There is no shortage of high-dollar auction lots to monitor this week in northern California, where the world’s biggest auctioneers have descended on the golf links of the Monterey peninsula. Not to be upstaged by machines dripping provenance from their tailpipes, however, are some lovable outcasts that, with any luck, should find warm, happy homes.

Russo and Steele has consigned a monstrous customised 1928 Rolls-Royce boattail fitted with a 650hp V12 tank engine that spits fire on command:

RM Auctions brings two Fiat summer vehicles that rival Mini for pint-size charm. Not to be outdone, Bonhams, fresh from setting a record in 2013 for the most expensive car sold at public auction, presents a doorless Mini-based beachcomber from defunct UK builder Austin. RM counters all this cuteness with a sportbike that positions the rider’s posterior a foot from the tarmac. Gooding & Company recollects the bad old days in Sant’Agata, Italy, with the 1972 Lamborghini Jarama.

The sales run 14-16 August on and around the Monterey peninsula, culminating in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance on 17 August.

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