Archive for the ‘For Sale’ Category

Available in California: Maserati A6GCS Engine (Reproduction?)

1953 Maserati A6GCS Engine #2053

I suppose it’s possible that out there somewhere is a Maserati A6GCS roller sitting in the back of the race workshop just waiting for an appropriate lump of iron to be dropped in. Maybe there’s an empty frame and fiberglass body from a properly established sports and racing aftermarket maker out there in need of some proper racing grunt: a Bocar, a Devin, or the like. Or perhaps, as the seller suggests, you don’t want to risk your numbers matching engine should you decide to race or rally your already restored or preserved A6GCS. If you have one of these situations, jump on this.

This engine though… I wish more vintage sportcar enthusiasts thought a bit more like vintage hot rod enthusiasts and could see this beautiful engine not as final piece to a project, but as a beginning of a new one. I’ll grant you, a $160,000 Maserati engine is a very different thing from a $500 Hemi FirePower slowly rusting in a junk yard (or even a $15,000 professionally prepped example). But part of what made racing so amazing in the 1950s and 60s was that spirit of experimentation and tinkering away at home brewed racing specials.

Look at this engine. Doesn’t it make you want to start pulling steel tubes out of the pile and start laying out lengths on the garage floor into the vague shape of frame rails? … To grab a stick of chalk and start sketching body silhouettes on the workshop wall? It worked for Frank Kurtis and Max Balchowsky. There’s more in this engine than the history and the legacy of the Maserati brothers. There is also the twinkling of promise for what it can be.

More information at Fantasy Junction’s inventory detail page. Gorgeous stuff.

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Art Appreciation: Ecurie Ecosse 1960 Cooper-Monaco Mark II

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams upcoming December auction featuring the Dick Skipwworth Ecorie Ecosse Collection has no shortage of amazing racing cars included (and one Hell of a nice transporter too), and even though this Cooper-Monaco won’t draw in the top dollar bids the way that the D-Type or C-Type will, it might be my favorite of the bunch. The rear-engined Type 57 is surely one of the most beautiful sports-racing cars to come out of Cooper Car’s garages, if not the whole of the UK racing community. Those elegant curves wrapped around that miraculous little 2 1/2 liter Coventry Climax twin cam just make me smile.

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Cooper delivered the cars to purchasers as a kit, and if I were to choose any single example I think I’d be most inclined to trust the one built by this legendary team. It won’t surprise you to learn that this little beauty has a magnificent race history with events on both sides of the Atlantic. Formula Libre events at Watkins, Riverside, and Laguna Seca (with Jack Brabham in the wheel for Laguna) wonderfully complement her European history at Goodwood, Oulton Park, Aintree, and LeMans. Arguably her best years, however, came when the car was entrusted to Ecurie Ecosse driver Jimmy Stewarts scrappy kid brother Jackie. He took to the machine wonderfully and racked up a series of victories right out the gate. Can you imagine owning a car that has been driven by both Jack Brabham and Jackie Stewart (and Roy Salvadori! And more!)?

Jackie Stewart in the Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

Bonhams is offering this car alongside many of her Ecurie Ecosse stablemates at their December auction. I sincerely hope that a very well heeled buyer comes along and nabs them all. They really do deserve to remain together, don’t you think?

Ecurie Ecosse Cooper Monaco

More information on Bonhams’ lot detail page.

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Stanguellini Formula Jr on eBay

Stanguellini F Jr for sale

Stanguellini F Jr for saleYou don’t see Stanguellini Formula Juniors pop up on eBay very often. This 1959 example looks lovely. The car was restored in 2004 and has only had a handful of races in the time since.

My usual sources aren’t turning up specific race history for this chassis number but given the solid history of Stanguellini in FJr, there’s a strong chance that there’s some fun stories back there. While this example is unlikely to have any laps turned by well-known Stanguellini racers like Bandini or Von Tripps; with only a touch over a hundred of them made I suppose it’s possible. At least that’s what I would tell myself while I sat in this one in my garage, goggles strapped on and mouthing high revving Fiat 1100 noises.

