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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Feb 23 2012, 3:31 PM

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Dominating Le Mans during the 1920′s with its powerful, rugged, and reliable Bentley Blower, the British automaker from Crewe established itself as one of the earliest names in motorsports.

This June, Bonhams’ Goodwood will offer a rare red 1929-32′Bentley 4 1/2-Liter for auction. According to experts, the Bentley is expected to reach bids as high as $6.3 million, potentially making this example the most valuable Bentley in the world. In 2004, a 1930 Bentley Speed Six Tourer was sold for $5.1 million.

Previously owned by watchmaker George Daniels, who passed away last year, the Bentley 4 1/2-Liter  as well as Daniels’ six other cars and two motorcycles will be featured as the highlights of Bonhams. According to Bonhams, Daniels once wrote in a statement, “For all its inconvenience, (the Bentley) is a most exhilarating car to drive both on the road and track.”

The red supercharged Bentley was originally raced and owned by Sir Henry “Tiger Tim” Birkin. Described as a British racing folk hero, Birkin set the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap record at 137 mph in 1931.

GALLERY: 1929-32′ Bentley 4 1/2-Litre

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 |  Feb 14 2012, 4:45 PM

Last December, an auction provided a rare opportunity for racing fans and cinema buffs to bid on Steve McQueen’s original Gulf livery racing suit worn in the movie “Le Mans.” In case you missed out or couldn’t afford the $800,000 price tag, a new opportunity to own a piece of motorsport history has arisen.

Thanks to Asif Kapadia’s successful documentary that revived Ayrton Senna awareness, and even mania, there’s a growing market for Senna related racing memorabilia. Up for auction at the Race Retro Sale of the Silverstone Auction in the UK are Ayrton Senna’s original 1991 Championship season Shoei full face helmet and racing suit.

The racing helmet bears Senna’s signature and is instantly recognizable by the Brazilian color theme adorned with Nacional, Boss, Marlboro, and Honda stickers, as well as a McLaren International authentication certificate. This special championship season Senna helmet is projected to sell for a staggering $66,000.

Senna’s race suit features the Brazilian flag as well as his name embroidered along the belt. Experts estimate that the race suit will sell for more than $31,000.

Despite the astronomical price tags, wealthy bidders may consider the helmet and suit a bargain considering Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans” racing suit went for more than $800,000.

The auction will take place on February 25th in the U.K.

GALLERY: Ayrton Senna Racing Helmet and Race Suit

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 |  Jan 24 2012, 1:00 PM

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There are only two Devon GTX supercars in the world. One of them was up for sale at the most recent Barrett-Jackson auction and it sold for a ticklishly low price.

The chromed-out version of the Dodge Viper that promised individuality to its lucky owner came to a hard halt when Dodge stopped producing the Viper in 2010, but with a half million-dollar price tag it’s tough to see what’s essentially the bling-bling edition of Dodge’s V10 tire shredder going very far. On the other hand, $220,000 might be a justifiable price for someone in the market for such cars, and that is what the GTX took on the auction block including buyers commission.

We had no way of guessing what the GTX would sell for just over a week ago when we reported that the car was going up for auction with no reserve, but the 60 percent discount it ended up selling for was far from our minds. Alas, such is life in the world of no-reserve auctions on items with extremely limited marketability.

GALLERY: 2009 Devon GTX

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[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

 |  Jan 02 2012, 8:51 AM

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The #40 of 40 Special Edition Lamborghini Diablo 6.0L VTs ever built will be going up for sale at the upcoming Scottsdale, Arizona Barrett-Jackson auction. Sporting only 12-miles on the odometer, this limited edition Diablo (the last of the final edition Diablos) is practically new.

The 6.0L VT SE Diablos featured a V12 powerplant with 550-hp, all-wheel-drive and a six-speed automatic transmission. It’s the last SE ever built and still has the original plastic covers on the seats. Since it was first bought, it has sat in a large climate-controlled collection on the West Coast. This particular Diablo’s exterior is Marrone Eklipsis with a Cocoa/Cream interior.

