Alvis TE 21

1964 Alvis TE 21 Drophead Coupe by Park Ward

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 20, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

The TE 21 was the penultimate Alvis motorcar ever built. Introduced in 1963, the TE 21 would be offered as a coupe or convertible (er, Drophead Coupe) through 1966. Production on the next model, the TF 21, would wind up in 1967 and Alvis pretty much just became a defense contractor after that.

The TE 21 is powered by a 3.0-liter straight-six making 130 horsepower. These luxurious two-doors were sporty as well, with a top speed of about 110 mph. The body was based on a design by Graber of Switzerland but was massaged and built by Mulliner Park Ward of London. It’s a very attractive car.

This early example was ordered off the 1964 London Motor Show stand and was used regularly through 1975 when it was parked. Rediscovered in 2008 by its current owner, this car was extensively restored and shows beautifully. Showing just over 40,000 miles, this is one of just 352 TE 21s built – and less than 100 of those were drop tops. It should bring between $93,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $203,761.

EMW 327

1953 EMW 327 Drophead Coupe

Offered by Coys | Essen, Germany | April 18, 2015

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

The history of the automobile in the immediate aftermath of World War II is pretty interesting. In the United States, many car manufacturers resumed production of their pre-war models, but in Europe, the widespread destruction threw everything into chaos. BMW’s pre-war manufacturing activities took place in Eisenach. But the Soviet Union held the territory when production resumed in 1946.

And BMW was headquartered in Munich. So the Soviet Eisenach factory was producing BMWs without BMWs consent. When the Eisenach factory came under control of the East German government and BMW sued to get their name (and badge) back. So the Eisenach factory changed its name to EMW (Eisenach Motor Works) and continued producing pre-war BMWs, like the 327 you see here.

The 327 was first introduced in 1937 and was built through 1941. Production resumed in 1946 with all 1946 through 1951 cars being badged as BMWs (although they were not sold, officially, by BMW). Cars built from 1952 through the end of production in 1955 were badged as EMWs. EMW would later go on to become Wartburg.

The engine is a 2.0-liter straight-six making 55 horsepower. This car was in a museum for the last five years and was recently restored. It is a numbers matching car. Only 505 327s were built after the war, with an unknown split between BMW and EMW. This one should sell for between $140,000-$185,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

A Darracq Talbot-Lago

1939 Darracq T120 Major 3-Litre Three-Position Drophead Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | London, U.K. | June 27, 2014

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Someday I’ll have to do one of our “Car Guy History” posts about Darracq’s corporate history, but until then I’ll answer your question: no, this is not a Talbot-Lago. Well, I mean, it is a Talbot-Lago – but the brand name of this car is a Darracq. See, today’s proliferation of brand-engineered mini-SUVs wasn’t the first time stuff like this has happened.

Because of the weirdness in the history of the Talbot name, Talbot-Lago cars were only “sold” in France. The Rootes Group in England owned the Talbot name everywhere except France, so for more generic-looking exports (to places like the U.K. and Sweden, where this car was bought new), Talbot-Lago badged their cars “Darracq.” This is essentially a badge-engineered Talbot-Lago T120 Major.

The engine is a 3.0-liter straight-six and the car has spent most of its life in Sweden and Denmark. In the last 10 years, it came to the U.K. via a sale at Retromobile in Paris. It was freshened (the restoration was done in the late-80s) and used for touring. Bonhams describes this car as “elegant” – which it certainly is. It should sell for between $120,000-$130,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $122,735.

A British Talbot

1927 Talbot 14/35 Drophead Coupe

Offered by Coys | London, U.K. | March 11, 2014

Photo - Coys

Photo – Coys

Talbot is one of the most confusing marques in automotive history. The car you are looking at here is a British-built Talbot (the French cars were almost all hyphenated with another name). The standalone British Talbot began producing cars in 1904. And, as a separate make, Talbot ceased to exist in 1938 – before it was resurrected in 1980 (in France). It died again, unceremoniously, in 1987.

In 1919, Talbot was bought by Sunbeam – giving them access to superior engineering. This car uses a 1.7-liter straight-six making 35 horsepower. This car spent most of its life in its home country of the U.K. but the current Austrian owner acquired it a few years ago.

This is a very old car that is in very good condition. Only a few Talbot 14/35s are known to exist. This one should sell for between $13,000-$20,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys in London.

