1982 Porsche 956

Mathieu Heurtault, courtesy of Gooding & Company

The history of 956003, and the Porsche 956 program at large, can be tracked back to 1981. That year, the FIA began to roll out regulations for its new Group C category for sports car racing, designed to replace both Group 5 (closed touring prototypes like the 935) and Group 6 (open sports car prototypes like the 936) for the 1982 racing season. Porsche immediately responded to the challenge and set to work designing a completely new car that could Read More

1972 BMW 3.0 CSL

Scott Nidermaier, courtesy of Bonhams

The early 1970s were landmark years for BMW, for not only did the German manufacturer power Jean-Pierre Jarier to the European Formula 2 Championship, it also captured the European Touring Car Championship using one of the most iconic racing saloons of modern times: the 3.0 CSL, known popularly as the Batmobile.

BMW had returned to 6-cylinder power for its range-topping models in 1968 with the launch of the 2500 and 2800 saloons. Also new was the 3.0 CSL’s forerunner, the Read More

1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 S Spider America

Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of Bonhams

This B24 S Spider America had been ordered new by the West Coast Lancia distributor, the now-legendary Kjell Qvale, to be sold out of his San Francisco-based British Motor Car distributorship. Qvale is believed to have sold chassis 1138 to one of the top managers in his organization, Mr. Robert G. Gillespie.

Smart businessmen, both Qvale and Gillespie understood the meaning of the term “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday,” and realized that entering the rare Lancia Spider in sports Read More

New Players on the Peninsula

Younger buyers want the aspirational cars of their youth

A new set of players ran onto the Monterey Peninsula this August. They were young, cocky, and didn’t give a rip about what we baby boomers thought they should buy or what they should spend. These guys in their 30s and their 40s reminded me of confident baseball players during their first season in the majors. They were going to show their elders a thing or two about playing the game.

Their bidder-paddle muscles rippled as they punched a 2005 Read More

1927 Bentley 6½ Litre Le Mans Sports

As with all great W.O. Bentley-era cars, the legendary 6½ Litre owes its existence to the original 3-liter design. Racing success, including the 1924 and 1927 Le Mans wins, quickly drove sales, with buyers soon demanding ever-more luxurious and heavy custom coachwork, resulting in the more powerful 4½ Litre, which in modified form earned Bentley’s third Le Mans win in 1928. While Tim Birkin famously created the supercharged 4½ Litre Blower Bentley, the Works’ own uprated 6½ Litre Speed Six Read More

1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale Sharknose

In early 1962, Nuccio Bertone purchased a complete 250 GT SWB chassis from Maranello and laid out his vision for a spectacular new Ferrari that he would retain for his personal use. To execute the design, Nuccio turned to Giorgetto Giugiaro, a young stylist who had joined the coachbuilder in 1959. Though he would go on to become one of the most talented and influential designers of the post-war era, the 23-year-old Giugiaro had penned only a handful of cars Read More

Playing Whack-A-Mole in Monterey

It’s August 2015 on the Monterey Peninsula, and the results are in from the International Whack-A-Mole competition! Apply your knowledge of this zany arcade game to the recent auction scene. Where are the prices going next? What’s going to pop up in value and surprise you and what is going to get walloped and go down and shock you?

Here are the rules:

Attend a major auction, take whatever knowledge you have as a professional, amateur or swanky European consultant, Read More

So You Want to Import a Car …

As exchange rates fluctuate, collector cars cross the oceans in the direction of the arbitrage. Add in some recent changes in U.S. import rules, and there is now quite a bit of interest in importing collector cars into the U.S. Is that a feasible option for the collector?

U.S. law imposes a number of regulatory requirements on cars — safety, bumper, theft-prevention, emissions and other standards — which have often been very different than the requirements in other countries. The Read More

Toyota’s Under-the-Radar Sports Car

Some marques, even in the affordable category, seem to engender passionate supporters. Mention Alfa or Porsche, and the swooning starts. Even the humble Miata has a plenty-of-fans.

The Toyota MR2? Not so much.

But if you are looking for an affordable two-seater, it should be on your list to investigate. They are plentiful and have performance on par with the competition — across nearly 25 years of production and three wildly different design envelopes.

The accidental sports car

The MR2 Read More