auction

Would you pay $516,000 NZD for this?

Bugatti Brescia submerged fq

The Lake Maggiore 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia has achieved €260,500 ($516,000 NZ) at Bonhams Retromobile Sale in Paris. The Bugatti Type 22 that had lain submerged 53 metres below the surface of Lake Maggiore for over 70 years had attracted much pre-sale publicity (read story). A number of telephone bidders sparred against those in the room. The winning bidder – a European collector representing the Peter Mullin Collection in California – will show the car in its present condition in his museum, whereas the American underbidder had amazingly intended to restore the car.

A packed saleroom, surrounded by the cars on offer, witnessed over 70% of the lots on offer sell for a premium inclusive €6.72m total. An international audience participated in the room and from the large bank of telephone bidders. With the Euro remaining strong against UK Sterling, the Eurozone currencies were generally victorious. However, American bidders played a prominent part too, and a number of valuable cars are now destined for North America.

James Knight, Group Head of Bonhams’ Motoring department commented: The Lake Maggiore Bugatti was a tremendous result and I am pleased it has gone to a good home where it will be displayed in its present form.

Rare Lancia LC2 Group C racer on sale

Lancia LC2 Group C fq

The Lancia brand has very much slipped into obscurity for most of us so it’s easy to forget when Lancia was on top of the world. From the mid-’70s to the early-’90s, Lancia racked up an impressive tally of international race wins and championships with its Stratos and then Montecarlo successor. Now, a fascinating Lancia has come up for sale on an American internet auction website: A genuine Lancia LC2 Group C racecar.
In 1983, Lancia rolled out the LC2, a closed-cockpit Group C car co-developed with Ferrari. It was set to rival the legendary Porsche 956, and later the 962, with a big power advantage courtesy of the dual-turbocharged Ferrari V8 in the engine bay. Its crazy 720 horsepower helped the LC2 win a string of pole positions, but the car’s weakness would be reliability. It did win a few races for Lancia from 1983-1986, and continued to run in privateer campaigns until the early ’90s, but Lancia ultimately dropped out of sportscar racing altogether at the end of 1986 in order to concentrate on rallying. The Lancia Delta went on to be one of the most successful rally cars in history, but the LC2 remained the jewel of Lancia’s rise to glory in international sportscar racing.
The LC2 now available is chassis number 2 of just 5 ever built. It ran under the works Martini livery from ’83-’86 scoring a win at the Imola 1000K in 1983 at the hands of Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer. Bob Wollek and Alessandro Nannini drove the car to a fastest lap after winning the pole at Le Mans in ’84. It finished 8th in that 24 hour run, but followed up with a 246-mile-per-hour Mulsanne Straight clocking the following year when it qualified P3 and finished 6th. Chassis number 002 ran in more races than any other LC2 before retiring in 1986. Riccardo Patrese, Michele Alboreto, Mauro Baldi and Lucio Cesario were the other drivers who got a drive in Chassis 002 before it was sold off to a private buyer in 1988.
Recently 4,000 hours and $350,000 USD has been put into a 100-point restoration of the car and the price now is a whopping $1,250,000 USD. That might seem like a lot of money for a racecar that only achieved one win and never totally lived up to its promise, but it’s not likely another LC2 will be cheaper or on sale anytime soon.

The Lancia brand has very much slipped into obscurity for most of us so it’s easy to forget when Lancia was on top of the world. From the mid-’70s to the early-’90s, Lancia racked up an impressive tally of international race wins and championships with its Stratos and then Montecarlo successor. Now, a fascinating Lancia has come up for sale on an American internet auction website: A genuine Lancia LC2 Group C racecar.

