Born in 1881, Henry Francis Stanley Morgan was the son of a vicar who, unlike his father and grandfather before, eschewed a life in the church in favor of a life in engineering. Morgan studied at Crystal Palace Engineering College and apprenticed on the Great Western Railroad, unknowingly following in the footsteps of fellow motoring icons Henry Royce and W.O. Bentley who both served apprenticeships on the railroad. Morgan soon set up a small shop in Malvern Link, Worcestershire as a service and sales agent for Darraq and Wolseley. But H.F.S grew bored with selling other people’s products and he decided to build a motorcar of his own design, the first of which was built in the engineering workshop of Malvern College. Morgan’s car was an innovative single-seat three-wheel design, with two wheels up front and a single driven wheel in the rear. It was powered by a Peugeot V-twin sending power through a dog transmission via chains and sprockets to the rear wheel. The most innovative feature, however, was the “sliding pillar” independent front suspension – the basic concept of which is still used on Morgans nearly 110 years later! A £3000 loan from his father (no small sum in 1910) allowed H.F.S. to set up a manufacturing facility where he could build his new machine. Morgan unveiled his creation (now powered by a J.A.P. V-Twin) at the Motor Cycle Show, though the single seater configuration did limit initial interest, a two-seater variant introduced in 1911 finally saw orders flowing in. Sporty and economical, the Morgan three-wheeler’s popularity grew exponentially, its image cemented by the company’s participation in trials and track competition. Initially all Morgans were two-seaters, powered by a succession of J.A.P., Blumfield, and Precision V-twin engines. Front brakes were added in 1923, the year total Morgan production surpassed 40,000 units. A Family model, with a modest rear seat, was added to the line in 1925. Late 1931 saw a new chassis design as well as a three speed gearbox with the rather handy addition of a reverse gear. Two years later, even more changes were brought with the addition of a four-cylinder Morgan, powered by an 8-horsepower, 933-cc Ford engine. A completely new Z-section frame was supplied by Rubery-Owen, Ltd., and Ford’s three-speed (plus reverse) gearbox was used. Designated as Model F (for Ford) it would remain in production even as a four-wheeled Morgan was introduced in 1935. V-twin Morgans ceased production at the beginning of World War II, but the F model was continued until 1952. Both two- and four-seat Fs were built, and from 1937 an F-Super was added with cycle fenders and a 1,172-cubic centimeter engine rated at 10 horsepower (30 brake horsepower). It is one of these rare F-Supers we offer here, one of just 129 built after World War II. This delightful Morgan F-Super was treated to a complete and meticulous restoration by the previous owner. It presents in fabulous condition, looking fresh and cheerful in its distinct shade of light green accented by black front wings. Paint quality is excellent with high quality detailing throughout. As part of the restoration, the wood body framing was renewed as needed and the car remains in outstanding order. Chrome trim is likewise in excellent condition and the car retains pleasant details such as leather bonnet straps and an original 1953 tax disc. The interior is charmingly spartan, with room for two on the black leather seats. The upholstery has been beautifully crafted and looks fresh and inviting. Black carpets and door cards are similarly excellent and the polished wood dash stands out, accented with a body color instrument panel. Instrumentation is limited to the very basics, just a fuel gauge and speedometer keep the driver informed. Should you find yourself in adverse weather conditions, there is a full canvas top to keep out the elements. But for sunny days, this Morgan is best enjoyed with the top stowed and the windscreen folded for the full wind-in-the-face experience. The 30 hp Ford engine is simply presented but pleasingly detailed down to a set of spare plugs on the firewall. As part of the restoration, the engine and associated mechanicals were rebuilt. A jack bag and period trouble light are found in the cowl-mounted tool box. Since the restoration was completed, this wonderful Morgan has been shown at a number of prestigious events including Keels and Wheels, Boca Raton, Ault Park, Meadowbrook, and Hilton Head Island Concours where is received numerous class and special awards. Most notably, it has scored an AACA Grand National First Place award. Rare and eminently charming, it remains in excellent condition, an outstanding early example from this most quirky of British car companies.
The 1960’s proved to be a fruitful time for the American custom car scene. Hot Rodding culture was becoming ever more mainstream and regularly depicted in movies, television and print. For hot-rod builders, new materials, techniques and influences were being applied to cars and the boundaries were pushed ever further thanks to the efforts of a new-school of creative forces, led by the likes of Ed Roth, Dean Jeffries, Gene Winfield and George Barris. Together with other designers, artists and car builders, the Kustom Kulture was born. The Kustom movement was a further evolution of the traditional American hot rod, which gradually moved away from dry-lake roadsters and into more sophisticated machines, many based on 1940s and 1950s sedans with heavily modified bodies and complex paint work. As the decade wore on, these builders often constructed ever more dramatic and downright whacky “theme” cars for show competition as well as television and movies. George Barris, along with his brother Sam started building cars when they were teenagers in California. In high school, they started the “Kustoms Car Club” and spend every waking moment working on and around cars. At just 18 years of age, George moved to Los Angeles and founded the Barris Kustom Shop where he continued building customized and restyled cars for an ever growing list of clients. The Los Angeles location of the shop meant the shop soon attracted the attention of Hollywood execs and they began designing and building cars for a multitude of Hollywood movies and television programs. Barris’ first movie car was a customized 1946 Chevrolet used in the teen crime drama, High School Confidential from 1958. More Hollywood work followed, including arguably Barris’ most famous design, the original Batmobile from the 1966 Batman television series. Further projects included such pop-culture icons as The Munsters “Drag-U-La”, The Jalopy from the Beverly Hillbillies, a ’71 Lincoln from The Car and K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider. Of course, George Barris built a number of cars for his own personal use but few have survived untouched, as they were often sold off to finance his next project. After many years supplying cars for Hollywood movies and movie stars, George treated himself a 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS. He loved the Ferrari and he immediately joined the Ferrari club to share in his excitement. At a club meet, he realized all of the cars looked the same and he couldn’t tell which was his! So of course, he set to work modifying the Ferrari with the signature Barris Kustoms look, no matter how pretty the original Pininfarina styling was. So Starting with a widebody kit, the front and rear fenders were dramatically flared to accommodate extra-wide BBS wheels and tires. The pop up headlights were binned in favor of driving lights behind amber covers, much like the contemporary 512 Berlinetta Boxer. Headlamps were relocated to the grille below the bumper, and a deep chin spoiler was fitted, while a custom grille was fabricated for the rear. The resulting re-styling is not unlike a Boxer or 288GTO, though the similarities end with the silhouette, this is a Barris Kustom, after all! With body modifications complete, the 308 was then refinished in an unmistakably Barris-esque two-tone color scheme. Metallic gold upper panels and metallic copper lower panels are separated by green, white and red stripes around the lower beltline. Real gold leaf pinstriping adorns the upper bodywork and ties in the gold-finished BBS RS alloy wheels. Never one for subtleties, this 308 is quintessentially George Barris. George didn’t hold back when it came to the interior, either. His touches are everywhere you look, from the re-upholstered seats that continue the Italian flag motif, to the fully custom digital instrument pod and center console. Period high-tech bits include an integrated NEC telephone, Sony television, Kenwood audio system, and back up camera. Gold plating adorns the spokes on the Nardi steering wheel and much of the switchgear and interior hardware. After completion, Barris’ 308 made a cameo appearance on Knight Rider as the “Dagger D-X”, an aptly named ride for a T.V. villain and adversary for Michael Knight. Importantly, the quality and value of this car go beyond its history. Mechanically, this is a very sound and usable carbureted 308 GTS with just 8,000 miles from new. It has been very well kept over the years and it presents in great condition, mechanically as well as cosmetically. Barris’ quality workmanship is reflected in the fact that the car has survived so very well over the years. While the television history is certainly an interesting aside, the true significance of this automobile lays in the fact that this was George Barris’ personal car, designed and built by the man himself; a man that was one of the most influential players in the intersection of the Hot Rod and American popular culture.
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Alfa Romeo seems to have something in its DNA that few other manufacturers have managed to capture. There’s an emotional connection, a sensation through the steering wheel and gearbox that lends even the most basic Alfa the feeling that it is somehow directly connected to the spirit of the great Vittorio Jano designed sports and grand prix cars of the 1930’s. Even after Alfa Romeo shifted to its focus to mass production in the years after WWII, they still managed to keep that passion and sporting heritage alive – a spirit that lives on even in today’s Alfas. The Duetto first appeared in the mid-1960s as a basic and svelte two-seat roadster based on the highly successful 105-series chassis that formed the foundation of the Giulia/Giulietta coupes and sedans. The Duetto was initially offered with a 1600 c.c., all alloy twin-cam four-cylinder with a pair of Weber carburetors that produced 108 horsepower. The fairly conventional chassis returned excellent handling thanks to finely honed damping, a well-located rear axle and independent front suspension. Unlike the Giulia Coupe, which wore a body by Bertone, the lovely Duetto was penned by Pininfarina and bore no resemblance to its siblings. The Duetto was actually the last project that the company’s founder, Battista “Pinin” Farina had a personal hand in, and he was quite proud of the results. The beautiful design is characterized by minimal chrome, distinctly sculptured body sides and that signature tapering, rounded tail. This is the purest expression of the Alfa Spider, and considered by “Alfisti” to be the most desirable of all Spider models in its long 27 year production run. This lovely example is an early model from 1966. It wears a beautiful restoration that was executed on a solid, high quality foundation. Finished in red with a tan leather interior piped in red, black carpets and a tan top, the paint and finishing are done to a very high standard – well above what is typical for a Duetto. Recent history at the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance and a class award at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance attest to its quality. Along with lovely paint, it wears new rubber seals and gaskets and excellent bright work. The original steel wheels with dog-dish hubcaps are the correct, and in our opinion, best choice for the round-tail Duetto. Their simple design only serves to highlight the elegant and sparse Pininfarina styling. To complement the fine exterior, the cabin has likewise been restored to a very high level. Leather and trim work have been done to a similarly high standard as the rest of the car. The color combination looks great and adds to this example’s unique charm. The iconic twin-cam 1600 c.c. inline four has been properly detailed, and the restorer resisted the common urge to polish everything in sight – it is all refreshingly simple and clean under the hood. Much the same goes on in the boot, which has been trimmed in black carpet as per original, with an original jack and correct spare residing inside. Standard on all Duettos was a five-speed manual gearbox and disc brakes. It is rare to find a truly great Duetto – one with good bones and such a quality restoration. This is a beautiful early example that is ready for show, but also happens to be exceptionally well sorted to deliver an outstanding drive. The name “Duetto” simply means duet in Italian - perhaps for the simple fact that there’s just room for you and a passenger, but perhaps the name implies something about the magical interaction between driver and machine – the true essence of the Alfa Romeo Experience.
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As the last Rolls-Royce designed under the direct supervision of Sir Henry Royce, the Phantom II Continental is the ultimate and most desirable iteration of the Phantom range. As its name would suggest, the Continental was designed for high-speed touring across Europe, and in ultimate spec, was capable of approaching 100mph. What set the Continental apart from the standard range was namely the shortened chassis with stiffer, five-leaf springs to handle the rigors of high-performance touring and a series of sporting bodies offered by select coachbuilders. The standard Phantom II shared very little in common with its predecessor (Phantom I) beyond the bore and stroke dimensions of the 7,668cc inline six-cylinder engine. Engineers made a great deal of progress within the big six; adding a cross flow cylinder head, separate inlet ports, improved exhaust manifold and a bump in compression allowing for an additional 20hp. The driveline was also improved with modifications to the gearbox and clutch and the addition of a Hotchkiss drive layout for the hypoid rear axle which allowed for a lower floor line. This of course delighted coachbuilders who could now fit lower, sleeker bodywork and the addition of the short chassis Continental allowed coachbuilders to showcase their most sporting designs. Performance was exceptional for a car of this size, and sales proved strong considering the price, with 281 of the total Phantom II production of 1,767 units leaving the works in Continental specification. Chassis number 80MS was originally ordered by the respected dealer Jack Barclay in 1932. It was sent to directly to H.J. Mulliner where it received the handsome sports saloon coachwork it wears today. On November 21, 1932, 80MS had completed testing and was delivered three days later to E.M. Thomas and his famous motor-racing wife, Jill (Scott) Thomas. The Thomas’ were well known in motor racing circles; E.M. Thomas was a regular competitor at Brooklands, though rather uncharacteristically for the time, it was his wife who was truly the hardcore racer. She had been formerly married to “Bentley Boy” W.B. Scott and was the first woman to lap Brooklands at over 120mph. She won multiple races and held several 500km and 500 mile records. As such, she was the first ever woman elected to the storied BRDC. According to factory notes, Mr. Thomas insisted special attention be paid to the brakes on his new Rolls-Royce. We can only assume that this wonderful Phantom II was enjoyed to its fullest by its enthusiastic original owners. In 1938, 80MS passed to Mr. Angus Fletcher, who is believed to have retained the car through the War. It then passed to Mr. John Lewis who kept the car through 1962 when it appears to have made its way to the United States. In 1989, following long-term ownership, the car was handed over to Lyle Reider of British Marque Auto in Pennsylvania who carried out a bare metal respray, re-wiring, and cosmetic restoration. In conjunction, John Dennison performed a full engine rebuild. The most recent owner acquired the car in 2003 who has continually maintained it in excellent mechanical order, using it regularly on tours, events and rallies. Today, 80MS (engine number WO85) remains in very fine order, showing just a bit of patina from regular use. The crisp and attractive H.J. Mulliner coachwork presents very well with burgundy main body over black fenders and a black upholstered roof. The paint is in good order, showing some signs of use here and there, but remaining quite attractive since the respray was completed. Maroon wire wheels wear blackwall tires that are an ideal match for the sporting coachwork. A single rear mount spare keeps the body sides clean, fully accentuating the sweeping line of the fenders. This is the original body to 80MS, and a photo of the car is featured in Raymond Gentile’s book, “The Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental” (p156). The cabin has been retrimmed in attractive brown leather with brown Wilton carpeting. The seats appear lovingly broken-in and the detailing is unfussy and down to business. Wood trim on the door caps and dash is in fine order. Under the bonnet, the 7.7 liter inline six presents beautifully, again showing minor signs of use but never abuse or neglect. Fittings and hardware are largely correct with a few minor accommodations for modernity such as the hose clamps and drive belt. The Phantom II Continental was designed from day one as a driver’s car with cross continent touring its main charge. With its very intriguing early history, fantastic Mulliner coachwork and well-sorted mechanical condition, we are confident this fine example will continue to bring much enjoyment to its next keeper.
