Some Favorites from the Upcoming Quail Auction

The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering always draws out many of the best vintage racing cars on the planet—so it only makes sense that Bonham’s auction at the event will follow suit. From Duesenbergs to McLarens, there are too many amazing sports and racing cars coming across that magnificent auction block to list them all. I do want to point out a few personal favorites. Some of these may not be the cars that command the high-end bids. They are just some that made me smile as I perused the auction catalog.

Ride Along in the Jerry Seinfeld 718 RSK

By now we’ve already done all the drooling we can over the impending sale of several of Jerry’s Porsches at the upcoming Gooding Amelia Island auction. But let’s at least take a moment to listen to the man himself introducing us to his 1959 Porsche 718 RSK in the style he’s made famous on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I’d be happy to join him for a cup if we can take this there.

Just 60 Old Cars in a Barn

Ferrari 250 SWB and Maserati A6G 2000 Barn Find

This Ferrari 250 SWB and Maserati A6G 2000 are only a fraction of a 60 car strong barn find that will all cross the Artcurial auction block in February at Retromobile in Paris.

Just when I think there’s never going to be another big barn find, up pops another. Surely this must be the last generation of forgotten barns full of vintage sportscars. Once the entire world is internet literate, anyone will realize what an amazingly valuable pile of steel is in the shed, right? I hope I’m wrong about this. I’m not going to discover a new tomb of ancient relics, or an unknown comet in a corner of the universe, but I might stumble on an old racecar forgotten in a neighbor’s warehouse.

This one was one hell of a find from a very discerning collector:

The cars
Amilcar C6 berline
Amilcar CGS
Ariès coach
Auto Union cabriolet
Avions Voisin C15
Avions Voisin limousine C15
Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé
Ballot 8 Cyl limousine
Barré torpédo
Berliet coupé chauffeur
Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet
Bugatti 57 Ventoux
Citroën Trèfle
Delage D6
Delage D8 coach
Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet
Delahaye 135 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron
Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur
Delahaye GFA 148 L
Delahaye Type 43 camionnette
Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8
Facel Vega Excellence
Ferrari 250 GT California SWB
Ferrari 308 GTS i
Ferrari 400
Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet
Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet
Hotchkiss cabriolet
Innocenti S cabriolet
Jaguar type S 3.4 L
La Buire 12 A
Lagonda LG45 cabriolet
Lancia Thema 8.32
Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau
Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman
Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo
Maserati A6G 2000 berlinetta Grand Sport Frua
Mathis cabriolet
Mathis FOH
Packard cabriolet Super Eight
Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77
Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76
Panhard-Levassor limousine X72
Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto
Renault AX torpédo
Renault Vivastella cabriolet
Sandford cyclecar 3 roues
Singer Cabriolet
Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet
Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet
Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet
Talbot Lago Cadette 11
Talbot Lago coach
Talbot Lago T26 coach
Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik
Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik
Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk

Classic Driver has the complete story.

Available at Pebble Beach: 1995 McLaren F1

1995 McLaren F1 on auction by Gooding at Pebble Beach

This is much, much newer than the typical fare here on The Chicane, but I think I include it here for good reason. This machine has already proven itself to be one of the great collectable sportscars of the modern era and examples will doubtless be drawing top dollar at auctions for decades to come. This distinction, however, is not without a curse all its own. This car was masterfully constructed by McLaren in 1995. In the 19 years since, this poor neglected piece of perfect has driven a scant 1,000 miles. That’s just over 50 miles a year.

What’s the point?

When this McLaren F1 crosses the block at Gooding & Co’s Pebble Beach auction next month, there’s a very good chance that it will achieve the estimated hammer price of $12,000,000 – $14,000,000. If you’re the one to take her home, do yourself a favor and drive it a little, wouldja?

More information at Gooding’s Lot Detail page.

Available at Auction: Ferrari 250 GTO no. 3851GT

Ferrari 250 GTO no. 3851GT

Ferrari 250 GTO no. 3851GT

The Monday after Monterrey weekend, you’ll be bombarded by these photos and the accompanying headlines from the media regarding how much this Ferrari 250 GTO will sell for at Bonham’s Quail Auction. For just a minute, lets ignore the investment grade of this hotly desired piece of kinetic sculpture. Lets ignore the sound business rationale that might drive this purchase—and will certainly drive the journalists that write about it post-sale. Let’s simply pause for a moment before that frenzy begins and just appreciate this gorgeous GTO for what it is: an incredible example of a beautiful racing car.

Let’s just cross our fingers and hope her new caretaker gets her out of the vault and onto the track occasionally.

More information at Bonham’s lot detail page.

Coming up for Amelia Island Auction: Porsche 908/3 004

Porsche 908/3 #004

The auction catalog isn’t complete yet, but RM is starting to tease the headliners for their upcoming auction at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Among the lots is this Porsche 908/3 chassis 004. Unlike her more famous sisters that dominated the 1970 and 1971 sportscar season, chassis 4 doesn’t have an exhaustive race history. Would I rather have Redman and Siffert’s Targa winning #12 in my garage? Sure. (Call me, Jerry). Am I going to quibble about it when this one looks so heartstoppingly gorgeous in the Gulf colors and looking ready for the Targa? Hell no.

I’m sure that this is one lot I’ll be revisiting as the auction approaches. I’ve been flabbergasted by the prices that the racing Porsches are bringing in lately and this little sex machine is likely to continue that trend.

More photos on RM’s Lot Detail page. Hat tip to Swiss Stash for pointing this one out.

Update: This beauty commanded a high bid of $1,300,000 but didn’t sell.

