Czech curiosities headline oddball offerings


An intriguing selection of weird and wonderful classics is due to go under the hammer along with a lot more mainstream classics at Brightwells' 4 March sale, headed by a pair of eye-catching Tatras. 

The first of the Czech classics – a 1952 Tatraplan T600 – has been extensively used for classic rallies in Ireland, where it is currently registered, and represents a rare opportunity for UK buyers to get their hands on a piece of Cold War automotive history. The car will be sold with a FIVA registration card (which is now expired) and documents from its time spent in Germany.

The former Best Post-War Saloon at Dublin's Terenure Classic Car Show is expected to fetch £35-40,000, in part due to the practicality of being right-hand drive.

Also crossing the block in the same sale is a similarly specced T600 from a year earlier. The left-hand-drive example was one of 184 Tatras sold new in Sweden and was brought to the UK in 2010. It sports a more modest estimate of £20-25,000. 

Just as unusual is a right-hand-drive Ferrari 412 – one of only 85 examples built. The 1988 Coupé was originally delivered to Australia, before being imported to the UK two years later. It has since covered just over 70,000 miles and is sold with a comprehensive service history, with 11 out of 13 stamps from marque specialist Maranello Concessionaires. It is estimated at £20-25,000.

Even rarer in the UK is a 1967 Fiat 1100R Familiare, one of the firm's first to utilise monocoque construction. The car formed part of a small collection of Italian classics and comes with a Fiat UK dating letter authenticating the year and model. The lack of reserve makes it a tempting proposition, but not one for the faint of heart. 

Also from the Fiat stable is a 1952 Topolino C. Like the 1100R, the Topolino will require full restoration. If you think it looks familiar, it may be because it starred on the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs' stand at the NEC Restoration show. 

A 1966 Innocenti Spider offers a different take on the Spridget theme, with the British mechanicals clothed in beautiful Ghia bodywork. Like the previous two Italian classics, the Spider will need a considerable amount of work – but its shared heritage with MG and Austin-Healey should make that an affordable proposition. 

A 1970 Morris 1800S built to Works specification is also sure to capture the imagination. The Landcrab has benefited from a raft of performance enhancements, including having its engine bored-out to 1950cc and its suspension significantly uprated. It is estimated at £10-14,000. 

Even more impressive is a stunning 1936 Riley Sprite, which has been with its current owner for the past 44 years. The Sprite has been used regularly throughout that time, including taking part in the 1978 Ards TT 50th Anniversary Commemoration event at which it completed three laps of the 14-mile Ards Circuit. 

A comprehensive refurbishment was carried out in 2000 by Kingham Restorations. Since then it has covered 3000 miles, including numerous trips to Goodwood and Le Mans. It is expected to achieve £100-120,000. 

Click here to see the full list of auction lots.


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