Monterey/ Pebble Beach next week – my Top 100

My comments in Bold Itallics at the bottom

All descriptions and pictures courtesy of auction companies.

#81 – Rolls Royce Silver Ghost 1915 #2BD Hamshaw Limousine US$600,000+ My pick US$750,000 SOLD US$561,000

1915 Rolls-Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost Limousine
by H.A. Hamshaw Ltd.   
Chassis No. 2BD
$600,000-$800,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
50 bhp, 7,428 cc L-head inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox with direct-drive fourth gear, worm-and-nut steering, foot-operated brakes with rear drums, live front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and live rear axle with cantilever leaf springs. Wheelbase: 138″

• One of approximately five Rolls-Royces bodied by H.A. Hamshaw Ltd.
• Ex-duPont family, A. Atwater Kent Jr., and Richard Solove
• Original chassis, engine, and coachwork
• Offered from the Estate of John O’Quinn

H.A. Hamshaw Ltd. and the Silver Ghost

H.A. Hamshaw, of Leicester in the U.K., had its origins in the mid-19th century when the firm of Parr & Hamshaw was first established. In about 1880, Harry Hamshaw bought out his partner and went on to create a business of building prestigious carriages. During the early-1900s, the firm began both selling and bodying cars, exhibiting their work at the Olympia motor shows from 1919 to 1928. Hamshaw primarily exhibited cars for which it held agencies: Wolseley, Vauxhall, Humber, and Sunbeam. Most interesting are the five or so Rolls-Royces, including this car, that the firm is known to have bodied.

Late in 1906, the 40/50 hp model was introduced at the London Motor Show on the stand of C.S. Rolls and Company. The new model was destined to achieve a status few automobiles would ever equal in the history of motor vehicles. The Silver Ghost, as it later became known, swiftly established Rolls-Royce as the ultimate in luxury motoring—so much so that the company rightfully touted every vehicle as “The Best Car in the World.” Silver Ghost production continued for 18 years, totaling nearly 8,000 cars, with 6,173 built in England, plus 1,703 Springfield models. This included the staff cars and armor-plated combat versions that saw service during WWI.

Chassis 2BD

Due to the war effort, the supply of Rolls-Royces available to the public became limited. During the summer of 1914, Rolls-Royce became entrenched in the production of aircraft engines, and the building of automobiles for civilian purchase came to a virtual standstill. Documented in John Fasal’s definitive book, The Edwardian Rolls-Royce, chassis 2BD’s first owner was Captain H. Whitworth, of Beverley, Yorkshire, UK. His Silver Ghost had been delivered to Hamshaw in 1915 to be clothed following testing at Rolls-Royce. The next owner of record was the duPont family, via Rolls-Royce distributor Robert W. Schuette. The early history that has long been associated with this car entails Mr. Alfred I. duPont, whose second wife Alicia wanted a new Rolls-Royce limousine. Mr. duPont, as scion of the family business, supplied large quantities of quality gunpowder to the British military. King George V, well aware of the duPont family support, saw to it that a suitable car was made available to them as a show of gratitude to the family. The Silver Ghost was received at the family estate in Wilmington, Delaware. At the time, the duPonts were among America’s wealthiest families. Alfred was a graduate of Phillips-Andover and the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the family business as a director.

DuPont passed away in 1935, 15 years after Alicia. The next owner of 2BD was A. Atwater Kent Jr., a prominent Philadelphian whose father founded the famed manufacturing company heavily involved in radios and electronics. It was also later owned by well-known Rolls-Royce collector James C. Leake, of Oklahoma, in the early-1980s. The car then spent time abroad, back in the UK in the collections of Sam Macdonald-Hall, of Essex, and Terry Cohn, of Churt, Surrey. It returned to the United States in 1993 to become part of the noted Richard Solove Collection in New Albany, Ohio. Prior to its return to the United States, Solove had the vehicle meticulously and sympathetically restored by David Hemmings while it was still in England. The car has been most recently part of the collection of the late Mr. John O’Quinn.

2BD is nothing short of opulent. It is replete with the finest workmanship typical of expert carriage builders of the era. Fittings are brass rather than nickel, and the dark, almost black, olive exterior is beautifully detailed with gold pinstriping. Six painted wire wheels, including dual spares with brass hubs and a handsome wicker trunk, are provided. Inside are carved ivory door handles, beveled glass windows, cut crystal lamps, an inlaid wood folding table, two jump seats, and door pockets. Communications to the chauffeur are via a tubular intercom. The chauffeur’s compartment is upholstered in button-tufted black leather, while the passenger compartment is lavish in beige cloth with embroidered silk window pulls and trim-work, including rear compartment shades and sliding divider. Perhaps most notable is the elegant, pleated, cloth rosette headliner with its cloudlike billows. C.A.V. lighting, a triple Elliot speedometer, and a set of leather-wrapped flasks in the right rear armrest add to the exquisite details of this magnificent machine. This is, without question, one of the most outstanding examples of an early Rolls-Royce extant today. Believed to remain in its original configuration as built new, including its chassis, running gear, and coachwork, the stunning and rare body by Hamshaw shows that the firm was as capable of building formal bodies just as luxurious as its more prolific competition.

Pros: Large, usable Brass era car, more suited to museum display than driving

Cons: Not at all sporting.

#82 – Monteverdi HAI 450SS #TNT101 US$600,000+ My pick US$700,000 SOLD @ US$577,500

1970 Monteverdi HAI 450 SS Prototype
Coachwork by Fissore
*Please note that in addition to the final bid price and Buyer’s premium, the Buyer of this lot will be responsible for paying an additional 2.5% of the final bid price to cover duties paid on the import of the vehicle into the US.

$600,000 – $800,000
■The Ultimate Monteverdi Automobile
■Sophisticated Mid-Engine Chassis with Chrysler Power
■Prestigious Show Car Pedigree
■Tested in Automobile Quarterly, Volume 9, No. 2
■Faithfully Restored to Original, Factory-Correct Appearance
■2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Award Winner
■A True One-Off and the Only Hemi-Powered Hai
426 CID Chrysler “Hemi” V-8 Engine
Twin Carter 4-Barrel Carburetors
450 HP at 5,000 RPM
5-Speed ZF Manual Transaxle with Limited-Slip Differential
4-Wheel ATE Vented Disc Brakes, Inboard Rear
Independent Wishbone Front Suspension with Coil Springs and KONI Shock Absorbers
De Dion Rear Axle with Lateral Watts Link, Lower Trailing Arms, Coil Springs and KONI Shock AbsorbersMonteverdi
Artist, engineer, car dealer and automaker – Switzerland’s Peter Monteverdi designed and built boutique high-performance cars that rivaled those of Europe’s most prestigious manufacturers.

An enthusiast from the start, Monteverdi built his very first sports car, a cycle-fender Fiat special, in 1951 at just 17 years of age. Five years later, Monteverdi inherited the family dealership and built a very successful business distributing fine automobiles, such as Ferrari, Lancia, BMW and Rolls-Royce.

In 1961, Monteverdi introduced the MBM (Monteverdi Binningen Motors), the first Formula 1 car built in Switzerland. The Porsche-powered, mid-engine car was entered in only one Grand Prix, a non-championship race at Solitude. Disappointed by the failure of his Formula 1 endeavor, Monteverdi soon turned his attention to building a line of refined sports cars.

After several experiments throughout the early 1960s, Monteverdi was encouraged to develop his most ambitious project yet – the High-Speed 375. In June 1966, work began on the prototype. A year later, a spectacular Frua-bodied Monteverdi introduced the Swiss marque to the world from its stage at the 1967 Frankfurt Auto Show.

By 1968, Monteverdi offered a full line of exceptional sporting automobiles. The Chrysler- powered 375 S, 375 C and 375/4 appealed to the refined motorist who demanded a sophisticated motorcar of particular distinction.

The Monteverdi logo, a royal crown composed of mountains, is a perfect representation of the marque, as these fascinating motorcars represent the very best automotive application of Swiss engineering.
This Car
The remarkable story of the Monteverdi HAI 450 SS begins in April 1969, when Monteverdi was visiting Chrysler’s Export-Import Division in Detroit.

While inspecting Chrysler’s all-new “F” Series 440 Magnum engine, Monteverdi was drawn to a 426 Hemi sitting nearby. With this powerful, race-proven engine, Monteverdi sensed an opportunity to create a special “halo” car that would draw attention to his production 375 GTs. An agreement was soon put into place whereby Chrysler Engineering would build a 426 Hemi especially for the Swiss auto manufacturer, rather than simply pull a standard unit from the assembly line.

Using the Hemi’s dimensions as a guideline, Monteverdi returned to Switzerland and developed plans for a groundbreaking mid- engine super car.

Following the firm’s established practices, Monteverdi’s box-section space frame chassis, with its sophisticated “X” bracing and integrated roll bars, was extremely strong and rigid, making for an ideal sports car platform. For this basic foundation, Monteverdi engineered a fully independent suspension with a De Dion-tube rear axle and specified ATE ventilated disc brakes, a ZF transaxle and Chrysler’s mighty 426 Hemi engine. Constructed by hand with the utmost attention to detail, the bare chassis was meticulously finished and its construction alone consumed some 110 hours.

Once completed at the Basel factory, the chassis was shipped to the Fissore plant in Savigliano, Italy, south of Turin, where the prototype’s bodywork was built by hand. Penned by English designer Trevor Fiore, Monteverdi’s mid-engine supercar was a striking new specimen that incorporated the best aspects of contemporary sports car design.

Having considered the car’s aggressive performance and crisp, razor-edged form, Monteverdi dubbed his creation the HAI, which means “shark” in German.

With the HAI, Monteverdi had an utterly distinctive sporting machine that represented the finest traditions of Swiss manufacturing. Not only was it technically sophisticated, precision-built and exceptionally efficient, the HAI was also the ultimate in European exotica and carried an astounding price tag of 82,400 Swiss Francs. With a claimed top speed of 280 km/h (177 mph) and 0–100 mph in approximately 12 seconds, the HAI was one of the fastest automobiles ever designed to run on public roads.

Unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Auto Salon, the HAI 450 SS Prototype, TNT 101, was finished in a specially mixed metallic shade called Purple Smoke. Generously equipped with air-conditioning, electric windows, polished wire wheels and all-white Connolly leather upholstery, the HAI was every bit as refined as the more established offerings from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.

In late 1970, the HAI was the featured subject of a full Automobile Quarterly (Volume 9, No. 2) road test. Driven at speed on Swiss roads, the Monteverdi was said to be “uncompromisingly high-performance…one of the most exciting cars we’ve ever driven.” At the end of his time with the HAI, Automobile Quarterly’s Michael Lorrimer concluded, “[It] is a stupendously fast, wonderfully controllable automobile for two. We also think it looks pretty good. What else do you expect for $27,000?”

After the 1970 show season, the HAI returned to Monteverdi’s Basel factory, where it was repainted red and reupholstered in a more conventional pattern. In its updated guise, the HAI was displayed at additional exhibitions and featured on the cover of Australia’s Sports Car World magazine.

Although many individuals came to Monteverdi with requests to purchase the HAI, he refused to build them for the general public, believing them to be too advanced for inexperienced drivers. One gentleman in particular, Karl Heinz Schuberth of Germany, pursued the HAI relentlessly. After nearly a year of Mr. Schuberth’s pursuit, Monteverdi gave in to his requests and, on November 5, 1971, sold TNT 101.

After selling the original HAI 450 SS Prototype, Monteverdi eventually unveiled the 450 GTS, TNT 102. That car was built on a longer wheelbase chassis and powered by a Chrysler 440 Magnum, rather than the more powerful 426 Hemi.

In 1981, TNT 101 was sold to Norbert McNamara of California. A noted race car driver and exotic car collector, McNamara owned several unusual sports cars, including an ATS, an Abarth-Simca 1300 and several De Tomaso automobiles before acquiring the Monteverdi. Before taking delivery of his new car, McNamara commissioned Fissore, the original coachbuilder, to perform a cosmetic restoration and refinish the bodywork in a unique copper metallic tan livery. With the exception of a memorable appearance at the 1989 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the HAI led a secluded existence throughout its 15 years in McNamara’s care.

In October 1996, Los Angeles collector Bruce Milner added the HAI to his exceptional stable of European sports cars. Mr. Milner, who has owned a number of Monteverdi automobiles, was immediately drawn to the HAI’s cutting-edge design and significant place in the marque’s history.

Approximately 10 years after purchasing the HAI, Mr. Milner decided to restore the car to its original 1970 Geneva Auto Salon appearance. After sections of original, untouched Purple Smoke paint were discovered, the special color was carefully matched for an exact finish and the car was restored to the highest standards. To match the HAI’s original show-stand appearance, the interior was painstakingly re-trimmed with white upholstery and black carpeting and equipped with period details, such as a Blaupunkt Köln radio and correct Behr air-conditioner vents sourced from another Monteverdi.

Returned to its original splendor, the HAI 450 SS Prototype made its post-restoration debut at the 2006 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it earned Third in Class (Mid-Engined Show Cars, Prototypes and Concept Cars). Following this impressive outing, the Monteverdi was featured in the December 2007 issue of Classic & Sports Car magazine.

Several years ago, the HAI was sold to the current owner, a French enthusiast who has been mesmerized by the Swiss supercar since he was a young man. In a recent discussion, he recalled attending the Geneva Auto Show with his father who, as a sports car enthusiast, was particularly taken with the unique Monteverdi. Still in out- standing condition inside and out, the Monteverdi has benefitted from carburetor and ignition tuning carried out by the current owner.

