Ginetta G12

1965 Ginetta G12

Offered by Russo & Steele | Las Vegas, Nevada | September 26-28, 2013

1965 Ginetta G12

Ginetta has never sold cars in the U.S. They’re a British specialty that has been around since 1958 – and they’re still going strong making some really cool race cars. Most of their history has been split between road and race cars.

The G12 was a race-only car that debuted in 1965. It features a mid-engined layout and this one uses a Lotus-Ford 1.6-liter straight-four making 180 horsepower. This car was imported into the U.S. in 2001 as a rolling chassis. The engine has been added since.

The U.K. has a long history of lightweight cars that are very sporty on the track. My made-up comparison to this car is “picture a MG TC with the exhaust burble of a GT40.” That might be a tad bit extreme, but you may (or may not) get what I’m trying to say. These are just more hardcore than most British sports/road cars. And that’s probably because it’s a race car.

Only about 50 G12s were built. This car could bring in the $45,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Russo & Steele’s auction lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Final Highlights from Monterey 2013

Two auctions left to cover. First, Gooding’s Pebble Beach sale put up some big numbers. Frankly, I’m really bored with million dollar Ferraris. And Mercedes Gullwings don’t do anything for me. Instead of listing the 30 (yes, that’s right) cars that hit the million dollar mark, I’ll just show what’s interesting. I will, however, show you the top sale, which was this 1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta for $9,460,000.

1957 Ferrari 250 GT 14-Louver Berlinetta

The next two highest selling cars were pretty interesting. First, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante went for $8,745,000.

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

And then this. This result actually made me shout an expletive when I saw it. It’s a 1997 McLaren F1. A year or two ago, one sold for $2 million, which was way more than any other F1 before it. I remember 10+ years ago when these things were at exotic car dealerships around the country with a price tag of $800,000. This one sold for an astounding $8,470,000. This is a big deal. These cars will never be attainable ever again for mere millionaires. They have proven to be exquisitely collectible.

1997 McLaren F1

Feature cars! The Hispano-Suiza J12 was withdrawn from the sale. A previously featured and early Duesenberg Model J brought $2,365,000. The Ferrari F40 LM brought $2,090,000. Two other Ferraris failed to reach their reserves: the Ferrari FXX and the Ferrari 400 Superamerica. Cool cars? How about this ex-Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello Grand Prix-winning 2002 Ferrari F2002? It sold for $2,255,000.

2002 Ferrari F2002

I really like this pre-Jaguar 1932 SS1 Coupe for $154,000.

1932 SS1 Coupe

Other feature cars sold: the Gurney-Weslake AAR Eagle brought $3,740,000. The Voisin C25 sold for $1,925,000. Gooding & Company, like RM Auctions, also sold a Ferrari N.A.R.T. Spider. This one happened to be a 365 GTB though, and “only” brought $720,000.

This huge 1914 Packard 1-38 Five-Passenger Phaeton was one of my favorite cars of the entire sale. It sold for a healthy $467,500.

1914 Packard 1-38 Five Passenger Phaeton

This ex-Harrah Collection 1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon was the first car cut from my “to be featured” list when time ran out. It sold for $374,500 – almost $100,000 more than the top end of its pre-sale estimate.

1915 Cretors Model C Popcorn Wagon

This 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione was one of the stars of the show. It was hammered away for $4,840,000. It’s the only one like it left.

1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione

And finally, I thought this 1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe by Freestone & Webb looked pretty sporty. But the price was a little too-sporting for my wallet: $2,860,000.

1929 Bentley Speed Six Grafton Coupe

Check out full results here.

And last but not least, Russo & Steele’s Monterey sale. Our featured Bizzarrini Prototype sold for $77,000. The top sale was this 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Stabilimenti Farina for $1,050,500.

1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Berlinetta by Satbilimenti Farina

Interesting cars were topped off by this 1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup. It sold for $110,000. Check out full results here.