In 1983, Lancia rolled out the LC2, a closed-cockpit Group C car co-developed with Ferrari. It was set to rival the legendary Porsche 956, and later the 962, with a big power advantage courtesy of the dual-turbocharged Ferrari V8 in the engine bay. Its crazy 720 horsepower helped the LC2 win a string of pole positions, but the car’s weakness would be reliability. It did win a few races for Lancia from 1983-1986, and continued to run in privateer campaigns until the early ’90s, but Lancia ultimately dropped out of sportscar racing altogether at the end of 1986 in order to concentrate on rallying. The Lancia Delta went on to be one of the most successful rally cars in history, but the LC2 remained the jewel of Lancia’s rise to glory in international sportscar racing.

The LC2 now available is chassis number 2 of just 5 ever built. It ran under the works Martini livery from ’83-’86 scoring a win at the Imola 1000K in 1983 at the hands of Teo Fabi and Hans Heyer. Bob Wollek and Alessandro Nannini drove the car to a fastest lap after winning the pole at Le Mans in ’84. It finished 8th in that 24 hour run, but followed up with a 246-mile-per-hour Mulsanne Straight clocking the following year when it qualified P3 and finished 6th. Chassis number 002 ran in more races than any other LC2 before retiring in 1986. Riccardo Patrese, Michele Alboreto, Mauro Baldi and Lucio Cesario were the other drivers who got a drive in Chassis 002 before it was sold off to a private buyer in 1988.

Recently 4,000 hours and $350,000 USD has been put into a 100-point restoration of the car and the price now is a whopping $1,250,000 USD. That might seem like a lot of money for a racecar that only achieved one win and never totally lived up to its promise, but it’s not likely another LC2 will be cheaper or on sale anytime soon.


74-years submerged Bugatti ready for auction

Bugatti Brescia submerged fq

An original 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 Roadster, submerged in a lake for over 70 years, is expected to get at least €70,000 when it hits the auction block later this month. The car had been in Switzerland’s Lake Maggiore since 1936 after an argument between the car’s owner and a government official.

Around 20% of the car is reusable, including most of the aluminum, brass, rubber, and wood used in its original assembly. Greater damage was sustained on the car’s right-hand side due to its position in the lake.

Teh Bugatti has a simple racing body lacking electrics, two-piece valances under the bonnet, and flared rear mudguards.  The car’s identity was established through its chassis number, 2461. It was fitted with a Chausson radiator, Zenith carburetor, and a twin ignition from SEV.

The last owner of the car is believed to be Marco Schmuklerski, an architect who’s buildings can be seen around Switzerland. Apparently an official, upset that import taxes were never paid on the car, demanded the car´s destruction. The Bugatti was then dumped in the water, where it was forgotten until 1967 when a local diver found the car half-buried on the lakebed.

Estimates suggest the auction value of the car could top €90,000. It’s likely the vehicle will either be restored, or may be prepared as a display piece.

Gangster’s getaway Ford Model A ready for auction

Dillinger car

The 1930’s Ford Model A used by the notorious gangster John Dillinger and later in the blockbuster 2009 movie about his life, will be sold during the 39th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in the States on Jan. 18-24. The Ford, which carried “Public Enemy” number one to safety in 1934 while Dillinger sprayed pursing cops with his Tommy gun, will cross the block with ‘No Reserve’.

“While Bonnie and Clyde, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson were media celebrities, none were more famous than John Dillinger,” said Barrett-Jackson Chairman/CEO Craig Jackson. ”His daring robberies and hold ups fed the nation’s hunger for sensationalist news. His ability to elude capture and escape by using fast, reliable cars with seeming impunity made him a folk hero.”

Dillinger and his gang raged throughout Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin during the Great Depression. One of Dillinger’s most memorable escapes took place at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wis. on April 22, 1934. Dillinger, Homer Van Meter and John “Red” Hamilton, his two top lieutenants, escaped in the 1930 Ford Model A coupe offered at Barrett-Jackson.

“This car is a piece of American gangster history and as much a part of Dillinger’s legend as his Tommy guns and Colt automatics,” stated Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. ”Not only did this particular car get the famous gangster out of a fix with the cops in hot pursuit, it was used in the recent Johnny Depp movie about Dillinger. So it’s played an important role in history and cinema emulating history.”

