DB6 Volante

1967 Aston Martin DB6 Mk I Volante

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 9, 2015

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

The Aston Martin DB6 is one of the sexiest Astons ever made. And in most cases, a drop-top Aston Martin is always more drool-inducing than their closed-roof counterparts. This car is no exception.

Prior convertibles were just that, convertibles. With the introduction of the DB6 in 1965, the term Volante was used to describe a rag top Aston and let’s be honest, it’s a fine, exotic-sounding word. The DB6 is a wonderful GT too, a true four-seater. It is powered by a 4.0-liter straight-six making 282 horsepower.

The DB6 would remain in production through 1970 – into the 1971 model year – with a total of 1,575 hard tops produced. The Volante was much rarer – only 178 built with this car being a Mark I, signifying it was built before the summer of 1969, when the Mark II was introduced. This is a 58,000 mile car with recent service history that is ready for the road. It should bring between $1,000,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 212 Export

1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta by Touring

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Lake Como, Italy | May 23, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

What’s great about these old Ferraris is that they were built for sport but are totally street-able. They are sports cars. But there’s nothing outrageous about them and they look like an early post-war convertible car from Europe.

The 212 Export (which differs from the 212 Inter, which was marketed as Ferrari’s grand touring model while the Export was being built as a racing car) was built in 1951 with a at least a couple finished in 1952. This is actually the final 212 Export to be bodied by Touring and is one of only 28 ever built. It is powered by a 160 horsepower 2.6-liter V-12.

This car has period race history, including:

  • 1952 Targa Florio – 10th (with Baron Luigi Bordonaro di Chiaramonte)
  • 1953 Targa Florio – 16th (with Bordonaro)
  • 1956 Mille Miglia – DNF (with Edouard Margairuz)

Those are some pretty important races and it’s 1952 Targa Florio finish is most impressive. The car spent 30 or so years in the hands of American owners before being shipped to its next owner in Madrid. It then moved to London before returning to the States, where it resides today. It was restored years ago but looks great. It’s eligible for nearly every great historic racing event and will command a nice sum at auction. Click here to read more and here to see more from this sale.

Update: Sold $7,593,600.

Packard Grocery Truck

1920 Packard Model E Truck

For Sale at Hyman Ltd. | St. Louis, Missouri

Photo - Hyman Ltd.

Photo – Hyman Ltd.

Packard, which stands as one of America’s greatest automobile manufacturers of all time, was also quite the commercial vehicle manufacturer in their day. This behemoth was one of many such trucks built by the company between 1905 and 1923.

It’s powered by a four-cylinder engine and has a 3-ton capacity. The truck is fabulously restored and has been painted with the name of a grocer in Pennsylvania who found the truck and had it restored. The grocer had their own fleet of similar trucks in the 1920s.

Commercial vehicles tend to cease to exist after 30 years or so, so to find one that is almost 100 years old is incredible. It was restored to perfection about 25 years ago but it still looks amazing. If you own a grocery store, this is the vehicle for you. It is for sale in St. Louis for between $70,000 and $80,000. Click here for more info.

Raindrop Caddy

1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Raindrop Prototype

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Fort Worth, Texas | May 2, 2015

Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo – RM Sotheby’s

The third generation Cadillac Eldorado was new for 1957. Back in these days, car manufacturers were making styling changes for every model year. It’s when Detroit was king and the money was a-flowin’. This car is a very special Cadillac – not only is it an Eldorado Biarritz, it is a GM factory prototype.

It started life as a 1958 Eldorado Biarritz, the top trim of Cadillac’s halo model. GM updated it with many upcoming 1959 features, including the over-the-top tail fins that made the ’59 Caddy so iconic. The interior is one-of-a-kind but the engine is a standard Series 62 335 horsepower 6.0-liter V-8.

It’s a boat, for sure, but it has a very special feature, dubbed “Raindrop.” The system uses a humidity sensor that detects water in top-down driving. When a few drops trip the sensor, the top of the trunk separates and slides away, allowing the roof to fold up and close automatically. Even the windows roll themselves up. It’s a fascinating piece of engineering.

This car was given to Harley Earl when he retired and he used the car around Florida in his later years. It was subsequently restored and is being offered with a pre-sale estimate of $600,000-$800,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of this sale’s lineup.

Update: Sold $324,500.

April 2015 Auction Highlights, Pt I

Well this might be titled April 2015 auction highlights, but the first few auctions are actually from March, starting with Bonhams’ all-Mercedes auction in Stuttgart. The top sale was this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A that sold for $2,993,220.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured 770K was close behind, selling for $2,506,821. Check out full results here.

Next up is Silverstone Auctions’ Restoration Show Sale where there were a few cars on offer in need of a restoration. But the top sale was the newest car in the sale, a 2010 Porsche 911 GT2 RS which brought $349,650.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

We featured a Renault Sport Spider from this sale and it sold for $33,300. Check out full results here.

The third sale of this rundown is Auctions America’s large Ft. Lauderdale sale. We featured a number of cars and the top seller of those feature cars was the “Shorty” Mustang Prototype. It went for $511,500. The overall top seller was this 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe for $715,000.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

All of our five featured Shelbys sold, with the Dakota being the only one to meet the lower end of its estimate, selling for $24,200. The Lancer sold for $16,500 while the CSX brought $17,600. The Omni was next at $15,400 and the cheapest of the bunch was the Charger at $11,000.

The Renault Camionette sold for $39,600 and the Cupelle brought $45,100. The Westland Prototype failed to sell and the D.F.P. was apparently withdrawn from the sale.

