Rare British Sport Car: Swallow Doretti

This little beauty is supposedly one of 263 made and uses Triumph TR-2 mechanicals with a bespoke, mostly aluminum, body and steel frame. We think that’s a winner, especially given the looks, which seems to take bits from early Ferraris and early Healeys. Plus, anyone who knows Jaguar’s origins would be excited about the Swallow tie-in. Continue reading Rare British Sport Car: Swallow Doretti

1958 Singer Gazelle with Datsun Power

The Singer Gazelle is a rare beast here in the USA, and is a close relative to the Hillman Minx. That means it was originally powered by a 1.5L four cylinder shared with a number of other (now mostly obscure) British cars. This one, however, has been upgraded to Datsun B-210 power, which means something like 70 horsepower! Hey, that’s up from about 50, so it’s a decent percentage increase. Continue reading 1958 Singer Gazelle with Datsun Power

1976 Lotus Eclat Project

We’ve always been intrigued by these 70s Lotus Elite and Eclat (sometimes called the Lotus Eclair).  These front-engine oddballs were large for Lotus, but still used the “just add lightness” formula and were known as excellent handlers.  The Elite, with its shooting brake body type, is more the oddball, while this Eclat has a coupe roof line.  To us, it seems like these cars were style leaders, as they went angular in the mid 70s, while so many others went that way around 1980-1984 (think Celica/Supra, 200SX, Corvette, Camaro/Firebird, Datsun Z, etc.).

Today’s feature is a true project, but it was recently painted and it seems that most, if not all, parts are present.  Note that this is offered by the same shop that sold the Renault Dauphine we featured last week.

The seller indicates that some interior parts should be replaced or restored ad that an engine rebuilt may be a good idea.  That being said, this car was driving to the shop before the restoration was started.  Whether refreshed or rebuilt, the Lotus twin cam should provide a great song and this car should offer a high level of “fun to drive” once it’s put back together.  We hope it finds a loving and capable owner!

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Cullman, AL, USA
$5,950 with ZERO bids and four days to go

This styling has grown on us in recent years.  Sure, we’d love the shooting brake, but the name Eclat adds a few weirdness points.

One doesn’t have to worry about floor pan rust, as these are fiberglass.  The worries relate to the steel frame underneath.

Here’s the trunk – again, it seems solid, but needs to be trimmed out.

Was the twin-cam was left in place for painting?  Maybe not, as the white paint looks pretty fresh.

Yes, front seats are included, along with supposedly every other part removed.

Ad text:

 ” Happy 75th Birthday…  time to sell all your cars , close the restoration shop,  and enjoy some track time while you can “

 after many years of restoring old race cars, family thinks it’s time to sell off all my accumulated stock of cars and parts.

So we have sold one of our shop buildings,  and are preparing to sell the main shop as well.

As Usual

ALL reasonable offers to add a “Buy it Now”  considered

the Lotus is for sale at the shop and elsewhere, 

the listing may be ended at any time

This is a great opportunity to acquire one of the very desirable Lotus Éclat Sprints

Relisted without reserve, starting where it ended last month.

This Lotus has recently been refinished in Performance Yellow basecoat/clearcoat,  and is for sale as shown just after a rinse.

It is ready to have the trim re-installed.

The interior is in fair condition, and now that the exterior is a head turner,  the upholstery should be refinished also.

This is a Euro Spec car,  LEFT hand drive,  Euro bumpers, with dual D’llorto carburetors, and optional 14″ wheels. Not on the road for some time, the car was driven to the body shop, but after 40 years, the engine should be freshened. 

