Seven quirky classic cars to brighten any garage

by Andrew Newton
7 October 2020 4 min read
Seven quirky classic cars to brighten any garage
Photo: RM Sotheby's

The leaves may be falling and the weather is taking a turn for the worse but October is going to be a surprisingly busy month for car auctions, with major events on both sides of the Atlantic. There are no fewer than 11 live auctions on our calendar that we’ll be watching and, as usual, there are plenty of rare and unusual classic cars seeking new homes. For those who’d like to brighten the short months with a vibrant addition to their garage or driveway, here are seven of the most quirky classic cars crossing the block over the next four weeks.

1976 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa police car

Estimate: €170,000 – €250,000 (£154,000 – £227,000)

In America the public dial 911 to phone the emergency services but in parts of Europe the police have an entirely different association with those three numbers. From the days of the 356 all the way up to today, various European police forces have used Porsches as high-speed pursuit cars and, according to Bonhams, Porsche has sold over 1000 vehicles to the long arm of the law.

Porsche police cars have been particularly popular in the Netherlands and Belgium, and this 911 Carrera Targa is one of a batch of 20 originally ordered in the 1970s by the Belgian Gendarmerie/Rijkswacht. By their nature, police cars don’t live easy lives and genuine Porsche examples are rare.

Someone discovered this one in storage after many years in Britain, cleaned it up, and had the engine rebuilt. Fitted with a 2.7-litre, 210-hp Carrera MFI engine but left with standard narrow bodywork, it still has its blue police light, sirens, and telephone. The Belgian constabulary also ordered its pursuit Porsches as Targas, not so those lucky cops could enjoy a sunny day but so they could stand up and direct traffic. We wouldn’t recommend trying to clear any traffic jams from the cabin of a vintage 911 today but, yes, it is apparently legal to drive this classic Porsche police car on the road.

1960 Lloyd LS 600 Kombi “Pan Am”

Estimate: $35,000 – $45,000 (£27,00 – £35,000)

“Lloyd” sounds like a British car, but the company’s full name – Lloyd Motoren Werke – reveals its true German-ness. Lloyd built small, cheap cars during the 1950s and 1960s and its 600 model was available as a two-door sedan, convertible, wagon, pickup, or “Kombi” panel van. Powered by a 596-cc four-stroke twin that drives the front wheels, this one from the Elkhart Collection is finished to a tee in Pan American Airways livery.

1958 Zündapp Janus 250

Estimate: $40,000 – $50,000 (£31,000 – £38,000)

Zündapp mostly built motorcycles, but it was also one of several companies to get in on the microcar craze. In postwar Germany there was demand for vehicles that were cheaper than full-sized cars but offered more practicality than a motorcycle. Rather than design a microcar from scratch, Zündapp licensed one from aircraft designer Claude Dornier. Its hallmark feature is that there is a single door at the nose and another at the tail, and rear-facing seats for the rear passengers. Given the car’s symmetrical profile, Zündapp called it the “Janus” after the Roman god of duality, who is typically portrayed with two faces.

Despite its interesting layout the Janus wasn’t a sales success, and Zündapp only produced it from 1957 to ’58. This one, an older restoration from the Elkhart Collection, also sold for $51,750 (£33,000) at the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum auction back in 2013.

1970 Fiat 850 Spiaggetta by Michelotti

Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000 (£46,000 – £61,000)

Spiaggetta may sound like a bargain bin pasta brand, but no, it means “beach” in Italian. It only takes one look at this Fiat 850-based runabout to realise its intended purpose. Designed by Giovanni Michelotti as a more modern take on Ghia’s Fiat 500/600 Jolly from the late 1950s, the Spiaggetta features all the Jolly’s beach cruiser kitsch. Note the wicker seats and a conspicuous lack of doors, but the little car also offers more power (47 Italian horses’ worth!) from its 850cc engine. It’s also rarer, with just 80 built. This one is restored, and it previously sold for €61,600 (about £54,000) at the time) in Monaco four years ago.

1958 Goggomobil TL250 Transporter

Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000 (£38,000 – £54,000)

Goggomobil was a cute name for a cute series of microcars sold by German carmaker Glas during the 1950s and 1960s. Today’s tiny car fans mostly know Goggomobil for its “sporty” models like the TS250 or the Dart, but there was also a standard two-door sedan and a little van called the TL. With fewer than 3700 built, the Goggomobil TL van was always rare and, because they were popular with the West German post office, there aren’t many left.

This example is a TL250, which means it has the 245cc, 14bhp two-stroke twin. It has also been restored and spent time in the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum. That Double Bubble livery sure is charming, but with a $50,000-$70,000 estimate, the price might be tough to chew.

1961 Bedford CA Dormobile Caravan

Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000 (£46,000 – £62,000)

Another strange one out of RM’s Elkhart Collection sale, this Bedford Caravan is just like a VW Campmobile… except it’s even more quirky and hails from the UK. Bedford was a branch of Vauxhall that built lorries (large trucks) from the 1930s all the way up to the 1980s. Occasionally, Bedford also built light commercial vehicles. Its popular pug-nosed CA model, for example, was built on a lightly modified Vauxhall chassis and powered by a 1500cc four-cylinder engine. The CA wasn’t just popular with plumbers and electricians, though. It was also a popular “Dormobile” camper, with conversions done by a company called Martin-Walter.

This Dormobile Caravan features storage cabinets, a sink, a fridge, a portable gas stove and enough room to sleep four people. You’ll almost certainly have the only one at the campsite. For reference, this same Bedford Camper sold at auction last year for $39,200 (£30,000).

2005 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti Shooting Brake

Estimate: €150,000 – €250,000 (£136,000 – £227,000)

If you’re in the market for a V12 grand tourer with room for four and some luggage, Ferrari will gladly sell you any remaining GTC4 Lusso stock until the Purosangue SUV arrives. And unless you live in a tax haven, you probably won’t see too many other Ferrari shooting brakes around town. If you want to be truly unique, however, consider this one-off shooting brake by Dutch coachbuilder Vandenbrink.

Commissioned by the current owner in 2017, its conversion from regular 612 Scaglietti to sleek shooting brake took 15 months and over 2500 hours of work. In addition to reworking the tail, which includes an electric tailgate and windows in the roof, Vandenbrink also re-trimmed the interior. The result looks fantastic, and the only thing that would make it cooler is if this it were one of the 199 Ferrari 612s built with a manual gearbox.

Via Hagerty US

What do you do when your Ferrari 250 GT SWB is too valuable to drive? Buy this recreation and enjoy the drive of a lifetime

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