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THE ULTIMATE 2023 MONTEREY AUCTION BUYERS GUIDE! 8 MARKET INSIDERS NAME THE TOP 24 CARS TO WATCH.

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Welcome to our fifth annual roster of the top 24 auction vehicles slated for the coming Monterey car week. I've invited seven savvy market insiders to join me by sharing their three "gotta have" rides, and I think their choices speak directly to the hearts and soul's of our writers and the market at large.



Each panelist has picked one lot from the three signature auctions at Monterey Car Week: Bonhams, Gooding and RM-Sotheby's. Selections are based on the individual's personal preferences, and not necessarily the most valuable or popular vehicle. Each contributor has also offered up their personal auction presale estimates in conjunction with house estimates. All prices are in U.S. Dollars.


This year we're joined by new panelist Jon Lee, whose background extends to vintage racing, CCCA, and Pebble Beach judge. What an exciting and eclectic mix of varied perspectives! Welcome: Nick Candee, Jon Lee, Mark Lizewskie, Tim McGrane, Glenn Mounger, Verity Spencer, Bill Warner... and yours truly.


Our Top 24 Monterey Auction Insider Top Picks is sure to raise the temperature at this year's event! Thanks so much to all of you.


Please post your comments below!


UPDATED WITH FINAL SALE PRICES


IMAGES COURTESY BONHAMS, GOODING, RM-SOTHEBY'S

 

BILL WARNER - Founder & Chairman Emeritus Amelia Island Concours

#1 BONHAMS - 1958 Buick Limited Convertible


BILL'S ESTIMATE: $85,000 - $95,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $100,000 - $150,000

SOLD: $109,200


Of all the nice cars offered by Bonhams, why would I choose this car? Well, it represents the end of the Harley Earl era of wretched excess. What was so garish that only 839 were manufactured and sold should say something about the buying public's change in taste. In 1956 when Chuck Jordan and Dave Holls—designers at General Motors—crawled up a fence at a Chrysler holding yard and saw Virgil Exner’s line for 1957 of the Forward Look for Chrysler. They ran back to the Design Center and advised then second in command, Bill Mitchell, of the future Chrysler was to deliver in 1957. Panic set in: GM design under Earl was going in the wrong direction.


Longer, bigger, chrome-laden behemoths were not the directions they should go, but by that time the design of the 1958 GM product line was already cast in stone and the worst of the offerings were the Oldsmobile with its musical staff rear quarters, rocket ship tail lights and the Buick with the combination of the sweep spear and the chromed bullet. Topping the Buick design was the chromed grill squares, hood and trunk moustaches and a myriad of really bad styling cues. The advertising campaigned referred to the car as the Air Born B-58 relating it to the Air Force’s B-58 Hustler bomber. Appropriate because this car was a styling bomb. But today, these cars represent an era that has passed… no longer to reappear and that’s what makes this car so appealing. Sometimes it takes years for poor taste to be accepted as being kitschy!


Sometimes it takes years for poor taste to be accepted as being kitschy.

This car is presented as a low mileage (20,465 miles) original and, as such, has some flaws that a car 65-years-old should be expected to have. It is hard in photos to determine exactly, but it appears there is some chrome pitting and surface scratches on the stainless; easy to correct. It also appears that this car is equipped with the optional air suspension (Air Poise by Buick) and is suffering the same affliction the Eldorado Broughams suffered, namely, collapsing air bags due to air leakage in the system. The replacement air bags for the Cadillac are very hard to find and I would not know where to start on a Buick.


The only saving grace on the Limited is that they used hash marks within the rear quarter bullet instead on the “fluted sting ray” of the Special, Century and Road Master. One thing for sure, the owner of this car will not be lost in a crowd!


 

#2 GOODING - 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham

BILL'S ESTIMATE: $225,000 - $250,000

GOODING ESTIMATE: $225,000 -$275,000

SOLD: $246,400


I know a thing or two about 1958 Broughams in that I have one, # 466, Paint Code 110 (Ebony) with Trim Code 959 (black leather). This particular car offered by Gooding was restored by my friend, Don Ghareeb, by Impatient Creations, Birmingham, AL, and later Harbor Restorations, Rockledge, FL. This car was the first Brougham ever to be shown at Pebble Beach where it won its class. Previously, it was shown at Amelia where it was awarded an Amelia Award. It is arguably the best Eldorado Brougham in the world and nothing was spared to make it such.


Cadillac made this version of the Eldorado Brougham in 1957 and 1958 as a car to challenge the Rolls Royce and was priced accordingly at $13,075, twice the cost of the 1958 Eldorado Biarritz. The only no-cost options were the interior colors and material and carpeting (Mouton or Karakul nylon). These cars featured the Autronic Eye (automatic headlight dimmer), automatic opening AND closing trunk (what people now call “carriage” doors and what we use to call “suicide” doors), automatic door locks when Drive was engaged, a brushed stainless steel roof, alloy wheels and the nightmarish air suspension. The pièce de rèsistance is the vanity kit which includes a compact with comb and lipstick container for the ladies, a clear plastic case for a pack of cigarettes, a tissue dispenser a note pad with a Cross pencil, and the politically incorrect container with six stainless magnetic shot cups that would sit on a polished tray which folded out so that the passengers and drivers could imbibe which cruising down the road. And lets not forget an atomizer bottle of Arpege perfume for the lady of the car. Today, a vanity package alone for a Brougham can run $15,000 with the perfume and Cross pencil being the rarest of the kit.


Today, a vanity package alone for a Brougham can run $15,000 with the perfume and Cross pencil being the rarest of the kit.

This car has it all: Rare Deauville Gray with a one-off blue and white leather interior, air suspension which works and the vanity package. In short, it is the best of the best having won awards at the Cadillac Nationals, Pebble Beach, and Amelia Island. It needs nothing more than a new owner.