The masterwork of a Swiss perfectionist, the HAI 450 SS Prototype represents the zenith of Peter Monteverdi’s career as an independent manufacturer of fine automobiles. A true one-off, this spectacular Basel-built supercar boasts state-of-the-art engineering, sensational 1970s styling and a distinguished history that includes appearances at the Geneva Auto Salon and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

An influential early supercar and the most important Monteverdi automobile in existence, the HAI 450 SS Prototype is an enticing prospect for collectors who appreciate the significant contributions and unmistakable individuality of this extraordinary Swiss marque. .

Pros: Absolutely unique, quite unusual and love it or hate it.

Cons: Not sure what you would actually do with it, display ???

#83 – Mercedes 300SL 1955 #5500637 My pick US$900,000 SOLD US$675,000

Year 1956
Make Mercedes-Benz
Model 300SL
Body Gullwing

Lot S128 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing
Chassis# 5500637, Matching Luggage

Monterey, CA The Daytime Auction
August 16-18, 2012
This Lot scheduled to be sold SAT 2:40PM
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– Chassis no. 5500637
– Numbers matching
– Built toward the end of 1955, titled as a ’56
– Highly sought after “curved star” grill work
– Recently refinished high gloss exterior
– Black leather interior
– Matching luggage
– Becker “Mexico” radio
– Bumpers with optional guards
– Sealed beam lamps with separate parking lamps
– Recent service work DESCRIPTION
The Mercedes 300SL Coupe is one of Germany’s most prolific gifts to postwar America. W198 or “Gullwing” was introduced in 1952 as a lightweight race car to compete in Mille Milia. With direct fuel injection, dry-sump oiling, a tubular space-frame chassis, independent suspension, a comfortable interior, and is a legendary design which has and will stand the test of time. Changes for 1956 included replacement of the engine’s internal duplex oil pump with an external pressure pump and a single function suction pump in the oil pan. The introduction of a dual point/single coil ignition system was introduced and replaced the single point/single coil ignition system.

Chassis number #5500637 is titled as a 1956 but was built towards the end of 1955. Being built in ’55 this Gullwing came with the highly sought after “curved star” grill work. The recently refinished high gloss exterior compliments the optional black leather interior which includes the matching luggage.  Special options this Gullwing came with include the Becker “Mexico” radio, bumpers with optional guards, and sealed beam lights with separate parking lamps. This SL had recent service work and does run and drive well. With only 1400 coupes built, this is your chance at joining a very exclusive guild.

Pros: Nice well specced 300SL, no stories car

Cons: Nothing

#84 – Ferrari 365 GTS/4 1971 #14857 My pick US$1 million SOLD US$1.05 mil.

Year 1972
Make Ferrari
Model 365 GTB/4
Body Daytona Spyder
Color Red
Interior Black

Lot S151 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder
1 of 122 Produced, Only 21,185 Miles

Monterey, CA The Daytime Auction
August 16-18, 2012
This Lot scheduled to be sold SAT 3:30PM 

– Serial number 14857
– 1 of 122 produced
– 21,185 miles
– Red with Black interior
– Borrani wire wheels
– Tool kit
– Previously owned by noted Ferrari Daytona expert Steve Hill DESCRIPTION
After years of rumors that a rear-engined road-going Prancing Horse was in the works, the automotive world was taken completely by surprise when Ferrari unveiled the 365GTB/4 Daytona at the 1968 Paris Auto Salon. Wrapped in a gorgeous Pininfarina-styled body and bestowed with 4-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel Dunlop vented disc brakes and a race-bred four-cam V-12 engine, the Daytona was the zenith of Ferrari’s line of great front-engined Grand Touring cars, especially the highly desirable Spyder version, of which just 122 were produced by Ferrari coachbuilder Scaglietti. Serial number 14857, this premium example was previously owned by noted Ferrari Daytona expert Steve Hill. Finished in Red with Red-trimmed Black leather and showing just 21,185 miles, this brilliantly detailed Daytona Spyder is perfectly completed with chromed Borrani wire wheels fitted with correct high speed Michelin radials.

 Pros: A good no stories Daytona Spider

Cons: Nothing at all.

#85 – Bizzarini Manta 1968 #538-003 US$1 mil. + My pick US$800,000 NOT SOLD

1969 Bizzarrini Manta
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, Coachwork by Ital Design
CHASSIS NO. P538-003
Body No. 6901
*Please note that this car is titled by its body number.

$1,000,000 – $1,500,000
■Highly Developed Bizzarrini P538 Competition Chassis
■The First Independent Project of Giugiaro’s Ital Design
■One of the Most Influential Concept Cars of the 1960s
■Radical Triple-Seat, Center-Drive Configuration
■Featured on the Cover of Road & Track Magazine
■Exceptional, Concours-Quality Restoration by Rod Drew’s FAI
■First in Class at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
■Displayed at Goodwood, Villa d’Este, Amelia Island and Concorso Italiano
■Featured in Countless Books, Articles and Design Exhibitions

5,359 CC OHV Chevrolet V-8 Engine
Four Weber 45 DCOE Carburetors
Estimated 400 HP at 5,400 RPM
5-Speed ZF Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Servo-Assisted Disc Brakes, Inboard Rear
4-Wheel Independent Double-Wishbone Suspension with Coil SpringsThis Car
Although automotive history is rife with tales of individual triumph, the most influential and lasting achievements have come from collaborative efforts and sheer circumstance. The Bizzarrini Manta, which combines the engineering genius of Giotto Bizzarrini and the influential styling of Giorgetto Giugiaro, exemplifies this truth. This purpose-built one-off, with its fascinating history and competition pedigree, stands out as one of the most remarkable show cars of the 1960s.

The story of the Manta begins during the latter half of 1965, when Giotto Bizzarrini set to work on what is generally regarded as his most sophisticated racing car – the P538.

Designed from a clean sheet, the P538 was Bizzarrini’s attempt to take on the greatest forces in international racing. Like the Ford GT40, Ferrari 250 P and Porsche 906 it would compete against, the P538 was a proper, mid-engine prototype designed strictly for competition use. Knowing full well that such an ambitious project would require a great deal of nurturing, Bizzarrini invested heavily in the creation and development of his ultimate competition car.

While the first two chassis were equipped with Lamborghini V-12s and sold to an American client, chassis 003 was the first P538 constructed to Bizzarrini’s intended specifications. In keeping with the company’s long-standing tradition, P538-003 was equipped with a highly tuned Corvette V-8 engine complete with four Weber side-draft carburetors. This robust powerplant was then married to a lightweight tubular space frame, ZF five-speed transaxle, fully independent suspension, disc brakes, alloy Campagnolo wheels and exotic fiberglass bodywork.

Constructed in Spring 1966, P538-003 made its competition debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as a Scuderia Bizzarrini works entry. Wearing race No 10, the relatively untested P538 was entrusted to experienced Swiss drivers Edgar Berney and Andre Wicky. After a dramatic spin off the starting line, the Bizzarrini began to gain ground and record impressive lap times.

Early in the race, the P538 entered the pits for a routine stop. In the rush to return the car to the track, the pit crew jacked the car incorrectly, resulting in a cracked radiator pipe and coolant loss. Unfortunately for Scuderia Bizzarrini, the damage caused in the pits forced the P538 to retire in the second hour. Bizzarrini’s only other works entry, a GT America driven by Sam Posey and Massimo Natili, was later disqualified for an illegal pit stop.

After the disappointing results at Le Mans, P538-003 was campaigned only once more. In October 1966, the Bizzarrini sports racer finished 4th overall at a local Italian hill climb.

Following the racing season, the CSI announced new regulations that would dramatically affect the prototype category. Not only did the new rules limit capacity to five liters, but a minimum of 25 examples would also have to be built for homologation purposes. Overnight, the P538 was rendered obsolete, never having realized its full potential.

This dramatic turn of events would ultimately signal the end of Bizzarrini as an independent manufacturer. Because the P538 project consumed so much of the company’s liquid assets, Bizzarrini soon found himself in a compromised financial situation. In an effort to sell P538-003 and recoup much-needed funds, Bizzarrini reconfigured the car as a road-going coupe but found no willing takers.

While the P538 project was, in many ways, responsible for the downfall of Bizzarrini, it served as the foundation for an equally influential Italian automotive venture: Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Ital Design.

In 1967 Giugiaro, who had already showcased his talents at Fiat, Bertone and Ghia, was anxious to start out on his own. Having secured the necessary backing, all he needed was a suitable project. After learning of Bizzarrini’s financial difficulties and remaining P538s, Giugiaro drew up a plan to use the advanced sports racing chassis as the basis for a radical new breed of supercar. Giotto Bizzarrini, interested in removing the P538 from his books and generating newfound interest in his eponymous firm, was only too happy to oblige.

On February 13, 1968, Giorgetto Giugiaro founded Ital Design and furiously set to work on his first independent project. Free from the typical constraints faced by stylists, Giugiaro was able to push the boundaries of automotive design and break from tradition. A forward thinker, Giugiaro set out to create a highly efficient modern sports car, the first “one box” GT.

When Giuliano Molineri interviewed Giugiaro for Style Auto, the designer explained the ideas behind his first independent project and the aim of its production:

“Firstly, let me say that it was not my intention to carry out any stylistic virtuosity. In fact, for such exhibitions it is better to choose much more conventional themes, open to more fanciful inventions. Instead I restricted myself to a well- defined aim and tried to stick to it with the greatest coherence possible. Starting from a very simple idea I have, I think, reached an interesting result. Usually the stylist who has to design the bodywork of a rear-engined sports car tries, with a variety of devices, to develop the bonnet and entire front end, and lighten the rear in order to re-balance the masses. Instead of following this traditional criterion, I asked myself, was it not possible to load the rear, thus respecting reality in order to leave the engine all the room it deserves, and to reduce (if not exactly do away with completely) the front end, giving it a marginal role in the play of masses?”

In only 40 days, Giugiaro went from a basic sketch to the fully functioning prototype we see today.

The groundbreaking design features a continuous line from nose to roof and again from roof to tail. This bold line allows for a radical 15° rake to the windscreen and substantial glass surface that stretches beyond the B-pillar, allowing a glimpse of the intake trumpets. In an effort to break the planar surface area of the rear deck, Giugiaro inserted two groups of five transverse louvers, highlighted by a dramatic contrast in color, and a split bumper that folded over onto the tail. From the profile, the overall design is crisp and formal, the only embellishment being the brushed aluminum rocker panel, with its industrial “drilled” motif.

The unusual width of the chassis, more than six feet across, allowed Giugiaro to experiment with an avant-garde interior treatment. Perhaps inspired by Pininfarina’s legendary 365 P Specialé of 1966, Giugiaro developed a three-seat configuration with a center-drive arrangement. As the show car was intended to consider both aesthetic and practical concerns, the steering wheel was designed to collapse on impact.

In a clever reference to the car’s aggressive, flattened form, Giugiaro named his creation after the exotic manta ray. Finished in acid green with orange trim, the Bizzarrini Manta was truly a bold new vision for the future of sports cars.

As Giugiaro planned, the Bizzarrini Manta made its world debut at the 1968 Turin Motor Show, one of the leading venues for Italian coachbuilders to premier their latest creations. From its show stand in Turin, the Bizzarrini Manta stunned the automotive world and clearly announced that Giorgetto Giugiaro had arrived as an independent designer. The first Ital Design project was an unbridled success.

Over the next several months, the Manta appeared in countless automotive publications and graced the cover of Road & Track’s March 1969 issue. In discussing the finer qualities of the Manta, Road & Track’s correspondents were quick to realize the young designer’s talent and vision.

“He is the maestro. As an individual, he dominates his art as perhaps no one before. Acknowledged as the best by most of his colleagues and rivals, he is also considered the best by countless other lovers of the art who don’t even know his name… [It] is Giorgetto Giugiaro, and his art is automobile styling.”

Likewise, Motor Trend proclaimed, “Once again, Giugiaro, Turin’s 28-year-old boy genius showed new ways in car design,” and hailed the Bizzarrini Manta
as “one of the major stars of the exhibit.”

After its sensational debut at the Turin Motor Show, the Manta returned to Ital Design where it was repainted red and decorated with contrasting white and blue racing stripes. From there, the Manta was shipped to Japan for exhibit at the Tokyo Racing Car Show and later to Los Angeles, California, where it was displayed in the 1969 Auto Expo.

Despite its many international accolades and state-of-the-art design, the Bizzarrini Manta’s career was remarkably brief. What happened to the car during the 1970s remains something of a mystery. After it was shown at the Los Angeles Auto Expo, the Manta disappeared on its return trip to Italy.

In 1978 or 1979, the Manta finally reappeared at a Port of Genoa Customs auction. It was there that Italian industrialist and sports car enthusiast Giovanni Giordanengo of Cuneo discovered and purchased the long-lost Manta.

After taking delivery of the Manta, Sig. Giordanengo commissioned Carrozzeria SD to perform a thorough restoration. As luck would have it, the small coachbuilder on the outskirts of Turin was owned and operated by Salvatore Diomante, Bizzarrini’s former production line foreman.

In October 1982, Swedish Bizzarrini enthusiast Ulf Larsson heard of the Manta’s availability and immediately acquired it for his collection. During Mr. Larsson’s ownership, the glorious Giugiaro show car returned to the limelight. In 1988, the Manta was shipped to Italy to take part in Ital Design’s 20th anniversary celebration and repainted silver in honor of the special occasion. Ten years later, the Manta returned to Italy for Ital Design’s 30th anniversary and a special display at the Turin Motor Show.

