Apollo 3500 Spider

1963 Apollo 3500 GT Spider

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Corpus Christi, Texas | October 4-5, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

There is absolutely zero about this car that screams “Oakland, California.” Yet that’s where it was assembled. The Apollo was the result of the work of a trio of Californians who wanted European style and American reliability in their sports cars. The first Apollo went on sale in 1962. Two models were offered: the 3500 GT and the 5000 GT.

This 3500 GT model is powered by a 3.5-liter Buick V8 that made 200 horsepower. The body was built in Italy by Intermeccanica, and the whole package was assembled in Oakland.

Only 11 GT Spiders were built, with this being the very first one. About 90 Apollos were made in general across multiple companies (including cars badged as the Vetta Ventura). They’re very rare, but they’re around. And the Spider variant is beautiful. It is being sold without reserve, and you can read more here. See more from this auction here.

Gray-Dort Touring

1920 Gray-Dort Model 15 Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

William Gray founded a carriage-building company in Chatham, Ontario in 1856. In 1915, his company began selling American-made Dort cars under license in Canada. By 1916, they were building the cars themselves and fitting them with luxurious and innovative features. The first reverse light was installed on a Gray-Dort.

This Model 15 touring car is powered by a 21 horsepower, 3.2-liter Lycoming inline-four. The cars were popular in Canada, outselling Chevrolet there for a period of time. And Canadians took notice – the Canadian Parliament named Gray-Dort a national treasure. The Bricklin didn’t get that honor.

About 26,000 cars were built through 1925, which is when Dort closed down. Gray-Dort searched for another manufacturer to hook up with, attempting deals with Nash and Hudson before trying the American company Gray. But Gray closed down in 1926 and Gray-Dort was gone. Only 30 examples of their work remain, and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $6,600.

Epperly-Offenhauser Streamliner

1955 Epperly-Offenhauser Streamliner

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Though not as well-known, Quin Epperly is a name that sits right there with Frank Kurtis, A.J. Watson, Eddie Kuzma, and Lujie Lesovsky when it comes to legendary builders of race cars during the “Roadster” era of the Indianapolis 500. Epperly actually worked for Kurtis before opening his own shop in the mid-1950s. His cars appeared at Indy from 1955 through 1960 and beyond.

The history of this car is interesting. Howard Keck had just won two consecutive 500s with Bill Vukovich driving his cars and was going for number three in 1955. Epperly had designed this streamlined special for Vuky to drive, but it wasn’t completed in time for the race. Instead, Vukovich drove a Kurtis for another owner. He was killed while leading the race.

Epperly completed the car with Keck’s help (money) anyway and installed a 385 horsepower, 4.4-liter Offenhauser inline-four instead of the V8 that was originally planned. IMS president Tony Hulman knew of the car and wanted it in the ’56 race, paying the entry fee for it in advance. But with Vukovich’s death, Keck lost all interest in racing and the car ended up stored in his shop until 1985.

The car became more or less legend until it was purchased and restored in 1990. And now it’s being offered for public sale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $385,000.

Carter Electric Motorette

1904 Carter Electric Motorette

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

This is a pretty tiny vehicle. Although Worldwide Auctioneers doesn’t provide anything in the background of these photos to help with scale, I would imagine it’s about wide enough to seat a person and a half. In England, these were known as “invalid cars” – basically street-legal motorized wheelchairs.

But… it has a US license plate and is street legal here, too. It was built in England by a company I have no further information about. Its first owner purchased it there and later imported it into Vermont, where it was used regularly up through 1942. It’s been on long-time museum display and still shows fairly well, save for a flat front tire.

It has a convertible top, tiller steering, and 20-mile range when traveling at a top speed of 18-20 mph. Not bad for 115 years old. You will likely never see another, and this one will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,925.

Surlesmobile Streamliner

1945 Surlesmobile Streamliner

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

This bubble was designed by Don Surles in the 1930s and was built in the Tokyo Bus Works. So it is technically Japanese. The prototype was built to showcase innovative features such as doors that split in the middle, sliding up and down to allow entry. It also has bench seating that folds into a bed, shatter-proof glass, and a shape that would allow the car to roll over in an accident with a “90% chance” that it lands back on its wheels.

It features four-wheel-drive and is powered by a 50 horsepower, 1.5-liter Continental inline-four. Within hours of its arrival in San Francisco, it was hit while driving. It was later repaired and was last repainted in 1966.

The car has resided in a museum since 1966 and is now being sold at no reserve. Looking it at, the only place I can imagine it ending up is in the Lane Motor Museum. We’ll see in a week or so. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $30,800.

1912 Simplex

1912 Simplex Model 38 Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 15, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The “Three Ps” of Packard, Peerless, and Pierce-Arrow get all of the glory as America’s best early cars. But there were some pretty good “S”s too. And Simplex was foremost among them. Between 1907 and 1914, Simplex turned out some of the greatest cars you could buy at the time. For 1915, they became Crane-Simplex (or Simplex Crane).

The Model 38 sat at the lower end of the 1912 and 1913 Simplex lineup. Powered by a 38 horsepower, 7.8-liter inline-four, the cars could be had in two wheelbases. The car you see here is the short wheelbase at 127″. It’s a four-passenger touring car, which would’ve cost $4,850 when new. That was a lot in 1912.

The body appears to be a replacement, as it is described as being “in the style of Holbrook.” It also has kind of a funky inward lean to it, but I think it may just be an odd photo angle. Completely restored, this is a useable brass era car, with enough power to comfortably use on tours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Stevens-Duryea Model X

1908 Stevens-Duryea Model X Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 15, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Stevens-Duryea was founded in 1901 when J. Frank Duryea got pissed off at his brother and left their joint company to work elsewhere. He designed a car and convinced The J. Stevens Arms and Tool Company to build it. They continued to offer very expensive cars through 1927.

