Editor’s note: This is the 12th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 14-22 during Barrett-Jackson’s 46th Scottsdale auction.
Offered during the 46th annual Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction, this 1918 Le Bestioni boattail speedster is the product of retro auto designer and classic restorer Gary Wales of Woodland Hills, California. The creation mimics the giant two-man racing cars ruled the road-racing circuits around the world by incorporating the original design elements along with modern safety features that blend and enhance the overall performance, allowing the driver and co-pilot to safely navigate with modern driving conditions.
The aluminum body for Le Bestioni was designed and constructed by Wales using the traditional Edwards-type forming wheel. Body panels were shaped and fitted by hand. With the inner structure of welded steel for strength and reliability the entire body has been formed and welded together with hundreds of hand-bucked 3/16″ rivets.
All of the mechanical work was performed by master mechanic Andres Aranada with assistance by Wales. The massive power plant is of American LeFrance design along with the modified twin chain-drive chassis. The 14-liter 6-cylinder engine and 3-speed manual transmission run with the reliability of a Santa Fe locomotive, running on both coil and magneto ignition.
Steering is assisted with the inclusion of Lee Racing off-road power steering and dual power brakes fitted to the front wheels from Hamilton Engineering. The rear brakes are the original massive drum mechanical type with emergency brake incorporated and both working together as one smooth operation.
Other highlights of the car include the horn which is the original Klaxon horn from pre-1920, as are the solid-brass matched headlights. Spot taillamps are the solid brass diver helmets and an original pre-1920 Italian license plate carrier also incorporates the stop light.
The mahogany-covered boattail was created and finished with over 20 coats of Epifanes high-gloss varnish by a master classics boat builder, while the premier biscuit leather interior was fitted by Hilborn of Rolls-Royce fame. Additionally, the massive brass radiator shell was carefully constructed by metal artist Bill West.
The project was completed in mid-July 2007 with a coming-out party on July 19, 2007.
For more information on 46th annual Scottsdale Auction, visit the Barrett-Jackson website.