Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online | September 16-25, 2020
The second-generation Chevrolet Camaro was in production for an eternity: 11 years between 1970 and 1981. Even by 1976, it was kind of long-in-the-tooth. And it was weak. The most powerful ’76 Camaro had the same 165 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 that this car has. It was a long way from the ZL-1 (from only seven years earlier!).
One way to spice things up would be to let an Italian coachbuilder get their hands on one. In this case, it was Pietro Frua, who debuted his take on the Camaro at the 1976 Turin Motor Show with this car. It was later shown at 1977’s New York show, where the company displaying it said they were going to offer conversions of standard Camaros to look like Frua’s. They were going to call them the “Europo Hurst.”
It is unclear if any were actually made. I think this is actually an okay-looking car, and it’s definitely something different compared to what else was on sale in 1976. It is expected to bring between $80,000-$120,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | July 10-18, 2020
This is the best Chevelle. These are not the best colors for it, but it’s still the best. The second-generation Chevelle was built from 1968 through 1972. The design got bulky and blocky for 1970, which ended up becoming one of the best designs of the era.
The Chevelle model range in 1970 was confusing to say the least, with a couple of different sub-model lines. The SS packages were only available on Malibu sub-models, specifically the two-door Sport Coupe and convertible body styles. So that technically makes this car a Chevelle Malibu Convertible optioned with the RPO Z15 SS 454 option. The base SS 454 came with a 360 horsepower, 7.0-liter V8. This car was further optioned with the 7.0-liter LS6 V8, which bumped power to 450 horses.
Production numbers are pretty confusing for Chevelles – as are verifying if they’re “real” or not (it’s a nightmare). There were 7,511 Malibu convertibles produced, and there were 4,475 LS6-optioned cars made. So SS 454 LS6 convertible production was somewhere in the middle of that Venn diagram. These also happen to be the biggest-money Chevelles. You can read more about this one here and see more from Mecum here.
The McLaren M8A was a Can-Am car developed by Bruce McLaren himself for the 1968 Can-Am season. The suffix kept changing all the way down to the M8F as the car’s progression developed. Can-Am, if you recall, was the most badass racing series of all time. The rules were simple: two seats, closed bodywork over the wheels, and a roll hoop. Run whatcha brung.
The M8F was developed for the 1971 season and used a lengthened chassis, an aluminum monocoque, and lower bodywork when compared to earlier cars. The car was designed around a Chevy V8, and this car featured a 7.5-liter unit accompanied by two turbochargers when new. That equated to 930 horsepower. Since being retired, that monster engine was replaced by a naturally aspirated V8.
The car competed in the Interserie Championship in 1972 and 1973. Interserie was kind of like a European Can-Am series that would go even more bonkers as time marched on. The M8F was the final iteration of Bruce McLaren‘s Can-Am creation, and this one can now be yours. See more about it here.
Offered by Mecum | Jefferson, North Carolina | June 6, 2020
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe
My two favorite C4 Corvettes are as follows: 1. the ZR-1. 2. the Grand Sport. This sale has what has to be the best examples of the latter. The Grand Sport was built to celebrate the end of C4 production and was only offered in 1996. The name was taken from the Grand Sport race cars of the 1960s.
Power is from a 330 horsepower, 5.7-liter V8. They were only offered in Admiral Blue with white stripes and red hash marks. This is one of 810 coupes built, and it shows just 177 miles. It’s selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $74,250.
1996 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Convertible
Doubletake? The only difference between this car and the other Grand Sport is that it is a convertible. Admiral Blue paint with white stripes and red hash marks – meet a white soft top. This car also uses a 5.7-liter V8 making 330 horsepower.
The convertible Grand Sport was much rarer than the coupe, with just 190 built. It’s only covered 162 miles since new, which makes it essentially, well, new. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | June 23-28, 2020
The legendary L88 Corvette was available from 1967 through 1969. That spanned two different generations of the Corvette, which means that 1967 was the only year you could have Chevy’s monstrous V8 in a C2 Corvette. Only 20 were sold that year, and I have no idea about the breakdown between coupes and convertibles.
