Martin Ford Special

1962 Martin Ford Special

Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | October 6, 2021

Photo – H&H Classics

I had the structure for this post all laid out, and then I went and read the H&H Classics catalog description. And it was pretty much the same thing I planned on writing, which was: the post-war sports car boom rode a pretty strong wave for about 15-20 years. Alongside established manufacturers, there were countless upstarts who were offering various forms of sports cars.

One such form was the kit car, or more appropriately at the time this was built, shells that could be bought and fitted to existing running gear. Basically, re-bodying a common car to make it into a sports car. In this case, Martin Plastics Maidstone Ltd offered their fiberglass shells beginning in 1953.

This particular one was purchased as a bare body in 1956 and was fitted to a 1939 Ford Prefect. The completed car was registered in 1962, hence the date listed. Power is from a 1.2-liter Ford inline-four, and the car was restored around 2016. About 500 Martin shells were sold, and only five are known to exist. This one is expected to go cheap with an estimate of $8,000-$11,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

La Dawri Conquest

1962 La Dawri Conquest

Offered by Mecum | Dallas, Texas | September 8-11, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The La Dawri Cavalier was one of the earliest fiberglass specials of the 1950s. It debuted in 1956 and was produced by La Dawri Coachcraft of British Columbia, Canada. The company was founded by Lee Dawes, who moved it to Southern California in 1957. After the move, the Cavalier was renamed the Conquest.

La Dawri had a prolific model range until they closed in 1965, due in part to their 1961 acquisition of Victress. Victress models under then produced under the La Dawri brand. But anyway, this Conquest is powered by a 4.3-liter Chevrolet V8. It has unnecessarily been modified with Torq Thrust-style wheels. It’s a rare enough car that hot-rodding it isn’t needed.

The frame is from a Corvette, as is the suspension. I haven’t seen one of these for sale at an auction in quite some time… and if I recall, the only ones I have seen have been slightly modified as well. I don’t get it. But wheels are easy to change. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $25,000.

Cisitalia-Abarth 850 Scorpione

1962 Cisitalia-Abarth 850 Scorpione Coupe

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | March/April 2021

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

Piero Dusio got rich making uniforms during WWII and parlayed that cash into a small company he founded called Cisitalia. They built racing cars, and eventually road cars. But racing is expensive, and eventually, he ran out of money, forcing him to relocate to Argentina.

Cisitalia collaborated with Abarth (Carlo Abarth was Austrian by birth) here and there, and after the company moved to South America, the two got together for one last fling. Abarth had a car out there called the Fiat-Abarth 850 Allemano. This car is essentially a badge-engineered version of Carlo’s 850. It features an 847cc inline-four that was rated at 55 horsepower when new.

Fewer than 200 Fiat-Abarth models were produced, and about the same (or less) of these were also made. It is not really related to the similarly-named Abarth Scorpione. This one has obviously been restored and is up for bidding now. The auction ends tomorrow. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $74,000.

Ferrari Police Car

1962 Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2 Polizia

For Sale by Girardo & Co.

Photo – Girardo & Co.

The 250 GTE 2+2 was the first four-seat production car from Ferrari. The 250 road car line dated back to 1953, and the GTE was introduced in 1959. About 1,000 were built through 1963, and it remains one of the most affordable entry points into a Ferrari 250 GT today.

A 237 horsepower, 3.0-liter V12 drives this long-wheelbase car. But none of this is the story here. It’s the fact that this is a police car. And was when it was new. But how? Well, the story is that Armando Spatafora (an Italian cop) was dispatched to a high-performance driving program alongside three other officers.

After he completed the course, he was given this car, siren and all. Ferrari actually built a second example, but it was destroyed after only a few weeks on the job. This one remained with the Polizia for six years. It’s never been restored, just preserved by a series of owners. It’s possibly the coolest 250 GTE there is. You can read more about it here.

Ferrari 196 SP

1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

In any era of racing, manufacturers aren’t all that concerned with maintaining a chassis as “factory correct” as the intent is to win races. So race cars – be it in 1959 or 2019 – often go through rounds of development, which can include bodywork modifications and engine changes. By the time they retire from racing, they can be completely different from when they started.

