Auctions

Five Attainable Classics From the 2017 Bonhams Greenwich Sale

Picks from the one-comma club

One of the many traditions running as long as the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is the Bonhams auction that happens after the show. This year, over 180 cars were set to cross the block for eager bidders, along with various parts, projects, and other valuable memorabilia.

But before any of them were sold, Bonhams displayed a considerable size of the lot prior. Here are some of the coolest things on display.

1960 Willys Station Wagon

The predecessor of the Jeep Wagoneer, the Willys Jeep Station Wagon made its debut in 1946 as the first mass-market all-steel station wagon meant for passenger vehicle use. Due to Willys financial issues at the time, industrial designer Brooks Stevens penned the new steel body to make it easier and more efficient to produce and maintain than the traditional wood body. The Willys Jeep Station remained in production until 1965 when an Argentinian company bought the rights, continuing production until 1981 under the IKA Estanceria name. This one sold for $14,580.

1966 Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB “Grosser”

Regarded as the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz’s cost-no-object build quality and engineering, the Mercedes-Benz 600 SWB (short-wheelbase) “Grosser” continues to be one of the greatest automotive icons of all time. Some of its impeccable engineering includes a centralized hydraulic system pressurized at 150-bar (2,176 psi) that powered everything from the car’s windows and seats, to the power-actuated trunk lid and sunroof. It came standard with an adjustable air suspension, but the heart was its M100 6.3L V-8. The first production V-8 from Mercedes, it became famous for powering the fastest four-door vehicle of its time, the 300SEL 6.3. Only 2,677 600s were ever made, with 2,190 of them short-wheelbase models like this one. 428 were Pullman limos and the remaining 59 were laundaulets. This example changed hands for $79,200.

1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal

The Alfa Romeo Montreal made its debut as a nameless concept in 1967 at the Expo 67 world fair in, you guessed it, Montreal, Canada. Because of it’s debut location, the public just began referring to it as “The Montreal.” Marcello Gandini from Bertone designed the exterior. He’s also the man responsible for legends like the Lamborghini Miura, Countach, the Lancia Stratos, and the Renault “Le Car” 5. The car itself started as a short-wheelbase Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, utilized a 2.6L dry-sump V-8 with 197 hp, a five-speed ZF manual, and a limited-slip differential. It sprinted to 62 miles per hour in just 7.4 seconds with a top speed of 137 mph. Acquisition of this 1971 example cost its new owner $70,400.

1972 Ferrari 365 GTC/4

Ferrari introduced the 365 GTC/4 at the 1971 Geneva Motor Show. Essentially a 365 GTB/4 Daytona with special bodywork designed by Pininfarina, only 505 examples of the GTC/4 were produced between 1971 and 1972. It had the same chassis, engine and transmission as the 1971-1972 365 GT4 2+2, meaning a 4.4-liter Colombo V-12 detuned from the Daytona to 340 hp and a five-speed manual. Ferrari engineers also lengthened the wheelbase to provide more rear seat room. It had an estimated sale price of $240,000-$280,000 (attainable by vintage Ferrari standards), but failed to find a willing buyer.

1985 Aston Martin Lagonda S3

Created as part of Peter Sprague’s efforts to revive Aston Martin after its 1974 bankruptcy, the Lagonda is one of the marque’s most controversial models. Its futuristic wedge design reflective of the popular “folded paper” style of the 1970s and engineer Mike Loasby, who later serve as the lead engineer on the DeLorean DMC12, insisted the car itself be as futuristic as its appearances. That demand made the Lagonda the first car to use computer management and a digital instrument panel, which contributed to its reputation for lacking reliability. This 1985 Series 3 car, one of only 75 produced that year, featured cathode ray tube instrumentation, which proved to be worse in reliability than the original LED displays. Power comes from a 5.3-liter DOHC V-8 with 280 hp and 302 lb-ft of torque on tape. Its mated to a three-speed Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic and is good for a 0-60 time of 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 143 mph. This car sold for $52,800.

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