My personal top 50 cars for sale/ sold in 2012 (to date) #50 – #41
#41 – Maserati 250F #2522/2526 (No Link)
#2522 > later > 2522/2523 > 2522/2523/2526 > 2522/2526
Stirling Moss 1st 1956 Monaco GP etc.
Vanessa Marcais asking ??
Approx. US$2.0 mil.
Bentley 3 Litre
Bentley’s early forays into motor sport were a mixture of both factory entries and wealthy privateers, and both enjoyed success. The factory fielded cars at Indianapolis and the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, whilst privateers like John Duff would take their own cars to race at Brooklands and, significantly, Le Mans.
Though WO Bentley thought that the 24 hour race was madness he could not stop Duff entering in 1923, when he finished 4th. Returning in 1924, Duff not only bettered the result, but won! By 1925 WO realised the huge publicity benefits that could be harvested from success and decided that a factory entry was the best option for the company. As such, the Bentley Factory Team Entry joined Duff in a two Bentley line-up to take on the predominantly French opposition.
Chassis 1138, the 3-Litre Bentley you see on the stand today, was the first factory works Le Mans entry, piloted by Dudley Benjafield and Bertie Kensington-Moir. WO Bentley had learnt much from Duff’s previous Le Mans exploits, and he went about preparing 1138 in his usual fastidious manner.
The chassis was fitted with a Vanden Plas four-seat body with a lower, more aerodynamic windscreen. A large, 25 gallon fuel tank was installed as well as stone guards to the radiator, head lights, sump and petrol tank. A leather strap held the bonnet in place whilst the standard road springs were tightly bound so as to stiffen the suspension. The engine was also up-rated to ‘Supersports’ specification, which included a higher compression ratio and twin S.U. ‘sloper’ carburettors. Duel fuel pipes, sheathed in rubber, as well as a duel wiring system similar to those used on aircraft were further measures to help defeat the rigours of such a tough race.
1925 was the first year of the classic Le Mans start, with rules stating that the first 20 laps had to be run with the hood up. This also governed when a car could first stop for fuel and water, and Bentley decided to combine lowering the roof and a petrol stop into one. The minimum amount of fuel for the 20 laps had been calculated, and both cars started well, setting a remarkable pace, with Kensington-Muir regularly achieving over 90 mph. However there had been a serious error in the calculations: no one had taken into account the extra fuel used when the hood was erect, and both cars failed to make the 20 laps.
1138 was then briefly used as a factory demonstrator, but led a relatively quiet life after its 1925 Le Mans race. In 2001 it was decided that a complete and absolutely accurate restoration would be made on the car. This was overseen by William Medcalf, who was as fastidious in his attention to detail as WO Bentley. During the restoration, it became apparent just how original this car was, and everything was done to preserve this. Usability was also considered, the engine being rebuilt with a Pheonix crank, new bearings and Arias pistons. With the restoration finished, 1138 went on to win the 2004 Bentley Drivers Club Concours at Hatfield House.
1138 represents a hugely important example not just of Bentley, but British motoring history. The first Bentley factory entry for Le Mans, it remains today a very well restored, original example of one of the most significant British racing cars of all time.
Approx. US$2 million
|1930 Ex-Works Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport|
This lovely example finished in Rosso Amaranto with Nero trim, was part of Fred Stiles’ Alfa Romeo team that took part in the 1930 Tourist Trophy. The Alfa Romeos took 1st, 2nd and 3rd, with Nuvolari in 1st place followed by the legendary, two-time Mille Miglia winner, Giuseppe Campari in this car, GN57.
Talbot Lago T26 GS
200+ bhp, 4,482 cc OHV aluminium inline six-cylinder engine with dry-sump lubrication, triple Zenith carburettors, twin-ignition cylinder head, Wilson four-speed pre-selector gearbox, independent front suspension with wishbones and transverse leaf spring, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,500 mm (98.4″)
• Only three owners from new; complete with stellar period and vintage-racing history
• Co-driven at the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans by Juan-Manuel Fangio and Louis Rosier
• Single ownership since 1958; restored, maintained and raced ever since
When engineer Antonio Lago arrived at Talbot’s Suresnes, France plant in 1934 with orders to restore its operations to health, he immediately injected a renewed focus on performance and racing to generate sales. New 2.7- and 3.0-litre six-cylinder engines, followed by a 4.0-litre unit for the Speciale, were soon developed to carry the wide range of luxurious cars demanded by Talbot’s discerning clientele. Entries at Le Mans in 1937 were followed by a focus on Grand Prix competition, with the four-litre’s reliability and fuel economy often providing the winning edge over the far more powerful competition from Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Maserati and Mercedes-Benz.
The GP cars and sports racers of Talbot-Lago were quite closely based upon the marque’s production-car designs and this philosophy continued after World War II. With the help of Walter Becchia and Carlo Marchetti, the Talbot-Lago ‘six’ was increased in displacement to 4.5 litres and fitted with a new hemispherical combustion-chamber head, with the valve train actuated by dual camshafts with pushrods, similar to the Riley design. The long crankshaft was capably supported by seven main bearings, and this engine proved highly reliable and successful in competition.
Despite a horsepower disadvantage to the competition, a race-tuned version of the 4.5-litre Talbot-Lago six-cylinder engine powered the company’s two entries at Le Mans in 1950. There, a T26 Grand Sport was driven by Louis Rosier and his son, Jean-Louis (car number 5), and a Talbot-Lago monoposto (car number 7) was piloted by Pierre Meyrat and Guy Mairesse. Whilst both were considered underdogs, their durability and reliability provided the winning edge during the gruelling event, and they ultimately triumphed, outlasting the favoured Ferrari entries and achieving a stunning 1-2 finish, marking perhaps the company’s greatest racing victory. Mirroring the durability of his Talbot-Lago, winning driver Louis Rosier drove all but two laps of the race, adjusted his valve train in the pits and even suffered a black eye when he struck a wayward owl at night!
