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There are few who doubt Alfa Romeo to be one of the world’s most legendary and storied automobile manufacturers. Their history is rich and complex, and an interesting study in the vastly different markets that drove their pre-war and post-war vehicle production. Their persistence would lead them to be one of a very select few manufacturers that successfully made the switch from producing exclusive, racing derived machines for wealthy clientele in the pre-war period to mass-market saloons and coupes designed to appeal the ever growing middle class in the post-war period. During World War II and its aftermath, Alfa Romeo struggled mightily to survive. The factory in Milan was producing munitions for axis forces and therefore became a prime target for allied bombers, virtually destroying the firm. Yet, remarkably, production and development continued from other locations and Alfa survived the strife, eventually becoming a leader in the mid-range market from the mid-1950s and beyond thanks to the brilliant Giulia and Giulietta. Between these two vastly different iterations of Alfa Romeo the company lay the 6C 2500. The 6C was, in essence, the bridge between pre-and post-war production for Alfa Romeo and served as their last truly hand-built offering, with roots in the pre-war era, but styling that definitively pointed to the future. The model’s roots go back to 1928 with Vittorio Jano’s brilliant 6C 1500 Sport – the first production car ever to offer a twin overhead cam engine – itself inspired by the P2 monoposto Grand Prix car. Through many series and variations, the 6C evolved through the years leading up to WWII and beyond, with engine displacement growing from 1500cc through to 2300cc and the chassis being regularly reworked to reflect lessons learned on the racetrack by the likes of the factory racing team, Scuderia Ferrari. Italy’s best coachbuilders had their turn with the 6C chassis, with the last-of-the-line 2500 Sport and short wheel base, triple carbureted Super Sport forming the foundation for the new fully-enveloped style that would define post-war automobiles around the world. With its glorious twin-cam engine and sophisticated independent suspension, the 6C 2500 is one of the best performing and most desirable automobiles of the era, a car that embodies both the past and present of Alfa Romeo. The ultimate spec for the 6C 2500 is the Super Sport chassis, and the classic Touring coupe body with its Superleggera construction is considered by Alfisti as the most desirable coachwork. Our featured 6C 2500 Super Sport wears chassis number 915.717, and engine number 928008, noted as the very last 6C 2500 SS built in 1948. It is a matching number, breathtaking example with a proven record in concours and in rallies around the world. Completed on December 29th 1948, it was delivered new on July 18th 1949 to Sig. Gastone Guetta of Milan. After its time with Guetta, it passed through the hands of several other owners, hardly ever venturing out of Milan for the next 40 years. The furthest it went from there was to an owner in Modena, Italy in 1989 before finally finding its way out of its homeland to Switzerland, then to the Netherlands, and then to the UK where it was eventually purchased by Raoul San Giorgi. Documents and notes from San Giorgi state that it was a very fine, complete and highly original car when the restoration was performed. In 2005, a new interior was custom made and fitted and the car was repainted to an extremely high standard with fresh chrome. The newly freshened Alfa subsequently went on to achieve great success at an array of prestigious concours, including Pebble Beach in 2005 where it achieved a class award and was honored with Road & Track Magazine’s coveted “Car We’d Most Like to Drive” trophy. Other accolades included a 1st in class at Amelia Island, Best Italian GT Car at the Greenwich Concours, and a silver medal at Villa d’Este, 2010. While this magnificent Alfa was racking up the hardware on the concours circuit, it was also being thoroughly enjoyed by its owners in VSCCA and AROC tours and rallies in the USA, Canada and Italy. In 2010, it received a comprehensive engine rebuild by DL George and Leydon Restorations which included fresh Arias pistons, Carello rods, new shell bearings, rebuilt carburetors and countless other ancillaries and details, totaling over $68,000. The engine remains strong and performs exceptionally well in all conditions. It has been sensitively upgraded for touring with turn signals to supplement the original trafficators, an electric fan for extreme conditions, a back-up electric fuel pump and a high-torque starter for reliable duty on rallies (the original unit is included). Today, this fabulous Alfa also remains in overall beautiful cosmetic condition; its deep blue paintwork serving a perfect complement to the magnificent Carrozzeria Touring lines. Given the successful concours record, it is no surprise that it presents in exceptional order with crisp and finely detailed bodywork, however the paint is starting to show signs of aging. The interior is trimmed in grey leather, which is piped in dark blue and presented over lovely dark blue carpets. Instruments and switchgear are all beautifully restored, with the left-handed column shifter a distinct feature of these models. Thankfully, mastering the shift lever comes quickly despite its unconventional placement and it quickly becomes like second nature. Vittorio Jano’s masterpiece, the 2.5 liter twin-cam six-cylinder, presents like a piece of kinetic art under the bonnet. In triple carb Super Sport specification, the car was rated at 105 horsepower. Thanks to the comprehensive rebuild and minor upgrades, performance is excellent and this exquisite motorcar is pure joy on the road. It has recently proven its mettle in our hands with a flawless performance in the 2017 Copperstate 1000 rally in Arizona. Just 60 of these magnificent Alfa Romeos were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and they remain among the most highly desirable and collectible of the breed. The 6C 2500 SS is eligible for the Mille Miglia, and virtually any classic event in the world, thanks to not only FIVA authentication, but also CCCA Full Classic status. Included with the sale are the aforementioned FIVA documents, as well as copies of Automobile Club D’Italia records, correspondence from Alfa Romeo Storico, restoration photos, and photos of the car when new. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a truly outstanding and proven example of one of Alfa Romeo’s finest ever creations.
The Ford Model T is a machine that ranks as one of the most significant and important inventions of the 20th century. Henry Ford’s development of the moving assembly line was so significant that he is oft compared to the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and Eli Whitney as the most influential names in American Industrial history. The Model T is likely the only car to feature in our grade school history books. Of course, most of the focus in history is given to the way the Model T was built and how Henry Ford revolutionized mass manufacture. However, when viewed apart from the ingenious production methods, the Model T proved to be a truly remarkable and versatile machine. Because he was able to build so many so quickly, the price was low and suddenly the automobile was accessible to millions who never dreamed of owning one before. Its popularity spawned an aftermarket industry that allowed the T to be adapted to virtually anything: From racing cars to farm implements, the Model T could do it all. Ford was enough in tune with his customer needs to offer a wide variety of bodies to meet demand. Touring cars and Depot Hacks moved people, while the Pickup and Commercial Roadster offered versatility for tradesmen. The Commercial Roadster was a simple, two seat affair with a flat deck behind the cockpit. Curiously, a “mother-in-law seat” was standard equipment; mounted atop a small storage trunk on the rear platform. The primary difference between a standard roadster and commercial roadster was the extended flat platform behind the cabin of the latter, rather than a curved trunk. The vestigial seat and trunk were often removed and discarded to make way for pickup boxes or any variety of attachments to suit the job at hand. As such, intact survivors are quite rare today. This 1912 Model T Commercial Roadster is a relatively early example from the height of the brass era. The green and black paint scheme is correct for the year, as it predates Henry Ford’s shift to all-black Model Ts of later years. Unlike the majority of Model Ts which have been restored by hobbyists, this example wears a professional quality restoration and presents in absolutely lovely condition with excellent paint work, gorgeous quality brass and concours level detailing. Equipment includes brass Ford-script E&J headlamps and cowl lamps, a gorgeous brass radiator shell, polished brass horn and a beautiful acetylene tank on the running board. Brass step plates adorn the running boards, with a single right-side plate correctly placed for rear seat access. The driver’s compartment is exquisitely detailed with beautifully executed black leather upholstery on the seat, a correct Ford-script rubber mat and beautifully finished wood on the cowl panel. The mother in law seat is trimmed in the same high quality black leather as up front, and it sits atop the small utility trunk that now houses an assortment of spares. Weather protection comes via the full, dual pane windscreen, which folds for fair weather use, and the folding black leather top. The top fit is excellent and it is well detailed with correct brass hardware. Pyramid-pattern floor boards adorn the rear platform as original and the impressive woodwork is indicative of the care and attention that went into the restoration. While a Model T engine is an exercise in minimalism, this example is nonetheless very well presented and detailed. It is exceptionally clean, showing little use since the restoration was completed, and the engine is detailed with appropriate fittings and hardware. Finishes on the chassis are also excellent, with the undercarriage appearing incredibly clean and tidy. Along with its many other “firsts” the Model T can be credited with forming the foundation of the collector car hobby. With over 15 million built over the course of 19 years, there is certainly no shortage of cars to choose from. However, it is the early brass cars such as this that command attention from serious collectors. This example’s relatively rare configuration and outstanding restoration set it apart from the usual. It remains in lovely show-quality condition and is fully usable and ready for enjoyment.
