As Monterey fever grips the classic car world, it's easy to forget that thousands of vehicles change hands across the auctions. They're notable often not only for variety but also for provenance; I mean, you can buy the actual car that graced a certain type of Ferrari with the 'Tour de France' moniker.
But, unlike that Ferrari, most machines in Monterey won't get much attention. Who will pay attention to your car if you're within a few lots of Steve McQueen's Porsche 930—offered complete with tail light kill switch? For those who take the time to scan catalogues (and who know when to bid during an auction), I think it's possible to get a deal.
May I humbly suggest you consider buying this Austin FX4 taxi that's been comprehensively modified by FLM Panelcraft to suit the fancy of a man named Nubar Gulbenkian? The Bonhams description of the car is a riot, from the opening quote:
"I wanted my taxi dolled-up, more comfortable inside and more distinguished outside, without losing its mobility. People recognize it. After a party or an opening they come and tell me where it is and I don't have to wait." So said the wonderfully eccentric Nubar Gulbenkian, the Turkish-born Armenian born into immense wealth who spent the major part of his life enjoying that privilege."
…to the final sales pitch:
"With interest in taxis currently at exceptional levels here surely is one of the most distinctive and eccentric examples one can imagine, with that famous Gulbenkian styling and provenance."
Taste is a matter of personal preference, and surely Gulbenkian can't be faulted for traveling around much more economically than his peers. He once said that the car "turns on a sixpence, whatever that is". Brilliant.
By the way, this is a great opportunity to re-familiarize yourself with the traditional terms of "brougham" and "sedanca"—with an easy-to-read article available on Wikipedia. Why bother? You'll be hearing them a lot this week.
So what, pray tell, does Bonhams think the car will earn? Between $50-80,000 Usd. Now does the Aston Martin Cygnet look so bad?
- Austin FX4 Brougham Sedanca by FLM Panelcraft: bonhams.com