1935 REO Speed-Wagon Model 6AP Pickup

1971 Bizzarrini Prototype

1971 Bizzarrini 128 Sport Barchetta

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2013

1971 Bizzarrini 128 Sport Barchetta

Ever seen this car before? Me neither. Giotto Bizzarrini was active in automotive design and engineering back in the day. Specifically, he got his start at Alfa Romeo in the mid-1950s. He wasn’t there long before he jumped ship to Ferrari (you can thank him for the 250 GTO). In the early-1960s, he worked for Iso Rivolta.

In 1964, he left Iso and founded his own company, Bizzarrini S.p.A. He wanted to build race cars and as an aside to that, he built precious few road cars. This lasted until 1969. Strangely, however, once his company shut down, Bizzarrini continued to churn out cars – and still does today – mostly one-off prototypes. In the early-1970s, he built a pair “single-seat competition barchettas” – and this is the prototype (the other is a race car).

Though titled as a 1971, the car was built in 1972 and shown at the 1972 Turin Motor Show. The engine is a 1.3-liter straight-four from Fiat. It makes 130 horsepower and can power the car up to 140 mph.

The race car variant is in the Italian National Car Museum in Turin – making this 128 the only one in private hands. And it can be yours. No pre-sale estimate is available. Click here for more info and here for more from Russo & Steele in Monterey.

Update: Sold $77,000.

Update: Sold, Bonhams Retromobile 2019, $110,907.

Tojeiro Barchetta

1952 Tojeiro Barchetta

Offered by Russo & Steele | Newport Beach, California | June 20-21, 201

1952 Tojeiro Barchetta

John Tojeiro was born in Portugal but relocated to England when he was very young. That move was important because after World War II, in which John served, England would become a hotbed for race car building.

Tojeiro made his name as a chassis engineer and once he was established, customers were contacting him and commissioning him to build one-off race cars. Tojeiro’s first car was powered by a Bristol engine and the body was supposed to look like a Ferrari 166 MM. Shortly after that, Tojeiro built two or three MG powered cars with a similar body. This is one of those cars.

The engine is a 1.5-liter MG straight-four, power output unknown – but likely less than 125. One of the three cars like this was driven to the AC headquarters and AC repainted it blue, put one of their engines in it, and displayed it as the AC Ace. So this car (which was not used by AC) is sort of the prototypical AC Ace. Which is pretty cool if you think about it (and if you refuse to think about it, I’ll tell you: the Ace became the Cobra. Shelby Cobras can directly trace their origin to this car).

This car was raced on road courses by privateers until the end of the 1954 season. It finished every race. It has bounced between owners quite a bit since then (and even a fair amount in the past five years). This car sold in Monterey last year at a different auction for a touch more than $150,000 and it sold twice in 2011 for about the same price (a little less). We’ll see what it brings this time around as the market continues to improve. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Russo & Steele’s Newport Beach lineup.

Update: Sold $159,500.

Update: Not sold, RM Sotheby’s, Arizona 2021.

Russo & Steele/Mecum January Highlights

I’m combining two auction highlights into one post: Russo & Steele’s Scottsdale sale as well as Mecum’s Kissimmee Sale. First up, Russo & Steele. Their top sale was a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. It sold for $727,100.

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Our featured car from this sale, the Yenko Camaro, failed to sell. On the interesting sales front: this 2008 Mulsanne GT, a sports car based on the Factory Five GTM, sold for $57,750.

2008 Mulsanne GT Coupe

This 1937 Hudson Terraplane Pickup is a rare sight. It brought $41,800.

1937 Hudson Terraplane Pickup

Actually, my favorite car from this sale (and the one I would have rather featured) was this 1957 DKW 3=6 (which is not the most intelligent-looking name for a car I’ve ever seen) sold for a downright affordable $8,800. Russo & Steele had a lot of cool cars for really good prices. I’m keeping that in the back of my mind for their next sale. Check out full results here.

