Roadmaster Sport Phaeton

1939 Buick Roadmaster Model 80C Sport Phaeton

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Roadmaster is one of the most storied models in Buick’s history. First introduced in 1936 as their second-most luxurious offering, the Roadmaster would be produced uninterrupted (except for the war) through 1958. It made a brief reappearance from 1991 through 1996. The second generation of the model was sold in 1938 and 1939 only.

This model of Roadmaster was powered by a 141 horsepower, 5.2-liter Fireball straight-eight. Five body styles were offered and the 80C was the four-door, six-passenger Sport Phaeton. When new, it cost $1,938 – the most expensive Roadmaster. Unfortunately, Buick only found three customers for this car. That’s right, only three were built, making this far and away the rarest 1939 Buick. One of those three was used as the pace car for the 1939 Indianapolis 500.

It’s unclear if this was that car, likely not, as it was restored in the 1990s to look like the car that did lead the field to the green flag in May of 1939. It’s a large and striking automobile that has been shown here and there. This is your chance to acquire one of the rarest Buicks ever built. It should cost between $65,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Florida.

Update: Sold $56,100.

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.

G.A.R. Cyclecar

1925 G.A.R. Type B1 Bi-place Sport

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 5, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

Cyclecars G.A.R. was founded in 1922 to take advantage of a light car craze that took off during the 1920s. Not everyone could afford a Bugatti, but Mr. Gardahaut thought he could do well selling a Bugatti look-a-like that featured a small engine without much weight. Cyclecars qualified for certain tax breaks in France as well, bolstering their popularity.

This car is powered by a Chapuis-Dornier 1.0-liter straight-four. The cars had to weigh under 350kg to qualify for cyclecar status, which this one does. This sporty car was a fairly typical example of such a car.

The current owner acquired this car from a museum a decade ago and the restoration is older, so it will require a re-commissioning before use. The body is wood wrapped in canvas, which really helps on the weight front. If you notice, there aren’t any headlights, so night trips are not recommended! G.A.R. disappeared after 1931 and this rarity should bring between $17,750-$23,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s lineup.

Update: Sold $20,750.

Gardner 140

1930 Gardner 140 Sport Roadster

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo – Gooding & Company

Russell Gardner founded the Gardner Motor Company in St. Louis in 1920. The company did pretty well right off the bat, moving nearly 4,000 cars in 1921 and more than double that the year after. They began with four-cylinder cars and expanded to six and eight-cylinder engines later on.

In 1930 the company offered three models: the Model 136, Model 140, and Model 150. The mid-level Model 140 is powered by a 90 horsepower, 4.1-liter Lycoming straight-eight. It was an evolution of 1929’s Model 125 (not to be confused with the 120).

The 140 could be had in eight body styles, with this Sport Roadster among the least expensive options, priced at $1,645 when new. Restored in 2016, this ex-Harrah car is one of about 1,100 Gardners produced in 1930 (the company folded after 1931). It’s also one of two Model 140 Sport Roadsters known to exist. It should sell for between $200,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $132,000.

Turcat-Mery Sport

1927 Turcat-Mery VG Sport

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | June 18, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Turcat-Mery, the French automaker famous for winning the inaugural Monte Carlo Rally, was based in Marseille and founded by Leon Turcat and Simon Mery in 1899. The story is that Mery’s brother bought a Panhard et Levassor in 1895 but Simon was not satisfied with it. So he grabbed his brother-in-law, Leon, and they decided to build something better.

The VG model was only built from 1926 through the end of the company, which was 1928. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four, horsepower unknown at time of writing. The body is very sporty, which probably has something to do with the marque’s use of racing to aid development. Even earlier, larger cars still carried some semblance of sportiness.

Always good-looking, but rarely seen (much less available for purchase), Turcat-Merys are sought after by collectors, probably more so in Europe than in North America. This car looks great and is expected to bring between $90,000-$115,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $120,423.

Abarth 1100 Ghia

1953 Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-19, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In 1949, Carlo Abarth jumped off of the sinking ship that was Cisitalia to start his own business… utilizing the leftovers of Cisitalia. It started with sports cars and today is a trim level of sporty Fiats. Abarth only built cars in limited numbers and the 1100 you see here is a one-off.

There was a car called the Abarth 205 and they took a chassis from that car and fitted Fiat’s new 1100 engine to it. The car was sent to Ghia for this incredible Jet Age body, and voila! Originally, Fiat’s 1.1-liter straight-four made about 35 horsepower. Abarth no doubt increased that figure.

