Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Aston Martin was not at a particularly strong point in their history when they introduced the Virage at the tail end of the 1980s. This was just as their former models, which dated back to the 60s, were being phased out. The Virage would spawn the Vantage and eventually be sold as the “V8” alongside early DB7s.
The factory body style was a four-seat coupe. But this “Shooting Brake” (c’mon, it’s got four doors. You can call it a wagon) is one of seven such cars built by the factory for customers who demanded a little more versatility out of their sports cars. There were a few three-door versions as well, but only seven apparently got the four-door treatment. This was the first, and it’s shorter in length than the later ones.
Another thing Aston did was offer the upcoming Vantage’s 6.3-liter V8 as an option. And this car has it. It was rated at 456 horsepower when new. The whole build is a pretty much custom deal, with a 12″ stretch and a manual gearbox conversion. Certainly not something you see everyday, this Virage wagon is expected to bring between $170,000-$290,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | January 2022
Kudzu was a racing car constructor that debuted in the late 1980s. The cars competed in IMSA’s GTP prototype category and came from racer Jim Downing’s shop. One of Downing’s race engineers was John Evans, who decided to try his hand at building prototype-style road cars.
Evans Automobiles was founded in the late 1980s as well, and this, I think, was their first offering. It’s based on a Kudzu chassis (or so the name implies) and features composite bodywork. Power is from a mid-mounted 5.7-liter Chevrolet V8 rated at 300 horsepower. Top speed was said to be 178 mph. This was a homegrown American supercar in 1989.
Only two road-going Series I GTs were built, with this being the first, and it remaining with Evans until 2006. There were a few other Evans cars built in the 1990s as well. This is neat stuff – find another one. And it’s no kit car either. It was a ground-up build meant to be a limited-run car. You can read more about it here.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Opac S.r.l. is an Italian company whose services include building prototypes for other manufacturers, hardtop and soft top design and production, and various marine services. In the 1990s, they decided to build a prototype for their own brand.
The Piu is based on a contemporary Peugeot 106 XSi, which means it is powered by an inline-four displacing either 1.4 or 1.6 liters (that catalog description does not state if it’s based on a 1.4 or 1.6 XSi). Power outputs were 94 horsepower for the smaller motor and 102 for the larger.
The interior is a wild combination of yellow and blue suede… on everything. The car debuted at the 1996 Turin Motor Show and features a VHS player and a 10-disc CD changer. The current owner purchased the car, at the time in a state of disuse, directly from Opac. It now carries a pre-sale estimate of $45,000-$68,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 6-16, 2022
Iso is a name that goes back to some pretty sleek sports cars (or proto-supercars) of the 1960s and 1970s. They also produced what I’ve always considered to be Italian muscle cars, in addition to the original Isetta. The brand was revived in 2017 in collaboration with Zagato to introduce a Vision Gran Turismo prototype.
That led to a project dubbed the GT Zagato, or GTZ. The Rivolta family is still behind the cars, which are designed and built by Zagato. It’s based on a C7 Corvette Z06, but has a completely unique carbon-fiber body and shares no exterior bits with the Corvette, glass included. The supercharged 6.2-liter Z06 V8 makes 660 horsepower, enough to propel this very A3/C-esque design to 185 mph.
These are technically still in production, I guess, and in the last year they’ve built 19 of them. This is apparently the only one imported and registered in the U.S. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Weybridge, U.K. | November 27, 2021
Okay, so this car is not from 1967. Formosa has only been building cars for a few years, and this one was built around a 1967 Triumph Herald. That means that the chassis is from 1967, but the body and interior are fresh. This isn’t a replica of anything specific, but is more in the fashion of 1950s/60s sports specials which was: applying a sporty body to a less sporty chassis.
Power is from a 2.0-liter inline-six, which is not a Herald motor, but is likely from a Triumph Vitesse. If so, it was a 95-horsepower engine when new. The body is fiberglass, and the interior is 1950s-sports-racer spartan.
