Classic Car Auctions

Wheeler becomes dealer: Two rare models owned by Mike Brewer to cross the block in June

This 1968 Fiat 500F Berlina's celebrity owner is putting it up for sale in June.

Photo courtesy of Classic Car Auctions

June's Classic Car Auctions online sale will include two special models owned by television presenter Mike Brewer. The "Wheeler Dealers" host is selling both rare vehicles with no reserve.

The first of Brewer's lots is a very rare 1960 Bedford Utilabrake Van, an original Martin Walker factory converted 10 seater. The model was featured in Series 14 of "Wheeler Dealers" and features a pug nose. Originally built in Luton, Bedfordshire, England, the model was the Ford Transit of its time. Bedford only kept the van in production for 17 years with few changes from model year to model year. It was available two different wheelbases when new.

1960 Bedford Utilibrake Van

Photo courtesy of Classic Car Auctions


Brewer has put just 400 miles on the model in the last six years. He has kept the vehicle in project-ready condition. This is a Martin Walker Farmers variant, which features a factory-recognized van conversion.

Bedford Vehicles was founded as a division of Vauxhall Motors. The brand became defunct in the mid-80s. Later, it became a badged engineering scheme on a series of vehicles by a variety of brands including Isuzu and Renault. The Bedford name was finally retired for good in 1998.

The other is a 1968 Fiat 500F Berlina. The model underwent a full body and paint restoration in Italy in 2013. The interior was retried and the powertrain was overhauled. It's not a speed demon. The car is capable of achieving 18 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque. It has a top speed of 59 mph.

Fiat made the 500F Berlina from 1965 to 1973. It is often confused with the Fiat L, which began production in 1967 and lasted through 1971 when the new Fiat 126 was introduced.

Brewer and the auction are offering the vehicles at No Reserve and £7,000 to £9,000 respectively.

For this auction, the premiums will be 4% plus VAT for the vendor and 10% plus VAT for the buyer.

The Live Online Auction takes place on Saturday, June 27. All bidding will be done online.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Alfa Romeo and the Italian police have a 70-year history, which includes this model, the Giulietta.

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

In the fifth episode of "Storie Alda Romeo", the company reveals how, for over 70 years, police officers in Italy have used the company's cars to perform essential job functions. Starting in the 1950s, Alfas were used as call-out vehicles, patrol models in U.S. terms, and became known as the "volanti".

Cars used by the State Police were nicknamed "Panthers" and those of the Carabinieri (military police) earned the nickname "Gazelles". Both terms were flattering and served as metaphors for the vehicles' power and agility.

The first Panther

1900, Police

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

Built in 1952, the first Panther was an Alfa Romeo 1900. The Gazelles began production a few years later.

The Alfa Romeo 1900 marked a lot of firsts for its maker. It was the first Alfa to have a self-supporting body and the first left-hand drive model. The car came with a four-cylinder engine, abandoning the six- and eight-cylinder power plants that had proved popular with buyers. The engine was powered by a single carburetor and delivered 80 horsepower (that was a good amount back then).

The 1900 was the first Alfa to be produced on an assembly line, which dropped the production time of one vehicle from 240 hours to 100. Many modern factories have been able to cut this time down to 48 to 72 hours.

It was agile and fast. The car was launched to the public with the slogan "The family car that wins races". It proved popular with buyers. Alfa sold more 1900s alone than the total number of Alfa Romeos it had sold up until the 1900 was produced.

Success in variety

Portello factory, 1900 production

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo attributes much of the 1900's success to product cycle management that is replicated time and time again in the modern market by companies worldwide. Alfa introduced several high-performance variants of the 1900 including the 1900 TI, 1900 C Sprint and Super Sprint, and the 1900 Super, winning important international competitions within their category.

Continued coachbuilder collaboration

BAT  Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

Even as the 1900 grew in popularity with the average buyer, the Alfa Romeo continued working with coach builders to launch concept cars, like the Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica (BAT) on 1900 mechanics. The BAT was created by Bertone and designed by Franco Scaglione.

The Matta

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

The same engine as the one used in the 1900 was also adopted by the Alfa Romeo 1900 M, which is better known as the "Matta". Alfa made two different versions of the Matta from 1951 to 1954, one for civilians and one for military personnel.

It was a 4x4 that achieved 64 horsepower from its four-cylinder engine, which was paired with a four-speed manual gearbox.

In a similar vein as the Willys-Overland MB cum CJ-2A, several variants were produced for the agriculture, firefighting, and road maintenance industries.

The first Gazelle

Giulietta ti, Police

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta was the first Gazelle, which was designed as a patrol vehicle. It came equipped with a radio system so officers could stay in touch with headquarters. Even in most modern police vehicles, radios are a aftermarket accessory.

