Optimus Prime and James Bond’s Aston Martin, in Your Garage

Auto auction Utopia, right this way.

By The Editors
January 7, 2016 9:00 am

You know which way the market’s headed this year?

Try toward the driveway.

We spent a record $1.45 billion at car auctions last year. That’s a figure likely to grow in 2016.

Today, we’ve collected the finest auto specimens up for grabs over the next few weeks. We’re talking vintage cars and motorcycles, some equipped with a racing pedigree and most featuring some serious pop-culture resonance (from McQueen to Knievel to Bond to … Optimus Prime).

Plus, a one-of-a-kind amphibious wagon, a $3 million Ferrari dubbed “Superamerica” and a car so exclusive even Jerry Seinfeld can’t get one.

Enjoy the ride.

A Ferrari Called Superamerica

More specifically, a 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica LWB Coupé Aerodinamico designed by legendary Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. Originally conceived when Enzo Ferrari realized that to expand on Ferrari’s prestigious racing program, he would need to put together a line of equally extraordinary road-ready vehicles. The first iterations were heavy and unwieldy, but the second stab yielded the Superamerica, commonly known as the ultimate touring luxury vehicle of its time. Expected to go for $3.6 million.

Also on sale: A rare 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder and 1963 Aston Martin DB5 (like the one in Goldfinger) previously owned by Nicolas Cage. (RM Sotheby’s, Feb. 3 in Paris)

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz “Gullwing”

Quite a looker. The lightweight 300 SL Gullwing was designed as a “fast, sensual coupe’” with a birdcage frame design and gullwing doors. It was also the first Mercedes to debut in the U.S., rather than its native Germany.

Also on sale: A 1967 VW Microbus, a restored classic from the last year the 21-window model was ever made, and a 1965 Shelby 427 Competition Cobra expected to fetch upwards of $3.3 million. (RM Sotheby’s, Jan. 28-29, Phoenix, AZ)

A One-of-a-Kind Amphibious Assault

The Chevrolet Corphibian was an amphibious, propeller-packing prototype of a land/seacraft built in 1961. Only one was built: the dual-threat vehicle made it 157 miles before being stashed in a garage (boathouse?), where it was discovered more than 30 years later. The fully restored model boasts an air-cooled engine, automatic transmission, dual propellers and a wooden rudder that can be controlled from cab or bed and is expected to fetch as much as $75,000-$100,000.

Also on sale: a 1986 white Ferrari Testarossa made famous by Miami Vice and a 1969 Dodge Hemi Coronet, the only documented four-speed Hemi convertible. (Mecum Auctions in Florida, Jan. 23)

A motorcycle built for Evel Knievel

America’s greatest daredevil. This custom made 1976 Harley Davidson XL1000 was used in the movie Viva Knievel! (an odd flick where Evel played himself, Gene Kelly co-starred and everyone fought Mexican drug dealers). It’s actually a 1976 Ironhead Sportster 1000 made up to look like one of Knievel’s jump bikes. Expect to pay $80-$100k for this slice of Americana.

Also on sale: Steve McQueen’s iconic 1963 Triumph Bonneville “Desert Sled” and the only red Vincent White Shadow ever built. (Jan. 7, The Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction by Bonhams)

Optimus Prime from Transformers

You can own Optimus Prime. Or, actually, a revamped Peterbilt tractor trailer replete with glowing blue lights, a blue/red flamed paint job and an Autobots badge on the grille shell, as used in Transformers by director Michael Bay as a “tip of the hat” to Steven Spielberg’s 1971 film Duel. Or go with a satin black 1967 Chevy Camaro SS that was cast as Bumblebee and autographed by Bay.

Also on sale: Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz is selling a 1995 Volkswagen Jetta used in 2001’s The Fast and the Furious and signed by the late Paul Walker. The ubiquitous Steve McQueen and his 1952 Chevy pickup. The last surviving 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit. And the very first serial production Acura 2017 NSX, not yet available to Jerry Seinfeld. (Jan. 23-31, Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Anniversary Auction in Scottsdale, AZ)

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