I really like these cars with the Achilles heel being the air suspension (mine like many others are on conventional springs). You could not restore this car for the estimate!


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Inter “Supergioiello” Coupe by Ghia

BILL'S ESTIMATE: $2.2 - 2.5M

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $1.5M - $1.8M

SOLD: $950,000


I know this car well as I was friends with Rodolfo Junco de La Vega, the late owner, for many years and photographed the car for an article in The New York Times along with its long time owner Sr. Junco.


It is an original car with one respray. The interior is all original leather showing seventy years of use and replacement carpets. I drove the car once and I seem to remember it having approximately 24,000 kilometers on the odometer. The car is one-of-one by Ghia reputedly designed by Boano and Michelotti. How the three worked together is beyond me, but the results are a very beautiful, tasteful, and elegant design. Shortly after this car was built, Ghia went on a decidedly American styling slant of fins, Panoramic (a GM term) windshields and garish color combinations. This car avoided the trite styling as was presented as a perfectly proportioned coupe with some design elements of Alfas of the same period.


The story on Rodolfo’s 212 began in the mid-fifties when he saw the great Italian driver, Piero Tarrufi race in the Carrera PanAmericana. A personal relation ship commenced and when Rodolfo intimated that he’s like to buy a Ferrari it was Taruffi that suggested this coupe… that was in 1958. At that time, it was a lightly used two-owner vehicle. It had, in fact been unveiled at the Turin Motor Show on April 4, 1951 and used in Ferrari’s sales literature in 1952.


This special Ferrari is NOT for the gold chain and Gucci crowd.

Junco de la Vega purchased this car on November 7, 1958 for the princely sum of $15,000, or in other words, the price of two (not one, but two) Cadillac El Dorado Biarritz Convertibles. It is thought that at the time of his passing, it was the second longest tenured V-12 in the world.


The car spent many of its years in Mexico, later San Antonio and finally Jacksonville where it was driven sparingly by the owner. The Ferrari's few show appearances were at The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, 2008, 2011 and 2014 where is was awarded a Blue Ribbon (First in Class), a Red Ribbon (2nd in Class) and the Far Niente Corporate Award.


What is she worth? Estimating a one-off owned one enthusiast nearly 67 years is tough. Also, being close to Rodolfo (who was known in our Wednesday luncheon group as “The Chairman”), I feel closer to the car than I should. It needs some electrical attention and some details. The car has never been wrecked and has no rust. However, a knowledgeable collector who recognizes the rarity, importance, beauty and elegance of this car should buy it. This special Ferrari is NOT for the gold chain and Gucci crowd. Like its lifelong owner, this car is for the gentleman of discriminating taste. I am going high on this car because I love it, not that I can afford it.


 


JON LEE - Pebble Beach Judge and Classic Car Dealer

#1 BONHAMS - 1909 Lorraine-Dietrich GP

JON'S ESTIMATE: $400,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $600,000 - $800,000

SOLD: $1,270,000


I’d really enjoy taking this car for a spirited ride. 130 horsepower and 110 mph at just 1500 rpm in a 1909 automobile would be exciting or just plain terrifying. This is a well-known car in England and rebuilt there by Scaldwell, best known for the “Specials” he has built, notably the V-8 JAP powered GN. While this Lorraine Dietrich is termed in various sources as a “reincarnation” or an “heroic rebuild," there is no doubt that it is one impressive Edwardian machine. Just how “authentic” this Lorraine-Dietrich may be is open to discussion.


According to Bonhams write-up, Scaldwell began with a DeDietrich rolling chassis. It’s not really clear how much was used. The gearbox is a genuine Lorraine racing unit; front axle is a period piece of undeclared origin as are the final drive components. The major parts appear to be all from the 1905 – 1912 era. The engine is newly built using cylinder block patterns for 200 hp Darraq as a starting point. The car looks fantastic and certainly fits the role of a pre-1910 European Grand Prix race car. The catalog quotes a ringing driving endorsement from Evan Ide, one of the foremost authorities on early racing and high performance cars.

I think the bidding will stop around $400,000.

Racing Specials are much more appreciated in England and Europe than they are here in the U.S. Therein lays the problem. Few people on this side of the Atlantic will have much knowledge of this type of car and uses for it in the U.S. will be somewhat limited. Unless the bidding is enthusiastic from the other side of the ocean, I suspect this car may remain unsold. After Bonhams published their estimates I had to take a hard look at my original number. I’m sure it will perform, on the block, much better than I originally predicted, but, while I can hope that I’m wrong, I think the bidding will stop around $400,000.



 

#2 GOODING - 1948 Allard K1

JON'S ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $175,000

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $180,000 - $240,000

SOLD: $117,600


When I first looked at the Gooding listing on this Allard, my thought was that this was a nice cosmetic restoration, not quite authentic and with some missing bits. I called it a usable car for not much money. Then the descriptions showed up online and my flabber was gasted. I noted two names associated with the car: Harrah’s and Pete McManus.


Several decades ago, when Pete owned this car, we talked very seriously about me buying it. It was in need of attention and there was scant documentation. The chassis plate was not with it, which bothered me a bit. The plate did turn up in Harrah’s archives some time later and was reunited with the car, but by that time I had bought another K1 that we raced for a number of years. In discussions with Pete we talked about the short grille and I think the K2 style side vents were there. too. I recall Pete pointing out the aluminum wings, although at the time, we had no idea why it had them. We moaned about the fact there were no bumpers or skirts.

... the auction estimate is nearing the J2 range and I doubt that much money will be there for a K1.

