Heroshot

1969 Adams Brothers Probe 16

$184,000
Sale Price
36
Lot Number
N/A
Visually maintained,largely original
Bonhams
Auction House
Chassis No. AB3. Orange over black leather. 1900-cc, 100-hp Austin L-4, 4-speed manual. Center-lock wheels.

Evaluation: Visually maintained, largely original | One of three Probe 16s built, and reportedly the most original. Shown at the
1969 London Motor Show, where it won “Best Styling Exercise,” and was featured in the Daily Telegraph. It then sold to bassist Jack Bruce of Cream, and it has since been in two collections in Canada. Recently on exhibit at the Petersen. Sound older paint. Tidy engine bay and interior.
Located in California.

Bottom Line: Former Marcos employees Dennis and Peter Adams struck out on their own, and the most famous of their unconventional contraptions was the Probe 16—an “investigation into the extremes of styling,” as they put it, emphasizing low height. Mission accomplished, as the Probe is just 34 inches tall and has no doors, just a sliding glass opening. Mechanically, it’s more traditional, with an Austin B-series engine mounted transversely behind the driver. The Probe 16 was a star at the London Motor Show, but the real reason this car is famous is that a Probe 16 also served as the “Durango 95,” a swoopy futuristic sports car featured in A Clockwork Orange (1971). In the weeks leading up to the auction, Bonhams’ catalog description represented this car as not only the London Motor Show car but also that it was “most likely” the car used in the movie. Then, not long before the auction, Bonhams added a footnote clarifying that this was not the car used in the film. That revelation didn’t seem to hamper bidder enthusiasm, as the Probe sold within its estimate range for a price that reflects its uniqueness but also its weirdness.

by Hagerty Editor
20 August 2020
Hagerty
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
N/A
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.