And that’s what we have here. This chassis started life in 1962 as a 248 SP and later became a 268 SP after an engine change. At the end of 1962, the engine was swapped again to the current 2.0-liter V6 capable of 210 horsepower. The body is by Fantuzzi, and the competition history for this chassis (0806) includes:

  • 1962 12 Hours of Sebring – 13th, 3rd in class (as 248 SP with Buck Fulp and Peter Ryan)
  • 1962 1000km of Nurburgring – DNF (as 268 SP with Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez)
  • 1963 Nassau Speed Week – various results (as 196 SP with Bob Grossman)

In 1972, the car was sold by Luigi Chinetti to French collector Pierre Bardinon, who sent the car to Fantuzzi for revised rear bodywork. It later spent time in the Maranello Rosso collection before being restored by its American owners in the early 2000s. It’s a pretty fantastic 1960s Ferrari sports prototype that should break the bank. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 250 GTO

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 24-25, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This, of course, is an example of the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO – the most sought-after car in the world, or at least according to its price. Bonhams set a record during the Pebble Beach weekend in 2014 selling another ’62 GTO for just over $38 million. So why feature another one of these grand touring cars? Well, because this one wears a different body.

The 250 GTO – or Gran Turismo Omologata – were homologated race cars built by Ferrari between 1962 and 1964. Only 36 were made and they’re powered by a 3.0-liter Colombo V-12 rated at 296 horsepower. This one has blue seats, which look pretty cool.

Most of the GTOs looked like this, including this car when new. For 1964, the final run of three cars were bodied with “Series II” coachwork. Four earlier, Series I cars, including this one, were rebodied in the more streamlined design. In fact, this was just the third 250 GTO constructed so it lived a solid two years with its first body before heading back to Scaglietti to match the 1964 cars. It is one of two with an extended roof like the 250 LM.

The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1962 Targa Florio – test car for Phil Hill and Mauro Forghieri
  • 1963 Italian 3-Litre GT Championship – 1st (with Edoardo Lualdi-Gabardi)
  • 1963 Targa Florio – 4th, 1st in class (with Gianni Bulgari and Maurizio Grana)
  • 1964 Targa Florio – 5th, 1st in class (with Corrado Ferlaino and Luigi Taramazzo)

Acquired by Greg Whitten (of Microsoft fame) in 2000, this 250 GTO is being offered for public sale. Obviously, no estimate is given, and RM Sotheby’s is requiring you to be vetted to even bid on this car. I guess you can’t have some schmo bidding $40 million on something when their net worth tops out in the seven-digit range. Anyway, it’ll sure be interesting to see what it brings – if it sells. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $48,405,000.

Mini Marcos

1962 Marcos Mini Marcos

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 11, 2018

Photo – Brightwells

Marcos Engineering Ltd., founded by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin in 1959, built sports cars originally in North Wales before moving to Wiltshire and then to Westbury. In 1965 they introduced the Mini Marcos, a small front-wheel drive sports car based around the Mini.

Marcos supplied the body as a kit. The owner could take a Mini and swap out the body and some other bits, ending up with a sports car that had international racing pedigree. That’s right, the Mini Marcos ran at Le Mans, among other places. These were offered in five different series between 1965 and 1970 (this car is based on a 1962 Mini). A different company sold them between 1974 and 1981 and Marcos re-entered the picture in 1991, offering them through 1996.

This car is powered by an 848cc straight-four. These are screaming little machines and about 1,340 of them were built in total by all companies. This three owner car was recently recommissioned after nearly two decades in storage. It should sell for between $13,000-$16,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Three Wagons in L.A.

Three Wagons in L.A.

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018


1962 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Mecum has become the go-to place for classic wagons and pickup trucks. This sale has some great examples of both, including this 1962 Corvair Wagon. The Corvair was new for 1960 and it was a revolutionary design with its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. The platform saw cars, vans, and pickup trucks applied to it.

