We pick up in October with Artcurial, where a rough sell-through rate had this backdated 1980 Porsche 911 sell for $158,875 – more than anything else in the sale. The Simca cabriolet we featured brought $32,210. Full results can be found here.
Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2-12, 2020
Okay, so this isn’t just any old 1968 Mustang GT. This is the actual car driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film Bullitt. It’s the car that was primarily used in the legendary chase scenes around San Francisco. It’s one of the most famous film cars of all time and is one of two Highland Green ’68 Fastbacks used during the film.
Modifications performed by McQueen at the time of filming included the addition of gray Torq Thrust wheels, removal of the emblems and backup lights, and finishing the front grille in black. The look became so iconic that Ford has sold “Bullitt” edition Mustangs since that mimic this very look.
After filming, the car was sold to a Warner Brothers employee, who used it daily. It was later purchased by someone in New Jersey. In 1974, it was purchased by Robert Kiernan, whose wife used it as a daily driver until the clutch went out in 1980. The car was parked with 65,000 miles on it. McQueen tried to buy it back, multiple times, but Kiernan refused. The car bounced around the garages of friends until 2001.
That’s when Ford introduced the Bullitt Edition Mustang. Kiernan and his son decided to get this car running again. It was unveiled to the public again in 2018. A few bits have been replaced, and the 325 horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 has been rebuilt. Otherwise, the car is all original.
This car has the potential to bring a pretty incredible amount of money. Short of James Dean’s “Little Bastard” showing up for sale, it’s hard to imagine a more valuable “pop culture” car. You can check out more about it here and see more from Mecum in Kissimmee here.
Up next we have RM’s Saragga Collection sale in Portugal. All of our feature cars sold, led by the Denzel and the HRG, which sold for $345,025 and $181,745 respectively. The overall top sale was $746,297 paid for this 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer.
The Chrysler New Yorker we featured was withdrawn from the sale, but you can look through the rest of the results here.
Finally, we have one more from Bonhams: their Swiss supercar sale, including a bunch of cars confiscated from the son of an African dictator. Fun! Our feature feature car was the overall top sale: the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which sold for $8,330,076. The Lagonda Taraf failed to sell. In the spirit of over-the-top supercars, Most Interesting goes to this 2010 Lamborghini Reventon Roadster that found a new home for $1,966,823.
We start in September with Worldwide Auctioneers’ Auburn sales results, which somehow were posted before their Pacific Grove sale. We’ll get to those later. But to start, the top seller here was a 1948 Tucker for $990,000.
Next up, Brightwells Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. The Bristol 412 we featured sold for $17,258. The top sale was $259,565 paid for this 1960 Aston Martin DB4 project. More results can be found here.
Following up on Worldwide’s Pacific Grove sale, the Riker electric car and the Simplex failed to sell. The Stevens-Duryea brought $115,500. The top sale was a 1958 Porsche 356 1600 Speedster for $264,000, but they’ve taken the photos off of their website. 🙁
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 15-17, 2019
1997 G-Force-Oldsmobile GF01
We’re starting here with Arie Luyendyk’s 1997 Indy 500-winning car. I have an unpopular opinion (influenced heavily by nostalgia) that the 1996-1998 Indy 500s were the greatest. I was up there for Fan Fest (or whatever it was called) as a kid and fell in love this era of open wheel cars. Between Arie and Buddy Lazier, I’m not sure who had a more profound impact on my love for the 500.
G-Force was founded in 1991 by Chip Ganassi and Ken Anderson, and they began building cars for the Indy Racing League in 1997. The car above was the very first GF01 constructed. And it was a beast. Powered by a 4.0-liter Oldsmobile Aurora V8, this GF01 took pole and the win at Indy in 1997 (other GF01s swept the podium). The competition history for this ex-Treadway Racing chassis includes:
1997 Indianapolis 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1997 Texas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1998 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Luyendyk)
1999 Las Vegas 500 – 1st (with Sam Schmidt)
The car was restored by Treadway Racing in its ’97 500 racing livery and is just missing onboard telemetry and an ECU to make it functional. Indy 500-winning cars don’t change hands often, which makes this pretty special. Oh, by the way, the second-place car from ’97 is also offered at this sale. Click here for more info.
Update: Sold $440,000.
1995 Lola-Menard T95/00
In 1995, the Indy 500 was still part of the CART season. We’ve actually featured another Lola T95/00 with Indy history, but it was Cosworth-powered. This car is “Menard”-powered, which mostly means it features a turbocharged 3.6-liter Buick V6 built by-and-for Team Menard.
This Menard-entry in 1996 ended up winning the pole with Scott Brayton behind the wheel. Unfortunately, he was killed testing a back-up car in practice a few days after securing pole. Menard pulled Danny Ongais out of a nine-year retirement to run the car. He was 53-years-old on race day. This car’s competition history includes:
1996 Indianapolis 500 – 7th (with Danny Ongais)
Both of Brayton’s pole-winning cars (1995 and 1996) are being offered at this sale. I chose this one because of its amazing Glidden/Menards livery (and Campbell Hausfeld, a company local to me)… although the other Quaker State/Menards car is quite attractive (and a photo of a similar-liveried car hung on my bedroom wall as a kid). Click here for more info.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $150,000.
Here’s something a little older. Fred Gerhardt’s Fresno, California-built open-wheelers were all over the USAC circuit in the late 1960s. They were a competitive chassis that ran many races between about 1965 and 1971. Somehow, it is said that Gerhardt only built 11 examples. I think the “in 1967” part of that sentence was missing from the catalog.
