Volpini Formula Junior

1958 Volpini Formula Junior

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monaco | May 14, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Gian Paolo Volpini joined forces with Egidio Arzani in 1954 to form Arzani-Volpini. They intent was to make the Formula One grid, which they did for once race in 1955 with driver Luigi Piotti in a modified, used Maserati.

Eventually Scuderia Volpini dropped the name of engine builder Arzani and stuck to the lower open-wheel rungs. This Formula Junior single-seater is powered by a 1.1-liter Fiat inline-four that has been tuned to put out 90 horsepower.

This car had a long history in the U.S., with one of its more recent owners campaigning it at historic events over the last 20-ish years. It’s now offered at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $48,491.

250 GT Ellena

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Ellena

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | July 9, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Ferrari’s 250 GT line of cars spawned many sub-models, beginning with 1954’s GT Europa. In 1955, Ferrari introduced the 250 GT Coupe, which could initially be had as a Boano or Ellena variant. The cars were named after their respective coachbuilders, even though both were from the same family. Felice Mario Boano’s namesake company was only around from 1954 through 1957, at which time he renamed the company Carrozzeria Ellena after his son-in-law, who took over the business that would last through 1966.

The two coupes are distinct from each other, but both share the same 3.0-liter Colombo V12 good for 237 horsepower. Only 50 examples of the 250 GT Ellena were built between 1957 and 1958. This one, like others, features a wonderful two-tone paint scheme with a maroon lower body and a silver roof.

This car, #25, was first registered in Rome and made its way to the U.S. in the 1970s. It spent over two decades in a private New York collection and was restored in the U.K. in 2005. It now carries an estimate of $970,000-$1,200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $707,269.

De Sanctis Formula Junior

1958 De Sanctis Formula Junior

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-26, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Gino De Sanctis was a Fiat dealer in Rome who decided in the late 1950s that he wanted to start building race cars. This decision coincided with the launch of the Formula Junior class in 1958. It was an entry-level open-wheel class using parts from regular production cars.

In this case, De Sanctis used a 1.1-liter Fiat inline-four from an 1100/103. Power was rated at 72 horsepower, and the engine was mounted behind the driver. The car features a tubular spaceframe, a four-speed manual gearbox, and a coil-sprung front suspension.

This is the fifth De Sanctis car built, and it was used by its first owner for two seasons of the Italian Junior Championship before heading to a racing school until 1973, when it was purchased by the current owner. The final De Sanctis cars were built in 1970. You can read more about this one here and see more from this auction here.

Update: Not sold.

BMW 503 Cabriolet

1958 BMW 503 Series II Cabriolet

Offered by Bonhams | Knokke-Heist, Belgium | October 11, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

In the mid-1950s, BMW had yet to have a real hit. They were still pushing Isettas on the German people, and alongside that, they were offering the ultra-exclusive 507 Roadster. Meanwhile, they were trying their hand at a luxury 2+2 with this, the 503.

Produced between 1956 and 1959, the 503 was powered by a 3.2-liter V8 that made 140 horsepower. The car could be had as a coupe or a convertible, and they all had four seats. This is a Series II example, the type of which was introduced in 1957. It featured a floor shifter for the four-speed manual transmission.

Only 413 examples of the 503 were built, and just 138 of those were drop-tops. This example was restored in 2002 and is certain to be its next owner’s ticket to any major car event worldwide. It is expected to bring between $410,000-$530,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1950s Leyland Tanker

1958 Leyland Super Comet Tanker

Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | September 20, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Comet was a model of heavy truck produced by Leyland Trucks over a series of generations between 1947 and 2015. That’s quite the nameplate heritage. They were produced in every conceivable truck variant: flatbeds, box trucks, tankers, and more.

The third generation Comet was available between 1958 and 1963. During this run, the Super Comet was introduced, which was of an even heavier-duty variety. This particular truck is finished in a bright yellow National Benzole livery. This very truck was used to produce a toy version, which is kind of cool.

The 6.2-liter diesel inline-six makes 110 horsepower. The truck has been offered by Bonhams before, and it’s now back with an estimate of $13,000-$20,000. That’s a lot of vehicle for the money. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $24,412.

Vignale Wonderful Coupe

1958 Fiat 1200 Wonderful Coupe by Vignale

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.

The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.

Update: Sold $181,500.

Kurtis 500H

1958 Kurtis 500H

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 12-17, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Frank Kurtis built some spectacular race cars in the 1950s, including this 500H. It was from the later years of Kurtis Indy Roadster production. I’m not really sure how many were produced, but if there were multiple, they were probably built between 1958 and 1960. That’s when they were campaigned.

This car is powered by a 252ci (4.1-liter) Offenhauser inline-four. The Kurtis-Offy was a nearly unbeatable combo at the Brickyard in the ’50s. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1958 Indy 500 – 23rd, DNF (with Johnny Tomson)
  • 1959 Indy 500 – 7th (with Duane Carter)
  • 1960 Indy 500 – 22nd, DNF (with Don Freeland)

Looking at a bunch of old Indy box scores, it’s possible that this was the only “H” example built. It appears to be the only one to run the 500. You can see more about this car here and more from Mecum here.

Update: Withdrawn.

Devin D

1958 Devin D

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Bill Devin’s Devin Enterprises operated out of California between 1955 and 1964 and specialized in fiberglass kit cars. During their brief existence, they also sold some actual cars. One such model that was available as a complete, turn-key car was the D, which was introduced in 1958.

While it was also available as a kit, the Devin D was offered by the company ready to go with the option of two different engines: one from VW and one from Porsche. It used a custom ladder frame and a fiberglass body. This car is powered by a 100 horsepower, 1.8-liter Porsche flat-four.

Only 46 Devin Ds were produced. With its very Porsche-like design, this D is a more affordable alternative to its period Porsche competition. It is expected to bring between $89,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Paris.

Update: Sold $100,914.

Two Microcars

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29-30, 2019


1965 Goggomobil TS300 Cabriolet

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Goggomobil was built by Hans Glas GmbH between 1955 and 1969. There were a number of different models offered, with the TS coupe model available in TS250 or TS300 form.

They are powered by a 15 horsepower, 293cc 2-stroke twin. The cabriolet is very rare, with only seven examples produced. This former museum car carries a pre-sale estimate of $35,000-$45,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $20,350.


1958 Biscuter 200-1 Furgoneta

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Biscuter was a microcar built by Autonacional of Spain. It is a descendant of Gabriel Voisin‘s post-war Biscooter French microcar. Different models were available, including the Pegasin sports car and this Furgoneta commercial van.

Power here is from a 197cc 2-stroke single-cylinder making a whopping nine horsepower. It’s wearing a wrap, which is an interesting thing to do to a classic car. Not many examples remain, and this one sports some pretty awesome wood work. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,675.

Biscuter Furgoneta

1958 Biscuter 200-1 Furgoneta

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | March 29-30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Biscuter was a microcar built by Autonacional of Spain. It is a descendant of Gabriel Voisin‘s post-war Biscooter French microcar. Different models were available, including the Pegasin sports car and this Furgoneta commercial van.

Power here is from a 197cc 2-stroke single-cylinder making a whopping nine horsepower. It’s wearing a wrap, which is an interesting thing to do to a classic car. Not many examples remain, and this one sports some pretty awesome wood work. It should bring between $20,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $4,675.