January 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

Starting off this post with more from Arizona in January. First: Bonhams. The top sale here cleared everything else they had to offer by a few million dollars. It was this 1958 Porsche 550A Spyder (and my new desktop wallpaper) for $5,170,000.

Photo – Bonhams

Our three feature cars all sold. The Knox Touring brought $145,000. The one-off Molzon Concept Corsa sold for $41,800. and the Sabra was right behind it at $40,700. Click here for the rest of their results.

Far away from Arizona, Osenat held a sale the same weekend as the Scottsdale madness. We didn’t feature anything, but this 1952 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport in mid-restoration condition was the top sale at $206,616. Click here for more lots and results.

Photo – Osenat

Back to Scottsdale with Worldwide Auctioneers. They had, perhaps, the most looked-forward-to car (and definitely the most interesting) of the entire week: Hitler’s Mercedes. Unfortunately, the high bid of $7,000,000 wasn’t enough to take it home. The 1907 Cadillac we featured brought $93,500 and the Kurtis Indy Roadster $308,000. The top sale overall was $420,000 for this 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet. Click here for more results.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Onward to Russo & Steele where this 1967 Cheetah was the top seller at $660,000.

Photo – Russo & Steele

The ASA Spider we featured sold for $67,100 and you can see the rest of the results here.

Finally, in the U.K., we have the first sale of the year from Brightwells, their Modern Classics sale. We didn’t feature anything, but the top sale was this 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SL for $26,127. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Brightwells

Cheetah GT

1964 Cheetah GT Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Monterey, California | August 19, 2016

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Shortly after the sporty Corvette went on sale, tuners got their hands on it and began modifying it for racing. Bill Thomas was one of those tuners and he began his career in 1956. GM was impressed and paid him to help with the Corvair and Chevy II.

Thomas also opened Bill Thomas Race Cars in 1960 in Southern California. When Ford partnered with Shelby, General Motors felt a little left out and went to Thomas to see what could be done about it. Thing was, GM had a ban on factory racing so they had to support the program covertly.

So Bill Thomas and Don Edmunds designed the Cheetah. Chevrolet supplied the 400+ horsepower 5.5-liter V-8 and a bunch of other parts. The first two cars were bodied in aluminium by California Metal Shaping. After GM gave the thumbs up, the rest of the cars were fiberglass, done by Contemporary Fiberglass. GM wanted 100 cars to homologate it for FIA competition but they cancelled their support after only 11 cars were made between 1963 and 1965.

This is the fourth fiberglass Cheetah built. It was one of three purchased by Alan Green Chevrolet in Seattle and the only one of those to see action on the track, competing in the SCCA. A subsequent owner converted it for street use, which included stamping his own serial number on the chassis and replacing the body. In 2012, the original body was put back on the car.

There were extra chassis and bodies completed, but only 11 actual cars were ever built, turn-key, by the factory. These are legendary American performance machines that are much rarer than Shelby’s counterpart (and also like the Cobra, originals are way outnumbered by replicas). They rarely change hands and this fully restored example should bring between $300,000-$500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.