GT40 Mk IV

1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

The Ford GT40 is one of the coolest cars of all time, but it also has kind of a convoluted history. The first cars, the Mk I, were produced in England. The Mk II cars were built in California by Holman-Moody and featured a huge 7.0-liter V8. The Mk III was a road car only.

Then there was the Mk IV. It developed out of Ford’s J-car program, which saw the use of lightweight bonded aluminum honeycomb panels. They beefed the chassis up a bit when they officially made it into the Mk IV and added a heavy NASCAR-style roll cage. It featured the 7.0-liter V8 from the Mk II, which made about 485 horsepower in this car. The Mk IV was built in the U.S. by Kar Kraft, the same company that assembled Boss 429 Mustangs.

The body was redesigned to be longer, with a long low tail that made the car slippery through the air. At Le Mans in 1967, the Mk IV hit 212 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. Ford used the Mk IV in only two races: the 1967 12 Hours of Sebring and the ’67 running of Le Mans. It won both.

Serial numbers for the Mk IV all started with J. There were 10 complete cars built in period, with this, J9, being the second-to-last. Two additional chassis were constructed, and they were later turned into complete cars down the road. J9 was at one point bodied as an open-cockpit Can-Am car in the spirit of a Chapparal. It was tested by Mario Andretti in period.

Ford eventually sold the car for $1 to ex-Shelby American team mechanics, who retained it in its Can-Am glory – stored away – until 2012. At that point, it was restored with a Mk IV body and sold to its current owner. It’s useful in historic events and is estimated to sell for between $3,000,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Pedroso Roadster

1928 Pedroso Roadster

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Ivanrey de Soriano and the San Carlos de Pedroso were two Spanish marquises who teamed up to build the Soriano-Pedroso automobile in France between 1919 and 1924. The first cars were produced out of Biarritz, while general production stemmed from Neuilly. Three models were offered over the five-year period, most of which were pretty sporty.

After production wound up, the two men each produced a lone car under their own name (both of which still exist). The Marquis de Pedroso wanted to go to Le Mans, and he designed a sophisticated supercharged 2.0-liter twin-cam straight-eight to power his cars. Two engines were built, one of which is in this car. de Pedroso never made it to Le Mans, but his son would race this car in vintage events in the 1960s on the east coast of the U.S.

Pedroso’s son Jose Luis gifted the car to the Petersen Automotive Museum upon his death, and it’s now offered for sale for the first time in its history. The pre-sale estimate is $100,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

AC 428 Coupe/Convertible

1971 AC 428 Fastback

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

With the Americans really stealing AC’s thunder, the company decided to launch a grand tourer model instead. They took an extended Cobra chassis and dropped a Pietro Frua-designed body over it in 1965. The body featured an aluminum trunk lid and hood.

For power, they turned to Ford. A 7.0-liter (428ci) FE V8 was chosen, and when fitted with a four-barrel carburetor, generated 345 horsepower. The big issue was two-fold. First, the cars were expensive to produce, as the chassis were built in England, shipped to Turin to get a body fitted, and then returned to England to be completed. Second, the big engine put off a lot of heat, a lot of which would end up in the cabin.

This Fastback is one of 51 produced and one of about 80 428s (or Fruas, as they are also known) produced in total. It is expected to sell for between $150,000-$200,000. Click here for more info.

1968 AC 428 Spider

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

And here we have the drop-top version of the AC 428/Frua. It features essentially the same Frua styling but with a retractable cloth roof. Power was also provided by a 345 horsepower, 7.0-liter Ford V8.

The Spider variant is even rarer than the already-scarce Fastback. Just 30 were built out of the total run of 81 cars. This is sort of the peak example of the last true, stylish AC car. Sure, the company is still around, but everything after this really lacked the same sense of style. Not to mention that, once the 428 went out of production in 1973, AC didn’t offer another car until the 3000ME came along in 1979.

No pre-sale estimate is available at this time, but it is worth more than the coupe. You can read more about it here.

