Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 21-22, 2018
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
If you thought the 1980s were a period of excess then consider the people who bought this car. “I want a Porsche and I want a Ferrari.” Well here, have both, said Rinspeed. Actually, that’s not true… those dramatic side strakes that look like they were ripped right off a Testarossa were actually designed a few years before the big Ferrari ever went on sale.
This car started as a 1980 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo. That means it’s got a 296 horsepower, turbocharged 3.3-liter flat-six tucked out back. In 1983, the first owner sent it to Rinspeed in Switzerland to get the full Rinspeed 969 – or R69 – treatment. This meant the addition of pop-up headlights from the Porsche 944, those super-80s side strakes, and custom wheels. Basically, the task at hand was “box-ify it.” And that they did.
After a few years in storage, this example has recently been repainted in Rinspeed Pearl White and shows 69,000 original miles. It’s a straight-up Miami Vice ride. It’s thought that only 12 of these re-bodies were completed as they likely were not cheap. This one is selling at no reserve with no pre-sale estimate available. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Alpine was a car company founded in 1955 by Jean Rédélé. They built rear-engined sports cars, like the A110, and were closely linked to Renault for much of their early history. So closely linked, in fact, that Renault bought Alpine outright in 1973.
The GTA above replaced the Alpine A310 in 1985. This was the first car branded as a Renault (though this car’s successor would revert to just “Alpine”). The Renault Alpine GTA was offered in a few different variations between 1985 and 1991.
Still rear-engined, this GTA “Le Mans” Turbo uses a 2.5-liter turbo V-6 making 200 horsepower. The sprint to 60 mph took 6.7 seconds and top speed was 150 mph. The Le Mans model was introduced in 1990 and 325 were made over the course of about a year. These are rare, pretty cool, and definitely eye-catching cars. This one should bring between $25,000-$35,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 13, 2018
Photo – Coys
Let’s start with what we know: this looks like a Ferrari 308. Yes it does; the Ferrari 308 was a popular model in the 1980s and was, until very recently, a very affordable exotic, with prices dipping into the low $30k range about 10 years ago.
Because of the tax structure in Italy in 1980, Ferrari decided to build a 2.0-liter variant of the 308 for their home market (and for a few export markets as well). The 1980-1981 208 GTB/GTS was a very low-production model. In 1982, they strapped a turbocharger to it and the 208 GTB/GTS Turbo was born. These were available through 1985.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter V-8 making 217 horsepower, this was Ferrari’s first turbocharged road car. And it was a significant horsepower bump over the naturally-aspirated 208. In 1983, they brought out the targa version you see here. By 1985, this car was on the opposite end of the Ferrari spectrum from the 288 GTO.
Only 250 208 GTS Turbos were built, making it much rarer than it’s 308 cousin, which it shared nearly everything else besides the engine. This example was sold new in Malta and has been with the consignor for 17 years. It looks flawless and it you want something that looks “ordinary” (for a Ferrari) but is something actually much weirder rarer, then this is the car for you. It should bring between $53,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 5-14, 2018
Photo – Mecum
The BTR was Ruf Automobile’s first big time model. Ruf, of course, is interesting because they are their own manufacturer as they get Porsche chassis/bodies before a VIN tag is applied and tune them, before selling them under their own name. This car began life as a Porsche 911 (930) Turbo.
The BTR was available between 1983 and 1989. They built between 20-30 original cars, and converted (or upgraded) a few 930 Turbos after that to BTR specification. That specification is a turbocharged 3.4-liter flat-6 making 374 horsepower, which is 40-ish more horsepower than you would’ve had if you’d stuck with the Porsche.
When introduced this was among the fastest cars in the world, with a top speed approaching 190 mph. This car sports 35,000 miles and it’s a very rare opportunity to acquire one. A few Rufs have come up for sale recently, but this is a classic. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, England | July 29-30, 2017
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
The Renault 5 was a hatchback built by the French company in two different series, the first lasting from 1972 through 1985 (though the early cars don’t resemble this one at all). A second generation was built between 1984 and 1996. There was nothing particularly sporty about the 5 – some used engines as small as 782cc.
Rallying was the place to be seen in 1980s Europe, and Renault wanted a part of the action. They developed the 5 Turbo as a rally car. It was essentially nothing like the front-engined, front-wheel drive 5 hatchback, as these are mid-engined, rear-wheel drive cars. The engine is a 1.4-liter turbocharged straight-four that made 158 horsepower. It was a serious hot hatch – one of the first such factory specials.