Mercedes-Benz has long demonstrated the power of a diverse product portfolio. With an ethos of quality and innovation above all, Mercedes-Benz has made their mark in virtually every aspect of over the road transport, from taxicabs to Formula 1 cars, supercars to heavy trucks. Although they are most closely associated with luxury, Mercedes-Benz wisely relied upon the middle of the market to provide the majority of their sales over the years. When the luxury car market sagged in the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was quick to realize the importance of expanding their offerings, yet crucially, they managed to do so without cheapening their brand and damaging their reputation for quality. The 170 was conceived to compete in the mid-priced market, making its debut at the Paris Auto Salon in 1931. Chassis engineer Hans Nibel designed the platform which featured revolutionary all-independent suspension in a lightweight chassis. The ride quality and handling prowess were far and above superior to other vehicles in the same class. The new model proved quite popular, with nearly 70,000 examples built before 1941. Found within the 170 range was a wide variety of vehicles that utilized the innovative chassis. Mercedes-Benz offered it as a two- or four-door sedan, two- or four-seat cabriolet, roadster, cabrio-sedan, open touring car, Sedan Delivery, taxi, ambulance, or pickup. Eventually, the range-topping Cabriolet A was added to the mix. The Cabriolet A was a product of the prestigious Sindelfingen coachbuilding department, Mercedes’ in-house custom body builder. Herman Ahrens arrived at Mercedes-Benz in 1932, setting up a custom coachbuilding shop at the Sindelfingen works. His reputation for quality was established at that Deutsche Industrie Werke in Berlin as well as with Horch where he designed some of that firm’s most prestigious motorcars. Alongside Walter Hacker, who joined him at Mercedes in 1933, Mercedes-Benz styling was transformed and the duo produced some of their most breathtaking designs on the 540K chassis. For buyers of somewhat more modest means than the typical 540K client, the 170 V Cabriolet offered the cachet of a Sindelfingen-designed body at a more reasonable (though still not insignificant) $1,459 in 1936. Rather than modifying a mass-produced model, each Cabriolet A was hand built alongside its more expensive stablemates. The resemblance to its larger sibling can be seen in the graceful sweep of the front wings, the taper of the bonnet as it flows from cowl to radiator grille and the elegant proportions. Our featured example of this rare and desirable coachbuilt Mercedes-Benz was recently part of the collection of renowned contemporary American realist painter Jamie Wyeth. It was completely restored beginning in 1990 by Magno Restorations of Massachusetts and has been featured in the May/June 1997 issue of The Star magazine. It has been very well cared for since the high-quality restoration was completed, and it presents today in lovely condition. The two-tone black and red paint is period correct and highlights the handsome lines of this rare and desirable body. Beautiful concours-quality chrome work remains in excellent order and the body fit and alignment reveal this as a very high level restoration. The signature of the 170 V are the stylish steel disc wheels, in this case painted in red to complement the body sides and provide some visual pop against the black wings. The body style is simple yet finely detailed with features such as an inset rear-mount spare tire, a small “trunk” behind the top, exposed landau irons and cowl-mounted trafficators. The cabin is trimmed in lovely dark red leather that complements the exterior paint scheme. The soft trim remains in very good condition, showing signs of light use since the restoration, but presenting with a welcoming broken-in character. Instruments, switchgear and interior brightwork are all in very good order, again showing some light use but remaining very attractive. A side-facing rear seat is fitted for the occasional second passenger, providing they don’t mind the cozy experience. Beneath the bonnet is a simple and humble appearing 1,697 cc side-valve four-cylinder which produces 38hp. Our example is well detailed with proper fittings and hardware, though not over restored or fussy. The engine produces 38hp and delivers the power to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. Four wheel hydraulic brakes and independent suspension allow for this car to feel much younger than its 79 years. Following its high quality restoration, this car was shown at a great number of prestigious events such as Meadow Brook, Castle Hill Concours, Lime Rock Vintage Fall Festival, Radnor Hunt Concours and others. It was displayed at the Lars Anderson Museum’s Mercedes Retrospective and even featured in advertising for Saks Fifth Avenue. It remains in handsome condition, and is ready for use in tours, rallies or simply to enjoy for its delightful road manners on your favorite country roads. This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a true Sindelfingen coachbuilt Mercedes-Benz that can be thoroughly enjoyed on the road or on a show field.