By 1918, Cadillac had already established itself as a leader in innovation and quality. Cadillac’s founder Henry Leland was a true pioneer of American industry and a champion for mass produced, precision machine manufacturing. Cadillac’s breakthrough of the electric Self-Starter system and electric lights in 1912 were largely responsible for cementing the internal combustion automobile’s dominance over electric and steam. Three years later, they introduced another significant innovation – the world’s first mass-produced V8 engine. The L-head engine was designed by the Scottish born engineer D. McCall White and featured two cast iron cylinder blocks with integral heads mounted atop an aluminum-copper alloy crankcase. It was an ingenious design that utilized fork and blade connecting rods to provide clearance for opposing cylinders as well as dual water pumps when most cars made do with simple, inefficient thermo-syphoning cooling systems. The engine produced an impressive 70 horsepower and was a marvel of smooth running and linear power delivery. There was even an optional Kellogg auxiliary air compressor which could be used to inflate tires in the event of a puncture. With continual refinement, it was this V8 engine that truly put Cadillac at the top of its market segment, proudly supporting their bold motto – The Standard of the World. Handsome and imposing, this 1918 Cadillac Model 57 Opera Coupe is one of our personal favorites. Three-passenger Opera Coupe bodywork is a lovely formal style that is rarely seen today. It is quickly distinguished by its dual oval rear windows and tall, upright proportion. This wonderful example wears its older restoration well, with Cadillac Blue main body subtly offset by black fenders and black leather topping. Panel fit and paint finish quality are excellent and in keeping with the original high level of build quality these cars were famous for. It rides on a set of wooden spoke artillery wheels wrapped in black wall tires that help enhance the imposing, almost sporting appearance. Dual rear-mount spares keep the body lines clean and uncluttered, while adding visual length. The nickel detailing is in excellent order and provides a touch of bright flash. An interesting feature of this body is the fact that the central B-pillar can be removed with thumb screws that transform this formal elegant body into one of the earliest iterations of the “pillarless coupe”. Rather interestingly, the driver sits alone up front with accommodations for two passengers on the rear bench seat. A folding jump seat sits in the front footwell for the occasional fourth occupant inside, while a leather-trimmed rumble seat is reserved for two additional very occasional passengers. The “Fat Man Wheel” folds out of the way to allow the gentleman more ample of girth to climb aboard without the possibility of embarrassing himself in front of female companions. Seats, interior panels and door cards are all trimmed in period correct Bedford cord to a high standard. Trim, carpets and interior fittings are in excellent order throughout. Original instrumentation includes speedometer, fuel pressure gauge and ammeter while a Moto-Meter atop the radiator keeps watch on engine temps. An interesting feature is the mechanically dipped headlights which work through a system of rods and linkages attached to the headlight reflectors, all operated via a lever on the steering column. It just goes to demonstrate the level of thoughtful design that Cadillac was famous for. By 1918, D. McCall White’s masterpiece V8 engine had received some important upgrades. Lighter weight pistons were introduced the year prior, improving efficiency and drivability. For 1918, detachable cylinder heads made for simpler service and repair and improvements were made to the 3-speed transmission for smoother and more reliable operation. Our example presents very well, with correct finishes, fittings and wiring. It is a strong running example that is ideally suited for touring with the CCCA or other nickel-era clubs, thanks in no small part to the powerful and smooth powerplant and very well restored chassis and running gear. The Cadillac Model 57 is a very significant part of the history of the automobile. It was a Model 57 that, in 2014, was the very first vehicle to be named to the HVA’s National Historic Vehicle Register, shining new light on these robust, beautiful and important cars. Our example is sure to please thanks to its excellent, restored condition and well-sorted mechanical nature. We are very pleased to offer this fantastic Cadillac and we hope you get as much joy from it as we do.
The Silver Ghost was the car that fully established Rolls-Royce as the undisputed king of fine automobiles. The Ghost was over-engineered to a standard that was unmatched by its rivals and often wore the finest bodies from the most respected coachbuilders the world over. When a replacement was due, Rolls-Royce made sure the new car lived up to the lofty standards it had set with the Silver Ghost. The new car was developed in secret, and even code named “Easter Armoured Car” to throw off potential spies. The Phantom, as it would become known, featured an all-new 7.7 liter inline-six with very advanced overhead valves and pushrods. The block was cast in alloy, with cast iron cylinder heads. Suspension, steering and brakes were an evolution of the Ghost’s but thoroughly improved to provide more modern ride and handling. Thanks to the success of the Silver Ghost, an assembly plant had already been established in Springfield, Massachusetts to build cars that catered to American clientele. The Phantom debuted in 1925, and by 1926, they were leaving the Springfield works to very strong demand. A vast array of catalog body styles were offered, with the famous coachbuilders at Brewster getting a large number of contracts for the Springfield cars. All told, 1,241 Phantom 1s left the Springfield works from 1926 to 1931. This handsome Phantom 1 wears highly desirable All Weather Phaeton coachwork by Brewster of New York. Officially known as the “Newmarket” style in the Rolls-Royce catalog, it is full convertible that features roll up glass windows and folding B-pillars to remain weather tight in all conditions. Regardless of how it is presented, it is incredibly handsome and a very desirable body style. Chassis S126PR was delivered new to Mrs. E.J. Williams of Cincinnati, Ohio in December of 1930. A very high specification car with pricey coachwork, it set Mrs. Williams back a staggering $20,075.50 – an equivalent to nearly $300,000 in today’s numbers. As would be the case with such an automobile, a large portion of that invoice covered the cost of the Brewster-built coachwork. Brewster was favored by Rolls-Royce for their Springfield-built cars as they were one of a select few coachbuilders that could truly live up to the standard set by Rolls-Royce in terms of both quality and elegance. As a late specification Phantom 1 (Phantom II production had already commenced in Derby in 1929), chassis number S126PR benefits from the full array of running changes made during P1 production. These improvements included four-wheel servo-assisted brakes, Bijur chassis lubrication system, and a vacuum fed fuel tank, all of which help to make this an extremely enjoyable motorcar to drive. Given the considerable cost of entry and magnificent coachwork, it is unsurprising to discover this fabulous car has been extremely well-maintained and cherished from new. It retains its original coachwork and remains correct and authentic in mechanical specification. The chassis number is found stamped in to the convertible top frame, confirming it retains the original body, and comprehensive documentation related to its history is on file with the Rolls Royce Owner’s Club. A full restoration was undertaken in the 1990s by then owner and a marque expert, Lawrence Smith of Kansas. Following its restoration, it received a First Place award in the Primary Division of the 1998 AACA Grand Classic Annual Meet. Following its time with Mr. Smith, it was most recently part of two prominent East Coast collections, where it was used regularly, shown successfully in a variety of Concours d’Elegance and lovingly maintained by respected specialists. Today, S126PR looks positively resplendent in navy blue over silver finders and color-coordinated wheel discs. The body and paint are finished to an extremely high standard and still present exceptionally well considering the restoration is approaching two decades old. A matching trunk residing on the truck rack has been detailed with subtle red coach stripes to mirror those on the wheel discs. Like the body, the blue leather interior is also finished to a high standard and remains in outstanding order since the restoration. The color combination along with the blue leather, polished wood trim and chrome detailing impart a bit of a nautical feel, particularly when presented with the roof and windows open. It is a stunning and elegant machine in any configuration. The magnificent 7.7 liter inline six presents in beautiful condition. In spite of the regular and careful use in the past few years, it remains exceptionally tidy and retains correct detailing throughout, having been recently detailed and prepared. The sound and sorted mechanicals in combination with the versatile coachwork make Mrs. Williams’ Newmarket an ideal choice for CCCA, RROC or AACA touring. Fabulous history and exquisite cosmetics simply add to the appeal. ils.
The normally stoic and pragmatic Germans must have had a great need for a bit of levity after all they had been through during World War II. The German infrastructure, economy and spirit had been crushed to bits in the 1940s and as they rebuilt from the ground up, the 1950s spawned the era of the Microcar. Germans needed an inexpensive mode of transportation that could be more practical than a motorcycle yet offer comparable efficiency given the serious shortages of fuel. The microcar boon brought a vast array of cheeky, almost comical little cars that offered German motorists exactly the kind of efficient transportation they needed. Cars such as the Heinkel, Messerschmitt, and the ubiquitous Isetta earned such vehicles the nickname “bubble cars” – for their comical, egg-shaped bodies. Aside from these regular players in the microcar market, there were scores of other, lesser known examples that popped up and disappeared during the 1950s. One such car was the Kleinschnittger F125. Produced by Paul Kleinschnittger of Arnsberg, Germany, between April 1950 and August 1957, this microcar oddity weighed in at a featherweight 150 kilos (about 330 pounds) and is powered by a great, whopping 6hp, 123cc two-stroke single which drives the front wheels. The cute little roadster body measures just eight-foot, eight-inch long by three-foot, nine-inches wide and is constructed of hand-hammered aluminum over a steel tubular Wachtendord & Schmidt chassis. Employing leftovers from the Second World War, ex-army cooking pots cut into quarters formed the basis for the molds of the front fender curves. Each of the four wheels features fully independent rubber band suspension. The result is an adorable, whimsical two-seat roadster with almost pedal-car like proportions. The 123-cc ILO two-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder engine sends power through a three-speed gearbox to the front wheels. A top speed of 70 kph is possible assuming one has a both the necessary courage and substantial tailwind to attempt such a feat. Factory figures provide a more conservative 50–55 cruising speed which to us seems a bit more realistic given the sparse accommodations. More impressive, and of course more relevant to buyers at the time, was a fuel consumption rating of 3 liters of petrol per 100km; about 80mpg for us Yanks. In spite of its relative obscurity today, the Klienschnittger sold quite well in its time, with over 3,000 finding homes up through 1957 when production ceased. This rare and delightful 1954 F125 was the subject of a high quality restoration in 1996 while part of the world-renowned Bruce Weiner Microcar Collection. Much of the body was rebuilt by hand, and it was subsequently treated to a fresh coat of attention-grabbing red paint and a re-trim in black vinyl. The seats were correctly restored using the original thatch straw filling in the seat squab and a new black top was fitted. The most recent owner acquired the F125 in 1997 where it has been a prominent part of a private display. In the past year, the Kleinschnittger was again carefully disassembled and re-painted. Concurrently, the engine was removed, overhauled and resealed. The carburetor was rebuilt, a new air filter was sourced and the engine tuned for proper running. Most importantly, the rubber suspension and steering link were replaced. Finally, a new bonnet latch and straps were sourced, as were new, impossibly skinny whitewall tires for the original silver painted disc wheels. Kleinschnittger expert Martin Kricke in Germany provided all of the parts and schematics utilized in this most recent restoration. With a fine base to start from, the most recent restoration was careful and extremely well executed. A well-cared-for example for its entire life, this F125 was even once owned by a friend of the Kleinschnittger family, assuring us that it has indeed had a very good life. This Kleinschnittger is no doubt a cheeky and cheerful machine, but it is also a rare survivor from an intriguing manufacturer as well as an important part of German post-war motoring history. It is difficult not to smile in its presence and it is ready to be enjoyed to the fullest. ls.