This Model X, which is listed as a 1908 but was first purchased in 1911, was from the heydey of Stevens-Duryea. The Model X was produced from 1909 through 1912. Power is from a 36 horsepower, L-head four-cylinder engine. The car is wonderful, especially if you start looking at the details. And it’s all-original apart from a 1950s repaint.

But the big story here is the car’s history. It was retained by its first owner for many years before being willed to Henry Austin Clark Jr. in the 1950s. Clark kept it in his museum and used it on tours (of which video exists on YouTube). It’s currently on only its fourth owner. No pre-sale estimate is provided, but it failed to sell on BringaTrailer for $125,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $115,500.

Riker Electric

1898 Riker Electric Stanhope

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 15, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Andrew Riker built his first vehicle – an electric tricycle – in 1887. He incorporated – first in Brooklyn, later in Elizabethport, New Jersey – and became one of the first manufacturers of electric vehicles. The company was never huge, but it did produce passenger vehicles and heavy trucks. Riker tired of electric cars and, after selling his electric car business to Columbia, eventually moved to Connecticut, where he designed the first gasoline-powered Locomobile and later became the first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

This car was built by Riker in 1898 and is powered by a 1.5-kilowatt-hour electric motor that drives the rear wheels through a three-speed gearbox. Tiller steering and a convertible top are equipped.

Riker won a race in this car in Boston and later showed it in Paris. Competition seemed to usually be at the forefront of Riker’s mind, and the car was entered in the first race held by the New York Automobile Racing Association. And it won. Later, it remained with the Riker family until Andrew’s passing in 1930, whereupon it was donated to the Henry Ford Museum.

When the Henry Ford thinned their collection in 1985, the car was acquired by the widow of Andrew Riker Jr. The current owners acquired it from her after maintaining the car for her during her ownership. It’s 121-years-old and is all-original. This is the type of car you usually only see at the Henry Ford or the Harrah Collection. It still runs and drives, reportedly capable of 40 mph, which is frightening. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

January 2019 Auction Highlights

January means one thing: Scottsdale. And we’ll start there with Bonhams where the 1951 Maserati we featured was the top sale at $2,755,000. Most of the other really big money cars all missed the target, which might say something about the top of the market (but we’ll see as the other sales all wrap up). The other Frua-bodied car, the Fiat 1100C, sold for $577,000. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible – mostly because I really want one. I just don’t have the $50,400 it would’ve required to take this one home.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured Abarth race car sold here for $16,800 – a long way from the $45k+ it brought at multiple previous auctions (weird, it has a different chassis number listed in this sale compared to previous sales, but has the exact same backstory). This car has changed hands multiple times in the last few years. Someone here either got a great deal, or the consignor finally unloaded an albatross at a loss (also, dibs on “Albatross at a Loss” as my next rap album name). Meanwhile, the Stevens-Duryea sold for $72,800. Click here for complete results.

Next up from Arizona is RM Sotheby’s, and there were a couple of cars that failed to meet their reserve, including a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale. But another Ferrari was top dog at this sale, specifically this 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO that sold for $3,360,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The biggest money feature car we had was the Vector WX-3 at $615,500, with the WX-3R coming up right behind it at a cool $500,000. The Lesovsky-Offy brought $201,600, the Rolls-Royce State Landaulette $190,400, the Hooper Bentley $128,800, the Apollo 3500 GT $134,400, and the Lone Star Touring $44,800. Click here for complete results.

Barrett-Jackson’s catalog is so large that I don’t feel like scrolling through the entire thing trying to find highlights and the top sale. Their user interface leaves a little to be desired, so I’m just going to look through Saturday’s results and assume that the top sale was in their prime time lineup. What I found: the overall top sale was, as it usually is here, a charity lot. The first 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition went for $2,500,000.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

That crazy Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 sold for $1,210,000, while the Paige Ardmore sold for $16,500 and the Ford Lightning Rod Concept $27,500. All of the results can be found here and you can scroll through them at your leisure if you have a spare five hours.

Next: Gooding & Company, where the 1902 Yale we featured brought $105,280, and the Ferrari 275 Prototype failed to sell. The biggest money was reserved for this 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta for $7,595,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Finally, we have Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale sale where this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the overall top sale at $990,000.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Our three Indiana-built feature cars all sold, with the two Duesenbergs falling in “good deal” range. The Duesenberg Tourster sold for $605,000, and the other Duesey brought $506,000. The Auburn Boattail rounds it all out at $291,500. Click here if you want more results from this sale.

Boattail Auburn V-12

1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

While skimming Worldwide’s Scottsdale catalog, I realized we’ve never featured an Auburn, which is a shame as they were great cars. Worldwide have a few on offer, so I picked the most beautiful one I could find, which happens to be a real 12-cylinder Auburn wearing a real Boattail Speedster body, that just so happened to have been transferred to this car from an 8-cylinder Auburn.

So the body isn’t original to this chassis, big deal. The 12-cylinder Auburn went on sale in 1932 and would last only through 1934. It’s a 6.4-liter Lycoming V-12 that makes 160 horsepower. It was the prime example of “cheap” performance of its day, coming in at almost a third of the price of Caddy’s V-12.

These disappearing-top boattail speedsters are the best of the bunch, body-style-wise. New, this car would’ve cost $1,275. Today, even with a non-original period-correct body, it should cost $250,000-$350,000. But it is selling at no reserve, so who knows? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $291,500.