Rolling sculptures at the Keno Brothers’ first classic car auction

Leigh and Leslie Keno might be better known as antique specialists, but the brothers have always had a keen eye for classic cars. Capitalising on the burgeoning interest in the hobby, they’ve founded an eponymous automotive auction house. We’ve chosen our favourites from its inaugural sale…

Taking place on 19 November in New York, the Keno Brothers’ first classic car auction, titled ‘Rolling Sculpture’, comprises a small but impressive catalogue of classics. We’ve already taken a closer look at the headline lot, the NART Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione, and these are our other picks ahead of the sale next week... 

Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary

With its distinctive (and opinion-polarising) side-strakes and 183mph top speed, the 25th Anniversary was the ultimate iteration of the Countach. Just 658 were produced, of which 235 were fuel-injected. This fabulous US-spec example (sans ungainly US impact bumpers) is one of those 235, and benefits from a recent respray in its original – and ultra-rare – factory colour of Rosso Perlato. Hand-signed by both legendary Lamborghini test-driver Valentino Balboni and members of the Lamborghini family, and reputedly in excellent driving condition, it’s estimated to fetch 355,000-600,000 US dollars.

BMW 327 Sport Cabriolet

With its current custodian for the last 45 years, during 30 of which it was laid up in a garage, this 1939 BMW Sport Cabriolet is crying out for a sympathetic restoration to get it back in a running state. Estimated at 80,000-150,000 dollars, it boasts matching numbers and BMW recognition of its authenticity. The first job on the list: fix the driver’s door handle, which is currently broken. Personally, we’d leave the rest as is, cosmetically at least. 

Iso Grifo GL

We’ve got a bit of a thing for the Iso Grifo here at Classic Driver, so when we spotted what is arguably the finest example we’ve ever seen listed in the catalogue, its place in our shortlist was all but guaranteed. It’s the ninth Grifo built, and is resplendent in Rosso Fuoco, a rare Ferrari colour that is understated, yet flattering to Bertone’s rakish design. The extent of the car’s two-year, ground-up restoration back in 2010 is clear to see, further attested by the host of concours trophies it has since amassed. Keno Brothers has attached a healthy pre-sale estimate of 550,000-650,000 dollars. We can almost smell the Italian leather from here…

Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight

Lightweight Porsche Carrera RSs are special, but those with period competition history are even more desirable. Sold new to Switzerland, this car (est. 1.1m-1.5m dollars) was campaigned by its second owner in sprint races and hillclimbs organised by the Zurich Porsche Club. Maintained over the years by a number of reputable marque specialists, and restored by RS expert Nate Cantwell in 1996, it is allegedly “one of the finest and most highly regarded examples to come to market in recent memory”. 

Lancia Appia Zagato GTE

If you really want to make a statement on the concours lawn, this Zagato-bodied Lancia Appia GTE is perfect. With an impossibly pretty, low-slung, hand-beaten alloy body, devoid of any distracting aesthetic add-ons, the Appia Zagato is about as elegant as it gets. Arguably the most beautiful car in the catalogue, this covered-headlamp example was restored to concours standard in 2006, as reflected in its 80,000-150,000 dollar estimate. Still, that’s far less expensive than a Ferrari GT of the same era…

Aston Martin DB5

While it might not be this Aston Martin DB5’s original hue, the period-correct Sage Green seems to be the perfect colour with which to showcase the car’s grandeur and elegance. The left-hand-drive example’s history prior to 1990 is barely known, not that this stopped it claiming second in class at the prestigious Aston Martin Owners’ Club Concours at Lime Rock Park in 2003. This matching-numbers DB5 (est. 950,000-1.6m dollars) could be ideal for someone who wants to truly use and enjoy their classic Aston Martin.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé

It was the gentle patina that really stole our attention when it came to this Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’, causing us to spend way too long poring over the Keno Brothers’ sumptuous photographs. Boasting matching numbers and documented maintenance by marque specialist Paul Russell & Company, this example (est. 1.275-1.575m dollars) belonged to one collector for 40 years, before it was recently released by his estate. 

Photos: Keno Brothers

Explore other gems from the Keno Brothers’ Rolling Sculpture sale, taking place on 19 November in New York, listed in the Classic Driver Market.