No reserve is set on this rare exotic.

GALLERY: 2001 Lamborghini Diablo Coupe

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[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

 |  Dec 31 2011, 12:20 PM

Barrett-Jackson will be carrying on a tradition by selling the first Ford Shelby GT500 at the upcoming Scottsdale, Arizona auction on January 15-22, 2012.

In 2006, Ford sold its first Ford GT exotic supercar at a Barrett-Jackson auction and in 2007, the first Shelby GT500 was also auctioned off. The tradition continued in 2008 with the first Shelby GT500KR and in 2009 it was the first retail Shelby GT500 and two Mustang GT concept cars.

The new 2013 Shelby GT500 is a major upgrade to the GT500 line featuring a 5.8L V8 with 650-hp with a heavily updated chassis with excellent handling capabilities.

Five vintage Shelby vehicles will also be auctioned off at the same auction spanning from 1965 to 1969 model years.

[Source: Road & Track]

 |  Dec 27 2011, 1:16 PM

An iconic car from an iconic movie just sold for a pretty hefty price. The Delorean that was featured in the movie Back to the Future III (that’s the one where they travelled back to the Wild West) was auctioned off for $541,200.

The sale, which took place last weekend at the Icons of Hollywood auction in Beverly Hills, is only one of three Deloreans from the series remaining and the only one of those three held privately. The estimate on this car was $400,000 to $600,000, so its going price was no surprise to bidders. In actuality, if this car wasn’t a star, it would have only been worth about $30,000.

There’s no word if this Delorean is in working order, but we’re pretty sure that if it does run, the fabled flux capacitor won’t help you avoid present day traffic jams; Even if you do hit 88 miles per hour.

 |  Dec 19 2011, 8:00 PM

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A rare combination of Hollywood and racing history, the Gulf livery racing suit that Steve McQueen wore for the movie Le Mans was sold in a California auction for a steep $800,000. After fees and taxes are taken into account, the total sum is actually $984,000.

With the exception of an automobile, this is the most expensive piece of racing memorabilia ever sold.

From the text of the Profiles in History auction catalog, “When principal filming of Le Mans was completed, Solar Productions donated this suit to the British newspaper, The Observer, for a special La Mans-themed contest in 1971.”

“By answering 3 Le Mans history questions correctly, 12 year-old Timothy Davies of Wolverhampton, England was chosen as the winner and presented with the suit by racing driver Richard ‘Dickie’ Attwood, winner of the 1970 Le Mans race and driver of the Porsche 917K Gulf car during driving sequences in the film.”

[Source: SpeedTV]

 |  Oct 26 2011, 9:45 AM

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In light of talented racing driver Dan Wheldon’s tragic death, and the family he has left behind, fellow racing driver Graham Rahal first announced that he would auction off the helmet, gloves, and shoes worn during the Las Vegas 300 to raise money to help the Wheldon family through this difficult time.

Following Rahal by example, an outpouring of collective support from athletes, and Eric Gazin of Auction Cause, came together to create the Charity eBay Auction in memory of IZOD IndyCar Series Champion Dan Wheldon. 100 percent of all proceeds from this auction will be donated to the Dan Wheldon Family Trust Fund.

Launched October 24th, each item listed on the Dan Wheldon Memorial Auction will be open for bidding for approximately ten days. A particularly popular item on the list, a NASCAR helmet worn by Jimmie Johnson, is already up to $13,500!

Soon to follow, accomplished racing driver and star from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, Patrick Dempsey, will auction his Mazda racing suit as well. By following Graham Rahal’s twitter, you can keep track of more upcoming motorsport memorabilia soon to be available at the auction.

Athletes and celebrities are not the only people that can help. Eric Gazin encourages anyone to offer an item to the Dan Wheldon Memorial Auction, with any portion of the eventual selling price donated to the cause at the seller’s discretion.

