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The Christmas race is over. Carols have been sung, food and sweets have been devoured, and presents have been distributed and wrapping torn off in anticipation. Did your wishes come true this year? If not, then don’t despair. In only two days from now, the Gstaad Auction is the answer you’ve been looking for.

All of the ViaRETRO team spent the Christmas days slightly glazed over as we dreamt of which auction lot would be our final little Christmas present this year – you know; the one we gift ourselves just to make sure we get what we truly and intensely wish for. There are 72 lots in total, with 25 of them being automobilia and the rest being classic cars and a sole motorcycle. Go ahead – dive into their auction catalogue here: Gstaad Classic Car Auction. Dream with us and join us for a fictive bidding-war in the Swiss winter wonderland, where – just for a moment – we will pretend that money simply isn’t a restriction of any sort. Which classic car will you be wrapping up for yourself?


Søren Navntoft is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage:

Lot 125 – 1973 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale

Our exercises on choosing cars from various auction catalogs are both fun and educational. Imagining ourselves with unlimited amounts of money in our pocket only makes it even more fun, as we can choose cars without a reality check. Therefore, I often choose an old Bugatti, an avant-garde Frenchman or a super exotic coupé.This time there’s no doubt in my mind. My choice is also my ultimate favorite car and that’s been the case for many years. Nothing over and nothing next to. Of course, it’s the mighty Lancia Stratos HF Stradale. Lancia speaks to me as my favorite car brand, and the Stratos is the ultimate concentrate of everything I care for in a classic car: uncompromising, stylish and with heaps of history. The driving position is a little awkward and the short wheelbase makes the car a lively affair, but the sound, the design and the name says it all; An Iconic masterpiece.


Claus Ebberfeld is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage:

Lot 101 – 1969 Honda S800 Coupé

An amusing thing in this auction is the many scale model engines – mostly of beautiful twelve cylinder machines which I truly adore. But obviously you can’t drive an engine alone, much less a non-functioning scale one. However, I found a brilliant alternative: The Honda S800 Coupé in the sale is a complete and driving car – and even with an engine which is almost as exquisite as the small model engines.In fact, that Honda engine is a true masterpiece: Building on their motorcycle experience Honda developed a gem of an all-alloy twin-cam with four separate carburettors and managed to massage 70 horsepower out of only 800 cubic centimeters. It rotates to almost 9000 rpm, and utilising all of that made the S800 the fastest sub-1-litre car on the market. The rest of the package isn’t bad either: I’ll have it, please!


Anders Bilidt is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage:

 Lot 131 – 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint

Just look at it! That’s really all the reasoning I need for choosing this stunning Touring-bodied fifties Alfa Romeo. It sums up all that is elegant, stylish and beautiful while still having just a light touch of sporting aggressiveness to it. That applies regardless of whether it’s the bodywork or cabin you’re appreciating. Add to the package a glorious twincam engine and heaps of rich Italian heritage. This is an Alfa Romeo from when the marque was at the very top of their game! It gets even better as this example presents in its factory specification Verde Bottiglia, rather than just another resale-red Italian. It’s clearly been restored by the best of the best, and now it just needs to be driven – preferably by me…


Dave Leadbetter is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage:

Lot 121 – 1934 FIAT Balilla 508CS Coppa d’oro

I’ll take the 1934 Fiat Balilla 508 CS Coppa d’oro please. The Fiat 508 saloon was all about mobilising the masses at a modest price, but this is the Spider Sport derived “Gold Cup” version boasting 36hp from its twin carburettor 995cc motor. This particular car has pre-war competition history and is Mille Miglia eligible, but most importantly it’s just so pretty and purposeful. If you were to doodle your ideal pre-war car it would probably look just like this. An eager face, sweeping mudguards and a boat tail, all painted Italian racing red and looking like it’s doing (an unlikely) 100 mph whilst standing still. It’s perfect. Now, I’ll need a warm flying jacket, hat and goggles if I’m going to drive it all the way back from Switzerland…


Tony Wawryk is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage:

 Lot 128 – 1957 BMW 503 Coupé Series 1

From all the goodies to choose from at the Gstaad auction (and what choices! The Montreal in particular was very appealing…), it was the glorious BMW 503 that spoke to me the loudest. This Albrecht von Goertz-designed beauty is super-rare and exclusive (only 413 built), understatedly elegant yet purposeful, a proper Grand Tourer with room for passengers and luggage for long cross-continental journeys, with that lazy 3.2 litre V8 eating up the kilometres with ease. The metallic light-blue exterior and blood-red leather interior combine beautifully, even if they’re not as the car left Munich, and the final deciding factor, this particular 503 was produced in 1957, the same year I was born, so it clearly has my name on it!


David Søgaard is bidding on this for his fictitious Christmas garage: 

Lot 124 – 1958 Porsche 356A 1500 GS Carrera GT

So I’ve danced around the tree, laughed at my father-in-law’s jokes and been wearing Aunt Betty’s hand-knitted sweater, which is too small and itchy. My wife and children got want they wished for, and me!? – Only soft presents this year: no tools, not even a book. I walk desperately to the study, put my feet up on the desk, pour myself a glass of whiskey, taking a sip and laying back my head while I start daydreaming of being at the Gstaad Auction. So much to choose from; an Italian classic to make me feel like a celebrity of the ’40s, perhaps the secret agent type of cars from Britania, or maybe opt for “fahrvernügen” from Germany? – so many choices from this collection.My thoughts are interupted as I hear the front door closing. The last guest has left, finally. Another drink, close my eyes, it’s time to choose – something simple but rare, light and fast – and maybe even fulfilling my historic motorsport dreams? Mille Miglia, Targa Floria… What I need is a 1958 – 356A Carrera GT, with four cams and a screaming Sebring exhaust, perfect handling, and rich racing history, where I get to write the cars next chapter, while wearing my favorite racing leather gloves, participating in a Swiss hillclimb, instead of just being another spectator. Now I can enter my own little sportscar in historic races, and even drive it home afterwards… what more could I possibly want? A Porsche will always give more than just one cars attributes, so if I can only choose one, a Porsche with a rich history is the one for me: “Race on Sunday, Drive on Monday“!


Now it’s your turn. Share with us which classic you’ve been fictitiously bidding on as your slightly overdue Christmas present to yourself, and not least why you chose this one specifically over all the others. More importantly, once those first rays of spring sun break through the heavy winter clouds, where will you your first drive in this new toy lead you to?

All pictures courtesy of The Swiss Auctioneers.

 

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