Purchasing an old sports car shouldn’t be about financial appreciation, it should be about enjoyment. Now if you have had any experience driving an 1800S, you also know they aren’t known for being nimble and light on their feet. But they are durable and can be made to be trouble-resistant. Just ask our buddy, Irv Gordon who has over 3 million miles on his. The Frua-like styling of the 1800S has come into its own and valuations are creeping up nicely. Mechanical parts are relatively inexpensive too. Read More
The mad dash to acquire early Porsches hasn’t cooled off much. The recent edition of Sports Car Market Price Guide has valuations still marching forward with early 911s outpacing 356 by a bit. But driving a nice 356C like today’s find is something one shouldn’t miss. We generally like cars from this seller. They are perfectly situated in Southern California and have been around long enough to know where all the good stuff is buried. And this white 356C looks like one of the good ones (trust but verify). Read More
We really like this car. Not because it is the most beautiful or rare but because it is so well engineered. And it is rather rare so you won’t see yourself coming and going. Sean Sheridan, our senior Ferrari technician, has worked on this car. One might say you can have a similar driving experience in this Flaminia Coupe as you would in an early Ferrari road car albeit with less power (but a lot less money). This offering has been turned into a nice driver quality car that with a little more effort, could be even more presentable cosmetically. The paint is “okay” and the chrome could be brighter but the interior looks nice as is. Contact us for more information and pricing should be in the mid-20s. For more photos click here.
We know where they are and what condition they are in. What we need to confirm are the asking prices. The Lancia is a late ’50s example in Slate Gray with dark red leather interior. It is in good “driver condition” but needs a bit more to be totally dialed in. The Fiat 1500 OSCA Spider is a rare bird. It is a real example and not just a transplanted motor. This one is a black-plate California car and is very complete including the Nardi wheel, special gauges and 15″ rims, but it needs a restoration. Contact me directly if either one interests you. We should have pictures on Monday when the snow clears!
The Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the few 4-wheel drive trucks coveted by collectors. Patterned after the Jeep and Land Rover 4-wheelers, the Land Cruiser proved that Toyota could produce a tough multi-purpose platform and not just econoboxes. In production for a quarter century, the FJ became the “go to” vehicle in remote areas of the world. In standard form, they are capable of climbing mountains, crossing deserts, and, well, doing just about the impossible. Read More
Nothing says Porsche like the wail of an air-cooled 911 motor. And this attractive Cabriolet is among the last of the air-cooled Porsches. Okay, it is a Tiptronic so it is a tiny bit less desirable than a 6-speed but we think the price reflects it. What a great color combination. We love it although we might prefer to have a black canvas top for top up driving. It has original paint and interior, all the correct options and all services up to date. Read More
We received our new copy of Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide yesterday. It is a good tool to help sort through the maze of market opinions on collector cars. The new issue has early 911, long wheelbase Porsches rated B-Grade collectibles with 4 stars. They also note a 20% increase in valuation over last year. The 4 star rating suggests this model will outperform the market by as much as 10%. With that said, you should have a look at this Porsche not because it is a good investment but as a a rewarding car to drive in many ways. Read More
We moved our office to Auto Turismo Sport almost a year ago. It is a great shop run by Steve Mastroianni and has been around since ’68. Because I am there almost daily, I have been able to devote some time to the shop and that benefits both me and Steve. I know more now after these 10 months have gone by than I knew before. In addition to Steve and the entire crew at ATS, I have come to know some astute collectors, and others who make their living through the classic car “hobby”. I always have trouble referring to it as a hobby, hence the quotes. It is big business to some and just fun for others: and unfortunately, extremely frustrating for many. By the way, that is Sean Sheridan resurrecting a Miura that has been asleep for 14 years. Now that was a fun test drive experience! Read More
We’ve been to Idaho. Actually have great friends there. Coincidentally because of our friends, Mint is driving a sweet ’95 Subaru Legacy Wagon 5-speed for the winter. You see Idaho is one of those secret places where you find “potentially” rust-free cars. So our Subie is solid…like this very sweet Datsun pickup. There is no need for us to go about the historic significance of this offering. It is just so cute and would fill the need for the occasional pickup by any country gentle person. The Datsun is quite remarkable with just 42,000 miles on it. Much of the parts that disintegrate are original on this one. It is equipped with power brakes and a working AM Hitachi radio. Read More
