Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 5, 2021
Bristol’s “400” line of cars began with the company’s first vehicle, the 400, in 1947 and continued through the 412, which was built through 1981. And, until now, we’ve featured an example of each one in the sequence, except for the 409 and this, the 405.
The 404 and 405 were built roughly alongside one another, with the 404 being a two-seat coupe, and the 405 was available as a ragtop or a sedan. It was the better seller, with 308 built between 1955 and 1958. Only 43 of those 308 were convertibles.
This one is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-six rated at 125 horsepower. It was restored decades ago and entered its current collection in 2006. The pre-sale estimate is $125,000-$185,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | New York, New York | October 28, 2020
And then there was this one, the final Alfa Romeo B.A.T. concept car of the 1950s (they actually produced a B.A.T. 11 concept in 2008 as a sort of tribute to the first three). Scaglione’s styling on this one was a little more subdued. The rear wings shrunk down, and the front end actually carried an Alfa Romeo corporate look, foreshadowing the Giulietta Sprint Speciale.
This one also debuted at the Turin Motor Show, albeit in 1955. Ownership history is known since new, and the powertrain was again sourced from Alfa’s 1900.
The story of the three of these being united is interesting. Nuccio Bertone was in Pasadena, California, in 1989, and the organizers of the Pebble Beach Concours arranged to have all three cars displayed at their show, which Bertone ended up attending. While there, a collector made offers on all three, and it worked. The cars later spent ~10 years at the Blackhawk Museum and are all three now being offered as a single lot. Click here for more info.
Update: All three B.A.T. cars sold as a single lot for $14,840,000.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
This time last week we were talking about Jaguar’s XKSS continuation series of cars. This week, it’s time to talk D-Types. This is, perhaps, the most legendary Jag. The D-Type won Le Mans three straight years: 1955, 1956, and 1957. The company managed to get 71 built, though they planned on building 100.
Which leads us to this. A couple of years ago Jaguar announced that they would finish off the 25 cars to get them to the 100 they initially wanted (though the 25 they didn’t build were intended to be XKSS examples, and nine of those never got built due to a fire… the math works, trust me).
These continuation cars were built by Jaguar using the same processes they used in 1955. Power is from a 3.4-liter inline-six. You could get them in short or long-nose form, and this is an example of the former. It’s covered less than 200 miles with its first owner.
The D-Type we featured in 2013 failed to sell with a high bid of $6.2 million. This one, supposedly built the same way, should bring significantly less. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Does this look like a Dual-Ghia to you? Well if it does, that’s because it essentially is. Chrysler had a relationship with Ghia during the 1950s that led to some fantastic concept cars, including this. But Chrysler passed on putting this one into production.
So in stepped Gene Casaroll, a Detroit-area businessman, who arranged to put it into production as the Dual-Ghia. The Firebomb remained a one-off Chrysler concept powered by a 270 horsepower, 5.1-liter V8. This car is also the reason some people refer to the Dual-Ghia as the “Dual-Ghia Firebomb,” which is not accurate.
The car has been hanging around the Blackhawk Collection for years and is now offered for sale as part of Mecum’s “Gallery,” alongside quite a few other Blackhawk cars. You can see more about it here.
Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | August 31, 2019
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.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
The Ferrari 375 MM was a race car. The MM stood for Mille Miglia, the famed Italian road race. That’s what the 26 examples of the 375 MM were destined for, along with the Carrera Panamericana and other similar events.
But sometimes exclusive Ferrari clientele convinced Enzo that his latest race car would make their perfect road car. Such was the case with this car, which was purchased by early Ferrari fan Bob Wilke. It’s powered by a 340 horsepower, 4.5-liter V12 and was the second-to-last 375 MM built.
It carries a striking body by Ghia and was the final Ferrari bodied by that particular carrozzeria. The paint scheme is spot on and compliments the Borrani wire wheels and the overall stance of the car exceptionally well. Debuting at the 1955 Turin Motor Show, the car was retained by Wilke’s family until 1974. It was never restored but has been repainted. It’s one of RM’s “big money Ferraris” and you can read more about it here. Check out more from this sale here.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Alcacer do Sal, Portugal | September 20-21, 2019
This may look like some kind of early Porsche or Volkswagen sports car, but it isn’t. It is certainly related to those cars but is its own thing entirely. Wolfgang Denzel built cars in Vienna, Austria between 1948 and 1959. Very few were made.
Early examples used a Volkswagen chassis, but by 1952 the cars used a custom-built frame. Bodies were done in aluminium, and running gear was sourced from Volkswagen (though some later cars used Porsche powerplants instead).
This car carries a replacement 1.3-liter flat-four and a later-style Denzel body. It was sold new in Portugal, where it remains today. Only about 65 of these 1300 model examples were built and approximately 30 survive. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 6, 2019
OSCA was founded by a couple of the Maserati brothers after they left the company that bore their name. In existence for only 20 years (1947-1967), the company produced mainly sports racing cars, some of which just happened to be road legal – but road cars were not their primary concern.
The MT4 was actually their first product, going on sale in 1947. Different engine sizes were used and many of them sported different bodies. For example, here is a Frua-bodied car with a 1.5-liter engine. The car you see here is powered by a 1.3-liter straight-four.
OSCA built 72 examples of the MT4 from 1947-1963, a long time in race-car-land, which should say something about how good they were. The original body was an aluminum structure hand-built by the car’s original owner. It was ruined in an accident during the 1959 Targa Florio, and this Morelli coachwork was fitted in 1959.
This Italian racer has Targa Florio race history. What more do you want? It should bring between $1,250,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 8, 2018
Photo – Bonhams
So this looks like most Rolls-Royces (or Bentleys) from the 1950s, no? Perhaps you’re thinking of the Silver Wraith, Silver Cloud, or Phantom V. This is a Phantom IV – it’s an ultra-rare example produced between 1950 and 1956. Only 18 were made.
Why so rare? Well, it was only sold to royalty or heads of state (mostly from the Middle East or the U.K.). This particular car was one of five owned by the British Royal Family. This is one of two used by the Queen herself and when Rolls sold these cars originally, they stated that they could not be re-sold, only bought back by Rolls-Royce. This car spent over 40 years (1959 to 2002) in the hands of the royal family and is now being sold publicly for the first time.
Carrying a body by Hooper, this car is powered by a 5.7-liter straight-eight engine. It’s an exceptionally rare automobile and one that doesn’t come up for sale often. It was on permanent loan to the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation and is now for sale. If you’ve always wanted the rarest post-war Rolls-Royce, now’s the time. It should bring between $1,300,000-$2,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 18-19, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
The Alfa Romeo 1900 was Alfa’s executive car introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show. Produced through 1959, it could be had as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, or two-door convertible. This is not the standard coupe.
There were a few sub-models of the 1900, including the 1900 Super, 1900TI, and the 1900C – which was the short wheelbase version. This SS version is powered by a 115 horsepower, 2.0-liter straight-four.
Quite a few of these were coachbuilt specials and many of those were one-offs, including this Turin Motor Show car by Mario Boano. Sold after that show to a Milanese buyer, it remained in Italy for quite some time, finally finding a foreign owner in 2013. The restoration you see here wasn’t complete until 2017 – and it has been restored back to as it was on the Turin Motor Show stand.
The styling on this car is very Jet Age, carrying bodywork that fit right in with other coachbuilt specials from the era. When it crosses the block in January, it is expected to bring between $1,250,000-$1,750,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.