There’s 6 Days left and reserve not met at $75K. More info on the lot detail page. As always, if it’s little and Italian, Cliff has details for you.

Via Etceterini’s Facebook Feed.

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New In the Chicane Shop: Legends of the 50′s

Legends of the 50's Shirt

Who am I to choose from among these names? How can I ask any of you to choose from the best of 1950s racing? Why argue the point when we can celebrate not any specific favorite, but the glory of this entire golden era of competition?

Available today in The Chicane Shop.

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Fangio’s W196 Brings In $29,650,095.

Fangio's Mercedes-Benz W196

Ladies and Gentlemen, the ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196 is the most valuable motor vehicle ever sold at auction with a final price of $29.6 million.

I have been guilty of complaining about the skyrocketing prices of classic racing cars (after all, I’m still a buyer in this equation). I have complained about speculators buying these cars simply as investments rather than as an expression of their passion for motorsport… but if ever a car deserved the title of “the most”, it might be this one.

More at Bonhams.

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Available in Germany: 1964/5 Volkswagen Single-Cab with Porsche Formula V

Porsche Factory Formula Vee and VW Transporter

If there’s anything I’m terrible at hiding, it’s my love for Porsche, Formula V, and racing transporters. Rarely though, do I have an opportunity to wrap all of that volcanic enthusiasm in a single image. That changes today. Would you just look at that.

Wow.

Porsche Factory Formula Vee

I’ve seen a Porsche-powered Formula V car before. On that occasion, it was evident how much faster the Formula V platform could be pushed with just that bump in power that even a period Porsche powerplant could provide. In that introduction to the concept I believe it was a 356 engine doing the heavy work (or was it 912?). When I first saw this example, I assumed it would also have the higher powered 356 engine back there. This one, however, is powered, like all vintage vees, by a 1200 cc Volkswagen type 1 engine. Why then, are we referring to this as a “Porsche Formula V”, when it’s not much different than any other Formcar? What is that Porsche sticker doing on the engine cover? Is this just someone’s wishful thinking?

Porsche Factory Formula Vee and VW Transporter

No. This one was built by Porsche in Werk 1 and campaigned by Hans Herrmann, Gerhard Mitter and Ben Pon with support from the Porsche factory during their period promoting Formula Vee as a new feeder series. It may have a Formcar frame and a VW engine, but in a very real sense this is an authentic team Porsche open-wheel racing car. There’s mighty few cars that can fit that description. Even with the included (914 powered) custom—and amazing—transporter, this one is sure to be oceans cheaper than any other car that can fit that description. Except perhaps the single other surviving Porsche factory Formcar.

Can you imagine pulling into the paddock at the wheel of this red beauty with that seemingly ordinary Formcar perched so delicately on her haunches? Can you imagine pulling into the false grid at the wheel of a car once piloted by Hermann? Can you imagine doing it in one of the best vintage racing series? Whew.

More information on Jan Luehn’s detail page.

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Ebay Find: 1954 Carrera Panamericana Armbands

Carrera Panamericana Armbands

It’s a shame that the original patron and pilot who owned these armbands aren’t identified. Whoever they were, I’m a little surprised that the driver’s identification is in better shape than the sponsor’s. I would imagine that 1,910 miles of Mexican road dust would shred that piece of fabric during the race, but here it is looking damned good 60 years later. (The auction lists it as a “sponsor” armband, but I’ve also seen “patrocinador” used to mean “team owner”.)

Buy it now at $1,995. Sounds expensive to me too, but when are you going to see another one of these—let alone two of them?

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Ebay Find: 1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

You never know what you’ll run across when you start digging in eBay’s basement. This trophy from the 1957 running of the Mille Miglia was presented to Georg Bialas for his co-drive with Harald von Saucken to a third place finish in the under 1500cc class. Bialas and von Saucken were scheduled to compete in a 356A but must have been pleased to instead run the event with a 550RS Spyder; examples of which took the top three spots in the under 1500cc class.