The Rolls-Royce 40/50hp “Silver Ghost” made its spectacular debut in 1907, recognized almost immediately as the finest motorcar money could buy. At the heart of the 40/50hp was Henry Royce’s impressively powerful and reliable 7,428cc side-valve inline-six. In its day, the inline-six configuration was considered a folly as competitors could not cope with the issue of long, flexing crankshafts. But Royce’s engine had a crank that was shorter and stronger, and which was supported by seven large main bearings. Exacting, precise machine work and hand-polishing of internal components ensured near silent, smoke-free operation – a characteristic that was virtually unheard of for the time. Features such as pressurized oiling, fixed heads to eliminate leaks, and a twin ignition system via magneto or distributor were advancements that established the Silver Ghost as the standard of the world for motorcars. Particularly when compared to other machinery of the same period, the Silver Ghost is a true marvel of sophisticated engineering and build-quality, capable of delivering near silent operation and a luxurious experience drivers and passengers alike. In Rolls-Royce’s early days, their chief competition came from Napier. Under the directorship of S.F. Edge, Napier had embraced the idea of the publicity stunt in order to drive sales and prove its machinery in the toughest of conditions. Rolls-Royce was always rather more conservative yet they relented under the pressure from their London-based rivals and in 1911, took on the RAC-sanctioned London to Edinburgh Challenge to prove they built the finest, most reliable and best performing cars in the world. The challenge was seen as the perfect venue to showcase the latest upgrades to the 40/50hp model. Chassis 1701 was the second such car to receive improved specification that included a massive torque tube sending power to the strengthened rear axle, larger carburetor and a higher compression ratio engine. Fitted with a sporting, close coupled light-touring body by Holmes of Derby, Ltd, chassis 1701 completed the entirety of the 800 miles challenge in top gear, achieving an average consumption of 24.32 miles per gallon. Later, that same car achieved 78.26 miles per hour at Brooklands. The success in the London-Edinburgh challenge led to a raft of new orders for similarly spec’d cars – heretofore known as the London to Edinburgh Ghost. Between spring of 1912 and October of 1913 (ending with chassis 2699) just 188 examples were built – a mere fraction of the total Silver Ghost production of 6,700 cars. Our featured 1913 40/50hp Silver Ghost, chassis number 2371, is one of these coveted London-Edinburgh specification cars. Original build sheets indicate this car was a direct copy of chassis 2148, which in itself was a direct copy of the famous “1701” works car. Originally clothed in a popular Torpedo style body by Barker, 2371 was delivered new to one Albert Janesich of the illustrious Janesich Jewelry family. Highly detailed notes on the factory build sheets indicate it was specified with Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels, Dunlop grooved tires, C.A. Vandervell lighting, multiple Brooks trunks, cobra horn, speedometer calibrated in KM and an additional clock. Janesich’s fabulous new Rolls-Royce was briefly registered in the UK, though very soon sent across the channel to Paris. Originally finished in silver gray with ivory lines and upholstery, it would have no doubt been a striking machine to see motoring the streets of Paris in its day. A small accident necessitated a return to the factory for a comprehensive rebuild in 1927, though from there the trail of the history is temporarily lost. As with many such cars living in Europe, 2371 was most likely dismantled and hidden from the Germans during WWII. It wasn’t until the 1990s when the chassis was discovered in Paris by two enthusiasts who were tipped off to the possible existence of a Silver Ghost in the city. Following its discovery, the chassis would pass to a noted marque enthusiast Walter Wilson of Ireland who, working with James Black, would commission a comprehensive rebuild. The original engine had long since been missing, so Wilson and Black found a comparable spec unit from 1914 carrying the number 10 K. Interestingly, the body that 2371 wears today was once fitted to the original works London-Edinburgh chassis; 1701 having been fitted with the body by Kenneth Neve in 1970. A later restoration of 1701 made that body available, becoming a fine match for our chassis 2371. As a finishing touch to the restoration, the original 1913 British registration number – R 1733 – was officially returned to the car. Walter Wilson thoroughly enjoyed his restored Ghost for the next two decades before passing it to the most recent owner in 2014. It is currently presented in white with tan leather upholstery and beautiful nickel plated fittings and it has a delightfully low-slung and sporty appearance, particularly riding on the correct spec Rudge Whitworth wire wheels. The restoration has held up extremely well; with an inviting, broken-in appeal thanks to Mr. Wilson’s time spent enjoying his motorcar. The car remains mechanically sound and would make the ideal companion for long-distance touring as it was originally intended. Mechanically and cosmetically sound, and with a fascinating history documented via build sheets as well as within the pages of the respected reference work “The Edwardian Rolls-Royce”, chassis number 2371 is a well-known, delightfully attractive and usable example of this highly desirable model.
Prior to the release of the spectacular 300SL sports car in 1954, the 300 Sedan and Coupe starred as the ultimate models in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. The big 300 was among the finest and most luxurious automobiles available, competing with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Cadillac for top honors among captains of industry and heads of state alike. Famously, the 300 found favor with Germany’s Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, who ordered a fleet of six custom bodied variants that he used during his fourteen year tenure. The car was thusly nicknamed Adenauer after its most influential and powerful admirer. Internally known as the W186, the big 300 was powered by a 2,996 c.c. SOHC inline six cylinder engine. Twin Solex carburetors fed the engine which produced 136 hp, feeding power through either a 4-speed manual or 3-speed Borg-Warner automatic gearbox. The robust power plant served as the basis for the legendary 300SL; canted over and fitted with Bosch mechanical injection and dry-sump lubrication for sports car duty. The W186 chassis featured independent front suspension along with a coil-sprung swing-axle in the rear. Handling and braking were excellent for a car of the 300’s size and many owners chose to drive rather than be driven. Given the clientele, a variety of custom and limited bodies were offered, including full and partial cabriolets and divider-window limousines. The 300B and 300C were eventually replaced by the slightly larger 300D which was different enough to necessitate a new chassis designation, W189, which continued through 1962 before being replaced by the highly advanced 600 saloons and limousines. This striking 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300C wears a factory correct shade of Strawberry red, an attractive yet rather unlikely color for a car that was generally preferred by more conservative clientele. An included factory build sheet confirms this as the original, factory issued color (Code DB543). Beyond the unexpected paint scheme, it is also equipped with a wonderful full-length Webasto sunroof. Wearing an older, though extremely well-maintained restoration, it presents in excellent condition throughout. The quality of the restoration is apparent in the very strong and consistent panel fit and body work. These are notoriously difficult and complex cars to restore, and it is clear this car has benefited from expert attention. The exterior trim on the W186 is almost entirely chrome-on-brass, and on this car it is presented in very good order. We believe some trim items such as the window surrounds to be original, and while they show a few minor flaws, it hardly detracts from the overall sense of quality this car conveys. Mercedes’ stately radiator grille has excellent plating, and is flanked by a pair of original Bosch fog lamps mounted on the lower aprons. It rides on original steel wheels with chrome beauty rings and correct color-keyed chrome hubcaps. Blackwall bias ply tires are perfectly judged against the brilliant paintwork, and provide the proper stance and period correct look. Complementing the strawberry red paint is a caramel tan interior which we believe retains original leather upholstery on the seats along with restored woodwork and newer carpets. The leather has been refurbished and presents quite well, and while the driver’s seat does show some moderate wear to the finish, the cabin remains quite pleasing and inviting. The blonde woodwork is a wonderful complement to the tan leather and exterior paint, and the vast wood dash is certainly a highlight of the interior. It is equipped a full array of original instruments, beautiful chrome switchgear, and the original VDO clock which sits proudly above the original Becker Mexico AM/FM radio. Rear passengers get to ride in comfort with a fold down armrest and clever windwings which keep buffeting to a minimum when the windows are open. Interior chrome fittings are up to the standard of the exterior, with beautiful quality finishing. The trunk is also nicely presented, with carpeted panels and a single spare wheel mounted in the right hand compartment. On the left side, a compartment houses a very rare factory spare parts kit. Beneath the hood, Mercedes’ robust 3.0 liter inline six is very well presented with correct natural finish alloy castings and black finished inner panels. Decals on the cam cover, period-look battery and elsewhere add a high degree of factory-correct detail and the majority of hardware and clamps appear to be correct. It is exceptionally clean and tidy, showing careful maintenance since the restoration was completed. The optional Borg-Warner automatic shifts well, and the car performs effortlessly. This handsome and imposing Mercedes-Benz 300C is one of just 885 examples built in 1956 out of a total of 1,432 examples overall. It is a rare and very desirable example of Mercedes-Benz ultimate expression of mid-century luxury.
