Sunbeam Tiger Race Car

1964 Sunbeam Tiger Le Mans Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 6, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

We’ve featured a Sunbeam Tiger before. That car was a road car – a true cousin to the Shelby Cobra. It’s a simple formula: take a nimble British Roadster and shove a big American V-8 under the hood. But this Tiger is a little different.

For starters, it isn’t a roadster. It’s a fastback and it’s one of only three such Tigers built by the Rootes Group. All three were competition specials – prototypes whose sole purpose was the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans. The body was the work of Brian Lister – no slouch at building competition cars. The engine is a 4.2-liter V-8 from Shelby making 275 horsepower.

This car was the prototype. Once it was deemed competitive in testing, two further cars were built that were sent to Le Mans. This car only saw competition once it was sold and used in privateer hands. It’s passed through a number of hands and has recently competed in the Le Mans Classic and other historic events. It’s the rarest Sunbeam Tiger you’re likely to find and it should bring between $460,000 and $610,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Microcar Mondays Pt II

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection

Offered by RM Auctions | Madison, Georgia | February 15-16, 2013


1955 Kapi Jip

1955 Kapi Jip

Another Monday and some more microcars. These are now harder to feature as RM Auctions is doing their best to obscure any information about these cars that might exist on the internet. It’s delightful.

But that just motivates me more. The Kapi Jip was produced in Barcelona from 1955 through 1956. It’s powered by an 8.5 horsepower 175cc single-cylinder engine that propels this miniature Jeep-looking thing to 40 mph. Less than 25 were built and this is the second one I’ve seen go up for auction in the past year. That one sold for $8,500 and this one is expected to sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Not sure where that extra money is going to come from but you can click here for more info.

Update: Sold $24,150.

 


1947 A.L.C.A. Volpe

1947 A.L.C.A. Volpe

The A.L.C.A. Volpe is a very rare Italian microcar built in 1947 only. It was supposed to be a cheaper and smaller version of the already small Fiat Topolino. It uses a rear-mounted 124cc two-cylinder making 6 horsepower. Less than 10 were built – mostly because the company, l’Anonima Lombarda Cabotaggio Aereo, was a scam and was shut down when accused of defrauding potential customers out of roughly €5 million in today’s currency. So it’s a rare car with a weird story of how it came to be. It should sell for between $15,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $41,400.


 

1956 Heinkel Kabine 175 Type 153

Heinkel Kabine 175 Type 153

The Heinkel Kabine, which, let’s be honest, shares some similarities with the Isetta, was made from 1956-1958 by Heinkel in Germany. It was later built in the U.K. as the Trojan. This particular model, the 174cc single-cylinder (there were larger version offered as well) was on sale from 1956-1957. It makes 9 horsepower and will do 54 mph. Yes, it is a four-wheeler, with the rear two wheels sitting right next to each other. This one has a targa removable roof, which is cool. Buy it for $35,000-$45,000 and check out more here.

Update: Sold $54,050.


 

1970 SMZ S-3A

1970 SMZ S-3A

Don’t those little go-kart sized tires look a little chunky for a small car like this? Like it’s intended for light off-roading, which it isn’t, as this was a car designed for invalids. The benefits of communism were at play here – the Soviet Union distributed these small cars for free (or at least at a hefty discount) to disabled people through their social welfare system. I would really like to make a political joke here at America’s expense, but I won’t. SMZ is now know as SeAZ and this model was made from 1957-1970. It uses a 10 horsepower 346cc single-cylinder. It should sell for between $15,000-$20,000. For more information, click here.

Update: Sold $12,650.


 

1947 Julien MM5

1947 Julien MM5

Automobiles Julien was founded in 1946 in Paris. Car building materials were scarce in postwar France – especially for an upstart manufacturer hoping to put a tiny little convertible into production. The French government had to approve it and free up the necessary materials – not many were made, so it didn’t hurt France too much to do so. The car was produced from 1947 to 1949. Different engines were used, but at its peak, the car had a 10 horsepower 325cc single-cylinder. I’ve seen performance described as “acceptable.” This one should bring between $45,000-$55,000. For more information, click here.

Update: Sold $54,625.


 

1959 Scootacar Mk I

1959 Scootacar Mk I

This is a two-seat automobile, if you can believe it. The Scootacar exists because the wife of one of the heads of a railway locomotive manufacturer wanted “something easier to park than her Jaguar.” Rough life. So Scootacars Ltd was set up as a subsidiary of that locomotive company to produce, well, something much easier to park than a Jaguar. The Mk I was a fiberglass bubble that is taller than it is wide and just barely longer than it is tall. It’s a single-cylinder engine of 197cc that pushes this thing to 50 mph. And you steered with handlebars. There were other models as well, but production on this one started in 1957. Only 130 Scootacars of all types were produced by the time the company closed in 1964. This one should sell for between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $39,100.