The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in the early 1920s by William Walmsley, who soon after establishing his business, partnered with a young designer named William Lyons. As the name suggests, the firm built side cars for motorbikes, which were always quite attractive and of excellent quality. Lyons suggested they expand their operation to offer coachbuilt car bodies alongside their sidecars, and Walmsley agreed. Their first car body was built on a Talbot chassis which was quite well received. They went on to build bodies for Standard, Fiat and Swift, however it was their work with the cheeky little Austin 7 that really put the company on the map. Many view the Austin 7 as Britain’s equivalent to the Ford Model T. Of course, the 7 came along a fair bit later than the Ford, in 1922 to be exact, but it nonetheless put Britain on wheels like no other motorcar before it. Inexpensive but reliable and easy to drive, the 7 replaced virtually all other competitors offering compact automobiles and cyclecars. The 7 was tiny at just 6 foot, 3 inch in wheelbase, 40 inches wide and weighing in at a paltry 794 pounds. Comparatively, it was about half the size of a model T but it was perfectly suited for navigating the city streets and narrow country lanes of the British Isles. Sir Herbert Austin performed much of the design work himself, and patented many of the designs he used in the car. The engine was a 696 cc side-valve unit with detachable head, cast cylinder block and alloy crankcase. The plucky little unit was rated at 7.2 horsepower, giving the Austin plenty of power considering the light weight. Much like the Model T in America, the Austin 7 inspired a great many a tinkerer who sought to make their car lighter, faster and prettier. The influence of the 7 can still be felt today, as it was the seed that spawned Britain’s great automotive “cottage industry” of race car builders. Bruce McLaren of McLaren Cars and Colin Chapman of Lotus both got their start building Austin 7 specials. Swallow’s first design for the Austin 7 was a “saloon coupe”; an attractive body that lent the 7 a more grown-up and sophisticated appearance. One marvel of Walmsley and Lyon’s designs was their ability to make such a tiny car appear so elegant and upmarket. On the success of their saloons and coupes, they soon added a variety of beautiful little roadster to the mix. Not only were Swallow bodies attractive and well built, but they were remarkably affordable. With Swallow selling well, Walmsley and Lyons began to experiment with building their own cars based on Standard chassis. Swallow Sidecar Company morphed into Swallow Coachbuilding Company and eventually S.S. Cars, with their sensational SS1 debuting in 1931. As hostilities in Europe ramped up later in the decade, it was wisely decided that S.S. was not a marketable trademark so the company was renamed “Jaguar”, and at the risk of speaking in cliché, the rest is history. Wearing a rare and attractive Swallow Beetleback Roadster body, this 1929 Austin 7 is a nicely restored example, ready for enjoyment. And the enjoyment comes from just looking at this delightful (and exceedingly rare) little two-seat roadster body style, of which it is believed only two others are known to exist. The car has been restored to a good level of quality, with good sound bodywork and attractive paint. Most Swallow bodies were finished in two tone paint schemes and this car is no exception in its lovely dark green over cream fenders and wheels. There are plenty of interesting details on this car; from the alloy running boards to the split, pivoting windscreen. The spare wheel is hidden behind the seats for a sleek and sporty appearance. The cockpit is trimmed in cream leather with green carpets to complement the body and once you slip into the driver’s seat you are greeted to a handsome wood dash an array of period instruments. The detailing is good and there is a full top and side curtain set should you get adventurous and tour with the tiny Austin. Beneath the bonnet, the four cylinder engine is in good condition, tidy, clean and well detailed. Overall, this is a pretty and usable example. The exceptional rarity certainly adds desirability to this already endearing little motor.
Those of us in the car business love to throw around words like “Iconic”, “Legendary” and “Archetypal”. Perhaps it is because, as enthusiasts we feel so passionate about our favorite machines that we resort to trusty superlatives to describe them – however deserving (or not) the car may be of such praise. But there are some vehicles that pass beyond the borders of our beloved hobby and earn themselves a place as cultural icons. Usually, this comes courtesy of groundbreaking styling, sporting success, or in the case of the Land Rover, through faithful service in war and in the hands of those working the most rugged corners of Earth. The Land Rover was directly inspired by another cultural icon – the Jeep. Rover’s chief engineer Maurice Wilks, working on his family farm alongside his brother (and Rover’s Managing Director) Spencer, developed a prototype in 1947 based on a leftover Jeep chassis. The idea was for a vehicle that could serve in a military setting, or provide versatile and inexpensive transport for farmers and tradespeople. When it was introduced a year later, the Land Rover would become a near instant success. The chassis was a robust steel ladder-type with a full-time four-wheel-drive system. Due to post-war steel shortages, the body was constructed from aluminum which was much easier to source at the time. One notable benefit was that the body didn’t suffer from serious rust that similar steel bodies would. All early Land Rovers were painted varying shades of drab green – quite literally surplus paint used to finish aircraft cockpits during WWII. Initially, a 1600 cc petrol engine powered the Land Rover, with a 2000 cc diesel offered from 1957. Throughout production, a wide variety of body styles and configurations were offered to suit just about any imaginable situation. For farmers and industry, countless aftermarket PTO accessories could transform the trusty Landie into virtually any type of machine needed in the field. Its incredible toughness, dependability and versatility earned the Land Rover a place as one of the most valuable tools in a tradesman’s arsenal. It found favor around the globe, serving owners on virtually every continent. This charming 1955 Series I Land Rover Station Wagon is a short wheelbase (86”) station wagon that presents in very original condition. This right-hand drive wagon is delightfully well-preserved, showing what appears to be maybe one paint job in its lifetime, which now exhibits a wonderful patina that is perfectly appropriate for an old Land Rover. There are a few battle scars and a dent or two in the alloy body, which just adds to the appeal – like a well-used tool. Robust bumpers are fitted front and rear, and the plain white wheels are unadorned, with no frivolous trim or wheel covers. The spare wheel is mounted on the hood in traditional Land Rover fashion. Thanks to the four jump seats in the rear compartment, this little Landie will seat seven passengers. It seems almost absurd how today’s bulbous, oversized crossovers and SUV’s grow to enormous proportions to accommodate seven seats, when this little Landie can do it in the span of just an 86” wheelbase. Of course, a certain degree of comfort is sacrificed in the name of practicality, but it is still a testament to the efficient packaging of the original design. Passenger capacity aside, the interior is all business, yet presents in good order with tough gray vinyl covering the seats. The fixed rear roof features safari windows for some extra light and the front door windows are simple Perspex sliders. It is fitted with an optional heater and windscreen wipers should one encounter properly British weather while bouncing through a field. The engine bay is tidy and exhibits signs of maintenance, though it is pure function over form. The legendary 2.0 litre petrol engine runs strong and is a joy to motor around, perched high on the driver’s seat, peering through the split ‘screen. It isn’t fast, and the engine isn’t particularly sonorous, but there is a joy to driving and old Land Rover like this. While it is always nice to have a car that is fully restored and returned to showroom new condition, there is just something more appealing about a Landie in this kind of condition; a tough old machine that is proud to work and proud to show off the scars it’s earned through its life.
Simplify, Add Lightness: This is the fundamental principal that Lotus Cars founder Colin Chapman set for all of his racing and road machines. Like many other legendary racing constructors, Lotus started in a shed, where an Austin 7 was deconstructed, modified and rebuilt into a racing special. The seed was sown and soon Chapman was building competition cars as well as customer road cars to fund his racing efforts. Lotus grew into one of the most successful teams in Grand Prix racing thanks to Chapman’s creativity and relentless pursuit of his design edicts. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, road cars had become an increasingly important component to Lotus’ bottom line. The innovative Elite was one of the first Lotus models to feature the revolutionary backbone chassis, paired with a stressed glassfiber monocoque body. With power from the delectable Coventry Climax engine, the pretty Elite was quick and agile but it was also delicate and the body was prone to stress fractures and twisting. For 1962, the Elite’s replacement, the Elan was a much more sensible design that fully utilized the backbone chassis concept as the main structure. The strong and light steel chassis was again mated to a fiberglass body, but this time, the body was unstressed and therefore not subject to the same sorts of problems faced by the Elite. Suspension on the Elan was independent all around and power came via a Ford “Kent” four-cylinder of 1500cc (for only the first 22 cars before the 1600 replaced it) topped by an advanced twin-cam, 8-valve cylinder head designed by Harry Mundy. Ford were so impressed by the performance gains of the twin-cam head, they purchased the rights to the design and renamed it “Lotus-Ford Twin Cam”. The Elan was the mainstay of Lotus production through the 1960s. With seven different variants over 13 years or production, (including the four-seat Elan +2) it was the biggest success the company had seen and proved a winner in racing form as well. Since its inception, the Elan has been a perennial cult classic and an icon among British sports cars. The Elan served as the direct inspiration for the Mazda MX5 Miata and has often been imitated but never duplicated. There are few cars that combine the Elan’s delicate feel, virtually perfect steering and gutsy, eager twin-cam engine. As a result, they remain highly collectible and well sorted examples are always in demand by enthusiasts. This lovely 1971 Elan is an S4 Drophead that has been fastidiously maintained by its enthusiastic previous owner. It has been treated to a quality restoration where it was refinished in attractive and period correct Bahama yellow over a black interior. The restoration quality is very good, and appropriate for a car that is at its best out on the road. While precise panel alignment was never Colin Chapman’s first concern, the body on this example does fit well and is consistent with factory standards. The signature knock-off wheels are finished in silver as they should be and the car sits on proper radial tires. There’s no real chrome or brightwork to speak of on an Elan, but what little there is on door handles and window trims is in good order and well presented. The black interior is trimmed in original spec vinyl upholstery which is both good looking and hard wearing. Another signature of the Elan is the simple, flat wood dash panel, which is in excellent condition. All switches, instruments and electrics work as they should, a sign that this car has been carefully and properly maintained. That careful, specialized maintenance is evident under the small fiberglass bonnet. The Lotus Twin Cam looks great with no leaks or drips to speak of and clean, tidy presentation all around. These are robust little engines, but they do require knowledgeable service and thankfully this car has been treated exceptionally well. Few automobiles capture the essence of the sports car as well as the Lotus Elan. It is a car that is quite literally the benchmark on which other sports cars are measured. Even Gordon Murray lamented that his only disappointment in his masterpiece McLaren F1 was that he couldn’t have the steering from a Lotus Elan. That speaks volumes for what an important and desirable car this is. With this fine, high quality example, you can experience that sensation first hand.
It can be said that the Austin 7 was Britain’s equivalent of the Ford Model T. Of course, the little 7 came along a bit later than the Ford, in 1922 to be exact, but nonetheless it put Britain on wheels like no other motorcar before it. In essence, the 7 replaced virtually all other competitors offering compacts and cyclecars. The 7 was tiny at just 6 foot, 3 inch in wheelbase, 40 inches wide and weighing in at a paltry 794 pounds. Comparatively, it was about half the size of a model T but it was perfectly suited for navigating the city streets and narrow country lanes of the British Isles. Sir Herbert Austin performed much of the design work himself, and patented many of the designs he used in the car. The engine was a 696 cc side-valve unit with detachable head, cast cylinder block and alloy crankcase. The plucky little unit was rated at 7.2 horsepower, giving the Austin plenty of power considering the light weight. Much like the Model T in America, the Austin 7 inspired a great number of aftermarket parts suppliers – from tuning parts to coachbuilders and racers. The 7 can even be credited with seeding other manufacturers. Bruce McLaren of McLaren Cars and Colin Chapman of Lotus both got their starts tinkering with the Austin 7. Our subject car is one of those special Austin 7s that formed the foundation of a great future marque. The Swallow Sidecar Company was founded in the early 1920s by William Walmsley. As the name suggests, the firm built side cars for motorbikes. Swallow side cars were always very pretty and very well built. Walmsley took partnership with a young William Lyons who suggested they offer coachbuilt car bodies alongside their sidecars. Their first car body was built on a Talbot chassis and was quite well received. They went on to build bodies on other cars however it was their work with the cheeky Austin 7 that really put the company on the map. Their first body on the 7 was a “saloon coupe” that was quite attractive and gave the 7 a more grown-up and sophisticated appearance. One marvel of Walmsley and Lyon’s designs was their ability to make such a tiny car appear so elegant and upmarket. On the success of their coupe, they soon added a beautiful little roadster to the mix. Not only were Swallow bodies attractive and well built, but they were remarkably affordable. With Swallow selling well, they began to build their own cars based on Standard chassis. The company morphed into S.S. Cars, and with their sensational SS1 debuting in 1931. As hostilities in Europe ramped up later in the decade, it was wisely decided that S.S. was no longer a viable brand, and the company was renamed “Jaguar”. This delightful 1930 Austin 7 wears a handsome Swallow saloon body and is presented in remarkably original condition. The two tone paintwork is a signature of Swallow bodies, and the black and Old English White scheme on this example certainly looks sharp. The paint quality is fair, showing quite a bit of age since receiving an average quality respray, but the elegant design shines through and it remains a handsome little motorcar regardless. The car is very complete, down to the proper Swallow radiator ornament atop the signature Austin radiator shell. The rear mounted spare wheel and bumperless body make for a slightly sporty appearance, hiding the humble roots very well. Black upholstery is in fair condition, again appearing to be original but complete and intact. Likewise, the engine and chassis appear in good original order, but needing some attention to bring up to a more usable state. While this cheeky and cheerful little Austin 7 does show a bit rough around the edges, it is no less an important car and one that could be enjoyed as-is or restored to best show off its original style. The joy of the Austin 7 is that it delivers outsized fun in a tiny package. The Swallow 2 door saloon body adds not only style, but tremendous value from this fascinating, history rich marque.
