Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Gstaad, Switzerland | December 29, 2019
There have been a slew (three) of Wiesmanns being auctioned lately. And each of the three has been a different model. The MF30 was the company’s first product and was followed up by the MF3.
It’s powered by a 3.0-liter BMW inline-six good for 228 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. It hit 60 mph in about five seconds and topped out at 143 mph.
This car is listed in the auction catalog as an MF3, which would’ve been powered by a 3.2-liter inline-six. The earlier MF30 was the 3.0-liter version, which is why I have it listed as such. There really aren’t many external differences between the two. No estimate is yet available, but you can see more here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 7, 2019
The Ferrari 550 Maranello was produced between 1996 and 2002. In 2000, the company launched the 550 Barchetta, a convertible version that marked Ferrari’s fun new business of chopping the top and jacking up the price for a limited-edition model. Only 448 Barchetta examples were built.
This one was later customized by coachbuilder Zagato. It was actually developed with Ferrari as a convertible variant of the 575 GTZ, which itself was a Zagato-modified version of the 550’s followup car, the 575M Maranello. Because the 575 Superamerica (the 575’s expensive drop-top version) had yet to enter production, they backtracked to the 550 Barchetta to built the drop-top 575 Zagato.
When new, this car cost $1 million. It’s powered by a 478 horsepower, 5.5-liter V12. They planned to build five, but only three were completed. And this is the only right-hand-drive example. The pre-sale estimate is $640,000-$900,000, and you can read more about it here. See more from Bonhams in London here.
Wiesmanns are some of the coolest boutique sports cars from the last 20 years. Unfortunately, they went out of business in 2014. The last model they introduced was the GT MF5, which went on sale in 2009.
It’s powered by a monster 5.0-liter V10 from BMW that puts out 547 horsepower. Sixty arrived in 3.9 seconds, and the car topped out at 193 mph. What happened during production of the MF5 was that BMW discontinued the V10-powered M5 and M6, so many of the MF5s ended up with V8s.
Only 55 MF5 roadsters were built, but as few as 10 were finished with the V10 engine, making this a rare supercar. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | November 23, 2019
The Ferrari 456 was Ferrari’s sensible four-seater that was produced between 1992 and 2003. They have aged well, and I quite like them. What Ferrari did not do was produce a convertible. Yet here we are.
Convertibles, wagons, sedans, and targas were all produced off of the 456 by aftermarket manufacturers. In this case, the R. Straman Company of California produced approximately three drop-top versions of the car. This one is believed to have been owned by Mike Tyson.
It is powered by a 556 horsepower, supercharged 5.5-liter V12. That supercharger is not stock. It’s the perfect car for some rich dude in the Middle East, which is where this is being offered by Worldwide Auctioneers. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019
The Griffith is a storied name in TVR history, and it was originally launched by Jack Griffith in the U.S. The idea was simple: stuff a V8 in a TVR Grantura and create a monster. The Griffith Series 200, 400, and 600 were built throughout the early and mid-1960s. They were sold as TVRs in the U.K.
In 1991, TVR introduced the Griffith 500. A range of engines were available, and this car has the best one: a Cosworth-developed 5.0-liter V8. It was rated at 340 horsepower and could hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. That was really fast in the 1990s. Especially in this price range.
This generation of the Griffith represents some serious, devilish fun. In all, 2,351 examples of the Griffith 500 were built through 2002. This one should bring between $25,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Syon Park, U.K. | October 19, 2019
It’s too bad the photos of this car aren’t better, because it’s a wild thing. Marcos was founded in 1959, but by the 1990s they were on shaky ground and had been for quite a while. They were bankrupt (for the second time) in 2000. This was pretty much it for Marcos (though there was a brief revival). They went down swinging in the 90s with some outrageous stuff.
It started with the Mantis in 1968, and Marcos styling just sort of evolved from that point. In the 80s and early 90s, there were all sorts of takes on the Mantis: the Mantula, Martina, Mantara… and a fresh Mantis. Around 1993, Marcos wanted to get back into motorsport. In order to do so, they had to build road-going versions of whatever they wanted to race.
And the LM-series of cars were born. Built in 400, 500, and 600-spec, the LM was a limited-production series. Only 30 were built in total, 14 of which were LM400s. Power is from a 3.9-liter Rover V8 making 190 horsepower. It’s unclear how many of the 14 LM400s were convertibles.
This one should sell for $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | London, U.K. | October 24, 2019
Martin and Friedhelm Wiesmann started a company in 1988 to build a classic-style roadster. That came to fruition in 1993, and from there, the company moved from neo-classic-esque open roadsters to something bordering on an insane supercar wrapped in a classically-styled package.
Their first closed car was the GT, which went on sale in MF4 guise in 2003. This two-seat coupe is powered by a 4.8-liter BMW V8 that puts out 367 horsepower. That’s enough power to propel this little thing to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on the way to a top end of 180 mph. After 2010, the MF4 broke the 400 horsepower barrier. I saw one of these parked on the street in Switzerland. They are great-looking cars.
More extreme versions were offered, but this example represents the classic Wiesmann GT before they went power-crazy. Production lasted until 2013 when the company went bankrupt. They’ve since been purchased by a group of investors, but it is unclear if production will resume. Between 1988 and 2013, Wiesmann built about 1,600 cars. This one should bring between $100,000-$125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 26, 2019
The Brooke ME190 was designed by Toby Sutton and produced by his company, Brooke Cars beginning in 1994. Its looks and two-abreast seating are very reminiscent of the LLC Rocket, but it is said that this car was designed first.
Powertrains for the ME190 differed, but all of them were mounted behind the driver. This car is powered by a Honda 1.8-liter inline-four from a Civic Type R that has been tuned to put out more than 200 horsepower (the stock ME190 made 190 horsepower).
Only about eight examples were produced before the company ran into financial trouble and closed down. Another company bought the rights and produced only slightly more updated versions called the Double R. This car should bring between $20,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
The Pantera was in production by De Tomaso for what seemed like a lifetime. Introduced in 1971, the cars carried wedge-shaped styling by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia. Ford powerplants were standard, and the styling was updated in the 1980s to make it boxier and, well, more “80s.”
By the time 1990 rolled around, the car was extremely long in the tooth. Marcello Gandini was brought in to freshen the design up, and here is what he came up with. The car also received a partial chassis redesign and a new suspension setup. The old Ford 351 was replaced by a 302ci, 5.0-liter V8.
Only 41 were built – 38 of which were sold to the public – before De Tomaso shifted gears and moved on to the Guara after 1992. I’ve never seen one of these offered for public sale – not in the last 10 years anyway. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 10, 2019
We’re breaking one of our own rules on this one: never feature a car that is still in production. But because Mitsuoka is such a low-volume automobile manufacturer that is practically unknown in the west, I thought we’d feature this rare sighting of one of their cars.
The Himiko (which is what it is known as in Japan) went on sale in 2010 and is sold in the U.K. as the Mitsuoka Roadster. It carries classic-style looks and I can kind of see some Morgan up front, some BMW Z4 in the sides, and some Plymouth Prowler around the cabin. Power is actually from a 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter Mazda inline-four.
These are hand-built fiberglass cars based on Mazda Miata mechanicals. So they should be relatively reliable and will get you looks everywhere you go. This one has covered less than 10,000 miles and should bring between $30,000-$35,000. Click here for more from Brightwells.