Offered by Bonhams | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 25 2023
There was this weird thing in the 2000s where coachbuilt versions of luxury cars were all of a sudden something companies wanted to do. Zagato styled some Bentleys, while Touring took a stab at Maserati. Then there is this, one of the longest two-door cars ever built from short-lived German coachbuilder Xenatec.
It’s based on a stock Maybach 57S sedan, including the 133.5-inch wheelbase, that had the bodywork tweaked to just two doors. Under the hood is the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 making 604 horsepower. If a $400,000 Maybach sedan was too common for you, you could’ve shelled out who knows how much more to get a coupe – something the factory never offered.
Just eight of these were built, one of which for Muammar Gaddafi, so you’ll be in good company if you have the estimated $550,000-$650,000 to spend on this today. More info can be found here.
Offered by Iconic Auctioneers | Birmingham U.K. | November 11, 2023
Ultima Sports was founded in 1983 by Lee Noble in England. Most of the cars they have produced since have been sold in component (kit) form. You buy the fiberglass body and tubular space frame chassis, then you go find a powerplant to stuff behind the driver.
The GTR was offered between 1999 and 2016, with cars sold in both kit form and as full turn-key cars constructed by the factory. This example is powered by a 6.3-liter Chevrolet V8 that apparently makes 600 horsepower. It’s also got a Porsche G50 transaxle. It’s a rocket ship.
In fact, a 720-horsepower GTR set many production car acceleration records. After 2016, the GTR was replaced by the Ultima Evolution. This car has an estimate of $43,000-$49,000. More info can be found here.
Offered by Iconic Auctioneers | Birmingham, U.K. | November 11, 2023
This is the ultimate MG. It was offered during the last few years of MG as a British, somewhat independent, manufacturer before the company was acquired by Nanjing Auto in China from the British holding company that held onto the firm after BMW divested itself of anything “Rover.”
The XPower SV was a sports car launched as a concept in 2001 before McLaren F1 exterior designer Peter Stevens revised it for production, which started in 2003. MG collapsed in 2005, so just 82 examples of the XPower ended up being built between the SV and SV-R versions. Apparently 42 of them were SV-Rs.
The car is based on the chassis of the Qvale Mangusta, which is weird. In SV-R form, the car is powered by a Roush-tuned 5.0-liter V8 rated at 385 horsepower, which has to make it the most powerful production MG of all time. Sixty arrived in 4.9 seconds on the way to a 175-mph top end. Manual or automatic gearboxes could be had.
This manual-transmission car has 10,000 miles and a pre-sale estimate of $66,000-$79,000. More info can be found here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | November 4, 2023
The 512TR is one of the best Ferraris. And what are two things that can take an already-great Ferrari even better? Cutting the roof off and painting it blue. This checks a lot of boxes. The 512TR was the replacement for the Testarossa and looked similar but with some stylistic tweaks.
They built 2,261 512TRs and only three Spiders. Two of which were sold to the Ferrari importer in Singapore (who had previously helped Ferrari and the Brunei royal family get some Testarossa Spiders built by Pininfarina).
Power is from a 4.9-liter flat-12 that was rated at 422 horsepower. The TR has taken off in value recently, and the price for the Spider (of which this is the only one to come up for sale publicly I think?) has an intense estimate of $2,500,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info.
2022 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Project One Edition
Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 8, 2023
The Mercedes-AMG Project One (or just the “ONE”) is a hypercar that has seemed to be in development forever. So while the lucky 275 folks who ordered one waited, Mercedes decided to try and keep them happy by offering them an excusive version of their getting-long-in-the-tooth AMG GT sports car.
But no base car here as the starting point was the top-tier Black Series. That means it is powered by a 720-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8. It has all of the aero bits that set Black Series cars apart, and, in Project One Edition spec, has a pretty awesome painted three-star motif that is excusive to this car.