Given the fact that the Swiss share borders with the titans of industry in Germany, the passionate, fiery Italians, and the Avant-Garde French it seems rather curious that Switzerland never became a motoring industry powerhouse in its own right. After all, Switzerland has no shortage of Alpine passes to tear up and down in a hard edged sports car, nor cosmopolitan cities to arrive in style in a luxurious GT car. And thanks to the Swiss banking industry, there’s also no shortage of cash to go around. Yet the Swiss curiously left the car building up to its neighbors and essentially stuck with banks and timepieces – with one very notable exception in the form of Peter Monteverdi. At the age of 16, Peter Monteverdi constructed his first car, a Fiat 1100-based special he built in the back of his father’s garage business. He went on to found MBM, where he built a series of karts and smallbore racing cars. In order to support his fledgling business he began importing Ferraris to Switzerland in 1957, eventually earning a position as the official Swiss distributor for Ferrari. His importing business soon grew to include a stable of luxury cars that included BMW, Lancia and Rolls Royce/Bentley. In 1967, following a falling out with Enzo Ferrari (a seemingly common occurrence) Peter Monteverdi teamed up with Pietro Frua to design a full-fledged GT car suitable for tackling those magnificent Swiss roads as well as his demanding clients. Monteverdi took full advantage of the skills of his neighbors by outfitting his new GT with a steel chassis built in Germany, and clothed it in sexy Italian coachwork. Pietro Frua was hired to design the two-seat 375S, and the body did share some notable similarities to the AC 428 and Maserati Mistral, also Frua designs. Power came courtesy of Chrysler’s massive 440 cubic-inch Magnum V8. However, Monteverdi soon realized the demand for a four-seat grand tourer was stronger than his two seat model. So the 375L replaced the S, with a design that was based on Frua’s work, but tweaked by Monteverdi himself to accommodate two generous rear seats. The 375L was built by Fissore, however, the similarity to Frua’s original work did not go unnoticed by the Italian and he sued Monteverdi for a licensing fee. Regardless of the drama, Monteverdi attracted a unique clientele – wealthy eccentrics who eschewed traditional, mainstream sports cars in favor Peter Monteverdi’s Swiss beauties. This 1969 Monteverdi 375L Coupe is a very fine example from the almost-mythical Swiss manufacturer. It is finished in a flattering shade of dark blue which very nicely suits the crisp Fissore-built body. Paint and body quality is very good, with very good panel fit and just a few minor flaws in the paint, though nothing that detracts from what is otherwise a very attractive and totally usable car. It rides on a set of Borrani wire wheels which add a welcome amount of sparkle to the understated styling. The original cast alloy wheels will also be included in the sale. The razor-like chrome bumpers are excellent and the polished headlamp surrounds and grille appear in very good order. The 375L was conceived as a Ferrari-beating high-speed touring car, so luxury of the highest order was high on Peter Monteverdi’s list. Our example is trimmed in beautiful caramel colored leather, presenting in wonderful condition and offering a gorgeous contrast to the dark blue paintwork. The distinct center console dominates the dash, its width necessitated by a chassis design that placed the Chrysler big-block engine and transmission well behind the axle line. It features an updated stereo system and air conditioning, perfect for cross-continent touring. The big-block Chrysler “Magnum” 440 presents in very good condition; clean and tidy with good detailing and signs of recent service. It runs strong and needs nothing but to be driven and enjoyed. Actual production numbers for the 375 aren’t widely known, as records are held closely by the ex-factory museum in Basel. Not only does the Monteverdi 375L have rarity on its side, it is a genuinely well-built and cleverly engineered automobile. Comparisons to other Euro-American hybrids such as the Jensen Interceptor or Iso Rivolta are natural, however, the 375 should really be compared to the Ferrari 365 2+2 or Maserati Mexico in terms of performance, quality and luxury. Given the fact that it cost as much as a Mercedes-Benz 600 when new, it is easy to see where Peter Monteverdi was aiming his sights. These incredible cars rarely come up for sale on the open market and we are thrilled to offer such a fine and inviting example.
American sports car enthusiasts owe more to British engineer Sydney Allard than they may know. Operating out of his small London garage business, he became famous for his successes in trials competition in the 1930s, driving his own creations that were usually powered by Ford or Lincoln engines and featuring Leslie Ballamy-designed split-axle independent front suspension. During WWII, Allard serviced and rebuilt mainly Ford military vehicles and by the time the war was over, he had amassed a large array of spares and an extremely well-equipped shop. Faced with a pile of surplus engines, he expanded his offerings from trials cars into road going cars with the K1 of 1949. The K1 featured a box-section chassis, Ballamy’s innovative front suspension, live rear axle and an attractive two-seat steel body. Power came via British-built Ford or Mercury V8 engines, with the Mercury being the performance choice thanks to its 95hp output. Some of those engines were offered with the Ardun OHV conversion developed by Zora-Arkus Duntov, a man who was Allard’s technical advisor and who went on to become the father of the Corvette at Chevrolet. With the K1 and subsequent models, Allard made quite a splash in the fledgling American road-racing scene. Open road racing was gaining popularity in the USA, as WWII veterans were returning home with sports cars purchased in Europe and were seeking a suitable place to exploit their performance. Allard was there to provide affordable sporting cars that could return serious performance and win races- particularly the famous Olds and Cadillac powered J2 and J2X. Allards went on to become a mainstay of early sports car racing in America. At places like Pebble Beach, Watkins Glen and Bridgehampton, Allards came to dominate high-speed open road races and they inspired the likes of Carrol Shelby, Jack Griffith, and others to shove big Yank V8 engines into nimble British chassis. This fascinating 1950 K1/K2 is believed to be the only example of its kind, ordered directly from Allard by an American enthusiast. Thanks to comprehensive documentation that dates back to the original order, we can see that the first owner ordered a new K2, with its revised styling and improved chassis. But shortly thereafter, the order for the K2 was canceled and he instead requested an older K1! Allard obliged, though the car was actually built on the superior coil-sprung K2 chassis, and fitted with specially made, backdated K1 bodywork. The car was delivered in the ‘States via John Forbes Agency of Boston, Massachusetts. From there it is believed it was disassembled and stored in the late 1950s, until it was subsequently sold in 1972. The Allard was gradually rebuilt over a 30 year period and, in 2003 was professionally restored to the state in which it presents today. Finished in an attractive color scheme of silver paint over a pewter-grey cockpit, it presents in beautiful condition today. The quality of the paint work is outstanding with excellent levels of finish work and detailing. The car sits proudly on a set of black steel wheels with correct Allard dog-dish hubcaps and period appropriate blackwall bias-ply tires. Chrome on the bumpers and prominent grille is in excellent order. The silver paint highlights the beautiful curves of the K1 body, especially from the rear three-quarter view. The spartan cabin is trimmed in pewter-gray leather and gray carpeting. The leather is in very good order, showing only minor creasing from use, with an inviting patina. The four-spoke Brooklands-style steering wheel is leather wrapped for additional grip, a handy feature when burying your right foot in the carpet. Instrumentation is simple and tidy, with original Smiths gauges placed in the center of a nicely restored wood dash panel. Under the hood is a 1947 Ford flathead V8 engine, rated in period at 85 hp, though now producing significantly more thanks to an overbore to 295 cubic inches, beautiful Edelbrock heads and a trio of Stromberg 97 carburetors. An alternator has been fitted for reliable running day or night, and an electric fan keeps engine temps in check. This attractive and well-sorted Allard K1/K2 is an outstanding choice for vintage rallying or show, and its presentation, history and bespoke nature make it a standout even among the rarified company of other Allards. The sale of this fine automobile includes comprehensive historical documentation, a selection of original tools and a fitted tonneau cover.
