Columns (1871)

Introduced in 1935, the 170H was a more powerful variant of Hans Nibel’s earlier 130H, as it was equipped with an appropriately enlarged engine that now completely occupied the space in the rear of the automobile. It remained in production after World War II, and it joined its earlier sibling in being one of the original German “people’s cars.” Sporting three headlamps, the center being a driving lamp, a rear-mounted engine, and streamlined bodywork, the design, in many ways, recalled the famous Czechoslovakian Tatra. Survivors are rare and hard to find today, particularly pre-war examples, as so few of them…
There have been many great automobile designers who have left their mark on the motoring landscape. Among these greats would have to be the contributions of Howard “Dutch” Darrin, whose design talent was favored among many of Hollywood’s elite. Quite simply, if you were famous and you wanted a car with a bit more flair, Howard Darrin was the man to see. Toward the end of his career, Darrin formed an alliance with Kaiser-Frazer, and it was a contentious relationship at best. Henry Kaiser favored the functional and utilitarian look of the automobile, while Darrin still longed for the sleek…
Here we are absolutely delighted to have been engaged to offer this outstanding, uniquely important, supercharged straight-8 Alfa Romeo Grand Prix car for sale by auction. It is a superb example of the first all-independently suspended, big-engined Grand Prix racing design from Alfa Romeo, which the Portello factory made in 1936 to combat the might of the rival state-backed German “Silver Arrow” Mercedes-Benz W-25E and Auto Union C-type cars. It was in this Alfa Romeo and its sisters that the legendary Italian superstar driver Tazio Nuvolari and his teammates fought a bitter rearguard action against the overwhelming might of the…

1969 Ferrari 365 GTC

Written by December 2013
In essence a closed version of the 275 GTS, the 330 GTC, which was the immediate forerunner of the 365 GTC, was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. Beneath the understated Pininfarina coachwork, there was the 4-liter version of Ferrari’s familiar, Colombo-designed two-cam, 60-degree V12 (as used in the 330 GT 2+2) mated to a 5-speed all-synchromesh transaxle. The chassis was of relatively short wheelbase, and the suspension independent all around by wishbones and coil springs. Naturally, there were disc brakes on all four wheels. Introduced late in 1968 as a replacement for the 330 GTC…
The 007 Lotus Esprit Submarine Car from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) commonly tops the polls when multiple generations of movie fans are asked to pick their favorite film cars of all time. Like all the best Bond cars, the Lotus was a veritable war chest of weaponry and gadgetry that was designed to fox and foil the enemy while helping Bond to another hard-won victory for Queen and Country. The Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Esprit was launched in October 1975 at the Paris Auto Show and went into production in June 1976, replacing the Europa. With its lightweight chassis, mid-engine…

1967 Iso Grifo GL 300

Written by December 2013
This 1967 Iso Grifo GL, chassis GL660107, features Chevrolet’s 327-cubic inch V8, with 300 horsepower. The car’s silver finish accentuates its distinctive Bertone lines, and the black leather interior presents nicely, showing wear commensurate with the car’s age. The elegant wood-trimmed instrument panel remains in good condition, as does the sporty three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel. The Iso Grifo is a car that combines some of the automotive world’s best engineering ingenuity with beautiful lines that are distinctive to their Italian creators and horsepower and torque that only the United States could deliver. With fewer than 500 built within an 11-year…

36 Hours in Modena

Written by December 2013
The invitation came on a Monday, from Luigi Orlandini of Canossa Events Srl. “Would you like to spend two days in Modena, learning about the restoration program Modena Classic Works, tour both Ferrari museums and drive some classic Ferraris on the Modena Circuit? The event starts this Friday, so you would have to leave from Portland on Thursday. You would be back in Portland Sunday morning. “And we’d like your daughter, Alex, to come as well, as we have enjoyed her blogs and think she could bring a fresh perspective to the activities.” Could you have said no? We hustled…
Howard Coombs At this writing, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee is set to auction off the ownership rights — whatever they might be — of Dan Mathis Jr. in regards to 1960 Corvette VIN 00867S103535. This car is one of the legendary Cunningham Corvettes — one of the three that competed at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. The current bid of $25,000 was made by Mathis’s partners. Whether the auction will actually take place is yet to be determined, as Mathis still has time to appeal the Bankruptcy Court ruling that ordered the sale. If the sale is…
Donald Healey could not have imagined that his simple design brief to build a small sports car that “a chap could put in his bike shed” would result in a car that is still being raced now, nearly 60 years later. Gerry Coker, stylist at the tiny Donald Healey Motor Company, could not have foreseen that the simple car he penned would become an icon and define a mini-genre, but it did. Their bike-shed car was introduced in 1958 as the Austin-Healey Sprite, but it quickly became better known simply as the “Bugeye” in North America and as the “Frogeye”…
• A rare and desirable matching-numbers early 4-cam Speedster • Believed to be the eighth pre-A Carrera Speedster produced • Period SCCA competition history • Believed to have just 20,000 miles from new • Fantastically restored by some of the marque’s best • 4-cam engine prepared by Bill Doyle SCM AnalysisThis car, Lot 43, sold for $1,485,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Gooding and Company auction at Pebble Beach, CA, on August 17, 2013. Let’s cut to the conclusion right up front and say that this Carrera was extremely well sold. How did that happen? There was a lot to…