Bucciali TAV-30

1930 Bucciali TAV-30 La Marie Torpedo Type Cannes by Saoutchik

Offered by Bonhams | Carmel, California | August 13, 2021

Photo – Bonhams

The Bucciali brothers, Angelo and Paul-Albert, were two engineers who set up shop in Courbevoie in France in the mid-1920s. Their first prototype, the TAV-6, debuted in 1926 and two would end up being built. Both were deconstructed in 1929. But the car was merely a demonstration of their front-wheel-drive design. The TAV-8 followed in 1929, and in 1930, the company showed the TAV-30 at the New York Auto Show.

Their presence in New York was really to show other manufacturers their unique designs and to try and license their many patents. The chassis underneath this very car was dubbed “La Marie” and initially served as the chassis for the TAV-3 prototype. It was under this guise that the car was shown to many American automotive manufacturers to try and get some of that sweet license money. It didn’t really work.

So the car returned to France where it was upgraded to TAV-30 spec. It’s fitted with a 5.3-liter Continental inline-eight rated at 114 horsepower. It has a transverse four-speed manual transaxle mounted ahead of the front axle. It also features a four-wheel independent suspension. This thing was way ahead of its time, and its existence is still felt in cars we drive today. For example, Paul-Albert Bucciali showed this car to engineers at Willys, who passed on licensing the patent. After WWII, Bucciali sued, claiming that Willys had essentially stolen his designs, which they pretty much did. But it was all brushed under the rug by the French government and he didn’t get a dime.

Only about eight Bucciali cars were ever built, but they did reuse chassis from earlier models. So maybe five true examples by the time it was all said and done? Only three TAV-30s were made, and this is said to by the only original surviving chassis. A few other Buccialis do still exist, and they are pretty much the holy grail of exotic pre-war French cars. This particular one carries a Saoutchik body that had previously been fitted to a Mercedes 680S. It was mounted during a restoration in the 1970s.

This car famously spent time in the Blackhawk Collection beginning in 1985. Bonhams is expecting big results from this car while at the same time having no idea what to expect. The market is red hot right now, fueled in part by recent inflation. But I’m also pretty sure none of these have ever changed hands publicly. Let’s see what happens… Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Jensen 541R

1959 Jensen 541R

Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | July 17, 2021

The Jensen 541 was a GT car produced by Jensen Motors between 1954 and 1959. In 1957, Jensen added a 541R to the range, and upgrades included four-wheel disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering.

In 1960, both the base car and the R were replaced by the 541S, which was a luxury version. The S was in turn replaced by the C-V8 in 1963. The 541R was powered by the same 4.0-liter Austin inline-six as the base car, but it was fitted with twin carburetors for a rating of 150 horsepower.

The body is fiberglass, and this car features a two-tone paint scheme with the wheels being the same color as the roof. Only 193 examples of the 541R were built. This one should bring between $62,000-$76,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $54,564.

Force India VJM-04

2011 Force India-Mercedes VJM-04

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

Photo – Bonhams

You don’t often see “current” F1 cars coming up for sale (although we did just feature a 2010 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes). This is one of the most recent such cars I can remember coming up for public sale. And it’s being offered directly from Force India’s successor team, what is now known as Aston Martin F1.

Force India was formed ahead of the 2008 season by Vijay Mallya after buying the Spyker team, and they were around through 2018 when the company was purchased by Lawrence Stroll and renamed Racing Point (which has since been rebranded as Aston Martin). The VJM04 was from the team’s third full season as a constructor and featured a 2.4-liter Mercedes V8 as well as a McLaren-sourced seven-speed gearbox. This car also had a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Unfortunately, this one is a roller. No drivetrain included.

