MGC Roadster

1968 MG C Roadster

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 7-10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The MGC was a short-lived relative of the long-running MGB, the latter of which went on sale in 1962 and was produced through 1980. The B lost its chrome bumpers in 1975 and gained big rubber units, which made the earlier cars seem a lot prettier. This 1968 C is pretty much indistinguishable from the chrome-bumper MGB, with the exception of a subtle hood bulge.

Why the bulge? Well, the C was powered by a 145-horsepower, 2.9-liter inline-six. That’s two cylinders and 50 horsepower more than the B. The MGC was only produced between 1967 and 1969. It’s just a blip on the map of MGB production.

The car was supposed to be a replacement for the Austin-Healey 3000 (but it really wasn’t), and the heavier six-cylinder engine threw off the car’s handling. It was not a success, and only about 4,500 roadster variants ended up being built. This one was restored 30 years ago and is now expected to bring between $28,000-$31,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

XK140 SE

1957 Jaguar XK140 SE Roadster

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Jaguar’s XK140 replaced their XK120 in 1954. It would be produced for three years and cover multiple body styles and a few sub-models, including the Special Equipment (SE) model, which was sold as the “MC” in the United States. The range was supplanted by the XK150 in 1957.

One body style was the Roadster, as shown here with a disappearing soft top. XK140s could also be had as fixed-head and drophead coupes, the latter saw the soft top pile up behind the seats when stowed. All XK140s were powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six, and in SE spec with a C-Type cylinder head, power was upped from 190 to 210 horsepower.

This restored example was a U.S.-spec car originally and has returned to the U.K. So I guess that makes it an SE by way of an MC. It should sell for between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Woods Dual Power

1917 Woods Dual Power Type 44 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | October 30, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

I’m not a huge fan of featuring project cars (this one is described as 80% complete), but the car itself is interesting – and rare – enough that I had to. The Woods Motor Vehicle Company was founded in Chicago in 1899. They produced electric vehicles through 1916, though they did sell gas-powered cars under the Woods Electric brand for a few years.

In 1917, the company rebranded as Woods Dual Power, a new marque that would last only through 1918. The new cars had an inline-four gas engine rated at 14 horsepower, in addition to an electric motor. Below 15 mph, the car drove on electricity (though the gas engine was still idling). After it hit 15, the gas motor would take over, pushing the car up to 35 mph. It was essentially a very early hybrid.

Only 1,900 examples were produced, and only four are known to survive. Three are in museums, and this example was restored in the 1980s. It was later present in a private German collection when a fire swept through and a beam landed on the Woods, crushing it. The current owner straightened the chassis, sourced a replacement gas engine, and rebuilt the electrics to roughly mimic the original running procedure. It now carries a roadster body and still needs some additional touches to be complete. In this state, it should sell for between $41,000-$45,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Little Four

1912 Little Four Roadster

Offered by The Vault | Online | October 1-14, 2020

Photo – The Vault

The Little Motor Car Company was founded by William Little and Billy Durant after Durant was forced out of GM. He went out and bought the Flint Wagon Works and set up Little and another marque, Mason. The company launched in 1911, and in 1912 Durant set up Republic Motors as Little’s corporate parent.

Republic also controlled the newly-formed Chevrolet, and some early Chevys were just re-badged Littles. Eventually, the Little plant starting building Chevrolets, which were more or less identical. Because the Chevrolet name was more marketable, Little was shut down by the end of 1913.

This four-cylinder roadster was built in 1912 and made 30 horsepower. It wears an older restoration, and it’s one of about 3,500 Littles produced. It is selling at no reserve. More info is available here, and more from this sale can be viewed here.

Datsun 2000 Roadster

1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster

Offered by Mecum | Las Vegas, Nevada | November 12-14, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Datsun Fairlady (or Sports) was a series of sports cars that preceded the “Z” line of cars that remains in production today. The series began in 1959 with the ultra-rare Sports 1000 and continued in rarefied form until the 1965 launch of the 1600 Roadster. This was when they started appearing in the United States.

In 1967, the 1600 was replaced with the 2000 Roadster, which was the pinnacle of this line of cars. It would eventually be dropped in favor of the 240Z in 1970. Power is from a 2.0-liter U20 inline-four generating 133 horsepower.

