356 Carrera Zagato Speedster

1960 Porsche 356 Carrera Zagato Speedster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Philosophical question: if a car is produced by a manufacturer and later sent to a coachbuilder, what is the maximum length of time between those two acts to where the car is still considered what it is claimed to be? Most would agree that an Aston Martin DB4 tweaked by Bertone a few months after it was built is just fine.

But what if you take a 1960 Porsche 356B and send it to Zagato in 2016 for a new body? Is it still a coachbuilt 1960 356? That’s what we have here. There was a Porsche-Zagato Speedster raced in 1958 and 1959. That car no longer exists. In the 2010s, an American collector persuaded Zagato to recreate that Speedster. There was also a coupe version produced. In all 18 were built, and only one of the Speedsters ended up with a 1.6-liter Carrera flat-four.

This car, which is a real, Zagato-bodied 356 (though it just so happened it was bodied in 2016), carries an estimate of $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $472,500.

Vanquish Zagato Speedster

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster Storck Vintage

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 10, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

That’s quite the name, isn’t it? There’s a lot to break down. First, the second-generation Vanquish was produced by Aston Martin by 2012 through 2018. It was replaced by the DBS Superleggera. Then there’s the Zagato aspect. Aston teamed with Zagato for a limited run of Vanquish models at the end of the the gen 2’s run.

There was a one-off Zagato Roadster during the first-generation’s run, but it never reached production. This time around, there were four Zagato models to choose from: coupe, convertible, shooting brake, and Speedster. Only 99 were built of each, except the Speedster. This is #25 of just 28 Speedsters.

Power is from a 5.9-liter V12 rated at 595 horsepower, which was good enough for a sprint to 60 of 3.5 seconds on the way to a 201-mph top end.

Storck Bicycle is a German bicycle company headed by designer Markus Storck. He collaborated with Aston for a limited run of seven Vanquish coupes, and he was brought back for three special Speedsters, including this, the Vintage. It added some special paint and trim touches – and a bit chunk of change to the final price when new.

The car is essentially brand new and is expected to sell for between $1,000,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Detroiter Speedster

1912 Detroiter Type A Speedster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 10-11, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Detroiter was a Detroit, Michigan-based car company that operated from 1912 through 1917. It was founded by Claude Briggs and John Boyle as the Briggs-Detroiter Company. They produced conventional touring cars and coupes using purchased engines.

But they also built some really sharp-looking Speedsters beginning in 1914. This car was actually ordered as a bare chassis by a Detroiter dealer in Indiana. He wanted a Mercer but could get a deal on a Detroiter, so he built a Mercer-style body on the chassis he bought. It ended up being the prototype for later Detroiter Kangaroo Speedsters.

Power is from a 25 horsepower Turner & Moore inline-four cylinder engine. This, the oldest-known Detroiter in existence, will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $28,050.

Paige Daytona Speedster

1921 Paige 6-66 Daytona Speedster

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

Photo – Bonhams

The Paige-Detroit went on sale in 1909 and after about a year and a half, company namesake Fred O. Paige was forced out of the company and the new owners dropped the “Detroit” suffix and began selling cars called the Paige. Without Mr. Paige, Paige would produce cars from 1911 through 1927 when they were acquired by Graham Brothers to form Graham-Paige.

The Model 6-66 was apparently named by someone who had no sense of superstition and assumed the public wouldn’t mind either. It was produced in 1921 and 1922 as Paige’s largest offering. Power is from a 5.4-liter straight-six capable of 70 horsepower.

The Daytona Speedster was so named because Paige took a Model 6-66 to Daytona Beach and clocked it at 102 mph, making this one of the first 100 mph cars available to the American public (though they only promised 80 mph in road-going models). My records show that it was only available in 1922, but weird things happen to the titles of old cars all the time.

This example was restored in the U.K. in 2013 and it is one of 18 known Daytona Speedsters in existence, which actually goes to show how fondly these were remembered back in the day. As one of America’s first true sports cars, and freshly rebuilt, this car should bring between $100,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $84,000.

Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

1912 Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Oldsmobile became part of General Motors in 1908 and cars like this make it seem like the General left Olds alone for the first few years of their relationship. This does not look like a General Motors product, yet by 1913, Oldsmobile cars started to look more or less like everything else on the market. This Defender Speedster looks expensive and high-quality, not something from a company consumed with mass production.

The 1912 Oldsmobile lineup consisted of this, the “small” Defender powered by a 35 horsepower, 4.4-liter straight-four, the mid-sized four-cylinder Autocrat, and the gargantuan Limited six. Open-top Defenders went for $3,000 in 1912, a pretty sizeable amount in its day.

