Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 22, 2023
The 3500 GT debuted at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show, with production of a Touring-penned coupe starting later that year. Spyders followed, as did some coachbuilt examples. Eventually a limited-run 5000 GT also joined the Maserati lineup before both cars were supplanted by cars like the Sebring and Mistral.
This car was sold new in January 1960 to a Swiss-born racing driver in California. It returned to Italy in 2007 and was later restored in Austria. It’s finished in white with a contrasting burgundy roof over a tan leather interior.
Power is provided by a 3.5-liter inline-six that was rated at 217 horsepower. Not overpowered for sure. Fuel injection would come along later and increase output by some degree. But this was a grand tourer, not a race car. If you’re in the market, this one will likely set you back $150,000-$190,000. More info can be found here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | May 27, 2023
Facel started out in 1939 in France – what great timing. The company was actually started by aircraft manufacturer Bronzavia. Jean Daninos took Facel over at the end of the war and started body manufacturing for automobiles. This all led up to the marque of Facel Vega being founded in 1954.
In 1959, they launched the HK500, which was an updated version of their earlier FVS. It had power from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 360 horsepower. The HK500 would only be produced into 1961 before being replaced by the Facel II. Just 489 were built.
This right-hand-drive car was repainted in the last several years in a pretty excellent shade of gold with polished lower panels and coverless-bronze wheels. It looks mean, which, with 360 horsepower, it kind of is. It now has an estimate of $115,000-$140,000. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold, but Historics won’t say for how much, probably to appease the prickly new owner.
Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | April 26, 2023
The SP250 was a British sports car from an unlikely source: Daimler, who up to this point had primarily made stodgy saloons and drophead coupes. After this point, they would be reduced to selling badge-engineered Jaguars. So it’s kind of amazing this car ever made it to production.
It debuted at the 1959 New York Motor Show as the “Dart” – which Chrysler obviously did not appreciate. So it was renamed the SP250 when production got under way shortly thereafter. Just 2,654 examples would be produced through 1964. We’ve featured one before – a prototype with a retractable hardtop.
The cars are powered by a very un-British engine: a 2.5-liter V8 designed in-house. Output was rated at 140 horsepower. This U.K.-market example was repainted about 15 years ago. It remains an interesting alternative to the Triumphs and MGs of the era. The estimate is $37,000-$42,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | April 16, 2023
Jack Turner’s sports car company operated in Wolverhampton, England, between 1951 and 1966. One of their early models was the 950 Sports, which debuted in 1956. Turners were sold as turn key cars or in kit form.
The 950 Sports was very similar to the earlier A30/803 models except that it had a 948cc inline-four lifted from the Austin A35. It also had hydraulic brakes with optional front discs. The body is fiberglass, and this one is from after the 950 redesign of 1959, and it kind of resembles an Austin-Healey Sprite.
This one has period racing history and was restored in the 1980s/1990s. It now has an estimate of $30,000-$42,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Osenat | Fontainebleau, France | March 27, 2023
The Simca Aronde was the company’s first original design and featured unibody construction. It was produced across three series between 1951 and 1964. The 90A Aronde was built between 1955 and 1958.
During that time, a number of special versions were produced, including the Plein Ciel with two-seat coupe bodywork by Facel. Power is from a 1.3-liter inline-four rated at 48 horsepower. Top speed was a claimed 83 mph.
This car is finished in white with a black roof over a red interior. It’s one of about 11,500 produced and carries an estimate of $19,000-$24,000. Click here for more info.
1960 Chevrolet Corvair Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina
Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022
The first Corvairs were sold for the 1960 model year, which is when GM Styling VP Bill Mitchell shipped this example to Italy to have Pinin Farina take a stab at designing around the platform.
That platform featured a rear-engined flat-six that, on this example, displaces 2.4 liters and makes about 80 horsepower. The car was shown at the 1961 Paris and Turin Motor Shows before being revised by Tom Tjaarda. It re-debuted at the 1963 Geneva show in its current 2+2 configuration.