In the early 1980s, motor racing’s international governing body, the FIA, unveiled a new formula for rallying and sports car racing to replace the old Group 4 and Group 5 regulations. The new Group B formula required a production of just 200 cars for homologation and had limited restrictions on materials, weight and boost for turbocharged cars. Most enthusiasts are familiar with the flame-spitting monsters that ruled the rally stages of the era, but Group B was also intended to encompass international sports car endurance racing. Several manufacturers committed to the formula before it was swiftly canceled in the light of the deaths of drivers, co-drivers and spectators in rallying. Porsche had already begun development on the 959 as had Ferrari with the 288 GTO Evoluzione. Jaguar had a particular interest in the sports racing side of Group B as they had won LeMans multiple times in the 1950s and revived their program via Tom Walkinshaw Racing with the XJR series of Group C sports prototypes. In spite of their successes on track, some at Jaguar felt the Group C cars were too far removed from Jaguar’s road cars. Group B gave them an opportunity to create a road legal sports car that could compete and possibly win at LeMans – continuing the legacy set by the C-Type and D-Type. Jaguar’s director of engineering, Jim Randle headed a small team working in secret, after hours, to develop a concept. By this point, Group B had been canceled but the team pressed on regardless. The initial concept was for a V12 powered, four-wheel-drive supercar built using space-age lightweight materials. The concept car was completed and shown at the British Motor Show for 1988, to tremendous fanfare. 1,400 customers left deposits of 50,000GBP and production plans were set in motion. Jaguar enlisted Tom Walkinshaw Racing to develop the production car as they did not have the resources to do it themselves. From the onset, the XJ220 faced challenges. First and foremost was the size: The concept was enormous and the combination of the V12 engine and four-wheel-drive made the car immensely overweight and far too long for the road. So a decision was made to ditch the V12 in favor of a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.5 liter V6 developed by TWR for the Group B MG Metro 6R4. The upside was the smaller engine made an astounding 542 horsepower. The rear wheels were driven via a robust 5-speed transaxle supplied by FF Developments. The resulting car was briefly the fastest production car ever produced, eclipsing the 959 and F40 with a 217.1 mph top speed. The body is both beautiful and functional, producing tremendous downforce at speed. The XJ220-C did get to LeMans, winning the GT Class in 1993 only to have their victory tossed out on a technicality; an occurrence that epitomized the greater project which was fraught with production delays, spiraling costs and unsold stock. This gorgeous 1994 XJ220 is one of a handful of examples that found their way Stateside. It has covered a mere 1,600 KM from new (only 994 miles!) and has benefitted from recent comprehensive servicing by Muncie Imports, the only XJ220 specialists in the USA. These cars were very well built and nicely finished from new, and were positively luxurious in comparison to an F40. This example retains it fine original gray leather, showing just a small amount of wear on the driver’s outer bolster but otherwise remaining in excellent condition, and the LeMans blue paintwork is beautiful. The factory issue Alpine audio system is intact as are the original tools such as the center-lock wheel nut. In addition to the original tools, the previous owner has acquired a full set of service pads (custom tailored pads that protect the alloy panels during service) as well as factory service and parts manuals and a Jaguar Heritage Certificate. As part of the recent comprehensive service by Muncie Imports, the critical fuel cell replacement service was performed. This highly specialized service is necessary for all XJ220s as they surpass 20 years of age, and is a very important factor when considering Jaguar’s supercar for purchase. As well as the fuel cell replacement, timing belts were changed along with rebuilt brake calipers and cylinders, cam cover gaskets and assorted seals and oil hoses, totaling over $120,000 in parts and labor. Few XJ220s available have such comprehensive service performed, particularly with so few miles. The fastidious previous owner has kept this car in outstanding order and it is now ready to be driven and enjoyed. The incredible performance of the XJ220 has to be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated, yet it can also be quite docile and easy to drive. With this truly outstanding low mileage example, the new owner can feel confident to enjoy the mind-altering performance without worry.
Following up on the success of the XK120, Jaguar wisely chose to make its replacement, the XK140, a careful evolution of its predecessor that was intended to refine some of the rough edges of the XK120. Thanks to the glorious twin-overhead cam six-cylinder engine, the XK120 offered near 120 mph performance and had earned its place as a world-beating sports car. But Jaguar was eager to rectify some of the complaints it heard from customers– such as a tendency to overheat in traffic, a cramped cabin and sometimes unpredictable handling on rough roads. With the XK140, Jaguar introduced important refinements such as rack and pinion steering, telescopic dampers and a larger radiator grille and revised cooling system. The body of the XK140 retained the 120’s svelte and feline curves but gained larger, more protective bumpers and some additional exterior trim. As per the 120, the 140 could be had as a coupe, drophead coupe, or OTS (Open Two Seater, otherwise known as the roadster). The cabin for all three bodies was slightly enlarged to allow more occupant comfort and easier ingress/egress. Performance wise, a standard XK140 produced the same 190 horsepower as the old top-line XK120 SE, but buyers who wanted additional grunt could opt for the “MC” option - which fitted the C-Type cylinder head, dual exhaust, and 2” S.U. Carburetors to deliver a stout 210 horsepower, offering exhilarating performance with a glorious soundtrack and finely honed handling. This 1957 Jaguar XK140 OTS is a genuine “MC” model as documented by a Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. It has been very nicely restored and recently freshened and professionally detailed. The straight and sound body is finished in its original color combination of Carmen Red over black leather with a black top. Gorgeous chrome 16-inch wire wheels are wrapped in fresh whitewall tires. This is a very pretty car, with strong cosmetics and even outstanding mechanicals. The chrome bumpers and exterior trim are in very good condition, consistent with the quality of the paint and bodywork. The lovely interior has been refreshed with very nice black leather seats, proper black carpeting, and correctly trimmed door cards and kick panels. The leather is in excellent condition, showing just some very light creasing, lending the cockpit an inviting atmosphere. The original steering wheel is fitted and the instruments are in nice order in the correctly trimmed fascia. It is a great place to spend an afternoon of top-down motoring, enjoying the great reserves of torque from the exquisite engine. Should you get caught in some weather; a well-fitted black canvas top will keep the cabin dry. The boot is correctly trimmed in Hardura and houses a matching chrome spare wheel and whitewall tire. The original jack, grease gun and a knock off hammer are present. The high quality restoration kept a focus on drivability and this example is an absolute joy on the open road. Jaguar’s iconic XK twin-cam inline six delivers a healthy 210 horsepower when equipped with the C-Type head as this car is. According to documentation, this is a genuine 1957 “MC” engine with matching head and block, though not from this particular chassis. An electric fan was added to help with cooling and ease any worry about hot running in traffic or in warm climates. The engine runs strong and the car drives beautifully, with excellent pull through the rev range and of course, plenty of that addictive six-cylinder growl. The engine has been detailed and now presents beautifully, and new exhaust manifolds with proper porcelain finish have been fitted. While it is certainly beautiful to look at thanks to the gorgeous styling and very good quality restoration, this is the sort of car we would use at every possible opportunity – to go for a night out, to drive to a vintage event, for casual show or for tours and rallies where it would really shine. This beautiful and highly desirable XK140 MC roadster is turn-key and ready to be enjoyed, and will certainly reward its next owner with many miles of happy motoring.
In the late 1970s, and Englishman named Rick Stevens set out to build a car of his own based on the legendary British sports cars of the early post-war era, such as Frazer Nash, Allard and H.R.G. These were, after all, the cars of his childhood but they were scarce, sometimes fragile, and likely more than he could afford. So he decided to build his own version of the classic road-racer, but using more modern components. Stevens paired up with the legendary engineers Dick Crosthwaite and John Gardiner (of the now iconic firm Crosthwaite & Gardiner) to design and build his dream sports car. The 1970s was the age of the kit car, with any variety of cheap fiberglass likeness being built to sit atop a VW or some other similarly ubiquitous chassis, usually with extremely dubious results. There were dozens of manufacturers in the game offering conversions and full bodies to build any type of machine imaginable. Thankfully, Mr. Stevens opted to take a more traditional, British cottage-industry approach. With the help of his engineering consultants, he designed a tubular chassis which accepted the four-wheel independent suspension, four wheel disc brakes and running gear from a Jaguar S-Type Saloon. The Kougar, as it would become known, was immediately set apart from the sea of cheap kits thanks to its high quality construction and sophisticated Jaguar running gear. In terms of styling, the body, cycle fenders and distinctive radiator grille were inspired by the Frazer Nash LeMans Replica of 1950, but given a more curvaceous look on the low-slung chassis. The Kougar had a cut-down cockpit with minimal weather protection and a businesslike dash that featured a full array of Jaguar instrumentation. With its light weight and 3.8 liter XK engine, the Kougar delivered serious performance. While some cars were offered in kit form, most were constructed at the works as this car was designed from the ground up for serial production and finished to a high standard. Today, they are considered classics in their own right, and a handful of lucky enthusiasts have been able to experience the thrill the Kougar Jaguar Sports can deliver. This striking Kougar-Jaguar is a wonderful example of this rare and exciting sports car. Finished in bold yellow over black upholstery and chrome wire wheels, this car makes a real statement. Of course, there’s plenty of performance to back it up. The yellow paint presents in very good condition, with nice gloss and finish quality on the body’s multitude of curves. Chrome trim is limited to headlights, radiator grille, and a few body fittings and secondary lamps, though it all presents in fine condition. The spartan cockpit is trimmed in simple black upholstery that is in very good condition, tidy and clean. The dash features an array of instruments and switchgear that would be familiar to any Jaguar driver, as they were lifted from the S-Type. Free of wood trim or frivolous detailing, the Kougar is purposeful and businesslike – a serious tool for driving. The engine and chassis present well, the signature polished alloy SU carburetors and twin cam covers dominating the view under the hood. It all appears very tidy and well sorted, with signs of regular care and attention. It is a very usable example, a car that looks wonderful but also one that should be driven to be fully appreciated. It is perhaps difficult to classify the Kougar – this is not a kit-car, nor is it a “replicar” or copy of any one model in particular. What we can say for sure is that this is a very well-built and thoughtfully engineered sports car that harkens back to a bygone era of motoring. It has a raw, visceral appeal thanks to the legendary Jaguar XK engine, which, in 3.8 liter form, it is a sweet, rev-happy unit. Four wheel independent suspension and brakes as well as the modern tires on this example ensure surefooted handling which is a vast improvement on the 3.8 S-Type Saloon which donated its chassis components. This is a car that captures the essence of early post-war sports cars in its style and soundtrack, but is imminently more usable thanks to the reliable and flexible Jaguar powertrain. Fast, fun and exciting, this Kougar is ready and willing to deliver its next thrill ride.