No fewer than five companies bore the surname of the ambitious industrialist Col. Albert Augustus Pope; a man who created a short-lived but prestigious empire of automobile manufacturers which offered a wide variety of vehicles between 1904 and 1914. Col. Pope set up shop in Hartford, Connecticut where, in 1903 he built his first prototype single-cylinder car. Production began in earnest the following year with two body styles offered on the common chassis. Larger engine options came quickly, with a 16hp twin following the single, as well as a 20/25hp four. Ever-increasing engine sizes were met with ever-inflating prices, with the largest of the Pope-Hartford line topping $5,500. Pope-Hartford models were built at the company headquarters in Connecticut, though other brands soon followed as the Colonel and his family extended their reach in the automobile business. Pope-Waverly offered electric cars built in Indiana; Pope-Tribune focused on small, cheap cars, Pope-Robinson was a very brief foray that produced just 59 cars, and the most prestigious of them all was Pope-Toledo. Pope-Toledo grew out of the International Bicycle Co., another of Albert Augustus Pope’s businesses. From 1904, the company offered first steam, and later petrol-powered cars. The petrol versions proved quite successful in motorsport, with a Pope-Toledo coming in 3rd in the highly competitive and popular Vanderbilt Cup in 1904 and winning the America’s first-ever 24 hour endurance race in 1905. Pope-Toledo cars grew swiftly in size and price through the coming model years, culminating in the 50 horsepower limousine of 1907. This prestigious and beautiful machine sold for a robust $6,000 and was among the finest automobiles on offer to wealthy American buyers. As with much of the Pope empire, growth came quickly and with little regard to the market demand. While cars like the Pope-Toledo were beautifully built and returned excellent performance, the market was crowded and only a finite number of buyers could afford such extravagant motorcars. Pope-Toledo went into receivership in 1909; with the parent company Pope-Hartford following shortly after in 1913. Of all surviving Pope cars, it is the powerful and prestigious Toledo that commands attention from collectors. We are truly honored to offer this outstanding 1907 Pope-Toledo Type XV 50hp touring car. One of just a handful known to exist, this grand and imposing motorcar was once part of the famous William F. Harrah collection and has since been treated to a very high-level restoration, and presenting in concours condition. The striking color combination of deep maroon with bright red highlights and black accents is period appropriate and magnificently presented. The paint quality is excellent, with deep gloss on the bodywork and equally beautiful finishes on the chassis wheels and ancillaries. We are particularly fond of the unusually curvaceous bodywork that defines and highlights the shape of the passenger compartment. The effect is quite stunning and unusual from the era before “styling” was a fully embraced concept. An array of beautiful brass accessories features prominently on the body. Huge, exquisitely detailed Solar De Luxe projector headlamps flank the proud Pope-Toledo radiator shell, finished in highly polished brass. Matching Solar cowl lamps are fitted, all powered by the gorgeous acetylene tank mounted on the left running board. Large wooden-spoke wheels are finished to the same high standard as the body, painted maroon with bright red coach stripes and wrapped in all-white tires for a magnificent, elegant look. The running boards and driver’s compartment floor are properly fitted with gray battleship linoleum and a beautiful wicker trunk sits atop the trunk rack, held in place with lovely bridle-leather straps. The huge top is in excellent order and rather unusually, is lined with red fabric for additional protection. Full removable weather equipment includes side curtains and a soft windscreen. The cabin is trimmed in black leather in front and rear, appearing quite fresh and showing almost no use. Front seats are individual affairs, separated by a central bolster. The driver stays informed via exquisite Joseph W. Jones speedometer and clock. Correct button-style upholstery is accented with lovely embossed patterns on the leading edge of the seats. Below the seats, beautifully finished wooden cabinets provide storage for spares, while a similar cabinet below the rear seat houses the weather equipment. Also in the rear, a folding jump seat provides accommodations for an additional passenger or two. Maroon carpets are in excellent order and the whole cabin is trimmed in lovely, high quality woodwork and brass trim. The detailing on the restoration is impeccable, found in places like the pyramid-pattern brass “Toledo” sill plates and perfectly clocked hardware on the fittings. It most certainly conveys a sense of opulence that defines the era. All of the opulence and luxury up top is motivated by a huge T-head four-cylinder which was originally rated at 50 horsepower. The engine is correctly and meticulously detailed with correct wiring, brass clamps and hardware and polished copper cylinders and assorted plumbing. It is very tidy and clean, showing a few signs of light use, remaining very correct and conveying the magnificent quality of the restoration. Power is sent rearward via a chain-drive rear axle, a system renowned for its strength and durability. While its sister company Pope-Hartford enjoyed moderate success over the course of a decade, the much rarer Pope-Toledo was experienced by only a handful of fortunate (and wealthy) clientele. This example’s beautiful restoration has been carefully preserved, and it would surely be welcome at virtually any concours event in the world. Being a large, high-horsepower car, it would likewise make a magnificent choice for touring. Once part of the most famous car collection in the world, this Pope-Toledo stands proudly as one of the finest examples of its kind.
