1936 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Berline by Rollston
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-22, 2021
The 6.9-liter Lycoming straight-eight that powers this Model J Duesenberg is the third-to-last “J” engine by number. Only J-587 and J-588 are later. This is the final Rollston-bodied Model J, and Mecum states that it was the last completed car to leave the Duesenberg showroom. It was shown at the 1936 New York Auto Show with a price tag of $17,000.
The 265-horsepower car rides on a long-wheelbase chassis and was purchased new by the then-president of Coca-Cola. It was later owned by jazz musician Charles Kyner for 46 years. The restoration was completed in 1990.
These later Model Js have such different bodywork than the earlier cars. It seemed like there was more “freedom” for the designers to rework the area forward of the cowl. This one is striking from the head-on view, and the interior looks like a nice place to be. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | April 17, 2021
The XJS was Jaguar’s follow-up to the E-Type. Introduced in 1975, variants of the car would remain in production through 1996. The final generation of the XJS launched in 1991, and two different engines were available: a 4.0-liter inline-six or a 5.3-liter V12.
This car, sadly, has the six, which was rated at 237 horsepower when new. I’ve always felt like if you’re going to buy one of these, you might as well get the overly-complicated and still-not-that-much-more-powerful V12. Bragging rights. So why are we featuring this car? Because it’s a wonderful shade of teal. That’s why.
The Celebration edition, I think, was to celebrate that Jaguar had saved on development costs by not completely redesigning this car after 20 years. They built 115,413 XJS cars in 21 years, which is pretty impressive. This one has about 10,000 original miles and should sell for between $34,800-$41,700. 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 Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 7-17, 2021
Edsel was only around for three model years, and each year saw fairly different styling. The 1958 cars were the most polarizing, and the 1960 cars are quite pretty but also pretty much forgotten about. The 1959 cars are the most common, and, style-wise, the most mainstream, if you can call them that.
I love them, not as much as the ’58s, but I still find them to be quite stylish cars. Two models were offered in ’59: the Ranger and the Corsair (there were also wagons with different names). The Corsair was the higher-trim level and looked exactly like a Ranger. It just had a bigger engine and some styling/equipment differences. This car is powered by a non-original 5.9-liter V8. The stock 5.4-liter, 225-horsepower V8 is missing.
Only 1,343 Corsair convertibles were produced in 1959, making it the rarest body style for the model year. You can read more about this one here, and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Dorotheum | Salzburg, Austria | October 17, 2020
The Dixi was an Austin Seven built under license in Germany beginning in 1928. In late 1928, Dixi was overtaken by BMW, and in 1929, the cars were re-badged as the BMW Dixi 3/15 DA-2. This model was produced from 1929 through 1931. Two more versions of the 3/15 would be produced through 1932, but the DA-2 was the last to carry the Dixi name.
Power is from a 747cc inline-four good for 15 horsepower. You could get a two-door sedan, a delivery van, or a convertible like the one you see here. Only 300 examples of the convertible were produced, and I’d bet there are very, very few left today.
For perspective, the 300 convertibles were out of an entire DA-2 production run of 12,318. This one has been restored and is expected to bring between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Dorotheum | Vosendorf, Austria | August 29, 2020
The Tatra name first appeared in 1919 as the marque for cars built by an industrial company that built railroad cars and carriages. They had already produced some cars under the NW marque, but the new-and-improved post-WWI Tatras would lead to some impressive pre-and-post-war cars.
The 12 was introduced in 1926 as an evolution of the earlier 11. One big difference was that the 12 had four-wheel brakes. It’s powered by a 1.1-liter flat-twin making 14 horsepower. It was not a sporty machine. But that was not the intent. At this point, the company wanted to move cars people could afford.
This example has been in the same care since 1959 and is largely original aside from a repaint. Only 7,525 examples of the Tatra 12 were produced by the time it was replaced by the Tatra 57 in 1933. This one should sell for between $14,000-$21,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020
Sterling Edwards’ eponymous car company managed to produce just six-ish cars during its short run. But they were pretty. The America was available as a coupe and convertible. Two coupes were made, three convertibles were completed, and the sixth body was stolen and likely scrapped.
This is car number one. It was constructed using the frame from a Henry J and an Oldsmobile Rocket V8 engine. The body is fiberglass, and other parts were sourced from existing cars of the era, including Studebaker headlight rings and Mercury taillights.
When new, this car was said to cost $4,995. Not cheap in the day – almost two grand more than a Corvette. This example received a mechanical restoration in 2003 and was purchased by the consignor in 2013. It can now be yours, as it’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
I always forget how rare these are. 1953 was the first year for Cadillac’s new halo car, the Eldorado. It was actually the top-of-the-line model of the Series 62 range and was intended as a limited-production specialty car. Only 532 examples were produced.
It’s powered by a 5.4-liter V8 rated at 210 horsepower. It was very expensive when new, running $7,750. A four-door Series 62 sedan would’ve run you $3,666, and a ’53 Chevy 150 Business Coupe cost $1,524. So yeah, not cheap. But oh so pretty.
The model was redesigned for 1954 and production really started to ramp up, leaving these launch cars as rare, special things. This one is about perfect in Azure Blue with a matching interior. I’d say “it can now be yours,” but I want it. So go away. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
This is the best Chevelle. These are not the best colors for it, but it’s still the best. The second-generation Chevelle was built from 1968 through 1972. The design got bulky and blocky for 1970, which ended up becoming one of the best designs of the era.
The Chevelle model range in 1970 was confusing to say the least, with a couple of different sub-model lines. The SS packages were only available on Malibu sub-models, specifically the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible body styles. So that technically makes this car a Chevelle Malibu Convertible optioned with the RPO Z15 SS 454 option. The base SS 454 came with a 360 horsepower, 7.0-liter V8. This car was further optioned with the 7.0-liter LS6 V8, which bumped power to 450 horses.
Production numbers are pretty confusing for Chevelles – as are verifying if they’re “real” or not (it’s a nightmare). There were 7,511 Malibu convertibles produced, and there were 4,475 LS6-optioned cars made. So SS 454 LS6 convertible production was somewhere in the middle of that Venn diagram. These also happen to be the biggest-money Chevelles. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.
For Sale by Classic Automobiles Worldwide Ltd | London, U.K.
The Jensen CV8 was one of the fastest four-seat cars of the early 1960s. A two-door grand tourer, the CV8 was produced in three series between 1962 and 1966. Only 500 were produced, all but two of which were hardtop coupes.
The factory produced two non-coupes: a targa-like Sedanca and a single convertible, which is the car you see here. This car started life as a Mark II chassis and received some of the Mark III touches before it was completed.
Power is from a 6.3-liter Chrysler V8 that made 330 horsepower. The car is now offered in London and has a long detailed story that you can read more of here.