Update: Sold $21,800.

Aston Martin DB2 by Graber

1952 Aston Martin DB2 Vantage Drophead Coupe by Graber

Offered by Bonhams | Newport Pagnell, U.K. | May 19, 2012

The Aston Martin DB2 went on sale in May of 1950 and was produced through 1953. It features a 2.6-liter straight-six. In Vantage spec – which included larger carburetors and a higher compression ratio – it made 125 horsepower. The car on offer here has had a little engine work done during restoration and is currently producing 140 horsepower.

“Vantage” was an upgrade on many early Astons (through the 1960s) before it became a stand alone model. The DB2 was the first Aston with such an option. This model was also one of only a few Astons that were sent out to coachbuilders. The factory offered a Drophead Coupe starting toward the end of 1950 – 102 were built (there were 411 DB2s produced in total). Three were sent out to Carrosserie Graber in Switzerland for custom bodywork. Of the three, this is the only survivor. There are some marked differences between the Graber Drophead Coupe and the factory Aston. The biggest of these is the grille which is more rectangular than the traditional Aston three-part grille. It’s also lighter.

Ownership is known from new and the car has undergone a lengthy restoration and refurbishment. All issues have been sorted out and this beautiful car is ready to be driven and is eligible for a number of historic events. The pre-sale estimate is $420,000-$490,000. For the complete catalog description, click here and for more of Bonhams’ Aston Martin sale, click here.

Update: sold $427,000

Squire Drophead Coupe

1937 Squire 1.5-Liter Drophead Coupe by Corsica

Offered by RM Auctions | Amelia Island, Florida | March 10, 2012

Remember how, in high school, you’d sit and doodle and draw the fastest imaginary car you could imagine? To be honest, it was probably atrocious (mine were) – festooned with grotesque wings and Countach-like boxy proportions.

Well, in 1931 Adrian Squire, then 21-years-old, decided he would build the dream car he wanted. He founded Squire Motors Ltd. and set out building amazing automobiles. And he did. Squire was a former employee of both Bentley and MG, so he knew what a great sports car should be.

The company was renamed in 1934 to the Squire Car Manufacturing Company and started building cars in 1935. They used a 1.5-liter inline four built by Anzani. A Roots-type supercharger was then added for a total output of 110 horsepower. The cars were exorbitantly expensive and only seven were sold by the end of 1936.

The final car was bought by a man of the name Val Zethrin (who sounds like the villain in a sci-fi movie about space). He was apparently impressed by the car and acquired the rights (and spares) of Squire. He constructed about a car per year through 1939, taking total Squire production to 10 cars. The one offered here is the first of the Val Zethrin cars, from 1937.

Adrian Squire left his company and went to work at Lagonda before ending up at the Bristol Aeroplane Company, where he was killed at age 30 during a bombing raid in WWII. The cars that bear his name remain legendary for being some of the fastest, best handling and performing road cars built prior to WWII.

1937 Squire 1½-Liter Drophead Coupe

This car features spectacular coachwork from Corsica of London which was modified slightly during restoration in the mid-1990s. The mechanicals have been freshened more recently and the car is ready to roll. Nine of the ten Squires built are still around. You won’t find one more outstanding than this.

If you want it, I hope you have deep pockets, as RM did not publish an estimate for this car. To read the entire catalog description, click here. And to see the rest of the Amelia Island lineup, click here.

Update: Sold $990,000.

Figoni et Falaschi 135M Delahaye

1947 Delahaye 135M Three-Position Drophead Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 19, 2012

Photo – Bonhams

French coachbuilding firm Figoni et Falaschi is one of the most revered of all of the great coachbuilders and their work on Delahayes tend to be quite popular. This one is swoopy but it’s not as extravagant as some. It’s more along the lines of a post-war interpretation of a pre-war bodystyle.

This is the 135M model which means it has a 120/130 horsepower 3.6 liter straight six. Performance was sprightly, with the sports version of this car winning races across Europe – including the 1937 and 1938 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The 135 was in production from 1935 until Delahaye was purchased by Hotchkiss and production halted in 1954. About 2,000 of them were built using a variety of coachbuilders. Bonhams estimates that this one will sell for between $250,000 and $350,000. Find out more here and more on the auction here.

Update: Sold $474,500.