Virage Volante

1992 Aston Martin Virage Volante

Offered by Bonhams | Wormsley, U.K. | May 19, 2019

Photo – Bonhams

In 1989, Aston Martin was barely an automotive manufacturer. Their production had dwindled dramatically, and they debuted a new model that year: the Virage. And they managed to build just over 400 of those in 12 years.

The Virage Volante – Aston-speak for convertible – debuted in 1992. Featuring 2+2 seating, the car is powered by a 5.3-liter V8 making 330 horsepower. This variation of the convertible was only produced through 1996, and 233 of them were made. A longer-wheelbase V8 Volante supplanted the model and was produced in limited numbers through 2000.

This quite rare, 150-mph luxury droptop is from an exclusive era of Aston production and those classic lines. It can now be yours for between $91,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams’ all-Aston sale.

Update: Not sold.

Cerbera Speed Six

1999 TVR Cerbera 4.0L Speed Six

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 18, 2019

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

I will not hide the fact that the Cerbera is one of my favorite cars of the 90s. It is great looking and, as TVRs tend to be, completely bonkers, unnecessary, and irrational. And this one is purple!

The 4.0L Speed Six model was the “base model” of the Cerbera and is powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six making 350 horsepower. With that naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, it could hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and topped out at 170 mph. Not bad. Later models only got more powerful and faster.

This example received a replacement factory chassis in 2005 as well as a factory engine rebuild. Only about 1,500 Cerberas were produced between 1996 and 2003, with the six-cylinder model being the rarest. The craziest part about these cars is that, despite all of their power, performance, style, exotic-ness, and rarity… they are cheap. This one is expected to sell for between $19,500-$25,000. Just wait until you can start importing them into the US… Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

4C Artigianale

2018 Alfa Romeo 4C Mole Costruzione Artigianale 001

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Villa Erba, Italy | May 25, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

There are few design firms out there willing to take what some consider to be an attractive sports car and try and improve upon it. As to the name of this car, it is kind of a mess – as is the company that built it. Their website has quite a few different names on it. They call themselves Mole Automobiles, Umberto Palermo Design, and Mole Costruzione Arttigianale 001… which sounds more like the name of a model of car than a brand.

But sure enough, that moniker is given to a range of cars on their website. This design is a one-off based on a 40k-kilometer 2018 Alfa Romeo 4C coupe, which was actually the final year for the hardtop version of the car. It is still powered by the same turbocharged 1.8-liter inline-four mounted behind the driver, but the styling has been altered to give the car a much more aggressive look.

I like it. The interior has been upgraded too. It was shown at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show and now can head home to your garage. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Quantum Convertible

1987 Quantum 2+2 Convertible

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 15, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

Quantum Sports Cars was founded in 1987 by Mark and Harvey Wooldridge. Almost all of their cars have been based around different variations of the Ford Fiesta. This car, the 2+2 Convertible was introduced in 1993 and is based on the Fiesta Mk 2.

It is powered by a 96 horsepower, 1.6-liter inline-four and features fiberglass bodywork and a cloth soft top. The car has a somewhat Geo-like appearance, but maybe that’s because the wheels appear to be about 5″ in diameter. The tacked-on fender flares are doing it no favors either.

They built 431 of these, and this one was no kit – it was factory-assembled. The 1987 model year denotes the donor Fiesta, which, fun fact, is listed as “damaged/stolen” in the UK. It is being offered at no reserve. You can see more from Brightwells here.

Update: Sold $1,678.

Esprit V8

1999 Lotus Esprit V8

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29-30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This is the best Lotus. Okay, well it’s at least my favorite Lotus. And it’s in the best color, with the best wheels. The Esprit debuted in 1975 for the ’76 model year, and the above car is a Series 4 example – which was actually the fifth iteration of the model.

The S4 was built between 1993 and 2004, and damn if they aren’t just great-looking sports cars – especially in Yellow Pearl. In 1996, the company decided to stop screwing around with lousy four-cylinder engines and finally stuffed a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 in there. It was good for 350 horsepower. It could do 175 mph.

This 37,000-mile example carries a pre-sale estimate of $60,000-$70,000 – which seems steep – and it is one of 1,237 V8 models built. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $50,600.

February 2019 Auction Highlights

We’ll pick up where we left off last time, Scottsdale. This time it’s Russo & Steele, where this 2012 Lexus LFA blew everything else away, selling for $412,500. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Now we’re on to Retromobile in Paris, where RM Sotheby’s led it off with a huge number for this 1987 Ferrari F40 LM: $5,489,215.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Next, a couple of no-sales, which included the Ferrari SP30, the 2015 Morgan, the 1900 Panhard, the OSCA, and a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza. On the other hand, the Jordan 196 F1 car sold for $273,468. Click here for more results.

The second sale of the Retromobile week was held by Bonhams, and we featured a lot of cars from this event. On the extreme one end of the spectrum was the Red Bug buckboard we featured. It sold for $4,958. Now a quick rundown of no-sales from this auction: the Clement-Bayard, the beautiful Darracq, the 1911 Renault, the Bellanger, and a previously-featured Horch. The overall top sale was this 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A for $1,794,086.