1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057
Originally built as a cycle-winged sports racing car, T26 Grand Sport Chassis 110057, the example offered here, was originally intended for the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it was not completed in time for the event and was subsequently purchased by 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, who entered it into the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. Race-numbered 6 and co-driven by Rosier and 1950 Formula One World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio, the car retired from the race after 92 laps due to an oil-tank failure, where extremely hot motor oil spilled onto Fangio and caused him great pain.
Next, 110057 was rebodied under Rosier in 1952 by Italy’s Carrozzeria Motto to carry closed-wheel sportscar bodywork in compliance with new Le Mans regulations. Whilst Mr. Rosier had by then switched his racing focus to the Grand Prix with his single-seater, he continued to campaign his ‘motto barquette’ nonetheless. Following the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, where the car, numbered 64 and with Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant driving, retired after 37 laps. At the 1952 Grand Prix de Reims, 110057 was numbered 42 and driven by Eugène Chaboud, who qualified 5th but did not finish.
In 1953, 110057 was sold to Georges Grignard and entered into the 1953 Coupé du Salon at Montlhéry, where it was numbered 4 and qualified 2nd but failed to finish, with Mr Grignard driving solo. That December, at the 12 Hours de Casablanca, 110057 was co-driven by Georges Grignard and “pay-to-drive” co-driver Lino Fayen, who unfortunately ignored repeated signals to stop for fuel, including a crewmember waving a massive fuel funnel at him in the middle of the track!
Following the 1951, 1952 and 1953 race seasons, 110057 was entered into the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans and was to be driven by Georges Grignard and Guy Mairesse but was involved in a tragic accident on 25 April 1954 at the Coupe de Paris at Montlhéry. There, Mairesse was killed in practice when he struck a wall whilst attempting to avoid another car that had stopped on the racing line. It was subsequently locked away in the garage of Grignard, where it remained virtually untouched, still sitting on its transporter. In 1958, the present owner purchased 110057 and restored it, racing it for a number of seasons prior to returning the car to its original cycle-wing body style, in order to be eligible for participation in both historic GP and sportscar races. The car was UK-registered WXE68 and retains this number today.
As extensively documented within Pierre Abeillon’s definitive two-volume Talbot-Lago de Course, published in 1992, the current owner of 110057 visited the Talbot factory in 1958 in search of spare parts for his father’s T26 Record (chassis 101051), and whilst there, he enquired as to the availability of a single-seat T26C Grand Prix car. Even though they had been out of use for some time and none were believed available, Tony Lago suggested a visit to Georges Grignard in nearby Puteaux, France, who owned such a car, chassis 110057. Behind a dusty window of a nearby shed, this T26 Grand Sport was sighted. However, Mr Grignard’s asking price was quite high, and he clearly did not wish to sell.
Although the front of its “envelope” bodywork was damaged from the 1954 crash at Montlhéry, the car remained mechanically sound. A deal was struck to purchase the car, and in order to avoid the possible complications involved with trying to export the car to the UK, onsite repairs were completed by the new owner, with the help of his father and one of Grignard’s men, to allow the car to be driven for its shipment to England. In fact, just one front wheel and the radiator needed replacement.
Once in the UK and fully repaired, 110057 returned to the track by 1961 with the repaired Motto bodywork still in place, but after two seasons, the car was no longer competitive and was better suited for historic events.
The car returned for the 1968 season, but having decided that the closed-wheel body style was not optimal, the owner commissioned Robert Peel to re-skin the original open-wheel, cycle-winged coachwork of 110057 as closely as possible, a task made easier by virtue of the fact that the Motto “envelope” body was simply attached to the car’s chassis by outriggers. Still in bare aluminium, 110057 was unveiled for the opening of the Totnes Motor Museum in Devon, UK. In 1988, exact period-correct mudguard mountings were fitted to 110057 and after experiencing some engine issues in 1989, much of the car was dismantled, presenting an excellent opportunity to perfect the car and reconfigure the front of it exactly as original.
Offered from the collection of the current long-term caretaker of the past 54 years, who is a true purist and highly active gentleman racer, 110057 has been a virtual fixture in historic-racing circles for practically every season since 1961. Carefully maintained and perfected throughout the intervening decades, 110057 has been a consistent class winner in historic racing for many years through to 2011, including a Grand Prix class win that year at Spa-Francorchamps, and participation at the Goodwood Revival Meeting in the Juan-Manuel Fangio tribute race. In fact, this highly competitive car has never been beaten by another Talbot-Lago, including all-out Grand Prix-specification single-seaters.
It is wonderfully presented at auction with just three owners from new and complete racing history, having been driven competitively by the current owner and its early roster, including Georges Grignard, Guy Mairesse, 1950 Le Mans champion Louis Rosier, Maurice Trintignant and El Maestro, five-time Formula One World Champion Juan-Mauel Fangio, at such legendary circuits as Le Mans, Montlhéry, Monaco and more. Currently fitted with the engine from 110055, the Pierre Levegh car, accompanied at auction by its matching numbers engine, the T26 Grand Sport, is sold with many spares, which are documented on a list, and photographs for reference. A true “dual-purpose” car capable of competing either as a sports racer with its mudguards and lights or as a vintage GP car without them, 110057 offers its next caretaker a true myriad of possibilities.