In the middle of the 1950s, BMW’s product catalog was in a curious state. At one end of the spectrum, they offered the gorgeous and exotic 507 roadster and the V8 powered 502 “baroque angel” luxury sedan. These cars were expensive to produce, expensive to buy and had a very limited market. In fact, it is believed that BMW lost money on every 507 they built. At the opposite end of the scale was the Isetta; a cheeky little microcar that put working-class German citizens back on wheels during the post-war reconstruction period. In spite of the quality and style of the 502, 503 and 507, it was the Isetta that kept BMW afloat, putting enough money in the coffers to aid development of the more car-like 700 and mid-sized Neu Klasse, all the while helping the company to barely survive a takeover bid from its rivals at Mercedes-Benz. While the Isetta is best known as a BMW by today’s enthusiasts, the design originated in Italy at Iso SpA, a refrigeration manufacturer that moved to building scooters, motorcycles and cars under the direction of its petrol-head owner, Renzo Rivolta. The clever little Isetta featured a unique forward-facing door, and was powered by a single-cylinder, 236cc IsoMoto motorbike engine driving a pair of closely spaced rear wheels. It was light, cheap, could return exceptional economy. Unlike a motorcycle, it could be driven by nearly anyone, had room enough for two passengers and some groceries and afforded all weather comfort – exactly what the post-war economy needed. Signore Rivolta really wanted to build luxurious grand touring cars, but the Isetta filled a definite need in the market and it paid the bills effectively. In a stroke of genius, Rivolta raised the cash he needed by selling the rights to the Isetta design to several manufacturers, including BMW, to finance his desire to move upmarket. As with any German company, BMW could not resist making improvements and refinements to the original Italian design. In fact, they reworked the car so extensively that few, if any, parts are interchangeable between the Italian and German versions. First order of business was for BMW to ditch the IsoMoto engine in favor of a 250cc unit from their in-house R25/3 motorcycle – which was later upped to 300cc. The motorcycle-based engine was heavily reworked internally by engineers to suit the heavier body and different requirements of automobile duty. The body was also revised with new headlamps and badging, and interior trim was improved. Production began in 1955 and proved an immediate hit with buyers, with more than 10,000 examples built in the first 8 months. The Isetta was a shot of lifeblood for BMW, and today’s collectors and enthusiasts still recognize the significance behind the cheery face of this microcar. Our featured 1958 Isetta 300 is a lovely, fully restored example that presents in excellent condition, in a delightful color scheme. The two-tone dark blue and light blue paint has been restored to a high standard, accented by excellent chrome and alloy trim. The single, front mounted door fits properly and the body panels are straight and clean. Every Isetta features a large folding fabric sunroof which actually doubles as an emergency exit should the signature front clamshell door become blocked. The roof has been restored using correct grey vinyl material and the fit is nice and tidy. Sliding side windows and windscreens are all in fine order and all lights work as they should. The tubular bumpers which protect the delicate body have been very nicely restored with excellent chrome plating. It rides on proper 4.80 x 10 tires on steel wheels enhanced by original polished alloy wheel covers. Interior surfaces are painted correctly in medium gray and the bench seat is trimmed correctly in blue basketweave upholstery. Of course, there’s little luxury to speak of as the Isetta is only a few steps removed from a motorcycle, but where it lacks in equipment it more than makes up for with heaps of charm. Mechanically, this Isetta is very well-sorted and it drives exceptionally well. The engine is tidy and clean beneath the removable side cover. The case is properly finished in bare alloy while the various sheetmetal parts are finished in black as original, showing a few nicks in the finish from use, but otherwise straight and correct. The 300cc engine runs strong and everything works as it should. It’s nearly impossible to not wear an ear-to-ear grin when driving this cheeky Isetta –possibly excepting an overtaking maneuver – and this wonderfully restored example will ensure plenty of trouble free miles. It may be easy to pass off an Isetta as a mere novelty, however, it is important to remember that this is a significant piece of motoring history; an extremely clever design that put the automobile in the hands of thousands who otherwise could not afford one, all the while saving the storied BMW marque from the brink of extinction and simultaneous allowing for other great cars (Iso Rivolta) to be born.
As the 1950s drew to a close, the American automobile industry had reached a fever-pitch. Designers from Ford, GM and Chrysler were constantly trying to out-do one another with ever more flamboyant style, their Jet Age and Space Race inspiration realized in the form of rocket-like tail lights, huge fins, and highly stylized flashes of chrome. The competition had become so fierce that styling was being heavily reworked for every model year. It is difficult to imagine in today’s world of indistinguishable, homogeneous cars that manufacturers would invest in retooling every single year for a new model. It can be argued that under the guidance of Harley Earl, GM led the way in terms of style through the decade. Chevrolet’s 55, 56 and 57 Bel Air become icons of the period and still feature heavily in pop culture references to the era. In spite of the iconic stature these cars enjoy today, it was in fact Ford that was the sales leader in 1957 and Chevrolet did not take kindly to being knocked from the top spot. So for 1958, Chevrolet completely redesigned their passenger cars with an all new look, where the slab sides of previous models were replaced with a quad-headlamp face, deeply scalloped quarter panels in the rear, subtle “eyebrows” that flowed into the front fenders and a longer, lower and wider stance. The Bel Air range was enhanced by the addition of a new trim level: Impala. The Bel Air Impala sat atop the Chevrolet lineup and was the sportiest and best equipped model available. Offered only as a hardtop or convertible, the 2-door Impala was loaded with style and equipment. From the A-pillars back, the exterior sheetmetal differed from lesser models and the Impala was recognizable by its triple-taillight arrangement. The new X-frame chassis design allowed for a lower passenger compartment and sleek roofline. Power came from various versions of the smallblock 283 cubic inch V8 (ratings from 185hp to 290hp) or the big 348 cubic inch W-block V8, with versions producing between 250 and 315 horsepower. The Impala and its lesser-equipped siblings helped to reestablish Chevrolet’s dominance in the segment and launched a nameplate that would serve as the brand’s performance and luxury leader for many years to come. Our featured 1958 Bel Air Impala convertible is an outstanding example of this iconic and highly desirable classic Chevrolet. Finished in beautiful Glen Green over a multi-tone green interior it is simply stunning from top to bottom. This Impala is a very highly optioned example, featuring power steering, power windows, continental kit, power top, and certainly not least – the 348 V8 with Tri-power induction. It has been further enhanced with 4 wheel power disc brakes and a high-quality Vintage Air A/C system that is both reliable and very efficient. The quality of the restoration on this car is exceptional. Bodywork is beautifully straight with panel fit and detailing executed to a “better than factory” standard. The factory correct Glen Green paint is a wonderful match for the Harley Earl styling – a fabulously flamboyant shade from an era when designers weren’t trapped in grayscale. It rides on factory steel wheels with “spinner” wheel covers and bias-ply tires for the correct look and handling. One of the most costly areas to restore on a 50’s American cruiser like this is the chrome and stainless brightwork. Judging by the quality and fit on our feature car, it is safe to assume a princely sum was spent ensuring the flash was up to original standards. The bright trim carries over to the interior which has also been beautifully restored using correct and original-type materials. Again, we marvel at the colors which are bold and daring, yet without being garish. The darker aqua green of the dash, door panels and seats complements the Glen Green exterior brilliantly, with gray, silver and green seat inserts tying the two colors together. From a design standpoint, it is a wonderful thing to behold. The dash is dominated by a flash of patterned alloy trim, and all switchgear works brilliantly. A wonderful oval clock is fitted to the passenger side and the Vintage Air A/C console blends unobtrusively under the dash. Carpets and door panels are excellent and up to the high standard of the rest of this fine car. Under the big hood is a very well-detailed 348 cubic inch Tri-Power V8. Chevy engine orange, correctly detailed carburetors, air cleaner and oil breather decals, and very high quality finishing on the sheetmetal define this as a beautiful, yet functional car that is meant to be driven. While the modern Sanden A/C compressor and compact brake booster are not concours correct items, they enhance drivability and are presented in a concours-level of cleanliness. While this outstanding 1958 Impala is finished to a standard worthy of show and mid-level concours, it is how it performs on the road that makes it truly shine. We enjoyed nearly 1000 miles of cruising with this car and it performed flawlessly – remaining solid, tight and totally reliable, with every feature working as it should. Top down cruising in a 1950’s American convertible is an experience like no other and we can’t think of a better car to enjoy that sensation than this outstanding 1958 Impala.
Brewster & Co. of Queens, New York is one of America’s oldest and most storied coachbuilders. Originally formed in 1810 in New Haven, Connecticut, Brewster was America’s premier constructer of high quality coaches and wagons. At the turn of the 20th century, the horseless carriage was beginning to find favor among the wealthy, so with a move of operations to New York they began to focus their attention on building motor bodies for New York’s elite. By 1911, all carriage building had ceased and the company turned entirely to bodying the best motorcars in the world. It is perhaps a fitting testament to their quality that the first petrol powered car to wear a Brewster body was a Delaunay-Belleville; widely regarded as the very finest car of its era and of which Brewster would become the North American importer in 1905. In 1914, Brewster was selected by Rolls-Royce, Ltd. as sales official agents and by 1919 were the preferred body builders for their American market chassis built in Springfield, Massachusetts. This set Brewster on a pedestal above all other American coachbuilders. Concurrently, they began to offer cars of their own construction, mainly town cars of more compact proportions that were designed specifically for chauffeuring their clients around New York’s tight streets. Using a proprietary chassis, Brewsters were powered by expensive but exceptionally smooth Knight sleeve-valve engines and were instantly recognizable by their distinct oval radiators. Brewster pioneered many innovations in car building such as roll up windows, disappearing jump seats and the canted “Brewster Windshield” which reduced the glare of city street lights for chauffeurs. By 1925, Rolls-Royce bought the entire Brewster works outright, going on to sell nearly 450 cars with Brewster bodies. Led by John S Inskip, the designers at Brewster produced some of the most striking automobiles of the era. Following Rolls-Royce’s withdrawal from US production in 1931, Brewster was saved by Inskip (who was also the outgoing chairman of Rolls-Royce North America) and new, more affordable chassis were sought to keep the workshop busy. A partnership with Ford was initially promising, however that failed to materialize into long term success. Brewster continued to offer bodies for individual clients on mainly Ford and Buick chassis, though they could not recapture their earlier magic and the company was closed in 1938, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional quality and tasteful, beautiful styling. Likely one of the very last Brewster cars ever produced, this 1938 Buick wears an unusual and fascinating town car body by the famed Long Island coachbuilder. Finished in an attractive two-tone color scheme of blue main body sides over black fenders and hood, this Buick has been nicely restored and well preserved over the years and is ready to be enjoyed. The quality of the restoration is very good, with attractive paint and finishing. The Town Car body features an enclosed passenger compartment with a tan faux-cabriolet roof and disappearing roof for the front compartment. The rear passengers are treated to lovely gray broadcloth armchairs and panels, and a pair of occasional rear seats folds neatly into the floor – a Brewster signature. Bud vases, wood trimmed door caps and a sliding divider window add to the air of luxury. The quality of presentation is very good, clear evidence this car was properly restored and has been very well tended-to since then. The chauffeur’s cabin (this is a town car after all, and would have been exclusively chauffeur driven) is trimmed in black leather, which is appropriate as it was harder wearing for the duties of driving. A disappearing roof panel slides out to cover the driver in case of inclement weather. The dash is a handsome mix of painted metal surfaces, wood-grained panels and elegant Art Deco detailing. Buick’s trusty 248 Cubic Inch Dynaflash straight-eight presents well under the hood with proper graphics adorning the valve cover and presented well in Buick green paint with satin black ancillaries. The engine runs strong and the car has benefitted from a recent mechanical freshening. This rare and interesting Buick represents the end more than one era in automotive history- as one of the very last cars produced by Brewster, it marks the end of one of America’s great car builders. Also, as bespoke automobile bodies were falling out of favor, the outbreak of WWII and subsequent economic troubles would be the death knell for the industry as a whole. Thankfully, this Buick with its rare, high-quality and lovingly restored Brewster body has survived through the years as a monument to a bygone era. .
In the late 1920s, Buick was the go-to brand for understated luxury at General Motors. Cadillac always sat atop the throne at GM for style, equipment and flash, but Buick quietly offered several luxurious and advanced vehicles through the years that were often priced to compete with their luxury-centric siblings. Eight-cylinder engines were the fashionable choice for luxury cars at the time, though Buick was lagging behind the competition with its effective but passé six cylinder units. Rather late to the party, Buick launched three different straight eight engines in 1931. The three engines were outwardly similar but surprisingly, they shared very few common parts. At the entry level, for the 40 and 50 series got a 221 cubic inch unit. From there, the 60 series received a 272.6 cubic inch eight (later increased to 278.1), and the range topping 80 and 90 series were fitted with a big 345 cubic inch powerplant that developed a healthy 104 horsepower. From 1931 through the next three decades, Buick would be solely dedicated to producing eight-cylinder cars. In spite of the exciting new range of engines, Buick struggled in sales due to the dire economic conditions brought on by the Great Depression, and they desperately needed a boost. After plummeting sales through 1933, Buick introduced a very important new innovation: “Knee Action” independent front suspension. Developed by General Motors, Knee Action suspension was featured on Buick, Olds and Cadillac. It was a short/long arm design that was developed by a British-born engineer named Maurice Olley. The system used upper and lower control arms, coil springs mounted to a robust subframe. Olley’s design proved so effective it was built under license by Rolls-Royce, chosen by them over a similar system from Packard. The combination of the improved eight-cylinder engines, superior ride and road holding from the independent front suspension and numerous other safety and styling changes put Buick back on the road to recovery by the middle of the decade. Our featured example from Buick’s rebirth is a striking and handsome 1935 Model 67 (from the 60 series) wearing an understated yet stylish four-door, five passenger sedan body. Since receiving a comprehensive restoration, this wonderful automobile has covered just 4,500 miles and remains extremely attractive and ready for use. For starters, the styling on this Buick is simply marvelous. The elegant, split and laid-back grille flows into a subtly detailed hood with art-deco strakes on the side panels. Curvaceous fenders feature dual sidemount spare wheels wearing body-colored hard covers. Dual chrome trumpet horns, dual chrome Trippe Safety Speed Lights and chrome main headlamps suitably dress up the front end. In the rear, a matching trunk rides on a folding rack and twin tail lights are affixed to the fenders. A subtle gold pinstripe highlights the body swage line, which is repeated on the wheels. The full fenders, graceful curves and exquisite detailing combine to make an extremely elegant package. Taupe-colored cloth upholstery covers the seats, door panels and headlining. It is in excellent order, appearing very fresh and attractive. The highlight of the interior has to be the fantastic woodgrained dash, which features gold-detailed panels for the instruments, glovebox and central switches. The correct AC instruments appear in very good order, with a charming originality to them. The steering wheel features an unusual McLaughlin-Buick Canada horn button, revealing this car’s history in Quebec. The 278.1 cubic inch straight-eight is well detailed in correct Buick Green with black side and rocker covers. It shows some signs of light use, though remains very clean and tidy. A 3-speed manual transmission sends power rearward and the car performs very well thanks to the powerful engine, efficient brakes and independent front suspension. Buick’s most popular body style for 1935 was this, the practical, roomy and highly attractive four-door, Five-Passenger Sedan. Take a good look at our feature car and it easily becomes apparent why. Nearly 25,000 of the style were sold, however most rode on the entry-level 40 series chassis. 60-series production was but a fraction of its lesser siblings – with just 1,716 cars produced in 1935. Of those, a mere handful wore this handsome and understated body, making it a very rare and desirable automobile, indeed.