A few years later, noted Texas collector Alfredo Brener purchased the Manta and commissioned Rod Drew of FAI in Costa Mesa, California, to perform a complete restoration that would faithfully return the car to its original 1968 Turin Motor Show appearance. In March 2005, with the restoration nearing completion, Mr. Brener sold the Manta to the current caretaker, a Southern California collector with a passion for exotic sports cars.

The Manta made its post-restoration debut in dramatic style, winning First in Class (Chevrolet Small Block with European Coachwork) at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Since its appearance at Pebble Beach, the Manta has continued to win awards wherever it is shown, from Design Excellence honors at the concours at Amelia Island and Palos Verdes to First in Class and People’s Choice at Concorso Italiano.

Even more than its impressive list of concours honors, the Manta’s inclusion in significant design exhibitions and museum displays underscores its tremendous influence and unique place in the history of automotive design.

In 2008, the Manta was shipped to Europe, where it took part in several prestigious exhibitions. The Manta appeared at Villa d’Este, where it was displayed alongside two other influential concept cars of the 1960s – the Lancia Stratos prototype and the Dino Berlinetta Competizione.

Additionally the Manta went to the Geneva Auto Show, where it was included in a special 40th anniversary of Ital Design display, and then on to the Dream Exhibition held at the World Design Capital in Turin. For this unique museum exhibit, 50 significant concept cars from Europe’s finest collections were selected to represent six decades of Italian design. Most recently, the Manta was included in a special exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum that commemorated the history and influence of super cars.

Looking at the Bizzarrini Manta from a historic perspective, this milestone show car has all of the important, defining qualities that make an automobile collectible.

Not only is the Manta the original Ital Design show car, it also represents the first independent design project of Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the most influential Italian stylists of the post-war era. Though created as a one-off study, the Manta has exerted a profound influence, both on Giugiaro’s subsequent designs and on the overall formal qualities of contemporary automobiles, from economy models to high-performance supercars. In its unorthodox forms and purposeful intentions, the Bizzarrini Manta shares a great deal with legendary Italian design studies, such as Bertone’s B.A.T. cars and Pininfarina’s Modulo.

A spectacular show car in its day, this meticulously restored automobile is in exceptional condition and looks just as it did on the Turin Show stand in 1968.

Beyond its purely aesthetic qualities, the Manta has as its foundation the ultimate competition chassis designed and built by Giotto Bizzarrini, the engineer responsible for Ferrari’s 250 GTO, the original Lamborghini V-12 and his own breed of significant sports cars. Few state-of-the-art show cars can lay claim to a true competition pedigree, let alone history as a Le Mans factory entry.

In consideration of its fabulous history, unique appearance and lasting significance, the Bizzarrini Manta is, without question, one of the most fascinating Italian automobiles of the 1960s and a supreme example of automotive art. .

Pros: Excellent one off, quite different, drivable

Cons: Good looking ?

#86 – Mercedes Benz 300SL 1960 Roadster # US$675,000 My pick US700,000 SOLD US$792,000

1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
ENGINE NO. 198.980.10.002819
*Please note that this car is titled 804210002759.

$725,000 – $850,000
■Matching-Numbers Example
■Beautifully Restored Condition
■Documented by Mercedes-Benz Wagenkarte
■Eligible for the Finest Tours and Rallies
■2011 Legends of the Autobahn Class Winner

2,996 CC SOHC 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
250 BHP at 6,200 RPM
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension
Independent Rear Swing-Axle SuspensionThe 300 SL Roadster
Based upon the same revolutionary engineering and superior performance as the Gullwing, the 300 SL Roadster shared many similar features: the aluminum hood, doors and trunk lid to reduce body weight; the aerodynamic profile with flattened flanks; racy “eyebrow” accents over the front wheel arches and a lowered hood, facilitated by the motor being canted at a 45° angle. The Roadster also benefited from several innovative developments and is considered to be a more comfortable car on the road. For example, the Roadster features more luggage space afforded by a smaller fuel tank, as well as a larger taillight cluster with integral reverse lights. Although slightly heavier than the Gullwing due to structural changes made to increase rigidity, the Roadster compensates with a higher-performance camshaft and increased compression ratio, enabling it to top 150 mph; it is still one of the fastest street cars of its time. All in all, the Roadster is deemed to be easier and more comfortable to drive while inspiring the same aesthetic appeal as the Gullwing.
This Car
According to a copy of the original Mercedes-Benz Wagenkarte (build sheet), this sporting 300 SL Roadster was completed at the Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz plant on February 15, 1961, finished in DB 334 Hellblau (light blue) over grey leather interior and carpets. It was fitted with a dark blue convertible top and also had a hard top. Destined for the American market, the new 300 SL was fitted with sealed-beam headlights and whitewall tires. One of just 256 300 SLs built in 1961, this car features the improved drum brakes fitted on the later cars.

Although the car’s early history remains vague, the 300 SL was purchased around 1976 by Mercedes-Benz enthusiast Joseph Grahek of Glen Cove, New York. Mr. Grahek and his son started a restoration of the aging Roadster, but as is often the case got overwhelmed with the project and decided to sell the car to Peter Kumar of Astoria, New York, in the late 1990s. At this time, the car was still painted in the light blue color it wore when new and although in pieces, it still represented a good restoration project. The right front fender appeared to have been replaced at some point, using a factory Mercedes-Benz replacement fender.

Not long after purchasing the Roadster, Mr. Kumar sold it to Mercedes-Benz restorer Jurgen Klockemann of San Jose, California. Mr. Klockemann, intrigued by the project, later began the restoration of the car. Starting in 2006 and over the course of three years, Mr. Klockemann went through the 300 SL, finishing it in its current hue of silver over a dark blue interior – a period factory color combination. Upon completion, the beautiful 300 SL Roadster was sold to the consignor, a Southern California sports car enthusiast, who brought the car out for its first public appearance soon after.

At the 2011 Legends of the Autobahn, a show held in conjunction with the Monterey and Pebble Beach events in August every year, the handsome 300 SL Roadster placed 1st in the Open Cars 1886–1962 Class with a score of 99.25.

Today, this gorgeous 300 SL Roadster presents exceptionally well. The handsome silver exterior really suits the 300 SL body contour and is surely the most iconic color for this car. The chrome sparkles, and the glass and lenses are all in tidy condition. The dark blue interior sits well with the grey-blue carpets and is beautifully accented by the ivory – colored steering wheel and gear knob. The car comes with a discreetly installed sound system and iPod dock, all of which can be easily removed for judging at events and shows. Also included is the original score sheet from the MBCA Concours, a service and parts manual and an extra set of seat cushions designed specifically to accommodate a taller driver.

Often referred to as one of the greatest road cars ever built, many share the opinion that every collection should include a 300 SL. An excellent companion for rallies and tours, this 300 SL should give its next owner much joy out on the open road. .

Pros: A good decent Roadster

Cons: Nothing

#87 – Mercedes Benz 300SL 1955 #5500654 My pick US$1 million SOLD US$638,000

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing
CHASSIS NO. 198.040.5500654
ENGINE NO. 198.980.5500701
$900,000 – $1,200,000
■Award-Winning Restoration by Jerry Hjeltness
■Elegant, Correct Color Combination
■Fastidiously Maintained both Cosmetically and Mechanically
■Presented with Fitted Luggage, Manuals, Tool Kit and Bellypans
■An Outstanding Gullwing Inside and Out
2,996 CC SOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
215 BHP at 6,500 RPM
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Independent Double-Wishbone Front Suspension and Coil Springs
Independent Rear Swing-Axle Suspension with Coil Springs

This Car
Presented here is a beautifully restored, fastidiously maintained Gullwing that has received constant cosmetic and mechanical upkeep since its restoration was completed. Its elegant color combination and superb level of fit and finish make it a true standout in any group of 300 SLs.

The Gull Wing Group registry states that this 300 SL was built as a US model in white over black leather, and left the factory bound for the New York port on August 25, 1955. Early owners are listed as Lou Lesser and Jack Kearns. Little is known of the Gullwing’s interim history until it was owned in the late 1980s by a Los Angeles collector who retained restorer Jerry Hjeltness to conduct a restoration that would establish his Gullwing as the world’s finest. With this outcome in mind, Hjeltness and his team set out to create a world-class example of the Gullwing. In early 1990, as the work progressed, Federal Marshals arrested the 300 SL’s owner and the Gullwing passed into the possession of the US Department of Justice. Fortunately the Department of Justice permitted Hjeltness to complete the project to the highest possible standards as originally intended. Holding to the original plan, the Gullwing was finished in Midnight Blue (DB 904) with factory-correct gray leather upholstery and matching fitted luggage.

Upon completion, the Gullwing was, as expected, simply breathtaking. As well-finished as any factory-fresh example, the Mercedes-Benz found its next home with well-known 300 SL enthusiast Bob Sirna of Michigan in August 1992. Mr. Sirna had initially planned to purchase a Gullwing that could be used for racing, but after realizing the depth of its quality concluded that the car was simply too nice to take to the track. Instead, Mr. Sirna elected to show the 300 SL at various events. Hjeltness Restorations exhibited the Gullwing for Mr. Sirna at concours in Fresno, San Diego and Santa Barbara, California, earning First in Class at each outing, in addition to Best of Show at the Le Cercle Concours in Los Angeles in June 1993. In the months that followed, the car was awarded AACA First Junior and First Senior honors followed by National and Grand National awards.

In July 1997, Mr. Sirna traded his Gullwing toward a 1952 Mercedes-Benz W-194 race car through respected 300 SL expert Scott Grundfor. After Grundfor had thoroughly serviced and tuned the Gullwing for use on the road, North Carolina Mercedes-Benz aficionado Michael Warner added it to his collection. Less than two years later, when he found that he had not put the car to use, Mr. Warner offered the car for sale through Grundfor.

In March 2001, Grundfor advertised the pristine blue Gullwing in various publications and described it by stating “we have seen and restored many show Gullwings, and this is one of the top 2 or 3 in the world.” He also added that it was a “multiple best of show winner” and further indicated “this car has won every- thing.” This advertisement caught the attention of a Texas collector who was patiently in pursuit of a meticulous, judged and vetted Gullwing. Upon seeing the ad, he immediately contacted Hjeltness to get more clarity on the restoration of the car. He was informed “this is the very best example of a Gullwing.” The consignor then immediately bought the car and still owns it today.

The car has been in the consignor’s well- known collection for 11 years and has covered less than 200 miles during that time. It has been routinely run and serviced, and stored in a purpose-built, climate-controlled environment, off-limits to anyone except the owner. It remains a meticulous matching-numbers example of the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing, complete with luggage, chrome factory wheels, concave-star grille, original books, tools and bellypans. It has just completed a service at Hjeltness Restorations and remains in impeccable condition. Still one of the world’s finest, this refined Gullwing is ready for a new owner to enjoy whether in concours competition or simply for driving pleasure. .

Pros: A very nice 300SL

Cons: So ?

#88 – Chevrolet Corvette L-88 Owens Corning 1969 SUNRAYDX US$850,000+ My pick US$650,000 NOT SOLD @ US$730,000

1968 Chevrolet L-88 Corvette Owens/Corning FIA/SCCA Racing Car   
Chassis No. OCF/T.P.I. 002-68
$950,000-$1,350,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
Est. 685 bhp at 6,600 rpm, 427 CID L-88 big block Chevrolet racing engine, Muncie M-22 “Rockcrusher” transmission, front and rear independent suspension, coil springs to the front, and transverse leaf to the rear with Koni adjustable shock absorbers. Wheelbase: 98″

• Generally considered the most victorious racing Corvette in history
• Ex-Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson
• Multiple SCCA championships; NCRS American Heritage Award
• Fresh Kevin MacKay restoration
• Extensive documentation

America’s Star-Spangled Sports Car

For nearly four decades, the Chevrolet Corvette was the only sports car designed and built in North America. Capable of taking on and beating the world’s best production sports and GT cars on the international circuit, Corvettes roared on the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, flew on the high banks at Daytona, and blazed their lights around Sebring. On amateur SCCA circuits, Corvettes won fourteen “A Production” and fifteen “B Production” divisional titles in the 1962 to 1976 period. SCCA Nationals saw Corvettes capturing no less than 25 Run-Off Championships in A, B, and C Production in the same time frame.

A Russian born ex-race driver and engineer hired by GM’s Ed Cole gets the credit for the almost unbelievable transformation that took place from 1954 to 1957. The ’53 Corvette was thoroughly underpowered, but the 1957 V-8 version won its class at Sebring, as well as the Sports Car Club of America “B” Production National Championship. In fact, in 1960, a Cunningham Corvette placed First in GT at Le Mans! “Corvette – The Real McCoy” trumpeted the full page ads in the national media and that really said it best.

The classic, solid axle Corvette gave way to the beautiful Sting Ray coupes and convertibles with independent suspension in 1963, and four-wheel disc brakes became standard in 1965. In 1968, it emerged as the dramatic Stingray (one word) with a “Coke bottle” shape, inspired by the ’67 Mako Shark Show Car.

Corvette Big Block Bruisers: “The Fast and the Few”

Only a few Corvettes can legitimately claim membership in this exclusive club. John Greenwood’s “Stars & Stripes” L-88 cars of the 1968–1973 period, backed by BFG and often racing on that company’s new radial tires, certainly qualify for this short list. Dave Heinz’s two Corvettes, liveried as “Rebel Flag” cars in a competitive response to the BFG effort and driven by Heinz and Bob Johnson, often beat the Greenwood team due to better race strategy and superior reliability.

