Ruf BTR

1984 Ruf BTR

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-14, 2018

Photo – Mecum

The BTR was Ruf Automobile’s first big time model. Ruf, of course, is interesting because they are their own manufacturer as they get Porsche chassis/bodies before a VIN tag is applied and tune them, before selling them under their own name. This car began life as a Porsche 911 (930) Turbo.

The BTR was available between 1983 and 1989. They built between 20-30 original cars, and converted (or upgraded) a few 930 Turbos after that to BTR specification. That specification is a turbocharged 3.4-liter flat-6 making 374 horsepower, which is 40-ish more horsepower than you would’ve had if you’d stuck with the Porsche.

When introduced this was among the fastest cars in the world, with a top speed approaching 190 mph. This car sports 35,000 miles and it’s a very rare opportunity to acquire one. A few Rufs have come up for sale recently, but this is a classic. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Evante Mk II

1999 Evante Mk II

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | October 19, 2017

Photo – Brightwells

There was an engine tuning company in the U.K. called Vegantune and they specialized in restoring Lotus Elans. After a while, they figured out a few tweaks that could be done to improve the cars and set up a separate company – Evante Cars Ltd – to build their own car, which was heavily influenced on the Elan. Introduced in 1987, the first Evante could be had as a kit or complete car.

The first Evante only lasted through 1991, but then the company was purchased by Fleur de Lys Automobile Manufacturing and they introduced this, the Mk II. Based around a 1.8-liter Ford Zetec straight-four, the Mk II made 130 horsepower. The body is fiberglass.

Only nine Mk IIs were built, with this probably among the last. Having covered only 11,000 miles since new, it looks like an attractive modern take on the classic Lotus Elan. Consider it a quirky Miata alternative if you will. It should bring between $14,750-$17,500. Click here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

DB AR1

2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 Roadster by Zagato

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 6, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB7 went on sale in 1994 with a straight-six engine. The V-12 arrived in 1999. By 2003, when the variant you see above was introduced, the DB7 was pretty long-in-the-tooth. Before this, there was a DB7 Zagato Coupe built from 2002 and 2003 that helped spice up the range. This is essentially the roadster version of that car.

And it’s a true roadster – there is no top. And I guess, technically, it’s not even a DB7 at all, since that “7” doesn’t appear in the car’s name. “AR1” stands for “American Roadster 1” and just 99 examples were produced. This is #23.

The DB AR1 is powered by a slightly tweaked version of the DB7 Vantage’s 6.0-liter V-12 that, in this car, makes 435 horsepower. All that power helped set a record of sorts – this is the world’s fastest true roadster, with a top speed of 186 mph.

The first owner of this car was American. Then it made it’s way to it’s third owner in Luxembourg by way of its second owner in Switzerland. It’s a 2,000 mile car and a gorgeous one at that. Aston and Zagato go hand in hand and this car is drivable proof. It is expected to sell for between $300,000-$420,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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.