Mercedes-Benz has always maintained a tradition of building a vast array of vehicles ranging from basic transportation to magnificent, technologically advanced luxury cars. For example, in the 1930’s, the 170 was popular among police and taxi drivers, while an extremely wealthy individual could have a 100 mph 540K in any number of coachbuilt configurations. But if you were more than just your average wealthy customer, you may have stepped up to the 770K, also known as the “Grosser Mercedes”. These incredible 7.6 liter, supercharged eight-cylinder monsters were reserved for heads of state, military leaders – with owners including a pope and a Japanese Emperor and featured some of the most advanced engineering ever seen on a pre-war automobile. During WWII, Mercedes Benz factories were hit particularly hard and it took some time to bounce back. But by the 1960s, their post-war recovery was complete and the company recognized sufficient demand for another ultra-luxurious limousine to take on the likes of the Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood and Rolls Royce Phantom. The 600-series was born in 1963, known internally as the W100, reviving the “grosser” moniker. Available in four-door short wheelbase or six-door, long wheelbase Pullman configuration, the 600 was quite simply one of the finest and most thoughtfully engineered and over-built cars in history. Unlike a body-on-frame Cadillac or Rolls Royce, the 600 used advanced unitary construction that was so strong, the rear roof could be cut off without the need for additional bracing. Of course, options were limited to the imagination and budget of the buyer and 600s are often equipped with front and rear air conditioning, separate stereo systems, refrigerators, even television and telephones. Power was via an all-new M100 6.0 liter V8 with Bosch fuel injection, developed specifically for the 600. It produced 250 hp and a whopping 370 ft-lbs of torque, enough to allow the 6,100lb Merc to hang with a contemporary Porsche 911T in a straight line. A complex but ingenious hydraulic system operating at 150-bar (2,176 psi) powered the suspension as well as the window lifts, power seats, sunroof, and even the trunk closure. The 600 quickly became the ultimate symbol of power and prestige; favored by government officials, royalty, movie stars, dictators and cult leaders alike. The 600 remained in very limited production from 1964-1981 with total of 2,677 built in all configurations. Of the 600 family, the sleeper of the group is the short-wheelbase four-door sedan, as presented here. Performance was surprisingly brisk for such a large machine, and in spite of their limousine roots they make surprisingly good driver’s cars thanks to that sophisticated suspension and torque-laden 6.3 liter M100 V8. This 1969 model presents in very handsome and understated dark, non-metallic green over a Cognac interior. It presents in very tidy overall condition, having been well maintained in very nice running order. Importantly, the body is very straight with consistent, precise factory panel gaps and attractive paintwork. Like the bodywork, the chrome is in similarly good condition and it rides on a set of correct wheels with color keyed wheel covers and blackwall tires. These big 600 sedans have spectacular road presence, especially when presented in a dark color such as this, and the driving experience is thoroughly modern. The engine bay presents well showing plenty of signs of maintenance – a critical consideration on any 600. The lovely and luxurious interior is trimmed in Cognac leather with matching carpet. The leather is in very good condition, handsome and inviting. The cabin is trimmed in extensive wood work on the dash, door caps and windscreen frames which all presents well, with some minor cracking apparent on the dash top, though the fascia wood remains very clean. A proper Becker Grand Prix radio resides in the dash, and this example is optioned with the refrigerated console and privacy curtains for the rear quarter windows. The big, grand 600 is one of the ultimate luxury cars of the post-war era. Its unrivaled luxury and stunningly strong performance made it the choice for dictators, heads of state and captains of industry alike. This short-wheelbase version delivers an excellent drive in a package that is more approachable than the long-wheelbase Pullman, and of course with swifter acceleration and easier handling. With any 600, maintenance and care are of utmost importance. This example has benefited from regular use and care, with records going back to the 1990s. It has recently been treated to an “E” service, including a conversion to optic distributor pickup replacing the points. Shown at the 2012 Greystone Mansion Concours, this attractive and usable 600 sedan is ready for its next keeper to enjoy the fantastic performance and exquisite quality that only the Grosser Mercedes can provide.
It’s a long-held belief among many Packard enthusiasts that the 11th series, introduced in August of 1933, represents the pinnacle of style and substance for this storied marque. Of course, every car has its fans as well as its detractors, but one look at the gorgeous full-figured styling of the 1934 Packard and it is easy to see why so many have fallen for its charms. Not only was the 11th series beautiful to look at, it was also one of the best driving automobiles in its category with exceptional torque from the inline 8 cylinder and a beautifully engineered chassis. Packard’s traditionally conservative approach to engineering continued, with an emphasis on reliability, durability and ease of operation. Available as the Eight, Super Eight and Twelve, the 11th series was offered in three lengths of wheelbase and a wide variety of standard and “custom catalog” bodies. LeBaron and Dietrich offered the most prestigious designs and all told, 41 different combinations of wheelbase, engine specification and body style were offered to clients, assuring buyers a high level of exclusivity regardless of the options they chose. One of the rarest and most expensive of the available bodies was the Convertible Sedan. This body offered all-weather comfort combined with open air style thanks to its full folding top and roll up side windows. The curvaceous fenders offset the long, low roofline with fabulous effect, making this one of the most classically beautiful motorcars of the era. This beautiful 1934 Packard 1101 Convertible Sedan is a very well restored example wearing a very rare and desirable body style. It is one of just seven of its kind known by the Packard Club (out of more than 5,000 units of the 1100-1102 range) and it has earned both the prestigious AACA and CCCA Senior awards. It is finished in a very striking tri-tone combination of a tan main body over black fenders with black and orange highlighting the swage lines and top surfaces. Orange wire wheels shod with wide whitewall tires tie the look together nicely while subtle off-white coach stripes adorn the fenders. It is a very pleasing and attractive color combination that suits the body style quite well. Paint quality is overall very good, with the older restoration still showing exceptionally well, with just a few minor signs of age. Body fit and finish is excellent and it is well detailed with dual sidemount spares, a chrome radiator shell, dual Trippelight driving lamps, dual exterior mirrors and a gorgeous Packard Cormorant mascot. A large period trunk sits atop the original trunk rack, along with a tan cover that matches the top upholstery. The overall look is of a wonderfully restored and exceptionally well-maintained motorcar that is ideally suited for regular use. The interior is trimmed in cognac leather with very attractive dark brown carpets and nicely restored wood trim embellishing the dash and door caps. The upholstery is in very good order, appearing to have seen little use and very good care since the restoration. The original steering wheel shows some wear in places, but is still lovely and in keeping with the usable spirit of this car. Interior brightwork is excellent and the dash retains its original instruments. The rear compartment features an interesting and seldom-seen addition of a chrome heater duct in the floor as well as dual cigarette lighters and ash trays for rear passengers. The large folding top operates well and the tan material is in very good condition. Packard’s 320 cubic inch inline eight cylinder engine produced 120 horsepower in original form. Power delivery is silky smooth and the 3-speed synchromesh transmission is an absolute joy to operate. The engine is very nicely presented, showing some signs of use on the restored finishes, but appearing largely correct and properly detailed. The 136” wheelbase makes for a smooth and controlled ride while four-wheel vacuum-assisted brakes aid in making this an exceptionally easy handling automobile. It is this easy-driving character that makes Packards of this era such fine choices for touring. This wonderful example has been treated to an award-winning restoration and remains in outstanding order, with just enough slight patina to encourage regular use. Some maintenance records as well as ownership history will be included in the sale. Status as a senior-awarded CCCA Full Classic makes this fine motorcar eligible for a wide variety of events and tours.
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.
Buick’s offerings for 1914 consisted of just a single series, the Series B, though somewhat confusingly, the Series B was made up of a variety of sub models, configurations and engine offerings. At the entry level of the catalog, the B-24 and B-25 shared a 105 inch wheelbase and a 165 cubic inch four-cylinder engine. Next in line came the B-35, B-37 and the fully enclosed B-38 coupe featured a 112-inch wheelbase with motivation coming from a slightly larger 221 cubic inch four cylinder. The flagship model was the B-55 which featured the marque’s first six cylinder engine, displacing 331 cubic inches and rated at 48 horsepower. The common thread for all Series B Buicks was the valve-in-head engine with its distinctive exposed valvetrain, and all models (with the exception of the B-38) were available as either a roadster or a handsome touring car. Thanks to Buick being part of General Motors, all 1914 models featured the Delco System electric starter and lamps originally pioneered by Cadillac in 1912. The B-25 cost $1,050 in 1914, when compared to the Ford Model T at $440, made the Buick was a significant step up in the market. Just over 21,000 Buicks found homes in 1914, demonstrating ever growing strength of Buick and the increase demand from the middle class for more powerful and well equipped motorcars. This tidy 1914 Buick B-25 Touring Car is a very usable and attractive example that has been treated to a good quality restoration some time ago, having now taken on a pleasing patina. Two-tone black and white paint gives it a handsome and striking look. Paint quality is quite good, showing some age since the restoration was completed but remaining quite attractive and charming. By 1914, the brass era was winding down, and nickel plating had become the standard embellishment. Our example wears nice nickel-plated headlamps, wheel hub covers and trim on the duel carriage lamps. A Buick branded moto-meter sits atop the black painted radiator, which also proudly brandishes the Buick script. A very nice period appropriate spot light is affixed to the windscreen frame. Black wall tires are fitted to the split rim artillery wheels, with good condition wooden spokes painted white to match the main body. The canvas top is in good condition and it comes with a complete set of side curtains; ideal for those looking for adventure in all weather conditions. The interior is very inviting, with lovely old black leather showing some light creasing and patina that is consistent with the remainder of the car. Floors are correctly lined with linoleum up front and carpet in the rear, all showing in good order. Instrumentation is of course limited for a car of this era, but the basics are covered with a period correct Stewart speedometer, an Amp meter and a great Waltham clock adorn the firewall. The fat wood rimmed steering wheel is excellent, with nicely polished nickel spokes and controls for throttle and spark advance. Buick’s 165 cubic-inch four-cylinder engine is in excellent condition under the hood. The cylinders are cast in pairs, and the exposed valvetrain is a fascinating feature of these engines. The detailing is largely correct with period fittings and plumbing, with an emphasis on tidy, reliable service. This wonderful old Buick is a charming and fairly rare example from GM’s early days. It is an enjoyable, honest car that is very well suited for touring thanks to the sorted mechanicals, full weather equipment and charming patina. We love this car’s pretty color combination and classic touring car body style. This Buick is a great choice for Horseless Carriage Club of America tours, AACA events or casual show. The more conventional controls and sliding-fork gearbox make it more approachable for newcomers to nickel-era cars, and the addition of electric start makes it easy to live with for regular use or long-distance journeys.
