675LT Spider

2016 McLaren 675LT Spider

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 12, 2019

Photo – Mecum

McLaren has built a lot of cars in the last five years, including a number of limited-edition specials. But most of them are still in production (or in some vague degree of production). The 675LT is not, however. It is done.

The 675LT was a special edition coupe built between 2015 and 2017. Based on the 650S, it received slightly elongated bodywork and styling tweaks, among other improvements. The Spider variant was available in 2016 and 2017 and shared the same 666 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8. Because of the folding hardtop, top speed is limited to just 203 mph.

Like the coupe, Only 500 examples of the Spider were built. This one is finished in vibrant Mantis Green and should bring between $275,000-$300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $250,000.

Tramontana GT

2008 Tramontana GT

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019

Photo – Mecum

This car is proof of two things. First, that it actually exists, as it certainly falls into the category of cars whose actual production seems dubious at best. But here it is! And second, it’s proof that marketing departments write Wikipedia pages (I know, I’ve been a part of a team doing it). Why? Well, the contradictory Wiki article for Tramontana says they built 12 of these per year. Mecum says this is one of eight built, which sounds much more accurate.

The Tramontana was built in Spain and debuted at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Production started in 2007, and this is a 2008 GT model. There were later R and XTR variants. Production has wrapped and they’ve moved on to another model altogether (supposedly).

When I first saw this I thought it was a kit car based on a 4-wheeler, probably powered by a turbo four or even an LS V8. But no, this incredibly ridiculous car featuring two seats – one behind the other – is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V12…! The styling is supposed to be a combo of F1 car and jet fighter, and it sort of succeeds in that endeavor. I just hope that the car has been wrapped and that is not the actual paint job.

Performance numbers are absolutely supercar territory –  888 horsepower propels it to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds on the way to a 217 mph top end. It’s a legitimate, badass, low-run supercar from Spain, though I’m not sure about its road-legality in the U.S. (might be a “Show and Display” car). It deserves big bucks at Mecum next month. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $185,000.

Mosler MT900

2005 Mosler MT900

Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2018

Photo – Oldtimer Galerie

Warren Mosler really likes going fast. At least that’s what his automotive business ventures would lead you to believe. It started with the Consulier GTP that evolved into the Mosler Intruder/Raptor. And then in 2001, he launched the MT900. It’s a true American supercar, right there in the wonderful early-2000s when cars like the Saleen S7 and Ford GT were making waves. This thing is pretty awesome.

The base MT900 is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 making 350 horsepower. Not supercar numbers, but the chassis is carbon fiber and the entire car weighed less than 2,600 pounds. That meant it could hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 150 mph.

Don’t worry though, they later built the MT900S (600 horsepower) and the MT900S Photon (same power, but less than 2,000 pounds). There were race versions too. In all, only 14 MT900 base cars were produced (there were also 20 S cars and 2 Photons in addition to about 30 race cars), making this car extremely rare. Switzerland may not like it, but it’s a great place to find weird, rare supercars. The pre-sale estimate here is “on request.” Click here for more info.

Note: The auction catalog lists this as a supercharged, 600 horsepower variant, which would make it an MT900S, but it isn’t listed as such. Perhaps the engine was modified later?

Ligier JS2

1974 Ligier JS2

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 4, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Guy Ligier was a semi-professional rugby player and later raced at Le Mans and in Formula One. Who said racing drivers aren’t athletes? Not only did he race some cars, but he also built them too! Equipe Ligier was an F1 team between 1976 to 1996. They also built cars for Le Mans, and sports cars and microcars for the street.

The JS2 was a mid-engined sports car built between 1972 and 1975. The company’s first road car, the JS2 is powered by a 3.0-liter Maserati Merak V6 that made 191 horsepower. Smaller V6s from the Citroen SM were used on earlier cars.

Production figures vary widely depending on where you look. Numbers as high as 250 are quoted, and Artcurial says that only about 40 of the 81 built still exist. The fact that it entered production at all was enough that Ligier was allowed to race the JS2, which was the whole point of building a road car anyway. This example was acquired by the owner in 2009 after being parked for almost 15 years. Mechanically renewed, this car is expected to bring between $80,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $91,897.

Alfa 155 GTA Stradale

1993 Alfa Romeo 155 GTA Stradale Prototype

Offered by Bonhams | Padua, Italy | October 27, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Alfa Romeo 155 was Alfa’s “compact executive car” built between 1992 and 1998. In some trims, this was a downright good-looking car (and still is). They used it in DTM and various touring car series throughout Europe. After some victory in ’92, Alfa decided to build a road-going series of 155 GTA Stradale cars like Mercedes and BMW had been doing for years.

Built by Abarth, the cars were to use a turbocharged 2.0-liter straight-four capable of 190 horsepower. It’s got 4-wheel-drive and an aero kit was added to make it appear boxier and more DTM-like. Company executives wanted a V6, and then they realized how expensive it would be to actually produce a run of these things…

So the project went nowhere. And this was the only example produced. First road-registered in Germany in the late 1990s, the car has accumulated 40k kilometers through a handful of owners. It’s pretty awesome and will cost a serious enthusiast between $210,000-$250,000 to purchase. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Padua lineup.