However we had zero knowledge of its background. The Gooding listing clarified a lot about the equipment or lack thereof, and I have reasonable confidence in their research. The history is both interesting and significant. The fact that it was one of four factory light weight K1 models is significant but even better, it ran the 1948 and 1949 Alpine Rallies, finishing well both times. So, we have a Factory Racer and winning provenance with a known driver of the period. The only part of the description I could quarrel with is the notation that the car “remained remarkably original." While it was the better part of forty years ago, I recall that it was more than a little tatty, not white and definitely not running. That is not particularly significant today as the car has been nicely restored and most of the questions we had about the car at that time have been adequately answered.


My initial assessment of this car as a usable Vintage Rally car for modest outlay still remains. As good and significant as this car may be, the auction estimate is nearing the J2 range and I doubt that much money will be there for a K1.


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1933 Stutz Rollston Victoria

JON'S ESTIMATE: $1M

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $1M - $1.5M

SOLD: $1,517,500


The eight cylinder Stutz was at the leading edge of automotive engineering. By the late twenties, Stutz featured an eight cylinder overhead cam engine with dual ignition, hydraulic vacuum boosted brakes, four speed gearbox and coachwork from the top builders. The tour de force was the DV-32 with a dual overhead cam engine. This magnificent engine was the ultimate development of the Stutz straight eight and was designed to be a serious performer. It was not intended to be a substitute for a Twelve or Sixteen cylinder but a sporting car in the European style. Around 200 were built in a four-year span though exact numbers are elusive.


By 1933 Stutz was in deep financial trouble and knew it. Only a few over 100 cars were built in the year and few had the DV engine. Stutz was betting on the Park-Age-Car, a small delivery van, to keep the company in business. The effort was not a success; production of Stutz cars dropped to a mere six in 1934, even though they stated a new one would be built for you, on order, through 1936. The Park-Age-Car car business was sold to Auburn in 1938 where the design was revamped and sold under the Diamond T nameplate. No new Stutz cars were forthcoming.

This Stutz sold ten years ago for $1.3M.

This particular Stutz has been in the collector car world since the early fifties. It has been Featured in magazine articles, shown everywhere and won just about everything. It’s been through several notable collections, including Harrah’s and Andy Simo, who had the restoration done. Most recently it’s been in the collection of Terry Adderly, in Michigan. At the time of his passing, Adderly had accumulated a significant number of cars with the intention of housing them in a museum. As that didn’t happen, the cars are now being sold off. Most of his cars were good quality older restorations, such as this Stutz. It’s an attractive car with a presentation that is mostly accurate. The restoration is very 1970-80s with lots of shiny bits. Good Stutz DV-32 cars sold in the past few years have performed well over the block. This Stutz sold ten years ago for $1.3M. It may not break any sales records this time around but it should sell near that figure.


 

GLENN MOUNGER - Chairman Emeritus The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance


#1 BONHAMS - 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B STI Prototype


GLENN'S ESTIMATE: $500,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $450,000 - 550,000

NO SALE/HI BID: $365,000


Is there some mistake? Glenn Mounger picked a Subaru? That’s a fair statement given my history, but here’s why I chose this car.

The impact of Japanese domestic market cars is significant in motorsports and now a growing part of car collections.

The collector car hobby has changed over the many years since my initial involvement. A big part of this evolution has been embracing new collectible cars and the interests of a younger group of enthusiasts. The impact of Japanese domestic market cars is significant in motorsports and now a growing part of car collections.


This is the prototype for one of the most successful cars of this period. Just 400 were made, all of which sold out in a matter of days. A 276hp turbocharged engine driving all four wheels, amazing brakes and world class suspension make this example both rare and a hoot to drive. Though this is a low mile example with prototype history that likely won’t see many more miles, I’ve chosen it to represent the future of collecting, welcoming a new generation of eager enthusiasts to the community my family and I have enjoyed for so many years. With previous record sales in the low six figures, it wouldn’t surprise me to see this one hit the estimate.


 

GLENN'S ESTIMATE: $3.7M

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $3M - $4M

SOLD: $4,790,000


Gooding & Company always has a great assortment of stand-out cars, more than a few captured my attention, but from a sheer driving adventure perspective there is nothing like this Mercer Raceabout.


It signaled the dawn of motoring at a time when durability and reliability were paramount over performance. And yet, the Mercer brought all that together with spirited acceleration and sporting manners unlike anything else, becoming the embodiment of “sports cars” before the classification even existed. A powerful American motoring statement, the Mercer was outfitted with two bucket seats sitting low in the chassis, a small windscreen, barebones coachwork, and powerful 298 cubic inch multi-plug engine, all of which reads like a modern car, not something over a century old. No other car pulls you into the driving experience, captivates you, and celebrates the dawn of American performance like the Mercer Raceabout.

...the embodiment of “sports cars” before the classification even existed.

For the raw engagement of genuine hands-on motoring excellence, the Mercer is my choice.


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1952 Jaguar C-Type

GLENN'S ESTIMATE: $3.3M

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $3.5M - $4.2M

NO SALE/HI BID: $3.3M


It’s impossible to ignore the Jaguar C-Type! They embody the essence of postwar motorsports where sports and race cars were advanced through the application of aviation technology resulting in unprecedented speed, power and handling.


This example is steeped in history and excellence from Phil Hill racing it to second overall, first-place at Torrey Pines in 1955, and an expert restoration. The total package is irresistible. Everything about this example checks all the boxes: The fluid body design, the British Racing Green finish, matching green leather interior, tucked-in side exit exhaust and of course the famed twin-cam Jaguar engine.

The total package is irresistible.

This beautiful Jaguar delivers all the sporting excellence of this era in a very drivable package that would very favorably participate in numerous historic events and vintage rallies.


