Market Finds: Early 20th Century Indianapolis 500 And Mille Miglia Cars To Star At 2019 Pebble Beach Sale

Early 20th Century Indianapolis 500 And Mille Miglia Cars To Star At 2019 Pebble Beach Sale

News Desk By News Desk
June 12, 2019
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Several rare and sought-after American and European early 20th century classic cars are heading to auction at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance sale, taking place on August 16 and 17. The cars going under the hammer encapsulate the dawn of the automobile and its fervent innovation, and each example for sale has its own prominent lineage and in some cases a distinct racing history in famous races like the Indianapolis 500 and Mille Miglia.

The line-up is led by a noteworthy and highly advanced for its time 1913 Isotta Fraschini Tipo IM, one of only two in existence, estimated to sell for $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. This very Tipo IM was part of a team of racing cars that participated in the 1913 and ’14 Indianapolis 500s. The Tipo IM was the first car to have four-wheel brakes and this plus its overhead cam four valve per cylinder engine ensured its state-of-the-art status in its age. The Isotta Fraschini marque is considered one of the first thoroughbred Italian racing cars built and was even driven by Enzo Ferrari and Alfieri Maserati before they started their own companies. After 1914, this Tipo IM for sale was retired and remained untouched until it was rediscovered by notable collector G Whitney Snyder, who meticulously restored it in the 1950s. It now is new to the market after 20 years of ownership.

It will be joined in the auction line-up by an elegant 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Coupé, which is estimated to bring in $2,750,000 to $3,500,000. Between 1939 and ’40 this Alfa Romeo competed in eight races, including claiming fourth place at the Pescara Grand Prix as well as finishing seventh in class at the final Mille Miglia before World War II. It was built originally as a Tipo 256 Spider Siluro; Enzo Ferrari himself directed the manufacturing process for this car in Modena, Italy as part of five 256 Spider Siluros built by Alfa Romeo. After its racing career, this car for sale was rebodied by Carrozzeria Touring in 1941 to its current coupé form. Following a fastidious restoration by its current owner, it won the Touring Class, Mille Miglia Trophy, and the Bulgari Award at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance as well as Best of Show at the 2018 Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance.

There also will be a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Sport Berline, expected to bring in $2,000,000 to $2,500,000, which comes from the marque’s best customer, extravagant spender and socialite Capt George Whittell. Also going under the hammer is a 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Limousine with an estimate of $1,000,000 and $1,500,000, which has its original body and numbers-matching components, and features the earliest-known sunroof mechanism. These will be joined at Pebble Beach by host of other prewar cars that also could each bring in seven-figure sales, which include a 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante (estimate: $1,750,000–$2,250,000), a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio (estimate: $1,200,000–$1,400,000), a 1925 Renault 40 CV Torpedo Skiff (estimate: $900,000–$1,200,000) and a 1939 Lagonda Rapide Drophead (estimate: $900,000–$1,200,000).

Images courtesy of Gooding & Company, photos by Brian Henniker and Mathieu Heurtault

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