The Asteroid

1951 Tojeiro-JAP

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 27, 2017

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

We’ve featured a number of Portugal-born John Tojeiro’s cars over the years. No two are quite alike, and this little race car is different from all of them. This is also the earliest Tojeiro we featured, as it was the second car to ever bear his name.

The other person’s name associated with this car is that of Brian Lister. It was the first chassis he ever built (he wouldn’t found his own company until 1954). The wild design was inspired by a magazine article that Lister read about attaching a JAP engine to a Jowett Jupiter chassis. (JAP = JA Prestwich Industries, a British company that built a ton of small engines from around 1910 through the 1950s).

So Lister and Tojeiro took a 1.1-liter JAP V-Twin and stuck it in this custom chassis. It’s technically mid-engined, I guess, since you can see the engine sticking through the hood behind the front wheels. It was nicknamed “The Asteroid” and was very successful on track in its day.

This car was discovered in a barn, its body having been modified over the years. Silverstone’s catalog has pictures of it when it was new and it does look a little different. It was completely restored and is road registered in the U.K. The pre-sale estimate is between $117,000-$143,000 for this piece of racing history. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Tojeiro-Climax Coupe

1958 Tojeiro-Climax Coupe

Offered by H&H Classics | Epsom, U.K. | June 6, 2017

Photo – H&H Classics

Almost every car built by John Tojeiro is a one-off. If he built cars in a series, it was usually a short series. Born in Portugal, Tojeiro built cars in England in the 1950s and 60s. Just about all of them had a race-focused purpose, but some of them were street-legal too.

This diminutive Climax-powered Coupe was built when Tojeiro was asked to build a spaceframe chassis for a performance car by a client. The body was from Wakefield & Sons and the client put some 20,000 miles on it. The engine is a 1.1-liter Climax straight-four. Horsepower could be anything, as those Coventry-Climax engines were produced in so many varieties that I can’t pin this one down based on just displacement alone and who knows how it was tinkered with when the car was assembled.

The current owner acquired this car in 2009 and had it restored to as-new condition. It’s covered just 38,000 miles since its inception and is the only one like it. The pre-sale estimate is between $83,000-$96,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Tojeiro California

1959 Tojeiro California

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2016

Photo - Russo & Steele

Photo – Russo & Steele

John Tojeiro was born in Portugal but lived in England for most of his life. He began designing the racing cars that bore his name in the 1950s. They often used the best engines of the day, be they from Jaguar, MG or whatever.

But in the late 1950s and into the 1960s the mid-engined race car revolution was well under way and Tojeiro knew it. By the early 60s he was building mid-engined cars. This California Barchetta is one of the last front-engined Tojeiro race cars. The engine in this case is a 5.0-liter straight-six from GMC.

The body on this car was designed by Cavendish Morton and was set in the style of the Ferrari California Spyder (hence the car’s name). But it was never completed in the day and was put aside. Much, much later, the head of the Tojeiro Registry acquired the car and had the body completed to original specifications. So what we end up with is a very pretty and functional vintage racer that has never really been raced. It’s fresh and clean and can be yours at Russo & Steele in Monterey this August.

Update: Not sold.

December 2013 Auction Roundup

The first sale of December was Bonhams’ London Sale. Our featured Jaguar C-Type was the top seller at $4,762,011. The second top seller also came from the fabulous Ecurie Ecosse collection. It’s a 1956 Jaguar D-Type and it brought $4,212,831.

1956 Jaguar D-Type

The coolest car from this sale also came from that collection. It was the Ecurie Ecosse team transporter (technically it’s a 1960 Commer TS3) and it sold for a huge $2,931,441.

1960 Commer TS3

This 1934 Aston Martin Ulster Two-Seater looks awesome and downright mean. It sold for $2,125,947.

1934 Aston Martin Ulster Two-Seater

Our featured Frazer Nash Targa Florio sold for $441,795. The oldest car in the sale, our featured 1903 Clement brought $569,937. The other four Ecurie Ecosse team cars all sold. The 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster brought $1,155,729.

1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Our featured Tojeiro EE-Buick Coupe brought $350,265. The other Tojeiro, this 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar, sold for $624,855.

1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar

Another prototype race car was this 1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax Type 57 Mark II. It sold for $359,418.

1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax Type 57 Mark II

And finally, the cheapest car of the bunch – a 1961 Austin-Healey Sprite. It went for a downright budgetary $101,304. And Schumacher’s Benetton sold for $1,009,281. Check out complete results here.

