1962–63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

Courtesy of Bonhams

The Ferrari 250 GT Omologato needs little introduction as the most iconic, most habitable, street-useable, race-winning, World Championship-winning — and simply gorgeous — closed two-seat coupe car from the world-famous Maranello factory. The GTO was developed to contest the 1962 3-liter class FIA GT World Championship series of classical endurance-racing events. Selective production at Maranello and in the Scaglietti body plant in Modena ran on through the 1963 FIA GT World Championship and — sure enough — the Ferrari 250 Read More

Monterey Loco Meter on Overdrive

No way. That’s not possible. That makes zero sense. Oh come on — really?”

Welcome to the calliope of incredulity running around inside my otherwise-seasoned noggin during Monterey Auction Week. The madness that prevailed in the market for cars that sold in the perceived “lower end of the offerings” was more eye-watering than the prices achieved by the Violati Ferraris sold at Bonhams.

Listen, from where I was sitting, I watched three patterns unfold while $464 million and 822 cars Read More

1972 McLaren M20 Can-Am

David Newhardt, courtesy of Mecum Auctions

After several years dominating the Can-Am series with a series of school-bus-yellow racers, McLaren Cars stood up to the developing Porsche challenge with the brand-new 1972 M20. Designers Gordon Coppuck and Tyler Alexander departed from standard McLaren practice in the M20 by removing the radiator from the front of the car and replacing it with two side-mounted units. This allowed improved cooling, relief from cockpit heat for drivers Denis Hulme and Peter Revson, and improved front-end aerodynamics. The latter was Read More

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Pawel Litwinski ©2014, courtesy of RM Auctions

Chassis number GT108 is one of just six open-top GT40 roadsters constructed, reflecting Ford’s experimentation with the open configuration to test for market appeal and salability. Built for Shelby American as a test and development vehicle, it was driven by Ken Miles, Lew Spencer, Carroll Shelby, Jim Clark and others. Documented by GT40 historian Ronnie Spain, it is the only GT40 roadster to have survived in its original form. This car was also a 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance award Read More

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 C SS Zagato Coupe

Chip Riegel, courtesy of Gooding & Company

The ultra-rare Alfa Romeo 1900 C SS combined the short chassis with a racing-specification engine, gearbox, and revised final-drive ratios — plus air-cooled “Alfin” self-adjusting brakes. The excellent 5-speed manual gearbox featured synchronized second, third and fourth gears, with carefully selected ratios matching the power curve of the twin-cam Tipo 1308 engine. The 1900 series basked in competition success and particularly that of the 1900 C SS, with racing credentials earned at the major races and rallies of the era, Read More

’Cuda Surfaces, Bugatti Drowns

Courtesy of KATU News

Earlier this year, Portland, OR, residents Rick and Jackie White were stunned to find a very technically worded legal notice in their mail. A lien service company was informing them that a local towing company was auctioning off their 1970 ’Cuda to satisfy its unpaid storage bill.

They weren’t stunned because of the substantial unpaid bill. They were stunned because the Hemi ’Cuda had been stolen in 2001, and they had given up on ever finding it.

Rick White ordered Read More

Priced Fresh Daily

At the highest level of the U.S.-based catalog-sale collector car auctions, Gooding & Company and RM Auctions are the major players, with Bonhams now a hard-charging, fast-rising contender.

All three of these companies are now going toe-to-toe in Monterey, Scottsdale and Amelia Island. There will be no shortage of high-dollar fireworks as billionaires compete for delectable multi-million dollar collectibles.

That’s not to say that there aren’t other important, high-end players including Barrett-Jackson, Auctions America, Mecum, Russo and Steele, and Worldwide Read More

1988 Porsche 959 Komfort

Brian Henniker, courtesy of Gooding & Company

Following the 953’s decisive win at the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984, Porsche’s chief engineer Helmuth Bott declared his ambition to build a “Super Porsche” — a turbocharged 911 variant with all-wheel drive and variable ride height. Over the next three years, Porsche developed a groundbreaking sports car to comply with the FIA’s Group B regulations, which capped the engine capacity of turbocharged cars at 2.85 liters and required 200 production cars for homologation purposes.

The result of Porsche’s significant Read More

Is the X1/9 Emerging from the Shadows?

The Fiat X1/9 has been all but forgotten in the 40 years since it was introduced to North American markets. Most collectors just ignore the little mid-engine, two-seater convertible. Many see the car as Fiat’s underpowered and somewhat half-hearted effort to hold onto the American market — and really, who wouldn’t rather have a Fiat 124 Spider of the same vintage, all things being equal?

On the other hand, autocrossers, track-day addicts and those who just wanted an agile sports Read More

1966 Brabham-Repco BT20 F1 and 1968–69 Lotus-Cosworth Ford Type 49B F1

Tim Scott ©2014, courtesy of RM Auctions

1966 Brabham-Repco BT20 F1

When the FIA announced in late 1963 that a 3-liter limit would be imposed on Formula One racing in 1966, a scramble ensued among competitors to develop suitable new engines. Jack Brabham turned to Repco, an Australian parts supplier. Development centered on Oldsmobile’s F-85 V8 block, which offered the advantage of a pre-existing and proven crankcase to create a 300-hp, 2,994-cc SOHC V8 engine.

Jack Brabham began the 1966 season driving the sole BT19 chassis, but Read More