1952 Jaguar XK120 Supersonic by Ghia
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 13-15, 2015
Photo – RM Sotheby’s
When the Jaguar XK120 was introduced in 1948, it was the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of over 120 mph. It had classic Jaguar styling that would stay with Jaguar cars for decades. But what happens when you take a classic British sports car and send it to Italy? This. This happens.
This awesome, futuristic sports car is unrecognizable as a Jaguar, certainly as an XK120. It looks strikingly similar to an Aston Martin Supersonic of similar vintage. First of all, this car is powered by a 220 horsepower 3.4-liter straight-six – making it one of the most-powerful XK120s in the world. It was originally an XK120 Fixed-Head Coupe sent to a dealer in Paris, who then sent it (and another car) to Ghia for a Jet Age makeover.
This car remained in France most of its life and has been repainted in the last 10 years – but everything else is original, including the 22,000 kilometers on the odometer. Only three XK120s were blessed with the Supersonic treatment. Only two are still around, as the body from the third is now on a Shelby Cobra. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $2,062,500.
1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk II Supersonic by Ghia
Offered by RM Auctions | New York, New York | November 21, 2013
The Aston Martin DB2/4 was the follow-up model to the Aston DB2 (on which this car was based). It was introduced in 1953 and the Mk II model came in 1955. Coachbuilt Astons from any coachbuilder are very rare. Ghia built a run of 15 “supersonic” cars in the 1950s and this was the last one built. It is also the only Supersonic attached to an Aston Martin chassis.
The engine in this car is likely the 2.9-liter straight six making either 140 or 165 horsepower, depending on compression (the catalog is vague on technical details. This auctions is being held in conjunction with Sotheby’s and is called “The Art of the Automobile,” so maybe it’s more about styling than driving, which is a shame). This car was acquired new by racing driver Harry Schell who sold it the following year to an American in New York. In 1974, the car was discovered outside a Detroit gas station by a young man who was able to track it down again in 2003 when he purchased it and began restoring it.
The restoration is exquisite and has proven successful, as this car wins awards just about every time it is shown. The DB2/4 is rare enough, with only 764 built. But this car has one-of-a-kind 1950s Space Age coachwork from one of the most famed coachbuilders of all time. It will likely bring between $1,800,000-$2,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Update: Sold $2,310,000.
1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic
Offered by Gooding & Company | Amelia Island, Florida | March 8, 2013
This is one seriously cool car. The styling is both familiar and out-of-this-world. I say “familiar” because from certain angles (especially overhead) there is a distinct Mercedes-Benz 300SL look about it. I don’t think I need to explain the “out-of-this-world” part.
Let’s talk about this design. It was penned by Giovanni Savonuzzi, the technical director at Ghia at the time. He based it on a one-off 8V race car that was used in the Mille Miglia. This was the first (of 15) Supersonics built. The space-age name is certainly appropriate with these looks. Because it was the first of the series, this car has certain elements that differ from the cars that followed. The engine is the basic 8V engine – a 2.0-liter V-8 making 110 horsepower.
This car stayed in Europe for a little while after being constructed at Ghia’s factory in Turin, but it eventually ended up in the hands of its first owner in the U.S. In 1955 it changed hands – being bought by Paul Lazaros, who used the car briefly before putting it in storage where it remained for over 55 years. He sold it at a Gooding auction in 2011. The car is entirely original, winning the Post-War Preservation Class at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours. This is not a car that has been shown extensively – in fact, it has rarely seen the light of day in the past 50 years. The current owner has had it for two years and it’s time to find it a new home. That home could be yours if you’re willing to part with between $1,300,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Gooding in Florida.
Update: Sold $1,760,000.