Offered by Bonhams | Newport, Rhode Island | October 1, 2021
Max Balchowsky opened a shop in Hollywood in the late 1940s and soon found himself modifying European cars with big American V8s. In the early 1950s he was on track in SCCA events. In the mid-to-late ’50s, he built two Old Yeller race cars that were mostly junkyard specials. Disney told him to change the name, so all following cars were called “Ol’ Yaller”s.
This car, number nine, was the final such special built. It features a custom tubular steel space frame and a 6.6-liter Buick V8 rated at 310 horsepower. It was apparently raced by Ronnie Bucknum at some point, and was later crashed.
It was subsequently restored to its original spec. One of the Ol’ Yallers appeared in the Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas (which has some pretty excellent 1950s car spotting scenes). These really never change hands – and this one is being offered out of the Petersen Museum collection. It is expected to fetch $150,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
NSU started out as a knitting machine manufacturer in 1873 and was acquired by Volkswagen in 1969. The company was then merged with Auto Union, which would later just become Audi.
The Prinz first went on sale in 1957 as a homely two-door sedan with a rear-mounted inline-twin. They were not powerful. They were slow. But they were meant as a “people’s car.” John Glenn famously drove one while his fellow astronauts had Corvettes. In 1958, NSU introduced the Sport Prinz, which was, as the name implies, a sporty version of the Prinz. It was powered by a, in this case, 598cc inline-twin.
The 598cc engine was only available from 1962 until the end of Sport Prinz production in 1968. In all, 20,831 were produced. This one remained with its original owner in Saint-Tropez until 2011, and it’s now expected to sell for between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Milan, Italy | June 15, 2021
I’ve been wanting to feature one of these for years, but I’ve been holding out for the perfect color. I’m still looking for that last bit, but I thought it was time, regardless. Silver looks good here. At least it’s not red. The 250 GT/L (or Lusso, for “luxury”) was the last hurrah for Ferrari’s 250 line, which dated back to 1952. The Lusso was sold between 1962 and 1964.
The body is by Scaglietti, and it’s aggressive, beautiful, and really just the best classic Ferrari shape. It’s the best “classic” Ferrari coupe there is, period. Power is from a 3.0-liter Colombo V12 making approximately 240 horsepower. Top speed was 150 mph.
This is the 65th of 350 produced, and it’s got Ferrari Classiche certification. The restoration was completed 11 years ago. I was once walking through London near Lord’s Cricket Ground and I heard a distant rumble. I stopped. I turned. And a marron Lusso buzzed past. It was amazing. These are incredible cars, and the price reflects it: the estimate here is $1,985,000-$2,550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | April 17, 2021
Facel SA was a French company that started as a component manufacturer that turned toward coachbuilding and eventually automobile production. Their first cars went on sale in 1954, and the company ended up bankrupt in 1964. The Facel II was their last gasp.
It’s a two-door, four-seat grand tourer that went on sale in 1962. It’s powered by a 6.3-liter (383) Chrysler V8 good for 355 horsepower. Top speed was 135 mph when equipped with an automatic transmission like this one. The cars were quick in their day – faster than a Gullwing, a DB4, and a 250 GT.
Only about 180 were produced through the end of the road in 1964. This one was on the London Motor Show stand and spent 25 years in storage before being restored in 2017. It is now expected to sell for between $360,000-$430,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Jet Age was about more than just planes. Jet-inspired styling was all over cars of the era. Different companies even teased jet-powered cars. But none of those companies moved the needle more than Chrysler did with their Turbine Car.
The body was designed by Ghia, and the car was meant to be a public-road test program to study, I guess, the real-world viability of this whacky concept. Kind of like how autonomous Volvos are running over people in Arizona in today’s world.
Power is from a Chrysler-designed turbine engine that weighed 410 pounds and made 130 horsepower at 36,000 rpm (!) and 425 lb-ft of torque. The car could do 120 mph – and it could run on just about any fuel aside from leaded gasoline, including diesel and cooking oil.