Update: Withdrawn from sale.

Matra Murena

1981 Talbot-Matra Murena

Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | October 20, 2018

Photo – Osenat

The Bagheera was a 2-door sports car produced by Matra (technically Matra-Simca, then Talbot-Matra once Chrysler Europe sold out to PSA). The successor to that car was this, the Murena, which was technically marketed as the Talbot-Matra Murena but is often referred to simply as the Matra Murena. It was available from 1980-1983.

Different specifications were available, and this example is a base trim car with a 1.6-liter straight-four capable of 88 horsepower. Top speed was 113 mph, so consider it more of a hot hatch than a die-hard sports car.

It’s an interesting little car from a dying manufacturer. There was no successor to the Murena, as it was Matra’s final original road car. Only 5,640 of the 10,680 units produced had the 1.6-liter engine. This is a cheap way to buy an unusual classic sports car and get into the car collector world. It should bring between $9,000-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Rinspeed R39

1983 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet R39 by Rinspeed

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | September 22, 2018

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

There is more than one way to skin a cat, which is a disturbing send-your-child-to-a-psychologist-because-they-might-be-a-sociopath sort of way to say there are multiple ways to solve a problem. And the problem Rinspeed set out to solve in the early 80s was this: Porsche didn’t sell a Turbo Cabriolet (they wouldn’t until 1986). Also, it didn’t have enough side strakes.

So what do you think they did? A) take a Turbo and cut the roof off or B) take a Cabriolet and shove a turbo engine in the back of it? Sorry ASC fans, the answer is B. Other modifications included a 928-style front and rear end and, of course, side strakes (which would only magnify in intensity as the decade wore on).

The 930 Turbo engine – a 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six – is largely unmodified so it still puts out about 296 horsepower. The chassis was reinforced to handle this uptick in power. And about the R39 name: it was originally “939” but Porsche owned that for some reason, so they lopped off the first 9 and added an R for Rinspeed. 939 was decided upon because 11 + 28 = 39 (get it? like 911 + 928 = 939).

Anyway, these are super rare examples of 80s decadence and questionable taste. And I love it. It should bring between $90,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Sbarro Espera Genesis

2008 Sbarro Espera Genesis

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 5, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Franco Sbarro’s automotive design school is located in Belfort, France, and has been responsible for some pretty wild concept cars. Basically, you go to design school and your final class project is to build a car that Sbarro takes to the Geneva Motor Show.

This was built by the class of 2007-2008, and here was the car from the year before. This one is powered by a V6 from Peugeot and has no top, no windshield, and no rear-view mirrors. It could be a great track toy or, if you’re European, eventually road-registered with enough effort. Design cues range from hot rod, to F1 car, to KTM X-Bow, to Plymouth Prowler, to Polaris Slingshot. And this car pre-dates two of those.

This one-off is expected to bring between $19,000-$25,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $10,401.

1992 Maserati Barchetta

1992 Maserati Barchetta

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 5, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Maserati Barchetta was a purpose-built race car from Maserati intended to compete in a one-make racing series, the Grantrofeo Monomarca Barchetta Maserati. They only built 17 of these and they went to well-heeled semi-professional drivers who competed against each other at tracks around Europe, but mostly in Italy. The series ran in 1992 and 1993 only.

All Barchettas are powered by a twin-turbo 2.0-liter V6 good for 315 horsepower. They’re very light, with fiberglass and carbon fiber bodies. The whole thing really wasn’t much of a success and Maserati wasn’t exactly flying high in 1992 to begin with.

They tried to make a road car variant, but only one prototype was built, although some of these are currently road-registered in Europe. The project sort of lived on briefly as the similar-looking De Tomaso Guara, but they had a slightly different body and engine. This particular chassis finished 4th in the first year of the Championship and you can read more here and see more from RM Sotheby’s in London here.

Update: Not sold.

De Tomaso Guara Spyder

1998 De Tomaso Guara Spyder

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | September 5, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

De Tomaso is best remembered for the Pantera, which was available from 1971 through 1993 (or, “an eternity”). But they produced other models as well, including the mighty Mangusta and exotic Vallelunga. When the Pantera went out of production in 1993, it was pretty out-of-date, technology-wise.

So when Alejandro De Tomaso introduced this, the Guara, at the 1993 Geneva Auto Show, it should’ve taken people by surprise that this small Italian company was entering the modern era with something that looked… well, modern.

It sits on a Maserati chassis and uses a modified 4.0-liter BMW V8 that made 279 horsepower. The body is made of fiberglass, Kevlar, and other composites, keeping it relatively light. De Tomaso is no more, but they managed to build 50 Guaras, and only four of those were Spyders. This one-owner example in an awesome shade of purple should sell at RM Sotheby’s in London. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.