 

MARK LIZEWSKIE - Executive Director of the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club

#1 BONHAMS - 1960 DKW Schnellaster


MARK'S ESTIMATE: $75,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE (NR): $80,000 - $100,000

SOLD: $45,920


I discovered years ago that it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, so this little van should be a blast! One has to wonder if people actually bought into DKW’s 3=6 sales promotion, meaning that the 896cc two-stroke three-cylinder which powers this was somehow equivalent to a six cylinder engine simply because the number of revolutions per a full cycle of a four-stroke six was equal to two full cycles of a two-stroke three. Whew. If potential buyers weren’t convinced by that marketing ploy, then surely naming it “Schnellaster” (Rapid Transport) did the trick!


This isn’t a lot to write extolling the fine points of this van, other what seems to be a very nice and thoughtful restoration. You don’t buy this because it set lap records at the Nurburgring (it didn’t), or was used to transport German Countess Karlotta Leibenstein’s German Shepard Gunther III (nope). One has to realize that there is nothing serious about this van, as it is perhaps one of the happiest looking lots to be offered during Pebble Beach week. C’mon, just look at it—he way it smiles at you, that refreshing minty green paint, the austere but purposeful interior—there isn’t a frivolous bit to be found. (If any car designers or would-be startups are reading this, take notice. Can someone create a line of vehicles called “Simple” and just offer bare-bones models?).

...it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

While Bonhams’ estimate may seem high (others similar microvans painted in a more colorful scheme have sold for about the same price), this is Pebble Beach week after all. I’m being a little conservative here with my guess, but you know it will be the perfect souvenir for those also bidding on some more serious iron. Did someone need a pizza and beer run?? Take this. Going to the beach for a picnic? You already know what you’re taking as I write this. Before venturing out at night though, I’d check how well those separately-mounted sealed beam headlights actually shine through the exterior lenses!


With a whopping 42hp on tap from the revving two-stroke, I can imagine that buzzing around the streets of Zwickau at 40mph is a blast! Like I said, a slow car fast.


 

#2 GOODING - 1913 Renault Type DP 22/24 Coupe-Chauffeur

MARK'S ESTIMATE: $135,000

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $200,000 (NR)

SOLD: $78,400


For those who know me, you probably know that I have an affinity for wonderfully preserved Brass Era cars, and this lovely Renault speaks to me in volumes! Just look at all of the little details found throughout: the interior treatments, the period accessories such as the horns and speaking tube, and all of the patina just waiting to tell the next owner all its stories over the past 110 years. Speaking of those 110 years, the first 100 of them were dedicated to the original owner and their family!

Buy this car, love it for what it is and let others see it whenever possible.

Having driven an early Renault before I can tell you that these are enjoyable machines, sure to put a smile on your face while motoring about. This car’s unique Coupe-Chauffer body by Renaudin et Besson is c’est magnifique and makes me want to jaunt down to the local café for an espresso and croissant just to sit at an outside table and gaze at this car while parked.


Even though my estimate is somewhat conservative, I’m hoping there are others like me who still appreciate these unrestored time capsules. I’d like to see it double the high estimate! Buy this car, love it for what it is and let others see it whenever possible. Just remove that modern fire extinguisher from the dash; it probably gave up its usefulness long ago!


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1982 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale

MARK'S ESTIMATE: $525,000

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $600,000 - 750,000

SOLD: $654,000


While growing up I was always fascinated by the motorsport world of rallying. Likewise, I dreamed of having a Lancia Scorpion/Monte Carlo back in the day as their design and Italian exotic flair lured me in. My brother owned an X1/9, so that certainly helped fuel my passion. Taking the leap from those cars to the Rally 037 Stradale is akin to graduating from button mushrooms to truffles. I mean, just look at this car! It’s a Monte Carlo turned up to ‘Eleven’! While certainly not the wildest car Lancia (or other manufactures for that matter) created for the FIA WRC rally series, in road-going trim these cars merely hint at what’s under the skin.

I mean, just look at this car! It’s a Monte Carlo turned up to ‘Eleven’!

While other manufactures were building all-wheel-drive homologations for the WRC Group B series, Lancia stuck with rear wheel drive, and the 037 was the last car configured in this manner to win the championship. While others were relying on massive turbos, Lancia used a supercharger. The early cars produced about 205 hp from the two-litre engine, with some of the later Evolution 1 & 2 models making 300 and 325 respectively. 205 HP may not seem like a lot today, but when it’s all going to the rear tires of a car weighing under 2600 lbs. it’s more than adequate. My pulse rate quickens just looking at this car. If that doesn’t do the same for you, go watch Clarkson’s road test of a similar example on The Grand Tour. While you’re surfing the web, look up the Kimera EVO37 restomod version of this lot. I’d be willing to guess the 37 Kimera buyers already own—or wish to own—the original version.


I like the fact that this car hasn’t been restored but the very low miles—just over 2,000—isn’t a plus to me. Although many collectors look for low mileage examples such as this car and perhaps will drive up the price, my low estimate is based on the potential need to sort it out for serious use. This car has been caged up all its life, begging to be flogged and used as intended.


Buy this, recommission it for vigorous driving, and take it off the leash! Oh, and bring it to a Radwood somewhere so other Group B fanatics can worship it, too!



 


#1 BONHAMS - 1936 Pierce Arrow 1245 Convertible Couple & Curtiss Aerocar Trailer


VERITY'S ESTIMATE: $250,000

BONHAMS' ESTIMATE: $300,000 - $400,000

SOLD: $307,500


Why is a particular type of RV trailer called a “fifth-wheel?" Take one look inside this 1935 Pierce-Arrow trunk, and you will understand. This original Curtiss Aerocar Camper design attaches to a (fifth) wheel mounted horizontally. As touted in period advertisements, the tire surrounding the wheel absorbs the road vibrations, thus creating a more stable towing combination.