Approx. US$1.5 mil
270 bhp, 1,995 cc fuel-injected DOHC V-8 with dual ignition, six-speed gearbox, independent front and rear suspension by double wishbones, rear-wheel-drive, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,250 mm (88.58”)
• One of the best documented Tipo 33/2 Dayontas of the period
• Ex-Nino Vaccarella, Teodoro Zeccoli, winner of 500 Km of Imola
• Stunning eight-cylinder power; gorgeous design
• Exceptional event car; FIA, HTP and FIVA documentation
Post-War Alfa Romeo Sport Car Racing
At the end of 1951, after winning the first two World Driving Championships with its Tipo 158/159 racers, Alfa Romeo retired from international Grand Prix competition. The company’s next major competitive effort was to be the famed Disco Volante (the ‘Flying Saucer’) sport car. An entirely new design, it appeared in 1952–1953, in both open and closed form. An intriguing 2-litre V-8 prototype engine design, built shortly afterward and intended for a sporting GT car, was shelved.
In the early 1960s, when Alfa Romeo and its competition arm, Autodelta, were scoring many victories in touring and GT races, especially with the Giulia coupé derivatives and the TZ1 and TZ2, Alfa Romeo decided to re-enter international sport car racing. The stillborn 2-litre V-8 engine, which had been set aside ten years earlier, became the heart of Alfa’s return to sport cars. This effort would encompass eleven racing seasons and result in Alfa Romeo winning the World Championship in 1977.
The first of the new cars appeared in 1967, with a rather exotic H-shape chassis made of magnesium and aluminium. It was powered by a 2-litre V-8. This car was entered in a number of events, the first being a Belgian hill climb at Fleron, where Teodoro Zeccoli finished 1st overall. Zeccoli of course had a long history with the marque, having been an Abarth Works driver, a well-respected Le Mans and hill climb veteran and an Alfa Romeo test driver who was actively involved in the Tipo 33 project development. The name ‘Fleron’ became associated with this model, and that name persisted with the Tipo 33 Alfa Romeo sport cars. Alfa Romeo won four victories in 1967: three were in hill climbs and one was at the Vallelunga circuit later in the year.
For 1968, Autodelta’s brilliant chief engineer, Carlo Chiti, was preparing an “all-new” car for a serious international effort. Although it retained the original H-shape chassis, everything else was re-designed. Testing began in late-1967, and four cars, equipped with beautiful new coupé bodies, were ready for the February 24 Hours at Daytona race. They finished 5th, 6th and 7th overall, with an impressive 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the 2-litre class. These short-tail cars soon became known as the T33/2 ‘Daytona’. The later long-tail Le Mans racers similarly became known as the ‘Le Mans’ models. The new bodies had much better aerodynamic qualities, and the 1995 cc V-8 benefited from significant development work, producing 270 bhp at 9600 rpm. The 6-speed gearbox had been refined. The long-tail version was reaching just under 300 km/h at Le Mans. Factory and private entry T33/2s took part in 23 racing events in 1968, and won eight victories at various venues.
According to Alfa Romeo authority, Ed McDonough, chassis number 75033.029 is one of the few Alfa Romeo racing cars of the period, for which there is strong evidence of its identity. As McDonough writes, “…both Alfa Romeo and Autodelta kept very poor records of their competition cars and no comprehensive (official factory) written record exists which identifies which Tipo 33 chassis raced at which event. No one knows exactly how many T33/2 chassis were built, although there were believed to be about twenty. The chassis numbering system has always defied understanding”.
For the car on offer, however, there are two principal sources of provenance: the first is Teodoro Zeccoli, who did most of the early testing, kept his own diary and worked closely with Chiti. Race entry forms exist which match the chassis number on this car as it appeared at the races. There is also testimony from the original owners, as well as from the late Marcello Gambi, an ex-Autodelta mechanic who kept his own records and went on to restore many cars. McDonough believes the history of 75033.029 is “reasonably complete”, and notes “…that can only be said of about five or six of the 1968 cars”. As such, this particular racing car is in a very rarefied class of Alfa Romeos.
Documents show the first and most important race for 75033.029 was a 500 km non-championship event at Imola in September, 1968. Three Works entries appeared: Ignazio Giunti/Nanni Galli in chassis 017, Mario Casoni and Spartaco Dini in chassis 018 and Nino Vaccarella and Teodoro Zeccoli in 029. This race was considered a shakedown event for the team, prior to competing at Le Mans two weeks later. (The race was delayed several months that year.) Galli and Giunti starred in practice and the early laps, but it was 029, in the hands of the legendary Nino Vaccarella and the veteran, Teodoro Zeccoli, which worked its way steadily into the lead.
That race was Autodelta’s best showing since Daytona, and it proved to be the team’s first 1-2-3 victory, with the T33/2’s outperforming the field of Porsche 910s by a wide margin. In July, Vaccarella and Lucien Bianchi won the Circuit of Mugello race in what was thought to be 029, although irrefutable evidence for this claim has not yet been established. Nino Vaccarella reportedly told Ed McDonough and Peter Collins that “after Mugello, it was nice to win again in the same car at Imola”, which would argue strongly for the Imola winner being the Mugello 029 car.
