Supercharged Stutz by Lancefield

1929 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe by Lancefield

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10-11, 2017

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 1929 Stutz line consisted of a single model, the Model M, and ’29 was the only model year that the company built a car by that name. Quite a few body styles were offered, and I’m talking like more than 30, but this one carries very sporty Coupe coachwork by Lancefield of London.

Stutz’s standard straight-eight engine would be produced by the firm from 1928  through the end of production in 1934. All Model Ms were powered by this 5.3-liter unit – but a select few were equipped with a supercharger that bumped power up to 185. This supercharged power plant was the result of a 2nd place finish for the marque at Le Mans in 1928. Bentley upped their game for 1929 and Stutz couldn’t afford to build a new engine, so they strapped a centrifugal supercharger to the one they had and sent it back to Europe where the best result attained was 5th at Le Mans in 1929.

Only three supercharged Stutz cars are known to exist and I’ve managed to see two of them in person, this car included. It is a spectacular sight to behold. It’s been restored and freshened multiple times in the past 20 years and in that time has sported owners such as Skip Barber and John O’Quinn. It is being sold out of a prominent Stutz collection based in Texas. The best way to describe this car is that it’s just one of those cars – an incredible automobile that has the engine, chassis, and body it was delivered with. An award winner all over the U.S., it will remain a prized possession among whoever is lucky enough to acquire it next. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,705,000.

Mercedes-Benz Type S

1928 Mercedes-Benz S-Type 26/120/180 Supercharged Sports Tourer by Erdmann & Rossi

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2017

Photo – Bonhams

Ye Gods! I have to admit, this car is near the top of amazing cars we’ve ever featured. There is something just so alluring… so… bad ass about these big, early Mercedes-Benz Tourers. There is a mystique here that few cars can match. This is probably also why they so very rarely come up for sale.

Mercedes and Benz joined forces in 1926 and that same year they introduced a model called the Typ S (or Type S or S-Type… you’ll inexplicably find different names for the same cars depending on the auction house). The Type S was built through 1930 and it gave rise to the Type SS and the legendary SSK. The low slung chassis of the Type S is powered by a 6.7-liter straight-six and makes 120 horsepower – or 180 with the supercharger engaged. That’s pretty impressive for 1926… as was the price: $7,000 as a bare engine/chassis. Over 100 mph was possible as well.

The body is by coachbuilder Erdmann & Rossi and is original to this car (as is the engine). It was delivered new to the U.S. and was restored in the mid-1990s. The car’s been in Europe for some time, but is being sold again in the U.S., where it spent much of its life. Mercedes-Benz only built 174 examples of the Type S making it quite rare. It’s a gorgeous beast of a car and it’s entirely usable. Get it while you can because it could be years before another example hits the market. But it won’t come cheap. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $4,812,500.

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Coachbuilt Classics at Rétromobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2016


1951 Salmson G72 Coupe by Saoutchik

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

Salmson, the French auto manufacturer, built cars up through 1957. They had a range of sedans and two-doors. This is a G72, a model introduced in 1950. Most G72s were sedans, but some of them were sent to coachbuilders for something a little more fancy. Power was supplied by a 2.3-liter straight-four.

This car was bodied by Saoutchik, the legendary French coachbuilder. It was repainted some 25 years ago but otherwise it is original. Only 254 of this series of the G72 were produced and this one carries a one-off body. It should bring between $175,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $207,019


1953 Renault Frégate Ondine Cabriolet by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Renault Frégate was Renault’s executive sedan that they built between 1951 and 1960. Estate wagons were available as well, under different names. Renault showed a convertible at the 1953 Paris Motor Show, but it never entered production. Later, three more examples were shown and two disappeared. It is believed this is the only survivor of those cars.

The body is actually made of some kind of polyester blend. We’re really not sure what that means, but the engine is likely a 2.0-liter straight-four. The restoration was completed in the 1990s and it is believed that this car was used by legendary French singer Edith Piaf in the 1950s. It is the only car like it and it should bring between $87,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $86,814.