Cylinders showed 160,155,160,160 psi

All trim and interior parts were carefully removed, and can be packaged and loaded inside the car, so this car can ship quickly to Europe

Many of our cars leave from Port of Savannah,  and we can assist with arrangements to any of the European Ports, as well as Australia from LongBeach on the West Coast

This restoration is NOT ‘stalled’ 

This Sprint is one of several cars in the shop that we continue to work on ( SO PLEASE CALL BEFORE YOU BID ) , and if not sold,  the price will change as work continues

Other cars , include the ex Karl Flessa ’59 Bugeye race car, a ’65  Morgan +4, a ’57 Mercury Montclair w/Tpke engine, the ex Bill Leonhardt/ Dan Gallant  ’57 Volvo 444 race car (oldest Volvo race car still actively racing ), 59’LaDawri Daytona 292 T’Bird w 3 deuces, a ’60 Lotus 7 Series1, , the ex John Helms Fiat 124, spider race car,  ’72 TE27 Corolla Vintage race car,a’52 BucklerMk10 TaylorAlloyBody, the original Fiberfab Factory Azteca mid-engine Corvair/Porsche 356 base , a’58 Turner 803, a PreWar Ranger 440 Aircraft engined race car, a ’29 Studebaker Lt Six Boattail speedster,  several Vintage race car rolling chassis(s), bodies, and numerous other parts cars and cars for restoration..as well as a 4000 sq ft building full of Vintage parts.

 This car is offered as shown… and it appears complete, with good glass, and dash.

All of the alloy trim is in good, except for a couple of rear window pieces will need straightening.

Notice that the beltline has been finished, to better enhance the lines of the car,

and the car has the desirable and hard to find Euro bumpers.


We can help with arrangements to have the car shipped quickly.

Call Dave at (256) xxx xxxx, 8am – 9pm Central Time, 

Bond Minicar 250 G

No, the infamous Reliant Robin was not the only three-wheeled, British microcar.  About 25 years before the Robin, there was the Bond Minicar.  Today’s feature car is the best of that breed – at least in terms of being a complete car – the Mark G.  It also represents the end of a nearly twenty-year run.

The Mark G is a fully-enclosed car, vs. some of the very early versions.  It is also the only variety to feature a twin-cylinder engine – double the cylinder count of earlier versions!  Of course, it’s still a 250cc, two-stroke engine putting out a whopping 12 horsepower (give or take).

The big news with the Minicar was the combined engine and front wheel unit, which means the engine steered with the wheel.  The seller has included a video which beautifully illustrates this, as well as the resultant turning radius, which is quite amazing!

This Bond appears to be in great overall condition and this is certainly a rare find in the US.  We hope it goes to a great home!

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$5,755 with 42 bids (!), reserve not met and 3.5 days to go
Granite Falls, WA, USA

Viewed in profile, this design is an odd combination of unique in front and pretty typical for the period in the rear.  Of course, the bizarre front proportions are dictated by the odd front wheel layout.

The actual front end and grill fit well with the classic rear design.

You know this is a later one, given the 50s fin design.  This was designed around the same time that Sunbeam included American fins in its Alpine design.

The Minicar features a large hatch opening with a relatively small cargo area.  However, we suspect the rear seat folds, which would open up quite a bit of space.

Front doors are front-hinged and, of course, the layout is left-hand drive.

Interior is simple and, apparently, the top is fiberglass.


Here’s the Bond money shot – the engine mounted atop the front wheel.  Yes, that whole mass turns.

Chain drive is always a great car feature!  Note that the exhaust “exits” in the front.  We recommend making sure the firewall is well sealed and/or driving with windows open for good venting!

Ad text:

Very unusual and very rare especially here in the USA is this Bond Minicar. It’s in very nice running and driving condition and has an extremely unusual drive train arrangement.

 This car features a 2 stroke 2 cylinder 250cc villiers engine that drives the front wheel through a chain. The entire drivetrain including the exhaust turns with the steering. It can turn nearly 90 degrees each way making it turn extremely sharp. 

 The frame is in great condition and the fiberglass body and paint are also in very good shape. There are minor imperfections here and there but overall it presents extremely well. The glass is all in good shape. Some of the window moldings look quite old and dry rotted but still working. It currently has a plastic back window fitted but the original glass window is included (would need new seal to install). 

This car features a dynastart combination starter and generator which works very well. It starts easily and runs great. The brakes work well although the pedal travels a bit far. The front brake is hydraulic and the rear brakes are mechanical. All the electrics work good including the horn although the horn button is missing. 

The Interior is quite nice with no rips or splits in the seats. 

 The original fuel tap had failed so it currently has a modern tap that you have to open the hood to turn on and off. You also access the fuel tank from under the hood.