Late in 1968, Autodelta, developing a new 3-litre car for 1969, sold some of the 1968 racers to privateers, whilst retaining a few to use until the new model was complete. 75033.029 was sold to an Italian, Antonio Zadra, who planned to compete in a number of events with his friend, Giuseppe Dalla Torre. The first of these was the 1969 Monza 1000 Kilometres, where the Scuderia Trentina 029 scored an impressive 10th overall and won the 2-litre prototype class. Zadra had Mario Casoni as his co-driver at the Targa Florio, where the car ran well but eventually retired. On 13 July, Zadra finished 8th at the Trento Bondone hill climb in Italy, and a week later, Zadra/Dalla Torre had Works support at the Circuit of Mugello. McDonough noted that 029 appeared there with a more open body fitted. Then came the Austrian 1000 Kilometres at Osterreichring, where Autodelta brought the new 3-litre cars. Zadra/Dalla Torre competed in 029 along with other private Alfa entries. 029 turned out to be the only Alfa to finish, this time in 17th place.
Zadra was 12th at the Karlskoga races in Sweden in August, and he shared 029 with Carlo Facetti at the Imola 500 Kilometres in September, but they retired. In 1970, Hubert Ascher bought the car and it appeared at Dijon, after which Klaus Reisch drove it at Neubiberg and again at Magny Cours in 1971. 029 was in the USA in the 1980s, and it returned to Europe, where Paul and Matt Grist found and restored it, then successfully competed in a number of historic events, including the French Tour Auto.
The owner states, “This is my personal Tipo 33/2 Daytona, the most original and best documented racing Alfa of that period. It’s well-sorted and blindingly fast for an 8 cylinder 2-litre. I have been invited (to compete) in about every event in this part of the world. It is versatile, exciting to drive and very reliable”.
Indeed, Classic & Sports Car seem to agree wholeheartedly with this assessment of the car in a recent road test, entitling their article “Once you’re in the groove, it has a lightness of touch not unlike that of a Grand Prix racer”. Mick Walsh went on to say, “With wide ‘pepperpot’ wheels packing its arches, gaping vents dominating its profile and aero wing-flicks indicating serious speed, the Daytona is the best-looking of the line that ran from the ‘66 Periscopica to the ‘77 twin-turbo flat-12 SC wedge”.
Complete with both Dutch and UK road registration, as well as all the requisite FIA, HTP and FIVA documents, it is certainly quite unique and ready for any number of historic racing events. Indeed, the opportunity to acquire a T33/2 Daytona is a very rare one. This particular car’s offering, however, marks what is surely a unique opportunity, by virtue of 029’s stellar racing record and known history. From the corkscrew at Laguna Seca to the open roads of France, there is surely no more exciting way to exercise one’s right foot than with a high-revving, 2-litre Alfa Romeo V-8.
75033.029 Racing Record
1968 500 km Imola – 1st OA – Nino Vacarella / Teodoro Zecolli
1969 1000 km di Monza – 10th OA – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 Targa Florio – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Mario Casoni
1969 Mugello GP – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 1000 km Zeltweg – DNF – Antonio Zadra / Giuseppe Dalla Torre
1969 GP Swerige – 12th OA – Antonio Zadra
1969 500 km Imola – DNF (Engine) – Antonio Zadra / Carlo Facetti
1969 Preis von Salzburg – DNA – Antonio Zadra (did not run)
1969 Sports Neubiberg – 7th OA – Klaus Reisch
1970 Dijon – 14th OA – Hubert Ascher
1970 Mugello GP – DNF – Klaus Reisch
1970 1000 km Zeltweg – DNF – Klaus Reisch
1970 Sports Neubiberg – 5th OA – Klaus Reisch
1970 Magny Cours International – 3rd OA – Klaus Reisch
SOLD Approx. US$1.3 mil.
Almost immediately after establishing the company sharing his last name, Enzo Ferrari and his team would produce a winning design. Giacchino Colombo would work hard to produce a versatile V12 engine that would lead to the 125. The 125, however, would be just the beginning. The 125 would evolve into the 166 S racing car and this chassis would go on to earn a number of important victories for Scuderia Inter. Realizing he had a successful car to produce and sell, Ferrari would determine to build the 166 Inter.
Named after the Scuderia Inter team that successfully campaigned the 166 S. The 166 would come from its engine size, which had been increased to 1.66-liters from the 1.5-liter engine that had been used in the 125. Developed from the 166 S race car, the 166 Inter would become Ferrari’s first true grand tourer. It would be a sports car built for the street and would feature custom-built coach bodies.
Although the 166 Inter would not be introduced until the Paris Motor Show in October of 1949, the first edition of the 166 Inter would first be produced in 1948. And one of those early 166 Inters would be presented at RM Auctions’ event in Monaco in 2012.
Chassis 012I, according to official records, is a truly special example in Ferrari’s extensive history. Only the ninth Ferrari built according to the sequence in chassis construction. In addition, it would be just the sixth 166 Inter ever to be produced. But the example presented for auction would differ a fair bit from what it originally looked like leaving the Ferrari factory when it was completed in May of 1948.
When chassis 012I was finished by the coachbuilder Ansaloni the chassis would be finished with cycle-wings and would become one of the first to become known as ‘Spyder Corsas’. When, the car was finished it would just miss out on an opportunity to take part in the 1948 Mille Miglia. Had the car taken part in the race it would have joined its sister-car in the event. Incidentally, the sister-car to 012I would be driven by the famous Tazio Nuvolari.
Still, 012I would see some racing action. Its first taste of motor racing would come at the hands of Ferdinando Righetti at the Bari Grand Prix. Later on, the car would take part in the Pescara Grand Prix. Driven by Count Bruno Sterzi, the car would go on to earn its first podium result finishing 2nd overall.
Some time later, 012I would take part in the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti with Count Bruno Sterzi back at the wheel. The car would finish the event in 9th place overall. This would be a very impressive result for the car.