1961 Austin-Healey Sprite

Next up was H&H’s Chateau Impney sale where this 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe was the top seller at $328,600.

1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe

I didn’t get to feature any cars from this sale, but the first one I was going to feature was this beautiful 1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Drophead Coupe. It sold for $125,900.

1938 Alvis 4.3-Litre Drophead Coupe

Other cars that were on my to-feature list included this 1919 Armstrong-Siddeley 30hp Open-Drive Limousine that ended up bringing $27,380.

919 Armstrong-Siddeley 30hp Open-Drive Limousine

I would’ve featured this 1928 Falcon-Knight Six-Cylinder Tourer but it’s not in the best of shape and I know there are other Falcon-Knight’s out there. But it’s still interesting. It sold for $18,400.

1928 Falcon-Knight Six-Cylinder Tourer

And finally, one of only two F2 cars built by Gerald Smith. It’s a 1957 Smith Formula Two Single Seater and it sold for $61,700. You can check out full results here.

1957 Smith Formula Two Single Seater

We featured one car from Mecum’s Kansas City sale: this 1918 Cadillac. And it was stolen at a bargain price of only $29,000. The top sale went to another Cadillac from the same consignor. It was this 1931 Cadillac V12 Series 370 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood. It sold for $175,000. You can check out full results from this sale here.

1931 Cadillac V12 Series 370 Convertible Coupe by Fleetwood

Coys got their December results posted in time for this recap. Our featured Victor Electric Highwheeler did not sell, but the Mercedes-Simplex brought an auction high of $1,174,900. You can see full results here. And the final sale covered this year is Bonhams’ Oxford sale, where this 1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur sold for a sale-high $178,843.

1960 Bentley S2 Continental Flying Spur

Our featured Frazer Nash-BMW failed to sell and the Sunbeam Tourer brought $60,369. I thought this 1924 Crossley 19.6HP Sports Tourer was pretty cool for $31,127.

1924 Crossley 19.6HP Sports Tourer

And finally, our featured Vulcan Touring car brought an impressive $126,479 – bettering the upper end of its estimate. You can check our full results here.

Tojeiro EE

1962 Tojeiro EE Buick Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | December 1, 2013

1962 Tojeiro EE-Buick Coupe

Bonhams 2013 London sale has something amazing going for it: seven Ecuri Ecosse team cars and their famous team transporter are all being offered for sale. Let’s start with the team’s story…

Ecurie Ecosse – which is French for “Team Scotland” – was a Scottish racing team whose cars were always painted in this dark “Flag Blue Metallic” paint. The team was founded in 1952 by David Murray and Wilkie Wilkinson. They competed in Formula One, Formula Two and the 24 Hours of Le Mans – which they won, twice. The original team disbanded in the 1960s but their roster of former drivers is illustrious to say the least: Innes Ireland, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori, John Tojeiro and Jackie Stewart.

The last two have something in common: this car. The team had raced Jaguar D-Types in the 1950s and by 1962, they needed something new. So Murray met with Tojeiro, who had been designing his own sports racers for a few years, and had him build the team a new race car. The Tojeiro EE (for Ecurie Ecosse) was the result.

It was ready, literally, just in time for the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was Climax-powered for that race where it finished 38th (a DNF) with drivers Jack Fairman and Tom Dickson. For the 1963 British national sports car season, the team fitted a new aluminium-block 3.5-liter Buick V-8 making around 230 horesepower and hired a young man named Jackie Stewart to drive the car. He managed to win one race with it.

This car has been at Goodwood a few times in the past decade and is coming from an amazing Ecurie Ecosse collection. Only two of these cars were built (the other had a Ford V-8 the last time it was raced). This one should sell for between $290,000-$370,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this awesome sale.

Update: Sold $350,265.

Tojeiro Barchetta

1952 Tojeiro Barchetta

Offered by Russo & Steele | Newport Beach, California | June 20-21, 201

1952 Tojeiro Barchetta

John Tojeiro was born in Portugal but relocated to England when he was very young. That move was important because after World War II, in which John served, England would become a hotbed for race car building.

Tojeiro made his name as a chassis engineer and once he was established, customers were contacting him and commissioning him to build one-off race cars. Tojeiro’s first car was powered by a Bristol engine and the body was supposed to look like a Ferrari 166 MM. Shortly after that, Tojeiro built two or three MG powered cars with a similar body. This is one of those cars.

