Archive for the ‘For Sale’ Category

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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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.

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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

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Decision in Scottsdale: Which Miura?

1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Profile

When you’re buying, you want an auction catalog that is mostly uninteresting. Lot after lot of uninspiring cars won’t draw the crowds so you can hope you won’t have much competition when that one special lot comes to the stage. Next weekend’s Gooding auction at Scottsdale is not the auction for that kind of buyer. This is one for the seller; or the buyer that thrives on the competition of outbidding all comers. A marvelous collection of cars. So marvelous, that it leaves us with some decisions to make while we pretend we’re hundred-millionaires.

Like this one: which of the two Lamborghini Miuras on offer should we go home with?

1969 Lamborghinhi Miura S1969 Lamborghinhi Miura S1969 Lamborghinhi Miura S

Both are S models. So no immediate disqualifiers for the “lesser” version. One example is largely original. The other is the result of a 4-year restoration. One in subtle (yeah, right.) white, the other in an unconventional and charming gold. Decisions… Decisions…

1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Frond End1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Interior1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Deck

Gooding gives the 1970 goldie (chassis 4548) a higher estimate range than the 1969 white one (3982). What do you think? Which Miura would you want to take home.

1969 Lamborghinhi Miura S

This is the first time I’m noticing that I’m just not that into the Miura’s interior. That central gauge panel jutting out like the prow of a ship from the dash just isn’t to my taste.

More details and photos on the lot detail page for the 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S (chassis 4548: in gold) and the 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S (chassis 3982: in white)

Update:

Money talks. And the buyers at the Scottsdale Auctions agreed with most of us that Goldie came out on top. The 1970 Lamborghini Miura P400 S brought in $660,000, while the 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 S brought in only $577,500. Both notable in that another Miura, on offer from Bonhams recently broke a million.

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Re-Building Meadowdale

Meadowdale Blueprints

Then again, if our earlier Meadowdale post has you particularly inspired. You could just cut to the chase and buy this available copy of the original blueprints for the track. Grab a few friends, a few shovels, a bulldozer or two, and a whole lot of asphalt. Call me when you’re done.

Illustration of Meadowdale's Monza WallIf contemporary blueprints had more of these charming illustrations in the corners, we might be able to get more interesting work through planning boards.

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Available? in Belgium: Porsche 550A with Opel Blitz Transporter

550 and Transporter

This one couldn’t have stayed on the market for long. Even with the skyrocketing prices that 550s are fetching, this one had a small perk thrown into the bargain: a 1957 Opel Blitz Porsche transporter. Belgian dealer Art2Drive had (has?) this duo available. Surprisingly, I’m not finding much specifics on them, but how could I not at least share these images?

Porsche 550 and transporterPorsche 550 and transporterPorsche Transporter

I can’t imagine a single auto event that wouldn’t be silenced by pulling up in this gorgeous truck with the 550A in tow. From Ville d’Este to the Mille to Monterey, It would have to be a very special event indeed for these two to not steal the show.

Porsche transporter Porsche 550Porsche 550 and transporter

The Anamera listing shows it as sold, but Art2Drive’s own site still features them prominently. This is one of those sales that is probably best kept secret. I know that these two must have a few of you considering donning a black balaclava, calling your least wholesome friends, and taking up a life on the lam. No? Just me?

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Available on eBay: Paramount Ranch’s First Race Program

I love the track at Paramount Ranch. That tunnel is so romantic and deadly, and the location in the Santa Monica Mountains ensured that Hollywood stars and starlets made appearances both mixing it up on course and spectating trackside.

A good example of the program for that first race at Paramount in August 1956 has come available on eBay. The price might drive some away, but what a marvelous reminder of the golden era of the California Sports Car Club. Just take a look at the footage of the race from our earlier post on the Ranch. How could you not want a reminder of this kind of immediate, friendly, competitive-as-hell era in motorsport.

Keep your eye on the auction. Thankfully by pointing you to it, I don’t have to be the one to buy it.

Stay strong… stay strong.

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Available in Minnesota: 1969 Merlyn 11A Formula Ford


It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that friend-of-the-blog, Rich Stadther, is parting with his 1969 Merlyn 11A Formula Ford. She’s a lovely machine to be sure and, more importantly, it offers you entry into what I consider to be one of the most fun and challenging series in vintage racing.

It’s not just the series that I’m attracted to though. Maybe it’s just the time I’ve spent helping my buddy Eric with his, but there’s something in particular about the Merlyns that I really love. Granted, I’ve not been exposed to as many Titans or Alexis (Alexese?) or Hawkes, but the lines and mechanicals of the Merlyns have really struck a chord with me. The fact that Colchester Racing Developments is still alive and kicking and supplying many of the parts for it doesn’t hurt either.

The price is definitely right for a ready-to-race Formula Ford. I know plenty of people that have spent more than that to get their cars ready for “more affordable” classes. I’d race her as-is for a few years until you’ve got a feel for her before diving in to a rebuild or restoration. Knowing Rich’s work though, she probably won’t need either.

More information on Rich’s site. Need more? Check out this video of her wiggling through the chicane at a recent running of the Waumandee Hillclimb.

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