1929 Model J Convertible Coupe by Murphy
2022 SOLD for $ 3.3M by Worldwide
Carefully treasured in a garage from 1969 to 2014, it keeps its original engine, body, chassis and firewall. Recently restored, it won the 2021 Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club best Duesenberg award.
1929 Model J Phaeton by Murphy
2021 SOLD for $ 3.3M by RM Sotheby's
The phaeton is a convertible. The dual cowl phaeton is a survival of the voitures from old times, with its two independent cowlings and its two compartments separated by an inner windshield to avoid mingling the social classes of maître and chauffeur.
Murphy and his master designer Franklin Hershey added a goodie known as the "butterfly", the split of the rear windshield and cowl allowing both halves to fold for the easy access of a passenger.
Two of these spectacular Murphy phaetons were made in Butterfly for the short wheelbase chassis. One of them, made in 1929, was changed by a collector in the 1950s to another chassis fitted with an original engine. This car was sold for $ 1.65M by RM Auctions on October 12, 2007, lot 259, and for $ 3.3M by RM Sotheby's on August 12, 2021, lot 122.
The other Butterfly, made in 1930, was sold for $ 2.1M on October 7, 2016 by RM Sotheby's, lot 253.
1929 Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton
2016 SOLD for $ 2.4M by Gooding
1929 is a key year for three reasons. The creation of Cord Corporation streamlines the legal structure of the group. Released in December 1928, the Duesenberg Model J chassis emerges as the best in its class. The dual cowl phaeton bodywork designed and built by LeBaron is a spectacular novelty.
The phaeton is a convertible. The dual cowl is a social delicacy offering two compartments separated by a screen allowing rear passengers to be isolated from driver and front seater.
Here are some results for the 1929 Duesenberg model J dual cowl Phaeton in its first year.
By LeBaron :
$ 2.4M by Gooding in January 2016, previously sold by the same auction house for $ 2.1M in January 2014. This car retains its original chassis, engine and body.
$ 1.76M by RM Auctions on January 18, 2008
$ 1.4M by Gooding in January 2009
By other coachmakers :
By Murphy : $ 1.65M by RM Auctions on October 12, 2007, lot 259. It is estimated $ 2.75M for sale by RM Sotheby's in August 12, 2021, lot 122.
By Derham : $ 1.24M by RM Auctions on January 21, 2011 (screen driven by Elvis Presley in 1966)
Red, White, and VROOM!— Gooding & Company (@goodingandco) July 4, 2020
Celebrate #IndependenceDay behind the wheel of an #American classic - like this 1929 #Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton that sold our 2016 Scottsdale Auctions for $2,420,000.
What are you driving this weekend?! pic.twitter.com/qkyROutNUh
1930 Model J Dual Cowl Phaeton by LeBaron
2023 Sold for $ 3M by Gooding
A unique barrelside example was made on the high end long-wheelbase chassis, and features a one off hood louver pattern. This car built in 1930 was sold for $ 3M by Gooding on August 18, 2023, lot 45 illustrated in the pre sale press release shared by the auction house. It retains its original chassis, coachwork and engine.
A true American original, this 1930 #Duesenberg Model J Dual Cowl ‘Barrelside’ Phaeton is the sole long-wheelbase example. No wonder it spent half its lifetime as a museum centerpiece! And today its legacy continues: #SOLD for $2,975,000! #PebbleBeachAuctions pic.twitter.com/gVAeAmdXGZ— Gooding & Company (@goodingandco) August 19, 2023
1930 Model J Roadster by Murphy
2015 SOLD for DKK 17.8M (worth US $ 2.66M at that time) by Bonhams
On September 26, 2015 in a formerly royal Danish castle, Bonhams sold for DKK 17.8M a Duesenberg Model J bodied by Murphy as a roadster in 1930, lot 14. Its first owner had been typical of the customers targeted by Cord : a Hollywood photographer descendant to the Vanderbilt family.
This car remained highly original. It was never dismantled and its successive owners offered it for 60 years to the admiration of the demanding Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club. It has the rare and prestigious feature of the folding roof which was not in the catalog and was then a specific customer request to Murphy.
1930 The Phaeton of the Master
2016 SOLD for $ 2.1M including premium
Helped by skilled stylists, Murphy knew to equip chassis with bodyworks whose variety appealed the individualism of his Hollywood clients. The Model J of Duesenberg, released in 1928, was an opportunity for Murphy to capture the high-end market. For a wealthy industrialist, owning a Duesenberg coachworked by Murphy was an outward sign of social achievement.
Frank Hershey began his career with Murphy. He designed for the cumbersome model J open cars that seemed slight, with convertible tops and retractable side windows. The range offered by Murphy is wide : he provides to a roadster or a coupe the luxury of a limousine.
The dual cowl phaeton is a survival of the voitures from old times, with its two independent cowlings and its two compartments separated by an inner windshield to avoid mingling the social classes of maître and chauffeur. Assisted by Hershey, Murphy built three examples of that kind on the model J.
One of them was sold to John F. Howard, nicknamed the Mayonnaise King and company founder of the Howard Foods condiments. Probably after some setbacks, Howard and his Duesenberg left for Mexico where his former car will be found walled up in a parking lot in 1962 by a specialist of the brand.
Its excellent original condition was pleasing to an American collector. Having been kept for 54 years in the family of that owner, it is estimated $ 1.6M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Hershey PA on October 7, lot 253.
1930 A Town Cord for Hollywood
2015 SOLD for $ 1.76M including premium
The new chassis is the Cord L-29. It is one of the first attempts for the industrialization of a front wheel drive car.
Few Cord L-29 were coachworked by an independent workshop, unlike the most common practice for the high-end cars of that time. Among the exceptions, the L-29 Town Car was entrusted to Murphy, a craftsman who worked in Pasadena.
The Town Car is an extravagant car destined to please the most eccentric Hollywood personalities. It has a very lowered chassis along with a much lengthened front cover, and an enclosed cab carefully separated from the driver's seat.
Very few cars were made on this model by Cord and Murphy. One of the four surviving examples, made in 1930, is for sale by Bonhams in Amelia Island on March 12, lot 135.
It has obviously been seldom used and remains in an original condition which is extraordinary and unexpected for a car of that period. A plausible later tradition links this car to the actress Dolores del Rio who was then, at 25, one of cinema's brightest glories.
1930 Sixteen Cylinders in Detroit
2019 SOLD for $ 1.2m including premium
The Sixteen appears at once as the competitor of the Duesenberg Model J. Unlike Cord which subcontracts its bodies with a label of preference, virtually all the bodies of the V-16 are entrusted to Fleetwood. At that time a subsidiary of a division of General Motors, Fleetwood is offering from the first year a wide range with ten basic styles. GM completes its direct control of Fleetwood in 1931.
The first Sixteen model is the Cadillac 452 V-16 with a 7.4-liter engine (452 cubic inches). The most desirable, which is also the most expensive, is the roadster by Fleetwood.
On March 7 at Amelia Island, Bonhams sells a 452 V-16 roadster by Fleetwood, lot 240 estimated $ 1.25M. It was made in 1930 before the changes introduced by Cadillac at the end of that year.
Sold from new directly by the Detroit assembly plant to a local customer, it had only two owners in its first 50 years, both living in Detroit. Used sparingly, it is in a very good state of authenticity for all its equipment. It kept in excellent condition its original Fleetwood wood body.
The Cadillac Sixteen went through the Great Depression thanks to the financial strength of General Motors. Overall more than 4,000 units were produced from 1930 to 1940.
