SS100 Roadster

1938 SS 100 3.5-Litre Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Brooklands, U.K. | December 3, 2012

Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in 1922 by William Walmsley and William Lyons – and they built, well, sidecars. 1926 brought coachbuilding into the business. In 1932, they introduced their own car, the SS I and in 1934 Lyons founded SS Cars Ltd to continue the line of sports cars.

The SS 100 was introduced in 1936 and was nicknamed “Jaguar” by Lyons. The 100 referred the car’s capability to hit or exceed 100 mph. The engine was originally a 2.5-liter unit, but in 1938 a new 3.5-liter straight-six was introduced, making 125 horsepower. These cars were sporting: racking up victories around the U.K. and continental Europe. It’s one of the fastest, best-handling cars of the era.

The styling is superb and this one, in light green metallic, looks stunning. Only 116 3.5-liter cars were made and they command a price premium, with an estimate on this car for between $320,000-$400,000. The model lasted through 1940 and in 1945, the company changed its name to Jaguar, mostly because the initials “SS” had a much more sinister connotation thanks to the Second World War. For more information on this car, click here. And for the rest of Bonhams lineup at Mercedes-Benz World Brooklands, click here.

Update: Sold $402,800.

A One-of-a-Kind Pagani Zonda

2003 Pagani Zonda C12 7.3 S/F

Offered by Bonhams | Brooklands, U.K. | December 3, 2012

The Pagani Zonda began like so many ill-fated attempts at supercar production – as a dream and sketch by its designer, Horacio Pagani. The company was founded seven years prior to production beginning. But that time wasn’t wasted and Pagani wasn’t just any junior high kid wanting to go fast. He was already rich and had a lot of techncial know-how, having worked at Lamborghini and owning his own composite research company that made him a lot of money. The Zonda is a legitimate supercar – and a legitimate car.

The Zonda was well-designed and it is supercar pretty and supercar fast. This one owner car was built in 2003 as a Zonda S 7.3, which used a 7.3-liter AMG-built V12 making 547 horsepower. It could do 208 mph and cost around $500,000. This was the bread and butter Zonda variant. However, in 2009 this car was involved in an accident and sent back to Pagani for repairs. While being repaired, it was also updated/upgraded to Zonda F specification (it is listed as a 2003/2010). Other limited-edition Zonda models were also in production and bits and pieces of some of them were included on this car, including pieces from the Zonda Cinque and Tricolore.

Power is now at 594 horsepower and the upgrades cost a whopping 77% of the original purchase price! It is truly a one-of-a-kind Zonda, a model that is now out of production. The pre-sale estimate is $800,000-$950,000. For more information and photos, click here. And for the rest of Bonham’s auction lineup, click here.

Update: Did not sell.

1904 Winton

1904 Winton 4.25-Litre 20hp Detachable Rear-Entrance Tonneau

Offered by Bonhams | Brooklands, U.K. | December 3, 2012

Alexander Winton is one of my favorite automotive pioneers. He was also one of the first. By 1899, he was the largest automotive manufacturer in the United States. He sold early cars to prominent Americans and by 1903 a Winton became the first car to drive across the U.S. Winton automobiles had also thrown fuel on the entrepreneurial fires of Henry Ford and James Ward Packard.

This Five-Passenger Touring model uses the 20 horsepower twin-cylinder engine (a 24 horsepower twin-cylinder was also available). It was the last year for two-cylinder engines at Winton. The engine (a straight-two) is mounted flat and between the two axles.

It was purchased in the 1930s by a young man who found the car abandoned (in an old building owned by his father). He restored it as a teenager and was one of the first members of the Antique Automobile Club of America, which was founded in 1935. He sold the car in 2006 when the current owner bought it. It is believe to be one of seven 1904 Wintons in existence (of about 600 built that year). It has been refreshed in the past five years or so and is ready to go. The estimate is between $210,000-$240,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Bonhams’ sale at Mercedes-Benz World, click here.

Update: Sold $218,800.

Update II: Sold, Bonhams, London-to-Brighton 2015 $199,416.

Fiat 1500 Cabriolet

1937 Fiat 1500 Cabriolet

Offered by Bonhams | Brooklands, U.K. | December 3, 2012

This is a good-looking car. It’s clean and – when you usually think of nice, big cabriolets from the 1930s, Fiat isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. So it’s a little surprising that I’m this drawn to it as it would have never occurred to me that Fiat built something this nice. When I think “Fiat from the 1930s,” I think “Topolino.”

The 1500 was introduced in 1935 and it remained in production until 1950 (of course, they took a few years off in there because of the war). This car was designed with the help of a wind-tunnel – one of the first such cars to do so. A normal 1500 sedan has a very rakish and aerodynamic grille. This car, with gorgeous coachwork from Ghia, has a more upright grille – a grille that would become standard on the series in 1940.