This Ghia masterpiece has all the right little details, not to mention a brilliant blue interior that will blow you away because you just don’t expect the vividness it provides. Exhibited initially by Ghia at the 1953 Turin Salon, this car was later shown at the 1954 New York Auto Show by its first owner, who re-christened it the “Vaughn SS Wildcat,” with V-8 underhood.

The car was rediscovered in 1982 and the current owner had it restored in 2015, correct Fiat engine re-installed. It’s an awesome – and remarkably small – 1950s Italian design. You’ll be the only one with anything like it. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s in Monterey.

Update: Sold $891,000.

Gangloff-bodied Lorraine-Dietrich

1929 Lorraine-Dietrich Type B 3/6 Sport by Gangloff

Offered by Osenat | Obenheim, France | May 1, 2017

Photo – Osenat

Lorraine-Dietrich just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This automotive marque began in 1896, founded by their namesake, a railway locomotive manufacturer. Cars were available through 1935, manufactured at two different plants in France. At one point, a young Ettore Bugatti worked there, designing engines.

They built racing cars (they won Le Mans with this model) as well as luxurious tourers like the one you see here. The Type B 3/6 is powered by a 115 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-six.

This car was bought new in Geneva and bodied by Gangloff in Bern. It was restored in 1993 – after nearly 50 years of sitting. The current owner acquired it in 2011 and has used it extensively. It is one of 65 Sport models built but only 15 remain – with this one being the only Cabriolet. It should bring between $543,000-$760,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1928 Tracta

1928 Tracta D2 Sport

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

SA des Automobiles Tracta was a French car company founded by engineer Jean-Albert Grégoire in 1926. Tracta built some of the first successful front-wheel drive vehicles anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, business was never super profitable and Grégoire shuttered his company in 1934 to become a design consultant.

Interestingly, a front-wheel drive Tracta won its class at Le Mans in 1927 and continued to compete there through 1930. This car is powered by a 1.6-liter straight-four from SCAP. The body on this car looks really long, but it’s a two-door sports car and it is eligible for the Le Mans Classic.

This example was sold new in the U.K. – one of just a few ever sold there. It was restored (mostly, anyway – the interior looks original) in the 1980s while owned by a front-wheel drive specialist. It’s a driver and will be a talking point wherever it goes. Tractas were never built in large numbers and don’t change hands often. This one should bring between $64,000-$85,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ lineup.

Update: Sold $63,938.

Fiat Giannini 750 Sport

1950 Fiat Giannini 750 Sport by Lotti

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Giannini brothers opened a garage in 1885 and started servicing Itala cars in 1922. Shortly thereafter they got involved with racing which led them to a profitable business (that an offshoot of still exists today) wrenching on Fiats.

In the 1940s, the Giannini brothers were building some really solid engines. In fact, they set world speed records in a Fiat Topolino using their know-how. The car you see here was actually built by the Benedetti brothers of Florence and was bodied by Carrozzeria Lotti of the same town. The car was originally based around a Fiat 1100, but later the engine was swapped for a Giannini 750cc straight-four.

This car has period race history, including:

  • 1952 Mille Miglia – 125th (with Carlo Chiti and a co-driver named Cioni)

The current owner has had this car since the early 1990s. It’s certainly one of a kind and even its name had to be created in order to tell what it is. It’s been completely restored and is likely eligible for historic events. It should bring between $270,000-$320,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Alfa Freccia d’Oro

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Freccia d’Oro

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Milan, Italy | November 25-27, 2016

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s is liquidating a huge collection of cars in Italy this year. It was kind of a sudden announcement and the sale features over 800 lots. All of them have pre-sale estimates but very few of them have written lot descriptions. So any statements around the condition of this car are based on photos alone.

The Alfa Romeo 6C was built in a number of different series between 1927 and 1954. The 6C 2500 was built between 1938 and 1952 with the Freccia d’Oro (“Golden Arrow“) being the first model Alfa built after the war. It is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six making 90 horsepower, enough for a top speed of 96 mph. All were two-door sedans with a sloping rear end that were built in-house by Alfa Romeo.

It does not appear that this car has been restored as the interior is well worn. But the engine bay is very clean and the paint looks okay from a distance. Whether or not it runs we cannot say. Only 680 examples of this 6C were built between 1946 and 1951. It is expected that this one could bring between $70,000-$95,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this gigantic sale.

Update: Sold $167,776.