Columns (1871)

At the start of the 1950s, Maserati was still producing cars on a small scale. It built high-performance sports cars that were a little too demanding for the wealthy clientèle just starting to appear after the war. The marque wanted to produce models that kept the same allure and were fast, but which had improved levels of comfort and security. The task of developing such a car was given to Giulio Alfieri, the brilliant engineer who joined Maserati in 1953. Four years later, the Maserati stand at the Geneva Motor Show displayed a stunning prototype of the 3500 GT, with…
I’ve never counted the number of cars that have passed through my garage over the past four decades, but they’ve numbered in the hundreds. They’ve ranged from mundane 1965 MGBs to exquisite Maserati 3500 GTs. Sometimes there have been 20 cars at my place, other times just one. Fishing for my acquisitions (I hesitate to call it collecting) has always entailed the same method. I drop a hook baited with my wallet into the eBay Motors ocean, the sea of Craigslist, the lakes of the marque forums and bulletin boards, the river of Facebook and the streams and rivulets that…
A Ferrari owner was in deep financial trouble. Business difficulties had left him pretty well broke. Worst of all, he owed the IRS more than $3 million, and an IRS agent was hot on his heels to collect. In need of cash, the owner approached his bank for a loan. Since the IRS had filed liens for the unpaid taxes, the bank required collateral to secure a line of credit. All that was available was the 2005 Ferrari, so the bank took a security interest in it to secure a $200,000 line of credit. The bank also took possession of…
You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and buy a collector car at auction. But floaties and wading in the kiddie pool are not for you — you’re in with an armstand back, two somersaults, half twists in the pike position dive from the 10-meter platform. You’re going to buy at Monterey! Now, you’ve done your homework, know exactly what it is that best suits your needs and scratches that special itch. There’s a clear understanding in your head that with any vintage collector car, the purchase price is only one component of immediate costs — and that a full…
Porsche revived the Carrera name — previously used for the competition-orientated versions of the preceding 356 — for its luxuriously equipped, top-of-the-range 911 in 1973. It applied the evocative title to all 911 models, coincidentally with the introduction of the 3.2-liter engine, from 1984. Not merely enlarged, the new engine was also extensively revised and produced 231 horsepower, 27 horsepower up on its predecessor. The 911 Carrera’s top speed was now 152 mph, with 100 mph reachable in a breathtaking 13.6 seconds. Known as the Type 930 [sic], this new Carrera exemplified the original 911 concept in its final form,…
What emerged from this two-year restoration process is nothing short of remarkable — Donald Healey’s own Nash-Healey, exactly as he built it, with no expense spared to ensure 100% historical accuracy. Restored by Tsikuris Classics — under the supervision by noted authority Bill Emerson. All major components are original to this car. With ownership history that begins with Donald Healey himself, there is no collection in the world, no matter how grand, that this car will not enhance. SCM AnalysisThis car, Lot 42, sold for $500,000, including buyer’s premium, at Worldwide’s Houston Classic auction on May 4, 2013, at the…
Combining rarity, powerful mechanical specifications, important racing history and ravishing coachwork, 0320AM is one of three 340/375 MM Works race cars that Ferrari entered at the 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans. Piloted by Mike Hawthorn and Nino Farina, 0320AM advanced to 2nd place before being disqualified for violating an obscure and old rule that prohibited the addition of fluids before the 28th lap. 0320AM was built on a late 340 MM chassis and featured a 4.1-liter (340-ci) 12-cylinder motor and a brand-new Pininfarina body derived from the 250 MM design. Following the Le Mans race, 0320AM underwent a number…
1964 Ferrari 275 GTB Berlinetta Chassis number 06663 was originally built as a short-nose model with a steel body. Factory records show that the car was originally finished in Azzurro (blue) with Pelle Nera (black leather) interior. Less than two weeks after it was sold to its first owner, 06663 was sold again. The new owner quickly put the car to work on the hillclimb circuit. Around the end of 1966, the owner ordered a long-nose front section from Scaglietti and had it grafted on the car. Around that same time, the engine was converted from three carburetors to six…
Coachbuilt examples of the DB4/5/6 family of Aston Martins are extremely rare, making the unique Bertone-bodied car offered here all the more precious and desirable. Chassis 0201L is the last DB4GT chassis completed in period and was first displayed on Bertone’s stand at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, followed by an appearance at Turin that same year. Its designer was none other than Giorgetto Giugiaro, one of the 20th century’s foremost automotive stylists and then only 22 years of age, who would go on to create some of the Italian coachbuilder’s most memorable designs before leaving to join Carrozzeria Ghia.…
Giovanni Moretti made his name with racing engines for motorcycles. Following World War II, he began making small automobiles, the first powered by his own vertical twin-cylinder engine. In 1950, he developed a 4-cylinder overhead-cam engine, in both 600-cc and 750-cc sizes. Built on a backbone chassis, it was a lively package and available in several body styles. Morettis achieved significant competition success, particularly those fitted with the twin-cam version of the 750 engine. Bodies came from the likes of Zagato and Michelotti, and included coupes, spiders, barchettas, and berlinettas. Particularly attractive was the Michelotti berlinetta, which was perfectly proportioned,…