Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021
A few weeks ago we featured a Nash Metropolitan, which is what this car is usually referred to as. But, it was actually built under four different brands including Nash, Hudson, Metropolitan, and Austin. The easy way to identify an Austin is the right-hand-drive layout.
Actually, Austin built them all and then shipped most of them to the States for sale by Nash/Hudson/AMC. Metropolitans aren’t uncommon in the US (I love them), but the Austin version sure is. This one is still in England though.
Power is from a 1.5-liter inline-four (sourced from the Austin A50 Cambridge) that made about 68 horsepower. While the Metropolitan launched in the US in 1953, they didn’t go on sale in the UK until the very end of 1956, making this a very early UK model. Austin-branded production continued through 1959. There were no ’60 models in the UK, and 1961 cars were just known as “Metropolitans” as they were in the US. Both coupes and convertibles were available.
This one looks good and should bring between $20,000-$25,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | March/April 2021
Piero Dusio got rich making uniforms during WWII and parlayed that cash into a small company he founded called Cisitalia. They built racing cars, and eventually road cars. But racing is expensive, and eventually, he ran out of money, forcing him to relocate to Argentina.
Cisitalia collaborated with Abarth (Carlo Abarth was Austrian by birth) here and there, and after the company moved to South America, the two got together for one last fling. Abarth had a car out there called the Fiat-Abarth 850 Allemano. This car is essentially a badge-engineered version of Carlo’s 850. It features an 847cc inline-four that was rated at 55 horsepower when new.
Fewer than 200 Fiat-Abarth models were produced, and about the same (or less) of these were also made. It is not really related to the similarly-named Abarth Scorpione. This one has obviously been restored and is up for bidding now. The auction ends tomorrow. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Bicester, U.K. | March 20, 2021
ETV is an acronym for Extra-Terrestrial Vehicle, and this car was built by Mike Vetter of MTV Concepts in some altered state of mind, somewhere in the US. It looks like something from Minority Report.
It has batwing-style doors, two a 2+2 seating arrangement, and some wild styling. The big scoops behind the doors are a little misleading because this thing is front-engined. That’s right, a 1.6-liter inline-four from a Chevrolet Aveo is stuffed up front under the dashboard.
I have no idea what is in back or how you even get to the tiny rear seats. The photos aren’t much help. Apparently it has front and rear parking cameras and an air ride suspension – neither of which work because it’s been on museum display for some time.
A quick search will return a few photos of the ETV in different colors, which would lead you to believe there are a couple of them out there. This one is expected to sell for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | March 3, 2021
Over the last five years or so, there has been this trend of coachbuilders and styling houses going out on their own to build limited-run cars. Such cars are then branded by the company that designed them. For instance, instead of “Maserati GranTurismo by Touring,” the company just called it a Touring Sciadipersia. Oh wait, that’s the car we have here.
It is based on Maserati’s GranTurismo and even retains Maser’s trident badging. But the body has been reworked, apparently in an attempt to mimic the Qvale Mangusta (how have we not featured a Qvale Mangusta!?). Anyway, this car shares the same 454-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 with the GranTurismo Sport. It hits 60 in 4.8 seconds on the way to a 186-mph top end.
Touring planned to build 15 of these, but only one coupe and one convertible were ever completed, which makes this one of one. Pricing was never released when they were new, but this one is expected to bring between $460,000-$700,000 now. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by BH Auction | Osaka, Japan | December 20, 2020
A few weeks ago we featured Honda’s first sports car (and second-ever automobile), the Honda S500. Well, the S500 was replaced in 1964 by this, the S600. The car launched as a roadster, much like the S500 before it, and in early 1965, the coupe variant was introduced.
Power is from a 606cc inline-four that still featured Keihin motorcycle carburetors (four of them). The water-cooled, DOHC unit powered the rear wheels via chain drive and produced 57 horsepower from the factory. Top speed was about 90 mph.
The S600 was produced until 1966 when it was replaced by the S800, which was also available in coupe and roadster form. Only 1,800 S600 coupes were built in two model years, making it much rarer than the convertible (of which over 11,000 were built).
This car is listed as a 1967, and it is apparently one of just eight built after S600 production officially wrapped in 1966. There’s got to be more to that story, but I don’t have it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
It never even really occurred to me that sporting coupes were available on this relatively large chassis. But I guess since they could pull it off on Duesenbergs, so why not. The H6B is powered by a 6.6-liter inline-six good for 135 horsepower.
This car debuted at the Olympia Motor Show in 1926 carrying coupe bodywork from Hooper. It was a show winner at many early Concours events, and it was re-bodied later on with this Park Ward coupe body that was originally attached to a 6.5-Litre Bentley. It’s a great adaptation and is said to be similar to the original Hooper body. The pre-sale estimate is $450,000-$520,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | August 14-15, 2020
Well get to this car’s name in a second, but first: the 1950s were kind of a weird time, as it turns out. American car companies wanted their cars to look Italian, and Italian car companies, apparently, wanted their cars to look American. Look at this car’s styling. It’s like they bolted a Fiat front clip onto a Packard Hawk.
The Fiat 1200 was built in sedan and convertible form between 1957 and 1961. Power is from a 1.2-liter inline-four that made 54 horsepower. This car was styled by Michelotti, and, sure enough, it says “Wonderful” on the fenders. Kind of amusing. The coolest part is that it’s a targa. The roof panel pops off, like so:
It’s thought that as few as three of these were made. You can read more about this restored example here, and see more from RM Sotheby’s here.
This is the kind of weird European cottage industry stuff I expect to see in a Monegasque auction. Venturi, which originally produced cars in France, is now based in Monaco. Their heyday was the early 1990s, and they produced a dizzying array of models considering the company wasn’t around for all that long.
The Atlantique was a fiberglass-bodied series of cars featuring a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. There were turbo and naturally aspirated versions, both with a 3.0-liter V6. But prior to that car’s introduction in 1994, there was the Coupe 260 Atlantique, which wasn’t technically part of the “Atlantique” line. It went on sale in 1991, and just 25 examples were produced through 1993.
The car was based on the 260 APC, a design that dated to the 1980s, and is powered by a 2.8-liter V6 that made 260 horsepower. It was lighter than the APC, and all were finished in this lovely shade of blue. This example was the final one built, and it is expected to fetch between $56,000-$78,000. Click here for more info, and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020
Auto Union was a group of German car brands under one umbrella. But strangely, there were never very many cars sold under the Auto Union marque. In fact, in most markets, the 1000 was the only car ever offered by the brand.
It replaced the DKW 3=6 and looked very similar to that car. Power is from a 981cc inline-three making 50 horsepower. It was produced between 1958 and 1965 and could’ve been had as a sedan, coupe, wagon, or, in SP form, a sports car.
These are very rare in the U.S., even though over 170,000 of them were built. The 1000 was eventually replaced by another DKW product as Auto Union continued to waver on its branding strategy. This example is in great shape and will sell at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020
This is a car I like. Comically undervalued until recently when their prices started to climb, the 912 was an entry-level model situated below the 911 and was built between 1965 and 1969. Porsche built over 32,000 of them during that time.
It’s a 911 look-a-like powered by a 1.6-liter flat-four, instead of a flat-six like the 911. With 102 horsepower on tap, the 912 was lighter than the 911 and was a great handler. We’ve actually featured a 912 prototype, which was based on a 356, the car whose gap the 912 filled in Porsche’s lineup.
They aren’t rare cars (although the Targa variant is rarer than the coupe by some margin), but they carry all of the contemporary 911’s attractive lines at a steep discount. This one is estimated at $57,500-$79,500. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.