1930 A German Body for a Cord L-29
2013 SOLD 1 M$ including premium
Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg were three main brands of a holding company created in 1929 by a former racing driver named EL Cord. He used his own name in 1929 when he launched the first production of a front wheel drive car, theCord L-29.
The L-29 and even better the Duesenberg Model J enabled the American cars to take their place among the greatest automobile wonders of the 1930s, competing by their power and luxury with the best of Bugatti, Mercedes and Rolls-Royce.
I have several times discussed the infinite visual variety of cars at that time, due to the fact that the bodies were carried out by independent workshops. A Cord L-29 for sale on March 9 in Amelia Island FL by RM Auctions had an extraordinary journey.
Made in 1930 with the other cars of the brand on the production line of Indiana, this chassis crossed the Atlantic. In February 1931, it had been coachworked in sport cabriolet by the Berliner workshop of Voll & Ruhrbeck and created a sensation at the Berlin Motor Show as a unique hybrid example of American technology and European taste.
This copy that had escaped from America did perhaps influence the Traction Avant Citroën of 1934, which will be a major success for the French automobile industry.
Out of public view for seven decades, the German bodied Cord had long traveled the pampas in Argentina. It is one of three Cord cars in this sale to come from the collection of Jim Fasnacht who completed its restoration.
I invite you to play the video shared on YouTube by RM Auctions, in which Mr. Fasnacht presents these three cars.
POST SALE COMMENT
This Cord with international ambitions won the hammer price of $ 900K, just shy of $ 1M after calculating the traditional 10% buyer's premium.
1931 Phaeton against Speedster
2012 SOLD 1.3 M$ including premium
Money is flowing in Hollywood. This new community of wealthy personalities is eager to entertainment and socializing. Owning a luxury car is essential to sustain a social position.
A race between two cars is organized in 1932 at Lake Muroc near Los Angeles, in the presence of an outstanding crowd. For a wager of $ 25,000, a considerable amount at that time, it opposes two friends for the unofficial prestige of owning the most powerful car in Hollywood. Both cars are entrusted to professional drivers.
The Mercedes-Benz Speedster S model of the Marx Brothers, Zeppo and Chico, is really a racing car. Designed in 1927, it is impressive by its massive look that has not yet benefited from the effort of elegance of the 1930s.
It lost the race but gained a sweet revenge at auction when it was sold $ 3.74 million including premium by Gooding in August 2010.
The victorious Duesenberg belonged to Phil Berg, an agent of several stars and producers. For having some chance to win, the heavy 1931 model J Phaeton had been relieved of unnecessary equipment.
This elegant car coachworked by LeBaron is estimated $ 1.2 million, for sale by RM Auctions in Hershey on October 12. It is shown in the release shared by Sports Car Digest.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result, $ 1.3 million including premium, is consistent with the estimate. As anticipated, the Duesenberg remains far below the Mercedes-Benz competitor of its epic 1932 happening.
1932 a packard for al jolson
Al Jolson is one of the most popular personalities of the music-hall, legendary for his participation in the very first sound film, The Jazz Singer, in 1927. He is appealed by this new Packard offer.
On January 20 in Scottsdale, Gooding sells as lot 038 the Twin Six Packard 906 of the ninth series bodied in 1932 as a convertible sedan for Jolson. Here is the link to the press release. With its V shaped windshield, this big limousine gets a sporty look that makes it a masterpiece of Dietrich.
The collaboration between the manufacturer and the coachbuilder culminated in 1934. In a similar style as the sedan, a prestigious convertible victoria of the eleventh series remained unsold at RM Auctions on March 10, 2012.
1933 A Phaeton by LaGrande
2017 SOLD for $ 2.3M including premium
Even in the most critical situations some people manage to find their profit. A stock broker named Smith acquires a considerable fortune. He needs a car of the highest performance with a spectacular bodywork. It will be a Duesenberg SJ LWB LaGrande phaeton, of course. LaGrande is the label by which Cord testifies that the bodywork is subcontracted by the group and not carried out by an independent.
The J-chassis has been the top-of-the-range since 1928. The Long Wheel Base version invites to the most extravagant bodies and especially for the open voitures de maîtres named phaetons. S indicates that the engine is supercharged.
The LaGrande phaetons are slightly different from each other but are divided into two variants, the dual cowl phaeton and the sweep panel phaeton. In the sweep panel phaeton the rear cowl is suppressed, offering an easier access to the rear seats and an extra comfort. This version includes on its entire width a folding interior windshield separating the rear seats for the use of the patron from the front seat of the driver.
The car delivered in 1933 to Smith is a sweep panel phaeton Duesenberg SJ LWB by LaGrande. The workshop that realized the body is unfortunately not identified. It has been known for several decades by members of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club under the name of Mexico City SJ.
It is in very good condition for a vehicle of its age. The body, engine and chassis are original but the supercharger did not survive a heavy early use and has been replaced by a replica in the correct configuration.
This car had already been introduced in my column. On October 10, 2008 at RM Auctions, it had not reached its lower estimate of $ 1.8M and had been sold post block for $ 1.7M including premium. I then commented that the times were hard : it was indeed the beginning of a major crisis in the market. It is estimated $ 2.5M for sale by Auctions America on September 2 in Auburn.
A 1933 Model J with the same description of the LaGrande body was sold for $ 1.65M by Bonhams on May 20, 2021, lot 143.
1933 Elegance of a Packard
2011 SOLD 1.76 M$ including premium
The root cause of this peculiarity which amazes us today is the economic crisis of 1929, no less! The brands rightly fearing for their survival were betting on the extension of social breakdown and sought strategies to attract the attention of the wealthy customers on their products.
Manufacturers concentrated on chassis and equipment, allowing coachworkers to flatter the clients by customizing the bodies. Packard is one of very few independent American manufacturers which managed to go throughout the crisis.
On January 21 in Phoenix, RM Auctions sells a 1933 Packard Twelve. Combining elegance and speed, it was coachworked as a Sport Phaeton by Dietrich.
With its beautiful brightwork and fine leather, it will appeal its new owner by its excellent condition and its original equipment, as it has never undergone a major restoration. This quality highly prized by collectors allows it to expect $ 1.5 M.
POST SALE COMMENT
That's the price of a car worthy of the best concours d'elegance in its class: $ 1.76 million including premium.
Here is a photo of this successful car in the catalog shared by LiveAuctioneers.
1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan by Dietrich
2021 SOLD for $ 1.43M by Worldwide Auctioneers
This car was made in 1934 in the same 1108 chassis sub-series as the example sold for $ 3.75M by RM in 2018. It was custom bodied by Dietrich as a convertible sedan for the wealthy Arctic explorer Louise Boyd who traveled it with her family chauffeur in an ethnographic tour of Poland. It was much later used as the example for the Franklin Mint 1:24 die cast toy.
(1930)-1935 Duesenberg SJ Convertible Victoria by Rollston
2021 SOLD for $ 3M by Mecum
It had been purchased new in 1930 as a LeBaron short wheelbase phaeton by the band leader Paul Whiteman, entering in the long list of Model J owned by show business celebrities.
Its second owner purchased it from the factory where it had been upgraded to the supercharged variant SJ introduced in 1932. He had it fitted in 1935 as a quarter window convertible victoria by Rollston,
In the last phase before the collapse of the Cord group, Rollston had become a major supplier of luxury automobile bodies for the Duesies, including the 10 cars unofficially referred as variant JN with which the brand tried in 1935 to revive the interest of the celebrities.
The last car that Duesenberg commissioned to Rollston was a Model J prepared as a convertible berline for the 1936 New York Auto Show. It passed at Mecum from a lower estimate of $ 3.5M in the same sale as above, lot S 147. Both cars are featured in the video shared by the auction house.
