Magnificent 230-car collection up for auction

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

By Marc McLaren, Classic & Sports Car

Lamborghini Miura and Aston Martin DB5 among the treats on offer

© RM Sotheby’s

It can take many years to assemble a proper car collection – but if you have deep pockets and bid wisely you could buy one fully formed later this year.

That’s because this May, auction house RM Sotheby’s will offer the entire 230-strong Elkhart Collection for sale – and it’s jam-packed with wonderful classics.

Got your heart set on a Lamborghini Miura? There’s one here. Fancy a dashing Citroën DS Décapotable? There’s also one of them. In fact, this remarkable collection covers virtually every era, style and price tag.

1. 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

Only 18 of the 230 cars in the Elkhart Collection have been revealed so far, and none of them yet have estimates listed, but this Fiat 8V Supersonic is likely to be one of the most expensive lots on offer.

For starters, it’s incredibly rare – between seven and 15 of them were built, although nobody is entirely sure of the actual figure.

1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic (continued)

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

As well as being exceedingly rare, the Supersonic is incredibly beautiful.

It was based on Fiat’s groundbreaking V8 sports car, but with custom bodywork by Giovanni Savonuzzi at Ghia.

It caused a sensation when it debuted at the 1953 Turin Motor Show and you can expect this example to make more than $1 million when it goes to auction in Indiana on 1-2 May.

2. 1968 Iso Grifo GL Series I

© RM Sotheby’s

Sticking with Italian beauties, this 1968 Iso Grifo is another rare beast – only around 300 Series I examples were produced, of which this is one.

With a body by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone and American power under the hood, the Grifo was intended to rival GTs from the likes of Ferrari and Maserati, but that dream died when the company went bankrupt in 1974.

Nevertheless, it remains a highly desirable classic – and this example has been “tastefully” upgraded to the ultimate ‘7-Litri’ spec, so expect it to be in demand at the Elkhart sale.

3. 1969 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV

© RM Sotheby’s

The Lamborghini Miura needs little introduction, so let’s just say that it’s a supercar legend whose combination of beauty and performance has possibly never been bettered.

The example for sale in the Elkhart auction is one of the ultimate P400 SV models, which had a raft of tweaks that made it both more powerful and easier to handle. Shame it lost the iconic ‘eyelashes’ around the headlamps, though…

4. 1960 Vespa 400

© RM Sotheby’s

From a bright yellow 1960s supercar to a bright yellow 1960s… microcar.

OK, so the Vespa 400 might not match the Miura’s 172mph top speed – it could just about reach 55mph with a tailwind – but two adults and two kids could squeeze into the surprisingly roomy interior and it’s likely to be considerably cheaper than its Italian cousin.

5. 1960 FMR Tg500

© RM Sotheby’s

Another microcar in the initial batch of cars is this FMR Tg500.

A low-volume model based on the much more widely known Messerschmitt KR200 platform, its rarity makes it a valuable thing which, if past evidence is anything to go by, could fetch as much as $100,000.

6. 1967 Toyota 2000GT

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

To look at it you might think this is another svelte ’60s Italian, but it’s actually a svelte ’60s Japanese classic (as the name tends to give away).

The Toyota 2000GT was actually inspired more by the Jaguar E-type than by contemporary Lamborghinis or Ferraris, although with a Yamaha-built engine this was in truth a purely Japanese creation.

Built in very low numbers it’s a highly collectible model today and could well sell for big money in Indiana.

7. 1964 Aston Martin DB5

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

This Aston Martin DB5 is one of 886 saloon examples built, but has now been upgraded to the more powerful – and far rarer – Vantage spec.

It was comprehensively restored in 2015 and refinished in the original factory color combination, and goes to auction looking every bit the Bond classic that it is.

8. 1966 Citroën DS21 Décapotable

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

Citroën never built its own cabriolet version of the incomparably stylish DS, but it did officially sanction coachbuilder Henri Chapron’s conversions.