1933 was a bleak year for automobile manufacturers around the world. The global depression had affected virtually every economy and there were a great number of manufacturers who could not weather the storm. In Britain, it was no different. Bentley had been run out of resources and was acquired by Rolls Royce in 1931, and others such as Alvis and Lagonda were struggling mightily to survive. Invicta, builder of low-slung sporting automobiles, were facing the end of the road as well. Invicta’s founder, Noel Macklin, had been with the company since 1925 but in seeing the troubles ahead, he sold his shares and Invicta moved from Cobham, Surrey to Chelsea, London in 1933, eventually folding in 1938. Rather than resign to failure, Macklin teamed up with Reid Railton later in 1933 to form the Fairmile Engineering Company. Rather cleverly, Macklin brought Railton on board mainly to use his famous name for their new marque. Reid Railton had designed several land and water speed-record vehicles during the period when the World Speed Record had achieved massive global popularity. Railton had designed the iconic Campbell-Napier-Railton Bluebird vehicles with Sir Malcolm Campbell, the famous aero-engine Napier-Railton and many other significant watercraft and land-based vehicles. Rather than start with a clean sheet, Macklin took advantage of the budding popularity of American cars in England. Their straight line performance was superior to that of most home-market offerings, though American build quality and questionable handling left quite a bit to be desired. Using Hudson’s innovative and high-performance 8-cylinder Terraplane as a base, Macklin’s new machine combined the performance and robust drivetrain of the Terraplane but with a lighter, higher-quality body and sophisticated chassis. Railton’s involvement - beyond lending his name to the project - was to tune the chassis to suit British roads and buyer’s needs, centered on high-tech Andre Telecontrol shock absorbers. The resulting automobiles were an instant hit, particularly with the traditionally fickle British motoring press – with Autocar declaring it “ten years ahead of its time”. The Railton was faster, smoother and more powerful than virtually any other car in its class. We are very pleased to offer this gorgeous 1937 Railton Stratton Saloon, a beautifully restored CCCA Senior Award-winning example. Wearing a wonderful four-door saloon body by Coachcraft, it presents in outstanding condition in black over a tan leather interior. The coachwork is understated yet elegant with plenty of fine detailing. It wears a single side mount spare wheel with a full painted cover, a vinyl covered roof, and the integrated trunk features an interesting split lid design. The bonnet lid is held in place with exposed piano hinge detailed with exposed, polished rivets along the bonnet line. A beautifully crafted radiator shell is plated in high quality chrome and flanked with lovely headlamps and frame-mounted driving lamps. Jet-black paintwork is gorgeous, laid down over very straight and properly fitted bodywork. Subtle cream coach stripes highlight the body lines and the black vinyl roof is trimmed in polished alloy moldings for a wonderfully subtle look – particularly with the car riding on black disc wheels with blackwall tires. A highlight of this restoration is the fabulous interior trimmed in tan leather with chocolate brown piping and carpets. A large sunroof makes for an airy feel for driver and front passenger, while rear passengers enjoy a laid-back seating in a cozy cabin. The headlining is properly trimmed in tan broadcloth and the leather remains in very good condition since the restoration. Beautifully restored wood trim features on the door caps, window surrounds, sunroof opening and gorgeous dash. Original instruments are featured in the center cluster, all beautifully restored. Of course, the robust Hudson drivetrain has also been restored to a high level along with the rest of this fine car. The engine was fully rebuilt as part of the restoration and remains in very strong running order. It presents in excellent condition with correct red paint on the engine and black ancillaries. Polished alloy features on the firewall as well as the “faux” rocker cover; a clever bit of original decoration designed to make the flathead Hudson engine appear as a more sophisticated overhead-valve unit. The engine is mated to a manual transmission, also rebuilt during the resto. Combined with the lighter weight and advanced chassis, this Railton makes for a surprisingly sprightly driver’s car. Rare, handsome and desirable, this Railton Stratton combines a reliable, high-performance Hudson drivetrain with a sophisticated European chassis and handsome coachbuilt bodywork. The full nut-and-bolt restoration cost in excess of $135,000 and has been well documented with photos and records. This CCCA award-winning example is one of the best we’ve encountered. By its very nature it is a fine driving car, exceptionally well-suited for touring or rallies and certainly beautiful enough for show.