In order to take it rallying, Renault built some road-going models as well. This is one of 3,576 of the original 5 Turbos. This car was delivered new to Switzerland and sports a brilliant two-tone blue paint scheme (which is a respray) and awesome 1980s-style “Turbo” graphics. This 40,000 mile example should bring between $92,225-$105,400. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 1, 2017
Photo – Auctions America
Japanese Kei cars – small vehicles designed to take advantage of cheaper Japanese tax and insurance regulations – were never sold in the U.S. There were many different versions, but only a few were sports cars. Suzuki designed their Cappuccino to meet Kei car regulations and to be sporty.
These cars have tiny engines – this one is powered by a turbocharged 657cc straight-three that makes 67 horsepower. It won’t set any speed records, but it does rev to 8,500 rpm. And it has 50/50 weight distribution. These facts add up to one thing: it is probably a blast to drive.
Produced from 1991 through 1997, this was Suzuki’s foray into the sports car arena. Name another sporty Suzuki. This example was imported into the U.S. late last year and like all Cappuccinos can have its roof arranged as either a coupe, T-top, targa, or convertible. It is one of what has to be just a handful in North America, especially in the U.S., and should bring between $12,000-$15,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Auctions America in Ft. Lauderdale.
Offered by Aguttes | Lyon, France | November 5, 2016
Photo – Aguttes
French sports car maker Venturi set up shop in 1984 when two former Heuliez engineers, Claude Poiraud and Gerard Godfroy, decided to venture out on their own. See what I did there? Thirty years later the company is still around but now they are based in Monaco, have new owners, and they don’t really build cars like they used to.
The Atlantique model was built between 1991 and 2000. Two models were offered, with the 300 being the high output version. This one is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 making 281 horsepower (this particular car was later massaged to 310 horses). Naturally-aspirated and top-of-the-line Bi-Turbo versions of the 300 were also offered. The body is fiberglass and it has aluminium doors, hood, and trunk.
This 27,000 mile example is one of less than 700 Atlantiques built in total and is probably among the last constructed as Venturi went bankrupt in 2000. It’s a pretty car and one we adore, as far as obscure exotics go. This is the first Atlantique I’ve seen come up for public sale in years and it should bring between $61,000-$83,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Zurich, Switzerland | June 11, 2016
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
Franco Sbarro started building cars in 1971 in Switzerland. They started in the replica business but in the 1980s they built small runs of original cars. Over the past 20 years, it seems like all they do is build really out-there concept cars that debut at the Swiss motor show each year. Like really out there.
The car you see here is a one off Sbarro (as are most). It was built over a period of four months by students at the L’école Espera Sbarro in France (it’s an automotive design school). It’s based on a 1991 Isdera chassis and powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 from a Mercedes-Benz E-Class that is mid-mounted and makes 326 horsepower. It’s not actually turbocharged, despite the name, which comes from Turbo, a French TV program.
The body is fiberglass and it has gullwing doors. This is a one-off car from a manufacturer that really sees its cars come up for sale. The pre-sale estimate is $195,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Toffen, Switzerland | April 23, 2016
Photo – Oldtimer Galerie
Panther Westwinds was an English car company that built some strange cars during their existence. The Kallista was a retro-looking model that was very similar to the company’s earlier car, the Lima.
Panther actually built their cars, even though they were based around other models and some might mistake them for kit cars. The Kallista could be had with a variety of Ford engines. This car carries a 2.8-liter Ford V-6 that has apparently been turbocharged. Output is about 213 horsepower.
Panther built this model from 1982 through 1990 (but produced continued in South Korea by SsangYong from ’90-’93). We’re unsure on total production for this model, but it is said that this is the only such model in Switzerland. It should bring between $29,350-$33,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | September 12, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
We’ve featured a 1970 Porsche 908/03 Spyder before. While this car sports the same Martini racing livery, it looks markedly different from that car. The difference is this: the 908/03 was built between 1970 and 1971. The first cars were short-tail wedges without wings or any real aerodynamic bits. 1971 cars had vertical winglets out back. The original cars were powered by a 3.0-liter flat-8.
In 1972, the racing rules changes and Porsche brought most of the 908/03s back to the factory and retrofitted with upgraded body work and a smaller, 2.1-liter flat-6 that was twin-turbocharged to make 660 horsepower. This was one of those cars. You can see the aerodynamics are much more pronounced here with the big rear wing and giant air inlet above the driver. The competition history for this car includes:
1970 Targa Florio – 5th (with Richard Attwood and Bjorn Waldegaard)
1970 1000km Nurburgring – 46th, DNF (with Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen)
1975 1000km Monza – DNF (with Kinnunen and Herbert Muller)
1975 1000km Nurburgring – 3rd (with Kinnunen and Muller)
It was eventually sold into private hands and spent much of its life on the historic circuit. Thirteen 908/03s were built – this is the only turbocharged 908 that still exists. It is race-ready and should sell for between $3,400,000-$3,900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.