The Curtiss Aerocar is considered the first commercially produced fifth-wheel trailer. This trailer manufactured under license from Curtiss by The Aerocar Company of Detroit. The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, tells the Curtiss story well and is a must-visit to learn about this famed aviation pioneer.


This set happens to be “single-owner.” A term that has a *unique* meaning in the collector car world. In its simplest form, the vehicle is retained by the original owner (or, in this case, the family).

Rhoda and her husband, Merritt Adamson, purchased this 1936 V12 Pierce-Arrow to tow their newly acquired 1933 Aerocar camper trailer, and they have been a matched set ever since.

Not that long ago (1892), 17,000 acres of Malibu, CA, were owned by just one family, the Rindge family. Their only daughter Rhoda Agatha Rindge commissioned architect Stiles Clements in 1929 to build a Spanish-inspired beach house on 13 acres of oceanfront property in the heart of Malibu. (The house, now a museum; Malibu Adamson House Foundation).


Rhoda and her husband, Merritt Adamson, purchased this 1936 V12 Pierce-Arrow to tow their newly acquired 1933 Aerocar camper trailer, and they have been a matched set ever since. The Pierce-Arrow runs and drives. The trailer, however, is in its original condition and requires attention. If I ruled the world, this set would remain in Malibu and be displayed at the Adamson Museum to be shared with future visitors.


 

#2 GOODING - 1951 Allard J2

VERITY'S ESTIMATE: $300,000

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $275,000 - $350,000

NO SALE/HI BID: $200,000


Having begun racing in 1929, Sydney Allard returned to the sport following WWII. Founding Allard Motor Car Company Ltd. in 1948, a short-lived British manufacturer, Allard built impressive cars primarily for motorsport competition. Similar to Enzo Ferrari, Sydney Allard reluctantly made production cars to fund his racing pursuits. Allards were successfully driven by the likes of Carroll Shelby and Zora Arkus-Duntov (who also worked for Allard!)


The formula for success? Stuff a V8 into a lightweight British-built sports car. The result? A racing “special” that barrels down the straights, passing all and forcing the pilot to calculate the use of their four-wheel drums brakes carefully.

The formula for success? Stuff a V8 into a lightweight British-built sports car.

Chassis #99J2121 is no stranger to auction. Sold in 2013 for $330,000 and again in 2017 for $275,000. The current owner has completed significant work since it was last publicly traded. Removing the existing Ford V8 289 Hi-Po motor and undertaking the effort and expense of installing an era-appropriate 268 CID Ford Ardun OHV V8.


Sweet and sour, Abbot and Costello, and an American V8 shoehorned into a British racing green roadster—some combinations just make sense.


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1974 Alpine-Renault A110 1600VD

VERITY'S ESTIMATE: $200,000

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $175,000

SOLD: $112,000


Say it with me. S’il vous plaît le Turbot. Translation: “I’d like to order the flatfish.” The Alpine A110 nicknamed “the flatfish,” endured a long and successful racing career. It was called “the flatfish” due to the unique appearance of its fiberglass body.


Alpines were built by famed Renault dealer turned legendary tuner Jean Rédélé. Fiberglass was an essential part of Rédélé’s success. He first experimented with the lightweight material in 1955 on the Alpine A106 after he founded the manufacturer Société des Automobiles Alpine in Dieppe, France.

It was called “the flatfish” due to the unique appearance of its fiberglass body.

During its model production from 1962-1977, countless A110s enjoyed victories. Those highlights include winning the Rally Monte Carlo 1971 and 1973 however, it forever cemented its place in motorsport history by winning the inaugural 1973 World Rally Championship (WRC).


This particular car, built in 1974, has the improved and larger displacement 1800 cc engine. 7500 Alpine A110s were produced. Drive this car, enjoy it, and know that you will be able to find parts and keep this car on the course for years to come.


 

TIM MCGRANE - CEO M1 Concourse

#1 BONHAMS - 1931 4-1/2 Liter Blower Bentley

TIM'S ESTIMATE: $1.6M - $2M

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $2M - $2.4M

NO SALE/HI BID: $1,600,000


With its front-mounted supercharger, the 4½ became one of the quintessential British sportscars. The overall design of the car is heavy and large. The tall engine positions the driver to sit well above ground. To help compensate for a high center of gravity and weight Bentley employed the use of stiff and heavily damped springs. Excessive weight of the car due to huge brakes, large chassis and a bulky rear axle put the car in a class of its own. That being said, the exceptionally well-made Vintage Bentley cars are powerful, responsive, and surprisingly manageable at speed, albeit physical to drive—once one has mastered the no-synchro gearbox.


Few marques have had as many coachwork and engine replacements as the 1919–1931 Bentleys. Over time, many original, closed coachwork bodies were discarded in favor of more sporting, open tourers. Few original bodies remain intact today, as these cars were usually driven hard and fast, often in adverse conditions on very poor roads. Many were built to resemble the famous 'Birkin Blower' appearance of the racing team’s Bentleys Vanden Plas Le Mans style tourer, with the lightweight fabric skinned bodywork finished in “British Racing Green”."


Bentley cars won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930 making the W. O. Bentley and the Vanden Plas Le Mans tourer one of the most celebrated of all Bentley models.


The 4½-Litre Supercharged Bentley’s remain amongst the most desirable models from the marque’s illustrious history and are accurately documented. Original factory records exist, and specialists have extensive histories, with the result that tracing the origins of these cars is relatively easy.