Next we move to Mecum’s Houston sale where our featured Duesenberg was the top sale at $500,000 – which was an excellent buy. The Buddy Stewart pickup failed to sell but the other pickup, the Rugby, sold for $35,000. An interesting sale was this 1910 Peerless Model 27 for $275,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Another similar car that we featured, a 1910 Parry Model 40 was an good buy at $50,000. The 1906 Packard was a little more expensive at $300,000. Check out full results here.

And finally, H&H Auctions’ sale held at the Imperial War Museum, where this 1969 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II was far and away the top seller at $417,200.

Photo - H&H Auctions

Photo – H&H Auctions

We featured two cars from this sale and they both sold. The super interesting Vinot et Deguingand brought $42,554. And the Riley Gamecock sold for a similar $47,144. Check out full results here.

Flint Touring

1924 Flint Model E Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 25, 2015

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Flint was a motorcar sold by the Durant Motors Company for a few short years in the 1920s. Billy Durant’s story is an interesting one. After he was forced out at General Motors, he went out and founded his own General Motors, but called it Durant. It was to have a full line of automobiles, and included marques Durant, Star, Rugby, Locomobile, and Flint.

The Flint was an assembled car, built out of parts Durant could buy on the open market instead of designing one from the ground up. Actually, the design of this car came with a factory he bought, a former Willys factory. The cars were produced in Long Island City from 1923 through 1924 before production shifted to Elizabeth, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan until 1926. The Flint factory ceased production a year before the rest of production halted in 1927.

The Model E was the only car offered by Flint in 1923 and 1924. It uses a 65 horsepower straight-six Continental engine. This original tourer has been in long-term storage and will need a bit of freshening before being roadworthy. At any rate it should sell for between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Worldwide’s auction lineup.

Update: Sold $12,100.

Crosley Fire Truck

1952 Crosley CD Fire Truck

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Kansas | April 23-25, 2015

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Cincinnati-based Crosley began building cars in the late 1930s but halted production when war broke out. They continued after the war, building diminutive but well built cars in two-door sedan, wagon and convertible form. And then there was this.

These Crosley Hook & Ladders, as they are sometimes called, were not actually built by the factory. They were constructed out of normal, road-going Crosleys by Overland Amusement Company of Lexington, Massachusetts. They were built between 1947 and 1952, with 1952 being the final year for all Crosley production.

This one is based on a Model CD Crosley from 1952. It uses a 25.5 horsepower 721cc straight-four. The Fire Trucks never actually saw service in fire departments, but were instead used as amusement park rides, with the trailer holding the kiddies, like so:

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Only about 100 of these were built and in recent years they seem to pop up quite regularly, with prices being all over the board. I’m not sure what you’d do with it if you bought it, but it would be rather hilarious to drive this thing to the grocery store, wouldn’t it? You can read more here and see the rest of this sale’s lineup here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $50,000.

Moretti 1200S

1955 Moretti 1200S

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 25, 2015

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Moretti was an interesting automobile marque. The early years were spent on commercial vehicles, motorcycles, and microcars. It wasn’t until after the WWII that things like this came around. Moretti rebodied a great many Fiat – usually becoming more attractive than the car they were based on. Production numbers were never high, but they were always interesting.

The 1200S Spyder was a prototype built by Moretti. Two were built, one in 1954 and this one in 1955. This car was on the Moretti stand at the 1955 Turin and Geneva Motor Shows. It is powered by a 1.2-liter straight-four making a mighty 85 horsepower.

After the show circuit, the car was sold to the Venezuelan Moretti importer who raced it before selling it to a Ford executive in Venezuela. The new owner took the car to Cuba and attempted to race it but engine issues sidelined him early. He swapped out the engine after the race. When Castro took over, the Moretti and its owner fled the country quickly.

The car was discovered in a barn in 1998, sold to a few new owners and was sent to Italy for restoration. The original engine was sought out, still in Cuba where the owner had left it. It was put back to factory specification and debuted at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours. It is one of two and could bring between $750,000-$950,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Gatso 1500

1948 Gatso 1500

For sale at The Gallery Brummen | Brummen, The Netherlands

Photo - The Gallery Brummen

Photo – The Gallery Brummen

Gatso was the name given to the cars built by Maurice Gatsonides, a Dutch businessman and racing driver. He built his first vehicle in the late 1930s and called it the “Kwik” but nothing become of it and the war put his plans on hold.

Fast forward to 1948, Gatsonides introduced a car prototyped as the Gatford 4000, later renamed the Gatso 4000. It was a three-eyed sports car and eight or 11 were built. He also built a lone racing car, this, the 1500. It was based on a Fiat 1500 and uses a 1.5-liter straight-six making 55 horsepower.

Gatsonides campaigned the car a few times, at one point setting a one-hour speed record at Zandvoort. He lost the car later in life when finances got out of hand and it has had several owners over the years and has been restored. It’s a great piece of Dutch racing history and the only Gatso automobile that survives today. It is for sale for around $200,000. Click here for more info.

1912 Imperial

1912 Imperial Model 34 Touring

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Houston, Texas | April 25, 2015

Photo - Worldwide Auctioneers

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Imperial Automobile Company was founded by brothers T.A. and George N. Campbell – owners of the Jackson Carriage Company in Jackson, Michigan. They undertook automobile production in 1908, offering four-cylinder touring cars and roadsters from the start.

The Model 34 was built from 1912 through 1914. It uses a four-cylinder engine making 40 horsepower. In 1912, the Model 34 was only offered in the Five-Passenger Semi-Torpedo Touring body style you see here. The Campbell brothers sold out in 1914, merging their company with Marion. But the Imperial name was gone after 1916 (although Chrysler would use it in an unrelated manner years later).

This car was in collections as far back as the 1950s and spent a long time in a museum. It is offered “barn fresh” from said dissipated museum. It’s a large, sturdy touring car that would be a lot of fun if fixed up. It is expected to bring between $40,000-$60,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,750.