Victories would come later on in the car’s first season. Giovanni Bracco would take the Ferrari and would compete in a few hill climbs. This would result in a victory at the Rocco di Papa Hill Climb. The victory would earn Bracco the Gallenga Cup.
Bracco, known as impatient young man, seemed to have found his car. The man from Cossila, Italy would end up purchasing 012I in early of 1949. Known for his famous motto, ‘Either it goes or I crash it’, Bracco would use his talent to road racing and would use 012I to enter no fewer than 13 races throughout the 1949 season. Bracco would campaign the temperamental Spyder Corsa along with co-driver Umberto Maglioli. Bracco would be most active taking part in hill climbs throughout Italy. As a result of his numerous participation and success in them, Bracco would become the 1949 Italian Hill Climb Champion.
After the 1949 season, Bracco would sell the 166 to the well-known Count Emanuele Marzotto for a price around one million lire. This would make 012I one of the first cars as part of the Scuderia Marzotto racing stable. While with the Marzottos, the car would be given Vicenza plates with the identification ‘VI 18132’.
The Marzotto brothers were well-known for changing the bodies of the cars with great regularity and 012I would be no exception. The brothers would hire the services of Carrozzeria Fontana to take the car, as it existed at that moment, and would be transformed into what was termed ‘Spyder da Corsa Ferrari projecto Mille Miglia 1949’, meaning it would be transformed into a Barchetta. Fontana would transform the car into a Barchetta, or, ‘little boat’.
While bearing similarity to the well-known Touring version, Fontana’s example of the design would feature some appealing departures that would neatly demonstrate both the athletic and the elegant properties. It would include a longer rear end, a peaked full width windscreen and would give the car a much more aggressive look than the design of many of the 166 Inters designed throughout the later 1940s and early 1950s.
Soon after completion, Giannino Marzotto would enter ‘Chiodo’ (as given by Bracco meaning ‘nail’) in the 1950 Targa Florio. Marzotto’s race would go well until there was a terrible accident involving Fabrizio Serena. A good friend of Marzotto, the accident would lead Marzotto and his co-driver Marco Crosara to abandon the race in an effort to help their friend. This tragic event would lead into 012I’s most demonstrative performance.
Numbered ‘722’ 012I would be entered as a Type 195S Barchetta Fontana in the 1950 Mille Miglia. Presumably having an upgraded 2.3-liter engine, 012I would finish the event in 9th place overall and would actually go on to beat every single one of the factory entered Ferraris in the race. This, as it would be noted, would absolutely frustrate and upset Enzo Ferrari. Many suggest this event, and this car’s performance would spark the beginning of the love/hate relationship Ferrari had with the Marzotto brothers.
The remainder of the 1950 season would see that car achieve a couple more hill climb victories. Still, the Marzotto brothers would grow weary of the car’s new design and would only want it to evolve again. Therefore, it would be sent back to Fontana at the end of the 1950 season for more coachwork. When it reemerged in early 1951, the car would feature the same basic coach-built body but it would now feature a fastback hardtop. The required ‘Berlinetta’ fixed windscreen would also be added to the car along with some other features like outside door handles, windscreen wipers and a silver livery.
Still, the car would be campaigned in races long after its apparent life-span had come and gone. The car would show the same determined attitude its owners had when it managed a 3rd place overall finish in the Giro di Calabria in August of 1951. The car would continue to impress with a 2nd place overall finish at the German Grenzlandring when it was driven by Franco Comotti. Then, in late September, the 166 Inter would be driven by none other than Ferrari’s first Formula One race winner Jose Froilan Gonzalez. Gonzalez would drive the car in the Grand Prix di Modena and would place 6th overall.
012I would remain with Scuderia Marzotto until it ceased in 1953. At that time, the car would be sold, like the other chassis and the large amounts of spare parts. 012I would end up as the property of other brothers, the Mancini brother of Rome. Although well past its prime for motor racing, 012I would still be entered in races. Its last known event would be the Targa Florio in 1955 where it would be entered and driven by Francesco Matrullo. It is noted the car, at the time of the event, had an obvious shorter wheelbase.
From that last entry in the Targa Florio in 1955, 012I would live quietly until 1970 when it would resurface in a garage in the south of Rome. While the Fontana body remained intact, the car featured its auxiliary hard top removed and still with its shortened chassis. Ferrari aficionado Corrado Cupellini would make the find and would document its sad and dreary state when it was found. Still, Cupellini would acquire the car and would set about doing some restoration work just to get the car running again.
After finding a 166 engine from Marzotto’s Formula 2 Ferrari, Cupellini would continue with some restoration work and would finally get it up to running condition whereupon it would be sold in 1972 to Jacques Thuysbaert.
Interestingly, a noted Ferrariste by the name of Jess G. Pourret, around 1975, would come looking at the car. He would be blinded expecting something else and would totally ignore and fail to realize the fact he had just seen only the ninth Ferrari chassis ever to leave the factory.
During that same year, the car would be sold to Giuseppe Medici of Reggio Emelia. This sale would prove providential as Medici would immediate embark upon having the car restored. It would be entrusted to Autofficina Piero Mazzetti in 1976.
For years 012I had taken part in the actual Mille Miglia races. When the car emerged from restoration in early 1977 it would be entirely roadworthy and finished in time to enter what was the first Mille Miglia Storica in June of 1977. Wearing number ’84’, the car would take part in what has since become one of the most highly profiled historic road races throughout the world.