The competition history for this chassis, 02, includes:

  • 2011 Australian Grand Prix – 10th (with Paul di Resta)
  • 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix – 10th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Chinese Grand Prix – 11th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Turkish Grand Prix – 23rd, DNF (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Spanish Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Monaco Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Canadian Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with di Resta)
  • 2011 European Grand Prix, Valencia – 14th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 British Grand Prix – 15th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 German Grand Prix – 13th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix – 7th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Belgian Grand Prix – 11th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Italian Grand Prix – 8th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Singapore Grand Prix – 6th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Japanese Grand Prix – 12th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Korean Grand Prix – 10th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Indian Grand Prix – 13th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 9th (with di Resta)
  • 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix – 8th (with di Resta)

So yeah, it ran the whole damned season with Paul di Resta. And had eight top 10 finishes and only one accident (Canada). Despite its lack of podiums, it’s still a pretty incredible machine. And it carries a nostalgic “classic” Force India livery. The pre-sale estimate is $120,000-$180,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Withdrawn.

Bentley Corniche

1974 Bentley Corniche Coupe

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

Photo – Bonhams

The Rolls-Royce Corniche, as a model, was around from 1971 through 1995. The name reappeared in 2000 for a few years as well. The convertible versions made from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s are the epitome of South Florida old lady-ness in my mind.

But what we have here is from the first generation of Corniche production, which lasted from 1971-1987. And it’s not a Rolls-Royce. No, this is an example of some high-end badge engineering. The Bentley Corniche was produced as a coupe and convertible, and the coupe was discontinued alongside the Roller coupe in 1981.

Somehow, in 10 years, there were only 69 Bentley Corniche two-door sedans built. The Bentley convertible version lasted until 1984, and only 77 of those were made. They are extremely rare, even when compared to the Rolls-Royce version (which totaled over 4,000 in the same period). The car is powered by a 6.75-liter V8 making 237 horsepower. Top speed was about 118 mph.

So why did they sell so few? Well, Bentley was kind of faltering at the time, and it was just considered a “cheaper” version of the Rolls. Not so much anymore. The rarity factor makes these sought after, and this one carries an estimate of $55,000-$69,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $56,948.

Maserati Tipo 26B

1928 Maserati Tipo 26B

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

Photo – Bonhams

Maserati’s first car was the Tipo 26, and it was introduced in 1926. It was an evolution of a Diatto racing car that Alfieri Maserati had designed, and it won its class at its debut race: the 1926 Targa Florio.

The following year, the company introduced the Tipo 26B. They would build six examples of this open-cockpit racing car through 1930. A 26B finished third overall at its debut race: the 1927 Targa Florio. Maserati would also be represented by the 26B at the 1930 Indianapolis 500. Power is from a supercharged 2.1-liter inline-eight good for 150 horsepower and 118 mph. (This car’s restored engine now displaces 2.0 liters).

This example was purchased new by a privateer racing driver from Argentina, who had it shipped to his home country. The car competed in races in Argentina and Uruguay. It was purchased from the original owner’s family in the late 1980s and later restored in Italy.

This car should be eligible for just about any historic open-wheel race and just about every imaginable show. It should sell for between $1,300,000-$1,800,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

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.

Adler 2.5-Liter Cabriolet

1938 Adler Type 10 2.5-Litre Cabriolet

Offered by Bonhams | Online | June 2021

Photo – Bonhams

Adler was a pioneering German car manufacturer that sold its first car in 1900. They introduced the revolutionary front-wheel-drive Trumpf in 1932. In 1937, the company introduced the Type 10, which is also known as the 2.5-Litre. This would be Adler’s final real new car, as the company chose not to resume automobile production after WWII.

The 2.5-Liter’s namesake inline-six produced about 57 horsepower when new. The streamlined cabriolet bodies were produced by Karmann and allowed the car to hit 78 mph. The model was offered with two- or four-doors and as a coupe, convertible, or sedan.

In all, just 5,295 Type 10s were built through 1940. Only a handful of two-door cabriolets are known to exist, and this one was restored in the 1970s. The car is accompanied by an Adler motorcycle, bicycle, and typewriter so you can own one of each of the company’s products. The package is expected to fetch $170,000-$190,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.