In the late 1950s, Mercedes Benz was facing a problem. The elegant 300S and 300SC sat atop the range but these imposing and hand-built cars were becoming prohibitively expensive to produce. In comparison to the revolutionary tubular chassis 300SL sports car, the big 300S and SC’s body-on-frame construction made felt a bit old-fashioned on the road and a new model was needed that could be comparably prestigious, yet cost a fraction of the expense to produce. For the turn of the next decade, Mercedes-Benz focused intently to modernize their offerings and reduce production costs across the range. The new W110 and upmarket W111 series of four-door sedans and two-door coupes were built using unibody construction on a shared common platform. This new car was significantly cheaper to build, shared common components across the range yet still maintained Mercedes’ famous quality and bank-vault road feel. The first W111 cars were sedans that wore styling that was heavily influenced by the American market. The “heckflosse”, or “fintail” had pronounced tail fins and an upright, conservative appearance meant to appeal to American buyers. The coupe, however, shared little of the sedan’s styling and was more understatedly elegant with a distinct roofline highlighted by deeply curved rear glass. The coupe’s styling was so successful that it outlived the sedan by several years, eventually lending its styling cues to the Heckflosse replacement. Top line models were initially powered by the classic, 3.0 liter Mercedes inline six, fitted with proven and reliable Bosch mechanical fuel injection. But some customers wanted more power and exclusivity, so in August of 1969 the all-new, alloy M116 V8 engine was fitted to the 280SE coupe – along with a host of luxury options and equipment - to become the 280SE 3.5. The 200 horsepower 3.5 liter V8 breathed new life in to the W111 for the final three years of production, transforming the luxurious coupe into one of the finest four-seat GT cars ever produced. Today’s enthusiasts relish in the unrivaled quality and visual presence of these magnificent luxury cars. This 1971 280SE 3.5 Coupe is a very desirable example, finished elegantly in white over beige leather. It presents in superb driver condition and features many sought-after options such as a sunroof, fog lights, floor shift automatic transmission, electric windows and air conditioning. The older restoration still presents beautifully and there are receipts totaling over $25,000 for recent mechanical work and details. Finished in its original color of DB 050 white, the paintwork is very attractive and exhibits excellent, consistent panel fit and detailing throughout. Chrome trim is superb from the grille to the window surrounds to the bumpers. The classic Mercedes full wheel covers are color matched and fitted to steel wheels with whitewall radial tires. Tan leather and burl wood trim feature heavily in the luxurious interior. The upholstery is in very good condition, showing only minor signs of use but no excessive creasing or cracking. The restored wood on this example is very attractive and shows no signs of the typical cracking or delamination that often plagues the W111. Power steering, power brakes, electric windows, sunroof and air conditioning all function as they should, as does the original Becker radio. Grand Touring cars of this era often leaned heavily toward the sporting side, yet Mercedes-Benz staunchly held to their traditions and imparted the 280SE 3.5 with a heavy emphasis on luxury and easy performance. The 3.5 liter V8 is a beautiful engine, producing a modest 200 horsepower but delivering seamless power through the rev range, and this car retains its original matching numbers motor. The SE had a 130mph top speed and was the perfect tool for effortless continental cruising. As with all 3.5 liter W111 cars, the engine is dominated by the signature alloy air cleaner. Most of the fittings and brackets wear the correct gold-cadmium plating in good condition. Recent servicing means it is reliable and ready for use. As the last of the truly hand-built Mercedes Benz coupes, the W111 280SE 3.5 holds a special place among collectors and enthusiasts. These cars form the bridge between the modern-era, shared-platform Mercedes and the classic, hand-crafted Mercedes. Beyond their historical place in Stuttgart lore, they are simply outstanding cars to drive and own. This fine example is ready for its next owner to cherish and hopefully enjoy some effortless miles.
1946 marked a significant point in Bentley’s long and storied history. For the first time ever, their new production chassis would be clothed in a factory-built body that would be offered in showrooms. Known (rather unromantically) as the Standard Steel Saloon, the new car featured handsome, if somewhat conservative styling which was built by Pressed Steel Ltd, and assembled at the newly integrated Rolls-Royce works in Crewe. Prior to the war, the only way to get a new Bentley was to order a chassis and have it fitted with any number of catalog or custom bodies supplied by independent coachbuilders. This practice was falling out of favor with buyers as it was somewhat impractical and quite costly. Of course, Bentley was still quite happy to supply a MkVI chassis to any number of builders such as Hooper, Freestone & Webb, H.J. Mulliner and Park Ward. Most buyers opted for the Standard Steel Saloon, however, which helped make the MkVI Bentley’s most successful model to date. Mechanically, the MkVI it was similar to the pre-war MkV, with independent front suspension on the substantial ladder chassis and a 4.25 liter inline six. For the 1952 model year, the spec was updated to 4.5 liters and available with either an automatic or four-speed manual gearbox. When properly maintained, the MkVI is a reliable and robust motorcar with that exhibits the delightful over-engineered feeling of a classic Bentley. 4,946 examples were produced, until it was ultimately replaced by the R-Type. Most MkVIs left Crewe wearing the Standard Steel Saloon body, though a small portion of production did receive coachbuilt bodies. A wide variety of styles and configurations of coachbuilt bodies were featured on the MkVI chassis, some more successful than others. By 1952 when this wonderful example was built, H.J. Mulliner had become one of Crewe’s favored design houses. In operation since the turn of the 20th century, this storied coachbuilder has had its work grace some of the most desirable cars ever produced. For the MkVI, H.J. Mulliner supplied several different options for clients seeking a more select machine, set apart from the Standard Steel Saloon. Some closely resembled the factory offering while others posed a more radical departure. This handsome example wears a special four-door, six-light “lightweight” body style that was offered in the Mulliner catalog between 1951 and 1954. This lovely body style fell somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, retaining some of the MkVIs signature curves and edges though with a touch of modern detailing such as faired in fenders and an open, airy glasshouse and flat roof. Some of the design queues even hint at the design of the Silver Cloud/S-Series that was still several years away. This honest and attractive example presents very handsomely in dark blue upper body over light gray wings and swage lines, with blue coach stripes tying the colors together nicely. The paint is older but still quite nice, and the chrome and brightwork are all in good condition, well presented and attractive with no damage or corrosion to speak of. Some of the body rubbers are showing their age, though they do remain intact and functional. The cabin is in remarkably well-preserved condition. Blue Connolly leather seats and door panels and Wilton carpets were replaced at the time of restoration in the 1980s and have since taken on a lovely patina over the years. Surprisingly, the upholstery shows no rips, tears or separations. The original wool headlining is also in excellent order. Interior woodwork is in fine condition and largely original. Wood adorns the dash, front and rear door caps, window surrounds and rear picnic trays. Some minor delamination is occurring, particularly on the door caps, but the presentation is still attractive and inviting to passengers. This being a 1952 model, it is equipped with the more desirable “big bore” 4.5 liter engine, which presents well thanks to a comprehensive recent detailing. The engine is backed by Bentley’s 4-speed manual gearbox, which on this right hand drive version, is operated by the signature right-hand shift lever. These four speed gearboxes are particularly sweet to operate, with a satisfyingly mechanical click-clack as you move through the gates, enjoying the copious torque on offer from the big “six”. This attractive MkVI represents an excellent opportunity to acquire a sound and usable Bentley wearing a desirable coachbuilt H.J. Mulliner body at a tremendous value.
Buffalo’s Pierce Arrow Automobile Company was founded in its original form way back in 1865 as Heinz, Pierce and Munschauer, who manufactured various household items, including their best known product – gilded bird cages. In 1872, George Norman Pierce bought out his partners and added bicycles to the company’s portfolio. By 1900 they were experimenting with building steam cars under license and by 1904 they settled on building large, upscale models. Pierce-Arrow earned a reputation for solid reliability, excellent build quality and became one of the great names of the classic era. For 1929, Pierce-Arrow developed a new and thoroughly modern L-head inline eight-cylinder engine. The new eight was significantly lighter than the large T-head six that it replaced, the design of which had its roots in the Brass Era. With an output of 125 horsepower, this new engine also provided a healthy 25 percent more power from fewer cubic inches, as well as smooth, vibration-free running. The reward for Pierce was that 1929 was the best-ever year for the company, with nearly 10,000 cars sold. Despite the dire economic conditions that loomed, optimism and momentum paved the way into 1930. For the turn of the new decade, the flagship Model A gained a magnificent 385 cubic inch, nine-main-bearing eight-cylinder that is considered today to be the best engine the company ever produced. With an impressive 132 horsepower, it propelled the big 144” wheelbase model A at a brisk pace. Few luxury cars of its day could match the Pierce’s performance. A synchronized transmission aided in drivability, and a wide array of bodies was available to suit their wealthy clientele’s needs. This impressive 1930 Model A is a very handsome example of this rare and desirable flagship model from Pierce Arrow. Riding on a grand 144-inch wheelbase, the Convertible Coupe coachwork is finished in a striking combination of medium gray main body with black fenders and swage lines. Red coach stripes and the black painted wire wheels lend an air of sportiness to the elegant design. While the restoration was performed some time ago, this wonderful Model A still presents in beautiful condition. Today, the black and gray paintwork has begun to show just a bit of age through very minor crazing in places, yet remains extremely attractive and honest. The body is straight, with very good shutlines and panel alignment, a testament to the quality of the restoration. The convertible coupe body style is quite sporting for the period, and it wears an array of accessories that add to the appeal. Up front, a radiator stone guard is fitted, as well as a single Pilot Ray spot lamp and a pair of unusual spot lamps mounted on a light bar. Of course, the signature faired-in headlights make this unmistakable as a Pierce Arrow. The proud “Kneeling Archer” mascot rides atop the radiator and he comes complete with the fragile (and oft missing) bow and arrow. Dual side mount spare tires are clamped in place with unusual and stylish chrome brackets that feature integrated mirrors. In the rear, a single tri-lens tail light, chrome trunk rack and gorgeous chrome bumper accentuate the style. Stepping inside the cabin, you find beautiful black leather that shows hardly any creases or signs of use. The door panels and black carpet are also excellent but the highlight of the interior is no doubt the spectacular dash. The gorgeous woodwork is beautifully finished, extending from the dash and around onto the door caps. Original instrumentation and switchgear are accompanied by a Waltham Eight Day clock, cigar lighter and gorgeous Art Deco ash tray mounted on the passenger side. Should you wish to carry the occasional rear passenger, there is a rumble seat which trimmed in matching black leather, and appears virtually unused. The black canvas folding soft top is likewise in very good order. Pierce Arrow’s big 385 cubic inch straight eight presents extremely well, finished correctly in an attractive mixture of gloss black paint and polished/plated metals and hardware. A few concessions such as modern belts and hoses have been fitted in the interest of reliability and serviceability, though the major components remain period correct and in very fine working order. Beautiful, impressive, and luxurious, this Pierce-Arrow Model A is a very desirable example of one of the best models ever produced by this storied company. The sporting body in combination with the magnificent 132 horsepower, nine main-bearing engine and grand 144 inch wheelbase makes it an ideal choice for touring and events. The restoration on this car was clearly done properly, and from day one, it has been very well preserved and is ready to be thoroughly enjoyed.