This well-restored car has been in the same collection for the last 12 years. It’s a rare model (only available in 1912 and 1913) seldom seen today. A great example of what Oldsmobile once stood for, it should bring decent money in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg J-563

1935 Duesenberg Model SSJ Speedster by LaGrande

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 24, 2018

Photo – Gooding & Company

So why is this among the most exciting cars to come to market in at least a decade? Well, for one it’s among the greatest American motorcars ever made and two, it’s been in a long-term collection that you’d think would never consider parting with it. More on that in a minute.

The SSJ was the ultimate evolution of the already-amazing Duesenberg Model J. The Model J transformed into the awesome “SJ” when a supercharger was added. That bumped power from 265 to 320. Duesenberg developed two “SSJ” cars – they were also supercharged and had an exceptionally short wheelbase. Power from the supercharged 6.9-liter straight-eight was bumped to 400 horsepower for the SSJ, thanks to parts borrowed from the “Mormon Meteor” land speed record car.

400 horsepower. In a road car. In 1935. How are you still even reading this? Shouldn’t your mind have been blown by this point? It would be another 20+ years before American roads saw that kind of stock horsepower again.

These two SSJs – this one, the first one, was sold new to Gary Cooper. The other one, in 1936, went to Clark Gable. The legend is that they would race these two Depression-era supercars in the Hollywood Hills. The fact that these two huge stars both got one of these cars is no coincidence. Duesenberg thought the publicity might help save the company. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

Cooper only kept the car a short time (and reportedly had it repainted shortly after taking possession) and it had seven other owners before Briggs Cunningham acquired the car in 1949. In 1986, Cunningham’s collection was sold to Miles Collier and it’s been a highlight of that collection since, spending quite a while on display in the Revs Institute in Naples, Florida. It was at this extensively-financed museum that I pretty much assumed this car would stay forever. But it isn’t. Anyone can buy it – well anyone with “In Excess of $10,000,000+,” as Gooding & Company hilariously estimates it will bring.

At any rate, it’s an iconic piece of American motoring history that might get locked away again for a long time. It’s exciting to see something like this come out from behind the doors of a big collection. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding & Company.

Update: Sold $22,000,000.

Mercury Speedster

1927 Mercury Speedster

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Uncasville, Connecticut | June 20-23, 2018

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Kit cars took off after WWII. When fiberglass arrived, the boom really started. The idea was simple. Step 1: buy a cheap, common car. Step 2: buy a body from a different manufacturer. Step 3: combine the best of both cars to create a new vehicle, usually called whatever the body manufacturer has decided it should be called.

And that’s pretty much what we have here, except this occurred after WWI. And what was the easiest common car to get a hold of at that time? Well, a Model T of course. The Mercury Speedster was a racy body produced by the Louisville, Kentucky-based Mercury Body Corporation between 1920 and 1926 (they also built some for Chevrolet chassis).

The sold about 1,600 of these and less than 100 are known to still exist. This one is presumably based on a ’27 T, meaning it’s powered by a 20 horsepower, 2.9-liter straight-four. Note, this “Mercury” is not in any way associated with any of the other Mercury factory-built cars (especially the ones actually built by Ford beginning in 1939).

It’s an interesting car with an interesting history and it will sell at No Reserve at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast sale in a few weeks. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,200.

Porsche 959 Speedster

1987 Porsche 959 Speedster

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 8, 2017

Photo – Coys

If we consider the dawn of the supercar to begin sometime between the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 288 GTO, then the Porsche 959 is among the more grandfatherly supercars in existence. What most older supercars have in common is this: they were all hard tops. Drop top supercars didn’t gain much traction until the Lamborghini Diablo Roadster and the Ferrari F50.

The 959 was the most technologically advanced motorcar available for purchase when it debuted in 1986. It was the fastest car in the world too, topping out at 197 mph. It is powered by a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making 444 horsepower. With a complex all-wheel drive setup and active suspension, this car was years ahead of its time.

So we come back to the elephant in the room. What’s with the drop top? Porsche never built one… so what is this? Well, Porsche sold one of the 337 959s to racing driver Jürgen Lässig who, well, had a slight incident in this car while racing down the Autobahn. He sold what was left of it to Auto Becker, a German used car company. They meticulously rebuilt the car but decided, since it wasn’t original anymore anyway, to make it into a convertible. It’s pretty crazy and pretty cool. Sure, it’ll never be as valuable as a traditional 959, but it is rarer… and sunshinier. Yes, that’s now a word. A removable hardtop is included as well.

This wonderful piece of someone’s imagination is estimated to bring between $1,300,000-$1,600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.

Update: Sold, approximately $1,450,000.

