Offered by Gooding & Company | Online | December 2023
Automobiles Mass is a mostly unremembered French automaker that existed from 1907 until 1923. Based near Paris, the company was founded by a Mr. Masser-Horniman, who was apparently English. The chassis/engines were assembled at the French factory, but the cars were then bodied in England. Very economical.
This car is powered by a 3.3-liter inline-four rated at 30 horsepower. It has a three-speed gearbox and rear drum brakes. The body was constructed by Shaw Brothers in the U.K. It has known ownership back to the 1950s and spent years in a Colorado museum.
The catalog notes that it has received “improvements” over the last few years to get it into the condition it is today. This is not a well-known or common car (in fact, I can’t remember another one coming up for public sale in the last ~15 years). It has an estimate of $40,000-$55,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2024
From a performance – and pedigree – standpoint, Ford’s second-generation GT blew the first-gen out of the water. It arrived in 2017, and production continued into 2022 (the first gen lasted just two model years). These were more powerful, faster, and more expensive. And they had racing trophies to back it up.
The GT race car, in the hands of Chip Ganassi drivers, scored class victories at Le Mans and Daytona. So it only made sense that Ford would offer some of that racing prowess to the public. The GT MK II was launched in 2019 as a track-only variant of the road-going GT. The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 was modified to produce 700 horsepower.
It gained a big rear wing and lost some niceties (and weight in the process). This car is #18 of 45 built and wears a Gulf livery. These were over $1 million new, and this one hasn’t been used. Click here to read more about it.
Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | November 30, 2023
“Well hang on a minute,” you’re saying, “this is no collector car. Nor is it interesting.” Well, depends who you ask. This car, despite being old model-year older and sans chrome rear luggage rack, is a dead ringer for my first car. And I never thought I’d see the day where it rolled across a collector car auction block.
Buick launched the Century name in 1936 on their Series 60, as it was capable of 100 mph. Sadly, the speedometer on this bad boy only goes to 85. How times change. This is a Century Custom, which was the middle trim, and a sedan from this range would’ve had a base price of $13,685 in 1991. Power is provided by a 3.3-liter V6, which was optional, and made 160 horsepower.
Somehow this car only has 346 miles on it. I kind of want it. Buick built 102,435 Century sedans in 1991, with 1,600 coupes and 6,500 wagons also made. I wonder if this car, like mine, pulls the right-rear suspension down when you slam the brakes, among other odd behavior it exhibited. Click here for more info.
The Iso Grifo is perhaps the most muscular of all of the Italian/American hybrid muscle cars. Sure, it’s a two-door coupe and a sports car. But it has angry lines and big American V8s. That’s a muscle car.
The Grifo has an interesting history, as discussed here, and went on sale in 1965. This is one of 330 Series I cars built, just 14 of which were targas. Power is from a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 rated at 300 horsepower.
It was cosmetically overhauled in Europe in the early 2000s and received mechanic work in the years following its importation to the U.S. These are very rare big-dollar cars. You can read more about it here.
But not just any such phaeton, he wanted the specific body on a family friend’s Duesenberg. But he didn’t want their car. So a body swap was arranged. Oh to be rich during the Great Depression. This chassis retains its original 265-horsepower, 6.9-liter inline-eight.
The Wrigleys sold it back to Duesenberg in 1936. The current restoration was completed in 2004, and it’s finished in all black, which is an interesting choice (but apparently the original look). It has an estimate of $2,650,000-$2,850,000. More info can be found here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Brooklands, U.K. | November 25, 2023
The Cresta was Vauxhall’s executive car, the largest in the lineup when it went on sale in 1954. The second generation, the PA, arrived three years later in 1957 sporting very American styling, with tailfins and chrome galore.
Between 1957 and 1962, 81,841 examples of the Cresta were built between the four-door sedan and wagon. For the first few years of production, the cars featured a 2.3-liter inline-six carried over from the previous generation. It made 82 horsepower. A 2.7-liter unit would appear in 1961.
It took five years to restore this example, which is one of just 32 still registered in the U.K. It’s big by British standards, and stylish too. The estimate is $22,000-$32,000. Click here for more info.
Carden Engineering launched their cyclecar amidst the craze of the 1910s. It went on sale in 1914 and was designed by John Carden, who would later design tanks. This couldn’t be farther from that.
The company returned after WWI with a new design in 1919. Later that year Carden sold the design off and came up with something else, which he also sold and would eventually be produced as the New Carden from 1922 through 1925.
This car is powered by an air-cooled (apparently flat?) twin that shares its casting with the gearbox. About 1,000 of these were built, and this one is definitely in project status, coming off of static display. Click here for more info.
Offered by Aguttes | Paris, France | November 26, 2023
NSU sold Fiats under license beginning in 1929 under the NSU-Fiat marque. NSU sold the Heilbronn, Germany-based factory to Fiat in 1932, and in 1957, then name Neckar replaced NSU-Fiat as the marque until it ceased existing in 1971.
All Neckars were just re-badged versions of something else, in this case the already-obscure OSI 1200, which was a Michelotti-styled variant of the Fiat 1200 Spider. It’s got a Fiat 1.2-liter inline-four.
Aguttes says 280 convertibles and 70 coupes were built, all of which apparently by OSI and then branded differently for various markets. The pre-sale estimate is $27,000-$38,000. Click here for more info.
Marathon Electric Vehicles produced a lone road-going vehicle between 1976 and 1981. The company was based in Montreal, and their C-300 was a kind of odd, open-top Jeep-type thing that resembled, well, a Volkswagen Thing.
This, the C360, was purportedly purchased by Briggs & Stratton and turned into an early hybrid test vehicle. Yes, it has three axles and sliding side doors. The body is also made out of Alucobond, which is two sheets of aluminum over a urethane-filled core. The Briggs & Stratton twin is mounted up front, and the van is missing its electric motor and batteries.
Consider it a project, but an interesting one from a forgotten early electric upstart. Check out more about it here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | December 8, 2023
The DB2 was Aston’s first real post-war car, as they only made 15 DB1s. In 1953, the DB2 was heavily revised for a new model call the DB2/4, which would remain on sale through 1957. Three factory body styles existed: drophead coupe, two-seat coupe, and 2+2 hatchback. But a number of coachbuilt versions were also produced.
Among them are a some really striking designs by Bertone. There were seven Bertone DB2/4s in total (out of a production run of 764 total DB2/4s), and all of them were commissioned by Stanley “Wacky” Arnolt. This was the only coupe among them.
RM’s write-up makes no mention of the engine, but it’s a 2.9-liter inline-six, the larger of two engines offered during the model’s run. The restoration of the car started in 2019 and completed in time for Pebble Beach in 2023. The estimate here is $1,200,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info.