The eBay listing page shows a “Buy it Now” price of $11,000. I don’t know enough about silversmithing to understand whether the repairs made to the trophy are well done or if simply doing the repairs at all hurt its value as a collectible. What I do know is that it looks stunningly beautiful and would be an arresting addition to any garage. My hope, however, is that whoever owns the particular Porsche 550 driven by Bialas and von Saucken ends up with it.

They really should be together, don’t you think?

1957 Mille Miglia Trophy1957 Mille Miglia Trophy1957 Mille Miglia Trophy

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Available in California: Ex-Team Tyrell, Ex-McQueen Cooper T56 Formula Jr.

Ex-Steve McQueen 1961 Cooper T56 Formula Junior

Let’s take a moment to set aside the provenance of Steve McQueen’s car collection and the fervor that the mere mention of his name seems to send rippling through the racing community. Let’s ignore that baggage for a moment: that baggage that makes people spend one-and-a-quarter million dollars on a bone stock 911S; that baggage that makes people spend 150K on a well-worn old husky 400. Let’s ignore all that… Just for a moment. Let’s simply look at this beautiful little Cooper T56 and let her hold her own without the Hollywood associations.

Let’s just look at it for what it is, because—like the 1970 911S and the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross—this Cooper is a piece of motoring perfection that stands on its own just fine, thank you very much. Iconic design and racing lineage? Yep. There aren’t many machines with as close a familial tie to the rear-engined revolution and the Owen Maddock-designed T43 that shook open-wheeled racing to its very core when Jack Brabham took her to the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix.

Imagine the joy you would get walking up to this little piece of fantastic in your garage. Walking past that little ridge that flows along the engine cover that harkens to it’s larger cousin on the D-Type Jag and certainly to the mighty T51 that gave Cooper the constructor’s championship in 1959. Sure, you might not beat Jack Brabham’s 1959 Monaco GP fastest lap time of 1:40.4 with a 994cc BMC formula junior engine in place of the T51′s Cooper Climax. Then again, with the better tires you’d be running today, you might get close.

Steve McQueen in his 1961 Cooper T56 Formula Junior

Ok. Let’s face the inevitable and bring Mr. McQueen back into the discussion. The truth is that this example of the T56 has a remarkable history even without the Cooler King. The car was one of the two Cooper Works cars campaigned by Team Tyrell in 1961. With Tony Maggs winning at Goodwood, Magny-Cours, Monza, Kalskoga, Rouen, Zandvoort, Oulton Park, and Montlhery this car won Tony and Team Tyrell the European Formula Junior Championship for the season. After the season, the car was returned to Cooper and subsequently snatched up by McQueen while Steve was in Europe pickup up a Mini Cooper and attending John Cooper’s racing school. After taking the T56 back to the States, Steve captured a few wins with her in California. Indeed, this may be the car and the string of races that finally alerted the studio to Steve’s dangerous extracurriculars that famously resulted in the ultimatum that continuing to race would be the end of his acting career. The bastards.

Steve McQueen and his 1961 Cooper T56 Formula JuniorAfter Steve and this Cooper parted ways, the car continued on to greater successes stateside with Al ‘Buster’ Brizzard winning SCCA championships with this car (fitted alternately with the BMC, Alfa, or Cosworth engine). The car eventually made its way back to Steve McQueen’s racing mechanic, Skip McLaughlin, for many years before its magnificent restoration by Hardy Hall. Today the car is on offer from the Canepa Collection and looks ready to grid up at the Goodwood Revival.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

Steve McQueen's Cooper Formula Junior being restored at Hardy HallEx-Steve McQueen 1961 Cooper T56 Formula JuniorEx-Steve McQueen 1961 Cooper T56 Formula Junior

More information at Canepa’s inventory page and information on the restoration at Hardy Hall Restorations.

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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.

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