1939 Graham-Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Graham brothers of Dearborn, Michigan, began producing their own trucks in 1922 after years of modifying Fords. That company was bought by Dodge in 1925 and the brothers joined Dodge’s board. But when Chrysler took over Dodge in 1928, the Graham brand was soon phased out. Good thing the brothers bought the Paige-Detroit Motor Company in 1927.

So in 1928, the Graham-Paige marque was introduced. In 1938 they introduced a bold (and awesome) new style that they built in low quantities through 1941. After the war, the automotive portion of the company was acquired by Kaiser-Frazer (which never reintroduced the Graham-Paige automobile brand), but Graham-Paige, strangely, soldiered on as a real estate company into the 1960s before becoming the Madison Square Garden Corporation. Weird, huh?

Anyway, the Type 97 Supercharged was built in 1938 and 1939. It is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter straight-six making 115 horsepower. This car left Graham-Paige as a coupe (they didn’t offer a convertible) and made its way to France to be bodied by Pourtout in Paris. It may be the only such car with this body. It has been restored and should sell for between $165,000-$215,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $186,985.

Update: Sold, RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island 2017, $770,000.


1949 Delahaye 135MS Coupe by Ghia

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Delahaye 135 was one of their best models. It lasted (in some form) between 1935 and 1954. The 135MS was the sportiest version – sometimes it was a race car, and sometimes it was a road car. It was the final Delahaye car available for purchase before the brand was phased out.

Bodies for the car varied widely. This car, with its covered wheels and sort of boxy design, was styled by Ghia in Turin. It’s beautiful. The engine is a 3.6-liter straight-six making 120 horsepower. It was built for the Shah of Iran who owned it until the late 1950s when it went back to Europe. Since then it spent time in the Blackhawk Collection and the John O’Quinn collection. The restoration was carried out sometime in the early 1990s. It’s a wonderful car and one of three Delahaye 135s styled by Ghia. It should sell for between $210,000-$285,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $180,307.


1951 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport by Dubos

Photo - Artcurial

Photo – Artcurial

The Talbot-Lago T26 Record was a car introduced by Talbot-Lago in 1946. In late 1947, a Grand Sport version was introduced, which included a more powerful 4.5-liter straight-six making 190 horsepower (in this form). Grand Sport cars (that weren’t race cars) were all sent out to coachbuilders to have some of the best designs of the period attached to them.

This one went to Carrossier Louis Dubos near Paris for this elegant cabriolet that, while originally black, looks glorious in white. Never completely restored, mechanical bits have been redone as needed. This is one of three T26s bodied by Dubos and the only Grand Sport to wear one of their bodies. It should sell for between $260,000-$350,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $293,834.

A Pair of T-Bird Concepts

Ford Thunderbird Concepts

Offered by RM Auctions | Farmer’s Branch, Texas | November 15, 2014


 2001 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster Concept

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Ah, the retro styling craze of the early 2000s. Ford decided to bring back the Thunderbird for the 2002 model year. The car’s introduction was preceded by a slew of concept cars, including this Sports Roadster.

These Thunderbirds had soft tops or removable hard tops. This car is topless and has a fiberglass tonneau cover that fits nicely against the back of the head rests. You could’ve gotten a similar look on a 1960s T-Bird.

The engine is a standard 280 horsepower 3.9-liter V-8. This car was acquired from Ford by Sam Pack in 2010. It’s the only one like it and should sell for between $60,000-$80,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $55,000.


 2003 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Concept

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Ford Thunderbird F-Code from 1957 was a mean, powerful machine. This car was meant to be the spiritual successor to that car. Ford never put it into production. But they should have. The last Thunderbird was a dud and perhaps a hot rod version would have helped.