Crane Motor Car Company of New Jersey once held the distinction of being the most expensive automobile built in the United States. In 1912, a Crane Model 3 cost an astonishing $8000 without a body; this at a time when median income in America was just $687. While no doubt costly, at least it offered quality and performance few could match. Henry Middlebrook Crane had designed a magnificent machine, with its L-head six-cylinder making a topping 100 horsepower. Given the eye-watering cost, it is no surprise that only approximately 40 Crane Model 3s were sold, followed by just a few Model 4s. Henry Crane only lasted on his own from 1912-1915 when he was bought out by Simplex, another high-end motorcar manufacturer. Henry Crane was kept on as a vice president and his successor to the Model 4 was rebadged as a Crane-Simplex. Using an improved version of the L-Head six-cylinder engine, now making 110hp, the new car was still of the same exceptional quality and performance. Crane-Simplex only existed for four short years, with roughly 475-500 cars produced over that time. Yet in spite of such tiny production numbers, the marque stands with the likes of Rolls-Royce, Locomobile and Stutz as one of the most prestigious motorcars of the period. Wearing sporting bodywork and exquisitely presented, this 1915 Crane-Simplex Model 5 is an outstanding example from this storied American marque. Its original owner, Mr. Adler, purchased the car in 1915 and is reported to have kept it over three decades, finally parting with it in 1946. Only seven people have owned this wonderful machine over the course of a century, including Harold Langdon who kept the car from 1972 to 2005. The body is a later addition, as often occurs with luxury automobiles of this era. Common with early Rolls-Royce and similar cars, a chassis may outlive multiple bodies as they age and styles change. This lovely boattail speedster-like style suits the car well and surely makes for strong performance thanks to its light, pared-down construction. The quality of the body and subsequent restoration is exceptional with gorgeous deep maroon paint on the chassis and cycle fenders contrasting the light grey color of the main body. Paint quality is excellent and panel fit very good for a car of this era. It is a large automobile, though very well proportioned and beautifully detailed. The front compartment features doors for driver and passenger, while a smaller rear compartment as a very cool single-sided door; a very nice period appropriate touch. The beautiful radiator shell is nickel plated, as are the drum headlamps, Simplex wheel hub caps and assorted hardware on the chassis. A fascinating detail is the pair of brass shock absorbers affixed between the front axle and headlight stanchions. The rear of the car tapers to a boat-tail style, while the cut-down windscreen, dual rear-mount spares and floating step-boards impart a decidedly sporting appearance. The interior is dominated by the fat wood-rimmed steering wheel with nickel spokes and engine controls in outstanding order, beautifully polished and detailed. The dash features a marvelous array of instruments and switchgear, with the driver getting a Warner Auto Meter speedometer and odometer, along with an ammeter and fuel gauge. With an obvious eye toward touring and rallying, the front passenger faces a Waltham clock and oil pressure gauge, along with controls for fuel pressure, mixture control and the Bosch ignition system. Front and rear cockpits are trimmed in beautiful red leather which appears fresh and shows very little use. Maroon carpets tie in with the bodywork nicely, and the rear compartment is covered with a canvas tonneau when not in use. Detailing throughout the interior is lovely and very well judged. Of course, the highlight of any Crane-Simplex is Henry Crane’s mighty L-Head inline-six cylinder engine. Displacing 8,795 c.c. and producing a full 110 horsepower, this magnificent engine is one of the greatest of the era. Our example has been lovingly detailed down to correct ignition wires, fabric wiring loom and brass hose clamps. The presentation is breathtaking, doing Crane’s masterpiece appropriate justice. It runs incredibly well, producing massive torque and returning performance that is astounding for a vehicle that is more than a century old. It is believed that fewer than 500 Crane-Simplex Model 5s were built in the short time the company existed before being taken over in 1919. Such was their quality and performance that most original owners kept them for many years, our featured example being no exception. Crane-Simplex stands among the finest motorcar manufacturers of all time, and this wonderful example represents a beautifully restored and thoroughly usable entry into this rarified world. It is an absolute thrill to drive and will surely make a lasting impression on its next keeper.
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.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has earned a reputation as the gold standard for technology and luxury in automobiles. Consumers and automakers alike look to the S-Class to get a glimpse of the technology that will trickle down into ordinary cars in the coming decades. Airbags, ABS Brakes, advanced traction and stability systems, brake by wire, lane detection and driver fatigue warnings are just some of the technological features that first appeared on versions S-Class. The name stands for Sonderklasse, German for “Special Class” and it continues to set the standard for the luxury market. The S-Class’ first official appearance was with the W116 of 1972. The W116 sedan replaced the outgoing W108 and W109, and with the new car, styling was conservative and measured. Every surface of the body was carefully contoured with an eye toward occupant and pedestrian safety. Not flamboyant or showy, the styling conveyed a certain elegance and Teutonic confidence. It is said that the designers were obsessive in their quest to design the safest vehicle on the road and every detail was considered – the windscreen surround had deep channels to help guide rain water up and over the car at speed, the ribbed taillights stayed cleaner and thereby more visible in dirty conditions, sharp edges were contoured to soften the blow should a W116 encounter a pedestrian. Four wheel independent suspension and disc brakes were fitted as well as impact bumpers and a padded steering wheel. Mercedes-Benz had been on an obsessive quest for safety and technology with a variety of experimental cars in the 1960s and early 70s, and the W116 was the first road car to fully benefit from that experience. Quite typical for Mercedes, a variety of engines ranging from a 2.8 liter inline six to a 4.5 liter V8 across both standard “SE” and long-wheelbase “SEL” chassis allowed customers to specify their car to suit their exact needs and wants. Soon, however, Mercedes took a brief reprieve from its conservative, safety-minded approach and introduced the positively bonkers 450 SEL 6.9 for 1975. The 6.9 was a follow up to the 300SEL 6.3 which few thought would get a successor. As the name would suggest, Mercedes took the long wheelbase W116 and shoved a massive 6.9 liter version of the M100 all-alloy V8 into the engine bay. With 286 horsepower on tap, the engine could push the 5,300 pound sedan to sixty in just over 7 seconds and on to a top speed of 140 mph. This was performance that could give a contemporary Porsche or Ferrari owner a serious scare. In addition to the massive engine, Mercedes engineers adopted a variation of Citroen’s hydro-pneumatic suspension, which allowed for a superb ride in conjunction with automatic self-leveling and cabin adjustable ride height. Less troublesome than previous air-suspension systems, it had been proven by Citroen since the 1950s and delivered superior ride and control. The resulting performance was deeply impressive, as renowned journalist David E. Davis once quipped, the massive Merc could be “tossed around like a Mini”. Between 1975 and 1981, just 7,380 were built, with a mere 1,816 being official US imports. This 1977 450SEL is a very fine and highly original example that has covered a genuine 55,232 miles from new. It is unrestored save for a high quality respray in the original silver and presents in excellent condition inside and out. The body is straight and tidy, with original trim, original federal spec bumpers and excellent factory-precise panel gaps. Original brightwork is in very good order with and the car remains factory correct down to the US-spec headlights and rectangular Bosch fog lamps. It rides on Bundt alloys wrapped in high quality Michelin X radial tires capable of handling the weight and grunt of the big 450SEL. The blue interior appears to be original and unrestored. Some light wear is apparent on the driver’s side outer bolster, but the upholstery is otherwise excellent. Dash, door panels and blue carpets are similarly in fine order. The rear seat upholstery is in good order as well, though the base cushion appears to have deteriorated slightly from beneath the cover causing some wrinkles. The dash is in good condition, featuring excellent burl wood trim and a period correct Becker Mexico AM/FM cassette deck. Of course, air conditioning and a sunroof are fitted to keep occupants comfortable in all conditions. The boot is equally tidy with the original rubber mat covering the spare wheel with factory original Michelin MXV spare tire. Even the original first aid kit is still in place, having never been used. The massive 6.9 liter M100 V8 engine is well-presented in the engine bay, with signs of regular and careful maintenance. It is extremely clean and tidy, particularly for what is essentially an unrestored original car. Correct hose clamps, nicely finished air cleaner and the original gold-cadmium plated hardware are all still showing in good condition. Performance is outstanding, with no smoke or untoward issues, and the car feels solid and planted, as though it were hewn from a solid block. This is an excellent, cherished example of Mercedes’ understated Autobahn-burner; a legendary car that paved the way for AMG’s supersaloons of today.
By 1917, 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 1917 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 is 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. A rear mounted spare wheel keeps 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 1917, D. McCall White’s masterpiece V8 engine had received some important upgrades. Lighter weight pistons were introduced, improving efficiency and drivability while improvements to the 3-speed transmission made 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 engine 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.
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.
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.
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 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.