Marlin Makaira

2002 Marlin Makaira

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | August 17, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

It might seem a little odd that we’d take a break from all of the crazy cars being offered in Monterey this year to feature this little roadster from England that most people would assume is a kit car. But we’re featuring it because it’s a one-of-one car with a lot of power. Marlin Sportscars was founded in 1979 by Paul Moorhouse and it still exists today.

For most of their history they’ve built cars that more or less resemble this, but the Makaira, which is a type of marlin fish, was built to be a little more powerful. The Marlin company website calls the Makaira an “audacious project” and maybe it was a little too ambitious: they stuffed a 4.6-liter TVR V-8 under the hood of this thing. Classic good looks, meet modern speed.

It was supposed to enter production but whoever was in charge of the company at that point in time died and this car’s destiny became that of a one-off. It’s got 4,800 miles on the odometer and is expected to bring between $27,000-$30,000. Click here for the rest of Brightwells’ lineup.

Update: Not sold.

McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 18, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

We’ll remind you that Bonhams holds the all-time Monterey Peninsula auction record (which is also the all-time auction record) for cars. This year they are giving it their all to bring in the most money on a single car – battling Gooding & Company who have a high-estimate-$16 million Porsche 917K. This car is the only other car (currently listed) that has a chance to beat that. Bonhams isn’t publicizing an estimate, but two years ago RM sold this F1 for over $13 million.

So what is it? It’s a McLaren F1 – the holy grail of supercars. The first car was delivered in 1992 – 25 years ago, which qualifies a ’92 for historic plates. The best part is this car still holds its own against every modern supercar, including McLaren’s own P1. And it does it with the basics. It’s simply the greatest.

Designed by Gordon Murray and Peter Stevens, the F1 was built by the newly-founded road car division of the McLaren Formula One Team. It’s a three seater – the driver is in the middle – and it has bufferfly doors. All modern supercars are either turbocharged, supercharged, or fitted with some crazy electric hybrid system to boost power. The F1 does it old school: it is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.1-liter BMW V-12 that makes 627 horsepower. For years after its introduction it was the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 240 mph. It remains the fastest naturally aspirated car in the world.

There were different versions of the F1, including LM, GTR, and racecars. In total, 106 cars were built, 64 of which were road cars. This 1995 model was the first to be imported into the U.S. The F1 wasn’t quite road legal in base form, so a company called Ameritech swapped out some parts to make it fully federalized for U.S. road use. Only seven such cars were converted.

This chassis (#044) is all-original and is still in the possession of its first owner. McLaren F1s do not change hands often and they have gone way up in value in the last 10 years (I remember when they were selling for $700,000 in the late 1990s). A price of $10+ million is not out of the question for one of the greatest road cars ever built. This is an opportunity to acquire one of the best F1s in existence. You can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $15,620,000.

Shelby Series II

2007 Shelby Series II Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 16-19, 2017

Photo – Mecum

Cars bearing Carroll Shelby’s name first appeared in 1962. It’s been more a less a steady stream of different cars since, from his long association with Ford, to his brief stint with Chrysler in the 80s. The thing almost all Shelby cars have in common is that they are hopped up versions of already existing vehicles, from the AC Ace to the Ford Mustang to the Dodge Omni.

But in 1998 Shelby American introduced a car called the Series 1. It was a clean-sheet design and the company built 249 of them in 1999, all fully road legal and ready to go. While the cars were being built, however, Shelby American was acquired by another company (they got everything, including the Series 1, except for the Cobra “continuation” business). When that company went bankrupt on an unrelated matter, Carroll Shelby bought the Series 1 rights back. He built a handful of additional Series 1 cars in 2005.