A victim in its turn of the financial crisis, Rollston went bankrupt in 1938.
1935 Model SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton by LaGrande
2014 SOLD for $ 1.27M by Auctions America
2023 for sale on August 19 by RM Sotheby's
On August 30, 2014, Auctions America sold for $ 1.27M a Duesenberg SJ Dual Cowl Phaeton with the LaGrande coachwork label, manufactured in 1935 and titled in 1936, lot 5145. It was sold for $ 3M on August 19, 2023 by RM Sotheby's, successor to Auctions America, lot 352.
Preserved by careful collectors, it keeps its original body and chassis. The engine has been swapped with another Duesenberg ca 1950. The supercharger has been replaced by a later model in the 1940s.
1935 Model J Phaeton by LaGrande
Five years later the management tries to save the brand by offering spectacular novelties including an increased elegance. The dual cowl phaeton is restarted. The redesign is entrusted to in house designer Gordon Buehrig who changes the rear so that the fold of the top goes flush to it.
The new variant is known as the Sweep panel dual cowl phaeton. 15 cars are produced by a subsidiary of the Cord group, the Union City Body Company using the collective LaGrande label of the brand.
A 1935 Model J fitted with a Sweep panel phaeton prepared in the previous year is estimated $ 3M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Monterey on August 14, 2021, lot 333. It has been the last of this already outdated design just before the brand opted to a modernized aerodynamic body. This highly authentic example retains its original frame, firewall, engine and coachwork.
1935 The Romantic Duesy
It was logical that the king of Hollywood actors looked for the king of cars, especially when it happened at the time of the first paparazzi of the cinema. In 1935, Clark Gable bought a Duesenberg JN.
JN is the unofficial name given to ten Duesenberg high-end cars, all bodied by Rollston but with significant variations:three of them were equipped with the very prestigious Long Wheel Base chassis, and four others were assembled asconvertible coupe.
To be visible from his admirers and leaving nothing in hide from his romantic affair with Carole Lombard, Gable chosethe convertible. This celebrity couple used this car extensively, and Gable even commissioned some improvements to another coachworker. In 1938, it will star in the movie Merrily We Live.
The Duesy of Gable and Lombard is for sale on August 19 by Gooding in Pebble Beach.
It is in very good working condition, as seen on the video shared on YouTube by the auction house. A tweet tells that itis driven therein by David Gooding.
1948 Tucker 48
2012 SOLD for $ 2.9M by Barrett-Jackson
There is no shortage of ideas for innovation, because they do not interest the big manufacturers concerned with profitability. The war is over. Miller had died in 1943. Tucker publishes in December 1946 his conceptions for the Car of Tomorrow, tentatively named Tucker Torpedo.
Enthusiasm encourages bluffing. Before the project even got started, Tucker shares his company for $ 20M on the Chicago Stock Exchange. He leases the largest hangar in the world, the Chicago Dodge Plant, disused by the cessation of production of warplanes. He buys a company producing helicopter engines. He sells 2,000 resale concessions while announcing a production target of 300 cars per day and he hires 1,900 employees.
The car of his dreams includes real improvements in all major equipment. The unveiling of the first prototype in June 1947 is however a technical fiasco : it is obvious that the development is still ongoing.
Tucker is relying on a unique model, the 48, thus designated by reference to its year of production. It is really different from other cars of its time. It is a sedan whose low bodywork designed for security, speed and comfort remains compatible with a spacious interior layout.
The third headlight which lights up when cornering will not have an imitator but the safety windscreen which does not explode under an impact, the seatbelt and the anti-theft are lasting progress. Promised in 1946, the central steering wheel and the wrapping doors into the roof were not retained.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has doubts about the real desire for mass production that had enabled the issue of the shares. The factory is closed by court decision in March 1949. Only 58 chassis had been produced, serial numbers 1001 to 1058, and 36 cars had been finished. Tucker manages to assemble 14 additional cars. He will be declared not guilty in January 1950 but his company had died. 23 cars were still in stock at the time of the liquidation in October 1950.
Preston Tucker had counted his chickens before they were hatched. The fifty Tuckers 48 nevertheless demonstrate the viability of his visions. There was still work to be done for improvement, especially for maintainability, but almost all of the 50 survive. Among the four cars destroyed or dismantled, let us remind the 42nd scrapped by a furious creditor.
The car of the future designed by Tucker has aroused passions but it is not perfect. Only specialists were able to keep it in working order after the untimely disappearance of the brand. On January 21, 2012, Barrett-Jackson sold for $ 2.9M the 43rd Tucker, chassis number 1043, which had been restored by Nostalgic Motoring, the best technical expert of the Tucker 48.
The 34th remains in a very good original condition without having been restored. It even keeps its leather and carpets. It has been repainted in its rare original Waltz Blue Metallic color. With 5,200 miles from new, it was sold for $ 1.32M by Gooding on March 9, 2012. Its new owner managed to use it. With now 6,300 cumulated miles, it was sold for $ 2.04M by Gooding on January 18, 2020, lot 121.
The 44th was sold for $ 1.35M by RM Sotheby's on January 19, 2017.
1948 A Tucker in a Barn
2017 SOLD for $ 1.35M including premium
Described as a torpedo, the Tucker 48 is a sedan with low bodywork designed for security, speed and comfort. It is equipped with a third headlight that lights up when the driver turns the steering wheel. Other features are very innovative including the windscreen that does not burst under impact.
The car of the future designed by Tucker has aroused passions but it is not perfect. Only specialists were able to keep it in working order after the untimely disappearance of the brand.
On January 21, 2012, Barrett-Jackson sold the 43rd Tucker, chassis number 1043, which had been restored by Nostalgic Motoring, the best technical expert of the Tucker 48. It fetched $ 2.9M including premium which is much more than the usual price achieved by this model at auction.
On January 19 in Phoenix, RM Sotheby's sells the 44th with original chassis and body number 1044.
The engine and transmission were changed in the 1970s. It was not enough to keep it operational. In 1982, a new owner gave up driving it after three small attempts of a few miles each. He put it safe in a dry place with the idea of finding later some time to take care of it. 1044 thereafter slept untouched for 34 years.
The minor problems of transmission and cooling which prevented the use of this car are thus the root cause of a great preservation of its mechanical elements. The specialist who had restored 1043 has also made 1044 back in working order. Having become one of the best among the 47 surviving Tucker cars, it is estimated $ 1.6M, lot 160.
1954 Dreaming Bonneville
2015 SOLD for $ 3.3M including premium
The Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled at the 1953 Motorama. Conceived by Harley Earl, the pioneer of the concept car who had become Head of Design at GM, it was a promise for a fully American sports car. The Corvette is one of the biggest and most enduring success stories in the history of the automobile.
The 1954 Motorama offered some varied examples of fiberglass bodywork. Earl designed a massive coupe with an aerodynamic shape, named Bonneville Special and assigned to Pontiac that had long been a division of GM.
Inspired by advances in aeronautics, the Bonneville Special is an elitist concept, unlike the Corvette. Its name is inspired by the salt flats of Bonneville UT where Malcolm Campbell had established his land speed record in 1935.
Two units of the Bonneville Special were built for the 1954 Motorama. One of them was sold for $ 3M including premium by Barrett-Jackson on January 21, 2006. This concept car is listed again in the same auction house on January 17 in Scottsdale, lot 2500.
This dream bodywork had pleased the public of the Motorama. The name Bonneville was reused in 1958 by GM for a commercial Pontiac model.
