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.

Thomas Flyer Roadster

1912 Thomas Flyer Model MC 6-40 Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a number of Thomas Flyer motorcars over the years but all of them have been massive touring cars. What we have here is a sporty – but still quite large – two-seat roadster. Thomas Flyer touring cars are famous because of their win in the 1908 New York to Paris race.

Thomas built automobiles between 1903 and 1918. Their sweet spot was right around 1906 through 1912, and I would consider this a “later example” of the marque as their offerings really tapered off after 1912. The Model MC 6-40 was offered in 1912 only and it was the smaller of the two models Thomas sold that year. It’s powered by a 7.2-liter straight-six making 64 horsepower.

The two-passenger roadster (or runabout) was the entry-level Thomas Flyer for 1912. It cost $4,000 when new and should bring between $175,000-$225,000 at auction. The first time it was shown after the restoration was complete was in 2015. It hasn’t been used much since then and is ready for the new owner to use and show. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $196,000.

Arnolt-Bristol

1954 Arnolt-Bristol Bolide Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Stanley Arnolt was a Chicagoan who decided in the 1950s that he wanted to import some cars from Europe. The first was called the Arnolt-MG and it was an Italian-bodied car based on an MG. After this followed brief flings with Aston Martin and Bentley before he arrived at Bristol Cars in England.

The body for the Arnolt-Bristol was designed by Bertone and the chassis and engine were supplied by Bristol. The cars were then shipped to Indiana for any final finishing needed before being sold. The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. Three models were offered: the stripper Competition, the mid-range Bolide racer with a folding windscreen and the better-appointed Deluxe road car.

This race car was kept by Arnolt and raced by the factory at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring where it finished 29th (4th in class) with 49-year-old racing legend René Dreyfus (and co-driver Robert Grier) behind the wheel. It was sold to a privateer in 1963 who kept the car active in the racing scene in Canada. It’s since been restored and looks very nice. Only 142 of these were built and only 85 are known to exist. These are really cool American-European hybrid race cars and their prices has been pretty strong for years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $401,000.

Healey Westland

1948 Healey Westland 2.4-Litre Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Donald Healey set up the Donald Healey Motor Company in 1945 and a year later he introduced his first road car, this, the Westland Roadster. At the same time he also built a sedan called the Elliott and there was a special, coachbuilt hardtop sedan version of the Westland called the Duncan.

The chassis were built in-house, but the engines were all 2.4-liter Riley straight-fours and in this instance, it made 104 horsepower. There’s a lot going on with the styling of the body, but it’s a nice British roadster on par style-wise with Sunbeams, Rileys and the like of the era.

This car was discovered in storage in L.A. and was restored in Australia. The current owner acquired the car in 2010 and had it repainted and freshened throughout. The Westland was a rare car – rarer than the later Silverstone – with just 64 examples built. It should bring between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $218,400.

Ford Model K

1907 Ford Model K Roadster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 19, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Before Henry Ford conquered the world with basic, affordable transportation, he spent the early years in his company just trying to keep it going (after two failed attempts). In 1904, he introduced the Model B which was Ford’s “upscale” model (because it had brass and wood trim and a decent engine). In 1906, it was replaced by the Model K, which was positioned at the top of the automobile market.

Ford didn’t really want to build this car, but his investors did. Featuring on the first  commercially available six-cylinder engines, the Model K is powered by a 6.6-liter straight-six that makes 40 horsepower. Priced at $2,500, it was the most expensive Ford product to date. Different body styles were offered and it was available through 1908. In 1907, the Model K was the best-selling six-cylinder car in the world, with nearly 500 sold.

Ford offered three other models in 1907: the Model N, Model R, and Model S. Come 1909, they would be selling only one model: the Model T. About 1,000 Model Ks were built in total and only 10 Roadsters are known to exist. This one has been only owned by two different families in the past 110 years. It was restored – nearly half a century ago. It’s a really cool, rare Ford from the pre-T era. In this barn-find condition, it should bring between $175,000-$275,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Arizona lineup.

Update: Sold $252,000.

Sabra Sport

1962 Sabra Sport Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Sabra was Israel’s first and only sports car. Built in limited numbers by Autocars Co. Ltd of Haifa, the Sabra Sport was built alongside a few Autocars-branded models that were a little more ordinary-looking. The design of the Sabra was accomplished by Autocars purchasing the rights to the Ashley kit car.

The body is fibgerlass and it was built by Reliant, who actually ended up building the first 122 cars in England. They themselves built a version of the Sabra as the “Sabre” under their own marque. This is one of those “Israel-by-way-of-Tamworth, England” cars. It was delivered new to a Sabra dealer in the U.S.

The engine here is a 1.7-liter Ford straight-four making 61 horsepower. You could buy these in Coupe form as well. Only 379 were built between 1961 and 1968, including both the drop-top and hard-top models. Autocars Ltd actually lasted into the 1980s.

This car was never sold by that Florida dealer and was instead put in storage. It was discovered in 2000 with just 40 miles on it (!). It Completely restored thereafter, it has covered just 650 miles since new. It’s incredible. This example should bring between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $40,700.

DB AR1

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB7 went on sale in 1994 with a straight-six engine. The V-12 arrived in 1999. By 2003, when the variant you see above was introduced, the DB7 was pretty long-in-the-tooth. Before this, there was a DB7 Zagato Coupe built from 2002 and 2003 that helped spice up the range. This is essentially the roadster version of that car.

And it’s a true roadster – there is no top. And I guess, technically, it’s not even a DB7 at all, since that “7” doesn’t appear in the car’s name. “AR1” stands for “American Roadster 1” and just 99 examples were produced. This is #23.

The DB AR1 is powered by a slightly tweaked version of the DB7 Vantage’s 6.0-liter V-12 that, in this car, makes 435 horsepower. All that power helped set a record of sorts – this is the world’s fastest true roadster, with a top speed of 186 mph.

The first owner of this car was American. Then it made it’s way to it’s third owner in Luxembourg by way of its second owner in Switzerland. It’s a 2,000 mile car and a gorgeous one at that. Aston and Zagato go hand in hand and this car is drivable proof. It is expected to sell for between $300,000-$420,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.