These are great little cars, and affordable too. I chose this one because I feel this is how they are supposed to look: with color-matched steel wheels wearing polished hubcaps. The tan soft top doesn’t hurt either. I feel like this one was transported here from a Yokohama back road from 50 years ago. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Zenos E10

2016 Zenos E10 2.3 R Roadster

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Online | July 31-August 1, 2020

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Zenos Cars was founded in 2012 by Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards in Norfolk in the United Kingdom. They announced their first car, the E10, in 2013, and it was a lightweight mid-engine sports car. Production started in 2015, but the following year the company had some financial problems and everything stopped by 2017.

There was a base E10, the turbocharged S model, and the even-more-powerful R model. This is an example of the latter, and it is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter Ford EcoBoost inline-four that was rated at 350 horsepower. That engine went into a car that weighed about 1,600 pounds dry. That combo was good for a sprint to 60 mph in about three seconds, and it topped out around 150 mph.

Silverstone is offered two Zenos cars at this sale: this car and a base roadster. Neither car has ever been registered, and they are essentially brand new. Due to the company’s financial problems, I sort of want to think that these were two leftovers or demonstrators that are being liquidated. But that’s just conjecture. What is cool is that Zenos built over 100 examples of the E10, making it a legitimate production sports car. Here’s your chance to get one of the last new examples. It will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $26,506.

XK150 S Roadster

1960 Jaguar XK150 S 3.8 Roadster

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The XK150, which was produced from 1957 through 1961, was the final iteration of Jaguar’s first post-war sports car, the XK120. The XK120 of 1948 featured a 3.4-liter straight-six designed by William Heynes, and that engine remained in various production vehicles through 1992 (!).

The XK150, like the cars before it, was offered in three body-style configurations: coupe, drophead coupe, or roadster. It could also be had in base, SE, or S form. The S and SE cars were either powered by a 3.4-liter inline-six or a larger 3.8-liter inline-six. This car has the latter, which was rated at 265 horsepower with triple SU carburetors – the most of any XK120/140/150 variant.

This roadster, or OTS (open two-seater) in Jaguar parlance, is finished in cream over red and was restored in 1998. This is best of all of the early XKs, and it’s now offered by private sale. Click here for more info.

Allard J2

1952 Allard J2 Roadster

For Sale by Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Sydney Allard got his start building trials specials – little open-wheel-style cars made for romping through the English countryside. This was before WWII. After the war, he set up a proper motor company to manufacture sports cars.

The J1 was built between 1946 and 1947 and was quickly followed by the J2, which was a two-seat aluminum-bodied roadster with inboard rear brakes, a coil-sprung front suspension, and a big American V8. Engines from different manufacturers were used, and this car has a 5.4-liter Cadillac V8. This combo made for quite the performer. J2s raced at Le Mans. One of their drivers happened to be Zora Arkus-Duntov.

Only 90 were produced between 1950 and 1952. This particular car was the final example produced before Allard moved on to the J2X. It was driven in a few SCCA events by an aspiring young racer named Carroll Shelby who would go on to do other things. This car has been restored and is now offered by Mecum. Click here for more info.

Elcar 8-91 Roadster

1928 Elcar Model 8-91 Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | May 1-2, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Elcar was a descendant of Pratt-Elkhart and went on sale in 1916. It was built in Elkhart, Indiana, where this collection is being sold out of. The brand actually continued on through 1930, making them both a victim of the stock market crash and one of a fairly limited number of companies that actually lasted as long as they did. Remember, most of the brands that outlived Elcar are household names today.

In 1928, Elcar offered four models, with the 8-91 being the cream of the crop. It’s powered by a 115 horsepower Lycoming straight-eight. The Roadster was the least expensive variant of the 8-91, priced at $1,995 when new.

This car actually reminds me of the 1930 Willys-Knight Great Six, a six-cylinder roadster that played in a similar pricing bracket as the car you see here. This Elcar is selling at no reserve, and you can check out more about it here. See more from RM here.

Update: Sold $95,200.

Centenario Roadster

2017 Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4 Roadster

Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 6, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

Lamborghini launched the Centenario at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show to celebrate company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s 100th birthday. It’s based on the Aventador SV and shares that car’s carbon-fiber monocoque, although it uses more extreme aerodynamics. It’s also the first Lambo with rear-wheel steering.

The engine is also shared. It’s a 759 horsepower, 6.5-liter V12, which is more output than in the SV. The car will hit 60 in 2.8 seconds and tops out at 217 mph. This car is finished in a really nice two-tone blue with a lot of carbon fiber exterior accents.

Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were built. This roadster is expected to bring between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.