Japanese collectibles may have a short list compared to other countries of origin but the cars that made list are pretty neat. We include in that short list the Toyota 2000 sports car, the Mazda Cosmo and a few models not imported here that have the word Skyline in it (there are more, we know). But the one everyone remembers fondly is the 240Z. It is one of those cars we owned and miss terribly or wish we did buy when they were really cheap. What a formula the folks at Datsun conjured up. The engine belonged to a 510’s 1.6-liter with two more cylinders added on to make it a 2.4-liter SOHC Inline-6 with dual SU-like carburetors. The 240Z also featured a four-speed manual transmission, disc brakes in the front and drums in the rear. The exterior styling was inspired by the Ferraris and the Jaguars and still makes your heart skip a beat when you see a nice one. The interior sports hi-back bucket seats with distinctive vinyl material. Read More
We would need to call the seller and find out what they means by “very clean original”. We get the very clean part but some folks will say a car is original but what they really mean is it hasn’t been modified. What we like about this one is the 45 year string of continuous family ownership. That is one comment that perks our collector ears up. We like the SP311 a lot. Somebody at Datsun knew what Henry Ford and Enzo Ferrari practiced – race on Sunday, sell on Monday. Read More
One of our readers thinks the seller may be off base on our featured listing from last week. So we did a little research and came up with a comp. Truth to tell, there are a few details that appear to be different from our offering and the car from SCM. Perhaps a modification during the restoration?
Most of our readers know of the latest Porsche feeding frenzy. Early 911s are going crazy and deservedly so, even 912s sell for amazing amounts of hard-earned cash. The 356 has been a player for a few years now and quality examples and even cars with serious needs are bringing good money. Trouble is all of these precious Porsches are subject to the current owners interpretation of restoration. By that we mean, examples said to be totally restored can be a real nightmare. Read More
Some cars get designed, prototyped and built without much fanfare. There are exceptions of course. Probably many but we don’t think many Mint readers know the history of the birth of Renault’s Karmann Ghia competitor, the Renault Floride/Caravelle. Since we have been honored to have an exclusive on perhaps one of the nicest early cars, we thought we might have to go into the weeds and find out more about it. The executives from Renault decided to make a fact-finding trip to the USA back in the ’50s. They met with dealers in key markets and everywhere they went, dealers asked for a competitor to the Karmann Ghia. When Pierre Dryfus and Fernand Picard returned home, they placed a call to Luigi Segre at Ghia. With a fat contract from VW already in hand, Segre had to work the system to stay involved in the project. Dryfus handed over an in-house sketch of the direction they wanted the “GT” to go. Now this is where we get a little fuzzy. Ghia hires none other than Virgil Exner to design the car. It isn’t that Virgil Exner but his son Virgil Exner, Jr. If you want more historic information (because it gets a little crazy with the addition of Frua to the project) follow this link Renault Caravelle/Floride History. The first Renault Ghia fighter is introduced to the US market in 1959 and is known as the Renault Floride in honor of the Florida location Dryfus first visited on his US trip. In 1962 the Floride was updated and the name changed to Caravelle. What we have here as an exclusive is a rare first year Floride that for some reason has Caravelle badging on the side. Perhaps in the restoration someone thought it a good idea to update the name? No worries though because the car is spectacular what ever you want to call it. It is a fully restored show winning car in a beautiful Bronze color with 2-tone interior. It has maintained many original parts that are probably very difficult to obtain and sports the original radio. The tires are skinny bias-ply wide whites in excellent condition. The top too is near perfect and is easy to erect. Mechanically the car is well sorted for summer time rides to the yacht club. You just don’t see many survivors that have been treated to a restoration of this caliber. And you certainly won’t see yourself coming and going at the next Cars & Coffee. The asking price is $29,900 and that is much less than a VW Karmann Ghia Convertible or a cutesy Fiat Jolly would be in similar condition. But this one is rare and has that French flair we have all come to love. Call (914) 217-4817
You can see a few more photos at Mint’s Flickr site.