Only 275 of these were built, and they were only offered to Project One orderers. More than a few have hit the market, and this one has an estimate of $425,000-$640,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Bicester, U.K. | September 23, 2023
Here is a forgotten sports car. Matra, who did not build many cars under their own name (but when they did, they were weird), teamed up with semi-established-but-fading automaker Simca to launch the Bagheera in 1973. The car was marketed as the Matra-Simca Bagheera until 1980, at which time Chrysler Europe failed and was taken over by PSA. It was then sold as the Talbot-Matra Bagheera in 1980.
Various sub-models were offered, including the 1977-1980 “X”. This specified a 1.4-liter inline-four that was good for 90 horsepower. Like all Bagheeras, and the follow-up Murena, the car features three-across bucket seating. Which is really weird.
Just 1,440 examples of the X (and Jubile, combined) were produced. It’s a right-hand-drive car (one of 57 converted aftermarket) and wasn’t initially registered until 1982. The car was restored between 2014 and 2020. It now has an estimate of $15,000-$21,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | September 2023
The Light Car Company was founded by Gordon Murray and Chris Craft in England in 1991. They built one model, and it was an amazing one: the Rocket. Production started in 1991, and most had been built by the mid-1990s. This one was started in 1996 but ended up as one of 10 completed by the Craft’s between 2006 and 2009. So it’s titled as a 1996 but wasn’t actually completed until the 2000s.
If you’ve always wanted to drive an open-wheel race car on the street (and didn’t manage to snag this thing), then this is a pretty good alternative. It has tandem seating for two, and the 1.2-liter Yamaha inline-four is mounted out back. That engine also can rev to over 11,000 rpm! For the full F1 experience of course.
Jay Leno has one of these – and there aren’t that many in the U.S. The car was also featured in one of the Gran Turismo games, where it was a hoot to drive hard. Only 50 were built in total, and they’ve become much more expensive than they used to be. This one has plenty of time left to bid, which you can do so here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Datchet, U.K. | July 22, 2023
Here we go. The XPower SV was MG’s last sports car hurrah before being acquired by Nanjing Automobile. It was also completely out of the blue and unlike any other MG sports car before it. Just 82 were produced between 2003 and 2005.
Power is from a 4.6-liter Ford V8 that made 320 horsepower (a 5.0 making 385 horsepower was also offered in the SV-R). Body panels were constructed of carbon fiber, and other trim bits were lifted from other cars, including Fiats. All of this added up to a top speed of 165 mph and a 0-60 sprint of 5.3 seconds.
Sports cars built by a company that is struggling financially are always a risky proposition – MG had a hard time moving these, and some didn’t find owners until 2008. That said, they are pretty interesting and very fast. And they rarely change hands at auction. This one has an estimate of $43,000-$48,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Datchet, U.K. | July 22, 2023
It’s kind of amazing Marcos was still turning out sports cars in the late 1990s. They were like a smaller version of already-small TVR. Founded in 1959, the company really hit their stride in the late ’60s – and that basic design would continue on in updated form for the next 30 years.
The Mantaray was the replacement for the Mantara and went on sale in 1997. Two Rover V8s were offered, with the larger being the 4.6-liter unit this car has. Turbo fours could also be had. Just seven were built with this engine out of a total production run of about 27 cars.
This big-motor sports car has been with the current owner since 2005. It’s got under 15,000 miles and also has an estimate of $19,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | July 6-9, 2023
Autozam was a marque produced by Mazda that offered a half-dozen or so cars over its brief lifespan of 1989 through 1998. The most famous of which, and the only one that wasn’t really a re-badged Mazda or Suzuki, was this, the AZ-1.
Sure, Suzuki would go on to sell their own version later, but the AZ-1 gets all the glory here. This is a small car. Like very small. It has a mid-engine layout, with the turbocharged 657cc inline-three located behind the passenger compartment, which is accessed via gullwing doors. Output was about 63 horsepower.
Just 4,392 examples of the AZ-1 were produced between late 1992 and late 1994. These were only sold in Japan, but have become popular imports now that they’re legal to bring into the U.S. Click here for more info about this one.