The Giulietta was shorter, narrower, and lighter than the 1900 and offered buyers a modern exterior that gave owners high levels of comfortability in the cabin. Its aluminum engine delivered 65 horsepower and the car had a maximum speed of 102.5 mph.

The car was a near instant success. It became known as "Italy's sweetheart" and sold over 177,000 units.

At the 1954 Turin Motorshow, a coupe version of the Giulietta debuted. Called the Giulietta Sprint, the model was designed by Bertone to be a low-lying, compact, agile car.

Enter: Giulia

Giulia, Police

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

As popular as Giulietta was, the Giulia was even more so.

The reasons for its popularity started at the front and rear, where, instead of beg but for style, they were designed to be shock-absorbent. This combined with a rigid passenger compartment to give drivers the comfort of knowing that they were in a safe (for its time) car. Many of these innovations were not yet compulsory.

Under the car's hood was a 1.6-litre twin cam engine. It had one one of the lowest coefficients of drag of its time, only 0.34. Alfa Romeo's marketing department capitalized on this, promoting the car as being "designed by the wind".

Sales of the vehicle were beyond expetation. The company sold over 570,000 sales, more than triple those of Giulietta.

Famous police cars

Giulia, "Carabinieri"

Photo courtesy of Alfa Romeo

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Super was one of the most popular Alfas ever produced and one of the most famous Italian police cars ever produced. Other police cars from the Alfa lineup include the Alfasud, Alfa 75, and Alfetta Alfasud, Alfa 75156. Today, first responders drive the modern Giulia.

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This unique Bentley was designed as part of a contest.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

What's the best Bentley color option? Now, you don't have to choose. A unique Bentley Mulliner Bacalar combines seven different colors for one unique look.

The car was designed by a contestant named Eleanor who submitted the entry as part of a recent online competition for Bentley colleagues and their families to design their own Bentley Mulliner Bacalar. The Barchetta-style Bacalar marks the reintroduction of the marque as a bespoke automaker. This particular pant job will reproduced in real life on the exterior a limited run of 12 models.

From rich reds through vibrant mid-tones through to energetic blues and purples, these are the seven colors that make up the rainbow paint job with descriptions provided by Bentley:

Dragon Red II

Bentley Bentayga

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

An arresting and distinguished metallic red, evoking a sense of speed and presence. The first iteration was used to launch the original Continental GT V8 in 2012, and in its second version Dragon Red II remains a deep and rich colour regardless of the tone of the light that illuminates it, and was used as the launch colour for the Bentayga V8.

Orange Flame

Bentley Speed

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Orange Flame matches other vivid palette colours such as Citric and Magenta in its ability to make the boldest of statements. Mixed with Mica pigment and powdered aluminum, Orange Flame is painted in a single layer, topped with a clear coat, cured and then finished with a 'mirror finish' polish. It provides exceptional contrast across the muscular curves and sharp lines of the Bentley range, and was used to launch the Bentayga Speed.

Yellow Flame

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A unique colour created for the recently launched, limited edition Bentley Mulliner Bacalar – Bentley's return to coachbuilding – providing an incredibly striking example of how the luck 12 Bacalar customers could specify their car. Using a 'colourstream' pigment containing rice husk ash, a byproduct of the rice industry, this specially developed paint reflects a striking transition of colour that intensifies the drama of the form and contours of the Bacalar exterior.

Apple Green

Bentley Continental

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A fresh, modern hue in the green spectrum, Apple Green is a bespoke Bentley colour that provides a striking pop of confident colour.

Jetstream II

Bentley Continental

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A light, very fine, almost powder blue metallic finish that can transition between a cool silver in warm light to and a soft, elegant blue in cooler light. Both sporting and luxurious, this shade is perfect for those looking to make a bold statement and pairs incredible well with Bentley's Blackline Specification, replacing exterior chrome brightware with black versions.

Sequin Blue

Bentley Continental GT

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

One of Bentley's most iconic colours, Sequin Blue was originally a special request from a customer to match the colour of a sequin from her favourite ball gown. This is a bespoke rich metallic blue with a deep shadow and 'flop' (how a metallic paint reflects different amounts or hues of light depending on the lighting angle), and has a sumptuous fluidity and unrivaled ability to draw attention to the exterior shape and form. Sequin Blue launched the third-generation Continental GT in 2017, and is one of the top 10 most popular paints for customers.

Azure Purple

Bentley Bentayga

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

Azure Purple is a dark, rich shade with blue undertones which was created when Bentley was asked to match the unmistakable colour of the beautiful African Violet flower. A confident and flamboyant colour, it has been used by customers of both Bentayga and Continental GT.

The interior of the vehicle was also chosen as part of the competition but has not yet been publicly shown. Both winners were chosen by Bentley's Director of Design, Stefan Sielaff.

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