Direct donations are available via the Dan Wheldon Family Trust fund at the Fifth Third Private Bank, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 1000, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

 |  Sep 03 2011, 4:19 PM

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Mitsubishi certainly had a great run with its sporty Eclipse model, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The last Eclipse ever produced will be auctioned off by Mecum as a 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse Coupe SE with a 3.8L V6. It is a special-edition Eclipse custom built by Mitsubishi Motors North America to commemorate the Eclipse’s 22-year run and will be auctioned off September 15-18th, 2011 at the St. Charles Auction with all the proceeds being donated to Japan’s Red Cross earthquake relief.

The one-of-a-kind Eclipse features a Kalapana Black paint scheme on the outside, which was selected by Mitsubishi’s Facebook fans, 18-inch Dark Argent wheels, SE lower side graphics, sunroof, leather interior, a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker audio system with SiriusXM, hands-free Bluetooth, rearview camera and HID headlights.

“Our goal with this Mitsubishi Eclipse SE was to create a very special car that would best honor the closing of this vehicle families’ chapter, built at our Normal, Illinois facility,” said Greg Adams, VP Marketing & Product Planning at Mitsubishi Motors North America. “We believe this one-off 2012 Mitsubishi Eclipse SE will become a highly collectible automobile, and we are excited to work with Mecum Auctions to offer it to collectors at their high-energy events.”

The iconic Eclipse has sold over 980,000 cars since production started 22 years ago and makes the Eclipse the best-selling Japanese brand sports car in the last 20 years (if you consider the Eclipse a sports car that is.)

GALLERY: Last Production Mitsubishi Eclipse

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 |  Aug 22 2011, 5:45 PM

The world’s oldest surviving production Bentley was sold through the Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for $962,500.

The 1921 3-liter chassis number 3 was sold 90 years ago to Noel Van Raalete, Bentley’s very first customer, for £1,150. The Bentley was a show-stopper, featuring ‘matching numbers’ with original aluminum coachwork and brass brightwork.

The 3-liter was a very well engineered vehicle that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endureance races in 1924 and 1927.

“Pebble Beach is the ideal venue to showcase Bentley’s old and new,” said Chairman & Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer. “On the same day that Gooding & Co. auctioned the world’s oldest surviving production Bentley, we hosted a private preview of the brand new model. During Monterey week, the enthusiasm for the evolution of the automobile is palpable.”

 |  Aug 17 2011, 5:15 PM

With the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance kicking off tomorrow in Monterey, California, hundreds of collectible cars will be up for sale.

There will be at least five auctions slated for this week, put on by Bonhams, Gooding & Company, Mecum, RM and Russo and Steele. Collector car insurance company Hagerty has compiled the estimated net worth of every car being auctioned this week at a whopping $230 million. Some of the highlighted collector cars include a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza expected to fetch around $3 million and a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR Prototype that may break the overall record price of a car sold at auction, selling for around $13 million. Two cars formally owned by Steve McQueen will also go under the hammer, including one of his motorcycles.

Stay tuned for updates on the auction!

[Source: Hagerty]

 |  Aug 11 2011, 11:30 AM

This BMW M1 art car once belonged to Peter Gregg, one of America’s greatest race drivers, who campaigned a 3.0 CSL and participated in Le Mans and the 24 Hours of Daytona. Now, it’s up for auction with some artistic provenance.

Before Gregg tragically ended his own life in 1980, he ordered an M1 from his grateful employers at BMW. There, he had the car painted by artist Frank Stella, who became interested in motorsports after painting Gregg’s CSL that he raced in Le Mans. Stella painted the car to match a series of paintings he called “Polar Coordinates,” which were done in order to commemorate Gregg’s teammate Ronnie Peterson, who was killed in a crash at Monza.

“Sport and art have one key thing in common: in the end it comes down to satisfaction,” said Stella. “My philosophy is: always give of your best. Sometimes I’m surprised at what turns out, at other times I’m disappointed. Out here on the racetrack it’s very hard not to be thrilled.”

