Berkeley SE492

1959 Berkeley SE492 “Twosome”

Offered by Auctions America, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, March 16-18, 2012

If you’re into numerology, watch out. Berkeley produced about 666 SE492s between 1957 and 1959. Just hope that yours doesn’t have the final serial number. For the first year of production, the car was called the Sports SE492. When the Berkeley Foursome (four-seater) was introduced in 1958, the name “Sports” was replaced by “Twosome” to differentiate between the two models. This is a “Twosome.”

All Berkeleys were front-wheel drive and this one used a 30 horsepower 492cc three-cylinder two-stroke engine. Berkeley cars were small and 30 horsepower is adequate. They are referred to as “microcars” but the term “microcar” has a somewhat negative connotation in my mind – and I’m probably not alone. I think small and cramped with smart-car-esque proportions. But these open-top cars are just little British sports cars. Sure, it might be smaller than an MG (which are fairly small). How many microcars could hit 80 mph? Plus, these had competition success, with Lorenzo Bandini finishing first in class with one in the 12 Hours of Monza.

A car eerily similar to this (I think it’s the same one) was recently for sale for $15,000. And that sounds like a reasonable price for this car. To read the complete description, click here and here for more on Auctions America’s current sale.

Update: Sold $16,500.