However, the very best racing results were scored by the two Tony DeLorenzo/Jerry Thompson Corvette team cars, which contested both the SCCA Divisional and National circuit, as well as all of the important U.S.A.-based FIA distance races. One of these, 002/68, their 1968 Owens/Corning Fiberglas L-88 car, is the very same that we are privileged to present here.

A Pair of Aces

So much more than an inert assembly of performance parts, “historic” racing cars are made memorable by the heroic efforts of determined individuals: designers and constructors, with the most important facet being a driver team that is able to extract the maximum from the car. The lead drivers of this 1968 OCF Corvette were Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson.

Tony DeLorenzo, the son of General Motors executive John DeLorenzo, always wanted to be a professional racing driver. In 1969, at the age of 26, with a string of racing successes behind him, DeLorenzo, who holds degrees in business administration and public relations, formed Troy Promotions Inc. T.P.I.’s and DeLorenzo’s racing efforts had been sponsored by Owens Corning since the summer of 1968, and the formation of his firm meant that he could field a proper racing and publicity effort on their behalf.

Jerry Thompson is not only an exceptional driver but also a mechanical engineer. He won SCCA National and Divisional titles driving Corvairs and Corvettes in the late-1960s. Thompson graduated from Iowa State and works as an automotive engineer. In 1967, after co-driving with DeLorenzo at Daytona and Sebring, a mutual respect was fostered, and the duo formed a team that was about to produce the best Corvette racing performance record of that period.

This partnership was the ideal blueprint for success, with Thompson providing the technical pragmatism of the engineer and DeLorenzo’s business and PR background made it easy to sign and retain a major sponsor, in this case the giant Owens Corning Corporation. Even the latter was an appropriate fit—what better way to promote the use of fiberglass reinforced plastics in the auto and truck industry than by demonstrating its strength and versatility through international motor racing? Like any good sponsor, the Owens Corning Fiberglas Corporation made the most of the association with the DeLorenzo/Thompson team, even publishing a news letter and issuing frequent press releases about the team’s achievements.


After buying and restoring one of the other Owens/Corning Fiberglas Team Corvettes, a 1969 L-88 car, 003/69, which was displayed at the 1987 Monterey Historics, the previous owner of this car began to wonder about the fate of the 1968 OCF car. After many dead ends, the quest for the “Corvette in the haystack” became an obsession—a common state of mind for an automobile enthusiast. He hired Corvette sleuth and historian David Reisner, who had a reputation for finding historic racing cars. One of Reisner’s sources overheard a racer at Road Atlanta touting his Corvette as an ex-Jerry Hansen and Owens/Corning car and that Hansen’s 1972 SCCA number was still stamped on the roll-over bar. Since Troy Promotions Inc. (T.P.I.) had sold their 1968 car to SCCA champion Hansen at the end of 1971, Reisner knew that he had found the missing OCF Corvette. The previous owner asked Tony DeLorenzo to accompany him to see the car in order to make a positive identification. A deal was struck, and the Corvette enthusiast had his second OCF car.

Although this 1968 Owens/Corning car was acquired in 1990, the first restoration did not begin until 10 years later, in 2000. The catalyst was the 2002 Corvette Feature Marque status at the Monterey Historics races, and since the ’69 OCF car had attended the last version of this venue in 1987, it made good sense. A restoration back to the original OCF specifications ensued, after which the car was displayed with the Grand Sports and other significant Corvettes at Monterey.

Race History and Honors

Impressive period results include the 1969 and 1972 SCCA National “A” Production Championships, 1968 and 1970 SCCA National “A” Production Runner-Up, Second Place in GT at the 1969 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 1969 and 1970 GT Class wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona. In the 1970 event, it finished Sixth Overall, behind two Porsche 917s, a Ferrari 512, and two Ferrari 312s, but ahead of a Ferrari 250 LM in Seventh and a Ford GT40 in Eighth. This car, together with its team car, won 22 of 22 SCCA/FIA National Events during 1969–1971, with this car winning 11 of these! Observers will note that these two team cars changed numbers for each race entered, in order to give the perception of a large team effort. This car was always the highest numbered car and driven most often by Jerry Thompson.

This car was awarded the American Heritage Award in 2007, the highest award for non-street Corvettes by the National Corvette Restorers Society and has twice been featured on the cover of Corvette News.

After its first restoration, it was shown in 2002 at the Pebble Beach Concours for the 50th anniversary of Corvette and has since been invited to appear at “Chip’s Choice” at the 2007 Corvettes at Carlisle, and more recently, at the Amelia Island Concours in March 2008, also participating in a special display of Sebring race cars at the Quail Motorsports event in Monterey 2008.

OCF #12 was the feature article and cover car in Vintage Motorsports in September 2008 and shared the center stage with Grand Sport #2 at the Petersen Automotive Museum Corvette Racing Tribute in 2008. It was on the cover of the definitive 2008 book on L-88’s, Corvette Racing Legends by Peter Gimenez. The car was also displayed in the Corvette Hall of Fame at the National Corvette Museum in 2009 and was mostly recently seen in the Corvette Magazine’s article “Winning Streak,” in March 2010.

The L-88 presented here, in its 1971 24 Hours of Daytona livery, has been fitted with an original L-88 engine and recently “re-restored” to original specifications by Kevin MacKay, of Corvette Repair, with the expert assistance of Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson, and comes with exhaustive documentation, race results, and photos. Surely this in one of the most significant Corvette race cars in existence and, as such, would certainly become a treasured centerpiece for any discerning race car collector.

UNBROKEN OWNERSHIP HISTORY (as compiled by David Reisner)
Owner # 1
SunRay DX Oil – Tulsa, Oklahoma
# 002-68 was built from a Corvette chassis by Tony DeLorenzo and Jerry Thompson

Owner # 2
Troy Promotions Inc. – Dearborn, Michigan
By the November 1968 SCCA Run-Offs at Riverside, the #4 car sported new OCF colors. In 1969, to 1970, it was mostly handled by Thompson. (DeLorenzo drove the new team L-88 car VIN # T.P.I. 003-69)

Owner # 3
Jerry Hansen – Detroit, Michigan (1971–1972)
1972 A-Production Champion

Owner # 4
Dick Bauer (deceased, 1990) – Montvale, New Jersey (1972–1975)
Three years of TransAM & IMSA racing

Owner # 5
Jim Lockheart – Memphis, Tennessee (1975)
Jim and his brother Larry raced four times in SCCA and IMSA

Owner # 6
Tom Benefiel – Memphis, Tennessee (1976–1989)
Campaigned in approximately 25 SCCA and IMSA races from 1976–1989

Owner # 7
Budd Hickey – Nevada (1989–2006)

Owner # 8
Sold to current owner in 2006

Note: The VIN was a special number assigned by Tony DeLorenzo to his team cars; the OCF denoting Owens/Corning Fiberglas; the T.P.I. being his company, Troy Productions Inc.; and the 002-68 meaning team car # 2 and its year of build-up, 1968.

Pros: A lot of car in many ways, THE racing Corvette.

Cons: Still just a Vette

#89 Cadillac Sixteen Fleetwood Dual Cowl Phaeton 1931 #702677 US$650,000+ US$800,000 NOT SOLD @ US$495,000

1931 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Special Dual Cowl Phaeton
by Fleetwood   
Engine No. 702677
Body No. 25
$650,000-$850,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
Style 4260. 185 bhp, 452 cu in 45 degree overhead valve V-16 engine, three-speed manual transmission, front and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs with hydraulic dampers, and four-wheel vacuum assisted mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 148″

• One of three examples originally built with dual cowls
• Original engine, body, and chassis
• Single ownership since 1988

Although it is known that there were 85 of Fleetwood’s Style 4260 Sport Phaetons built on the Cadillac V-16 chassis, it is significantly less known that three of these examples were actually built to order with folding rear cowls. They are chassis 702682 with body number 8, 702691 with body no. 7, and the example offered here, chassis 702677 with body number 25. Mounted on the rear cowl, instead of the typical crank-down secondary windshield, is a folding windshield, which has delicate profiles cut out of the bottom of its wind wings, which allows for it to be folded at quite a rakish angle. It is also interesting to note that the 4200 series cars had elegant curved bottom coach sill doors, a styling cue not seen on other less expensive series V-16 bodies. According to a copy of the original build sheet, 702677 was ordered on April 30, 1930, through the famous Don Lee Inc. distributorship of San Francisco, California. “Double Cowl” can be seen specified under the “Extra Equipment” field. The car was also originally ordered with fender-mounted spare tires and wire wheels, and the new owner took delivery on August 30, 1930.

This car next surfaced as advertised for sale in a national automotive magazine in the mid-1950s, being offered by an engine rebuilder who was stuck with an unpaid bill. It was acquired by a pea farmer from Opportunity, Washington, who intended to use the car for Shriner’s parades. To facilitate this, he removed the rear cowl, although he retained it, along with all of the corresponding hardware. Its next owners, Ray and Dorothy Radford, were also from the Evergreen State in Portland. The Radfords acquired the car in 1962, and his historical interest is documented by a letter from the parts department of the Cadillac Motor Car Division to Mr. Radford, in response to an information request about the car. Early on in their ownership, the Radfords properly reinstalled the second cowl and continued to enjoy the Cadillac for the next two decades and toured it extensively through the United States and Canada, until selling it to legendary auto show promoter and SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Robert Larivee Sr., of Pontiac, Michigan, in 1979. Larivee was alerted to the availability of the car by Jim Brucker, who also was a partner in its purchase. It was displayed at Brucker’s Movie World Cars of the Stars Museum, still mostly original and never having been fully restored.

An article written by Bob Larivee in a 1986 article for the CCCA Michigan region magazine Torque, documents the entire experience of finding the car, showing it as is at Pebble Beach in 1981, as a preservation example, and then moving forward with the decision to pursue a restoration, which was performed by the legendary workshop at Harrah’s Automobile Collection, which did restore cars that were not owned by the collection. The total cost for the work performed was a then-staggering $115,000, and the process is documented in a set of photographs, which will accompany the car.

Larivee’s article goes on to describe various decision points throughout the restoration process, as well as the excitement in preparing the nearly-completed car for its second showing at Pebble Beach in 1983. He notes that the car was scored then at 97 points, because the restoration was not fully complete, and the car lacked side curtains, but it still managed to garner Third in Class. After the concours, it was returned to the Harrah workshops for final completion and detailing, ultimately garnering 99.5 points and Best of Show at the Grand Classic at Hudson, Ohio in 1985. The article is a wonderful piece of the history of this car, as it documents the provenance, in addition to conveying the emotional experience involved with acquiring, restorating, and displaying an important collector car. Another authoritative article by historian and noted expert cutaway artist David Kimble was also published in Volume 23, No. 1 of Automobile Quarterly, along with a detailed, illustrated cutaway of the entire car. 702677 was then sold to noted collector John Mozart, followed by a Mr. Paul Quinn, of Boston, Massachusetts. It was purchased by the current owner in 1988.

In addition to the rear cowl with its folding windshield and interesting wind wings, this Sixteen is equipped with Pilot-Ray steering headlights, a radiator stone guard, dual Klaxon horns, a trunk rack, dual taillights, fanned tips on the dual exhaust, and full metal covers with pedestal mirrors on the side-mounts. The quality of the fit and finish of the restoration performed by the Harrah workshops is evident, though it has been a quarter century since the work was completed. It has been well-maintained in its current long-term ownership and has been recently fully detailed and freshened. Of the Style 4260 phaetons built, fifty-two were constructed in 1930 and thirty-three in 1931; a mere three of these were originally equipped as dual cowl examples, making this a unique acquisition opportunity for a car that has good pedigree, touring potential, or, of course, a more thorough freshening to allow it to be shared on the concours field with a new generation of enthusiasts.

Pros: A beautiful Cadillac and a LOT of car

Cons: Nothing much

#90 – Renault 40CV Kellner Cabriolet de Ville 1925 #115834 US$500,000+ My pick US$500,000 SOLD US$264,000

1925 Renault 40 CV Cabriolet de Ville
by Kellner Frères   
Chassis No. 115834
$500,000-$600,000 US
To be auctioned on
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Type NM. 9,120 cc inline L-head six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 152.8″

• Massive 9.1-liter six-cylinder engine
• Believed to have been delivered new to Marshal Ferdinand Foch
• Stunning Kellner coachwork
• One of only two known to survive

Although not as long-lived as the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost or the Locomobile 48, Renault’s 40 CV ranks among the eponymous giants in motoring history. Launched in 1911 as the Type CG, it soldiered on through several model designations. Finally retired in 1928 as the Type NM, it was replaced by the 7.1-litre, straight eight Reinastella. Initially powered by a 7,541 cc sidevalve six, the 40 CV had a 3,743 mm wheelbase and weighed 1,750 kg as a chassis alone.

As if that weren’t enough, the engine was enlarged to 9,120 cc after World War I, to remain this way, with the anachronistic rear-mounted radiator and coal-scuttle bonnet, to the end. Front-wheel brakes were standardized from 1922, at which time the hood line was straightened to fully conceal the radiator.

Although Renault had participated vigorously in motor sport prior to the war, afterwards, the 40 CV was the sole competitor, winning the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally and setting records at Montlhéry, with both open and closed models.

