Super Rare Marques

This is a guest post from Jetset Magazine.

Collectibles bring an exquisite quality to pieces of art. This reaches not only to one of a kind paintings or sculptures, but to the artistic craftsmanship of cars.  Here are the stories behind some of the most beautifully crafted and rare cars of all time.

rolls royce 10 hp

Rolls Royce 10 HP (1905)

Exhibited at Paris Salon in December, 1904, along with the Rolls Royce 15 hp, 20 hp and 30 hp, the Rolls Royce 10 hp was made through an agreement between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.  The vehicles were produced at Henry Royce’s Royce, LTD. In Manchester and exclusively sold through C.S. Rolls and Co. Original base price was £395. The Royce 10 was based on a Decauville. A model which Henry hoped to improve on.  The chassis was sold to customers, who then needed to find their own builders. The engine is a twin cylinder 1800 cc.  It was based on the original Royce engine, but had an improved crankshaft. The car’s top speed was 38 mph.  There were supposed to be 20 cars made, but only 16 ever made it to completion, because the twin engine was not considered appropriate for the style.  Four of the 16 still survive.

The current value for the Rolls Royce 10 HP is $7.5 million.

porsche 916 front side

Porsche 916 (1972)

This modified Porsche 914 was prototyped to compete with the Ferrari 246 Dino. Its modifications included a metal roof, pressurized shocks, fiberglass fender flares, 190 hp, 911 S engine transplant, and modified sway bars the Porsche 916 was built for competition.  With speeds of 0-60 within 7 seconds, it was the fastest Porsche of its time.   Sadly, due to the decline of overall Porsche sales, the Porsche 916 was cancelled after only 11 prototypes were created.

In 2010, George Hussey put one of the 11 prototypes on the market for $495,000.

bugatti royale

Bugatti Royale (1927-1933)

The Bugatti Type 41, recognized as the Bugatti Royale, a luxury car intended for royalty, was created in 1927 by Ettore Bugatti.  With its 12.7 liter straight edge engine, suitable for an airplane, 4.3 m. wheelbase and 6.4 m. length, the Royale is one of the largest cars in the world.  Its chassis construction and balanced handling made its maneuverability very similar to the smaller Bugatti cars, despite its heavy weight and large frame.  The base price of $30,000 was meant to be sold to royalty, but with the start of The Great Depression, only three of the six Royales originally sold. The first sale did not take place until 1932.  The original prototype was destroyed in a 1931 accident, but the original six are still in existence, although, they have been rebuilt numerous times.

Ettorre’s car from his personal collection sold at Christie’s, London in 1987 for $9.7 million.

ferrari f50 gt

Ferrari F50 GT(1996)

A racing version of the Ferrari F50, this Grand Tourer beauty was a revise of the Formula One Ferrari 641.  This 750 horsepower, V12 engine luxury sports car was built as a racing machine intended to race in the BPR Global GT series. When changes and funding prevented Ferrari from continuing, they sold the prototype and two assembled copies to their most prominent customers.

In 2000, Ferrari F50 GT 0003 was sold at Sotheby’s RM Auction for $1,430,000.

oldsmobile 88 front side

Oldsmobile ’88 (1954)

This dream car concept was the pet project of Harley Earl, created from preliminary sketches created by Bill Lange. It used the chassis of a Chevrolet Corvette, including its 102 inch wheelbase and was made of fiberglass.  It also housed a 324 cubic inch Super 88 V8 engine.  Of the four concepts that came out of the project only one survived.  In 1955, E.L. Cord of Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg took possession of the car.

In 2005, John and Maureen Hendricks bought the Olds ’88 at the Barrett Jackson auction for $3,300,000.


The prototyped dreams and failures of auto makers create rare editions for future car collectors. Each of these marques has their own story of potential grandeur that did not fully make it to market.  It is their rarity that makes them even more valuable today. What is your favorite rare car?

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