The engine is a 1.5-liter MG straight-four, power output unknown – but likely less than 125. One of the three cars like this was driven to the AC headquarters and AC repainted it blue, put one of their engines in it, and displayed it as the AC Ace. So this car (which was not used by AC) is sort of the prototypical AC Ace. Which is pretty cool if you think about it (and if you refuse to think about it, I’ll tell you: the Ace became the Cobra. Shelby Cobras can directly trace their origin to this car).

This car was raced on road courses by privateers until the end of the 1954 season. It finished every race. It has bounced between owners quite a bit since then (and even a fair amount in the past five years). This car sold in Monterey last year at a different auction for a touch more than $150,000 and it sold twice in 2011 for about the same price (a little less). We’ll see what it brings this time around as the market continues to improve. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Russo & Steele’s Newport Beach lineup.

Update: Sold $159,500.

RM Pebble Beach 2012 Highlights

RM Auctions’ 2012 Monterey sale had some impressive results, with one car standing out above the rest. The 1968 Ford GT40/Gulf Mirage sold for $11,000,000 – a new world record for an American car sold at auction (although it’s a little British). Just like at Le Mans in the 1960s, Ford destroyed Ferrari at this sale. Ford took the #1 spot, and Ferrari was relegated to second, third and fourth. The second-highest selling car was a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder for $8,580,000.

The third place car was our featured 1955 Ferrari 410 S for $8,250,000. After that came this 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Tour de France for $6,710,000.

The next two cars were feature cars. First, the incredible Horch 853A Special Roadster brought $5,170,000, missing the lower end of its estimate by about $1,000,000 (no big deal, right?). Then there was the awesome-in-orange Aston Martin DB3S for $3,685,000. Then there was another GT40 (the apparent theme of this year’s Monterey sales). This was a 1967 Mark I road car and it sold for $2,860,000.

One of the all-time classics was available for purchase at this sale too, a 1938 Talbot-Lago T23 Teardrop. The one seen here sold for $2,640,000.

The two incredible Le Mans prototypes we featured both sold. The Bentley Speed 8 brought $2,530,000. The Audi R8 was a comparative steal at $1,034,000. Another high-dollar Bentley was this 1953 Continental R-Type Fastback by Mulliner for $1,622,500.

There was also another high-dollar Aston Martin, this one a 1960 DB4GT. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed one of these things buzzing around during a historic race, but they’re astonishing. This one brought $2,035,000.

The only other million dollar Ferraris were all 275 GTBs. The photos will follow in this order: first, a 1967 275 GTB/4 Competizione Speciale for $1,485,000. At the same price was a blue ’67 275 GTB/4. Then there was a 1965 275 GTB for $1,182,500.

Of our two featured homologation supercars, the Porsche 911 GT1 failed to sell (only one no-sale among our feature cars, a new record!). The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR brought $1,100,000. Another million dollar Mercedes was the ever-present 300SL, this one a 1955 Gullwing selling for $1,171,500.

RM had Shelby Cobras out the wazoo this year, selling six of them and three Shelby GT350s. The only Cobras that surpassed the $1 mil. mark were both competition Cobras. One was a 1965 427 (below) at $1,485,000. and the other a 1964 289 (second below) at $1,320,000.

And there was a bonus piece of Shelby goodness at this sale. It’s a 1956 Fiat 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter used by Shelby to transport the Cobra Daytonas to Le Mans (as well as having been used by other race teams and privateers over the years). It has been restored  to its Shelby team days. It sold for $990,000.

Duesenberg wrap-up: J-108, the all-white Murphy Disappearing Top Convertible Coupe sold for $1,897,500. And J-151, the Murphy Sport Sedan sold for $990,000. Other interesting cars included a 1954 Hudson Italia – hands down one of the best-looking cars of all time – for $265,000.

My affectation for giant pre-WWI touring cars compels me to show you this pre-Benz 1914 Mercedes 50HP Seven-Passenger Touring that I really liked. It sold for $528,000.

One car that received a fair amount of pre-sale press was the 1960 Plymouth XNR that was restored from 2009-2011 by RM Restorations. I was going to feature this car but that  Bentley Speed 8 couldn’t be passed up. This car sold for $935,000.

Another car that almost got featured was this 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coupe by Classic Auto Rebuilding Service. If that coachbuilder’s name doesn’t sound quite “1930s enough,” you’re right. When the car was restored, the original body was basically scrap so the owners had a new one commissioned based on 1930s-era drawings. It sold for $473,000.

This 1905 Rapid Nine-Passenger Omnibus had my attention from day one. It sold for $60,500.

And finally, this 1952 Tojeiro-MG Competition Barchetta isn’t something you see everyday. You could’ve bought it for $154,000.

For complete results, click here.