A strong and long-standing oral tradition holds that this car was delivered new to Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the French hero of World War I. It was bodied in the Cabriolet de Ville style by the Parisian coachbuilder Kellner. Organized by Georges Kellner as G. Kellner & Ses Fils in 1861, the company supplied the carriage trade, as well as turning out a number of horse-drawn ambulances. His sons, Paul and Georges Jr., joined him in 1890, and in 1903, they built their first bodies for automobiles. Georges retired in 1910, and the sons reorganized as Kellner Frères. They became well-known for the torpille (torpedo) body style. By 1924, Georges Jr.’s son Jacques had joined him, and the firm became well entrenched in the luxury segment of the market, building on such chassis as Hispano-Suiza and being mentioned in the same breath as Binder or Franay. As Renault’s flagship 40 CV model came to the fore, the Kellners became associated with many of its bodies, including Coupes de Ville, so-called “scaphandriers” with a small enclosed cab for passengers on a torpedo body, and the Cabriolet de Ville seen here, which transforms from a town car to a completely open body.

Marshal Foch, born in 1851, enlisted in the Army during the Franco-Prussian War and decided to make it his career. A student of military history, he became a keen tactician and is credited with halting the German advance during the Battle of the Marne. After war’s end, he was decorated by the French, the Portuguese, the British, and the Poles. He had little time to enjoy this magnificent motor car, however, for he died in March 1929.

Following his death, the car eventually found its way to the United States, where it turned up in California in the 1960s, as part of the renowned collection of broadcasting magnate Art Astor. In 1977, it was purchased by Jimmy Brucker, whose family had long rented cars to Hollywood studios, for the Movie World: Cars of the Stars and Planes of Fame museum. Brucker sold it to Las Vegas hotelier Ralph Engelstad in 1984, for his Imperial Palace Collection. It was in Engelstad’s ownership that Mike Fennel Restorations, of Saugus, California, performed a meticulous frame-off restoration in 1986, which continues to present beautifully to this day.

Though now an older restoration, the car presents extremely well, in medium maroon over black fenders, with a black leather roof that folds back to create a completely open car. Adorned with a minimum of decoration, its brightwork consists only of bumpers, lights, wheel hubs, windshield frame, and small pieces of hardware. Varnished wood-spoke artillery wheels mounted with whitewall tires provide a harmonizing contrast of finishes.

One of two known to survive, it represents a unique opportunity to acquire a prestige French automobile with a remarkable provenance and stunning coachwork.

Pros: Beautiful big Renault, one of the grand cars, very large, very rare

Cons: Nothing

#91 – Porsche 935 1977 POA #770960 My pick US$800,000 NOT SOLD US$500,000

Year 1977
Make Porsche
Model 935
Body Desperado
Web No. CA0812-137568
INV No. 74243   

Lot S118 1977 Porsche 935 Desperado
Factory Built Racecar
Monterey, CA The Daytime Auction
August 16-18, 2012
This Lot scheduled to be sold SAT 2:20PM 

– Chassis number 930 770 0960
– Started life as a factory racecar
– Originally purchased by Ron Brown from Vasek Polak for the Trans Am Series
– Sold in June 1977 to Clif Kearns
– “Desperado” first appeared at the July ’77 IMSA Series Paul Revere 250 at Daytona
– Kearns earned numerous top 10 finishes and a podium finish in the ’79 Portland Trans Am race
– Marty Hinze purchased from Kearns in 1980
– Hinze teamed up with IMSA driver Gary Belcher to finish 5th overall at the Daytona Finale
– Owned for years by Factory Ferrari driver Mike Gammino
– Desperado has been fully restored
– Re-tubbed during restoration
– Less than 1 hour race time since restoration
– Car is show and race ready DESCRIPTION
This car started life as a factory racecar , chassis number 930 770 0960, purchased from Vasek Polak by Ron Brown of Lake Oswego, Oregon for the Trans Am series. Brown ran the car in three Trans Am races in 1977 but the Porsche was thought to be too much car for Brown and he sold the car in June of 1977 to Clif Kearns.

Kearns first appearance with “DESPERADO” was in the July of 1977 running of the IMSA series Paul Revere 250 at Daytona where Kearns teamed up for the driving duties with well known Driver and race promoter Charles Mendez. For 1977 through 1979 Kearns shared the seat with different drivers including Charles Mendez, Gianpiero Moretti (owner of MOMO) and Marty Hinze. However most races found the incomparable Milt Minter as the Kearns co-driver.

Kearns scored many top 10 finishes soloing the car in IMSA sprint races and a podium in the 1979 Portland Trans Am race. But Minter was an incredible driver and in his more than capable hands DESPERADO captured podiums in races at Daytona on two separate occasions, and Mid-Ohio.

In July of 1979 Kearns was entered in the Mid-Ohio race but never showed up. Kearns was a privateer and was not able to keep up with the financial responsibility of running a full IMSA schedule. It is believed the car was leased out from late 1979 to early 1980 but this is yet to be confirmed. Marty Hinze however has confirmed that he did purchase the car from Kearns in 1980 and ran his first race in Group 5 at Watkins Glen in July co-driving with Dale Whittington. Hinze lost the gearbox in that race and at that point decided to upgrade the car to a full twin turbo 3.2-liter motor and transform the car to a full K3 specifications with upside down gearbox, titanium axles and 935 suspension and the large 935 racing brakes.

In November of 1980 Hinze teamed up with well known IMSA driver Gary Belcher in the Daytona Finale and finished 5th over all.
Hinze owned and raced this car for the rest of its IMSA history. Hinze had great success with a best at the 1981 Sebring 12 Hours where Hinze, Minter and Bill Whittington finished 3rd overall in the grueling 12-hour event. Hinze was also sponsored in a few races by well-known privateer Preston Henn so T-Bird Swap Shop is also a proper livery for this car.

For the 1983 season true GTP car were on the scene in IMSA and the GTX class was done away with. The 935s were forced to run in the same GTP class with the lighter ground effect cars. Hinze made a deal with March for an 83G but would still bring the fast and reliable 935 to races just in case the March had problems. Hinze had some great qualifying efforts in the 935 but the March proved reliable and in most cases the 935 would be left in the trailer in-lieu of the pure GTP March.

One time Factory Ferrari driver Mike Gammino owned this car for years and campaigned it successfully in the HSR Thundersports series winning the Thundersports Championship one year.

Desperado has been fully restored and currently has less than an hour’s race time since the completion of all work. Car is both show and race ready.

Pros: Cool 935, interesting history

Cons: Retubbed, so lacking in originality somewhat

#92 – Porsche 356 GS/GT Cabriolet 1963 #158320 US$400,000+, My pick US$350,000 SOLD US$286,000

1963 Porsche 356 Carrera 2 Cabriolet
CHASSIS NO. 158320
ENGINE NO. 97255
$400,000 – $500,000
■One of the Rarest of All Porsche Road Cars
■Matching-Numbers Example
■One of an Estimated 55 2000GS Cabriolets Built
■Beautifully Restored to Concours Standards
■Sensational, Period-Correct Color Combination
■The Ultimate Specification, Road-Going 356

1,996 CC DOHC Air-Cooled Boxer 4-Cylinder Engine
130 BHP at 6,200 RPM
Dual Weber Carburetors
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Independent Front and Rear Suspension with Torsion Bars

The Carrera 2
Porsche’s top offering in the early 1960s, the 2000GS – also known as the Carrera 2 – was not designed as an outright racing car; rather, it was a fine grand touring car that offered a remarkable combination of comfort, speed and balance in a small, efficient package. It retained all of the characteristics that had made the original Carreras so popular with enthusiasts: prodigious performance at high revs, unparalleled handling, outstanding brakes and unsurpassed build quality – all while being free of many of the issues common to the earlier four-cam-engined versions. To many Vintage Porsche enthusiasts, the Carrera 2 represents the ultimate 356.

The plain-bearing Type 587/1 engine was far more tractable than the early four-cam powerplants – even Porsche’s engineers considered it to be a triumph. It was easily the most refined engine to date. It produced much more torque throughout the rev range and was far smoother than its predecessors. In addition, a number of clever changes made maintenance a much more manageable task than had been the case with the earlier high-performance engines.

Outward clues as to what lay beneath the engine cover were few. Beyond the badge below the deck lid, only the lack of air-intake grilles on the nose (which allowed for more direct air flow to the dual oil coolers) and a slotted apron below the rear valance which concealed the stout exhaust system alerted the keen-eyed observer that this is a truly special Porsche.

The Carrera 2 Cabriolet was perhaps Porsche’s greatest achievement in combining their vast experience in competition engineering with a true luxury automobile. With its leather interior, wood-rimmed steering wheel, insulated soft top and soft cloth headliner, the Carrera 2 Cabriolet brought Porsche ever closer to direct competition with luxury cars from other manufacturers. Its 130 hp and 7,000 rpm redline made it a true performer.
This Car
According to the Porsche Certificate of Au- thenticity, this Carrera 2 Cabriolet was originally finished in the custom-ordered shade of Daimler-Benz Beige over a black leather interior and was equipped with two armrests, chrome wheels and the advanced Type 587/1 four-cam engine. Delivered new to Continental Europe, the Carrera 2 Cabriolet remained there until the late 1960s. As documented by the factory Kardex, this car returned to Porsche in December 1968, where the original transmission (63995) was replaced with 66266.

After spending time in the famed Matsuda Collection in Japan, the Carrera 2 was purchased by its Northern California owner in the mid-1990s through well-known sports car dealer Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. After many years of searching for just the right 356 Carrera, this Cabriolet had everything the owner was looking for: matching-numbers engine, excellent original condition and extreme rarity. Some sources declare that only about 55 Carrera 2 Cabriolets were built.

After enjoying the Carrera 2 for a year, the current owner embarked on a high-quality restoration of the rare, open 356. A Southern California Carrera specialist was retained to complete the restoration of the engine. The mechanical restoration incorporated performance upgrades including high-compression pistons and Weber carburetors, adding an estimated 20 hp. It should be noted that the annular disc brakes have been replaced by later “C” series disc brakes. Ken McMurphy of Auto Europa in Concord, California, completed the cosmetics and during the restorative work the car was found to retain its original panels. It was finished in navy blue over dark red leather with a matching blue canvas top. The freshly completed Carrera 2 is truly elegant inside and out.

The next owner of this wonderful 356 will not only have one of the rarest of all Porsches to add to his collection, but also the opportunity to debut the car at numerous concours around the world. Never having been shown, it will be welcomed at a myriad of venues and is certain to draw an appreciative audience. .

Pros: Good rare Cabriolet with great specs

Cons: Not much

#93 – Mercedes 300SL 1960 Roadster # US$675,000+ My pick US$750,000 SOLD US$814,000

1960 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster   
Chassis No. 198 042 10 002582
Engine No. 198 98 10 002640
$675,000-$775,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
235 hp, 2,996 cc single overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, Bosch mechanical fuel injection, four-speed manual gearbox, coil spring independent front suspension, coil spring swing axle rear suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5″

• Matching number example; ex-Ned Tanen
• Regularly maintained by Mercedes-Benz experts
• Strong mechanical and cosmetic condition
• Mercedes’ most iconic roadster

Although Mercedes’ classic 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe is rightfully recognized for its beautiful appearance and sporting pedigree, by the end of the model’s three-year production run, many drivers agreed that the car left much to be desired in terms of ergonomics and ease of use. Addressing these numerous criticisms, Daimler-Benz unveiled a successor to the Gullwing at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show, a new convertible iteration dubbed the 300SL Roadster. The roadster’s redesigned space frame cleared the way for conventional doors, a change that not only made entering and exiting the car much easier but also allowed for wind-up windows, a feature that provided ventilation sorely lacking in the Gullwing’s notoriously hot cabin.

While transforming the platform into a convertible required structural reinforcement that made the 300SL slightly heavier than its predecessor, performance was essentially the same due to the use of a competition-style camshaft, which boosted the engine’s power output by 20 hp. Handling was improved with the implementation of a lower pivot-point on the rear swing-axle suspension, a modification that was further bolstered by a wider track and fatter tires. By the time production ceased in 1963, only approximately 1,858 examples of the 300SL Roadster were built, and the sublime convertible remains an elegant and revered progenitor of the vaunted lineage of SL road cars that followed.

By late-1987, this 300SL Roadster had come into the care of Hollywood producer Ned Stone Tanen, a legendary studio executive with Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures who headed production of some of the 1970s biggest blockbuster films, including American Graffiti, Jaws, The Deer Hunter, and The Blues Brothers. In the early-1980s, Mr. Tanen left Universal to independently produce comedies that are now considered to be generational icons, including Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo’s Fire, and The Breakfast Club. Considering that Mr. Tanen purchased this elegant roadster while at the apex of his career, one might view the car as a benchmark of his finest hour.

A rich compendium of service receipts reflects Mr. Tanen’s sincere and meticulous care of this Mercedes-Benz during his ownership, with the first major round of investment including a freshening in 1995 by Hjeltness Restoration, of Escondido, California, recognized specialists in 300SL restorations. Over the ensuing years, the paint was refinished, the hardtop was refurbished, and the gas gauge and the heater were repaired. In 2005, Mr. Tanen had the 300SL appraised, at which time the car was evaluated to be a strong example.

In 2007, Mr. Tanen invested further effort in the car’s presentation, retaining Sehmi Motors, of Los Angeles, specialists in the service and restoration of Mercedes-Benz, to replace the trunk seals and tonneau-cover seals, repair the radio and clock, re-chrome the bumpers, tune up the engine, repair the fuel pump, and replace all tie-rods. After a reappraisal by the same firm in 2008, Mr. Tanen commissioned Van Nuys Sports Cars, of Sherman Oaks, California, also specialists in Mercedes-Benz, to conduct some mechanical work, including cleaning the fuel injectors, reconditioning the intake manifold, and replacing the water pump.

