Offered by Manor Park Classics | Manor Park, U.K. | May 14, 2022
You just don’t see second-generation Probes in this condition anymore. At least not in the U.S., where most have rusted away or just died. Recall that the Probe was supposed to be the next Mustang, but people flipped out over the front-wheel-drive Mazda-sourced layout, so Ford just launched it as its own thing for 1989.
But the revamped 1993 model is where it really hit its stride. This is pure 90s, from the jellybean shape to the tri-spoke wheels. They were cool cars, but generally unloved by “serious car people.” That didn’t stop them from being nearly everywhere circa 1998. This one has the bigger 2.0-liter V6 rated at 164 horsepower new.
Trim-wise, it isn’t that impressive, as Americans could get a GT package with graphics and a wing. But this right-hand-drive version is probably up there in rarity. The number of Probes still registered in the U.K.? Just 121. It has an estimate of $4,500-$5,500, which seems like a bargain just for the nostalgia factor. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 19, 2022
The fourth-generation Firebird went on sale for 1993. It was kind of pointy, but if you look at the rear 3/4 of the car, you could tell the genes were there for some muscle. That became more apparent when a mid-cycle refresh came in 1998. The car got a new hood with two big intakes/nostrils up front. It was bulky and looked like a muscle car.
So, of course, on top of the Firebird there was the Trans Am, which usually specified some kind of upgraded suspension, an appearance package, and a power bump. But what do you do when that’s not enough? You go to SLP Engineering and have them turn it into a Firehawk, naturally.
These were sold through Pontiac dealerships. This example is from the final year of Firebird production, making it a final-year example of the top dog… or top bird Firebird/Trans Am you could get. The 5.7-liter V8 was tweaked to put out 335 horsepower. It’s got all of the goodies too: T-tops, a limited-slip differential, a composite hood, a cat-back exhaust, and more. This car has just 57 miles, which will make it among the most expensive Firehawks out there. Click here for more info.
Alfa Romeo may not be crushing it in the U.S. right now, but this car is proof that they can still put out some stunners, despite what the sales numbers show. To be fair, in this car’s case, they only built 500 of them, with orders for almost triple that.
Styling was done in-house at Alfa and was supposed to invoke the company’s classic models of the 1950s and ’60s. It’s a success. It took its name from the 1930s 8C, Alfa’s pre-war masterpiece. The car is powered by a Ferrari/Maserati 4.7-liter V8 that was rated at 444 horsepower. And it sounds amazing.
Colors were all over the board, but most appear to have been finished in red. It still looks good in black, and pretty much any other color you could lather it in. Bidding is already at $175,000. Click here for more info.
Ferrari’s F430 was the follow up to the relatively similar looking 360 Modena. Like the Modena before it, the F430 got some spicy special editions as production neared its end. The F430 was offered from 2005 through 2009, and it got a Spider variant during that span. Later came the 430 Scuderia, which was a track-focused special that for some reason lost the “F” prefix.
Then, for the final model year, Ferrari dropped the entire “F430” name for the model’s last hurrah: the limited-edition Scuderia Spider 16M, the latter part of the name in celebration of Ferrari’s 16th Formula One constructor’s title, which they won in 2008. Think of it sort of like a drop-top version of the track-ready Scuderia.
The 4.3-liter V8 puts out 503 horsepower, and the car got a lot of lightness added by way of carbon-fiber bits. It could do some serious hairdo rearranging at its 196-mph top end. Only 499 were built, and they look better in black than red. You can read more about this one here.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13-21, 2022
The most famous Rufs are based on the Porsche 930, 3.2 Carrera, and the 993. Porsche’s 997 generation of the 911 was produced for the 2005 through 2013 model years, and that’s what this Rt 12 R is based on. Okay, not based on. Don’t forget Rufs are most certainly their own thing and not at all tweaked Porsches. No way.
The Rt 12 was offered between 2004 and 2012. Trim levels included “S” and “R”, with the R being more hardcore. In this spec, the twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter flat-six makes 720 horsepower and 693 lb-ft of torque. The bodywork is also revised and includes a GT3-esque rear wing and attractive center-lock Ruf wheels. Top speed was about 230 mph.