1957 DKW 3=6

On to Mecum’s Kissimmee sale. The top sale there was a white and blue 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Roadster for $735,000.

1966 Shelby Cobra 427

The interesting sales were topped by this 1952 Dodge Model B-3 Power Wagon. Trucks really don’t come any meaner. It sold for $57,000.

1952 Dodge Model B-3 Power Wagon

From the pretty iconic and iconically pretty department: this 1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible sold for $37,500.

1951 Studebaker Commander Convertible

And finally, one of my favorite cars of all time – the Chrysler B-Body convertible. In this case, a wonderful 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible with a 440 Six Pack underhood. It sold for $195,000. Our featured Fuel-Injected Corvette Big Brake Tanker sold for $242,000. Complete results can be found here.

1970 Plymouth Road Runner Convertible

’69 Yenko Camaro

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko

Offered by Russo & Steele | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16-20, 2013

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Yenko Coupe

First of all, Merry Christmas. Secondly, I picked a green car today on purpose, of course. Russo & Steele are the muscle car experts in Scottsdale – they really dig up some rare pieces of American brawn-on-wheels every year. And this Yenko Camaro is no exception.

Yenko Chevrolet in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania began selling hotted-up Corvairs in 1965 under the supervision of Don Yenko, the son of the dealership’s founder. When the Camaro came out in 1967, it was a natural fit for what Yenko was doing. Chevrolet’s policy with the Camaro limited engine size to 6.6-liters. Yenko would order Camaros and swap their engine for those out of a 7.0-liter (427) Corvette. This car does not have the original engine, but a period correct 435 horsepower, 7.0-liter V8 out of a Corvette.

By 1969, Chevrolet was more open to engagement in the Pony Car Wars. Using a special order (COPO), the big engines were installed on the assembly line. Yenko added other bits, like putting his name on the fenders. This is an actual 1969 Yenko Camaro – only 201 were built and only 30 with the automatic transmission featured in this car. Painted in Fathom Green, it was subject to a no-expense spared restoration and should probably sell for between $250,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here to check out more from Russo & Steele.

Update: Did not sell.

Russo & Steele Monterey Highlights 2012

Russo & Steele’s Monterey Auction is the last of the Pebble Beach sales we’ve got to cover. Neither of our feature cars, the Fiat Stanguellini Bertone and the Apollo 5000 GT, sold. Top sale went to a 1965 Shelby Cobra 289 for $781,000.

1965 Shelby Cobra 289

Other interesting sales included a pair of Devins. First, the 1959 Devin SS for $165,000.

1959 Devin SS

Then there was this 1957 Devin Triumph S “Gary Special” for $66,000.

Another special-like car was this 1962 Allard L-390 CC hillclimb car. The car is one of a few dozen Allard hillclimb specials built and it was actually built in 1948. But it was not registered until 1962, which is why it is listed as such. The competition car (CC) bodywork was added around this time. It sold for $66,000.

1962 Allard L-390 CC

Two other cars of note are both rather recent. First is this 1999 Acura NSX Alex Zanardi Edition. If you want to own an NSX, this is the one to get because it is named after one of the greatest, most entertaining open-wheel drivers you will ever have had the chance to seeing. Only 50 were ever built and it sold for $64,900.

1999 Acura NSX Alex Zanardi Edition

And finally this 2010 Superlite SLC Coupe is hand-built one-off supercar with a 632 horsepower LS7. It sold for $105,600.

For complete results, click here.




Fiat 1100 by Bertone/Stanguellini

1954 Fiat Stanguellini Bertone Berlinetta

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 18, 2012

This car was supposed to be a Fiat 1100. But luckily it escaped that fate, being shipped to Bertone, the famous Italian design house and coachbuilder, before Fiat’s standard body could be installed. It was handed over to designer Franco Scaglione who was also working on the series of BAT concept cars for Alfa Romeo. There are some slight similarities, the one-off look being part of it.