After Mr. Tanen’s passing in 2009, his beautiful automobile collection was gradually dispersed. The final three cars of the collection, which included this classic Mercedes roadster, as well a Shelby Cobra and a Ferrari 275 GTB, were acquired by the consignor, a bi-coastal enthusiast who maintains a sparingly driven collection of fine automobiles at his West Coast estate in Montecito, California. While in this desirable state of controlled storage, this car was regularly tended to by Jack Bianchi, a renowned veteran of the Santa Barbara motoring niche and an experienced sports car mechanic. In addition to ensuring that the 300SL remained in strong mechanical condition, ever prepared for the always-possible arrival of its owner, Mr. Bianchi undertook a handful of minor measures to further bolster the car’s authenticity. These steps included sourcing an elusive, proper, white factory steering wheel with the correct horn ring to replace the Nardi wheel that Mr. Tanen had preferred. The car’s originality is further enriched by the presence of all of its original manuals and warranty cards, including the original tire warranty, as well as a complete toolkit.

This charming 300SL is a mechanically numbers-matching example, one that certainly offers strong cosmetic quality and can be enjoyed as a capable driver. It promises its next owner ease of use and luxurious performance as one of Mercedes’ most esteemed open-top models. An arresting example of Mercedes’ classic SL Roadster that is sure to turn heads wherever it goes, this car would beautifully complement the finest of collections.

Pros: Good, honest Roadster,

Cons: Nothing at all

#94- Fiat 306/2 Transporter 1956 US$850,000+ My pick US$600,000 SOLD US$990,000

1956 Fiat Series 306/2 Grand Prix Transporter
by Carrozzeria Bartoletti   
Chassis No. 3062001625
$850,000-$1,100,000 US
To be auctioned on
Saturday, August 18, 2012
11.5-liter Leyland turbocharged six-cylinder industrial diesel engine, five-speed transmission, triple axle, and drum brakes.

• Commissioned as Formula One racing car hauler by Maserati racing team
• Used by Lance Reventlow’s Scarab racing team
• Subsequent use by Carroll Shelby’s race team, transporting Cobra Daytona coupes
• Utilized by David Piper, as well as Alan Mann and Lotus racing teams
• Featured in McQueen’s Le Mans
• Extraordinary, two-year, 8,000 hour restoration, culminating in Monterey Historics and Pebble Beach unveiling
• Finished in period-correct Shelby team livery
The extraordinary history of this unique transporter begins with Lance Reventlow’s Scarab carbuilding and racing concern; young Reventlow was the son of Woolworth department store heiress Barbara Hutton, and not unlike Carroll Shelby, he passionately believed that American ingenuity, hardware, carbuilding skills, and racing drivers were good enough to take on anyone in the world, so he founded Reventlow Automobiles Incorporated (RAI) in Southern California’s “Thunder Alley” district (near where now sits the Los Angeles International Airport) and set out to build world class sports racers ,and ultimately Formula One machines, called Scarabs. Reventlow, much like Briggs Cunningham, Peter Revson, and others, were part of a rare set of American “gentlemen racers”: daring, enviable heros with grit, talent, determination and sizable inheritances to fund their bon vivant lifestyles.
The small block Chevy-powered Scarab sports racers were beautiful and wildly successful; the Offenhauser-powered open wheelers were less dominating, but they all served notice that American designed, built, powered, and driven machinery could compete with the very best from anywhere, and win. Reventlow was a movie-star who was handsome, young, blonde, and known for dating Hollywood starlets. He proved a capable driver, and even more so was his hired gun, a then little-known sports car pilot named Chuck Daigh.

Italy’s Fiat, like GMC, built, and still builds, all manner of truck and bus chassis, and a handful of the latter were, in the 1950s, delivered to Bartoletti of Forti, Italy, a constructor of unique and special purpose industrial truck bodies. This particular 1956 model chassis was commissioned as a car hauler by the Maserati Grand Prix team for use during the 1957 and ’58 F1 seasons. It was designed to carry up to three cars, with large storage compartments on the side to hold extra parts, team uniforms, and loads of the supplies needed while travelling around Europe during the F1 season.

306/2 proved to be the lucky bus, as Maserati won the Grand Prix world driver’s title in 1957, with Argentine ace, five time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel of the legendary Maserati 250F. After the 1958 Formula One season, Maserati began winding down its involvement in Grand Prix racing, and the big Fiat was sold to Reventlow Automobiles Inc., and became its GP team transporter for 1960 and ’61. In this iteration, one can see it in the archival photos of many books and magazines covering that time period. After serving the RAI team in Europe during those seasons, it was purchased by Reventlow’s Thunder Alley neighbor Carroll Shelby, in 1962, with the intent of using it to transport his Shelby American team of Cobra Daytona coupes to Le Mans and other stops along the Sports Car World Championship roster in Europe. Due to the fact that the Cobra sports cars weighed more than the open wheel Scarabs, Shelby added an additional rear axle out back to improve stability and load capacity.

Post Shelby American, the transporter did car hauling stints in Europe for Lotus, privateer David Piper, and British Ford GT40 and Renault team Alan Mann Ltd., and as if this esteemed career wasn’t enough, the big Fiat rig earned a supporting role in Steve McQueen’s seminal racing film Le Mans, which was filmed during the summer of 1970. It played three roles in Le Mans: team transporter for Ferrari, Renault/Mirage, and Porsche, and it wore those iconic Gulf liveried blue and orange Porsche 917s on its mechanized steel back; the truck had to be repainted depending on the team hauler it was portraying.

After this brief Hollywood career, the Fiat was acquired by Michael Shoen. Shoen owned one of the famous Cobra Daytona coupes and believed the historic truck to be logical transport for it and his other Cobras. The big transporter, still wearing its Ferrari-style livery from the filming of Le Mans, was well worn out by this time, but the Shoen family owned the U-Haul Corporation, so dealing with large trucks was not far from their realm of familiarity. The Fiat was transported to the United States and discovered unused in Arizona.

Following its ownership by the Shoen family, the truck was acquired by the current owner, a vintage racing driver of considerable success. The owner of several Scarab racing cars and restorer of numerous show-winners, he embarked on the sizable project of restoring the transporter, which was complete but in need of restoration.

With his own DBO Motor Racing team cued up for the restoration of a lifetime, parts sourcing commenced with a long, worldwide pursuit. The owner’s team of mechanics and fabricators was bolstered by another half dozen or so craftsmen of similar skills, plus specialists were brought in as needed. The restoration of this 80,000 pound rig was certainly monumental, but the talented crew persisted; what could not be properly repaired or refurbished was fabricated from scratch. Any missing Bartoletti badges and logos were recast. Total time invested amounted to an extraordinary 8,000 man-hours over two years.

The original powertrain had been replaced along the way with a more modern, 11.5-liter (about 700 cubic inches) Leyland, turbocharged, six-cylinder, industrial diesel and five-speed automatic transmission, which ran well after a major mechanical recommissioning and detailing. The basic chassis was intact, although it needed to be stabilized and restored by an outside team of bus chassis experts. It was the bodywork that proved the biggest aspect of the job; the original body was stripped off to facilitate the restoration of the chassis and body framework, which was then refitted with virtually all new panels, fabricated by hand from new sheet metal stock. Another major undertaking was a complete reglazing, as every original window had been shattered along the way. Amazingly, one pair each of Reventlow and Daigh’s RAI team driving overalls still hung in the truck’s side storage bay. As they still do today.

The quality of this restoration is dazzling, and the owner credits his small team of artisans, “They did it all, I just watched, coached, and wrote big checks.” The truck presents immaculately and is authentic, absolutely clean, and detailed in every aspect.

After its two year hiatus and makeover, the Fiat enjoyed an impressive public coming out party in the paddock at Laguna-Seca Raceway in August of 2008; the vintage race attendees were wowed not only by the impressive stable of Scarabs but by the reborn bus that used to haul them around Europe. The following day, the Fiat appeared on the well-manicured lawns of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. As might be expected, it made quite an entrance at the world’s most significant collector car show.

Presented in its correct, original Shelby American team livery, the transporter is absolutely stunning. Any Shelby enthusiasts, particularly of competition cars, will surely find no more appropriate, historic, capable, nor impressive way of spiriting one’s stable to and from the racetrack than in the amazing, truly once-in-a-lifetime transporter offered here.

Pros: For the person that has everything, the ultimate accessory

Cons: Nothing at all, it isnt a car, is it 🙂

#95 – Delage D6-70 1936 Figoni & Falaschi Milord Cabriolet #50607 US$1.1 mil. + My pick US$800,000 NOT SOLD @ US$1.1 mil.

1936 Delage D6-70 Milord Cabriolet
by Figoni et Falaschi   
Chassis No. 50607
Body No. 557
$1,250,000-$1,750,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
90 bhp, 2729 cc six-cylinder engine with inverted Solex carburetor, Cotal four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension and live rear axle with transverse leaf springs front and rear, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124″ (3150 mm)
• Known history since new
• Recent, specialist-administered concours restoration
• Numerous extraordinary design features including folding windshield and three-position top

The D6-70: A Standout of 1930s French Production

After Delahaye merged with Delage in 1935, both Louis Delage and his own technical office remained largely autonomous. Using the Delahaye bank of parts, as required by their agreement, they modified and precisely prepared the forthcoming new model, the D6-70. By contract, it had been decided that neither Delage nor Delahaye would produce cars of the same engine capacity, so Louis Delage used the Delahaye 135 engine and modified it by decreasing it to 2,729 cc and 16 taxable horsepower. In doing so, the engine gained a shorter stroke, which combined with a modified head, gave the new Delage’s engine a lot more vivacity compared with its sister Delahaye 135.

Again, borrowing from the Delahaye parts bin, Louis Delage and talented engineer Arthur Michelat chose the type 134 chassis, which was much lighter than that from the 135, although just as stiff. In trying to prepare the best car possible in the spirit of competition, and with the aim of demonstrating their technical skills to the technical office of Delahaye and Delage, Michelat prepared this frame such that it could be fitted with Houdaille shock absorbers in place of the quite outdated friction shocks fitted to the 135.

Also of much interest was the fact that only the Delage was fitted with modern hydraulic Bendix brakes; the Delahaye range would retain the aged mechanical system until the outbreak of World War II. Louis Delage, a perfectionist himself, wanted his engines to look better than the Delahaye units and had them fitted with both cam and lateral pushrod covers made of aluminum, as opposed to the iron covers of the Delahaye engines.

Most of the D6-70s were equipped with the optional Cotal electromagnetic gearbox, an almost automatic transmission system with four speeds plus reverse. At a time when most transmissions needed a double de-clutch and to be easily cracked when down shifting, the Cotal system, with its silky smooth operation, was a huge improvement over any other concurrent design.

Though Delage prepared the D6-70 with a smaller displacement engine than the Delahaye 135, the combination of a lighter frame mated to a shorter stroke, tuned engine made the new D6-70 quite comparable, performance-wise, to the 135. In fact, the D6-70 was listed in the Delage brochure as a “sport model,” as was the higher-level D8-120, and is widely recognized as the best car built by Delage in the late-1930s.

In test drives published in La Vie Automobile in October 1936 and December of the following year, both journalists concluded that the Delage D6-70 was a car of “grand class” and brought “honors to French (automobile) production.” Charles Faroux considered the car he drove as a “very good sports car,” adding, “for its easiness of driving and silent engine, the D6-70 was the perfect car for grand touring drives.” By the end of the 1930s, rarely were the qualities of sportiness and comfort of ride associated with the same car.

In an interview given some years ago by the late Charles Pozzi, of Ferrari fame, to the French marque specialist and author of Delage, la belle voiture française, Daniel Cabart, Mr. Pozzi agreed with the fact that, having raced both the Delage and the Delahaye in competition, the Delage was a far more pleasurable drive and easier to race than the more “physical” Delahaye, which he described as “truck-like.” It should also be noted that the D6 competition cars twice finished Second Overall at the 24 Heures du Mans, in both 1939 and 1949.

Chassis 50607: A Well-Documented History

Chassis number 50607 was the first cabriolet décapotable, or roadster, out of a small batch bodied by Figoni et Falaschi on a few Delage D6-70 chassis in 1936. According to the late Benoît Bocquet, formerly the official Figoni et Falaschi historian, the commission to build the body arrived at rue Lemoine on February 2nd, 1936, with the rolling chassis being delivered in the coachbuilder’s premises on March 12 of the same year.

It followed design study number 7675, as illustrated by a centerfold in Delage, Styling and Design, by Richard Adatto, and was given body number 557, which it still bears on different chrome plated fairings. This design is of sheer elegance and shows the car in three different configurations, namely with the top up and down, as a cabriolet, and with the “Milord,” or half-cabriolet, setup, which gives this example a specific touch of class so well-crafted by the French school of the 1930s. The artistic way Joseph Figoni penned this Delage’s sketch shows the innovative and slender line that cuts the side of the car, which made his design a standout next to the other renderings of the time, and is representative of Figoni et Falaschi’s signature of innovation and elegance, which made their workshop world-famous in a short period of time. Also of great impact is the fact that 51607 was equipped with an optional folding windscreen, which adds versatility and, moreover, brings that magnificent touch of sport and freedom, which is evocative of a sunset drive along a winding shoreline road.

According to the Figoni et Falaschi archives, 51607 was sold new to the wife of the famous French industrialist Marcel Menesson, whose residence was located at “20 boulevard Suchet in Paris,” a famous avenue nearing le “Bois de Boulogne.” Mr. Menesson, a prolific inventor, developed and built the universally known Solex carburetor, the starting system adapted to most carburetor devices around the world, and the “Velo-Solex,” which encountered a huge acclaim all around Europe post-WWII. He also invented the pneumatic micrometer, which was of great assistance to American factories making precision parts during the war. Interestingly, 51607 is equipped with an inverted Solex carburetor, as were most examples of the Delage, Delahaye, Bugatti, and Hispano-Suiza at the time.