Following the brand’s Centenary celebrations, Bentley announced it was going to build 12 reproductions of its classic Blower Bentley supercharged race cars, at an undisclosed price based upon the customer being accepted. Purists of the Blower Bentley denounced the plans, and it remains debatable as to how these will be received but it spoke to the importance of the 4½-Litre Supercharged Bentley.

This car is one of the of the original 50 production 'Blower' Bentleys and with just two ownerships over a 62 year period.

Renowned for their performance, these cars are eminently usable and are best enjoyed at speed on the open road. A car such as this would be invited to numerous driving events worldwide for which they can be used with passionate groups of fellow Blower owners, as well as the finest concours.


This car is one of the of the original 50 production 'Blower' Bentleys and with just two ownerships over a 62 year period. It is a desirable example for those looking to experience the many tours and vintage rallies, along with enjoying the car with others at shows and concours events.


The late Stanley Mann, one of the foremost vintage Bentley specialists in the UK and prolific vintage racer of the marque, once told me that he sold a Blower Bentley to actor Tom Selleck. Delivering the car, he took Selleck for a test drive through the Mulholland Mountains above Los Angeles. A spirited drive by Stanley showing how the car could ‘really’ perform. At the conclusion of the drive through the twisty mountain roads, Tom turned to him and exclaimed, “Stanley, we drive on the other side of the road over here!”


 

#2 GOODING - 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400

TIM'S ESTIMATE: $2.2M - $2.5M

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $2M - $2.4M

SOLD: $2.3M


Nothing portrays what driving a Lamborghini Miura means more than the opening film sequence of the original 1969 Michael Caine version of the Italian Job. Driving the Great St. Bernard Pass high in the Italian Alps, accompanied by Matt Munro signing Quincy Jones’ “On Days Like These” … at least until entering the tunnel!


Probably THE quintessential Italian sports car and generally regarded as the first "supercar," the Miura is an automotive design masterpiece with its Bertone-styled aluminum body.

With a top speed of 174 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds the Miura was the fastest production car at the time.

At the time of its launch, only three years after the Lamborghini car company was formed, only two other cars existed in the same category: the Ford GT40 Mk III and Ferrari 275GTB. Of these three, it is the Miura that was developed solely for the street with racing as a future possibility. With a top speed of 174 mph and a 0-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds the Miura was the fastest production car at the time.


Of the three distinct versions P400, meaning Posteriore 4 Litri, P400 S, and P400 SV, accounting for approximately 750 total examples built between 1966 and 1973. Only 275 P400 examples left the Lamborghini factory during its production run, but It is not uncommon to find privately done conversions to later S and SV specs, so a factory original P400 is becoming a rarer find.


History of all the Miuras is well recorded and Swiss-based British classic car dealer Simon Kidston’s comprehensive book on the Miura documents every example built. Specialists around the globe and Lamborghini’s Polo Storico in Sant’Agata, can provide peace of mind to any Miura owner looking at preservation or restoration, albeit at a corresponding supercar price.


The iconic Miura is almost as stunning today as it must have been when first shown at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. It was the company’s first true attention getting creation but also the last supercar built under the company’s founder.


At this time the Miura is as desirable as ever and with the prices of the SV models in the stratosphere, the original is undoubtedly the best value.


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1931 Duesenberg J Tourster

TIM'S ESTIMATE: $1.8M - $2.2M

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $1.6M - $2M

SOLD: $1,710,000


There’s probably no finer model of a prewar American Full Classic car than an ‘open’ Duesenberg, that stands alone and has a timeless appeal.


Being offered for sale from the Terry Adderley Collection, whose cars were world renowned for exceptional quality and careful curation, this car is one of only eight original examples of the Duesenberg J Derham Tourster. The exclusive builder of the Tourster design was the Derham Body Company of Rosemont, Pennsylvania, the favored coachbuilder of the Philadelphia aristocracy.


Duesenberg’s designer, Gordon M. Buehrig, created many spectacular bodies for the Model J, but he considered his favorite to be the rakish Tourster. The use of the long 153 ½-inch-wheelbase chassis for the five-passenger tourer allowed Buehrig to move the rear seat ahead of the rear axle and the foot wells within the frame rails, providing more interior room for passengers while allowing the top and beltline of the body to be lower than on other phaetons. The Tourster design also features a rear windshield that slides up and down out of the back of the front seat with the turn of a crank handle, providing a windbreak that also looked but also stayed out of the way for rear passenger access.

The Tourster has the unusual virtue of being equally handsome with the top in the raised position or when it is lowered. Perhaps because of the beauty of their design, all eight survive.

The Tourster has the unusual virtue of being equally handsome with the top in the raised position or when it is lowered.

Gordon Buehrig created some of the finest car designs the industry has ever produced from his time with Duesenberg, Inc. and Auburn Automobile Company between 1929 and 1936 through his time with Ford Motor Company between 1951 and 1965. With his retirement from Ford, he became the last of the great individual classic era designers to leave active participation with an automobile company. He continued to Influence a new generation of top designers as a teacher at Art Center College of Design from 1965 through 1970.


The history of the ownership of the car included a time in Italy during WWII during which time it was ‘hidden’ in a haystack and subsequently become known as the "Haystack Duesenberg." It spent 45 years under the ownership of Tony Pascucci and then his son. I got to know "Johnny P" during my time at Blackhawk Collection, as he was good friends with both Don Williams and Richie Clyne, who along with Johnny shared a passion for Duesenbergs. The Imperial Palace Auto Collection under Richie having as many as fifty-two Model J examples at one time.


Today, a Model J with its original chassis, engine, firewall, engine and body is considered more valuable than one that features replacement components. This car continues to maintain all of its numbers-matching components: frame 2440; firewall 2440; engine J-423, including its matching-numbered crankshaft; and the Derham coachwork with its original body tag and stamping in the original wood.