 

1958 Maico 500

1958 Maico 500

Champion was an automobile manufacturer in Germany that made tiny little cars that looked exactly like this from 1952 to 1955. When they went out of business, a small company called Maico bought their assets for pennies on the dollar, er… pennies on the Deutsche Mark. The Maico 500 went on sale in 1955. It used a 452cc two-cylinder making just under 18 horsepower (17.75 to be exact). Maico built a few thousand cars between 1955 and 1958 (both the 500 and 400 model series). They lost money on every one and only quit making them to avoid bankruptcy. Solid business plan. This one will cost you between $30,000-$40,000 when it crosses the block. Check out more on it here.

Update: Sold $29,900.


 

1958 F.M.R. Tg 500

1958 F.M.R. Tg 500

Known as the “Tiger,” this Messerschmitt-based car differs from its base car in that it has wheels at all four corners, as the Messerschmitt was only a three-wheeler. FMR stood for “Fahrzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH Regensburg.” So yeah, “FMR” is way easier to say and fit on the fender. Built from 1958 through 1961, the Tg 500 (Tg stood for “Tiger” but Tiger was trademarked by someone else) used a 494cc two-cylinder making 19.5 horsepower. Top speed was 78 mph and – and this is the first car I’ve come across from this sale that is capable of such a statistic – a 0-60 mph time of 27.8 seconds. Yes, that might seem like an eternity, but hey, it can actually do it. Only 320 were built and apparently they are highly desirable today, as this one has a pre-sale estimate of $125,000-$150,000. Check out more here.

Update: Sold $322,000.


 

1951 Gutbrod Superior 600

1951 Gutbrod Superior 600

Let’s face it: Gutbrod might not be the sexiest name ever slapped on a car. Superiors were manufactured from 1950 through 1954 and they featured a rollback convertible roof (those b-pillars don’t go anywhere). The cloth roof just kind of unfurls backward and voila! a convertible. The engine was a front-mounted 593cc twin making 20 horsepower. They were known as good handlers but they were also loud. There was a “700” model as well, with an extra 6 horsepower and 70 more cubic centimeters in displacement. Of both models, 7,726 were made. This one will go for between $15,000-$25,000 and you can read more here.

Update: Sold $16,100


 

 

1951 Bond Minicar Mk B

1951 Bond Minicar Mk B

The Bond Minicar went through various re-designs during its production run from 1949 through 1966. The Mk B was the second such iteration, made in 1951 and 1952 only. This three-wheeler uses a 197cc Villiers single-cylinder. Of this type, 1,414 were built before Bond moved on to the Mk C. Of all the Bond Minicars offered during this sale, this one has the highest pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$25,000. For more info click here. And to check out more from this sale click here.

Update: Sold $19,550.

Sunbeam Tiger

1966 Sunbeam Tiger Mark II

Offered by Mecum Auctions | Kansas City, Missouri | December 8, 2012

The Shelby Cobra was more than just a badass sports car – it was an inspiration and a new way of thinking in the automotive world. A completely redesigned Sunbeam Alpine appeared in 1959. It was supposed to be a sports car. But by 1963, the most powerful engine available was an 80 horsepower straight four. Meanwhile, Carroll Shelby had transformed the 120-horsepower AC Ace into his famous fire-breathing 271 horsepower monster – and that was just the start, as later cars would have 425 horsepower. The Alpine didn’t compete with the Ace in terms of performance, much less the Cobra.

Ian Garrad, West Coast Sales Manager for the American arm of the Rootes Group and a few other employees realized the Alpine’s potential and figured out that Ford’s Windsor V8 would fit in the car. They sent an Alpine to Shelby and had him wedge one of the engines in. Then they shipped it to England to have the Sunbeam folks evaluate the car.

Sunbeam approved and tasked sports car maker Jensen with the production of the Tiger. Series I cars used the 164 horsepower 4.3-liter V8. Series II cars had a 200 horsepower 289 Ford V8 (4.7-liters). This is a Series II car and they are very rare – only 536 of the 7,085 Sunbeam Tigers built were 200 horsepower Series II cars. While it doesn’t compete with the Cobra in terms of power or performance, this is still a fast, powerful British sports car from the 1960s. And there is that always-desirably Shelby connection.

This being a Series II car ups its value to a fair degree. To read more and for more pictures, click here. And for more from Mecum in Kansas City, click here.

Update: Not sold.