Mme. Jeanne Mennesson was a member of the very select Automobile Club Feminin de France. A car quite similar to, and possibly 50607 itself, won the “Grand Prix d’Honneur toutes categories” during the Concours d’Elégance of this club in 1936. On that occasion, the car was shown by the Duchess d’Echingen and the Princess Amédée de Broglie, but it may be that Mme. Menesson lent her car to these friends for this instance. Similar Delages won a “Grand Prix d’Elegance” in both the elitist events of Deauville and “Le Bois de Boulogne” in 1936. In addition, Mme. Betty Spell, the famous French actress, brought the same honors at “Longchamps,” and Mme. Leon Malinges was awarded with a “Grand Prix d’Honneur” at the 1937 Concours d’Elegance de la Baule, in the northern Atlantic coast of France.

Very proud of their work, Figoni et Falaschi had this car, or a very similar example, displayed on the Delage stand of the 1936 Salon de Paris. Interestingly, two other examples from the 1936 Delage show stand have been sold recently, and it would be astounding to discover, with further research, that this was a third example from that same show.

According to Peter Jacobs, the long-term secretary of the English Delage Register, this car was imported into UK in early-1946 and issued registration number HGP 361 by the London Country Council. The car then passed in the hands of a Major Homi Toni Boga, followed by a Mr. James Oakes in 1956, and a Mr. P.M. Bull in 1959, until being acquired by Mr. Parfitt, of “Sherwook,” in 1969. The car then came back to France with Mr. Repusseau, grandson of the coachbuilder and inventor François Repusseau, whose company was intimately linked with Louis Delage’s pre-WWI development. Mr. Repusseau, a well-regarded member of the French Delage club, had the engine fully rebuilt and finely-tuned by Eric Limpaler, of Mecaretro. The Cotal gearbox was rebuilt by marque specialist Salmeron, shortly before he passed away in 2008. The new owner decided such an exquisite example deserved a no expenses spared restoration and had the car stripped down to its foundation.

The two year process began with full disassembly; the engine and transmission, having been previously restored by specialists, were put aside. Every other piece and part was dismantled and restored with the strictest attention to detail. Chassis, body, brakes, and chrome plating were all disassembled and rebuilt or refinished, as appropriate. The cosmetic result is spectacular, and the color combination looks just magnificent with its matching and beautifully installed upholstery. The car develops the same attraction power it brought at the 1936 Salon de Paris and will be a perfect new entrant for some of the most important concours events the world over.

The late-1930s masterpieces by Figoni et Falaschi seldom come to the market; this car, in fully restored condition, will for sure attract intense attention wherever it appears. A prominent model amongst the Delage production, with a fully-documented history and sporting its original and beautifully penned body by Figoni et Falaschi, the most acclaimed French coachbuilder of all time, 50607 will surely bring many accolades to its new owner, the same way it did back in 1936 when owned by its first custodian, Madame Jeanne Menesson. Today, this expertly restored D6-70 still maintains its original panache and astonishing performance capability; any driver would be surprised by the ease of its handling, which would surely conjure an irrepressible call to hit the road.

Pros: Beautiful car, great history, provenance

Cons: Only a D6-70, rather than a D8

#96 – Cisitalia 204 1950 #204-07 US$500,000+ My pick US$400,000 NOT SOLD

1950 Cisitalia Abarth 204 #7
Chassis no. 07
* 1,100cc Fiat in-line four-cylinder
* 75hp with twin carburetors
* 4-speed manual transmission
* Fascinating race history
* Restored by Tillack & Co.
* Eligibile for multiple events, including the Mille Miglia

The Cisitalia Abarth 204 would be notable in history if it were only one of the following three things – the last ‘real’ Cisitalia, the ‘first’ Abarth or the car in which the immortal Tazio Nuvolari achieved his final victory. That it is in fact all three makes the 204 remarkable. The story of how the visionary and ambitious Piero Dusio set into motion the meteoric rise and ultimate sliding fall of Cisitalia in the years following WWII is well known. Dusio’s gift for both inspiring and attracting the best in engineering, design and driving talent made the small enterprise the center of the sports car world for a brief moment in time and resulted in the creation of what are today some of the most desired collector cars in the world.

The Cisitalia 204 sports racer was being developed simultaneously with what would prove to be the company-destroying Tipo 360 Grand Prix project. For the 204, a novel front suspension design was adapted from the GP car in order to lower the front aspect and provide more precise handling. Dusio’s aerodynamics specialist Giovanni Savonuzzi drew a very simple, smooth, low shape for the car, tightly pulled around the compact two-seat cockpit. The Fiat 1100-based 4-cylinder, dual carburetor engine put out 75hp and combined with the lightweight streamlined bodywork gave the 204 ample capability for both circuit and hillclimb events. After the competition appearances, Savonuzzi revised the styling, removing the enveloping front bodywork and replacing it with small cycle fenders.

When the debts accrued due to the disastrous Porsche-designed GP project became too much to bear, the company was placed in receivership. Production was halted on new projects and much of the assets of the firm were transferred to Karl Abarth, who along with Porsche, were major creditors. Among those assets were the remaining stocks of, as well as the manufacturing rights to, the Tipo 204 and 205. The last of the 204s to be completed became ‘Cisitalia-Abarth’ cars and a new chapter in motorsport was born.

Argentina is central to the story of Cisitalia, not only because Piero Dusio relocated there following the collapse of the original Cisitalia company in Italy. During the bright times, the racing establishment in the South American country was very keen on the cars, none less so than Juan Peron himself. As a result, many Cisitalias were sold to Argentinian drivers. Patricio Badaracco and Ernesto Mario Tornquist, who sometimes ran under the pseudonym ‘Emart’, were Argentinean gentlemen drivers in the mid-fifties. They are listed in the entry of the 1955 1000 Kilometers of the City of Buenos Aires race, credited with driving an “Cisitalia Abarth 1100” to a 9th place finish. What is believed to be a period photograph of this car appears in an Argentinean motoring magazine.

In another magazine clipping circa 1960 is said to show the car again, this time as modified with an inline 6-cylinder Studebaker engine installed and driven by Lelio Castelli. The grill opening of the ‘Santo-Studebaker’, or Abarth Studebaker as it was sometimes called has been opened up and re-shaped into a rectangle and the front fenders are now of the cycle type. This car may have even been a ‘movie star’- an advertisement for a film called ‘Como una Nube di Algodon’ (Like a Cloud of Cotton), an Argentinean comedy from the late 1950s. After its competition life was over, this car was left ignored in storage, the fate of many an old racer. As in a romantic fantasy, this car was found stored in a boathouse, lashed to a pallet in a corner by the late Stan Nowak, an eminent Cisitalia authority and enthusiast. Brought to the U.S. in the late 1990s, it was purchased by the vendor from Mr. Nowak. As the car had been last run with the American engine a search was begun for a proper Fiat-based unit. After three years, an appropriate motor was located in Italy and the restoration was started in earnest.

The work was executed by the firm of Tillack & Co. of Redondo Beach, California who are renowned for the quality and detail of their world-class restorations. The car, while having been modified for the installation of the Studebaker engine, was remarkably complete and otherwise original when found, enabling the restorers to confirm the correctness and authenticity of many of the components and construction.

As completed, it stands ready to run in any one of a plethora of international events, from races to rallies to concours. Finished in a perfect shade of Abarth silver, with black leather seats, it is a testament to the simple, brilliant design of Savonuzzi, Porsche and Abarth, and a symbol of what the best minds of an age can achieve in collaboration. In an article in the Argentinean magazine “Ruedasclasicas”, noted Cisitalia guru Dr. Sergio Lugo detailed the story of the 204, and states that while there are eight chassis numbers listed for the 204, it is believed it to be likely that only five were ever built. Remarkably, all five exist today. To own a vehicle which marks a major milestone in two of motor racing’s most notable firms is truly an opportunity not to be lightly considered.
Estimate:US$ 500,000 – 600,000
£320,000 – 380,000
€410,000 – 490,000

Pros: Amazing looking little Spider, would be an exceelent Mille Miglia car

Cons: Not a fast car

#97 – Huffaker – Genie Mark 10 1964 #H120 US$140,000+ My pick US$300,000 SOLD US$142,500

1964 Huffaker-Genie Mk 10 USRRC Sports-Racer
Chassis no. H120
* 357-cid Chevrolet V8 with Weber carburetors
* Hewland LG500 transaxle

* Period USRRC race history
* The first of only six Genie Mk 10s produced
* Multiple-time Monterey Historics participant
* Immaculately prepared
* Huge spares package (see text)

Joe Huffaker Sr. saw an opportunity when the Sports Car Club of America launched its first-ever professional series, the United States Road Racing Championship, in 1963. Up to that point, the amateur-oriented SCCA had staunchly resisted the idea of cash prizes or starting money, but when many of its top drivers crossed the street to “run for bucks” at rival USAC events, SCCA realized that it couldn’t hold off the inevitable, and the USRRC was born. Along with many other talented engineers and designers, Huffaker decided to build a new car for the series based on FIA Group 9 regulations, for full-bodied V8-powered racing cars with no displacement limit.

After building a series of small racing specials in the1950s, Joe Huffaker had constructed and sold some very competitive Formula Juniors while running British Motor Car Distributors’ Competition Department on the West Coast. When interest in that series began to wane, he moved on to construct larger-displacement sports-racers, beginning with the little Huffaker-Genie Mk. 4, powered by a four-cylinder BMC 1100. It featured a light tube space-frame, independent coil-spring suspension, disc brakes, and a fiberglass body, all features that would be seen in subsequent models. The later Mk.5 employed a wider variety of bigger-displacement engines and proved quite successful. When the USRRC beckoned, Huffaker laid out a new chassis and body with skirted rear wheels, dubbed the Mk.8, able to accommodate V8 power, initially the 215-inch aluminum Buick/Olds/Pontiac. A larger and stronger version, dubbed the Mk.10, had open rear wheels and was capable of handling bigger-displacement engines such as the Chevrolet V8. The Mk.10s were briefly competitive in the USRRC, but newly-arrived competitors including Chaparral, Lola, and then McLaren eventually came to dominate the series, and what would become the much-loved Can-Am Challenge in 1966.

This rare and attractive 1964 Huffaker-Genie Mk. 10, chassis ‘H120’, is the first, and according to its present owner, the most original of the six examples built at Huffaker’s shop. It was delivered to George Koehne of San Antonio, Texas, a former USAF Lt. Colonel who had previously raced a Maserati 200SI, Tipo 61 ‘Birdcage’ and a Cooper-Buick before taking delivery of the Genie in time for the USRRC race at Augusta International Speedway on March 1, 1964, finishing a respectable fifth overall. Koehne went on to compete in further USRRC rounds at Pensacola in April and Laguna Seca in May. After being damaged during practice at the 1964 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix at Riverside, California, the car was acquired by Bob Samm who stored it until 1983. Passing through a dealer in St. Louis, ‘H120’ went to the East Coast, and eventually to ex-Corvette racing driver Leon Hurd. In 1990, the Genie passed to its current owner, who completely restored the car for vintage racing. The car has since raced at Seattle, Portland, Sears Point, Thunderhill and has successful competed at the Monterey Historics for the best part of a decade.

Today, it is fitted with a 357 cubic-inch Chevrolet and Weber carburetors, a Hewland LG500 transaxle (the only significant deviation from original and much stronger than the original unit), and all A.N.-spec hardware. The car comes with many recently-installed new parts and has always been maintained to the highest standards. A comprehensive spares package (including wheels, suspension and brake components, various engine and powertrain parts, plus a dedicated alignment rig and other support equipment) is included in the sale, however it is the buyer’s responsibility to arrange shipping of these items from their present location, or negotiate pickup of the spares with the vendor directly.

Joe Huffaker’s Genie sports-racing cars are fine examples of his commitment to high-quality, light, strong chassis construction combined with good power and handling. Loud, fast, and always a crowd-pleaser, ‘H120’ will be welcome at all major US vintage racing events.

Estimate:US$ 140,000 – 160,000
£90,000 – 100,000
€110,000 – 130,000

Pros: A good cheap way to go racing, a true american special

Cons: Originality, PAH

#98 – Buffum Stanhope #1 1895 US$250,000+ My pick US$250,000 NOT SOLD

The world’s oldest four-cylinder car, the oldest American car ever offered at auction, the oldest American gasoline car in private ownership.

The first Buffum automobile produced, Buffum family ownership for nearly 40 years, ex- Princeton Auto Museum collection,
1895 Buffum Four-Cylinder Stanhope
Chassis no. 1BUFFUM
* World’s first four-cylinder automobile
* Numerous technological firsts
* Known history since construction
* An icon of the Dawn of American Motoring
* First time offered publicly

H.H. Buffum, during his involvement with the automobile, designed and produced some of the most ambitious, early automobiles ever seen in this country. In a period spanning just 13 years, about 70 truly remarkable machines were built. For a man who made so few cars, Buffum achieved groundbreaking results: he produced the first American four-cylinder car, production or otherwise, the first cataloged production American race car and the world’s first production V8 automobile.

Buffum began work on his first automotive design, the machine offered here, in 1894. The car was completed the following year in Massachusetts, where Buffum had moved to from the West Coast for the purpose of producing machinery for the burgeoning shoe industry in the Northeast. Buffum was primarily a designer and producer of complex machines for the automation of shoe production. In fact, he had secured numerous patents for his machinery, developed a successful sprinkler head design as well as sewing and nailing machines.

