Mecum realizes $12 million in sales at its inaugural Denver auction

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster sells for $165,000 | Mecum Auctions photos
1989 Porsche 911 Speedster sells for $165,000 | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum Auctions’ ability to find success in new geographic areas continued last weekend with its inaugural Denver Collector Car Auction, which counted 396 cars sold — at a 66 percent sell-through rate — and overall sales of more than $12 million.

“We were excited to bring the Mecum Auction action to the Denver area, and the reception from nearly 14,000 enthusiasts in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond was overwhelmingly positive,” company founder and president Dana Mecum said in a post-sale news release. Continue reading

Marie Callas’ limos among family cars headed to Artcurial’s Monte Carlo auction

One of two Mercedes-Benz 600 limos being offered at Callas estate auction | Artcurial photos
One of two Mercedes-Benz 600 limos being offered at Callas estate auction | Artcurial photos

Eleven cars from the estate of the Callas family, including a pair of limousines purchased in 1967 by acclaimed opera singer Marie Callas, will be offered for sale July 20 when Artcurial Motorcars stages an auction at the Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo.

Maria Callas ordered the pair of Mercedes-Benz 600 limos to carry her on European opera tours. The sale, by Paris-based Artcurial, takes the limos back to Monaco, where Callas lived with Aristotle Onassis from 1959-1968. Continue reading

Bonhams readies London motorcar, automobilia auction

The 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Speed Model Tourer is one of the stars of the auction | Bonhams Auctions
The 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Speed Model Tourer is one of the stars of the auction | Bonhams Auctions

Coachbuilt Bentleys and an off-road truck built by Lamborghini highlight the Bonhams Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia Sale, scheduled for April 28 at London’s RAF Museum.

Bonham’s sale opens with a high-end collection of vintage automotive literature, posters, artworks and pre-war mascots, including a selection of valuable radiator ornaments by French glass designer Renè Lalique.

More than 70 classic cars will be offered after the automobilia sale, with a wide range of values and conditions, from a three-wheeled economy panel van and “barn-find” Jaguars to rare restored Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Alvis motorcars.

Macho Lamborghini LM 002 off-roader | Bonhams Auctions
Macho Lamborghini LM 002 off-roader | Bonhams Auctions

A classic 1927 Bentley 3-liter Speed Model Tourer with coachwork by Vanden Plas and painted a brilliant red will cross the block with an estimated worth of $170,000 to $250,000. A 1956 Bentley S-Series Continental Sports Saloon with shapely streamlined styling by H.J. Mulliner will also be offered, estimated at $470,000-570,000.

An unusual 1949 Bentley MKVI 4¼-Liter Countryman Shooting Brake with a woodie-wagon body by Harold Radford is valued at $120,000-150,000.

The 1987 Lamborghini LM 002, an over-the-top four-wheel-drive SUV known in the U.S. as “Rambo Lambo,” is valued at $130,000-200,000. One of just 328 LM 002s produced between 1986 and 1992, this one was originally owned by Italian racing driver Mario Ricci.

For more information about the Bonhams sale, visit the website at www.bomhams.com.

Multiple Choice: Lamborghini classic or contemporary?

Like the Concorso Italiano held each summer on the Monterey Peninsula, the inaugural Desert Concorso was a celebration of Italian cars (and music and more). While wandering around the driving range at the Shadow Mountain resort in Palm Desert, we were struck by the parking plan — a 1965 Lamborghini 350GT right next to a 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago 670SV (that’s SV for SuperVeloce, or super fast). Side by side, different generations of raging bulls. A classic European sports car next to contemporary European exotic. So, if you have to pick — and for the purposes of this Multiple Choice questions that’s precisely what you have to do — which of these Lambos do you covet the most?

Vehicle Profile: Lamborghini Diablo VT

The 1st-gen Lamborghini “Diablo VT” was breathtaking to behold and is arguably one of the most beautiful, sexy and extremely-fast, exotic-supercars ever produced! This over-the-top, almost-as-fast-as-a-speeding-bullet, as aerodynamically perfect as anything earthbound could be, fire-breathing beast was designed by the infamous and proud Marcello Gandini, who had also designed the two predecessors in line to the “Diablo”, the Miura and the Countach.  The “Diablo” moniker was drawn from Spanish history and was the name of a famously ferocious, 19th century, fighting bull, which was owned and raised by the “Duke of Veragua”, who also happened to be the grandson and heir of Christopher Columbus! The edict was sent from the top brass at the time (around June of 1985) to design a vehicle that could reach a top speed of 315km/hr (approx. 196 mph, for us metrically challenged folk) and yet meet all the new (and ever increasing) emissions standards and safety regulations of the day. Rumor has it, that after the Chrysler Corporation had taken over ownership of Lamborghini in 1987, (which was right in the midst of designing the “Diablo”) they frowned at the angular design of the new model ( maybe to much like the Countach?) and had their designers in Detroit take a hand at smoothing-out the aggressive angles by massaging the bodywork into a more curvaceous look.

Zero to 60 mph took just over 4 seconds and handling was unbelievably well-controlled, even under the most lead-footed of handlers, due to the perfectly-balanced weight distribution of the rear-facing, mid-engine and “VT” all-wheel-drive system, which automatically/electronically (or manually, depending on how the driver had the controls set) switched traction to the front wheels in the instance the rear wheels broke loose. Even though the “Diablo” overall was larger, wider, stronger and thus heavier than the “Countach”, it was still the fastest production car in the world at the time of it’s debut in 1990. The body was uniquely designed as well, using steel, composite and aluminum panels and retained those tell-tale Lamborghini “scissor-style” doors which opened straight up and angled forward out of the way. The new Lamborghini “Diablo” was also outfitted with more creature comforts and refinements than ever before but remained an icon of all that is Italian in supercar motoring and still draws a crowd every time one is seen in public.