In 1978, after a brief time with Willy Felber, the car would be sold to Jean Zanchi of Lausanne, Switzerland. Zanchi would let the car’s racing heritage continue by taking part in a number of historic races, the first of which would be the Coupe de Lage d’Or at Montlhery. The car would also take part in the VII AvD-Oldtimer-Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany. The final race for the car would be the Grand Prix of Lausanne. By that point in time most of the original sheetmetal bodywork had become worn and loosened. Therefore, it was necessary for the car to undergo a proper full restoration.
By the mid-1990s, 012I was still in the midst of being restored when it was discovered in a small garage outside of Turin, Italy by a Californian man. He would purchase the car almost on the spot and would set about completing the restoration efforts with the main focus being to save as much of the original body as possible. He had the goal of restoring the car to its former 1950 glory.
After a slow and frustrating period when Castagno had been commissioned to restore the car, the car would be shipped to California and work would begin restoring the car back to its original dimensions from the 1950 season. Patrick Ottis would be in charge of taking the ex-Scuderia Marzotto 166 F2 engine, that was still in the car. His task was to rebuild it until it was practically a fresh new engine. When he finished, the engine would be tested on a dyno and would produce more than 190 bhp. This would be an incredible amount of power for an engine of its size and in a car of its size.
The chassis and body would be delivered to Curtis Patience of Portland, Oregon. Patience had been part of Brian Hoyt’s Perfect Reflections and certainly had the talent and experience for such a project. The entire process of the restoration would be documented in a 2011 issue of The Prancing Horse.
Finally, the car would be sent in its near final form to Phil Reilly & Co. of San Rafael, California. Ivan Zaremba would have the pleasure and the responsibility in doing the final sorting and testing of the completed chassis. This had the potential of being a real nerve-racking and testing experience in its own right but practically everyone would agree the final product would be inestimable in its quality and historic appeal.
With the final stages of the restoration only being completed in January of 2012, the RM Auctions event in Monaco in May would be 012I’s first official outing since having completed its glorious restoration. Finished in Italian racing red with the famed ‘722’ it wore in the 1950 Mille Miglia, this iconic and remarkably special 166 Inter would retain its 190 bhp, 2.0-liter engine and Fontana body. And with numerous victories on the track and in hill climbs, this striking 166 Inter Spyder Corsa, despite its compact size, has a rather influential place in Ferrari’s early sports car racing history. Being just the sixth Spyder Corsa ever and having been driven by the likes of Giovanni Bracco, Umberto Maglioli, Vittorio Marzotto and Jose Froilan Gonzalez, 012I’s place in automotive and motor racing history only becomes more impressive. This fact would be well represented when the car was sold at auction for
1931 Duesenberg J-495 Murphy Custom Beverly
When we speak of Duesenberg, we are indeed referring to the very best. The phrase, “It’s a real Duesey” comes from the famed marque itself. Simply put, the Duesenberg was the very best that America had to offer in the world of unsurpassed quality and luxury. In the present day, the name Duesenberg still commands respect on the finest concours show fields of the world. There may be other cars of comparable size and elegance, but the Duesenberg stands alone as a perfect combination of power, precision, and speed. Every Duesenberg ever built has a pedigree that marks it as a great automobile and while many automobiles have come and gone, the mighty Duesenberg stands alone as “the very best” in the annals of automotive history.
Fred and Augy Duesenberg got their start building race cars in 1913 with one of their first entries driven by the famed Eddie Rickenbacker in the 1914 Indianapolis 500. Eddie finished 10th, but that did not detour the brothers efforts and with several years and proper refinement the brothers went on to win the famous Indy race in 1924, 1925, and 1927. Racing endeavors didn’t stop Duesenberg from building some of the most reliable and well engineered vehicles of the day as production of the Model A and the Model X paralleled the company’s racing efforts. In 1926, the Duesenberg Company was purchased by the flamboyant Errett Loban Cord, who had a vision of building the world’s finest luxury car. After considerable development and fanfare, Duesenberg introduced the Model J at the New York Car Show in 1928. Never before had the world seen an automobile of such beauty and quality. The Duesenberg chassis alone sold for an astounding $8,500 during the Great Depression! Simply put, the Model J had set a new level in automobile standards. The impact of the Duesenberg Model J on America was stunning as it was an automobile that carried an allure of class that very few could experience. The Duesenberg name even managed to carry this mystique into the early years of the Great Depression as it continued to remain a beacon of high-society.
All of the coachbuilders of the day eagerly awaited orders on the fine Duesenberg chassis. The new Model J was well-suited for the custom body builders mainly because it had the length, power, and engineering needed to carry a heavy and imposing body. The Duesenberg Model J was never meant to be a car for the common man. Indeed, most advertising from Duesenberg pictured finely dressed members of high society in elegant settings with the simple, but elegant text that said it all, “He drives a Duesenberg” was all that was needed to convey the message that this was a car that was the very best. The Duesenberg Model J was a car aimed squarely at wealthy individuals who sacrificed nothing in their quest for the finer things in life. Selection of the Duesenberg chassis was only the beginning in the creation of these fine automobiles for the body still had to be designed and built. Once the chassis was selected, a number of coachbuilders could be hired to custom build the body to the customer’s exact needs. These were companies that could create beautiful town cars, roadsters, phaetons, or coupes built to the owner’s exact specifications with the utmost attention in high quality standards.
