For Sale by Dragone Classic Motorcars | Orange, Connecticut
This is a car with quite a few names. I’ll start at the beginning, and you can draw your own conclusions as to what it should be called (I just went with what the dealership selling the car calls it). The Ghia and Chrysler connection of the 1950s is well documented. Chrysler spent a lot of money designing fanciful show cars in the ’50s, with styling done by Ghia (well, styling by Exner, execution by Ghia).
Ghia showed a prototype dubbed “Gilda” in 1955. Then there was Dart concept was styled by Exner in 1956, and a second version called the Diablo also appeared in ’56. Then, in 1957, Ghia showed another evolution, called the Superdart. It was reportedly created for Chrysler, but there doesn’t appear to be any Chrysler badging on this car.
Power is from a 400 horsepower Hemi V8, and the car rides on a Chrysler 300C chassis. It debuted at the 1957 Turin Motor Show and later ended up in the U.S., where it was purchased by Dual Motors, who showed the car as a Dual-Ghia prototype. Most of the internet seems to just call this car a 1958 Dual-Ghia Prototype. Which is what it was last shown as. But it’s not what it was called originally.
A private owner purchased it shortly after Dual-Ghia’s 1958 New York show appearance and actually put nearly 40,000 miles on it over nearly two decades. It’s said to be original and unrestored. Be it a Chrysler, a Ghia, or a Dual-Ghia, it remains as a fantastic piece of ’50s styling excellence. It’s for sale in Connecticut with no price listed. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Auburn, Indiana | September 3-6, 2020
Moskvitch was a brand of automobile produced by the Soviet Union beginning in 1946. The first cars were actually built at a former Opel plant in East Germany. Production continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and afterward under a privately-owned company until 2002. Somehow, Volkswagen currently owns the brand name.
The cars were reliable and low-cost by Soviet standards, although they were not always easy to get. The 400 was based on the pre-war Opel Kadett and went on sale in December 1946. The “400” meant that the car was powered by a 23-horsepower 1.1-liter inline-four, and the “420” meant that it was a sedan.
Other body styles were offered, and the model was ultimately succeeded by the short-lived 401 in 1954. Between the 400 and 401, 247,439 examples were produced. I have no particular history on this car, as this post is being written well in advance of RM’s catalog going online. But, these are rarely seen in the U.S. (or even Western Europe), and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
The Lamborghini Jarama was a two-door 2+2 produced between 1970 and 1976. With its front-engine, rear-wheel drive, and four-seat layout, it is not the type of car Lambo builds today. Which is a shame. But in the 1970s, this sort of expensive continent-crosser was a popular sell. It competed against cars like the similarly-styled Iso Lele. What an interesting time that would’ve been, getting to cross-shop those two now-obscure models.
This is a 400 GT model, meaning it is powered by a 350 horsepower, 3.9-liter V12, which was shared with the Espada. A hotter “S” model was also produced and brought a modest horsepower gain, among other options.
Originally silver, this car is (obviously) now finished in white – which is a really nice, underrated color for something so exotic. It reigns it back in a bit. This, #18 of the 177 GT models produced, is offered by Girardo & Co. You can find out more about it on their website, here.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | January 12, 2019
The Griffith is an unusual car. Partly because it has practically zero overhang front or rear, and partly because it has a confusing production history.
An American – Jack Griffith, to be exact – stuffed a Ford V8 into a TVR Grantura Mk 3 and then decided to open his own company to build the car. Just like an off-brand Cobra. The Griffith Motor Company of Plainview, New York, produced the car, using Ford engines and British-built bodies. Okay, less like an off-brand Cobra and more like an exact duplicate of Shelby’s entire business plan.
In the U.S., these cars were sold as the “Griffith 400” (there were other models as well). In the U.K., they were sold as TVR Griffith 400s. This is a right-hand-drive example, thus the TVR prefix. It is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 that was originally rated at 271 horsepower. It’s a rocket.
This car has been active on the historic race circuit and has FIA papers. Only about 300 Griffiths were built in total across all models. Less than 20 were the U.K. RHD TVR variants, making this car quite rare. It should bring between $150,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | July 11, 2018
Photo – Brightwells
The Bristol Aeroplane Company was founded in 1910. It had a different name then, but they produced Bristol-branded airplanes for decades, helping the Allies win WWII in the process. Either in a dig at the defeated Germans (or because it was a great starting point), Bristol decided to build cars after the war and used the BMW 328 as their starting point.
Initially acquiring a license from Frazer Nash to build BMW cars, the first Bristol road car was the 1947 400. It’s powered by BMW’s 2.0-liter straight-six that made 80 horsepower. Built through 1950 (the 401 was introduced in 1948), all factory-built 400s were two-door sedans. At least one coachbuilt convertible was also built.
In all, 487 examples were produced. They were a great first start for one of the world’s most exclusive and private car companies. Painted in a striking shade of blue, this example features a rebuilt engine and a re-trimmed interior. It should bring between $66,000-$74,000. Click here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Plymouth, Michigan | July 30, 2016
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Does this look like another famous microcar to you? Specifically, the Goggomobil? Well, essentially, it is. Hans Glas (whose company ultimately became part of BMW) would start selling cars in 1955. They were originally branded as “Goggomobil” – a marque that existed between 1955 and 1969.