Then Pinin Farina kept it in their private collection until 1996. But the exercise wasn’t for nothing: the second-generation Corvair rolled out in 1965, with some styling cues lifted from this car. It’s now one of the most expensive Corvairs anywhere in the world, with an estimate of $300,000-$500,000, which seems… steep. Click here for more info.
Offered by Oldtimer Galerie | Lucerne, Switzerland | May 28, 2022
The Tipo 102 Alfa Romeo 2000 was the follow up to Alfa’s 1900 model, which dated back to 1950. The 1900 had its moments, but it wasn’t as pretty as this. The 2000 was offered as a two-door Bertone-styled Sprint, a two-door Touring-bodied Spider, and a four-door Berlina, all between 1958 and 1962.
This Spider features a body penned by Carrozzeria Touring and is definitely the best-looking of the bunch. Power is (typically) from a 2.0-liter inline-four that was rated at 113 horsepower in Spider form. Top speed was 110 mph.
Only 3,443 examples of the Spider were built, and this one received a replacement 2.3-liter inline-four good for 140 horsepower sometime in its past. It was restored some time ago and is estimated to bring $75,000-$85,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | March 5, 2022
Philosophical question: if a car is produced by a manufacturer and later sent to a coachbuilder, what is the maximum length of time between those two acts to where the car is still considered what it is claimed to be? Most would agree that an Aston Martin DB4 tweaked by Bertone a few months after it was built is just fine.
But what if you take a 1960 Porsche 356B and send it to Zagato in 2016 for a new body? Is it still a coachbuilt 1960 356? That’s what we have here. There was a Porsche-Zagato Speedster raced in 1958 and 1959. That car no longer exists. In the 2010s, an American collector persuaded Zagato to recreate that Speedster. There was also a coupe version produced. In all 18 were built, and only one of the Speedsters ended up with a 1.6-liter Carrera flat-four.
This car, which is a real, Zagato-bodied 356 (though it just so happened it was bodied in 2016), carries an estimate of $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 2, 2021
The Mikrus MR-300. A household name. Not really… unless it’s late-1950s Poland. And even then, probably not. WSK-Mielec was a company based in Mielec, Poland, and was primarily an aircraft manufacturer. But in the late 1950s, like so many other companies in that part of the world, they ventured into microcars.
Microcars were popular because they were cheap and could be sold to the public while officials cruised around in comparative luxury cars. The Goggomobil was the inspiration here, and power is provided by a rear-mounted 296cc twin good for 14.5 horsepower.
The MR-300 was the only Mikrus automobile, and it was only available as a four-seat two-door sedan. Between 1957 and 1960, the company produced 1,728 examples. This one has a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021
Wayne Ewing worked for A.J. Watson in the body department, and in 1960 he designed and built his own Indy Roadster. The car would be sponsored by long-time open-wheel team owner Al Dean, owner of moving company Dean Van Lines. His race cars were dubbed “Dean Van Lines Specials” and driven by some pretty big names, including A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
This car was similar to the dominating Watsons of the era, but had some slight differences. It featured a 4.1-liter (252ci) Offenhauser inline-four mounted ahead of the driver. This car went out and won the pole for the 1960 Indy 500 in its first try. Its competition history includes:
1960 Indianapolis 500 – 21st, DNF (with Eddie Sachs)
1961 Indianapolis 500 – 2nd (with Sachs)
1962 Indianapolis 500 – 3rd (with Sachs)
1963 Indianapolis 500 – 8th (with Chuck Hulse)
That’s a pretty impressive Brickyard resume, especially considering it won the pole in ’61 as well. After 1963, the car remained in the Midwest, where it was modified into a super modified. It wasn’t until nearly 1980 that a future owner realized what the car actually was and set out to restore it. The engine is now a 4.4-liter (270ci) Offy.
This car has participated in many shows and events and has had two long-term owners since 1982. The auction catalog lists this as a “1961” – it was apparently restored to its 1961 spec. Anyway, you can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.