There were two entities, a designer and a coachbuilder that played an intricate role in creating what has been called the most beautiful Duesenberg ever built; a 1931 Murphy bodied Beverly Berline built on Duesenberg chassis #J-495. The designer in this case was the great Gordon Buehrig, a talented artist that created some of the most stunning automotive designs in history. Buehrig’s design work had already appeared on great marques like Stutz and Packard when he became chief body designer for Duesenberg at the age of 25. Buehrig is responsible for the design of the Auburn 851 Speedster and the Cord 810. Buehrig’s talents were not limited to ultra expensive cars as his later career found him at the Ford Motor Company where he designed the 1951 Victoria Coupe and the 1956 Continental Mark II. Ever the innovative designer, Buehrig is also credited with the removable T-top in 1951. Buehrig’s designs for the Duesenberg chassis are looked upon as the highlight of his years and are clearly evident in his stunning creations.
Once Buehrig’s design was solidified, the Walter M. Murphy Body Company began work on J-495. The Murphy Company was no stranger to Duesenberg as they were recognized as a reliable coachbuilder that built their bodies to the exact high standards that Duesenberg’s customers demanded. Indeed, the Murphy Company would go on to build bodies for 125 of the Duesenberg Model Js ever built representing about 25% of the Model J’s production. Murhpy’s beautiful creations had already graced some of the most prestigious cars in the world with the likes of Bentley, Crane-Simplex, Hispano-Suiza, Lincoln, Minerva, Peerless, Rolls-Royce, Isotta-Frachini, and Bugatti all carrying Murphy bodies. With such illustrious names to its credit, the Murphy Company was a natural selection as a coachbuilder for the Model J chassis and was one of three selected to showcase the new car for the 1928 New York Auto Salon. Murphy’s design for a roadster with a disappearing top of the J chassis was a big hit at the show and solidified the company as a premier body builder for the Duesenberg J chassis. Of course, the Murphy Company would not call their creations simple names like roadsters or phaetons, but instead chose names like Beverly, Berline, and Sport Sedan for their works of art. These names were certainly better suited to the upscale image that Duesenberg was known for. With a beautiful body designed by Buehrig and the Murphy Company handling the construction, work commenced on Duesenberg chassis #J-495 in May of 1931 with its engine assembly taking place in October of the same year. The body is built from aircraft-inspired aluminum of the highest quality standards and a high-speed rear axle ensured quiet and smooth operation at any speed. Indeed this Duesenberg carries the same type rear axle that was used on the famous Mormon Meteor.
Offered to the discriminating collector of fine automobiles is this historic automobile, as fine a Duesenberg as was ever built. J-495 carries the Murphy bodied Beverly Berline body riding on an impressive 153.5-inch wheelbase. Murphy’s fine craftsmanship is clearly evident throughout this Beverly Berline’s outstanding fit and finish. Buehrig’s talented work is also displayed in the stunning body lines of his classic and timeless design. Its long and sweeping fenders combined with its low roof line have been described by many Duesenberg enthusiasts as the best looking, and most desirable close bodied Duesenberg every built. Absolutely nothing was over looked in the creation of this most elegant automobile and while Buehrig’s design set it apart from any other car on the road, its true beauty was found within as J-495 carries an interior that is fit for royalty. Sitting behind the wheel of this magnificent Duesenberg is like sitting in the cockpit of the Douglas DC3 aircraft of the day. A low slung driver’s seat offers a commanding view through the three-piece front windshield and over the long hood that has to be personally experienced to fully appreciate. Most impressive is the seating accommodations for the rear passengers. Despite its immense wheelbase, rear seating accommodates just two in the absolute finest luxury ever built in a motorcar. Rear instrumentation features a full dashboard with radio, altimeter, speedometer, and chronometer. A pull-out writing desk is also part of J-495’s interior décor and privacy is achieved through a roll up window that is controlled from the rear compartment. Rear seating is patterned in arm chair fashion trimmed with fine leather making for comfortable seating. The interior of this fine automobile leaves nothing to chance in its quest for automotive excellence.
Ownership of J-495 reads like a who’s who of American society. It was purchased new by William Hibbard of Chicago, IL, and was then sold to William E. Schmidt, also of Chicago. J-495 then passed through several owners through the years until being purchased by Ralph Engelstadt of the Imperial Palace Collection where it was restored by Fennel restorations. From there it entered the Blackhawk Collection and was then sold to Dean Kruse. It next found itself owned by the famous Robert McGowan of the McGowan Brothers, who were an American folk music band from Branford, Connecticut. The McGowan Brothers regularly toured New England during the 1960s and 1970s playing to packed houses with their humorous brand of folk music. Duesenberg J-495 was recently acquired from Robert McGowan and is now available. J-495’s history reads like a walk through time as in its succession of owners it sold for the bargain price of just $10,000 in 1964 and was then sold for $19,000 in 1967. Needless to say, Duesenberg prices have risen dramatically since then. The chance to own this incredible piece of American history is perhaps as rare as the car itself. Indeed, a Beverly Berline bodied Duesenberg has not been available to the general public since the mid 1990s.
This Duesenberg is a restored-to-factory authentic car that still retains its matching engine, body, and chassis. Its perfection is clearly evident in the fact that it was awarded the Most Elegant Car award at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours. J-495 has also recently received some cosmetic upgrades including a new top, new trunk covering, and a complete refresh of interior trimming. Duesenberg J-495 was an astounding car when it was built and it is even more so today. There are very few cars from the classic era that can claim to carry their original body with no modifications made, but this astounding Duesenberg does just that. The Duesenberg was the ultimate in American cars and this is the Duesenberg that proves it. With its classic flowing lines, immense wheelbase, and dedication to authenticity, this is a collector automobile that has no equal and will surely be the centerpiece of any collection. Its elegant lines and fine engineering speak of an era in automotive styling that is long gone and its fine detail and superb restoration are indeed a tribute to the vision of Errett Loban Cord and the Duesenberg Empire.