Italian industrialist and engineer Renzo Rivolta is a bit of an unsung hero in the annals of automotive history. His motoring career began in 1942 with the purchase of Isothermos, an Italian refrigerator manufacturer. Rivolta was a proper petrol head, and he frankly had little interest in refrigeration, so he added motorcycles and scooters to the company’s portfolio, reincorporating it as Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. Renzo’s motorcycles were particularly expensive at a time when Italians needed affordable transport more than anything, but they were built exceptionally well and earned a positive reputation for quality and performance. To answer the needs of the buying public in a still-recovering post-war Italy, Iso introduced the Isetta; a three wheeled (later updated to four) microcar with a single front door and a distinct bubble shape. Approximately 20,000 examples were built in the Iso works before Rivolta had an epiphany: The rest of Europe was still in need of cheap transport, and since his plant couldn’t build enough Isettas to meet demand, he licensed the design to other manufacturers around the world. BMW was the most successful, selling approximately 130,000 units through the 1960s. As an aside, fans of the Bavarian marque have Renzo Rivolta and his cheeky microcar to thank for saving BMW from the brink of bankruptcy and a certain takeover by Mercedes Benz. On the heels of the success of the Isetta, Renzo Rivolta turned his efforts to producing a luxurious GT car that he felt could offer better value and luxury than Ferrari. He took a page from Sydney Allard (among others, of course) by stuffing a proven, reliable and affordable American V8 into a more sophisticated chassis, one that was better suited to putting that power to the ground. The Iso Rivolta IR300 first appeared in 1962. Designed in partnership with legendary Ferrari engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, the attractive four-seat Grand Tourer rode on a steel platform chassis and featured independent front and deDion rear suspension. Power came via Chevrolet’s Corvette-spec 327 cubic inch (5.4 liter) V8 making 300 horsepower and a choice of either automatic or manual transmissions. Styling was by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Ghia, and was crisp and distinctive with delicate pillars, a sharp feature line down the body and finely judged curves and creases on the front fenders and grille. It was a full four seat car that could transport occupants in supreme comfort with outstanding performance. The Iso Rivolta made no impressions of being a racer or sports car – it was meant to carry four passengers at high speed and deliver a memorable drive. With its luxurious and comfortable cabin, the Rivolta was delightfully described in period literature as having “Efficient functioning united to sober elegance”. The literature went on to proclaim the Iso Rivolta was “Silent from 40-240 (kph) in top gear!” Priced between a Jaguar and a Ferrari, the Rivolta found moderate success, selling 799 units between 1962 and 1969. This 1968 IR300 was built on September 12, 1967 and dispatched to the US. It was originally equipped with the 300 horsepower engine, automatic, and air conditioning, and is a complete, running example that was used and enjoyed on a regular basis until it was parked approximately 18 years ago. While it requires a comprehensive restoration, it is not a basket case or a nightmare of missing parts as so many projects can be. This Rivolta remains complete and intact, with most of its delicate trim and detailing in place. The body is quite straight and appears free of any major accident damage, though the sills, lower quarters and floors require replacement. Importantly, the bumpers, lamps, grille and window trims are all intact, presenting in fair condition and the car rides on a set of rare and desirable Campagnolo alloy wheels. The black interior is in similar condition to the body; tired and needing restoration, though complete and appearing never to have been removed from the car. The dash retains all original switchgear and instrumentation. Chevrolet’s robust 327 V8 looks to be completely intact and is fitted with original air conditioning. There is an aftermarket air cleaner, though the engine bay appears otherwise mainly original. Our mechanics carefully inspected the engine to ensure it was free, and fired it up to discover it still has good oil pressure and runs rather well. Of course, it should not be driven in its current state, but it does form the basis of what would be a fairly straightforward restoration. Without complex and expensive running gear, this Iso can be a more approachable prospect for restoring, and this example represents a blank canvas for which to best highlight its distinctive style. With just 800 examples produced, the IR300 is a rare and desirable Italian GT car that delivered excellent performance in a handsome, Giugiaro-designed body.
The story of Iso Automobili begins with “Isothermos”, a refrigerator manufacturer in Genoa, Italy. In 1942, a motor-mad industrialist and engineer named Renzo Rivolta took over the business, renamed it Iso Autoveicoli and moved the whole works to Bresso, just outside of Milan. Under Rivolta’s guidance, Iso gradually moved away from refrigeration and began building motorcycle around 1948. Iso motorcycles were very expensive, but also very desirable thanks to robust engineering and exquisite build quality. In the early years after World War II, Italy was struggling to recover from the pummeling it received by both Allied and Axis forces. Motorcycles were popular, providing cheap transportation to get the nation back on wheels. But people also needed something more practical and usable on a daily basis. Iso unveiled the Isetta bubble car in 1953 – a three (later four) wheeled car powered by a motorbike engine and with room for two adults and a bag or two of groceries. The cheeky little Isetta proved popular enough to inspire Renzo Rivolta to sell the rights to produce his car to other manufacturers. Most notably, it is the car that helped BMW survive the post-war years and put Germany back on wheels. Selling the rights afforded Rivolta a generous pile of cash which he in turn used to develop a rather more luxurious machine compared to the tiny Isetta. In the early 1960’s Renzo Rivolta teamed up with Giotto Bizzarrini and Giorgetto Giugiaro on GT car that was more suited to the rapidly recovering global market. The new car, named Rivolta, is one of the first examples of the “hybrid” sports car to come out of Europe in the 1960’s. Italian designed and built, the car was constructed with a pressed sheet steel frame and fitted with a proven, reliable and affordable Chevrolet 327 V8 lifted from the Corvette. The suspension was comprised of wishbones up front and a proven DeDion rear axle with limited slip Salisbury diff – a tough and reliable unit used by Jaguar for years. Also courtesy of the Brits were the Dunlop four-wheel disc brakes. The Iso Rivolta was rounded out with luxurious and comfortable four-seat cabin, delightfully described in period literature as having “Efficient functioning united to sober elegance”. Performance was strong thanks to a minimum of 300hp from the Corvette engine in the IR 300, and 350hp from the IR 340. The literature also proclaimed the Iso Rivolta was “Silent from 40-240 (kph) in top gear!” That was enough to convince 792 lucky buyers over a 7 year span to shell out their hard earned Lire for a chance to own one of these stylish and elegant GT cars. This 1969 Iso Rivolta IR 340 is one of the very last Rivolta’s made. The car was completed on March 5, 1969, and delivered new to Sig. Oglihri in Italy, and was equipped with the 350 hp motor, 4 speed transmission, 3.31 rear end, Borrani wheels, air conditioning, and quick steering. It is a very pretty and well restored example that has benefited from proper care while in the hands of a marque enthusiast, and is one of only 167 produced with the higher horsepower motor. The paint quality is very good, the older restoration having been done to a high standard. Panel fit is excellent the gaps are consistent, and the body lines crisp and well defined. The red paint is very attractive, accented with good quality chrome and polished brightwork. The aforementioned Borrani wheels are painted in the proper shade of silver/gray, lending an understated and classic look to the Giugiaro-penned lines. The wheels wear new Vredestein tires that offer the proper period look combined with modern performance. The Rivolta was an expensive and luxurious GT car for its day, with a beautifully finished cabin and plenty of standard equipment. Our fine example doesn’t disappoint when you climb aboard. Occupants are treated to tan leather covering the four seats, door panels and dash. The interior was retrimmed some time ago but remains in excellent condition, showing little wear, exhibiting a pleasingly broken-in quality. Brown carpets complement the tan leather very nicely and present in fine condition. This car wears original air conditioning, power windows, original shift knob and steering wheel. The wood instrument panel is in excellent condition, fitted with an array of original European-specification gauges. This fabulous example retains its original matching numbers matching 350 hp Corvette-sourcedengine, and as such returns excellent performance and reliability. It is also very easily serviced by any competent classic car specialist, making it an ideal choice for Italian car enthusiasts who prefer to drive their cars on a regular basis without worrisome service bills. Few examples of the handsome Iso Rivolta are as correct and well presented, and thanks to regular care it is very healthy and ready for Grand Touring in classic Italian style.
In the late 1960s, the Japanese auto industry had a new sense of confidence as they finally found their stride with uniquely designed and meticulously engineered cars. Earlier in the decade, American buyers saw Japanese cars as novelties or oddballs, cars to be avoided especially for those who still had WWII fresh in their mind. The earliest Japanese sports cars borrowed heavily from their two-wheeled counterparts, particularly Honda with its bike-engined S600 coupe and roadsters. Nissan-Datsun took a slightly different approach in the middle of the 1960s, with their take on the traditional British sports car. The Datsun 1600 and 2000 Fairlady roadsters were aimed squarely at the MGB, Triumph TR4 and Sunbeam Alpine. Datsun held the upper hand thanks to its 5-speed gearbox and beautiful 135hp overhead-cam engine. The British cars felt positively agricultural in comparison. Combined with the mechanically similar 510 sedan, Datusn enjoyed moderate success in the US market, demonstrating the Japanese could build a very capable competitor to the best of the British roadsters. Enthusiasts and club racers knew the Datsun was the superior car, though Japanese cars still struggled against the attitudes in the US. When the Fairlady 2000 was due for replacement, Datsun decided to go all out and design a sports car specifically for the critical North American market. The basic formula for the new 240Z sports car drew inspiration from Jaguar’s E-Type. The elegant 2-seat coupe body was designed in-house by Yoshihiko Matsuo at the Nissan sports car studio. A 2.4 liter, overhead-cam inline-six was chosen along with four wheel independent suspension and front disc brakes. The 240Z was very pretty, could punch above its weight in terms of performance, and had a build quality unseen in its British rivals. Yutaka Katayama (known to loyal Z-car fans as “Mr. K”) was the driving force responsible for marketing the Z in the North American market. His effort to promote 240Z paid dividends for the Japanese industry as a whole, whole he developed a cult following for his sports car, Nissan, Toyota and Honda all benefitted from a newfound respect and admiration for the quality of Japanese cars. In 1997, with the 300ZX nearing the end of production and the 350Z still several years off, Nissan sought to cash in on the still-vibrant community of 240Z enthusiasts. They bought a handful of solid, original 1970 and 1971 240Zs and handed them over one of three carefully selected restoration shops to be fully restored from the ground up, using as many factory parts as possible. The restored cars were then sold “new” in select Nissan dealers around the country. It was a brilliant move for Nissan, as they reignited the passion for these wonderful cars and helped to boost the value and interest in all other 240Zs. Our featured 1971 Datsun 240Z is one of the finest examples we’ve ever encountered. This well-documented California car has covered just 200 miles since a four-year, obsessively detailed nut and bolt restoration by Les Cannaday’s Classic Datsun Motorsport, one of those select shops chosen by Nissan to restore their own cars. While this car is not one of Nissan’s dealer cars, it is no less spectacularly restored to exacting standards by a respected marque expert. Presented in its original color of Orange (code 918) over black interior, it is a stunning and thoroughly correct 240Z. The body fit and finish are superlative, all trim is correct and in as-new condition and the car rides on a set of classic slotted alloy wheels. The paint is beautifully laid down and it even wears a set of the seldom seen optional black stripes on the rockers, a wonderful period touch that is often overlooked in lesser restorations. The black interior is upholstered in factory correct materials and executed beautifully. Likewise, the engine bay and undercarriage are fully detailed with correct decals, tags, braided hoses, clamps and gold-cadmium plated hardware. Rarely do we see 240Zs restored to such a level of excellence and with such meticulous attention to detail. Even the owner’s manual is original to this car, down to the matching warranty card. The trunk is properly detailed as well with a full original tool kit including the original wheel chock. The beloved Mr. K, who passed away in 2015 at 105 years old, put his mark of approval on this restoration, in the form of his signature on the glovebox. This is a concours-quality car that also happens to be a fabulous thing to drive; we have tested it on some of our favorite local roads and are happy to report it is simply a joy. Clearly this was a cherished car from day one. As a basis for restoration, this was a very solid, very original and sound example with long-term California history, sold new by Varsity Datsun of Davis, CA. It was never rotted or crashed and the results of the restoration attest to that fact. For show or to drive, one would be hard pressed to find a better 240Z available today. .
