Columns (1898)

Today, Porsche remains the uncontested champion of more endurance races than any other manufacturer, having amassed the most outright wins at Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring. Yet in the early 1960s, Porsche remained an unconventional, small-displacement manufacturer only capable of winning class victories. At the onset of the prototype era, however, Porsche’s strategy on motorsports development was beginning to pay great dividends. Their immediate focus was to build a Porsche Le Mans winner for 1967. That year’s event guaranteed competition between Ford and Ferrari, with the ever-increasing displacement of the GT40 and P-car alike. To contend, Porsche needed more than…
The Lotus Esprit was built between 1976 and 2004, and a future release is forthcoming in 2014. The silver Italdesign concept that eventually became the Esprit was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, and it was a development of a stretched Lotus Europa chassis. It was among the first of designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s polygonal “folded paper” designs. By the close of 1980, Lotus was building three different models of Esprit, with distinct chassis designs and body molds — the S2.2, the Export S2 and the dry-sump Turbo Esprit. The Turbo Esprit had a common chassis, inheriting much of…
Inspired by the all-conquering GT40 race cars that beat Ferrari at Le Mans and won the famed 24-hour race four years in a row, the Ford GT was much more than a mere design resemblance when it was launched. It was a supercar the likes of which Detroit had never before produced. On top speed alone, it surpassed even the Porsche Carrera GT and Mercedes-McLaren SLR. It even set new lap records on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife — faster than many of the highly developed cars from Porsche. The blue and orange JW Automotive/Gulf Oil livery worn by the cars of…
The collector car market is steamrolling along with the largest price increases we’ve ever seen. From 2009 to 2013, combined sales of all the auctions in Monterey jumped from $120m to $308m. That $188m increase in four years represents a 157% change, and a return of 26.6% per year. For Scottsdale, from 2010 to 2014, combined sales went from $126m to $253m. That’s a 101% increase, and an annualized return of 19%. The Dow Jones Index, which has reached record heights this year, began 2009 at 8,776 and ended 2013 at 16,576. That’s a 90% increase, and a yearly increase…
  There’s nothing more fun than buying, driving and enjoying a bargain sports car. Today, in our red-hot collector car market, most hope — and perhaps pray — that our purchases will continue to appreciate. Yet the prospect of price appreciation someday is different than a bargain today. The 911SC is that rarity which represents a great value in today’s market. The 911SC saved Porsche from a botched response to U.S. emission controls imposed in 1974. Intended to be the rear-engine swan song, the 911SC instead proved to be a tremendously enjoyable and durable design. Long the everyday car of…
We thought it was odd that our client’s Mercedes-Benz dealer was threatening to sue him for wrongfully exporting his car in violation of his agreement that he would not do so, exposing him to substantial liquidated damages. As we got into the case, we learned that this was a really big deal across the United States. Luxury-car manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Land Rover, Porsche and Lexus) are worried about a growing U.S. cottage industry that buys their new cars in the U.S. — and then promptly exports them to Asia, Russia and other parts of the world. The U.S.-based exporters are…
The Datsun roadster, lovingly dubbed “the Fairlady” in its Japanese home market, was built from 1963 to 1970. Although legend has it that it was designed as a copy of the MGB, in actual fact the Datsun model was launched several months prior to the MGB and therefore, any design resemblance is happenstance. Nevertheless, the car’s main competitors were considered to be the offerings of MG, Triumph and Fiat. The Datsun roadster was extremely popular, with over 40,000 being built over its 11 years of production by Nissan in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan. It was, however, considerably less expensive and more…

1958 Devin Special

Written by June 2014
The Devin Special is a serious sports car. It has a tube frame, lightweight fiberglass body, aluminum interior, complete instrumentation, individual windscreens, functional hood scoop, aluminum headrest, egg-crate grille, quick-fill fuel cap and sport mirrors. The Devin is finished in white and blue, which represented American racing colors of the period. Devin Enterprises in El Monte, CA, built this exciting open-cockpit, two-seater car. A Chevrolet 283-ci V8 engine powers this car, and it carries dual Carter AFB carburetors — with an original Bill Devin dual 4-barrel aluminum intake that Devin designed and cast himself. The owner reports that only about…
Lola Cars was founded in 1958 by former Quantity Surveyor Eric Broadley, who was located in Huntingdon, England. His first “production car,” the Lola Mark I, was so superior that it immediately made obsolete Colin Chapman’s previously unbeatable Lotus 11s — as well as all Elvas and Coopers. One of Broadley’s most interesting cars was, of course, the Lola Mk 6 GT, which the Ford Motor Company later successfully raced as their GT40. Lola cars have claimed hundreds of victories in the past four decades. Broadley’s early Lolas, beginning with his Mk I and up to and including the Lola…
 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta Chassis 15569 An original sales invoice indicates chassis number 15569 was sold new by Luigi Chinetti Motors to Verby Equipment Company in New York. Ensuing maintenance invoices extending to 1976 demonstrate that Mr. Verby conscientiously serviced his Ferrari at the famous Greenwich importer. Mr. Verby kept the Daytona for close to 30 years and just 27,000 miles before passing it along to a couple of owners. It landed with well-known collector Lawrence Simon in 2007. Mr. Simon submitted the car for judging at the Ferrari Club of America’s International Meet at Corning, NY, in…