Edsel Ford Speedster

1932 Ford Model 18 Edsel Ford Speedster

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 12, 2016

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The Ford Model A went out of production after 1931 and the ’32 Fords carried either the Model 18 or Model B moniker. The Model 18 was a 1932-only model that would give way to the Model 40 for 1933. This Model 18 carries a 3.6-liter V-8 making 85 horsepower.

Edsel Ford was Henry’s son and he ran FoMoCo until he died in 1943. While Henry was a penny-pincher, Edsel liked style and design (see: the Lincoln-Zephyr). Edsel opened Ford’s first styling department in 1935 and it was headed by Bob Gregorie. Gregorie, who used to work for Harley Earl and Brewster, first worked with Edsel a few years earlier when they co-designed a Speedster – this car.

It’s an aluminium-bodied boattail speedster that Edsel had modeled after European sports cars of the day. But it wasn’t racy enough, so he sold it and they built another one. This car was wrecked long ago and for a long time, thought lost. Someone in Connecticut had it for 50 years before they figured out what it was.

The current owner acquired it and restored it to how it looked when it was first built, matching the color to an original spot of paint found on some of the original body panels. Three custom Speedsters were built by Edsel and Gregorie. This was the first. The second is on display at the Ford property in Grosse Pointe and the third remains missing. This is the only one you’ll ever be able to buy. Good luck, the price should skyrocket quickly. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $770,000.

Five Cars from the 1920s

1927 Whippet Model 96 Sedan

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

General Motors wasn’t the only American automaker expanding its brands in the 1920s. Willys-Overland was one of a number of other companies to get in on the game. Whippet was a marque introduced for the 1926 model year. It didn’t last long – it was gone after 1930 – but it did have an impact: boosting Willys into third place in the U.S.

The Model 96 was the smaller option in the Whippet line and was produced in every model year. It is powered by a 30 horsepower 2.2-liter straight-four. This car looks great. It was formerly part of the AACA Museum and has been used in Boardwalk Empire – which is something we’ve talked about in other posts. Interesting. Click here for more.

Update: Sold $23,100.


1929 Roosevelt Eight Sedan by Hayes

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Roosevelt is a very rare American automobile make. It was built by Marmon and introduced in 1929 – great timing. It was a smaller version of the larger Marmons and was the first American car with a straight-eight engine to be offered for sale for less than $1,000. The engine is actually a 3.3-liter straight-eight, making 77 horsepower.

The Eight (Roosevelt’s only model) was offered in four body styles with the Sedan being the cheapest and least fanciful. Named for Teddy Roosevelt, this rare survivor would be an awesome addition to a collection. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $10,450.


1924 Oldsmobile Model 30-B Turtle Deck Speedster by Schutte

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The 1924 Oldsmobile line consisted of a single model offered in a range of factory body styles and apparently coachbuilt ones as well. The engine is a 2.8-liter straight-six making 42 horsepower.

The story here is this awesome bod. The aluminium radiator looks like it was milled out of a solid block of metal. The solid metal wheels are amazing. The car only has a single door – on the passenger side of the car. It is full of special one-off features with an unusual body style from a smaller coachbuilder. It is thought that less than 10 Schutte-bodied cars exist and we’ve now featured two of them. Check out more on RM’s site.

Update: Sold $71,500.


1923 Wills Sainte Claire B-68 Gray Goose Special

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Like Roosevelt, Wills Sainte Claire was another short-lived American automobile manufacturer of respectable quality. This car, which is all-original, is a 68-series car. The variations of the Model 68 were built from 1922 through 1926. 1927 was the only year it wasn’t built.

It was Wills Sainte Claire’s largest model, using a 4.4-liter V-8 making 67 horsepower. In 1924, the Model 68 was offered in a bunch of body styles with the most interesting being the Gray Goose Special seen here (which is essentially a four-door touring car). This one has known ownership history from new and has only been owned by two different families in that time. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $57,200.


1920 Rauch & Lang Electric Model C-45 Dual Drive Coach

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Hershey, Pennsylvania | October 8-9, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

Rauch & Lang traces its history back to Jacob Rauch, a blacksmith in Cleveland who opened his shop in 1853. Charles Lang was a real estate man from nearby and moved the company toward wagon building. In 1905, they turned to electric cars and became one of America’s premier electric car builders in the early days of automobiles.

They built cars through 1928 and this 1920 Model C-45 is how most of them looked. The company moved from Cleveland to Massachusetts in 1920 (after having merged with Baker Electric in 1917) and this car was the final example produced in Cleveland. It uses a three horsepower electric motor. This car can be driven from the left hand seat either in the front or rear, which is pretty interesting. Try that in your Buick. Click here to see more about this car.

Update: Sold $66,000.