New England in the 1890s was a center of industrial precision metal working. Factories producing guns, sewing machines and bicycles flourished; and the area was filled with skilled artisans and well educated engineers. This atmosphere of progress and manufacturing resources ignited the idea of mechanized transport in a number of individuals. The Duryea brothers were hard at work on the concept in the early 90s and Hiram Percy Maxim began to develop his first multi-cylinder engine in the same period. That same idea, too, was taking shape with H.H. Buffum.

The motor was initially what caught Buffum’s interest. He did not gravitate to the obvious idea of grafting a stationary type engine to a carriage, but had a vision for a more sophisticated motor that would have the flexibility and compactness necessary for an automobile. Buffum designed an in-line four-cylinder engine which, of moderate size, was based on a cast iron crank case with individual cylinders. Individual detachable heads with push rod operated and atmospheric over-head valves were fitted to the cylinders. Ignition was by make and break and the intake was a primitive mixing valve. The dual exhaust system flowed through distinctive twin canister muffler and cooling was provided by a large vented water tank (boiling tank) with individual piping for each cylinder. The construction of the motor was largely fabricated but with a number of major castings. Although it looked highly advanced for its day, Buffum employed many of the accepted technologies of the period.

With the motor complete, Buffum then needed an appropriate chassis to mount it in. For this Buffum sought the assistance of local carriage maker George Pierce, who fabricated a well made and surprisingly elegant chassis for Buffum’s design. The tubular frame cradled the transversely mounted engine in castings mounted on the sides of the crank case. The motor tucked nicely under the seat, leaving plenty of space for the “boiling tank” cooling system, and the transverse mounting made for a convenient starting handle placement outside the car. The motor’s output was fed by chain to the two-speed planetary transmission. Like most pioneer American cars, it was likely a modified unit from belt drive machinery as employed by Duryea. Finally the chassis was finished off with an elegant Stanhope body, likely also supplied by Pierce, which resulted in a car of refined elegance rather than a primitive prototype that was thrown together.

The new Buffum car sported tiller steering, chain drive to the rear axle and innovative, cleverly designed controls. The gear change lever came out of the seat fall area and its leather knob rotated to operate the throttle. The distinctive leather knob, thought to be derived from a shoe hammer, was a distinctive touch and appeared also on later Buffum models. A series of pedals operated the brakes and reverse gear and the final drive, by chain and no differential, was fitted to the axle although the rear wheels were driven by ratchet to eliminate the need.

Like many other pioneering builders Buffum was quite secretive of his advancements, and used his car around town only sparingly when it wasn’t kept hidden away for fear that someone would steal Buffum’s hard-earned designs and innovation. The car did spark interest locally, however, and Buffum began to be approached with requests for automobiles. Prior to 1900 he hand-made six cars, each with evolving design – likely in Buffum’s spare time as he had a thriving business to look after!

Photos exist of a subsequent early prototype. The design, although it appears to employ the same engine, has progressed to a different transmission and drive system. One of Buffum’s early automotive patents is for a drive system quite similar to the one in the photo. The car also shows the addition of a “snake” radiator to supplement the inefficient boiling tank.

A period photo shows car number one early in its life with a set of light pneumatic carriage type wheels and a slightly different steering tiller than the prototype. Undoubtedly car number one was used to test other ideas and concepts in the early years of its life.

Though always being more interested in the challenges of design, Buffum set himself up for automobile production in 1900 and manufactured a handful of cars mainly for local residents in this early period. By 1901, Buffum was making a serious play at the auto business, introducing a four-cylinder, front engine, chain drive car. This machine resembled nothing made in the country at the time and was far more likely to be mistaken for an automobile that was French made. The design of the four-cylinder motor had changed, and the motor was now an opposed four with a center mounted flywheel. One of the many novel features was a starting handle/pedal that could be operated from the driver’s seat by foot.

In the years following, Buffum cars became more and more advanced. In 1903, the “Central Greyhound” 100hp eight-cylinder racing car was built to take on Winton at the Gordon Bennett Cup in Ireland. The largest and most powerful American racecar built up to that time. Although the car never made it to the event, it was demonstrated in America and a version became a catalogued model. The production Greyhound (the 80hp Model G) would gain the distinction as America’s first cataloged production racing car and the first production eight-cylinder American car. In 1904, a big four-cylinder chain drive model with a cast aluminum Roi Des Belges body was the featured model. The magazine the Automobile had this to say about the Buffum hand-hammered alloy body car “one of the finest pieces of automobile construction ever shown….This car is the work of a mechanic of the class to which all makeshift is abhorrent.” A V-8 powered Buffum, the first V-8 offered in a production car, was introduced for the ’05 model year.

By 1908 Buffum had become disenchanted with automobile production and left the Massachusetts area for New Hampshire in order to pursue an interest in powerful motor boats. He would go on to produce similarly ambitious motors for marine vessels and airplanes, most notably a twelve-cylinder, opposed marine engine and a lightweight V-12 aircraft engine. In 1914, he made a final contribution to the auto industry with the Laconia cycle car, the only vehicle of its type produced in New Hampshire, and later Buffum built the first pier at the Weirs on Lake Winnipesaukee. Buffum eventually returned to the West Coast where he died in 1933.

The car offered here, the original Buffum, was never sold during Buffum’s life time. As mentioned, he kept the car in the possession of a storage building to protect his patent possibilities. It was Buffum’s ex-wife, Mrs. Dudley, who finally sold the car in 1934 – a year after Buffum’s death. She sold it to Harry Bell, an early collector in the Boston area who had assembled a moderate collection of early antique cars, although she could not understand why someone would want to buy it.

The sale of this pioneering car created quite a lot of interest in the media. The Boston Globe, as well as several other local papers, announced the sale of the 1895 car. The Buffum was then displayed for many years at the Princeton Auto Museum in Princeton, MA, an institution that was founded in the early 1930s and was one the first auto museums in the country. There are conflicting views as to whether Bell lent the Buffum to the Museum at this time or if the institution actually owned the car; however, the exclusion of the Buffum when the Princeton Auto Museum was sold to the Zimmerman Museum indicates it may have still belonged to Bell. Nevertheless, included in the car’s file is a Princeton Auto Museum brochure which lists the 1895 Buffum as on display.

In the 1960s the car passed between a few hands before settling with John Swann of Highland, Maryland for a number of years. Swann made the car operational and used it in a number of parades. While in his care, the Buffum became the first automobile to cross the Parallel Chesapeake Bay Bridge on its opening in 1973.

Since then the car has been seldom seen and it has spent the last 20 years in a discreet private collection. In recent years the owner placed it on display at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Owl’s Head, ME.

Today the car survives in largely original condition. It looks as though the body may have been repainted many years ago, but most of the leather upholstery and dash is original. Mechanically it is well preserved and has seen only minor reversible modifications to make it reliable. The car still retains its distinctive twin exhaust mufflers, carburetor and make and brake equipment. It has not run in many years but is currently being recommissioned for the sale.

Presently it survives as one of the oldest, functional American cars in existence. There are just a handful of American cars from the pre-’98 era and, of those, the majority belongs to Museum collections. When you look to American cars before 1897 you can count the number on one hand.

It is unlikely that there will be an opportunity to acquire an older or more historically significant pioneering American machine than this one. It has potential to be the oldest American gasoline car to start the London to Brighton Run and it would consequently likely receive one of the lowest starting numbers. It would also be a tremendous machine for a museum collection as it has such historical significance on so many levels. This Buffum, being a 1895, four-cylinder engine and the sole surviving product of one of America’s greatest automotive minds makes this an automobile of monumental importance.
Estimate:US$ 250,000 – 350,000
£160,000 – 220,000
€200,000 – 280,000       

Pros: The worlds oldest and the only one = rare

Cons: What could you actually do with it, apart from display in a museum ?

#99 – Hudson Hornet 1953 #216678 US$30,000+ ex. Steve McQueen My pick US$100,000+ SOLD US$62,000

1953 Hudson Hornet Sedan 

Chassis No. 216678
$40,000-$60,000 US
To be auctioned on
Friday, August 17, 2012
Model 7C. 170 hp, 308 cu in valve-in-block “flathead” straight six cylinder engine, dual Carter single-barrel carburetors, Hydramatic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 124″

• Formerly owned by Steve McQueen and in his possession at the time of his passing in 1980; solid ownership provenance and iron-clad documentation
• Rare metallic green/surf green color combination
• Very original, preserved, and unrestored, save for one high quality repaint
• Single family ownership for 25 years

Steve McQueen, at one time the world’s highest paid, most popular actor, amateur motor racing driver, skilled motorcyclist, hands-on automotive enthusiast, sex symbol, and pop culture icon of intergalactic proportion, needs little introduction here or anywhere else. McQueen’s classic films that included automobiles, motorcycles, or motorsport as central plot elements include, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Reivers, Le Mans, and The Hunter. McQueen wasn’t so much a car collector, in the traditional sense, as he was an enthusiastic gatherer of great motorized hardware and ephemera. He had the financial wherewithal to afford nearly any car or bike he wanted and had great taste and feel for cars. Throughout his life, he acquired, drove, and raced dozens of fabulous cars and hundreds of interesting motorcycles, among them, numerous Porsches, at least three Ferraris, a one-of-sixteen Jaguar XKSS, an ex-military half-track, and two Hudsons, one of which is on offer here.

The Hudson Hornet is likely the most famous of the historically significant “step down” Hudson model designs. The car’s chassis architecture, and the way the body was mounted on it, meant that entering passengers stepped down modestly into the interior of the car, and this also allowed for a lower center of gravity, which improved roadholding. This is one of the reasons the Hornet was such a successful race car, especially in the relatively new venue of NASCAR “stock car” racing. Hudson stuck with its tough, well-proven flathead six, souping it up from its original rating of 140 horsepower to 170 horsepower by virtue of “Twin H-Power,” which employed a higher compression ratio, and the factory installation of dual Carter single barrel carburetors—this combination in race trim yielded well over 200 horsepower.

Steve McQueen purchased this Hudson Hornet 7C Sedan in the mid-1970s, and it was registered into his name in August 1977. It is offered here with several certificates of ownership and title documents, as well as the actual blue and yellow California license plates the car wore during its tenure in his collection. This Twin H-Power Hudson was in his ownership and possession at the time of his passing on November 7, 1980. Subsequent to McQueen’s passing, an estate sale was held in November 1984, and the subject Hornet sedan was sold into private ownership at that time, which included a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by McQueen’s daughter, Terry, and son, Chad. That document, along with the aforementioned titles, registrations, license plates, and service and maintenance documentation since 1976, are included with the sale of the car today.

The current owner and consignor purchased the car in 1987, so it has remained in the same family ownership for approximately 25 years and presents to a very high and factory-authentic level. The engine was rebuilt during McQueen’s ownership, and the car has since been treated to one high-quality repaint to the factory original color scheme. Much of the chrome has been replated, and the McQueen Hornet still proudly wears its factory original interior.

This fine Hudson Hornet Twin H represents an attractive opportunity to acquire an important and interesting car that benefits from prior ownership by the “King of Cool,” with bulletproof and unquestioned documentation and provenance. It is an opportunity that will not come again soon.

Words: Matt Stone, author of McQueen’s Machines.

Pros: Two words: Steve McQueen

Cons: It is just a Hudson !

#100 – GMC Series 101-8 PickupChassis no. 1018CS1318A 1958 US$60,000+ My pick US$100,000 SOLD US$92,000

Ex-Steve McQueen
1958 GMC Series 101-8 Pickup
Chassis no. 1018CS1318A
* 336ci V8
* Half-Ton model
* Cameo styling
* Once owned by Steve McQueen

This GMC Pickup Truck is a 101-Series, half-ton model on the 114″-wheelbase chassis, fitted with the 336cu in (5,508cc) V8 engine. Wonderfully flamboyant, its over-the-top styling reflecting the passenger car trends of the period, the 101-8 offered the best power-to-weight ratio of the entire GMC range. No wonder it appealed to Steve McQueen!

Steve kept this truck as part of his private collection of ten cars garaged at The Beverley Wilshire hotel during the time that he lived there. Described by Barbara McQueen as ‘Steve’s Baby’, it was his favorite of the ten, benefiting from the ‘McQueen’ treatment under the hood and hotted-up to be a veritable ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Steve regularly used this truck in and around Beverley Hills. It bears the registration number ‘3188’ – a reference to his identification number while a student at the Junior Boys Republic Reform School in Chino, California.

The importance of this connection cannot be over emphasized. The youthful Steve was a troublemaker, getting arrested twice for petty theft before his exasperated mother finally sent him to Boys Republic, an institution that emphasized hard work with the goal of restoring self respect to its young inmates. Steve readily acknowledged that his time at Boys Republic turned his life around, and throughout his career he regularly visited that institution, donating money and helping in countless other ways, including creating the Steve McQueen Scholarship fund for the Republic’s best student. Needless to say, Boys Republic was a beneficiary of his will, receiving $200,000. No doubt Steve chose his truck’s registration as a mark of gratitude to Boys Republic and a reminder that although he had risen to the very top, his life had once sunk perilously close to the bottom.

Previously sold by Barbara McQueen at Bonhams’ 2006 Steve McQueen Sale, this GMC was without doubt one of McQueen’s most treasured vehicles. For a fan of the King of Cool, it’s hard to top!

Estimated at US$60,000+  With its Steve McQueen history, has to be worth at least $100,000, and yes it is just an old GMC truck.

Pros: Steve McQueen. Best. Car. Guy. Ever. So. there.

Cons: It is nothing but a GMC pick up


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