The high-compression, 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, even though the actual output was probably over 550. Unfortunately, the car was very expensive and required 103-octane fuel, which wasn’t all that easy to come by at your local service station in 1967. Of the 20 built for the model year, quite a few went direct to racing teams. After all, the car was essentially a race car that happened to be street legal. This one was raced, including at the:
1970 24 Hours of Daytona – 11th, 2nd in class (with Cliff Gottlob and Dave Dooley)
The car competed for eight years, apparently winning 150 races. It was purchased by Dana Mecum in 2013, and he’s now letting it go, assuming it hits what is sure to be a stratospheric reserve (c’mon Mecum, have a little faith in your own event and go no reserve!). Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.
We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.
I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.
Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.
On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.
Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020
L88-powered third-generation Corvettes are among the most collectible of the era. The C3 Corvette was produced for an eternity: 1968 through 1982. But all of the good ones were in the first four or five years of production. The L88 engine was only available for three years: 1967 through 1969.
The 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 430 horsepower, though it is thought to have actually produced more than 550. It was based on Chevy’s NASCAR engine, and it was a hardcore beast. Only 80 cars were equipped with this engine in 1968, the first of two model years it could be had in a C3. This drop-top version should bring between $450,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $350,000.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Coupe
Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020
Here is the closed coupe version of Chevrolet’s monster 427 L88 Corvette. This example comes from the final year of L88 production, a year in which 116 examples were produced. Why so few? Well, part of the reason is that these engines have extremely high compression ratios that necessitate 103 octane fuel. Good luck finding that.
This wonderful 7.0-liter V8 also added as much as 35% to the purchase price of a new Corvette back in the day, which didn’t help. That’s a lot of money for a “430 horsepower” car. While the ’67s are the most expensive, the ’69s are still desirable. This will be another big-money car in Scottsdale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We start in October with Worldwide Auctioneers’ liquidation of the Corpus Christi Old Car Museum. The overall top sale was the Apollo 3500 GT Spider we featured for $506,000. We will award Most Interesting to this heavy-duty 1972 Chevrolet C50 Pickup that brought $23,100. Full results can be found here.
Bonhams’ Zoute sale always has a decent collection of European classics, which were led by this 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy for $3,203,900. The F40 we featured sold for $1,025,248. Final results are available here.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2019
Can-Am’s debut season was 1966. But it wasn’t a surprise. Driver Jerry Hansen knew it was coming and got together with two engineers from GM to design and build a race car for him for the ’66 season.
Lee Dykstra (for whom the car appears to be named) and George Anderson designed this, the Wolverine. It has a tube spaceframe chassis and a small-block Chevrolet V8. An aluminum body was constructed, but over time the rear section has been replaced with fiberglass.
Hansen entered the car in the first Can-Am race, where he finished 20th. It also ran in SCCA events that year, but for 1967, Hansen upgraded to a McLaren. The Wolverine passed between a few other owners and was entered in Can-Am races through 1970.
They intended to build three of these, but only one was completed. The current owner bought the car in a series of boxes and had it completely rebuilt since 2010. It’s been at the Goodwood Revival and Monterey Motorsports Reunion. It should now sell for between $98,000-$110,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 3-13, 2019
Photo – Mecum
There have been some great limited-edition factory Corvettes, like the original Z06, the L88s, and the ZR1 and ZR2. The ZR1 was available as a coupe or convertible and could’ve been had in 1970, ’71, or ’72. The ZR2 included all of the special bits that a ZR1 had, except the engine.
Instead of the LT1 in the ZR1, the ZR2 was equipped with a monstrous 7.0-liter (454) LS6 V8 rated at 425 horsepower. Chevy moved 188 examples of this engine in 1971 (the only year the ZR2 was available), but only 12 had the ZR2 package.
And only two of those were convertibles, making this car an extremely rare example of the last of the original run of special edition Corvettes before all of the power was zapped from them. If you think about it, the ZR1 of the early 1990s was the next “go-fast” limited edition Corvette. The last ZR2 we featured brought nearly a half million dollars in 2013. And it was a coupe. Click here for more info on this car and here for more from Mecum.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $380,000.
Update: Not sold, Mecum Monterey 2019, high bid of $300,000.