The goal was to put these cars into limited production, but only a handful (four) were built. And if having the direct built-by-Bertone connection wasn’t enough, this car was then mechanically modified by Stanguellini, builder of tiny Italian race cars from the end of WWII through the mid-1960s. Horsepower from the 1.1-liter straight-four was bumped to 70.

This particular car was first shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show, where it was bought off the stand by Briggs Cunningham, for his wife – who didn’t like it. The next owner kept the car for 51 years, parting with it in 2006. It then underwent a four-year concours-quality restoration. It was shown at Pebble Beach in 2010, and at the Concorso Italiano in 2011, where it won Best in Show.

Since then, the car has spent time on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum, while also being “for sale” at Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. The asking price is/was $295,000 – and it has been there since at least November of 2011. So what will it bring at auction? Well, you’ve seen the asking price, it just depends what reserve the consignor has placed on the car and how realistic they think that $295,000 really is. Then again, it’s been for sale for almost nine months and hasn’t sold at that price, so we’ll see. For more information, click here. And for the rest of the Russo & Steele Monterey lineup, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Apollo 5000 GT

1964 Apollo 5000 GT

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 16-18, 2012

Well the countdown to Monterey is underway and the level of incredible cars is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Russo & Steele were the first to get their complete catalog online, so they get featured first. And no, this is not a Ferrari 330, as much as it may resemble one.

It’s an Apollo – a short-lived American marque based in Oakland, California – not necessarily the first place that comes to mind when you see a stylish Italian automobile. But Italian it was – at least partly. Intermeccanica of Italy produced the bodies, which were mounted to fresh Buick Skylark chassis. The engine was also from Buick, a 4.9-liter V8 making 225 horsepower. There was also an Apollo 3500 GT model with a 3.5-liter Buick V8.

This car has neither engine. It’s a 5000 GT, but the engine under hood is actually a Chevy 327. When Apollo had the cars shipped from Italy with the bodies, they were to go to Oakland for installation of their powertrain. They did – except for seven of them which were sold before they ever made it back to the Oakland shop. The owners took it upon themselves to finish the cars. Five got Chevy engines, one got a Ford… and one disappeared. The man who bought this car took it to a shed in San Francisco to complete it, but then disappeared. The car was rediscovered in 2004, when the current owner acquired it and completed it using the Chevy engine.

Only 66 Apollo coupes were built and this is #43. This is a rare car and it is quite nice, having only covered about 3,600 miles. The fact that it was completed only a few years ago makes it essentially a new Apollo. No estimate is available, but a 5000 GT in similar condition was recently for sale with an asking price of about $125,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Russo & Steele in Monterey, click here.

Update: Not sold.

Russo & Steele Scottsdale Highlights

This is our final Scottsdale auction recap. It’s been weeks since it happened but we finally caught up. Russo & Steele sold a wide variety of cars from the affordable (the lowest seller was a 1978 Triumph Spitfire 1500 Convertible that sold for $4,675) to the super expensive – the top sale was this 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster that sold for $687,500. It was one of only 216 built during three years of production.

The second top seller was a 1965 Shelby GT350 that was once used as a race car at the Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving. It has a fresh restoration and looks amazing. I could easily imagine myself tearing around a racetrack in this car. But for $467,500, it’s a little out of my range.

Our two featured cars from this auction, a 1973 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible and a Ketchup & Mustard-liveried ’96 RT/10 Viper both sold. The Cougar brought $17,600 and the Viper $39,050.

Other highlights included a pair of rare Mopar’s: this 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona:

sold for $118,800. And a blue 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda sold for $115,500. And finally, probably the rarest car in this sale was this 1984 Knudsen Baroque Cabriolet – 1 of 2 such cars built. Knudsen built 11 total Baroques in Nebraska in the late 70s and early 80s in a variety of bodystyles. When new, these cars cost between $80,000 and $225,000. According to the consignor, this car cost $86,000 in 1984. It sold for only $12,100.

For complete results, click here.