5 collector cars to put in your garage this week
Star of the show
Visitors to Aston Martin’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show in 1986 will have been greeted by this particularly handsome V8 Volante. Among the very first examples fitted with fuel injection rather than carburettors, the Cumberland Grey convertible was loaded with optional extras including cruise control and a Becker Indianapolis stereo – this was built to be a show car, after all. This special Aston has been fastidiously maintained by its owner, a keen marque enthusiast, since 1992 and shows an original 62,240km on the odometer. Now it’s time for another deserving enthusiast to write its next chapter.
One of 50
There are few cars that embody the 1950s dolce vita lifestyle than the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. That dainty yet impossibly glamorous Pininfarina-styled body could have been designed for the sun-bathed roads on the shores of the Côte d’Azur. This particular Giulietta Spider is among the most desirable in existence, thanks predominantly to the fact that it’s one of approximately 50 pre-series models built – and considerably fewer that remain today. Features unique to the pre-series car include a column gearbox, a bonnet stop, a shorter and more pronounced tail section and the same aluminium-ringed rear lights as seen on the Ferrari 250 GT Coupé by Boano. What’s more, this one has undergone a lengthy restoration and presents as beautifully as the day it first left the factory.
Enter the Murena
Say hello to the Intermeccanica Murena, a bizarre shooting brake that was conceived by two entrepreneurial Americans to be the fastest and most luxurious car of its kind. Powered by a brutish American V8 and clothed in an Italian suit that, in hindsight, falls some way short of the mark, the Murena cost 15,000 US dollars in 1969, approximately double the price of a new Porsche 911. As a result, just 10 were sold before the company f0lded a mere 12 months later. This particular example is the very first Murena built. And if we were to seal the winning bid when it’s auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in Florida later this month, we’d be hard pushed not to revert the Italo-American curio back to its original colour combination of Salchi Verde Gamma over black leather and green carpet. Exotic!
Even in the rarefied world of the Ferrari 250 GT, there are cars that stand elevated above the rest. This 250 GT Berlinetta Prototipo is one such car. Heralding the arrival of a new, better handling and more luxuriously equipped range of Ferraris fitted with the compact Colombo-designed 3.0-litre V12, the 250 GT was a pivotal car in the history of the Prancing Horse. This car, chassis #0435GT, is one of just a handful of Pininfarina-built prototypes and was sold new to Guido Cantelli, a famous conductor who was a close friend of Enzo Ferrari. Matching numbers throughout, the stunning Grand Tourer is eligible for virtually every historic road rally you can think of.
Carrying the Group 44 flame
After vanquishing the opposition in the Trans-Am championship with the mighty Jaguar XJ-S in 1977 and ’78, Bob Tullius’ Group 44 team created a similarly successful racing version of the Triumph TR8 for the 1979 season. After all, the car was lighter, smaller and more aerodynamic than the Jag, and powered by a rorty V8 rather than a lazy V12. In total, this car scored eight class victories and earned second place in the IMSA GTO championship in 1980. It’s now in the exact specification it left the racetrack after its final race, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1981, though it has since been comprehensively restored.
Photos: Hallier Classic Cars GmbH, RM Sotheby’s, Auxietre & Schmidt, Grand Prix Classics