Driving the car is quite a different experience. It features a column shift that ratchets through the gears by moving up and down. Although it is quite slow we did manage to get it up to 45mph on a level road. 

It has a clear Pennsylvania title.

Buyer is responsible for all shipping costs and arrangements. 
I highly recommend and encourage a personal inspection.
The Bond can be viewed by appointment in Granite Falls Wa (near Seattle).
 I reserve the right to end the auction at any time.
 Must be picked up within 30 days after end of auction.

 Please feel free to ask any questions and be sure to watch the video of this car in action:


1996 Jaguar XJR with MT Swap

We love sleepers, and Jaguar’s XJR models have often qualified.  We’re particularly partial to the original version, what with its supercharged XJR6 inline six cylinder.  The usual issue is that essentially all of them came with automatic transmissions.  This seller decided to fix that.

A five-speed manual has been swapped into this example, supposedly using factory parts.  Given that and the torque one should get from this engine, we think they’ve created the ultimate sleeper and, needless to say, we want it.

This car has about 132K miles; so you’ll have to ponder what it might need.  Still, it seems to have been well cared for from a cosmetic standpoint and we hope that carried over to the mechanical bits.  Asking price is claimed to be firm; but we’ll see whether the seller really wants to part with it.  The price is above typical for the model, but buying a nice one and performing the swap would likely cost a lot more.

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Chicago, IL, USA

Proportions look funny in the image, but this is a classic – and classy – Jag.  Stock wheels have a custom “black chrome” finish.

Jaguar would use mesh grills on “R” cars for years; but this is where it all started.

Here’s the money shot for this car. The interior seems to have aged pretty well.

Okay, money shot #2 is the supercharged inline six.

Ad text:

1996 Jaguar XJR in excellent condition with OEM (Getrag) 5-speed manual swapped for the GM 4 speed automatic. It is low miles for a car its age and can be driven regularly. All new tires on original 5 spoke rims treated with a black chrome process have a stunning effect. The XJR has the period AJ16 straight 6 cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger added increasing horsepower to 322 bhp. The XJ series is a luxury sedan—the XJR was marketed as one of the high performance options available (the other being the 12 cylinder XJ12). Jaguar produced these X-300 body styles between 1994 and 1997, which are known for remarkable durability and safety. Jaguar produced 6,547 XJRs (most going to the US market), with only 268 5-speed manuals produced at the factory. Jaguar documented the XJR with a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds for the manuals.

The interior has normal wear for a car of this age, including some leather fading on the left side of driver’s seat and a 6 inch seam tear on the front bottom right side passenger’s seat. The original floor mats come with the car, in addition to a set of custom made Coco mats with red piping accent. There are no scratches on the interior wood trim, door panels, or plastic accent surrounds; all air vents and seat heaters work well. All electronics, such as the left/right mirror controls, map lights, sunroof, auto dimming rearview mirror, and driver’s seat memory, are in good working order. The OEM pedal box and a custom built dead pedal make long trips very comfortable. The engine bay is clean, and the engine has been well maintained. There are no major engine oil or component leaks. The trunk surrounds are complete with the original spare and toolkit; there is no rust here or on any of the sub floor panels. A Harman Kardon Stereo and a six CD changer are in full working order.

An electric shutoff switch (conveniently located on passenger side of trunk) has been installed that fully disengages the battery so the car can be safely and easily stored. A custom made California car cover is included as well as the original owners’ manuals and two sets of original keys and FoBs.

I am selling this car for US $14,999 and can assist with international shipping. Serious inquiries only please. +1-312-xxx-xxx or [Email Seller] .

Price: $14,999 firm 

Mini Cooper Airplane Car

Let’s get this out of the way: this doesn’t fly.  It’s just a novelty, but it’s an unusual one.

Apparently, this was used by Delta Airlines for some sort of promotion.  The Delta decals/logos have been removed; so it’s now just a white Mini with fiberglass airplane bits.  Want attention?  This might be for you…

Underneath it all is a 50.5K mile, automatic-equipped, Mini Cooper non-S – a very expensive one.

