<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 36Ω
1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16

Sold for US$ 184,800 inc. premium

Quail Motorcar Auction

14 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

Chassis no. AB/3

1,900cc JanSpeed-Tuned 4-Cylinder Engine
Twin-choke Weber Carburetor
est. 100bhp at 5,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes

*As depicted in the 1971-film 'A Clockwork Orange'
*Awarded 'Best Styling Exercise' at the 1969 London Motor Show
*True British engineering and design marvel
*One of just 3 examples made, of which just 2 are believed to survive

Previewing at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California by appointment. Please contact [email protected] for scheduling.


The two bothers Dennis and Peter Adams were well established with respect to "futuristic" car construction, based on their contributions to the design and racing success of the British sports car manufacturer Marcos. Dennis was very much the designer of the duo, while Peter more the 'under the skin' engineering wizard. In 1969, they set out to produce the M-505 Probe 16 - both designed and built by the Adams Brothers - to represent "An investigation into extremes of styling". Just three examples were made, of which just two are believed to have survived.

Of the three M-505 Probe 16's built, the first example was sold to famous American songwriter Jim Webb and is believed to have caught fire and burned beyond repair, a common fate for mid-engined cars of the era. The second Probe 16 completed carried chassis number AB/3, which is the car offered here. It was completed in 1969 and exhibited at that year's London Motor Show, held in October at the famous Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London. With the intention to initiate a British Styling showpiece stand at the '69 Motor Show, the Daily Telegraph Magazine cooperated with the Institute of British Carriage and Automobile Manufactures to show the Probe 16 on the IBCAM stand, where it obtained a tremendous reception and won the design award as the Best British Styling Exercise. Powering the Probe 16s was a BMC 1.8-Liter OHV inline 4-cylinder engine, tuned by British JanSpeed, and mounted transversely in the chassis.

This Probe 16, chassis no. AB/3, was originally sold to bassist Jack Bruce. It later became the property of Canadian collector and car designer Dr. Clyde Kwok, before being purchased by the current owner, a fellow Canadian car collector and British motorcar enthusiast, in 1983. Probe 16 AB/3 has since been kept in authentic and original state and remains the most original of the three examples produced.

The third (and only other) Probe 16 (AB/4) has been displaced at the "Pollock Auto Showcase" in USA until it was returned to the U.K. around 1990, by Colin Feyerbend, where it was undergoing a complete rebuild and restoration.

The M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16 starred in the 1971 film "A Clockwork Orange", by the late filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, as mode or transportation for 'the gang of Droogs' and was nicknamed Durango 95. The Probe 16 used in the film was right-hand drive, so it could only be one of the latter two of the three made (the car offered here AB/3, or AB/4), as the first car was configured left-hand drive. Given its London Motor Show history, it is most likely that the car we are offering here, AB/3, was indeed the one used in the movie. AB/3 was recently invited to form part of the 'Hollywood Dream Machines – Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy' exhibit at the famous Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, as the Durango 95 from A Clockwork Orange. Offered here is a true design and engineering marvel, with silver screen notion along the way.

Saleroom notices

  • Further information about the three Probe 16 cars produced has recently come to light, and it is now clear that the car offered here, AB/3, was not the car depicted in 'A Clockwork Orange'. Furthermore, the 'Jimmy Webb' Probe 16, (AB/2, the first of the three cars built), exists and does not appear to have been involved in a fire, as described in the catalog. Please note, the title will be in transit.
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
<b>1969 M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16</b><br />Chassis no. AB/3
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Special Car Dealer Notices

California Department of Motor Vehicles - Vehicle Dealer License, number 07164

Lot symbols
Ω Customs Duty

Custom's duty, calculated at 2.5% of the purchase price, and associated import fees are payable. However, if the purchased lot is exported within certain criteria, the duty can be refundable.