Station wagons were only available in 1961 and 1962, making this the last of the line for Corvair Wagons. In 1962, the wagon was available in two trims: the Lakewood (which was the Series 700 Corvair you see here) and in upmarket Monza trim. The Lakewood only made it through half of the 1962 model year as it was competing against the new Chevy II Wagon.

This car is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-six that would’ve made 80 horsepower when new (though the catalog says it is a “high-output” engine, which may mean it has the 84 horsepower Monza engine). Only 3,716 Lakewoods were produced in 1962 and this one has 93,000 miles on it. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.


1958 Dodge Suburban Spectator Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Dodge’s 1958 line included, in order of increasing luxury: the Coronet, the Royal,  and the Custom Royal. Their station wagon line was separate and the base wagon was the two-door Suburban – the only two-door wagon they offered in 1958.

It’s powered by a 5.7-liter Ram Fire V-8 good for 295 horsepower. Dodge built about 20,000 wagons in total for 1958, split between this and four other models. This one has been restored and, even though it’s a two-door car, it seats a clown car-like nine passengers. The pink and black color scheme is great. It would be impossible to buy this and not load up your family and trek them to the Grand Canyon. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.


1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Beauville Wagon

Photo – Mecum

Ah, the ’57 Chevy. The Bel Air was the top Chevrolet for 1957 and 1957 was the final year of the second generation of this model. It is the epitome of 1950s American passenger cars and this wagon is a rare bird. The two-door wagon, the Nomad, is an expensive and sought-after car. But the four-door wagon, the Beauville, was much more common in its day, even if they seem rarer today.

It’s powered by a 4.3-liter V-8 making 170 horsepower. When new this car cost $2,580 and only 27,375 examples were built making this the second-rarest 1957 Bel Air body style behind the Nomad. It’s a 64,000 mile car and it can be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $13,200.

Update II: Sold, Motostalgia Amelia Island 2018, $19,800.

Corvair Lakewood

1962 Chevrolet Corvair Lakewood Wagon

Offered by Mecum | Los Angeles, California | February 16-17, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Mecum has become the go-to place for classic wagons and pickup trucks. This sale has some great examples of both, including this 1962 Corvair Wagon. The Corvair was new for 1960 and it was a revolutionary design with its rear-mounted, air-cooled engine. The platform saw cars, vans, and pickup trucks applied to it.

Station wagons were only available in 1961 and 1962, making this the last of the line for Corvair Wagons. In 1962, the wagon was available in two trims: the Lakewood (which was the Series 700 Corvair you see here) and in upmarket Monza trim. The Lakewood only made it through half of the 1962 model year as it was competing against the new Chevy II Wagon.

This car is powered by a 2.4-liter flat-six that would’ve made 80 horsepower when new (though the catalog says it is a “high-output” engine, which may mean it has the 84 horsepower Monza engine). Only 3,716 Lakewoods were produced in 1962 and this one has 93,000 miles on it. Click here for more info.

Update: Withdrawn.

Sabra Sport

1962 Sabra Sport Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 18, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The Sabra was Israel’s first and only sports car. Built in limited numbers by Autocars Co. Ltd of Haifa, the Sabra Sport was built alongside a few Autocars-branded models that were a little more ordinary-looking. The design of the Sabra was accomplished by Autocars purchasing the rights to the Ashley kit car.

The body is fibgerlass and it was built by Reliant, who actually ended up building the first 122 cars in England. They themselves built a version of the Sabra as the “Sabre” under their own marque. This is one of those “Israel-by-way-of-Tamworth, England” cars. It was delivered new to a Sabra dealer in the U.S.

The engine here is a 1.7-liter Ford straight-four making 61 horsepower. You could buy these in Coupe form as well. Only 379 were built between 1961 and 1968, including both the drop-top and hard-top models. Autocars Ltd actually lasted into the 1980s.

This car was never sold by that Florida dealer and was instead put in storage. It was discovered in 2000 with just 40 miles on it (!). It Completely restored thereafter, it has covered just 650 miles since new. It’s incredible. This example should bring between $50,000-$70,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $40,700.