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Bellingham, MA, USA
$12,500 with ZERO bids and four days to go

Yep – tail fin and cone with some sort of light.  We’re not sure if that light works.

Beyond just the wings, doors have simulated jet profiles.

Front is unmodified.

Here’s another front 3/4 view.

This is what it once looked like.

Interior is stock.  We actually  like the white over black’n tan look, as much as anyone can like a white car.

Ad text:

Do you want to turn heads or create conversations? How about being photographed constantly? Well, this Custom Mini Cooper / Promotional Vehicle is sure to do the trick!

This is one of four custom Mini’s that were created for promotional purposes and used by Delta Airlines.  This vehicle is in excellent condition given its age and intended use. 

Although, It has been driven only a handful of times, since we acquired it several years ago, it drives great and its a blast to drive!  We originally acquired two of these “airplane cars” and several other vehicles as part a “collection” that we purchased.   Our intention on this one, was to keep it as part of our private collection.  We had this car gone over by our mechanics and new tires were installed upon arrival at our garage.  

To answer a few questions, that we have heard since we acquired it:

– Whats it made of?  Its a regular Mini Cooper body.  The wings and rear tail fin are fiberglass.  They are not removable.  
– Does it fly?  No.  Although, its very convincing and I’ve always wanted to bring it to a private airport and see if they would let me “test it”!!
– What else makes this car unique?  It has a built in Siren / Sound System that is extremely loud and perfect for parades and large crowds.  
– How do I know it’s authentic? Just Google “Delta airplane car” and view images. 
– Is it street legal?  Yes – it complies with all DOT regulations for width, height and the extrusions that are added to the vehicle meet DOT requirements. 
– Has the vehicle been modified mechanically?  No.  The fiberglass details are the only modifications to the car.  Its registered as a Mini-Cooper.

A couple of questions that we expect to receive:
– Does it currently have graphics on it?  No.  Its all white and all graphics have been removed.  
– Will I ship it?  No.  All transportation will be the buyers responsibility.  
– What is the reserve? That’s confidential. 
– What’s the buy it now price?  There is none.  Lets see what happens with this auction. 
– Will you consider a trade?  No.  
– Why are you selling it? Well, we have a growing custom car business and the overall curiosity factor that this car creates needs to be better utilized!  Its a shame for it sit in our warehouse and driven once or twice a year.  

So, that is the story.  Feel free to ask more questions or make a bid on it.  Good Luck! 

Morris Minor Clown Car

No, it doesn’t seem like this one has been used for clown stuffing!  Rather, this car has been dolled up with a clown theme, complete with parade capability.

Supposedly, this is now witted with a 1275cc engine and front disc brakes; but those aren’t the reasons you’re interested in this one.  More to the point, the top hat is a pass-through for parades (see image below) and the clown nose lights up!

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Incline Village, NV, USA
$18,500 BIN with offers considered

How about this face?  Yes, the hands are part of the car.

Wheels are appropriately painted. Note the wind-up key on the back.  Apparently, it spins, though we don’t know what drives it.

The rear shows that key, as well as planters and the excellent

Here’s the hat pass-through in use.  Is that a Trump pledge or is this clown a Nazi?

The seller doesn’t provide many interior shots, but this appears to be the steering yoke.

The rear seat is covered in circus-themed cloth, perhaps from a child’s sheet set?

Ad text:

CLARABELLE FOR SALE 1957 Morris Minor 1000. 2 door Clown car with a light-up red nose and black top hat. This is a unique, vintage, one-of-a-kind, amazing, incredible antique specialty car. New 1275 MG engine with dual carbs, four on the floor, engine has less then 500 miles, front disc brakes, new paint. See photos, built to show and use in parades. Extra special adorable extras include: a spinning silver skate key on the back, flower boxes on the rear bumpers, eyelashes, an ooga horn, custom circus-theme upholstery, multi-colored metal flake clear coat with added polka dots, powder-coated colored wheels, custom carved steering wheel, hinged top of hat (to stand outside and wave to the crowds). Additional spare tires included. Specialty side mirrors. Averages 46 MPG. Car comes on a trailer with clear title on both.