The example for sale is one of 483 based on the DS21 variant and has been refinished in its original Vert Foret with black leather interior. C’est tres jolie.

9. 1963 Jaguar E-type Lightweight Continuation

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

The ‘Lightweight’ E-type was the ultimate version of Jaguar’s iconic sports car; designed for racing and crafted largely from aluminium, they can fetch a fortune at auction – in fact, one sold in 2017 for $8 million.

Only 12 out of the intended 18 were originally produced, but in 2014 Jaguar decided to build the remaining six as ‘Continuation’ models.

Jaguar E-type Lightweight Continuation (cont.)

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

For the launch, they prepared a seventh prototype car to be used for publicity purposes. This is that car.

Known as ‘Car Zero’ it appeared at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was also used as the North American press car.

It’ll be sold in virtually as-new condition with 717 miles behind it, but it’s the only one of the 18 cars revealed so far that won’t be offered with no reserve, so expect it to come with a hefty price tag.

10. 1966 Shelby GT350

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

A rental car like no other, the Shelby GT350 was offered for hire by Hertz as part of a deal with the company’s major shareholder Ford.

Yes, that’s right: for a time in the mid-’60s you could walk on to a Hertz lot and drive off in a 306hp V8-engined Cobra for just $17 a day. 

This example is one of 85 early cars delivered with a four-speed manual transmission and still contains many period details.

11. 1966 Amphicar 770

© RM Sotheby’s

Is it a car? Is it a boat? It’s both! Because the Amphicar, as its name might suggest, is a fully functional amphibious vehicle.

This example runs on a Triumph 1500 engine and is described as being “one of the finest available” following a “concours-standard restoration”.

12. 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear Entrance Tonneau

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

The oldest of the cars so far revealed is this 1903 Clément 12/16 HP Rear-Entrance Tonneau.

A veteran of the London-to-Brighton Run, it remains eligible for that famous event.

13. 1937 Cord 812 Supercharged Cabriolet

© RM Sotheby’s

With its Art Deco styling and superlative performance, the Cord 810 caused a sensation when it launched in 1935 – and with those chrome-plated exhaust pipes on the side, the supercharged 812 version that followed in 1937 was both more distinctive and more powerful. 

This example was formerly the personal car of Cord expert Lee Richardson, so you’d expect it to be in excellent shape.

14. 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S Roadster

© RM Sotheby’s

The W188 was Mercedes’ top-of-the-range model during its lifespan of 1951 to 1958, initially in 300S form and then in 300SC from 1955 on.

This open-topped ‘S’ Roadster is one of only 141 produced.

15. 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

© RM Sotheby’s

The luxury Eldorado model was a mainstay of Cadillac’s range for decades: it was launched in 1952 and survived across twelve generations until 2002.

This is a fourth-gen open-topped Biarritz variant with updated air suspension and finished in its original Eldorado-only color of Hampton Green.

16. 1993 Jaguar XJ220

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

The XJ220 was once the fastest production car in the world, capable of hitting 217mph and covering the 0-60 drag in a frankly ridiculous 3.6 seconds.

This example of Jaguar’s sleek ’90s supercar has just 4239 miles on the clock, making it as close to a factory-fresh vehicle as you’re likely to find.

17. 2006 Ford GT Heritage

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

Any Ford GT is a special thing, but that’s particularly true when it comes painted in the famous Gulf livery that its GT40 predecessor wore in its late-’60s heyday.

As if that wasn’t enough, the example for sale in the Elkhart Collection was owned from new by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and has completed just 880 miles!

18. 2005 Morgan Aero 8

© Darin Schnabel/Classic & Sports Car

And finally, the most modern machine in the initial batch of cars: a 2005 Morgan Aero 8.

The first entirely new Morgan design since the Plus Four Plus in 1963, the Aero 8 features a hand-assembled aluminum chassis and body frame plus a 4.4-liter BMW M62 V8 engine.

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Autos Magazine: Magnificent 230-car collection up for auction
Magnificent 230-car collection up for auction
Autos Magazine
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