Car Lists

11 Select European Classics From the 2017 Greenwich Concours International

Picks from the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance’s global showcase

The second day of the annual Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is dedicated to automakers from outside of the U.S. As one of the few opportunities for the Northeast’s collectors to show off their finest pieces, the Greenwich Concours International coaxes plenty of rare European (and some Japanese) metal out of hiding. Here are 11 of our favorites from the 2017 edition:

1937 Delahaye 135M Competition Roadster

Established in 1894 in Tours, France, Delahaye first produced belt-driven cars powered by rear-mounted, single- or twin-cylinder engines. By the 1930s, the company evolved to become a builder of sports cars on the premise of performance and elegance. In 1934, Delahaye introduced the 135 at the Paris Salon. Although the Delahaye 135 itself was a frame that could be sold to coachbuilders, depending on the body style, this specific model, a 135M variant that featured a larger engine, is dubbed the Competition Roadster. The chassis became known for its agility, it’s 130-hp 3.5-liter I-6 and four-speed electric-shift transmission making it a racer’s delight. Some were even equipped with a special Grand Prix competition engine. Among the most desirable collector cars in existence, these cross auction blocks for seven-figure sums. This one Best-In-Class, Prewar.

1950 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Drophead

The first post-war Rolls-Royce, the Silver Wraith was often sold as frame for coachbuilders. Most of the 1,883 chassis produced and sold were fitted with enormous saloon and limousine bodies, making this Silver Wraith Drophead particularly rare. Beneath its body, which is said to have been designed by French coachbuilder, Franay, sits a 4.6-liter I-6 with around 125 hp and a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission. It won Most Elegant Motor Car.

1954 Mercedes-Benz 300b “Adenauer”

Built between 1951 and 1957, the W126 Mercedes-Benz 300 was the company’s largest and most prestigious automobile at the time. It offered similar features as the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, but more performance as it was referred to as a “driver’s car.” All were built by hand and favored by business magnets and politicians. The first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, commissioned six custom cabriolet, sedan, and laundaulet versions of the W186, earning it the “Adenauer” nickname. Power comes from a 3.0L inline-six with around 113 horsepower and a four-speed synchromesh manual gearbox. This car won the Award for Timeless Elegance.

1957 BMW 503 Coupe

The BMW 503 is one of the lesser-known Bimmers. Designed in the 1950s as a 2+2 grand tourer, the 503 effectively served as the sporty 507 roadster’s more luxurious sibling. Like the 507, production was limited and BMW is said to have lost money on each of the 413 example built and sold. Only 413 503s were built from 1956 to 1959. It’s powered by BMW’s first-ever V-8, a 3.2-liter mill good for 140 hp and capable of a 0-62 time of 13 seconds. This car was named Most Outstanding BMW.

1960 Bentley S2 Continental Park Ward

The Bentley S2 succeeded the S1 in 1959 as the equivalent to the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. While the S2 mostly came as a standard saloon, several coachbuilders mounted custom bodies on its chassis, creating some of the most unique Bentleys in all of history. One of those coachbuilders, Park Ward, produced this 1962 S2 Continental cabriolet, easily earning its title as one of the most unique S2s to ever exist. The Continental edition was considered a high-performance variant and a driver’s car. Only 61 S2 Continental Park Wards were built. One of these is currently listed on Hemmings for $225,000. It won the Chairman’s Choice award.

1960 Triumph Italia

In the 1950s, Triumph made wave with sports cars like as the TR2 and the TR3. The Italians in particular took on a love of their fun-to-drive factor. However, they typically weren’t fond of the TR2’s and TR3’s appearances. So Italy’s lead Triumph importer, Salvatore Ruffino, asked for a supply line of frames and other mechanical components to build 1,000 cars. The plan was to make a sports car that drove like a Triumph but looked like an Italian thoroughbred. Designer Giovanni Michelotti penned the body and Alfredo Vignale built the Italia in Turin. Over three years, Vignale only made 329 cars, all with the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder and manual transmission as the TR3. It won Best-in-Class, Italian sports car.

1967 Ghia 450 SS

The 450 SS was Carrozzeria Ghia’s last individual project. Sporting a 4.5-liter Chrysler V-8 with 235hp and a three-speed TorqueFlite automatic, it started life as a Fiat 2300. Only 52 were made and destined for the garages the elite, mainly Hollywood figures. Hemmings values them at around $180,000 on the high side. This example won the Founder’s Award.

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4 NART Spyder

Luighi Chinetti was one of the few American Ferrari dealers to import the iconic 275 GTB. He personally approached Sergio Scaglietti and Enzo Ferrari to make several convertible versions with no roof. They obliged, but only ten were made between 1967 and 1968 due to low sales instead of the intended 25. Chinetti purchased them for $8,000 each, equivalent to around $59,460 today. Named after Chinetti’s North American Racing Team, NART helped Ferrari gain fame in the US market through success in endurance racing. Powered by Ferrari’s Colombo V-12, the 275GTB/4 NART Spyder easily commands values that could buy a nice house in Hollywood. It won the Award for Timeless Elegance.

1972 Renault Alpine A110

Alpine started off as a small French automaker specializing in the production of racing and sports cars powered solely by Renault Engines. It decided to build a sports car to rival likes of the Porsche 911, introducing the A110 as a successor to its slow-selling A108. The distinctive coupe is powered by a 1.1-liter turbo-four good for 98 hp. It become famous for its exploits in the World Rally Championship, grabbing six victories and taking the constructor’s championship in the inaugural 1973 season.

1973 BMW 3.0CSL

The BMW “New Six CS” E9 was built by Karmann and utilizes Munich’s tried, tested, and true M30 inline-six. Meant to further establish BMW’s reputation as an automaker of driver’s cars, the E9 mainly gained its fame through its profound success in early European Touring Car Championships and the Deutsche Rennsport Meistershaft, the predecessor to present day DTM. Introduced in 1972, the 3.0CSL was a homologation special built to meet the requirements of the ETCC. Its slightly modified M30 allowed the CSL to compete in the “over three liter” racing league, where it dominated. Its signature appearance separates it from the standard E9 with a performance aerodynamic body kit, streamlining fins on the front fenders, and an accessorized large rear spoiler, earning the CSL’s nickname, the “Batmobile.” Only 1,265 were made.

1973 Citroen SM

The Citroen SM earns is spot in automotive history as a high-performance sports coupe built during a time when Citroen was on a roll with innovations. The winner of the 1971 European Car of the Year and 1972 Motor Trend Car of the Year awards, the SM was a sports variant to the revolutionary Citroen DS. Its wedge shape is unmistakable and its Maserati-sourced V-6 and 0-60 time of 8.5 seconds made it comparable to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz 450SLC, Jensen Interceptor, and Jaguar E-Type. Citroen’s hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension came standard, as did self-leveling and swiveling headlights that moved with the steering. It also used one of the first adaptive steering systems, offering variances in power assistance according to speed. But unlike its competition, the SM drives its front wheels as Citroen wanted to establish how much power the arrangement could handle.

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