All 997 Turbos had all-wheel drive. The Rt 12 offered rear-wheel drive as an option. Just 13 R-spec Rt 12s were built, and this is one of only two in RWD configuration. This is a pretty crazy yet completely unassuming supercar. Read more about it here.
The LaFerrari was one of the three major hybrid hypercars to debut in the 2010s along with the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. But each of those cars underwent heavy development cycles, and not all of them were pretty.
What we have here is a “LaFerrari Prototype” that is actually a heavily modified Ferrari 458 Italia that gave its dignity to be fitted with a bunch of test equipment and essentially operate as a development mule. This car was from the first phase of testing and was codenamed the M6.
It has a version of the LaFerrari’s hybrid powertrain stuffed in its modified chassis. It sounds as if it has a version of the Enzo’s 6.0-liter V12 paired with an F1-derived KERS system and an electric motor. Ferrari sold this car, complete with its factory camouflage, to a private owner in 2016.
It’s a runner, but can’t be registered (or apparently used on public race tracks). But for someone with a private Ferrari collection (or a private race track), the purchase could make sense. No pre-sale estimate is available, and you can read more here.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | March 26, 2022
The original Dodge Viper was launched for the 1992 model year and it was a pretty wild revelation. The original RT/10 was produced through 1995 and included a lack of exterior door handles, traction control, and ABS. There were no airbags or A/C either, and the windows zipped in. It was not a luxury automobile. But it was fast. And loud.
The engine is an 8.0-liter V10 rated at 400 horsepower, which propelled the car to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on the way to a 165-mph top end. These early Vipers had leg-scalding side pipes, three-spoke wheels, and an overwhelming sense of 90s-ness. They remain excellent.
But what make this one especially interesting is that it is not a “Dodge.” It’s a Chrysler Viper, which is the brand the cars were sold under for the European market. Brag about that at your next Viper Club meeting or show. Read more about this one here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Aston Martin was not at a particularly strong point in their history when they introduced the Virage at the tail end of the 1980s. This was just as their former models, which dated back to the 60s, were being phased out. The Virage would spawn the Vantage and eventually be sold as the “V8” alongside early DB7s.
The factory body style was a four-seat coupe. But this “Shooting Brake” (c’mon, it’s got four doors. You can call it a wagon) is one of seven such cars built by the factory for customers who demanded a little more versatility out of their sports cars. There were a few three-door versions as well, but only seven apparently got the four-door treatment. This was the first, and it’s shorter in length than the later ones.
Another thing Aston did was offer the upcoming Vantage’s 6.3-liter V8 as an option. And this car has it. It was rated at 456 horsepower when new. The whole build is a pretty much custom deal, with a 12″ stretch and a manual gearbox conversion. Certainly not something you see everyday, this Virage wagon is expected to bring between $170,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | January 2022
Kudzu was a racing car constructor that debuted in the late 1980s. The cars competed in IMSA’s GTP prototype category and came from racer Jim Downing’s shop. One of Downing’s race engineers was John Evans, who decided to try his hand at building prototype-style road cars.
Evans Automobiles was founded in the late 1980s as well, and this, I think, was their first offering. It’s based on a Kudzu chassis (or so the name implies) and features composite bodywork. Power is from a mid-mounted 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 rated at 300 horsepower. Top speed was said to be 178 mph. This was a homegrown American supercar in 1989.
Only two road-going Series I GTs were built, with this being the first, and it remaining with Evans until 2006. There were a few other Evans cars built in the 1990s as well. This is neat stuff – find another one. And it’s no kit car either. It was a ground-up build meant to be a limited-run car. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Opac S.r.l. is an Italian company whose services include building prototypes for other manufacturers, hardtop and soft top design and production, and various marine services. In the 1990s, they decided to build a prototype for their own brand.
The Piu is based on a contemporary Peugeot 106 XSi, which means it is powered by an inline-four displacing either 1.4 or 1.6 liters (that catalog description does not state if it’s based on a 1.4 or 1.6 XSi). Power outputs were 94 horsepower for the smaller motor and 102 for the larger.
The interior is a wild combination of yellow and blue suede… on everything. The car debuted at the 1996 Turin Motor Show and features a VHS player and a 10-disc CD changer. The current owner purchased the car, at the time in a state of disuse, directly from Opac. It now carries a pre-sale estimate of $45,000-$68,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.