There are more than one of these floating around. This right-hand-drive example carries a pre-sale estimate of $28,000-$34,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | November 13, 2021
If this car looks vaguely familiar, then you’re probably thinking it’s some kind of Aston Martin replica. It’s not. But if you were thinking that, then perhaps you are familiar with the Evanta. The Evanta was a car built in the 2010s that was inspired by the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato.
The Evanta was designed by Ant Anstead, and that company folded a few years back. From its ashes sprang Dowsetts Classic Car Company, and they built this. It is said to be a one-off designed by Anstead. It wears a fiberglass body over a steel spaceframe chassis and is powered by a GM 6.2-liter LS3 V8 making somewhere in the area of 430 horsepower.
The interior is far above what you’d expect from a cottage industry manufacturer. Each Dowsetts car is built-to-order, but it’s unclear how many they’ve made, if it’s more than one. No pre-sale estimate is available, but you can read more about it here. And check out more from Silverstone here.
Offered by Bingo/BH Auction | Online | October 25-31, 2021
Guess the base car. If you said “2000-2007 Toyota MR2,” you are correct. This generation of the MR2 isn’t as beloved as earlier versions, but it was popular among the The Fast and the Furious crowd in the early 2000s. It even went Super GT racing.
In 2001, a Zagato-bodied version of the MR2 was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. It featured the same mid-mounted 1.8-liter inline-four as the standard MR2, but was tuned slightly to make 155 horsepower (up from 138). The styling was by Zagato and is obviously much different than the standard car. It’s got some funky lighting front and rear in addition to some other, uh, not-so-subtle tweaks.
Only 100 were built. They were only sold in Japan through the Toyota Vista dealer network. And the cars were actually branded under the Toyota Modelista International brand, or TMI. It’s a weird one, and not one that pops up often. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 24, 2021
The A610 was the last Alpine before Renault recently relaunched the brand. It was sort of an evolution of the Renault-Alpine GTA and was produced between 1991 and 1995. Only 818 examples were produced during that time, making the car pretty rare today.
The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is mounted out back of the 2+2 cabin. Output was rated at 247 horsepower when new, which was enough to propel the car to a 165-mph top end. This car is actually pretty interesting and unusual. A great 90s sleeper sports car.
This particular car has remained with a single owner since new. That owner was an Alpine racing driver who had the factory turn up the boost, delete the A/C, and pop in an ABS override button. The pre-sale estimate here is $40,000-$57,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 12-14, 2021
Going back 20 years, Ferrari has created limited-edition drop-top models of its front-engined V12 grand tourers. It started with the 550 Barchetta and progressed through the 575 Superamerica, 599 SA Aperta, and this, the F60 America.
It’s based upon the F12berlinetta, which went on sale in 2012. The F60 was introduced in late 2014 and was out of production by the end of F12 production in 2017. Only 10 examples were produced to pay homage to the 10 units of the US-only NART Spyder. The name F60 was chosen to celebrate 60 years of Ferrari in America. All 10 were sold before Ferrari even introduced it.
Power is from a 6.3-liter V12 rated at 730 horsepower. The F60 features a fabric soft top and a three-piece carbon-fiber hardtop, depending on what look you are going for. I’m sure this car was insanely expensive when new, and it’s likely still an easy seven-figure car today. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 14, 2021
The Z8 was BMW’s retro-inspired halo car that was sold between 2000 and 2002, with a revised Alpina Roadster available for 2003. The car was styled after BMW’s legendary 507 (one of, if not the first, car this site featured was a 507).
Power is from a 4.9-liter V8 rated at 395 horsepower. It could hit 60 in 4.2 seconds and was limited to a 155-mph top end. This car retains its factory body-color hardtop and is one of 62 built finished in red over Crema leather. A total of 5,703 Z8s were produced. While they are sought after today, their $128,000 base price when new did not move them off of dealer lots quickly 20 years ago.
That said, good luck picking one up for under $150,000 today. They’ve aged pretty well and are certainly a future classic. Click here for more info on this one, and here for more from Mecum in Monterey.