The Glas brand first appeared on a car in 1958. Here’s where it gets really interesting: between 1958 and 1965, Glas produced a car, larger than what you see here, called the Isar. Then there is this, the Isard, with a “d.” The story is that “goggo” was negative French slang, so Glas had to sell the Goggomobil TS in France as the Glas Isard.
So this is technically the same car as a Goggomobil TS400 but with a much more interesting backstory. It’s powered by a rear-engined 20 horsepower, 395cc straight-twin. For comparison, the car we featured yesterday had 800 more horsepower. Fun comes in all shapes and sizes – and in this case, it’s pint sized. Click here for more info and here for more from RM Sotheby’s.
1960 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pinin Farina
Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 14, 2015
Photo – RM Auctions
The Ferrari 400 Superamerica is a very underrated Ferrari. Maybe it’s not so much underrated as it is just unknown – only 47 were produced in total (compared to a similar vintage 250 California Spider, which is actually much more common, comparatively). A short-wheelbase cabriolet like this car is much, much rarer.
This beautiful machine is powered by a 4.0-liter V-12 making 340 horsepower. It has a smaller engine than the previous model (the 410 Superamerica) had and other upgrades. The first 400 Superamericas were all short-wheelbase cars – and only six of them were built.
The ownership history has this car bouncing between continents on either side of the Atlantic. More than half of the six SWB cars built were coupes, so this Pinin Farina Cabriolet, in wonderful Verde Bottiglia green paint – is pretty rare. The proceeds for this sale will benefit charity and it is expected to bring between $6,000,000-$7,000,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of RM’s Amelia Island lineup.
If you haven’t noticed, we tend to feature a fair amount of supercars around here. We especially like the low-volume ultra-rare kind you only find squirreled away in Europe somewhere – just like this Venturi 400 Trophy.
Venturi still exists, though their main focus today is more on electrifying existing vehicles today than on supercar production. There were two 400 models: the GT and the Trophy. While the GT was the rarer, road-going version, the 400 Trophy was actually built for a one-make racing series.
The Trophy cars were built between 1992 and 1994, with 73 being created. They are powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 making 400 horsepower. This particular car is fitted with a passenger seat and lacks any sort of decals that mark it as a racing car. This leads me to believe that it can probably be road-registered in Europe (Venturis were never sold in the States). At any rate, it won’t come cheap. But you can find out more here.
1959 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina
Offered by Gooding & Company | Monterey, California | August 17-18, 2013
If you compare this Ferrari 400 Superamerica to the other one we had featured in the past, you would see that the name “Aerodinamico” is very accurate to describe that car – especially in comparison to this one. This car looks downright boxy by comparison – but it also looks like it has been italicized – like the whole thing is leaning forward, itching to grab a gear and go.
This car was bought new by Gianni Agnelli – then-chairman of Fiat (a company that his family founded). The 400 Superamerica was the follow-up to the 410 Superamerica. It uses a 4.0-liter V-12 making a serious 340 horsepower. This was the first one built.
The styling by Pinin Farina is one-of-a-kind. Agnelli requested that it look like a Ferrari – and it does – but there are custom touches all around. He sold it in 1962 and it quickly became owned by actress Anita Ekberg – who thankfully never drove it through a fountain. It bounced around between owners after 1967 and in the early 1980s was donated to the Harrah Collection. The restoration was completed in 2004 under the care of its current owner.
Only 47 Ferrari 400 Superamericas were built and this is both the first one and the only one with a body like this – not to mention its unique and interesting ownership history. It should sell for between $3,750,000-$4,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more of Gooding & Company’s auction lineup.
1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico by Pininfarina
Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013
The Ferrari Superamerica line of cars was the top-of-the-line model from an already top-of-the-line manufacturer. They used big V-12 engines and many had custom bodywork. They were intended for Ferrari’s most elite clients.
The 410 Superamerica was a super-fast, super-serious grand tourer. In 1959, Ferrari switched from the 5.0-liter V-12 to the 4.0-liter V-12 and the 400 Superamerica was born. The powerplant in this car makes 340 horsepower. It could do 160 mph and Enzo himself drove one. It was offered in two wheelbase lengths and it was the first Ferrari road car offered with disc brakes.
This car was sold new to the U.S. and features breathtaking bodywork from Pininfarina. The Coupe Aerodinamico body is just awesome. It’s both muscular and sleek – almost like a prototype of the forthcoming 500 Superfast. It passed through a number of owners in a number of different countries before being acquired by its current owner: Skip Barber.
Superamericas are some of the most collectible Ferraris. I’ve seen a few different numbers as far as production goes: I’ve seen “14” for the number of 400 Superamericas with this specific Pininfarina-designed body. RM says this is #12 of 36, but I’m unsure if they are referring to 400 Superamericas total, or just the SWB cars. Why am I unsure? Because I’ve also seen 47 as the number for total models built. Well there you go, the info is in there somewhere for you, make of it what you will. Oh, the price? A very large amount. Like between $2,500,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.