth Type C Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Bicester, U.K. | April 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

If you drive a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile and think “man, GM really abandoned the car I drive” well, spare a thought for Scripps-Booth, one of the first marques that General Motors phased out.

Founded in Detroit in 1913 by James Scripps Booth (of the wealthy publishing family), Scripps-Booth was absorbed by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in 1917 after the company switched to using Chevy engines and away from the Sterling engine that proved problematic in this, the Model C. The Model C was introduced in 1915 and for 1916 (when this particular car was probably built) used a 1.9-liter straight-four making 20 horsepower.

But that Sterling engine proved very unreliable and saddled the Scripps-Booth with some unsavory nicknames like “Scraps-Bolts” and “Slips-Loose.” This car was sold new in Colorado and now resides in the U.K. It has known ownership history from new and was restored in Indiana before crossing the Atlantic. GM shuttered Scripps-Booth after the 1922 model year, making it an early casualty of their empire. Not many are left and this one should bring between $26,500-$30,500. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Not sold.

1923 Léon Bollée

1923 Léon Bollée Type M Roadster

Offered by Leclere MDV | Avignon, France | March 25, 2018

Photo – Leclere MDV

The Bollée name is a very important one in the history of French automobiles. Amédée Bollée built some of the earliest steam cars beginning in 1873. Léon, his son, began building gasoline-powered cars in 1893. His Voiturettes are some of the best pre-1900 vehicles built.

And those are what people usually think of when they hear the name Bollée. But his company actually lived on for a few more decades (Léon died in 1913). In fact, in 1924, the company was purchased by Morris Motors of the U.K. as a way for Morris to break into the French market. It went just okay and production ended in 1928 and the French company closed in 1931.

This four-cylinder Type M is a four-door, five-passenger Roadster. If the entire car was restored (the interior definitely has been) it was done long ago, as the paint is showing its age. But where are you going to find another one? In the last decade, give or take, this is the first post-WWI Léon Bollée car that I can recall seeing (actually, it’s the first post-1900 Léon Bollée car that I can recall seeing). It should bring between $30,750-$37,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Tesla Roadster

2010 Tesla Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | March 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

There is no more polarizing automaker right now than Tesla. While their current products and leadership seem to divide people into the groups of Skeptics, Fanboys, or complete indifference, I think we can all agree that the original Tesla, the Roadster, is still a pretty cool car.

The Roadster was produced between 2008 and 2012 and was based on the rolling chassis of a Lotus Elise (much like the Hennessey Venom GT). Instead of fitting it with a small four-cylinder engine, Telsa used their own electric motor which offered a maximum horsepower of 248. The Sport model, which was released in 2009, made 288 horsepower. The base model could hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and topped out at 125 mph.

Only about 2,450 of these were built – and so far there is only one of them floating around in space. This is a well-enjoyed model, showing 41,235 miles. It comes with two different tops and charging cables. If electric cars continue become more and more widespread and adopted, then this car will stand as sort of the first of the modern electric road cars as it more or less launched Tesla, the company leading the electric car charge.

When new, this car cost a little over $100,000 and it probably hasn’t depreciated all that much (if it hasn’t appreciated by this point) due to the draw Tesla cars have right now. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $55,000.