After a series of robberies, Dillinger and his gang hid out at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters. The proprietors, Emil and Nan Wanatka, recognized them and managed to tip off the authorities to the gang’s location.

Upon arrival, the Feds perforated the Lodge with bullets until Dillinger, Van Meter and Hamilton bailed out of doors and windows, rushing through the woods until they found the Model T nearby. The gangsters politely but firmly commandeered the Ford and its owner, Robert Johnson, to drive it.

Johnson was let out near Park Falls, Wis. The trio of crooks eluded law enforcement and drove to Hastings, Minn., over 200 miles away from the Lodge. There, they were once again identified and fled in a high speed pursuit. Hamilton was fatally shot in the hail of gunfire. Dillinger, it is said, smashed the Ford’s rear window with his Thompson and sprayed his pursuers with bullets as he escaped.

Heading for the anonymity of Chicago, they dumped the bullet-riddled Model A in favor of a stolen 1934 Ford V8. Just three months later, Dillinger was killed as he exited the Biograph Theater in Chicago.

Bullet pocked and blood stained, the Ford was impounded by the police. “The Model A was eventually returned to Johnson who determined that it wasn’t worth repairing and parked it for nearly three decades,” noted Davis. ”The car ended up in the barn of Alfred Love’s mother in-law, where Johnson rented a bungalow. Love bought it from Johnson and eventually passed it to his son, Mark, the current owner.”

The Ford was carefully restored in 2007 to appear in “Public Enemies”, preserving the original bullet holes and dimples under body filler and carefully documenting the original appearance including the upholstery soaked with blood. This car is comprehensively documented with its transfer paperwork, articles, books, before-restoration photographs and a selection of documents copied from the federal files.

“This Ford was at the center of one of the most famous shootouts in gangster history,” added Jackson. ”It is, more than any automobile and even firearm, identified with Dillinger.  It’s been owned by only two families since it played a crucial role in the Little Bohemia Lodge escape.  The Dillinger Ford Model A coupe would be an incredible addition to a collection, museum or attraction that commemorates the history of Ford, the Model A or American history.”

One-off Tucker Torpedo Convertible for auction

Tucker Convertible fq

Back in March of 1949, the last of the 51 Tuckers ever built came off the Chicago-based assembly line. Preston Tucker’s vision for a great American automobile had been killed off. In it’s day the Tucker was beautiful, wildly powerful (377 pound feet of torque made for quite a barnstormer at the time) and technologically advanced’

While Tucker might have only completed 51 cars, he had clear plans to make more. Meaning some prototypes and unfinished cars must have existed. The Tucker Torpedo Convertible is one of those and the only droptop Tucker in existence. Built off the “special box-wrapped ovular frame stamped No. 57,” this frame was built by the Tucker Experimental Department and was, in fact, destined to be a convertible before fate stepped in. Then, over the intervening sixty or so years, American firm Benchmark Classics stepped in and finished the job.

Now the Tucker Torpedo Convertible is for sale. The helicopter-engined Tucker Convertible will be auctioned off during Russo and Steele’s 10th anniversary event taking place January 20-24 in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. The #52 car has only two recorded miles on the odometer. The new buyer will become its first owner.

The convertible is painted Waltz Blue, a color derived from one of Mrs. Tucker’s dresses. The car has also been certified as authentic by classics expert Al Prueitt. It’s not going to be a cheap buy.

On the auction block: Amelia Island ’08 ep 3, 7 of 7

In this segment, a unique Ford Crestline Skyliner and an elegant 1936 Packard Eight Phaeton are offered.

On the auction block: Amelia Island ’08 ep 3, 6 of 7

In this segment, Maranellos prancing horse takes its turn with a stylish Ferrari 330 GT 2+2.

On the auction block: Amelia Island ’08 ep 3, 5 of 7

The history of E.L. Cords empire is highlighted before a spectacular 812SC Phaeton takes its turn on the block

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