In 2006, Shelby found some new backers who wanted to put the Series 1 back into production. The car was slightly restyled and rechristened the Series II. Three Series II Prototypes were built, with this being the only one in black (they were largely based on some of the leftover Series 1 cars that Shelby built, as this car was actually constructed in 2005). It is powered by a supercharged 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V-8 making 550 horsepower. If it sounds weird that you’d built a raw American sports car powered by an engine from an Oldsmobile sedan, remember they used that V-8 in IndyCar, too. $225,000 was to be the going rate, but some federal emissions laws changed and the project was cancelled.

This pristine example has only 22 miles on it. Shelby cars are still super collectible, so if you want one of the newest – and rarest – look no further. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.

S/N # CSX5505

Update: Not sold, high bid of $400,000.

Ruf Yellowbird

1989 Ruf CTR Yellowbird

Offered by Artcurial | Monaco | July 2, 2017

Photo – Artcurial

The so-called “Yellowbird” is the car that put Ruf Automobile on the map. Built from 1987, the CTR (which stood for “Group C Turbo Ruf”) was not actually based on a Porsche Turbo, but instead the 911 Carrera 3.2 of 1987.

Ruf had their way with the stock motor and by the time they were done with it, it was a twin-turbocharged 3.4-liter flat-six that was seriously underrated at 469 horsepower (it was actually likely closer to 500 or more). It was a monster supercar in its day, having a higher top speed than just about anything, topping out at a whopping 213 mph, with 60 arriving in about 3.6 seconds. It outperformed everything from Ferrari and Lamborghini upon introduction and the only thing Porsche had on it was that the 959 was quicker to 60.

It’s a legendary machine that actually looks better than the 911 Turbos (930) that it sort of competed against. If you’re familiar with the Yellowbird, you’ll notice that this car doesn’t quite look right. And you’re correct. The original owner of this car ordered this CTR from Ruf and it looked like all of the other 28 Yellowbirds that Ruf built. The current owner acquired it in 1992 and wanted something that was more usable on the track.

By 1995 it had the appearance it has now, with a full roll cage, an RSR-type spoiler out back, slight exterior trim changes, and racing wheels and tires. But it is still a true, factory-built Ruf CTR – one of only 29 completed. Ruf later converted another 25 Porsche 911 Carreras to CTR specification, but those cars are still titled as Porsches (as Ruf is designated as a separate manufacturer).

This is the first one of these I can remember seeing for sale. They’re legendary, and rightfully so. This one is expected to bring between $560,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s Monaco lineup.

Update: Not sold.

Venturi 260 LM

1996 Venturi 260 LM

Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | June 10, 2017

Photo – Aguttes

Another Venturi! When this car was built, the company was based in France, but now they’re headquartered in Monaco. The 260 LM is part of the Coupe 260 series of cars and, as such, is closely related to this Transcup 260 we featured a few years ago.

The 260 LM was a special edition of the Coupe 260 and it is powered by a 2.8-liter, 260 horsepower turbocharged V-6. The design is full-on classic, restrained 1990s sports car. What distinguishes the 260 LM from regular 260s are special wheels, Recaro seats, special paint and some decals.

Only 32 or 33 examples of the 260 LM were built between 1994 and 1996 with this car being the last one. It’s a 17,000 mile machine that has recently had major service performed, so it’s ready to go. The body looks good, not weathered as some Venturi examples can look after 20+ years. This should bring between $56,000-$67,000. Click here for more info or more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Yummy Motors XCT-R

2009 Yummy Motors XCT-R

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Zurich, Switzerland | June 17, 2017

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

We’ll just go ahead and address it up front: “Yummy Motors” is one of the strangest names for a car company we’ve ever heard. They are – or more likely, were – a Swiss-based company and their website offers precious little information.

Their XCT-R is a Caterham-based sports car with a more enclosed passenger compartment. It’s a coupe with McLaren F1-style bat-wing doors. There’s a 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine under the long-looking hood that makes 200 horsepower. Caterhams are very sporty, well-driving cars so this one should be too.

