1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder

The extraordinary Ferrari presented here, 1425GT, is the 27th of 50 California Spyders built on the long-wheelbase 250 GT chassis. Consistent with its May 1959 build date, this California Spyder benefits from a number of significant evolutionary improvements introduced throughout the model’s two-year production run.

Although more than 55 years have passed since it left the factory, 1425GT has never warranted a full restoration. Simply maintained as required, the Ferrari is largely unchanged since the seller acquired it over 45 Read More

1984 Audi Quattro Sport SWB Coupe

The introduction of Group B into the World Rally Championship in 1982 was an evolution that was dictated by a general industry move from rear- to front-wheel-drive cars, and it proved revolutionary. Contenders now had three classes to choose: Group N (standard production cars), Group A (modified production cars), and the almost immediately notorious and virtually unbridled Group B (modified sports cars).

Most notably, Group B allowed Audi to compete with its still-new Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which was an obvious Read More

Another Roadside Attraction

It was a weekend to remember.

At 6 a.m. on a Saturday in February this year, my daughter Alexandra joined me on a flight from Portland, OR, to San Jose, CA. We’d bought a 1964 Volvo 1800S last July, and it was time to bring it home.

Mike Dudek of iRoll Motors picked us up at San Jose International Airport, and soon we were at his shop in San Martin, south of San Jose.

The Volvo was better than I Read More

Do Your Homework Before Bidding

A recent Federal District Court decision in Illinois should be of serious concern to auction bidders. If it stands, we might all have to take a full coterie of mechanics and consultants with us to each auction.

Our plaintiff, “Ted,” was a successful bidder at a 2011 auction. (“Legal Files” won’t identify the auction company because, as will be explained later, it isn’t particularly unique in this regard.)

Ted purchased a 1967 Corvette 427/435 coupe at a hammer price of Read More

1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special Motorama Concept Car

It’s said that Harley Earl, director of GM styling, got the idea for a GM concept car while watching world speed records being set at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. It would be a sports racer called a Bonneville Special. That was when 1954 models were being readied for production, and no GM car had ever carried the Bonneville name.

Perhaps Harley Earl gave the assignment to Pontiac as the birth of its upcoming performance image. Under the direction Read More

1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk I Coupe

This car is equipped with a 164-hp, 260-ci, OHV V8 engine with a 4-barrel carburetor, 4-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live axle rear suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front-disc and rear-drum hydraulic brakes.

British coachbuilders Thomas Harrington Ltd. built only a handful of beautifully crafted fastback Le Mans coupe bodies for Sunbeam Alpine chassis during the early 1960s. Exactly one of those bodies was built for the Sunbeam Tiger, the potent Ford V8-powered “pocket rocket” Read More

1934 Talbot AV105 “Alpine Racer”

Simply the best. No other phrase better sums up BGH 23. In its day, this was the outstanding British sports touring car.

Georges Roesch’s long line of “Invincible Talbots” needs little introduction to the discerning car connoisseur, and only a combination of poor luck and poor timing meant they never achieved the big-race overall victory which would have made the Talbots from Barlby Road, London, W10, much more widely appreciated.

Talbot competed so widely within their period that BGH 23, Read More

1985 Ferrari 288 GTO

The original, immortal Ferrari 250 GTO had been developed for the FIA GT Championship, duly taking the manufacturer’s title for Ferrari in 1962, 1963 and 1964. So, clearly, any revival of the GTO name could only be permitted for a very special car indeed.

Enter the 288 GTO. Like its illustrious forebear, the 288 GTO (the initials stand for Gran Turismo Omologato) was conceived as a limited-edition model, just 200 units being planned to meet the then-existing Group B homologation Read More

Porsche’s Red-Headed Stepchild

Stop for a moment and consider the plight of the Porsche 924. If ever there was a car that was born on the wrong side of the blanket, the 924 is it.

Coming onto the scene as a 1977 model, the 924 was Porsche’s first attempt at a conventional, water-cooled, inline 4-cylinder car. The 924 was created to replace the 914, which had suffered under the stigma of its Volkswagen heritage — the factory couldn’t even manage to put a Read More