The engine is a supercharged 3.9-liter V-8 making 390 horsepower. That’s sports car territory. It has a vented hood and other minor details to set it apart. This car was also acquired by Sam Pack from Ford in 2010. It should sell for between $50,000-$80,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of the sale of the Sam Pack Collection.

Update: Sold $57,750.

A Supercharged Alta

1938 Alta Supercharged Sports

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Alta Car and Engineering Company was founded by Geoffrey Taylor in 1929. Their goal was to build sports cars – and later, racing cars, having entered factory racers in the first three different Formula One seasons. They were – and remain – very rare cars.

This 2.0-liter straight-four powered car has the optional supercharger that allows it to push out 180 horsepower. It could do 120 mph – making it one of the fastest cars you could buy in 1938. It could hit 60 mph in 7 seconds – that’s quicker than the car I drive today!

This car was extensively raced and has had many owners in the U.K., U.S., and Australia. The restoration was completed around 2000. Only 19 Alta cars were made prior to WWII. It’s been used a fair amount and well maintained. This car is ripe for historic racing. It should sell for between $300,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $336,390.

Supercharged Bugatti Type 43

1930 Bugatti Type 43 Sports 2/4-Seater

Offered by Bonhams | Greenwich, Connecticut | June 2, 2013

1930 Bugatti Type 43 Sports

The Bugatti Type 43 was part of the line of cars that spawned off the Type 30. Introduced in 1927, the Type 43 stood apart from earlier models in that it, while it used a similar chassis, it added a supercharger – making it quick and one of the world’s first 100 mph production cars with a top speed of 112 mph.

The engine is a 2.3-liter supercharged straight-eight making 120 horsepower. It was a transplant from Bugatti’s current grand prix car of the day. The history on this car goes back to 1928, when the engine was built. It’s titled as a 1930 because it wasn’t sold until then.

This car spent most of its early life on the French Riviera – which is only about the coolest place you could own and drive an old Bugatti. It came to the U.S. in 1950. The current coachwork on the car was already on the car by 1950 – although it is not original, nor is it certain where the body originated. The car has been restored within the last 10 years and finished 3rd in its class at Pebble Beach.

This is basically a road-going Bugatti grand prix car (running gear, short wheelbase, etc.) and it can be yours for between $1,000,000-$1,200,000. Click here to read more and here for more from Bonhams in Greenwich.

Update: Sold $875,000.

F-Code T-Bird

1957 Ford Thunderbird F-Code Convertible

Offered by RM Auctions | Fort Worth, Texas | April 27, 2013

1957 Ford Thunderbird F-Code Convertible

The Ford Thunderbird was the supposed answer to the Chevrolet Corvette (I say “supposed” because the Thunderbird diluted its image every possible chance it got after 1957 while the Corvette got more and more intense). The first two years of Corvette production saw the car saddled with a straight-six. Chevy upped the ante for 1955 with a V-8. Ford introduced the Thunderbird as an all-new model for 1955 and a V-8 as the only power choice.

Both cars were absolute stunners in the looks department. Thunderbirds were offered in a sea of colors – pastels and the like. If you wanted to collect the entire rainbow, you probably could. This one is black with black wheels – and it looks rather menacing.

And it should. This is an “F-Code” car – which means it has the 5.1-liter V-8 that has been supercharged to make 300 horsepower. The most powerful Corvette you could buy in 1957 only made 283 ponies. And this wasn’t even the king of the Thunderbirds. There was one more step up – but only 12 of those were made.

As I’ve been writing these posts for cars from this sale prior to the release of the lot description from RM, I had to do a little research to find out how many F-Code Thunderbirds were actually built. On Barrett-Jackson’s website, I did a search for them and every result had a different total for the number built. An older RM post has the number at 205, which is what I’ll go with.

Thunderbirds are thought as cruisers today but this one will get your attention off the line. It’s a really awesome car and the fact that it looks the part is even better. It should bring a massive $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold for $198,000.