1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spyder

Tom Wood ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

This car is equipped with a 260-hp, 2,999-cc DOHC inline 4-cylinder engine with two Weber 45 DCO/A3 carburetors, a 5-speed manual transaxle, independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs, De Dion rear axle with parallel trailing arms and semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel drum brakes, and a tubular steel frame.

This car finished 5th overall at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring. It raced to multiple 1st-place finishes in other races. Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby raced the car. Read More

1980 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4

Courtesy of Artcurial Motorcars

In 1979, the modest Renault Sport division, responsible for the R5 Turbo rally program led by engineers François Bernard and Michel Têtu, only had the Group 5 prototype that had appeared on the Tour of Italy, the famous “Black” R5, assembled from specific Renault and Alpine parts.

Gérard Larrousse and his team had to wait for 400 examples of the production series to be built for homologation in Group 4 that would allow the R5 Turbo to compete in major Read More

1955 MG TF 1500 Roadster

Courtesy of Bonhams

As popular now among enthusiasts of traditional British sports cars as it was in its heyday, the TF was mechanically little different from the outgoing TD II. The TF kept its predecessor’s body center section, while featuring a changed front end with shortened, sloping, radiator grille and headlamps faired into the wings — plus an improved interior with separately adjustable seats.

The TD’s 1,250-cc XPAG engine was retained at first, but the need for more power prompted the swift introduction Read More

A Luxury Cat with Claws

While it is common today to think that the introduction of Jaguar’s new “sporting” model in 1975 was greeted with jeers, the truth is rather different.

Certainly the XJ-S (the name carried a hyphen until 1991, when it became the XJS) was a notable departure from the XKE. The nomenclature clearly indicated that it was the top of the XJ sedan line rather than the latest in a line of XK sports cars.

Nevertheless, the XJ-S was very much the Read More

1969 Mazda Cosmo L10B Coupe

Courtesy of Bonhams

Although founded in the 1920s, the company that would become Mazda Motor Corporation did not commence series production of passenger cars until 1960. Only four years later, the Japanese firm exhibited its first rotary-engined prototype, having acquired the rights to produce NSU’s Wankel-designed engines. In 1966, Mazda launched its first rotary engine, the Cosmo L10A, which went into production the following year.

Mazda’s flagship model, the Cosmo, was powered by a twin-rotor engine displacing 982 cc and producing 110 horsepower, Read More

Cranking Up the Collector World

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 Read More

1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

Courtesy of RM Auctions

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 Read More

1935 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster

Pawel Litwinski, courtesy of Bonhams

In 1949, this exceptional Auburn Boattail Speedster was discovered in an old garage in Omaha, NE. The Auburn required some refurbishing, so a restoration was undertaken in 1951, and it was decided to restore the car as a 1936 852, perhaps in an attempt to make the already rare Speedster seem even more desirable, as 852s are extremely scarce. The Auburn was parked in the garage during the summer of 1962, and didn’t move from that spot for 52 years, Read More

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Barn Find

Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company

Soon after the 330 GTC was unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Auto Salon, Ferrari introduced its exclusive Spider variant, the GTS. The new 330 GTC, GTS, and the contemporary 275 GTB/4 featured the same mechanical layout of fully independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, a rigid torque-tube driveshaft, and a 5-speed, rear-mounted transaxle.

Whereas the 275 GTB/4 utilized a 4-cam, 3.3-liter V12, the 330s were equipped with 4-liter, 2-cam V12 that delivered a genuine 300 horsepower at 6,600 rpm. The 330 Read More

1960 OSCA 750 S

Patrick Ernzen ©2013, courtesy of RM Auctions

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 Read More