Photo – Bonhams

Cars that did sell include the 1909 Sears for $22,181, the 1913 FN also for $22,181, the Berliet for $43,058, the Hanomag for $66,544, the 1912 Hupmobile for $18,267, and the Pilain for $32,619. A pair of previously-featured cars sold here too: the 1971 Bizzarrini 128 Prototype for $110,907 and aPaige-Detroit for $37,838. Final results can be found here.

The final sale from Retromobile was Artcurial’s – and it was a big one. The top sale here was the Alfa 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta we featured for $18,997,883, which is apparently about the going rate for those cars. Other big dollar cars included the Voisin C16 for $128,471, the Panhard X86 Dolomites for $108,186, and all three Serenissimas: the Agena brought $500,360, the Ghia GT $513,883, and the ex-Le Mans Spyder a whopping $4,786,229. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1948 Delahaye 135 M Cabriolet by Letourneur and Marchand that sold for $170,393.

Photo – Artcurial

Cars that failed to sell included the Voisin C11, the Mercedes 500K Cabriolet B, the Citroen Traction Avant Cabriolet, and the Talbot Barquette, while cars that did find new homes were the Voisin C3L for $60,885, the Dick Tricycle for $12,171, and the Rochet-Schneider for $35,160. More results can be found here.

Finally, we have Silverstone Auctions and their Race Retro Classic Car sale. The biggest money was the $381,813 paid for this 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Ginetta G4 we featured sold for $40,824, but the De Tomaso Longchamp Spider failed to find a new home on the block. You can see more results from this sale here.

XJS Monaco

1990 Jaguar XJS Monaco

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 6, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

The Jaguar XJ-S debuted in 1976. It was built in three series through 1996, and while that is only 20 years, it was light years in terms of car design based on what the common car looked like in the mid-1970s versus the mid-1990s. And the Jag evolved in its styling, but you can totally tell the first car was closely related to the last.

This car, however, is completely different. It looks from certain angles like a TVR Cerbera or an Aston Martin DB7 and has some hints of a modern version of those 7.0-liter Lister Jaguar monsters from the 1980s. What it actually is is a body kit from Paul Bailey Design and was, I think, built in some kind of conjunction with Jaguar.

Rumor has it that the Sultan of Brunei ordered the first one and ended up owning two. Only 11 were built between 1989 and 2001. This car is powered by a 3.6-liter straight-six that was originally rated at 221 horsepower. There were a few mechanical tweaks, but nothing major that should make it into the tire-shredding monster it certainly looks to be. I remember these from the 90s and think they’re pretty cool. This one should bring between $27,000-$30,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Not sold, Brightwells Leominster, May 2019.

De Tomaso Longchamp Spyder

1984 De Tomaso Longchamp GTS/E Spyder

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh Park, U.K. | February 23, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Longchamp is far from De Tomaso‘s most famous model, as it is neither a Pantera nor a Mangusta. And the convertible (or Spyder) variant is so rare that most people who have heard of the Longchamp might not even realize a drop-top was ever offered.

The Series II Longchamp went on sale in 1980, and the GTS variant debuted that year as well. It is set off from lesser cars with wheel arches and Pantera-like Campagnolo wheels. The top version, the GTS/E, went on sale in the mid-1980s and featured some styling changes (which are supposed to include round headlights, which this car does not have). Power is from a 5.8-liter Ford V8.

Only 409 examples of all types were built between 1972 and 1989, with the coupe/convertible breakdown being 395 to 14, respectively. Very few were built in the last few years, and only a few GTS models were also Spyders. In fact, of the 14 convertibles, only three are GTS/E models. This is one of them, and it should sell for between $115,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Morgan Aero SuperSports

2015 Morgan Aero SuperSports

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Morgans are weird cars. They’ve been pretty much producing the same models for more than half a century, so when they introduce something brand new, it’s kind of a big deal. In 2000, they introduced the Aero 8, a convertible that had kind of retro looks but actually looked pretty fresh compared to their other models.

In 2008, the AeroMax was introduced and it was the coupe version of the Aero 8 – and it had a boattail rear end which made it look even better. Then, in 2009, came the Aero SuperSports – the Targa version. It was produced through 2015.

Power is from a 4.8-liter BMW V8 making 362 horsepower. These are light cars, which makes them rocketships when you get on it. This car is essentially brand new and looks great in Lapis Blue. Easily my favorite Morgan, it should bring between $170,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Essen 2019, $99,853.

Ferrari SP30

2011 Ferrari SP30

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

About five years ago, Ferrari embarked on a new program called their “special projects division” where they build exclusive cars for wealthy clients. I guess everyone wants to feel special. And buying a “normal” Ferrari isn’t special enough. And I guess they didn’t want Jim Glickenhaus to have all the fun rebodying their cars.

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano was Ferrari’s front-engined V-12 grand tourer that they built between 2007 and 2012. There were a couple of factory hot-rodded versions, namely the 599 GTO, 599XX, the HGTE (which was more of an options package), and the SA Aperta.

The SP30 is a one-off model built exclusively for a wealthy Indian oil baron. It’s based on the 599 GTO and has revised bodywork. There is no information in the catalog listing, but because it is based on the 599 GTO, I guess we are to assume it is powered by a 661 horsepower, 6.0-liter V12.

These one-off Ferraris are likely to continue to increase in value. And this one will not come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.