1954-1956 the golden fantasy of jim street
2018 sold for $ 385k including premium
This vehicle will be used to build one of his first masterpieces. This project is supported by Jim Street, a young businessman from Ohio who has promotional ambitions. The car will have to be exuberant outside and unexpected inside.
Its futuristic body that has nothing in common with a Capri is entirely painted in gold and white, including a preparation based on scales of sardines that gives it at the beginning a smell of fish market. The interior is equipped like an apartment, with a bar and its ice cooler, a television, a radio and a tape recorder. Barris names it the Golden Sahara. The specialized press designates it as the $ 25,000 custom car.
From 1954 to 1956 the Golden Sahara is the demonstrator of the know-how of Barris and begins to be famous. In 1956 Jim Street understands its real profitability. In accordance with the craze of his time he decides to robotize it to the maximum, with remote-controlled functions such as starting and rolling with nobody inside and opening doors from far away, or quite absurd such as the replacement of the steering wheel by magnets.
Jim Street names his reworked car the Golden Sahara II. He rents it to car dealers wishing to draw crowds into their showrooms after announcing it in the local press as the $ 75,000 futuristic car.
Success is growing. In 1960 the Golden Sahara II plays the dream car in the Cinderfella movie where Jerry Lewis is a male equivalent to Cinderella. In 1962 Jim Street himself demonstrated his car in the broadcast show I've Got a Secret. A few years later he considered that the profits related to this car could not be further maintained. He escaped it without communicating.
For half a century the Golden Sahara II was lost. Yet it was in a place that perfectly matched it, the private garage of Jim Street. Resurfacing in the deceased estate of the businessman, it will be sold with no reserve by Mecum in Indianapolis on May 19, lot S 113. Please watch the video shared by CC Car Curiosity, largely inspired by the catalog of the auction house.
1956 The Prototype that saved the Corvette
Despite the considerable power of the GM group, they feel very nervous at Chevrolet in 1955. Their arch-competitor Ford is winning some market share with the Thunderbird, offering a variety of options that appeals to customers.
The inclusion of four Chevrolet Corvette at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1956 created the surprise. One of them, the most powerful of the four, is the prototype of the Corvette SR with an engine specially enhanced for the race by the Chevrolet engineers.
The challenge was audacious: Designed in the utmost secrecy, this prototype had not been tested in endurance before Sebring. Cleverly, Chevrolet had just hired a highly skilled driver, John Fitch, who carefully avoided all risk of failure during the race and led this car to the winning place in its class.
Everything was now ready to launch a marketing campaign. The victorious prototype was presented as the car that saved the Corvette brand. This car is for sale on January 25 in Kissimmee FL by Mecum, lot S132 in the catalog.
1962 Chaparral, as speedy as a Bird
After Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall wants to use racing cars that meet his own specifications. With his fellow driver Hap Sharp whose first name is an abbreviation of Happy New Year, he starts this adventure in 1961. Their company is not named Sharp-and-Hall but Chaparral from a Texan running bird able to reach a 32 Km/h top speed.
On the previous year, the Scarab car of Reventlow had been a failure. The workshop of Troutman and Barnes is now free for new projects. They agreed to build two Chaparral 1 cars for Hall and Sharp and realized three other units for customers.
The prototype of Chaparral 1 immediately got a very good performance in competition. The 003 Chaparral chassis is the second car for use by Hall and Sharp. This car began its career at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 1962.
Chaparral 1 was a synthesis of the experience of Troutman and Barnes on the Scarab and of the innovative ideas of Hall. The all-aluminum bodywork is superb and makes the Chaparral 1 a reference of elegance for the racing cars of its time.
Unfortunately the innovative position of the Chevrolet engine was unefficient. Hall will focus on the design of the Chaparral 2A, stopping the Chaparral 1.
003 is a rare car from only five units built on the Chaparral 1 model. It is estimated $ 2.25 million, for sale by RM Auctions in Phoenix on January 17, lot 107 in the catalog.
1963 The Pioneer of the Concept Car
2013 SOLD 1.6 M$ including premium
From 1949 to 1961 the GM Motorama presented to a wide public the shapes and colors of the cars of the future. Marketing managers watched the reactions before starting the real development of new models.
In 1953, the Chevrolet Corvette is the biggest success of Harvey Earl and of any Motorama. Car lovers reveal their secret desire of a typically American sports car. Today more than ever, after 60 years of continuous improvement, the Corvette is still a key model of General Motors.
Earl retired in 1958. To thank him, GM gifted him with a 1963 convertible Corvette of the new Sting Ray variant equipped with the latest developments. This car is estimated $ 1.5 million, for sale by Mecum in Schaumburg (Chicago) on October 12. Here is the link to the catalog.
Hardly more recent, a 1967 L88 convertible Corvette with a good racing history especially in Indianapolis was sold for $ 3.4 million including premium by Mecum on 7 September 2013.
POST SALE COMMENT
This very well equipped Corvette was sold for $ 1.5 million before fees, exactly at the price that had been announced before sale by the press.
1963 The Corvette Grand Sport
In 1963, General Motors decided to start the car competition, with a goal to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For that purpose, its engineers designed a new model, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. Five copies were made before the U.S. brand decided to leave the competition the following year. The first idea was to destroy, but these five cars eventually made the happiness of private owners.
On January 16 in Phoenix, Arizona, RM Auctions presents the number 002, in its original condition. This is one of only two to have been mounted as a roadster.
On August 15, the prototype of Jaguar E, on which I devoted an article in this group, was sold $ 4.5 million before fees by Bonhams and Butterfields. Jaguar had started this project in 1960, thus anticipating by three years the initiative of General Motors. The early 1960s marked the start of a race to technology, marked by the space challenge between the Americans and Soviets. The competition car went out of the mechanical prowess to become a technological feat. Other sectors, such as medicine and computers, will be the major beneficiaries of this industrial revolution.
Returning to our Corvette. In its press release, RM Auctions spoke of a multi-million price in dollars. It is usual with this auction house that the estimate is not communicated with the first ad.
As against, I am pleased to propose an image, by following this link to leblogauto, a very good site in French well aware of car news.
1964 a pre-production mustang
2019 sold for $ 192k including premium
Bob Fria is a historian of the Mustang. In 1997 he found and bought a car with chassis number A15 and vehicle identification number VIN 00002. He observed about 50 differences with the very first Mustang model titled 1964-1/2 in anticipation of the 1965 production. He established the whole history of this car and had made all the necessary restorations while keeping the matching number for all major components.
During the 18-month development, the plant had manufactured and tested pre-production vehicles. The coupe found by Fria had been close enough to the commercial model to be released by the factory with an identification number. This car, which had none of the mouth-watering options offered by the brand, had been demonstrated for several months by a seller in the Yukon before finding its first owner.
00002 now joins in the legend of the Mustang the VIN 00001, a convertible which is kept at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. 00002 is the earliest VIN numbered hardtop in the Ford Mustang series. It was used in video shoots by 20th Century Fox for a feature film to be released in 2019 narrating the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari. It will be sold without reserve price by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale on January 19, lot 1365.
1965 Papal Parade
2006 SOLD 319 K$ including premium by RM Auctions
The Popes were not good customers for travel agencies. However, early in his pontificate, Paul VI wanted to bring himself his message to the world. He was the first Pope to travel by air, and the first Pope of the twentieth century to go outside Italy.
In 1965, the crossing of New York in Popemobile by Paul VI made the delight of the news magazines. This Pope still rather young (68 years) suddenly provided a modernized image of his function.