Approx. US$1.2 mil.
1922 Hispano-Suiza H6B
Dual cowl open tourer.
Coachwork by Henri Labourdette.
Probable the most original and best preserved Labourdette Skiff Body.
Fabulous restoration. Pebble Beach award winner.
1911 Hispano-Suiza “King Alfonso XIII” Double Berline by Carrosserie Alin & Liautard
Chassis No. 718
AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Not Sold at a high bid of $575,000
64 bhp, 3,620 cc inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, rear mechanical drum brakes.
• One of only four built
• An extremely original and authentic example
• Fascinating history
Almost from the outset, individual owners of the Hispano-Suiza entered their cars into the various road races taking place around the world. Engineer Mark Birkigt formally entered the factory into these forays and consistently improved the performance of his team cars until they achieved an impressive string of racing successes, which translated into sales. Buyers clamored for a production version and Birkigt complied, introducing the 45-Cr “race” version, so named because it was officially rated at 45 horsepower. The new engine was the Type 15T, but to the public the model was officially marketed as the Type Alfonso XIII.
Young Alfonso XIII, King of Spain, took a great liking to the Hispano-Suiza marque early on; a pioneering and enthusiastic motorist, he bought the first of many Hispano-Suizas that he would own in 1905 and would ultimately have over 30 examples in his fleet, which led to the naming of the model after the marque’s biggest patron. The Birkigt-designed massive cast-iron Type 15T four-cylinder engine placed in the chassis produced a respectable 64 horsepower from a little over 3.6 liters of displacement, which was very respectable for the time period. With a top speed of 80 miles per hour, the Alfonso is also recognized as one of the first true sports cars and rivals even the hallowed Mercer that was built in the Americas. Consistent performance in those days was no accident, and the Alfonso achieved such feats due to the quality of machine parts, with even rough castings that were finer than what most other manufacturers were producing at the time.
With the introduction of the Alfonso XIII, the Hispano-Suiza had truly made its mark in the automotive world and began to find appeal far away from its home turf. In Great Britain, there was no advertising for the marque in The Autocar, but there were several pages dedicated to following the travels of an Alfonso within the Welsh borders; the car simply sold itself. Large early automobiles fall into a precious class; many were scrapped during war drives or lost to the ravages of time, and those that did survive were either forgotten, salted away or built from components which originated from various cars. Fortunately for historians and collectors, the example offered here has a relatively straightforward story. This example, chassis 718, is a very rare Colonial chassis. Only four examples were ever built, and it features larger diameter wheels and a lengthened chassis.
In the mid-1980s Patricio Chadwick and Emilio Polo were in Seville, Spain. They met an antique dealer and asked him if he knew of any Hispano-Suiza cars that might be in the area, and he pointed them in the direction of his client, the Marquis de Sanlucar de Barrameda. After a few phone calls, they arrived at Sanlucar Andalucia, an area famous for a very dry white wine called Fino. After tasting several, the Marquis agreed to sell his grandfather’s Alfonso XIII. The next day Chadwick and Polo arrived with a truck to collect the car, and the winery manager helped them load their prize; what they believed they had purchased was a complete rolling chassis with the remains of a touring body. The pair were surprised when the winery manager asked if they intended to take the other body! Chassis 718 was one of those special examples of an elite chassis that was ordered with seasonal bodies. Among the huge wine casks was this amazing Double Berline body by Carrosserie Alin & Liautard. According to the manager the body had not been moved in 40 years, which resulted in its exceptional state of preservation; to call this motor car a time-warp example is a massive understatement.
In the intervening years the chassis and suspension were sympathetically restored and rebuilt as necessary, but the craftsmen were careful to make the finish of the chassis match the wonderful patina of the body. The same treatment was likewise given to the engine and transmission, which has resulted in a consistent appearance. There is no shortage of charming details to behold on this car. Among them are the original Bleriot two-bulb headlamps, possibly an early hi-beam/low-beam setup, with Ducellier cowl lamps, a large roof rack and a fold-out windshield. The original interior is amazingly preserved for being almost a century old, while the fabric is so intricately woven that it could be compared more to the celebrated Flemish tapestries than automobile upholstery. Where the headliner has come away from the ceiling can be observed a series of small thin squares of wood, which would have given texture to the ceiling with the headliner attached. The dash is very nicely finished as well and still contains all of its original instruments.
The styling and curves of this gorgeous baroque winter body is amazing, with two separate compound curves making up the roof sections, which almost resemble ceiling vaults. The wood-framed windows are of such proportion that they appear to have come out of a home. When a car is restored to concours specifications, the high standards demanded today require complete recreation of otherwise serviceable parts. What is lost are fine details and markings that give an automobile character and authenticity. Among the myriad items found on chassis 718 are the markings on the trunk hardware and leaf springs, the original dash chassis plate and the plate that reads Radiadores Vintro Barcelona on the upper radiator tank. There are other pieces like the intricate brass locks on the original Hispano-Suiza center caps complemented by the nicely aged black wire spoke wheels.
Chassis 718 is a perfect example of sympathetic preservation. Any early example of the Hispano-Suiza marque is something special that should garner extra attention, but as a special long-wheelbase example of the revered Alfonso XIII, it is likely that there are no other direct comparisons to be had. Like the casks of wine which surrounded it for so much of its life, this 1913 Hispano-Suiza “Alfonso XIII” Double Berline has gotten better with age. It is, truly, one of the greatest antiques in existence.
Please note this car is actually model year 1911. Please note the title for this vehicle is in transit.