It appears Yummy Motors only managed to produce one example, this one, and it is road-registered in Switzerland. No pre-sale estimate is available but this car will sell at auction, thus finally answering the question: what will someone pay for a car called a “Yummy?” Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Venturi Coupe 200

1988 Venturi Coupe 200

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 20, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Venturi cars are so cool! I hope you like them, because there were quite a different number of models in the early days and I plan to feature each one of them as they come up for sale around Europe. These cars went on sale in 1987 and they were originally called the MVS Venturi before being renamed the Venturi Coupe.

The auction catalog lists this one as an MVS Venturi but I can’t find anywhere that lists the year the name switched over. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter V-6 making 200 horsepower. The car was luxurious and sporty for its day.

The Coupe 200 was replaced after the 1990 model year. Only 194 were built – 104 of those were from 1988 alone. This was the most common of all Venturi automobiles, so that should say something about their rarity. This nearly 24,000 mile car should bring between $15,500-$19,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Historics’ May catalog.

Update: Sold $20,376.

Farbio GTS

2008 Farbio GTS400

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 13, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Arash Motor Company was founded by Arash and Ahmad Farboud in 1999. In 2003, they designed and built a car called the Farboud GTS. They only built three cars before they sold the rights to a company called Farbio. From 2007 through 2010 Farbio built the GTS under their own name in three different sub-models.

The base cars was the GTS260, followed by the GTS350, and at the top was this, the GTS400. It’s powered by a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 410 horsepower. It’s a mid-mounted junior supercar with supercar looks and sporty performance. It’ll hit 60 in 3.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175 mph.

This was the only GTS400 ever built by Farbio and they only built a handful of the other two models. In 2010 production stopped and Ginetta bought out Farbio. Ginetta built the car in 2011 as the F400 before slightly redesigning it and re-launching it in 2012 as the G60. This car should bring between $76,000-$89,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N #004.

Update: Not sold.

Sbarro 550 Maranello

2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello by Sbarro

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen | Toffen, Switzerland | April 29, 2017

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie Toffen

Introduced in 1996, the 550 Maranello was a huge step forward for Ferrari, as this was the replacement for the Testarossa-based F512 M. The 550 Maranello was replaced by the virtually identical 575M Maranello in 2002. It was a return to front-engined V-12 Ferraris.

But this is no ordinary 550. Sbarro, the Swiss car company that has done an array of things over the years, from building their own wacky cars to building replicas, was apparently trying to be to Ferrari what Ruf is to Porsche when they went to work here. Or something – I think these were designed for a wealthy client who wanted something special. The main difference here is that they slapped a racy body kit on it (which cost about €60,000 when new).

It’s still powered by the same 485 horsepower Ferrari 5.5-liter V-12 which means it’s still a 198 mph car. Sbarro built two of them, the other car was destroyed in an accident. It’s a nearly 60,000 mile car that has a rebuilt gearbox and has been fully serviced. If you want the rarest 550 variant (even if it’s aftermarket), here’s your car. It should bring between $95,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Cappuccino Turbo

1991 Suzuki Cappuccino Turbo

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 1, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Japanese Kei cars – small vehicles designed to take advantage of cheaper Japanese tax and insurance regulations – were never sold in the U.S. There were many different versions, but only a few were sports cars. Suzuki designed their Cappuccino to meet Kei car regulations and to be sporty.

These cars have tiny engines – this one is powered by a turbocharged 657cc straight-three that makes 67 horsepower. It won’t set any speed records, but it does rev to 8,500 rpm. And it has 50/50 weight distribution. These facts add up to one thing: it is probably a blast to drive.

Produced from 1991 through 1997, this was Suzuki’s foray into the sports car arena. Name another sporty Suzuki. This example was imported into the U.S. late last year and like all Cappuccinos can have its roof arranged as either a coupe, T-top, targa, or convertible. It is one of what has to be just a handful in North America, especially in the U.S., and should bring between $12,000-$15,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America in Ft. Lauderdale.

Update: Withdrawn.