Unique collection of cars coming to auction
With the unique appeal of customised cars pressing the buttons for many collectors, classic car auctioneer Historics is bringing four sets of whacky wheels to its sale at Mercedes-Benz World, Brooklands, on Saturday February 18th 2012.
No stranger to selling truly individual vehicles having previously presented a Batmobile, Ghostbuster car and Monkeemobile at auction, Historics will use its first sale of 2012 to showcase the ‘Bugaloos Buggy’ – made famous in the children’s TV show of the same name in the early 1970’s – the equally radical 23ft, 6-engined ‘Snake Pit’, also designed by Barris, as well as a set of 600bhp Bunkbeds built by Bob Reisner and an original Hans Trippel Amphicar.
Shown on the NBC network between 1970 and 1972, the Paramount Studio producers of The Bugaloos commissioned George Barris – creator of the original Batmobile and Munster Koach as well as later versions of the KITT car for Knight Rider – to build a Bugaloos Buggy that was compact, eye-catching and reflected the overall fun of the show.
Using a four-passenger fibreglass body mounted on a Volkswagen floorplan, the car was built to look like a bug – reflecting the programme’s characters who could fly and walk on water – with wings set on a T-shaped roll bar and oversized headlights designed to look like eyes.
The fully-fendered chassis sat on one-piece Ansen Spring alloy wheels shod with Firestone tyres, with the orange-spoked centres matching the green, yellow and orange paintwork used to mirror the markings of a butterfly.
The interior was fitted with four custom bucket seats featuring a leaf-like design, and the car further equipped with four Capitol Communications telephones and Muntz stereo tape cartridge players.
Originally sold at a ‘Cars of the Stars’ collector car auction at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel in 1983, the car resurfaced in France over 20 years later, since when it has undergone a sympathetic restoration.
With a well-known history behind it, the car is fully street legal and is now presented in superb condition to be enjoyed once more, with Historics estimating offers in the region of £12,000 – £15,000.
The bizarre, multi-engined, 23ft long Snake Pit took the team of Barris, Harry Bradley, Joe Bailon and Jay Ohrberg four years to bring together, with the ultimate aim to take on speed records.
Fitted with no less than six synchronised Ford Cobra V8 engines – each displacing 351 cubic inches – the Snake Pit boasted an estimated 2,000 horsepower, and with 12 Holley four-barrel carburettors, 48 exhausts, two Ford C-6 automatic transmissions and a pair of Pontiac rear axles, the Snake Pit is all about extraordinary figures.
Indeed, Joe Bailon, a car customiser also famous for introducing the three part process used to create candy paint colours, added no less than 30 coats of lacquer to compliment the orange and pearl white paintwork.
Estimated to be worth in excess of $100,000 when completed, the non-running Snake Pit is offered for sale at Historics next auction at No Reserve.
The sale will also bring every boys dream of a racing car bed to life in the form of a 600bhp set of Bunkbeds.
Although a non-runner, the Bunkbeds boast a 600bhp V8 engine, as well as automatic transmission, disc brakes all round and super-wide Goodyear tyres, and could in theory be steered from the comfort of the top or bottom bunk.
Guaranteed to give a good night’s sleep, the Bunkbeds would also provide the perfect promotional plug for any bed shop or mattress maker, and Historics expect offers in the region of £12,000 – £15,000 for the superbly crafted custom car.
If that doesn’t float the boat of car collectors, an original Amphicar designed by Hanns Trippel is also being presented at Historics forthcoming sale.
One of just 99 right hand drive models built and a believed 20 to still exist, the 1965 Amphicar was previously owned by the French born restaurateur Didier Milinaire (stepson of the 13th Duke of Bedford), and caused more than a ripple of excitement when it appeared on the Thames during the world famous Henley Royal Regatta.
Powered by a 1147cc Triumph Herald engine, the ‘Model 770’ Amphicar could achieve 7 knots in the water and 70 mph on the land. Although in need of a little time and investment having not run for some time, the Amphicar is supplied with a V5 document and Historics anticipate bids in the region of £13,000 – £17,000 on the day of the sale.