Mistral Sports Racer

1955 Mistral-Chevrolet

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 27, 2023

Photo – Bonhams

This Mistral sports special race car is sort of a descendant of the Microplas Mistral, which was a fiberglass body that was sold to re-body old British Ford sedans or even Triumphs. The Mistral body was licensed by Sports Car Engineering of Los Angeles in 1956 before they sold their company in 1958.

After this, the molds for the Mistral body were sold to Weltrex Plastics Limited in New Zealand. They produced about 10 Mistral bodies before winding up. This particular car was discovered in New Zealand a few years ago and restored in the US.

It’s powered by a 4.6-liter Chevrolet V8 making about 400 horsepower. It’s been outfitted with modern safety equipment in hopes of actually using it in modern historic events. Mistrals of any creation are rare birds, and this New Zealand edition is known to have been rare from the beginning. It has an estimate of $90,000-$120,000. Click here for more info.

ZL1 Corvette

1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1 Convertible

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 26, 2023

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

It can be tough to remember which Corvettes are supposed to be the king of them all. Around this time you had L88s, ZR1s, ZR2s, and ZL1s. The ZL1 was sort of a step up from the L88. It designated an aluminum-block 7.0-liter V8 with a aluminum cylinder heads, a redesigned crankshaft, improved connecting rods, revised pistons, and larger exhaust valves.

It required that you order a base Corvette – which was about $4,400 for a 1969 convertible. Then you had to add on the L88 option, which was just over $1,000. The ZL1 option could then be had on top of that for another $3,000. And that blacked out the options for A/C, power steering, a radio, a heater, and power windows. Pay more, get less.

But you also got more, horsepower anyway. Output was somewhere around 460 horsepower. Apparently only two were ever ordered, with this one being the only one delivered to a retail customer. RM estimates this one will bring between $2,6000,000-$3,000,000. Click here for more info.

Coachbuilt Corvair

1960 Chevrolet Corvair Coupe Speciale by Pinin Farina

Offered by Gooding & Company | Pebble Beach, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo – Gooding & Company

The first Corvairs were sold for the 1960 model year, which is when GM Styling VP Bill Mitchell shipped this example to Italy to have Pinin Farina take a stab at designing around the platform.

That platform featured a rear-engined flat-six that, on this example, displaces 2.4 liters and makes about 80 horsepower. The car was shown at the 1961 Paris and Turin Motor Shows before being revised by Tom Tjaarda. It re-debuted at the 1963 Geneva show in its current 2+2 configuration.

Then Pinin Farina kept it in their private collection until 1996. But the exercise wasn’t for nothing: the second-generation Corvair rolled out in 1965, with some styling cues lifted from this car. It’s now one of the most expensive Corvairs anywhere in the world, with an estimate of $300,000-$500,000, which seems… steep. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $315,000.

Lola T70

1965 Lola T70 Mk I Spyder

Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | June 24, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

The T70 was a popular Can-Am car for privateers in the 1960s with over 100 examples produced. Built by Lola in a few different variations (Mk I, Mk II spyder, and Mk III coupe), the T70 was often found fitted with a big American V8. It was a race-winning formula, with drivers like Dan Gurney, Walt Hansgen, and 1966 series champion John Surtees all driving them in period

This chassis, SL70/3, was the first T70 built and was sold new to John Mecom, whose team livery is still on the car today. It ran a number of races that season, including:

  • 1965 12 Hours of Sebring – 52nd, DNF (with John Cannon and Jack Saunders)

Walt Hansgen crashed it at Mosport, and the original Ford engine was removed. It was later restored and part of Mac McClendon’s collection until the 2000s. It currently has a 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 fitted out back, and that monster is rated at 573 horsepower. The pre-sale estimate is $310,000-$430,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

Chevrolet Panel Delivery

1928 Chevrolet Capitol LP Panel Delivery

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | March 24, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Chevrolet’s AA Capitol series was produced for 1927 in passenger car form. There were commercial chassis available as well, with these carrying over for 1928, during which they were sold alongside the AB National.

This carryover model is a one-ton delivery truck powered by a 2.8-liter inline-four rated at 35 horsepower when new. The LP model signified a long-wheelbase (124″) 1928 model. It also has four-wheel brakes.

This example was given to the Petersen Automotive Museum in the 1990s as a disassembled project and has been with the current owner for 16 years. If you’re a business owner, imagine your company’s name painted on the side. Great advertising. You can read more about this truck here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $21,000.