After Gregg’s death, his widow sold the car in 1990. Nine years later the next owner donated it to the Guggenheim Museum, who are now selling the car to finance other acquisitions. The M1 will be sold by Bonhams at Pebble Beach, where it is expected to go for $450,000 to $600,000.

[Source: Sports Car Digest]

 |  Aug 08 2011, 7:45 PM

Pope Paul VI was the first pope to travel the world, visiting Asia, Africa, and the Americas extensively. When he came to the USA for the first time, he needed something fitting to represent the Catholic Church—and this Lincoln Continental served nicely.

This Continental was built upon a request from the Vatican, who needed a ride for Paul VI’s address to the United Nations in 1965. To fulfill the order, coachbuilder Lehman-Peterson built it in just two weeks. They stretched it to 21 feet and added a removable roof section, with a PA system to address the huddled masses and a removable transparent window, more to shield the pope from the weather than from the likes of Carlos the Jackal.

When Pope Paul VI came to New York, he addressed the United Nations, attended the World’s Fair, and witnessed a Yankees game, to the chagrin of Red Sox fans. After his whirlwind New York tour the Pope and his Continental went to Bogotá, Colombia, where the car was modified to fit in with the city’s 8,000-ft elevation.

The car never made it back to Italy after the South American trip, but rather to Chicago where, given the right series of events, it could have become the Bluesmobile. Instead, it carried a series of astronauts: Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anderson after they orbited the moon, and then the Apollo 11 crew after the 1969 moon landing.

Just another example of a Lincoln Continental becoming part of world history. And this bit of history could be yours at Pebble Beach, where it will go up for auction on August 19th. Auction house Bonhams believes it will go for $250,000 to $350,000, which seems low for a car that’s a genuine holy roller.

GALLERY: 1964 Lincoln Continental Pope Mobile

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[Source: New York Times]

 |  Jul 27 2011, 4:00 PM

There’s more auction madness from Bonhams, but this time they’re flaunting their BMW love: the single-marque auction entitled “Power By BMW” will feature some rare historic BMW race cars and concepts, including the 1969 BMW/Bertone “Spicup” pictured above.

First introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, the Spicup was based on a shortened 2000 CS drivetrain with one of the company’s famous straight-sixes, sporting a jagged silver targa roof over period-appropriate garishly green paint. The Spicup was used as a daily driver in the Netherlands for 20 years before a full concours restoration, and has been shown at the BMW Museum in Munich as an interesting footnote to the wedge-shaped 70s.

Also up for auction at Bonhams will be a slew of legendary BMW racecars—a few CSL “Batmobiles” will be well-represented, as well as some pre-war 328s. Georg Meier’s BMW Kompressor motorcycle will also be there, the one that he rode to the first foreign victory at the Isle of Man TT in 1939.

As befitting their legendary status, the CSL Batmobile is expected to fetch at least 325,000 Euros when the auction occurs October 1st. The Spicup? Depending on the popularity of rarified 70s cheese wedges, it might make a pretty cool commuter vehicle. After all, it won’t be the first time in its illustrious life.

 |  Jul 27 2011, 10:48 AM

Imagine you’re Indian royalty. Your favorite hobby is the Most Dangerous Game, the hunting of wild tigers in the wilderness—as befitting a maharaja. Such a gentlemanly pursuit requires only the most luxurious and extravagant of conveyances: when blasting tigers with a Browning 30-06 machine gun (the choice of professionals!), why would you settle for anything less than a coachbuilt 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom?

This custom-bodied Roller was commissioned by Umed Singh II, who ruled from 1889 to 1940 and at the height of tiger hunting’s popularity (and before those pesky conservation laws). Hunters commonly stalked their prey from atop elephants, but some employed motor carriages such as this: with an 8.0-liter six-cylinder engine and off-road low gearing, the Rolls is pretty close to an elephant but with more places to stash one’s brandy.