Better Hurry: 50’s Racing Kodachromes on eBay

Maserati Transporter. Monza 1957

This series of eBay auctions of LeMans, Milwaukee and other venues in the 1950s are marvelous. How can you not love that Kodachrome oversaturation? Some of these items are only available for the next 20 hours, so you’d better act fast. See them all at the eBay listings.

Bugatti at LeMansVintage Racing KodachromeLeMans

Vintage Racing Kodachrome

Vintage Racing KodachromeMonza 1957. Race of Two Worlds?Le Mans 1957

Thanks for sending these in, Erik.

Decision at Scottsdale: Which Little Italian?

FrontEnds

We marveled yesterday at the tremendous lineup at Gooding’s Scottsdale auctions next weekend. With this remarkable list of lots crossing the stage, it isn’t easy for pretend-billionaires like ourselves to decide which cars we’ll be raising our paddles for. Then again, if I was a pretend-billionaire, I’d probably be taking all of them home… Let’s make it pretend-millionaire to keep it interesting.

1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari Front

This 1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari is certainly a beautiful option. It is the esoteric hipster’s choice—why bother consorting with common 50’s and 60’s racing cars when you can hang with the racing machines of the 1940’s. Rare stuff indeed. If you’re an Abarth fan, there’s no reason to immediately dismiss the Cisitalia either. Carlo Abarth was still an employee of Cisitalia when the 202 was designed.

1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari three quarter1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari Profile1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari cockpit

Of the handful of 202 variants (including the 202 and 202MM), the Stabilimenti Farina penned Spider Nuvolari is my favorite. It has all the visual hallmarks of what were to become iconic sports and racing design elements. The oval grille, the beginnings of tail-fins, that low windscreen: They all combine beautifully in this gorgeous little package. Just look at those mesh air intakes! Simply stunning.

1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza Profile

There’s no such thing as a bad Abarth. Although I prefer my Abarth coupes with the double-bubble up top—I doubt I’d fit in otherwise—There’s no shortage of beautiful curves and sexy angles of this 1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza. I particularly like the details on this particular example. At first glance it’s a bit jarring to see a bright red Italian beauty of this vintage without the required Route Borani wires, but I’m a huge fan of these purposeful (and original) pressed steelies. I think they give it a racier look than wires would.

1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza cockpit1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza Tail
If you’re planning on going to the track with one of these machines, the Abarth might be right choice. Designed for the racing class changes of 1960, the 850 was a step above it’s 750 brother and remained competitive in club racing throughout the decade. Sadly, this example is fitted with a later 903cc engine.

Gorgeous.

1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile Three Quarter

With such remarkable company, you might think the 1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile here doesn’t even enter into the equation. It certainly isn’t going to compete with the other two on the track—and you might not even consider it an able racing machine. You’d probably be right. The only sporting Bianchini that comes to mind for me is the tale of George Lucas’ crash in one that prompted his exit from the California sports and racing scene.

Even so, I’m a fan. Italy’s take on the practicality and aesthetic that propelled the Mini to huge successes is clearly in evidence here. Of course, the Fiat 500 clearly is what comes to mind when we think of an Italian version of the Mini. I like the Cincuento, but as a long-time supporter of underdogs, I think I’d take the Bianchina if given the choice between the two. And just dig this two tone interior.

1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile Front1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile Profile1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile Interior

Then again, with an estimate of $35-$45,000, maybe pretend-millionaire me would just take home the Autobianchi as a side dish alongside the Abarth or the Cisitalia. What’s your choice?

More information and photos on the lot detail pages for the 1947 Cisitalia SMM Spyder Nuvolari, 1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza, and 1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile.

Update:

The auction is complete and the estimates all pretty much nailed. They all came in at the low to middle of their estimated range. If you picked the Cisitalia, you sir, have expensive tastes. Yeah, me too.
1947 Cisitalia 202 SMM Spider Nuvolari $650,000
1960 Fiat-Abarth 850 Record Monza $89,100
1960 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile $40,700

Ladies and Gentlemen, the $12,000,000 Ferrari.

12Million USD. Enough already!

Holy crap.

The much-discussed 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa #0714TR sold this weekend at RM Auctions’ Leggenda e Passione sale in Maranallo. It brought in a staggering €9,020,000. This of course, shatters last year’s record 250 California sale by a good $2Million. Why do I even bother anymore?

Octane has the story.

Petersen Auction Offers McQueen’s 1st Trophy

In May of 1959 Steve McQueen drove his little ’58 Porsche Speedster 1600 Super up to Santa Barbara to compete in his first race. Now we tend to merge the legend of McQueen as an actor with his racing exploits. But that had to start somewhere; and it started in the E-Group Production Class at the airport. Starting from the middle of the pack, he leapt up several positions on the first lap, and by the fourth was in the lead. Amazingly, he won the first race he competed in; cementing the reputation that would define him among racing fans long after his death.

This weekend, Bonhams will offer lot 177 at their annual Petersen Auction. The pewter goblet that served as his trophy for that first race. I’m sure this little tankard was filled and refilled as it was passed around many times the table at wherever Steve celebrated that night.

Steve sold the Speedster that he won that event with, returning to Santa Barbara later that year in a Lotus XI. He finally bought back the Speedster in 1974. Chad McQueen still owns it.

There’s a brief writeup of the race on this McQueen site, and here’s a photo of the Porsche Speedster from the “Friends of McQueen” car show held earlier this year.

Update:

This lovely piece of McQueen history SOLD for $6,600. Sounds like a lot of loot for a pewter goblet. “Well bought”, I say.