This huge limousine 6.40 m long was equipped by special order from the Vatican to Ford assisted by their subcontractor Lehmann-Peterson. It is based on the Continental model of Lincoln brand, owned by Ford. Its removable roof allowed the Pope to be quite visible from the crowd. Only two years after the assassination in Dallas, it was quite daring.
This extraordinary parade vehicle was also used by Paul VI in Bogota, and then served four times to introduce to the public the astronauts coming back from Apollo missions.
On 18 August 2006, the Lincoln Papal Limousine was sold for $ 319K including premium by RM Auctions at Monterey.It comes again in California, where it will be sold by Bonhams on August 19 in Carmel. It is shown in the release shared by Artdaily.
1965 Competition Cobra
2023 unsold by RM Sotheby's
One of them, chassis number CSX 3011, was kept by the brand for publicity. Completed in May 1965, it was painted in the signature Guardsman Blue with white stripes of the brand and loaned for testing to a specialized magazine.
CSX 3011 was displayed in Ford showrooms and in various car exhibits. It was featured in the Cobra Caravan that toured 12 US cities, beside a GT 350 R, a GT 350, a Street 427 Cobra, a Cobra Daytona Coupe and a Ford GT 40.
On February 1966 it was rented to the MGM for a movie starring Elvis Presley. Shelby American invoiced the loan for $ 12,595. Elvis was paid $ 750,000 plus 40% of the profits.
The film is released as Spinout in October. The King of Rock and Roll is altogether the lead singer of a traveling band and a road racing driver, whose carefree single life is threatened by three competing women. After winning a race with CSX 3011 then repainted white, he decides to offer the chasing girls in marriage to other guys.
CSX 3011 was raced for several years in Mexico and USA. It was restored after some damage and its engine was rebuilt. Back to advertisement, it was the poster car for the 1984 Grand Bahamas Vintage Speed Week.
Now re-established in its factory specifications as originally used for promotion by the brand, it is estimated $ 3M for sale by RM Sotheby's on January 26, 2023, lot 156.
1965 The Prototypes of the Ford GT
The aerodynamic defects of the first four prototypes, GT/101 to GT/104, are catastrophic. GT/103 and GT/104 are sent to Shelby for further testing and modification. GT/104 was sold for $ 7M before fees by Mecum on April 12, 2014.
The next prototypes are set by Shelby American after being built by Ford Advanced Vehicles. GT/105 is the first to be originally equipped with the 289 CI engine (4.7 liters) replacing the 255 CI (4.2 liters). GT/101 to GT/107 are coupes and GT/108 to GT/112 are roadsters.
The production series that starts in early 1965 under the reference GT40 is almost entirely composed of coupes. Its first variant, GT40 Mk I, is fitted with the 4.7 liter engine.
The GT/108 and GT/109 roadster prototypes are delivered in March 1965 by Ford Advanced Vehicles to Shelby. GT/108 is used to test the road performance. Having been continually maintained as a roadster, it was sold for $ 7M including premium by RM Auctions on August 15, 2014.
GT/109 is tested by Shelby for competition. It participates unsuccessfully at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1965 and is then used by Kar Kraft as a development model for the J-Car. It is the only roadster of the GT40 family to have competed at Le Mans. This Ford GT Competition Prototype Roadster will be sold by Mecum in Kissimmee on January 12, 2019, lot S 138.
Please watch the video shared by Mecum.
This car passed at Mecum Indy on July 11, 2020, lot K129.
1965 British Colors for a Ford
The Ford GT40 is this extraordinary model which managed to break the dominance of Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Elegant and effective, it could be used both for road and for competition like the best Ferraris.
From the California sales of August 2012, it also competes with Ferrari at auction. Four very good examples were presented, framed in their timeline between a 1964 prototype, sold $ 4.95 million including premium by Gooding, and one of the last of the series improved by JWA in 1968, sold $ 11M including premium by RM Auctions .
The development of the GT40 had been entrusted by Ford to Lola Cars, a UK company, and production was done by Ford Advance Vehicles, an English department of Ford.
Despite this trans-Atlantic cooperation, Ford was not looking specifically for English customers. The car for sale onJanuary 18 by RM Auctions in Phoenix is the most British of the Ford GT40's.
Made in 1965, it was one of the earliest units of the first variant Mark I, and the first GT40 to have been purchased by an Englishman. It did much of its career in England and Australia.
Very well maintained, it is equipped with many options and has been repainted in the racing color of England, pine green. It is estimated $ 2.4 M. I invite you to play the video shared on YouTube by RM Auctions.
1965 A FLIGHT PROVEN COBRA
The industrial association between the British AC Cars and the American Shelby is a great example of international co-operation. AC produced the Cobra chassis, which Shelby equipped mostly with Ford engines.
1965 was particularly active. The competition model is the Daytona Cobra Coupe. Six copies were produced. One of them was sold $ 7.25 million by Mecum on August 15, 2009 in Monterey.
In the same year, Shelby does not forget the road cars, and launches the model 427. The copy presented by Russo and Steele in their sale of 18 to 22 January in Scottsdale AZ has an interesting history.
Considered a prototype, this Cobra chassis was too much in a hurry for crossing the Atlantic by boat. Shelby wished to quickly test the model for the U.S. market, and it was shipped by air flight before being painted.
For two years the car was used as a demonstrator by Shelby and was once loaned to the astronaut Carpenter. It was later acquired by United Artists which gave it to Stallone.
I invite you to play the video shared by the auction house on YouTube.
(1965) Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
This replica on an original chassis will be sold by Worldwide Auctioneers in Auburn on September 4, lot 31. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
McCluskey was also the maker of a continuation series in a completely new construction.
1966 Ford GT40 Alan Mann
Based in Surrey, Mann had previously improved the Ford Cortina. He started by evaluating two GT40 Mk I. Actively supported by Ford in 1965, he endeavors to reduce the weight and orders five chassis to Abbey Panels in his own specifications including about one hundred modifications from the FAV design.
For the body Abbey Panels replaced the standard fiberglass by lightweight aluminum. Two GT 40 Alan Mann cars were completed in parallel in March 1966, using the 289 cubic inch (4.7 liters) V 8 Ford engine. Both immediately debuted at the 12 hours of Sebring where AM GT-2 was driven at Sebring by no less than Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill.
Despite a promising early achievement, Ford abruptly terminated the Alan Mann design before the 24 hours of Le Mans superbly dominated by the new 7 liter GT 40 Mk II. AM GT-1 was then sold to Holman-Moody who used it for the Mk IIB development. It was acquired soon afterward by Firestone for high speed testing.
Presented again in its original configuration including Alan Mann livery with gold stripes, AM GT-1 is estimated $ 7M for sale by Gooding at Pebble Beach on August 13, 2021, lot 39. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1967 Restart of a Super Snake
2019 sold for $ 2.2m including premium
In 1967 the high-end Ford Mustangs receive a 6.4-liter engine (390 CI); Always ahead for small high-performance series, Shelbyreleases the GT500 with a 428 CI engine. Logically, it is Shelby that Goodyear addresses to test the endurance of its tires.
Don McCain, a former Shelby employee, suggests equipping a GT500 with a 427 CI lightweight. Carroll Shelby makes a car prepared as a special, nicknamed Super Snake in his brand. It travels 500 miles on the Goodyear test circuit, with an average speed of 142 mph and a top speed of 170 mph.
The tires behave very well but this spectacular demonstration is not applicable industrially : they had been inflated with nitrogen to limit the overheating.
The production yield of the 427 lightweight is low and the upgrading from the GT500 base model is too expensive : McCain and Shelby wisely give up on a series of 50 that would have been the fastest road-legal cars of that time. The prototype is sold and has no continuation for half a century.