The Rolls also came with some features not available on today’s Phantom unless you ask really nicely, such as a bronze Lantaka cannon and a trailer-mounted machine gun, as well as enough rifle and shotgun racks to make Jeff Foxworthy feel underappreciated. All the better to drive India’s endangered Bengal tiger population from a peak of 40,000 to around 1,700 today.

If that sort of PETA-annoying violence appeals to you, then Bonhams will gladly auction this relic of Indian royalty to you for the appropriately lavish sum of $1 million or more when it goes on the block on August 18th. Tiger-hunting season will probably start around then. And after you mount one on the hood, drive it to an ESSO station and put a tiger in your tank!

[Source: Automobile]

 |  Jul 25 2011, 12:30 PM

Kate Middleton’s 2001 Volkswagen Golf with 62,000 miles on it, sold for a whopping $74,500 as the Sunday bidding closed on the eBay auction site.

Five bidders fought over the Golf for the last 10 days, and ten minutes before the end of the auction, one person shelled out 48,100 pounds ( $78,383 USD) for the used vehicle. The book value of the 10-year-old Golf is about $5,700 and a brand new Golf sells for $24,000.

Kate Middleton bought the Golf in 2001 while attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and she owned it until 2007 Kate passed the car onto her brother James, who later sold it to 21 year old Sonny Brazil.

“I do believe this will be the best piece of royal history anyone could have,” said Sonny Brazil. Brazil originally said he would include a pair of silver cufflinks found in the car, but has since changed his mind and decided to return them to the Middleton family.

[Source: The Toronto Star]

 |  Jul 22 2011, 11:45 AM

What does the Shah of Iran, Ava Gardner, Stirling Moss and Tony Curtis have in common? They all had a FACEL Vega FV4 Typhoon coupe.

Now you can bid to have your very own at the RM Auctions event on July 30th. The event will take place at The Inn at St. John’s, in Plymouth, MI.

A car like the Facel Vega would struggle to exist in today’s market, but in the post-WWII era, regulations were fast and loose and the auto industry was seen as a way to kickstart Europe’s struggling economy.

One such example was FACEL (Forges et Ateliers de Construction d’Eure et de Loire S.A.). FACEL was a manufacturer for pretty much everything in postwar France, and among the things they made were car bodies for different manufacturers like Bentley, Delahaye, Panhard and Simca.

When Panhard canceled its order, FACEL’s CEO Jean Danino decided to make up for the slack by building his own car. The car was to have its own unique body and chassis, but power came from the Chrysler 354 cubic-inch, “Firepower Hemi” V8 motor. This four-barrel carbureted engine was capable of producing 325-hp. Power was sent to the back wheels via a Chrysler three-speed torque-flite transmission.

The end result was a luxurious coupe called the FACEL Vega FV4 Typhoon, a car that won much praise for its styling and performance in its day. The car being auctions next week is a 1958 example, finished in silver over red. The seller describes the car as “not show quality but certainly very attractive.”

Only 3000 Vega FV4 coupes were made, so it will always be a rare and interesting piece of automotive history. RM predicts this car will go for about $80 – 100,000.

[Source: RM Auctions]

 |  Jun 28 2011, 11:18 PM

The Barrett-Jackson auctions are famous for selling rare exotic cars for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Usually the cars that command the highest prices are limited production Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and Aston Martin’s.

At the Orange County auction, a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger sold for $215,600, and a 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III James Young sedan sold for $159,500. However the car of the weekend was a 1963 Volkswagen Samba Microbus that sold for a whopping $217,800.

This particular model was the top-of-the-line first generation bus made for Alpine touring. It has been restored to “much-better-than-new condition”, which helps to explain why it sold for such an obscene amount of money and is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission. The exterior is painted Mouse Grey with touches of red trim. The interior features a German mohair headliner, original latches, restored ashtrays and luggage rails, as well as the original radio.