Although the survival rate of Model J Duesenbergs is astronomically high compared to other cars, of the 481 Model J Duesenbergs built there are a reported 378 survivors. This may be a rare opportunity to acquire one of the all-time classic Duesenberg designs that retains all of its original features. Probably the most significant, beautiful and desirable open body style on the Model J Duesenberg.


 

NICK CANDEE - Author Aston Martin DB4GT

#1 BONHAMS - 1953 Arnolt-Bristol Roadster

NICK'S ESTIMATE: $375,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $350,000 - $400,000

NO SALE/HI BID: $300,000


I’ve had a crush on Arnolt-Bristols since seeing those beautiful lines in Road & Track in my youth! These are gorgeous Anglo/Italian/American confections with a great racing history, fomented by Stanley “Wacky” Arnolt from Warsaw, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois with great entrepreneurial style. What audacity by a guy in the heart of the Midwest!

What audacity by a guy [Stanley "Wacky" Arnolt] in the heart of the Midwest!

In recent years I’ve gotten to know and correspond with Michael Arnolt, Wacky’s son, as he has built up chassis histories of the seven Arnolt- Aston Martins.


According to S.H. Arnolt, Inc. records, this Arnolt-Bristol arrived in Chicago on November 12, 1954 with three other A/Bs on the steamship Helga Smith. It was originally assigned to General Curtis E. LeMay, then Commander of the Strategic Air Command (it might serve to augment “registry” information in the catalogue listing)


Special attractions of this Arnolt Bristol add to its value: Mille Miglia eligible!, overdrive for easier cruising, soft top for all-weather contests and a coachbuilt gem with extraordinary beauty, thank you Franco Scaglione at Bertone!!


 

#2 GOODING - 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible

NICK'S ESTIMATE: $3.2M

GOODING'S ESTIMATE: $2.5M - $3M

SOLD: $2.2M


Talk about provenance: I’ve known all but the first owner of this fabulous droptop grand tourer over the years.


The last three owners, including the consignor, are (or were, in Theo Gruttman’s case) great guys, with fabulous sets of Aston Martins. I’ve known the consignor for only a few decades, back to when he owned the Road & Track cover and road test DB4. You WILL recall that DB4 cover, on a hilltop in San Francisco, yes?


This owner earlier had The Best DB5 Convertible, restored to beyond perfection, which took a podium position at Pebble Beach. He asked my thoughts on what next challenge might be; I suggested “Invade Europe!” and sure enough that DB5C was a standout at Villa de Este, and on the cover of the AMOCNA quarterly magazine that I edited at that time. Keen for a new project, the owner sold that exquisite blue DB5C in December, 2017 for $2.7M, I reckon a world record price at the time. Accounting for inflation, that's $3.3M today!

Fabulous grand touring car, easy to drive well and not tiresome to drive fast!

Previous owners Bob and Theo were most excellent caretakers, so when the consignor had world leader Steel Wings take on DB5C/1903/L, it was perhaps a 90-point gem to start with. And the perfection of details under the bonnet to in the boot are, as you’d say in Latin, non plus ultra. Nothing better!


Special attractions of this treasure from Newport Pagnell go on an done and here's just a few. Fabulous grand touring car, easy to drive well and not tiresome to drive fast! Brilliance of Touring’s exquisite lines, the sexiness of covered headlights, tasty black and tan colors, and world-leading go power and stopping power. Plus Connolly leather and Wilton wool cabin cosseting pilote and navigator over mountains or along oceans.


I reckon this DB5C will exceed the Gooding estimate. A tad rich you say? A near exact specimen sold at RM's 2021 Monterey auction for $3.2M and it was NOT a Steel Wings restoration!


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1953 Fiat 8V Berlinetta by Zagato

NICK'S ESTIMATE: $3.3M

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $3M - $3.5M

SOLD: $2.9M


Confession: In the 1970s since I drove an eight year old DB5 people would tell me about weird cars in the area and I was told there was a funny Eyetalian car in a garage near Silver Lake, just outside of West Bend, Wisconsin where I worked as sales manager (Latin America for farm machinery maker). On a bright sunny summer day I went to look at a faded, once bright red GT car with weird angles and headlights. It was a FIAT Otto Vu. I was unsure of Carrozzeria and it was just not as pretty as this 8V by Zagato.


Because I thought it was ugly I reasoned it was unworthy of photographing or or even write down the chassis number or the motor number. (I’m a tiny bit less stupid about these details today as I’ve grown up to accept titles of “anorak” and “train spotter.")

... if I could time travel back to Washington Country, WI then, I might have offered to help that fellow free up that garage space to park a row boat or something.

So, as I’ve become a bit less naïve, or obtuse with the passage of years, I’ve come to appreciate recording detail. And if I could time travel back to Washington Country, WI then, I might have offered to help that fellow free up that garage space to park a row boat or something.


I’ve also come to appreciate what creating a 2 liter V8 meant for FIAT, centered at the time on Topolino 500 high volumes. The May 14, 2019 issue of Motor Trend dubbed the 8V as “perhaps the most desirable FIAT ever built. In the context of postwar vicissitudes the Otto Vu was a stunning achievement."


With that I offer up the special attractions of this Fiat: Mille Miglia eligible, competition provenance, ZAGATO!! as it is beautiful unlike the beast I saw 5 decades ago, and all the other elements in RM Sotheby’s description.