Both are now deceased. They had never forgotten the exceptional speed of this car in its single test and had signed together several identification plaques in anticipation of a series of replicas. In May 2018 Shelby American announces a limited edition of ten GT500 Super Snakes built on 1967 Mustangs equipped with a 427 CI slightly more powerful than the vintage engine.
The 1967 GT500 Super Snake was sold for $ 1.3M before fees by Mecum on May 17, 2013. The auction house had shared a video on YouTube. This car is now estimated $ 1M for sale by Mecum in Kissimmee on January. 11, lot F 124. illustrated by a new video.
1967 chevrolet on the track
2017 sold for $ 1.98M including premium
Duntov nevertheless failed to convince his bosses with the Corvette Grand Sport, built in five units in 1963 and disowned by GM.
In 1967, the use of the new L-88 427 CI engine was the culmination of the second generation Corvette pending the imminent release of the third generation. Designed by Duntov and his team to counter-attack the Cobra, the overpowering engine is nominally 430 hp but it can reach 560 hp at 6400 rpm.
This time Chevrolet accepts production but refuses marketing. The Corvette L-88 will be sold exclusively to previously known customers who will use it on the track and not on the road. GM certainly did not regret when it stopped in 1969 the production of the best performing of its commercial Corvettes for reasons of compliance with the new pollutant emission standards.
During the first year, 1967, only 20 L-88 cars were built. They are highly regarded by collectors. A convertible was sold for $ 3.2M before fees by Mecum on September 7, 2013. A coupe was sold for $ 3.85M including premium by Barrett-Jackson in January 2014.
On January 18 in Scottsdale, Worldwide Auctioneers sells a very rare 1967 RPO L-88 roadster, RPO meaning that it was originally equipped with several options that include in that specific case a silver pearl exterior finish unique for the roadsters of this series. This expertly restored car is estimated $ 1,9M, lot 32.
1967 The L88 Option
2010 SOLD for $ 1.25M before fees by Mecum
From the series of only 20 Chevrolet Corvette L88 that were produced in the first year of that option, the very first and the very last are listed in the next Mecum auction in Indianapolis.
I narrated the 1967 L88s as follows before the very first passed at Mecum on August 3, 2019. The text below integrates also the very last.
The Chevrolet Corvette is launched in 1953 by General Motors as a sports car model. The engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov has many ideas for turning it into a racing car. This will be his main activity until his retirement in 1975, with innovative projects that are not all supported by his bosses.
The Mark IV Big Block V8 engine is introduced by GM in 396 CI in 1965 and 427 CI (7 liters) in 1966. Arkus-Duntov has a 427 installed in a prototype that is tested by Roger Penske. The project is kept secret and the other prototypes of the 427 Corvette are not documented.
This time, the management agrees to launch a limited production, which will be in a first phase reserved for customers chosen by the brand. In 1967 the Corvette 427 receives the reference RPO L88, RPO meaning Regular Production Option. The L88 can be bodied in coupe, convertible or roadster, with many secondary options. 20 L88s are produced in 1967, followed by 196 other cars before the termination of this RPO at the end of 1969.
The very first L88 is a convertible. It was delivered in 1967 to Tony DeLorenzo, son of a GM Public Relations Executive, who was training for the competitions of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in the categories of production cars. The competitiveness of this car is confirmed, with a top speed at 250 km/h that frightens the father.
This car had been sold for $ 1.25M before fees by Mecum in Monterey on August 14, 2010, lot S125. It is now estimated $ 1.6M for sale at Mecum Indy on July 18, lot S140.
The ultimate 1967 L88 is also a convertible. It is estimated $ 4M for sale at Mecum Indy on July 17, lot F156. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
This car had an 8 year racing career including at Daytona in 1970. It is the only 1967 L88 that retains its complete original engine. A period correct engine is joined so that the new owner could preserve the original engine.
A coupe from the same year was sold for $ 3.85M including premium by Barrett-Jackson in January 2014. It had been announced before the sale as the best L88 in existence. A few moments earlier, a 1969 L88 special lightweight convertible identified as the Rebel Corvette had been sold for $ 2.86M including premium.
Here are two other results including premium for 1967 L88s : $ 3.5M for a convertible on September 7, 2013 by Mecum ; $ 1.98M for a roadster on January 18, 2017 by Worldwide.
1967 Four Barracudas make the Show
2014 SOLD 300 K$ before fees
The Barracuda of Plymouth, a division of Chrysler, was released in 1964 along with its archrival the Ford Mustang. The coupes of these brands are entering the American automobile into the modern world.
High-end production cars in an America that wants to live its dream, it also interests the exhibitionists of the automobile. Every year from 1965 to 1969, Hurst Performance bought a Barracuda of the model of the year to turn it into a wheelstander and embark it on the track of acrobatic shows.
The car is equipped in the rear with a very heavy fuel injected Hemi engine visible through the window, which gives tothe whole project the name Hurst Hemi Under Glass. Above 160 km / h, the front wheels lift and the car continues at full speed upright on its rear wheels.
On October 12 in Schaumburg IL, Mecum sells in a single lot four of the Hemi Under Glass cars, covering the years1966 to 1969. I invite you to play the video shared by Mecum on YouTube, including the demonstration of their breathtaking performance that is much common for motorcycles than for cars.
POST 2013 SALE COMMENT
The acrobats did not appeal collectors. Unsold.
POST 2014 SALE COMMENT
After the Schaumburg auction, Mecum announced that these cars would be resubmitted. The 1967Hemi Under Glass was sold for $ 300K before fees on January 25, 2014 in Kissimmee.
1967 Ford GT40 Mk IV
These new GT40 used the same 7 liter displacement as the Mk II but the other features were quite different. The new J chassis was made in aluminum instead of steel. The body was streamlined for a top speed in the Mulsanne Straight.
After the win of an Mk IV at 1967 Le Mans 24, new rules limited the volume at five liters and Ford refocused the development effort to the G7A group including the Can Am. Two GT40 matched that purpose. They used a new 7 liter V8 engine made in only 3 units.
The car made on the J-9 chassis was completed in August 1967 with an open cockpit. It was tested by Mario Andretti but never raced. Its sister G7A car was raced cautiously with no success. They had been the ultimate GT40 assembled in period under the control of Ford. Ford gave up in November 1967 and sold both cars in 1969 to the same customer for 1 dollar each.
J-9 retains its original chassis. During a recent restoration the engine has been rebuilt and a new Mk IV coupe body has replaced the spider. The original body is accompanying the car. It is estimated $ 3M for sale by Bonhams at Quail Lodge on August 13, lot 79. J-10 passed at Gooding in August 2018, lot 56.
1968 A Green Mustang survived the Crusher
The heavy post-war cars were not suitable for the users of the 1960s. Almost simultaneously, Ford, Chrysler and Pontiac invented the modern American car.
The Ford Mustang, elegant and powerful, was the great success of the day. Competition for the control of this huge market was strong, and prototypes were built to test improvements before deciding their industrialization. The common practice was to destroy them after decision, probably for reasons of industrial confidentiality.
Shelby's history is inseparable from Ford's. In 1968, Shelby American obtains a prototype of Ford Mustang realized in the previous year to develop the high-end of this model as a sport coupe.
Shelby extensively transforms the car which receives the most recent equipment and accessories foreseen by the brand. This unique specimen then painted in dark green becomes the most advanced American car of its time.
Like Ford before them, Shelby do not industrialize the concepts tested on that 'Green Hornet'. Its fate is to be destructed, and it disappears.