The engine is a 1.5-liter straight-six making 45 horsepower. Top speed was near 70 mph and 42,500 of these cars (in all body styles) were produced by the time production wrapped. The history of this car is known since the end of the war, where it found itself in South Africa. A few owners later, the car was restored. It is believed to be the only Ghia-bodied Fiat 1500 in existence. And it’s nice. The estimate is $110,000-$140,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Bonhams at Brooklands, click here.

Update: Sold $128,600.

Shelby “Green Hornet”

1968 Shelby EXP 500

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2013

Here’s one Shelby Mustang that even the most seasoned Shelby collectors don’t have. That’s because it’s the only one. Ford built two Mustangs as test beds/prototypes in 1968. This car was originally the factory Ford prototype for the California Special Mustang. When they were done with it, Shelby acquired it and ran it through the gauntlet.

Shelby tried all sorts of new parts and experimental systems out with this car. At one point it had independent rear suspension and an experimental electronic fuel injection system. Both parts left the car before it was finished, although, when it was restored, the independent suspension was recreated and put back on the car. Shelby also used it to test the new Cobra Jet engine. Because of the raw power, they had to use a transmission from an F350 truck. Power is somewhere around 400, although it was never officially published – although they took it to the Ford Proving Grounds and managed a 0-60 sprint of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 157 mph – both far better than the Shelby GT500KR that this car gave way to.

EXP 500 was given special green paint and dubbed “The Green Hornet.” When it’s life as a test car was over, a Ford executive slipped the car into the Ford Employee Auction and the car, which has a real VIN but was also marked as a Shelby prototype, was sold to the public. It went about it’s life as any old GT500, but was tracked down in 1988 and restored in 1993 back to it’s “Green Hornet” specs. Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson acquired the car later on and it is being sold from his collection (as is the Hemi ‘Cuda Convertible we featured). At Barrett-Jackson this is a million dollar car. For more information, click here. And for more form Barrett-Jackson, click here.

Update: Failed to sell.

November Auction Round-Up

Of the auctions held in November 2012, the first – Bonhams’ Veteran Motor Cars Sale on November 2nd – was by far the most interesting. The top sale was our featured 1904 Delaugère & Clayette for $361,000. The second and third highest selling cars were also feature cars here on the site: the 1904 Richard-Brasier for $358,000 and the 1904 Wilson-Pilcher for $325,000. Other interesting sales included this 1903 Gladiator 10hp Twin-Cylinder Side-Entrance Tonneau for $298,000.

Then there was this 1903 Vauxhall 5hp Two-Seater. It is the oldest known Vauxhall in existence. It sold for $151,000.

This 1900 Darracq 6.5hp Four-Seat Voiturette sold for $137,000.

Our other feature car was the 1903 Barré Tonneau. It sold for $214,000. We also featured the 1895 Buffum Stanhope – the world’s first four-cylinder car. It didn’t sell at its original auction, but sold here for $182,000. For complete results, click here.

Artcurial’s November 11th sale in Paris included our featured Siata Spring that sold for $15,900. The top sale was a 1974 Lancia Stratos Group 4 Rally Car in Alitalia livery. It sold for $458,000. Complete results are here.

Back to Bonhams for their November 14th sale at Harrogate, Great Yorkshire Showground. The top sale was this 1965 Ferrari 330GT 2+2 that was in, uh, “driver condition.” Apparently it had been restored about 30 years ago but it needs a little work to be perfect. Looks pretty cool as is though. It sold for $108,000.

Interesting cars included our featured Panther J72 that sold for $35,500. And this 1933 MG J2/J4 sold for $71,100.

Also interesting: this 1925 AC Royal 11.9hp that brought $20,900.

And for something really different, this 1951 Guy Otter Pantechnicon moving van. I’m not sure what you’d do with it, other than help your buddies move, but it’s old and pretty cool. It sold for $19,100.

Our featured Metz Model 25 Tourer sold for $13,600. You can find complete results here. Our next stop is Anaheim, California and Mecum’s November 15-17 sale. Our featured Factory Five GTM failed to sell. Top sale went to this 1932 Ford “McMullen” Roadster. It’s a fairly iconic hot rod built by Tom McMullen beginning in 1958. The flame design is by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. The car has popped up everywhere and sold for a serious $700,000.

A car we featured for Mecum’s Monterey Sale (that failed to sell) was brought back for this west coast auction and sold. It was the Duesenberg J-306 Willoughby Limousine and it sold for $370,000. Other interesting cars included this 1982 Jaguar XJS Koenig Special – a car tuned in 1986 new by Koenig for over $100,000. Only 14 were built. This one cost $13,500 today.