They built 55 of these between 1963 and 1964. 50 of those were lent to the general public on three-month leases that wrapped up in 1966. Much like GM did with their EV1, Chrysler had 45 of the cars destroyed at the end of the program. Nine cars ended up being saved, all of which still exist. Only two are in private hands, with this being one of them.
These are cars that don’t change hands often. This one went from Chrysler to the Harrah collection, stopped at Tom Monaghan’s collection, and then to the current collection in the 1980s. It is operational but hasn’t been used much. This is a rare chance to get a car that is impossible. Impossible that it was built. Impossible that it works. And impossible to find. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
The 2600 is one of Alfa’s great post-war designs. Produced between 1962 and 1968, the 2600 was available in sedan, coupe, and convertible form. The Spider, as seen here, was styled by Carrozzeria Touring. Only 2,255 examples of the Spider were built.
This one was sold new in the Netherlands and was restored a few years ago. It is finished in a yellowish cream with a black soft top and wire wheels. Power is from a 2.6-liter inline-six that made 145 horsepower from the factory. This car has been fitted with triple Webers that push power to a Sprint Zagato-like 164 horsepower.
This is a very attractive car in very good colors. It’s a usable tourer with styling from Touring. You can’t go wrong. The pre-sale estimate is $140,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | February 19-26, 2021
Based in Milan, Ernesto Foglietti was a producer of Formula Junior cars beginning in the late 1950s. He continued into the early 1960s, and it’s likely that this was among the final cars he built. It is the only surviving (of two built) 1963 Formula Junior cars built.
The car features a tube and box-type frame with low bodywork (it’s lower than the tires). Power is from a 1.0-liter Ford inline-four that makes 90 horsepower. This car was likely used in both Formula Junior (1.0- or 1.1-liter cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s) and Formula 3 (500cc cars in the late 1950s and 1.0-liter cars from 1964-1970) back in the day, hence the name listed above.
It was restored between 2008 and 2010 and is ready for the historic circuit. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | March 20, 2021
The Triumph Herald was a small, four-cylinder car built between 1959 and 1971. It was available in just about every two-door configuration imaginable aside from a pickup. But it was not very powerful or very fast. So, in 1962, Triumph decided to offer a different, yet similar model with a bigger engine.
There were 51,212 examples of the Vitesse built through 1971, split between two-door sedans, convertibles, and a very rare wagon across three different series. The first Vitesse models, including this one, were powered by a 1.6-liter inline-six that made 70 horsepower. Giovanni Michelotti styled the Herald, and he tweaked the same design and called it the Vitesse.
This car is one of 8,447 first series convertibles built. It is expected to bring between $18,000-$23,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020
Here is another coachbuilt example of something American you wouldn’t expect to have landed in the hands of an Italian design house. Ford and Ghia have partnered on quite a few show cars over the years, and Ford has actually had a stake in Ghia since 1970. But in the 1950s, Ghia was Chrysler’s turf. That all started to change about the time that this fastback Falcon appeared in 1964.
The car was built on a 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint chassis. It retained the Sprint’s 164-horsepower, 4.3-liter (260ci) V8. Ghia added the fastback body style that RM correctly notes as sort of predicting the upcoming Plymouth Barracuda.
It’s a neat-looking thing, but it somehow makes the relatively ho-hum Falcon appear just as ho-hum, yet even more of the period. I would have totally believed this was a factory body style if I didn’t already know it was a one-off. It’s expected to fetch $40,000-$75,000 (in other words, they have no idea what it’s worth). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
Auto Union was a group of German car brands under one umbrella. But strangely, there were never very many cars sold under the Auto Union marque. In fact, in most markets, the 1000 was the only car ever offered by the brand.
It replaced the DKW 3=6 and looked very similar to that car. Power is from a 981cc inline-three making 50 horsepower. It was produced between 1958 and 1965 and could’ve been had as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or, in SP form, a sports car.
These are very rare in the U.S., even though over 170,000 of them were built. The 1000 was eventually replaced by another DKW product as Auto Union continued to waver on its branding strategy. This example is in great shape and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.