[Source: Autoblog]

 |  May 09 2011, 4:18 PM

The Dacia Logan, intended to be sold in world markets as basic transportation, was never supposed to come to America, but somehow, 41 Dacia Logan station wagons found their way to Iowa, sans drivetrain.

The fleet of Romanian-built compacts, engineered in collaboration with Renault, came without VINs as well, since the cars were intended to be converted to electric vehicles. The project seems to have gone belly-up, and the cars are now being auctioned off on Ebay at a starting price of $4,500. Buyers have the option of purchasing a single car or buying in bulk, although registering the cars for road use will undoubtedly be more trouble than its worth.

[Source: Bring A Trailer]

 |  May 07 2011, 7:09 AM

A very rare 1965 Ford GT40 prototype is being featured at RM Auctions and is to be sold May 21st. The GT40 is just one of five roadsters that were built.

This particular model, the GT/111, entered into the Targa Florio rally where it had numerous engine problems. Its 4.7-liter V8 was only firing on seven cylinders and it had the misfortune of crashing on its last lap. After its debut, the protoptype was transported back to England where it was stripped down and forgotten. Eventually the car was restored and RM Auctions is expecting to fetch $3.6- $4.3 million at the auction!

 

 |  May 01 2011, 8:56 PM

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Looking to spend over $150,000 on a true collectible? This 1980 BMW M1 was spotted on eBay sporting quite the price tag, but with good reason. Not only is it just one of 456 M1s ever produced, the original owner of this vehicle has kept it completely pristine and it only sports 2,745 miles on the odometer. The vehicle is completely stock and unrestored, its original Henna Red still shining brilliantly.

The vehicle has been garaged the majority of its life in a German private residence and was only recently imported over to America after the 25-year requirement passed. The M1 sports a 3.5L straight-six powerplant, boasting 277-hp and a five-speed manual transmission. Looking for a true collectible? Hope you’ve been saving your pennies since birth!

GALLERY: Mint Condition BMW M1

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[Source: eBay via Carscoop]

 |  Apr 27 2011, 9:36 AM

 

The Steve McQueen nostalgia binge rolls on, with the news that legendary London auction house Bonham’s is putting up the King of Cool’s 1971 Husqvarna 400 for auction.

The “Husky” took American off-road riding by storm—after McQueen ditched his own Triumph for a Husky in the classic motocross film On Any Sunday, popularity of the small Swedish bike exploded overnight.

The very same bike auctioned off here was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August 1971, where McQueen tested a number of new off-road bikes in the dirt. McQueen was an accomplished rider himself, and the auction includes numerous trophies that he accrued over the years, liberated from the McQueen Estate in 1984.

The auction is set to take place at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, California on May 14th and will also include McQueen’s collection of racing trophies. Like anything touched by the hand of McQueen himself—such as his Porsche, Ferrari, and his Baja racer—it won’t go for cheap. Click the jump for the full press release from Bonham’s.

 |  Apr 05 2011, 3:22 PM

As part of an effort to raise money for the Red Cross’ Japanese disaster relief fund , artists affiliated with the EMI record label are auctioning off various knick-knacks, with everything from stereo equipment to handbags to vacations up for grabs.

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably most interested in the 1987 Ferrari 412 that’s being auctioned off by EMI and French electronic music group Daft Punk. The car was used in the video for “Electroma”, and the license plate will be signed by both members of Daft Punk.

[Source: EMI]

 |  Sep 17 2010, 12:28 PM

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BMW Classic, the division responsible for maintaining and restoring historic BMW vehicles, is auctioning off an M1 and a 3.0CSL at the Bonhams classic car auction in Dubai next month.

BMW will use the sale to promote its racing heritage and raise the profile of the brand. BMW also plans to auction other vehicles in the future. Bonhams has previously auctioned large collections of BMW motorcycles.

Hit the jump to read the official press release

[Source: BMW Blog]

Gallery: BMW M1 and 3.0 CSL

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