Long considered one of the most beautiful of all Classic Era production automobiles, Packard’s gorgeous 11th series is one of the finest of its kind. These gorgeous machines marked the turning point for Packard styling, as the full-figured front fenders grew ever more integrated into the bodywork from 1935 onward. Not only beautiful, they were also magnificently engineered – conservative in terms of technology, but robust, exceptionally well-constructed and very rewarding to drive. The three models of the 11th series were available on three different wheelbase chassis. In total, 41 different combinations of engines, wheelbases and body styles were available to buyers. Adding diversity and prestige to the range were 17 'catalog customs' bodied by coachbuilders LeBaron and Dietrich. The two-seat (with rumble seat) coupe body was one of the most sporting styles on offer, appealing to wealthy playboys who didn’t have to worry about seating a family. Only the two-seat roadster could top the coupe in terms of pure form over function. For many years, the two seat coupe was seen as an ideal candidate to convert to an open roadster, when values for the roadsters skyrocketed, many unscrupulous restorers took advantage by lopping the roofs off coupes. As a result, an uncut, unmolested coupe has become a true rarity in the Packard world. With newfound appreciation for these gorgeous automobiles, they have become ever more desirable, particularly for enthusiasts who enjoy touring with their Packards. The Rumble Seat Coupe strikes an ideal balance of stunning style with all-weather capability. Combine that with legendary Packard reliability and ease of use, and you have a near-perfect choice for classic touring and events. Our featured 1934 Packard Super Eight Coupe is a very fine example of this rare and desirable factory body. Very few have survived over the years, with many being rebodied or cut into roadsters. The most recent keeper of this lovely Packard acquired the car from long-term ownership on the East Coast. The older restoration presents exceptionally well in its striking two-tone paint combination of red with dark burgundy fenders and swage lines. The paint looks great, but up close it is showing its age, with some crazing evident in the red. It is well optioned with dual side-mount spare wheels with fully enveloping metal covers, Swan radiator mascot, dual Trippe driving lights, and gorgeous new chrome wire wheels shod with proper wide whitewall tires. Red painted brake drums appear behind the chrome wires, imparting a decidedly sporty look. The chrome trim is in very good condition, showing just a slight bit of age in places but otherwise still supremely attractive and in keeping with the overall feeling of quality of this restoration. This is quite simply a visually stunning machine from all angles, the proportions border on perfection, thanks in no small part to the grand 142” wheelbase of the Super Eight chassis. Occupants of this wonderful machine are cosseted in freshly upholstered black leather seats. Matching black door panels are capped with gorgeous wood trim which flows into a beautiful woodgrain dash. The instrument panel features a full array of gauges in a beautifully detailed chrome and paint binnacle. The dash, steering wheel and instruments show just a slight bit of patina from use since the restoration, making it a very pleasing and comfortable place to spend an afternoon of motoring. This being a two-place coupe, a rumble seat is out back for occasional rear passengers, which is trimmed in black leather to match the cabin. Packard’s big 384.8 cubic inch L-head inline eight produces a silken 145 horsepower and an ocean of effortless torque. It puts power through a three speed manual gearbox which is known for its ease of operation and smooth shifting. Every car enthusiast should experience driving a Packard of this era at least once, as they are surprisingly tractable, incredibly smooth and remarkably easy to drive for such a large and grand car. This example’s big Eight is tidy and clean in the engine bay, presented in proper Packard green on the block with a silver crankcase. Importantly, it is also the original engine to this car, as indicated by the chassis and engine numbers being in very close sequence. Correct plug wires and other details make for an attractive yet functional look. Some signs of use are apparent, making this a car that encourages one to drive rather than to sit it in a garage and keep sterile. The chassis is likewise tidy and fully functional, with excellent four-wheel mechanical brakes keeping things under control. The 1934 Super Eight is one of the most highly regarded models from Packard, and many enthusiasts believe the 11th series to be the pinnacle of this storied marque. This gorgeous example is of course a recognized CCCA Full Classic and would be a simply sublime choice for CARavan touring, AACA Touring or simply weekend exploring your favorite roads.
The Buick Motor Company was the cornerstone General Motors was built on. Charles Nash was President and General Manager of Buick by 1910 and oversaw a thriving automaker that sold nearly 30,000 automobiles in that year. Early Buicks included very small to very large automobiles, and trucks, that enabled the marque to compete throughout the industry. Buick also utilized racing extensively to establish a reputation for speed and durability. Early drivers including ‘Wild’ Bob Burman, Louis and Arthur Chevrolet, Lewis Strang and others raced Buicks; high profile races for production automobiles were held on Long Island, at Savannah, Indianapolis and Daytona Beach. Two bright red ‘Buick Bug’ racers were also constructed for Burman and Louis Chevrolet in 1910, who raced them around the country. These special ‘wind cheaters’ were equipped with huge 622 c.i. four-cylinder engines mounted in shortened single-seat racing chassis covered with streamlined bodies emblazoned with rams heads painted on the front of each car and were crowd favorites wherever they raced! Buick also offered sporting options for their regular customers. Both the popular Buick Model 10 on a 92-inch wheelbase and the larger Model 16 on a 112-inch wheelbase were available as sporting Roadsters. The Roadsters consisted of only two seats mounted on a standard chassis with a hood, cowl and fenders. Their construction was actually quite clever, however, allowing for exchange of a gas tank, a single rear seat or a wider rear seat that converted the car into a Tourabout or Surrey, all on the same chassis. This pretty 1910 Buick Model 16 Roadster is an older restoration, very well done and preserved in proper working order. In an era when only a single color was offered on many models, here the body, fenders, chassis and wheels are all finished in white. The appearance is all the more sporting for the single color, highlighted with red coach lines on the fenders, hood, wheels, frame and front axle. A brightly polished brass finish adorns the head lamps, radiator and script, coach lights mounted on the cowl and a large flared bulb horn. The brake and shift levers and wheel centers are also finished in polished brass. The simple instruments include a Stewart speedometer and mileage recorder and a brass oil sight gauge. An acetylene tank is mounted on the right side to provide gas for the lamps, while a round gasoline tank is mounted on the rear deck behind the two seats. Black tires are mounted on the wood spoke wheels. Neither a windshield nor top was provided, given the sporting nature of this early Roadster. The seats are constructed of wood – that may be original to the car – and upholstered in black tufted leather that looks to be new. The large 318 c.i. engine prominently displays four individually cast cylinders and produced 32.4 horsepower. The cylinder heads are not removable, so the workings of the push rods and valve gear operate in plain site adding to the charm of this very early Buick. The three-speed sliding gear transmission sends power to the rear axle. The car has been set up for touring, a concealed electric starter has been skillfully added, the rear brakes have been converted to hydraulic,and a modern air filter has been installed, all enhancing the enjoyment of driving this automobile that was constructed before the adoption of electric starters, lights, and juice brakes. Here again is a wonderful brass era automobile, this one fitted with a sporting Roadster body that evokes the Age and Buick’s early sporting history. This car presents and drives equally well – aided by a concealed electric starter – and will be eagerly welcomed by the Buick Club of America, Antique Automobile Club of America and the Horseless Carriage Club of America as well as other brass club activities, parades and local shows.
Rolls-Royce’s 20/25 succeeded the 20 H.P. in 1929 as the company’s “Small Car” offering intended for clients who chose to drive themselves rather than be driven. A vast array of improvements were made over the 20 HP, and while this was considered an entry level car by Rolls-Royce standards, it was still very much an exclusive, high end automobile that competed with the likes of the Alvis Speed 20, Hispano Suiza HS26 and the large 20hp Sunbeams. Also, it carried on the Rolls-Royce tradition in that it was offered as a complete chassis, less body, so customers specified their preferred coachbuilder at the time of ordering. As a result, a wide variety of 20/25s were built; ranging from formal closed limousines through sporting open roadsters with just about every imaginable configuration in between. The overhead-valve inline six-cylinder engine was similar to the outgoing 20 HP, but enlarged to 3,669 cc. Both coil and magneto ignition systems were provided, and the four-speed manual gearbox returned with traditional right-hand shift. Early 20hp models had a central shifter on the 3-speed gearbox which was (rather curiously) condemned by the public as appearing cheap and not to the standard expected of Rolls-Royce. The chassis of the 20/25 was a traditionally robust affair, with solid front and rear axles, semi-elliptic springs and four-wheel brakes assisted by a mechanical servo. The improved engine of the 20/25 afforded this new driver-focused Rolls-Royce with 75 mph performance, depending on the body configuration selected. Of course, heavier and more luxurious Saloons and limousines were hampered by their weight, but were nonetheless enjoyable to drive thanks to their smaller dimensions and uncompromised build quality. 4,000 were built between 1929 and 1936 making this one of the most successful Rolls-Royces of the period. The Twenty, 20/25 and their successors set Rolls-Royce on a path to success, for it was these owner/driver-focused models that formed the basis for Rolls-Royce production through the 1930s, 1940s, and into the post-war era. A top-line, Chauffeur driven model would remain as part of the line through the 1990s (with the Phantom VI), but it was the “entry-level” cars that sustained the company through today. Our featured 1934 20/25 is a handsome machine wearing sporty tourer bodywork, constructed in the style of 10EX, an experimental Phantom 1 chassis originally bodied by Barker. While most 20/25s were rather conservatively styled, this car features a rakish and exciting open four-seat body with a tapered, semi-boattail trunk – dubbed “bordino” by Italian coachbuilders of the period. The sporting body is accented by sparse, flared racing-style fenders, disc wheel covers and minimal exterior detailing (most notably, a lack of externally mounted spare wheels). The presentation of this 20/25 is outstanding, thanks to a comprehensive, body-off restoration performed while in the hands of the previous owner. According to RROC build sheets and records, this 20/25 was originally delivered to G. Vaughan Morgan of South Kensington, London, wearing D-back Limousine coachwork by Hooper. This lovely motorcar eventually found its way to the hands of Robert Collins of Miami, Florida. Mr. Collins then sold the car to a Midwestern collector who retained the car in his expert care from 1974 through 2013. Though fully restored, it is easy to see this was always a very well kept and cherished automobile. Bright red paint on the body is beautiful, free of noticeable flaws, and accented by a well-judged shade of dark red on the wings and sills. The body construction is of very high quality and the detailing is outstanding. Proper tripod headlamps are fitted as is a centrally-mounted spot lamp. The windscreen folds flat for the ultimate in 1930s sports-motoring, and a pair of very cool period Shell Motor Spirit fuel canisters are strapped to either running board. The cockpit is trimmed in lovely black leather which shows just the slightest signs of regular use and is extremely inviting and barely broken-in. The gorgeous burl-wood dash is exquisite, with centrally mounted instruments and typically over-engineered switchgear. This is a right hand drive model with right hand shift, allowing for plenty of passenger space up front. In the rear, black leather and high-quality carpet appear to have hardly been used, and a strip of matching burl wood on the rear cowl mimics that on the dash. The numbers-matching drivetrain is equally well-presented and has been restored to provide trouble-free motoring. This stylish, sporting and beautifully presented 20/25 is an unusual example of this traditionally staid model from Rolls-Royce. As a late production 1934 model, it benefits from the running improvements made by the factory, such as a 100hp engine and four-speed gearbox with synchromesh on the top two cogs. It is a joy to operate and would no doubt be a very fine and enjoyable choice for RROC or AACA touring, especially considering its original intent as the Driver’s Rolls-Royce.
Two prototypes for a sleek new four-seat Maserati were shown at the 1968 Turin Auto Show, one each from Carrozzerie Vignale and Ghia who both had history with Maserati. The Vignale prototype was selected and shown in production form as the Maserati Indy Vignale Coupe at the Geneva Auto Show in 1969. Like some previous Maseratis, the name was chosen to celebrate the marque’s great racing history – in this case, the Maserati 8C TF’s dominating victories at the Indianapolis 500 in 1939-1940. The Maserati Indy was designed as a full four-place luxury grand touring car in spite of the sleek two-door coupe profile. The heart of the design was a front-mounted all-alloy dohc 4.2-liter V-8 engine fed by four Weber carburetors and mated to a 5-speed ZF gearbox (or 3-speed automatic), mounted in a 102.4-inch wheelbase. A 4.7-liter V-8 was first offered in mid-1970, and a 315-320 hp 4.9-liter V-8 in 1973 with a claimed 170 mph top speed only slightly less than the two-place Ghibli. The luxurious leather interior of the Indy provided ample room to travel long distances in comfort with an almost horizontal lift-up hatch giving easy access to 18 cu. ft. of luggage space. This exceptional European-spec Maserati Indy Vignale Coupe was completed on October 8, 1970 and originated as a 4.7-liter, with Girling four-wheel disc brakes and the additional bright rocker panel trim that identifies the larger 4.7-liter engine. At some point in the car’s history, an upgrade was completed to an authentic and correct 4.9-liter engine from a later Indy. Never needing a full restoration, this car has been taken care of by a passionate collector, who worked hard to keep it well sorted, correctly maintained and attractive. Presented in its original and very attractive color scheme of Azzurro Hyperion light metallic blue with black leather, the paint quality is very good, with straight panels and nice chrome throughout. The interior is beautiful and correct, including the black leather covering the seats, door panels and console, and the original headliner and early Indy ‘twin binnacle’ style dashboard. The drilled three-spoke aluminum steering wheel with wood rim and a wood gearshift knob are equally well preserved. The full complement of gauges includes a km/h speedometer. The engine compartment is clean and nicely detailed, and the car runs and performs great. Original and correct Borrani alloy wheels are mounted with Pirelli tires. A total of only 1,104 Maserati Indy Coupes were produced between 1969 and 1975, with just 300 of those originally equipped with the big 4.9-liter engine and updates. This is simply a fabulous Maserati that is begging to be let loose on a road trip. It is well sorted and ready for touring and events, but has been prepared to a level that makes it suitable for the occasional show as well. .