Columns (1933)

In 1959, Mercedes broke with tradition by introducing the angular “Heckflosse,” or “Finback,” sedan on the W-111/W-112 chassis — itself revolutionary in having the first-ever crumple zones and roll-over integrity to protect the occupants from injury in the event of collisions — to replace the bulbous “ponton” built on the W-128 chassis. Two years later, following the end of production for the stately W-128-chassis 220SE coupes and cabriolets, the Mercedes designers introduced 2-door coupe and cabriolet models aimed at the prestige buyer. These were built on the same W-111 chassis, but the styling was changed, with the rear fenders rounded…

1960 OSCA 750 S

Written by April 2014
After the company’s inception, OSCA quickly began to make a name for itself, as it started to notch up class and overall wins at race tracks all over the globe, with some of the best drivers and teams in the world behind these fantastic new racing machines from Italy. In what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in the history of endurance racing, Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd won the 1954 12 Hours of Sebring overall behind the wheel of an OSCA MT4 that was entered by Briggs Cunningham. The duo successfully defeated legendary drivers, such as…
Back when I first profiled the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser as an Affordable Classic (February 2012, p. 34), they were the up-and-coming thing. I won’t be so forward as to say that my scribbles helped push the market up, but the ink was barely dry before they soared in value. Superb examples were selling at either side of $100k, and because of that, it seemed like every auction house had to have one on their docket. Fast forward to 2014, and every Arizona auction had at least one Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser consigned. It was as if the state auction…
The 2014 Scottsdale auctions showed that many collectors are taking advantage of the hot market and selling cars for record prices. But many of those collectors are also learning that we are in an era of high income tax rates. So, how can collectors minimize the tax costs? Basic tax principles Let’s start with some basic principles. The gain on the sale of your collector car is the difference between your net sales price and your income tax basis. Your net sales price is the gross amount received, less your selling expenses. In an auction setting, the selling expenses can…
  I love the way the collector-car year launches. Arizona in January is like Mardi Gras, with cars to be auctioned replacing floats. The procession of delectable automobiles is non-stop, with the six big auctions pulling out all the stops. For me, the action started earlier this year than usual. It included a quick trip to London for a dinner at Bonhams’ new headquarters at 101 New Bond Street — a most tony address, in a most tony part of a tony city. I was fortunate enough to stay at the Royal Automobile Club. For a blue-jeans-bred, West Coast boy,…
The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, the “Father of the Corvette,” the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle II is the first known operating example of torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, and it is among the most important Corvette development vehicles in private hands today. Since leaving General Motors, it has only been owned by the Briggs Cunningham Museum, Miles Collier, John Moores and the consigning owner. The first CERV was completed in 1960, and it was aimed at open-wheel racing. Duntov began work on this successor in late 1961, intending “to incorporate all the features necessary to make it a successful contender, not only…
Some 54 C-types were manufactured in all, the majority for customer sale, leaving the model rarer than examples of the replacement D-type family. This Ecurie Ecosse C-type has often been listed as having been intended originally for export to a customer in Argentina named Carlos Lostalo. The order was allegedly canceled due to customs difficulties, whereupon the car was delivered instead to Rossleigh of Edinburgh, Jaguar distributors. In fact the extensive — and beautifully bound — documentation file accompanying XKC042 reveals a different background story. Señor Lostalo’s planned purchase of the car did not arise until early in 1954, when…
In its relatively short life, the French firm of Facel produced approximately 2,900 cars, all of which were stylish, luxurious and fast. Hand built, they were, of course, necessarily very expensive — the Facel II was priced in Rolls-Royce territory — and were bought by the rich and famous seeking something exclusive and distinctive. The roll call of owners includes royalty, politicians, diplomats and entertainers: Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Joan Fontaine, Ava Gardner and Ringo Starr — the first owner of the car offered here. Confirming that there was high-performance substance behind Facel’s unquestionable style, they were owned and driven…
The 250 series was Ferrari’s crowning achievement of the 1950s and early 1960s. The high-water marks of this series have defined the “Prancing Horse” in the decades since, and in many ways, the series set the stylistic and cultural tone, which has grown exponentially model after model. From the lovely Lusso and the sporty California Spyder, to the Tour de France and, of course, the Series II Cabriolet, the basic construction formula was nothing short of perfect: a high-revving V12 engine, a shiver-inducing exhaust note, and an almost unbelievably sexy design that would envelop the chassis in two-door form. Chassis…
Introduced at the Geneva Salon in March 1963 as replacement for the 190SL, the 230SL is a landmark model that founded a sports-car dynasty that would prove an enormous commercial success for Mercedes-Benz. Soon christened by the public the “Pagoda” after the distinctive shape of the removable hard top that evoked the roof of a Japanese temple, these SL models were among the best-loved sports-tourers of their day and continue to be highly sought after by discerning collectors. This matching-numbers 230SL Pagoda has the manual-transmission option and was exported to Spain when new. The car was purchased by the vendor…