It had aroused so much passion among the development team that a project engineer in Shelby managed to withdraw it before scrap and used it in his daily life, discreetly, during many years. This marvel which was assumed destroyed was in fact traveling incognito in the American traffic jams.
The son of the engineer used it also without appreciating the importance of his vehicle. Intrigued by the color, he went to realize that his car was the specimen that Carroll Shelby liked to identify in 1968 as the 'one and only green hornet'.
This unique example of a double Ford and Shelby prototype escaped from crush was restored close to its configuration as a Shelby concept car. It is for sale on January 19 by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale. Here is the link to the catalog.
1968-2018 Thompson and Thompson
2020 SOLD for $ 560K including premium
Thompson builds Challenger 2 in 1968 with a financial support from Ford and a collaboration with Kar Kraft. The 9.75 m long and 92 cm wide streamliner is fitted with two Ford 427 SOHC engines. At Bonneville, he reaches about 640 km/h at top speed during the trials but the record attempt is canceled by the rain. Ford is withdrawing support and Mickey Thompson will not put his name in the record books. On the same year Ford also stops the production of the GT40.
Mickey Thompson dies murdered in 1988. In 2010 his son Danny begins an upgrading of Challenger 2. He equips the streamliner with two Brad Anderson V-8 engines 500 CI each.
In the meantime, Don Vesco had reached 737 km/h with a gas turbine engine in 2001 in Bonneville.
In Bonneville on August 12, 2018, Danny Thompson on Challenger 2 reaches 722 km/h (448 mph) over 1 mile. His record is approved by the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) in the AA / FS category (piston driven fuel streamliner of special design). Two and a half months later, the record holder turns 70.
On January 11 at Kissimmee, Mecum sells Challenger 2, lot S130 estimated $ 900K. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
1969 carroll shelby's convertible shelby
2015 sold for $ 550K including premium
For competition, Shelby assembled Ford engines on Cobra chassis. The brilliant results of this combination pleased the Americans who saw in this new brand a more promising competitor to European champions than the heavy Chevrolet Corvette.
The Ford Mustang, released in 1964, is one of the greatest successes in the history of automobile. The Shelby GT350 is a high-end version of the Mustang with a sporty bodywork. The Shelby line will benefit from the technical improvements designed for the Mustang.
1968 was a key year for this development with the Shelby GT500 equipped with a Ford 428 engine of 7 liters. Coupes and cabriolets are now offered in the Shelby catalogue.
Shelby were assembling their cars individually. Ford set up for them an automated production in 1969, which will be the last year of both GT350 and GT500.
Carroll Shelby kept since new for his personal use a convertible Shelby GT500 made in 1969. This car may be considered as the most prestigious Mustang and the ultimate commercial Shelby. It will be sold in Scottsdale on January 17 by Barrett-Jackson, lot 2511.
1969 The Self Proclaimed King of Kustomizers
2009 SOLD 100 K$ before fees
The 60s lived two social phenomena that have changed our vision and our use of the world. The car is definitely out of its craft phase, being now only designed for series. Television is becoming accessible to all and takes a prominent place in our time.
The work of George Barris is inserted at the intersection of these two trends. To feed the TV movies and shows, it was necessary to create original cars, capable of capturing the attention of disregarding watchers.
Barris cars therefore have a special look, of course. And they are almost new, necessarily, because after their short artistic career they could only be used for presentation.
On October 3 in St.Charles, Illinois, in the auction held by Mecum, George Barris himself will present the AMX 400 Coupe created in 1969 by George Barris Kustom. Used for a TV show, only 3300 original miles.
What's the value of such a vehicle? I have not found an estimate, but my previous article in this group on Andy Saunders shows that prices for custom cars are not very high.
For your entertainment, I invite you to discover the drawings of fiction vehicles on the main page of Barris site.
POST SALE COMMENT
Mecum sold 100 K$ excl this AMC car designed by George Barris.
I was not expecting a higher price for a custom car. Therefore I consider that it is a very good result.
1969 Pontiac launches the Trans Am
2016 both unsold
Released in 1967, the Pontiac Firebird offers a range of engines and options culminating in 1969 with the new variant Trans Am which will later be upgraded to a separate line of products. The high end, offered in this first year without much advertising support, is accepting custom requirements.
697 Pontiac Trans Am are manufactured in 1969. They constitute the whole of the first generation of this model that will be significantly modified in the following year. Convertibles attract very few customers, perhaps because they are more expensive. Only 8 convertibles are built. They will not have an immediate following because the second generation withdraws this option.
Two of these highly rare Trans Am convertibles will be sold byMecum at Kissimmee FL on January 22. Both have an all-white exterior finish without the usual lateral blue stripes and their engine is a 400/335 HP which is not the most powerful in the range.
The lot F115 has a parchment interior that gives it a triple white designation, the only one of its kind with this aesthetic refinement. Its gear box is four-speed manual.
The lot F138 is offered with a blue interior. Its transmission is automatic.
I invite you to watch the video shared by Mecum to introduce the Trans Am convertible triple white.
1969 When Dodge targeted the NASCAR
The history of motor sport events must take into account the many changes
made necessary over time in the regulations for the thrill of the race
and for safety. Competitions organized by the NASCAR, so popular in the United States, are no exception to that observation.
Thus, in 1969, Dodge prepares a new Daytona model to compete with Chrysler and Ford in NASCAR. The prototype was tested successfully, but in the meantime NASCAR significantly reduced the maximum allowed power of the engine. The team of the Dodge tried to adapt it to the new standards, but failed to obtain authorization.
This unique test car will be sold on January 30 by Mecum at Kissimmee, Florida. Its test driver, Bobby Allison, will sign autographs during the event.
1969-1970 An Elephant in a Convertible
2016 SOLD for $ 2.675M before fees
In the opposite to the old practice in car industry, the customer chooses within a wide range the engine model that he wants to have installed with the bodywork. The top choice remains the overpowered 426 Hemi engine nicknamed The Elephant, launched in 1964 but significantly improved for the 1970 season. The customer also opts for a manual four-speed or an automatic transmission. A manual gear box is now highly considered by the collectors.
The Clean Air Act of 1970 and the increase in insurance premiums discourage the US customers now reluctant to spend much money in prestige cars. The production of the 426 Hemi is definitively stopped after the 1971 season.
The convertible versions of the Chrysler models with the 426 Hemi engine are extremely rare: 14 cars in 1970 and 11 in 1971 for Plymouth, 9 cars in 1970 and none in 1971 for Dodge.
The sale by Mecum in Kissimmee FL on January 22 includes an example of each of these three models, all offered with many original options.
Lot F111 is a 1970 Dodge constructed in December 1969. Its transmission is automatic. It is estimated $ 2M.
Lot F109 is a 1970 Plymouth constructed in October 1969. Its transmission is manual. It is estimated $ 2.75M.
Lot F102 is a 1971 Plymouth built in September 1970. It is estimated $ 2.25M. Its transmission is automatic. Only two 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda convertibles were equipped with a manual transmission. One of them was sold for $ 3.5 million before fees by Mecum on June 14, 2014.
I invite you to watch the videos shared by Mecum to introduce the 1970 cars : Plymouth Hemi Cuda and Dodge Challenger.
RESULTS BEFORE FEES :
1970 Plymouth (constructed in 1969) : $ 2.675M
1971 Plymouth (constructed in 1970) : $ 2.3M
1970 Dodge (constructed in 1969) : $ 1.65M
1970 The Ultimate Muscles
2015 SOLD for $ 2.25M before fees
Sales drop sharply in 1971: the overpowered engines are no longer welcomed after the 1970 Clean Air Act, without forgetting the rise of gas prices and of insurance rates.