 

ERIC KILLORIN - Owner Olympian Cars

#1 BONHAMS - 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 MKI Saloon

ERIC'S ESTIMATE: $60,000

BONHAM'S ESTIMATE: $60,000 - $90,000

SOLD: $64,960


Astons' DB2 series debuted in 1949 and was a landmark in technology and good looks. Nothing like it during its 1950s heyday, especially its unusual fully-tilting bonnet predated the E-type by a decade. Independent front coil suspension, wonderful David Brown gearbox, albeit non-synchro, and a lovely hand-crafted aluminum body penned by designer Frank Feeley rounded out the package. Both coupe (ahem, saloon) and drophead versions were offered. Displacements of the twin-cam six grew over time from just under 2.6 litres (a transplant from the company's Lagonda), to 2.9 litres by the end of its model run in 1959. Horsepower ranged from 105, to some specially equipped motors with three Webers at just over 200 HP. Mid way, the DB2 became the DB2/4 in reference to the addition of a rear seat and hatchback, the latter another innovation. Light and powerful for the time, DB2s achieved notable success in competition at LeMans, Sebring and a host of private venues. Count Stirling Moss and Caroll Shelby among the marque's top drivers.


Let me set the stage what many might regard a very odd choice. It's fall of 1972 at the local McDonald's during a Friday evening, the attending usual suspects and my 1950 Riley RMB. Nothing like a weird old vehicle to provoke a knock on the window, "I have a British car that I need to sell, you wanna check it out?" A few minutes later and my eyes fell upon a forlorn Aston Martin DB2/4 in a dank intown garage. The motor had been swapped for an American V8, was in rough shape overall and the price tag was more than my meager savings account. Always wondered where it wound up. Could this be the very same vehicle?

It is said to avoid cars with "stories." Here's a car with a story I'd be proud to share!

Original, restored DB2/4s fetch $200,000 - $300,000. The days of cheaply scoring a proper engine from a dead Lagonda saloon are over but that doesn't mean one couldn't beat the bushes for a complete motor for, say $25,000, then wind up with a $175,000 vehicle and come out sorta whole? And RM is featuring a near identical example tricked out for vintage racing with an estimate of $200,000 - $250,000, ditto Bonhams in the same price range.


But having a second bite at the apple might complete my journey started so long ago. It is said to avoid cars with "stories." Here's a car with a story I'd be proud to share!


 

#2 GOODING - 1930 Model J Duesenberg LeBaron Barrelside Phaeton

ERIC’S ESTIMATE: $3.7M

GOODING’S ESTIMATE: $3M - $4M

SOLD: $2.9M


Full disclosure: I’ve known the consignor’s family for decades and therefore have an affinity to their collection of remarkable Duesenbergs. Some vehicle ownerships date to the late fifties where this unusual example joined the collection in 1979.


Dual-cowl phaetons have always earned the respect of collectors and this example is no exception. Rakish cowl and belt moldings taking on the signature “Barreleside” appearance, fold flat windshields, ample seating for four and of course the hinged rear cowl. Add to the mix is the only factory-correct example on the long wheelbase, unusual hood louvers, fully matching numbers and long-term ownership by a top collector. I call that one heck of a package!


The vehicle is depicted on p. 103 of J.L. Elbert’s landmark history, “Duesenberg: The Mightiest American Motorcar.” Another well-known Barrelside on the long chassis wears modified coachwork from a short wheelbase vehicle as the result of a body swap in the thirties (also featured in Elbert’s book). A total of seven Barrelsides were built.


Duesenberg specifications need no introduction and are well chronicled in Tim Mcgrane’s associated piece. Suffice to say, 420 cubic inches, 265 horsepower, four valves per cylinder, twin overhead cams, four-wheel hydraulic brakes… the list goes on. Duesenbergs featured both factory catalog coachbuilt bodies notably from Murphy and LeBaron, plus a slew of boutique firms adding their own design elegance based on customer requirements.

I think Gooding’s estimate is about right but then two eager bidders could take it into the stratosphere. After all, where can you find another one?

While this fabulous example wears an older restoration, a recent engine rebuild by Straight Eight in Troy, Michigan will ensure many future miles of reliable touring. I like the notion of toning down the vehicle’s overall presentation with painted wheels and blackwall tires and overpainting the bright red accents in a darker shade to match the lovely chestnut brown interior.


I think Gooding’s estimate is about right but then two eager bidders could take it into the stratosphere. After all, where can you find another one?


 

#3 RM-SOTHEBY'S - 1994 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione II


ERIC'S ESTIMATE: $125,000

RM-SOTHEBY'S ESTIMATE: $100,000 - $150,000

SOLD: $126,000


This year's Top 24 features non other than four late 20th century hot hatchbacks: Verity Spencer weighs in on the 1974 Alpine-Renault, while us old folks (thanks Glenn and Mark!) join the fray selecting the 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B STI and 1982 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale.


Why did I pick this 1994 Lancia Delta Evo II, you ask? Because it's stupid crazy, that's why. I'm no fan of huge wings and spoilers and this Lancia wears just enough go-fast trim to set it apart without screaming Newbie. The color scheme is terrific in pale yellow over black Alcantra seats. Four-doors sez grocery-getter on steroids and room for the occasional pair of short friends. Over the course of the Delta's model run, valve configurations grew to culminate in this twin-cam 16-valve, 212 horsepower turbocharged powerplant. All-wheel drive required spec's for its aim as a rally champion. Just 220 Evoluzione II examples were constructed.

Why did I pick this 1994 Lancia Delta Evo II, you ask? Because it's stupid crazy, that's why.

In an accompanying piece, Glenn Mounger sums this era of rally cars best, "The impact of Japanese domestic market cars is significant in motorsports and now a growing part of car collections. This is the prototype for one of the most successful cars of this period." True enough.


Recent auction sales on Bring-A-Trailer rum the gamut with a 1994 Lancia Delta Evo II selling on May 12 for $125,000 with about the same mileage. Hmmm, square in the middle of the estimate. Sounds good to me!



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