This super-gorgeous 2003 Aston Martin DB AR1 is a DB7-based production car from Aston that was designed by Zagato. Only 99 were built and it sold for $125,000 – about $100,000 less than when it was new.

And the final car from this sale, a 1942 Dodge W56 Command Car – a U.S. military vehicle from WWII. It sold for $28,000. Complete results for this sale can be found here.

And finally, Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Motor Show Sale was held on November 17th as well. The top sale went to this 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series II for $356,000.

Our featured Ferrari 512TR sold for $83,700. And one of the more interesting cars at the auction was this 1986 Ford RS200. It was the second-highest selling car at $164,000. Complete results can be found here.

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.

Nagant Berline

1918 Nagant Four-Cylinder Berline

For sale at Retrolegends | Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Tell me “Valkenswaard” isn’t the most fearsome sounding name for a northern European city. It sounds like a battle in Norse mythology involving a giant anthropomorphic bird and a giant invincible sword. Anyway, this 1918 Nagant has been on sale for a while, and I really like it.

Nagant was an arms manufacturer founded in Liége, Belgium in 1859. The name is probably most familiar to firearms types because of the famous Mosin-Nagant rifle that was put into use by the Russian Empire 1891.

Nagant wasn’t the only firearms manufacturer to turn to automobiles (BSA comes immediately to mind). Cars were introduced in 1900 and they were mostly licensed copies from other manufacturers. Later cars of their own design used high-revving (for the time) engines capable of up to 4,000 rpm. I’m unsure as to the power output of this car, but it may have the sidevalve 14/16hp engine introduced by Nagant in 1913.

These were known to be well-made, fast and highly durable cars. The company was acquired by Imperia in 1931 but production had wrapped up in 1928. Price is “available upon request,” which probably means it is too high, as it hasn’t sold in the years it has seemingly been sitting there. Click here for more info (well okay, less info, but it is the site where it is for sale).

1899 Hurtu

1899 Hurtu Dos-a-Dos

For sale by H&H Auctions | Appleton, England

Hurtu was among the earliest of the automotive pioneers. Founded in 1896, this 1899 Dos-a-Dos isn’t even their earliest model. The company started out in 1880 manufacturing sewing machines. They moved into machine tools and finally bicycles – the launchpad for many an early car maker.

Because my French is terrible (and I actually lived in France for a little bit), I always assumed this was pronounced phonetically. But, as always when it comes to foreign language, I was wrong. It’s French, so the consonants are extraneous. It’s pronounced “ooertoo” (or so says H&H).

Their first cars were Léon Bollée copies. In 1898 they switched to making Benz copies, which is what this happens to be. By 1900 they had their own, more contemporary, designs on sale. The marque lasted until 1930. This car’s engine is a 1.6-liter making 3.5 horsepower. The wood is believed to be original, although the dos-a-dos style seats have been redone (dos-a-dos referring to the seat that is in front of and facing the driver/operator).

About three or four of this type of Hurtu are known to exist. It has been in a Portuguese museum for some years but did complete the London-to-Brighton run in the last five years.  It has been excellently preserved and is ready to run. Price is unknown, but you can find out more here.

Purple Pierce-Arrow

1919 Pierce-Arrow Model 66 A-4 Tourer

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2013

If I had to describe this car in one word it would be “opulent.” Pierce-Arrows were known as high-quality, high-cost automobiles for most of their existence and it’s cars like this that gave them that well-deserved reputation. It was one of the best cars you could buy in 1919.

And so, legendary film comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle purchased this car as a bare chassis in 1919 and had it shipped to Don Lea Coach & Bodyworks in Los Angeles to have this custom body fitted. At the time, the designer working for the Don Lea coachbuilding company was a young Harley Earl. The color is described as “purple-blue” and whatever you want to call it, it is certainly striking. Especially when accented with those impossible-to-keep-clean all-white tires.

The Model 66 was introduced in 1910 and by 1918 it was a pretty old design. This 1919 model was one of the last built. In total, 1,250 were built and only about 14 survive today (only seven are the A-4 type). The engine is a monstrous 13.5-liter straight six making around 60 horsepower.

Tom Barrett (of Barrett-Jackson) acquired the car in 1976 and a light cosmetic restoration was performed before it was acquired by the Blackhawk Collection in 1982 where it remained until 2006. It was restored completely by its current owner, winning first-in-class at Pebble Beach in 2007. This is an exceptional automobile with a storied history and a one-of-a-kind look. For more information, click here.

Update: Not sold.