Chrysler develops two parallel product lines in 1970 on their new E-Body chassis and the huge Hemi engine, the Hemi Cuda in the Plymouth division and the Challenger in the Dodge division. The convertible version of the Hemi Cuda is the ultimate high-end muscle car, extremely rare: 14 cars produced in 1970 and 11 cars in 1971.
An exceptional 1971 Hemi Cuda Convertible 4 Speed retaining its original engine was sold for $ 3.8 million including premium by Mecum on June 14, 2014.
A Hemi Cuda Convertible made in 1970 with an automatic transmission is estimated $ 2.5M for sale by Mecum at Monterey on August 14, lot F69. It had been presented new including a large number of the available options to its bodywork stylist, John Herlitz.
1970 The Muscles of the Cuda
To satisfy the crazy young drivers, Pontiac introduced in 1964 a model of light car with an oversized engine. Mostgreat American brands will follow soon. This range of sport cars is known as "muscle cars". They are very popular among the nostalgics to a time when road safety was not a priority.
To our delight, the muscle cars are more elegant than the mass production cars. Created in 1970 by the Plymouthdivision of Chrysler, the 'Cuda is one of the best outcomes of this trend.
The 'Cuda is an evolution of the Barracuda model which was the main competitor of the Ford Mustang. It uses the newtype E chassis, which also powers the Dodge Challenger released in the same year. A 'Cuda with a hemispherical Hemiengine is colloquially named Hemi 'Cuda.
Russo and Steele display their enthusiasm for the rare Hemi 'Cudas that remained in good condition. At Scottsdale in January 2011, a convertible was sold by them for $ 1.7 million including premium.
A Hemi 'Cuda coupe enters the sale organized in Scottsdale by the same auction house from 16 to 20 January. It hasless than 50,000 miles from new. Well maintained, it had never needed to be restored and has even kept its originaldocumentation. Here is the link to the blog of Russo and Steele.
In 1970, muscle cars had already no future. On that year, the U.S. Congress approves the Clean Air Act. The final blow to these lines of automobiles will be given in 1974 by the oil crisis.
1971 Birds for the NASCAR
2019 SOLD for $ 410k including premium
After the 1968 season, Petty leaves Plymouth for Ford which is then developing the Talladega. Plymouth reacts by creating the Superbird which is a version with a rear diffuser of their new Road Runner. Dodge and Mercury are also preparing new developments. To meet the NASCAR rules, the Superbird will be manufactured in about 2,000 units.
Petty returned to Plymouth in 1970. For 1971 new rules restrict the use of aerodynamic equipment in the Grand National, thereby obsoleting the Superbird. For the 1972 season the Plymouth factory ceases to fund Petty. On August 3 in Harrisburg, Mecum sells two Plymouth cars raced by "King Richard" during this transition period.
Lot S96 is a Superbird from 1970, the only year of production of this model. In that year Petty won 8 NASCAR races with several cars, but the Grand National champion was Bobby Isaac on Dodge. The car for sale was displayed by Petty in a movie produced by Disney in 2006. The estimate is not published.
In 1971 Petty is the NASCAR champion. Lot S100 is the Road Runner with which he achieved 19 of his 21 race wins of that year. It is estimated $ 1M.
Please watch the video shared by Mecum introducing the two cars. The image of the Superbird is shared by Wikimedia with attribution ckirkman at flickr [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Superbird : unsold
Road Runner : SOLD for $ 410K including premium
1974 The Sleeping Shadow
I recently explained how the non-limited motor power in the competitions of the Can-Am enabled the creation byPorsche of the best racing car of all time.
In 1974, the Porsche 917 is kept aside from the Can-Am by a rule change that whetted the ambitions of its competitors. The surprise comes from the Shadow brand, with its new DN4 model.
This lightweight car with a lowered body is not the most powerful, but its aerodynamic performance is exceptional.Extremely docile and quick, it dominates the Can-Am on that year.
Five units of the DN4 were built, including two involved in the 1974 competition. One of the two was sold $ 380Kincluding premium by Bonhams on August 18, 2006.
No luck: the oil crisis stopped dead this upward spiral of improved automobile technology.
In 1976, a nostalgic organizes a new race in Canada according to the former regulations of the Can-Am whose activities had been suspended. Shadow's team owner Don Nichols registers a unit that had never been used. It takesthe pole position, exceeds the lap record, wins the race and returns to its garage where it remains for the next 36 years.
This is indeed a true time capsule of one of the most speedy racing models of all time, as new, never been modified,having covered less than 300 miles in its career and having won its unique race.
This beautiful black car will be sold on August 18 by Mecum at Monterey. Here is the link to the catalog.
1989 The Car of the Creature
Only a creature of the dark such as Batman could save the city from total destruction against the terrible Catwomancoming back from the dead. The movie, Batman Returns, released in 1992, is perhaps the best of the series. Thedifferences fade between the moderately good characters and the super villains, and between almost humans and realand fake animals.
In this gloomy atmosphere, Batman needed a car. Nobody, not even Batman, can live without a car in the United Statesof America. Prepared in 1989, it is black, beautifully sinister with its long coachwork and its huge rear wings.
The threat of Catwoman has been rejected, so this Batmobile built on Chevrolet hardware had no more reason to beused after the movie. It is for sale on January 29 by Mecum on Kissimmee, Florida.
2006 12G IN 3.58 SECONDS WITH A ROCKET CAR
It is called Rocket Car Hydrogen. Its very low body does not allow the air to come under the vehicle. Its very long and unaesthetic front is the result of the aerodynamic computation of engineers.
Built in 2006, this copy has entered the record books twice, standing start. It traveled 250 meters in less than 3 seconds with a speed of arrival at 530 km / h, and a quarter mile in 3.58 seconds with a speed of arrival at 621 km / h. Its NASA Apollo engine provides a maximum power of 30,000 hp and an acceleration of 12G, with a fuel made of 88% hydrogen peroxide. For driving it, the pilot had to train on a fighter jet.
This monster is estimated 80 K € at Artcurial in Paris on February 8. Compared with other vehicles in the sale, the price is very low. It is not surprising because the market prefers cars that can be used on the road or in town. We imagine that this lowered object is disturbed by the first small pebble on its path.
2012 the convertible supercar
2017 sold for $ 800k in charity sale
The fitting in the back of a Lotus Exige of a 7-liter Hennessey Venom 1000 Twin Turbo engine is the result of an intuition. Released in 2011, the Hennessey Venom GT car enters in competition with the new Koenigsegg Agera R for breaking speed and acceleration records.
The lead singer of the Aerosmith band, Steven Tyler, likes life at full speed. He asks Hennessey if he can have a brief drive of a Venom. He is seduced and emits the suggestion of a convertible. This is bold because a close cockpit provides some protection to the seaters in a supercar. Hennessey realizes in 2012 for Tyler a Venom GT Spyder, black outside and inside.
In January 2013 a Venom GT reaches 200 mph (322 km/h) in less than 15 seconds. The average speed reached in April of the same year over 2 miles is 265 mph (428 km/h). The structural modification had slightly reduced the performance of the spyder compared to the coupe. This gap is almost filled : a spyder reached 427 km/h top speed in March 2016.
This champion is too scarce for being homologated as a production car : the total population of the Venom GT including altogether coupes and spyders is 12 units.
Tyler's Spyder is the fifth car and the first convertible in this series. It is offered at no reserve on January 20 in Scottsdale by Barrett-Jackson, lot 3003, to the benefit of Janie's Fund, the charity created by Tyler in partnership with Youth Villages to help abused girls.