Corvette Super Sport

1957 Chevrolet Corvette Super Sport

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Super Sport isn’t a name typically associated with Corvettes. But this Corvette was actually the first Chevy to wear that moniker. It’s a one-off show car that GM commissioned to showcase their new Rochester Ramjet fuel injection. It debuted in New York in January 1957 and was sold into private ownership after its tour of the show circuit was completed. The current owner acquired it in 1997.

The fuel-injected 283ci V8 was rated at 283 horsepower when new, and the car is claimed to have covered less than 5,000 miles since new. Styling alterations are obvious, including the dual concept-car-style windscreens, brushed aluminum coves, and a lot more bright interior trim.

This is one of those big-boy Corvettes that gets a lot of attention. It hasn’t traded hands in 25 years, so what to expect, price-wise, when it crosses the block next month is kind of a question mark. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Withdrawn from auction

Chenowth Indianapolis

1961 Chenowth-Chevrolet Indianapolis

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Amelia Island, Florida | May 22, 2021

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Once upon a time, there was a company called San Diego Steel Products, and they made exhaust headers. It was owned by a guy named Chuck Chenowth, and he wanted to go racing at Indianapolis. He built an Indy roadster and stuffed a 4.2-liter Chevrolet V8 up front in an era when an Offenhauser-powered Anything dominated each race. Bold move.

It’s got Hillborn fuel injection and a Lehman front-drive unit to operate the fuel and water pumps as well as an Offenhauser gearbox and Halibrand wheels. The body was actually designed by Don Kuzma, another legendary name of the period. The Chenowth name is still around, although primarily associated with off-road racing today.

Unfortunately, this car never made a 500. It failed to arrive for the 1960 race and failed to qualify in 1961. It was more successful on the USAC short-track circuit, where it was driven by the likes of Tom Sneva, Mike Magill, and Greg Weld. It was restored near Cincinnati in the 1980s and is now offered with an estimate of $175,000-$225,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $156,800.

Yenko Stinger

1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger Stage II

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

Cars with flat-six engines mounted out back are supposed to be very sporty, almost race cars. Or so I hear. So why was the Corvair labeled a danger, and why did Chevy never make sit sportier than the base model ever was?

Enter Don Yenko, who would become even more famous for modifying Camaros in the late 1960s. He started by hotting-up Corvairs into “Stinger” form. He wanted to make the Corvair SCCA eligible, but it didn’t really fall into a pre-existing category. So he modified an example to fit. But the SCCA required 100 production examples before that version would be race-eligible. So 100 1966 Yenko Stingers would end up being built. This is #50.

The changes from the base car varied from example to example. This car has a “Stage II” flat-six rated at 190 horsepower. It also has four carburetors, a limited-slip differential, a front spoiler, and a four-speed manual transmission. It’s a cool car and among the coolest of Corvairs. Read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $82,500.

’96 Impala SS

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | November 20-21, 2020

Photo – Mecum

This is one of my favorite cars. It will be a car I own in the near future. A little history: the Impala model is a classic dating back to 1958 when it was a sub-model of the Bel Air. It became its own line in 1959, and the glory years lasted through 1970. Things trended downhill beginning in ’71, and the 1977-1985 models killed the Impala nameplate for a decade (though I secretly like this generation).

Then, in 1994, GM revived the Impala SS as a standalone model (even though their VINs decode as a Caprice). It was essentially a Caprice cop car with a bunch of heavy-duty items (suspension, brakes, cooling system), in addition to a Corvette-based 5.7-liter LT1 V8. Power was rated at 260 horsepower.

It was produced only between 1994 and 1996, and 60,768 were built in total. Black was the best color, but Dark Cherry Metallic and Dark Grey Green were also available beginning in 1995. 1996 models are differentiated from earlier cars by having an analog speedometer and a floor shifter for the automatic transmission. They. Are. Awesome. And this one has 12,000 miles. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,800.

Camaro Europo Hurst

1976 Chevrolet Camaro Europo Hurst by Frua

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The second-generation Chevrolet Camaro was in production for an eternity: 11 years between 1970 and 1981. Even by 1976, it was kind of long-in-the-tooth. And it was weak. The most powerful ’76 Camaro had the same 165 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that this car has. It was a long way from the ZL-1 (from only seven years earlier!).

One way to spice things up would be to let an Italian coachbuilder get their hands on one. In this case, it was Pietro Frua, who debuted his take on the Camaro at the 1976 Turin Motor Show with this car. It was later shown at 1977’s New York show, where the company displaying it said they were going to offer conversions of standard Camaros to look like Frua’s. They were going to call them the “Europo Hurst.”

It is unclear if any were actually made. I think this is actually an okay-looking car, and it’s definitely something different compared to what else was on sale in 1976. It is expected to bring between $80,000-$120,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $31,900.