This example is powered by a rear-mounted Ford 4.2-liter DOHC V8. It was purchased new by Walter Weir, who entered the car in the ’67 500 for F1 driver Lorenzo Bandini, who died at Monaco a few weeks before Indy. Thus, the competition history for this car includes:
1967 Indianapolis 500 – 28th, DNF (with Al Miller)
1968 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1969 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (driver unknown)
1971 Indianapolis 500 – DNQ, (with Bill Puterbaugh)
It has had several owners since and has been restored. It’s eligible for historic events and can now be yours! Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
We pick up well into June with Osenat. The Bugatti Type 35B was the only car we featured and it was easily the top seller at $455,822, therefore we shall award Most Interesting to this 1950 Hotchkiss Type 686 S. It brought $65,638. Click here for complete results.
We’ll stay in Europe for our second sale, which was from H&H Classics in Duxford. $284,358 took home this 1957 AC Ace-Bristol, besting all other lots in terms of price. The Stanley Steamer we featured didn’t meet its reserve. More results can be found here.
Next up: Barrett-Jacksons’ Northeast sale, and we didn’t have any feature cars from this sale either. Someone paid $2.7 million for the final Corvette Z06 – a car that hasn’t even been built yet. With that dumb bit of news out of the way, the top-selling car that actually existed was $280,500 paid for this 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster. More results are available here.
Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | May 15, 2019
Quantum Sports Cars was founded in 1987 by Mark and Harvey Wooldridge. Almost all of their cars have been based around different variations of the Ford Fiesta. This car, the 2+2 Convertible was introduced in 1993 and is based on the Fiesta Mk 2.
It is powered by a 96 horsepower, 1.6-liter inline-four and features fiberglass bodywork and a cloth soft top. The car has a somewhat Geo-like appearance, but maybe that’s because the wheels appear to be about 5″ in diameter. The tacked-on fender flares are doing it no favors either.
They built 431 of these, and this one was no kit – it was factory-assembled. The 1987 model year denotes the donor Fiesta, which, fun fact, is listed as “damaged/stolen” in the UK. It is being offered at no reserve. You can see more from Brightwells here.
Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 14-19, 2019
The first generation Mustang is generally further broken down into four separate generations, including the 1969 and 1970 “third” group. Highlights of this era were the new Mach I and Boss variants. Some of the coolest early Mustangs were produced in these two years.
For some reason, Ford dealers in Kansas had some kind of pull with Ford’s marketing department and managed to get their own special edition Mach I. It was called the “Twister Special” and they were only sold in Kansas. All were finished in Grabber Orange with black graphics and only half of them received the 7.0-liter Super Cobra Jet V8 that was rated at 335 horsepower.
In all, only 96 examples were built. Potential bidders will have to ponder if the tornado graphics on the rear quarter panels are worth a premium over a similarly-equipped SCJ Mach I. They’re still cool, though. You can read more about this car here, and see more from Mecum here.
Offered by Bonhams | Amelia Island, Florida | March 7, 2019
Well, this was the exact car I rooted for in 20 races of the 1999 CART season. Alex Zanardi just won the championship the year before and departed for F1, leaving me with Gil de Ferran, Greg Moore, Adrian Fernandez, and Michael Andretti for whom to root for the season. And boy, did I love this car.
The Swift 010.c was one of five different chassis used during the season, with others coming from Reynard, Lola, Eagle, and Penske. This Newman/Haas-owned car is powered by a 2.7-liter V8 making 829 horsepower. It carries a wonderful Havoline/Kmart livery and was used by Michael Andretti in all 20 races that season. It was never wrecked, though it did retire from contact in Toronto. It’s competition history during the 1999 CART seasons includes:
Homestead-Miami Speedway – 2nd
Twin Ring Motegi – 5th
Long Beach Grand Prix – 7th
Nazareth Speedway – 6th
Rio de Janeiro – 26th, DNF
Gateway International Raceway – 1st
Milwaukee Mile – 15th
Portland International Raceway – 10th
Burke Lakefront Airport – 3rd
Road America – 2nd
Molson Indy Toronto – 26th, DNF
Michigan International Speedway – 4th
Belle Isle – 4th
Mid-Ohio – 8th
Chicagoland Speedway – 22nd, DNF
Molson Indy Vancouver – 14th
Laguna Seca – 10th
Grand Prix of Houston – 3rd
Surfer’s Paradise – 5th
Auto Club Speedway – 21st, DNF
Let us all now take a step back and look at just what an awesome schedule that is. You old timers will disagree, but this was the pinnacle of open wheel racing in the U.S. Sorry, it just is.
This race-winning car was later independently raced in the 2004 BOSS SuperCup series in Europe before being put into storage. It should now sell for between $110,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
January means one thing: Scottsdale. And we’ll start there with Bonhams where the 1951 Maserati we featured was the top sale at $2,755,000. Most of the other really big money cars all missed the target, which might say something about the top of the market (but we’ll see as the other sales all wrap up). The other Frua-bodied car, the Fiat 1100C, sold for $577,000. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible – mostly because I really want one. I just don’t have the $50,400 it would’ve required to take this one home.
A previously-featured Abarth race car sold here for $16,800 – a long way from the $45k+ it brought at multiple previous auctions (weird, it has a different chassis number listed in this sale compared to previous sales, but has the exact same backstory). This car has changed hands multiple times in the last few years. Someone here either got a great deal, or the consignor finally unloaded an albatross at a loss (also, dibs on “Albatross at a Loss” as my next rap album name). Meanwhile, the Stevens-Duryea sold for $72,800. Click here for complete results.
Barrett-Jackson’s catalog is so large that I don’t feel like scrolling through the entire thing trying to find highlights and the top sale. Their user interface leaves a little to be desired, so I’m just going to look through Saturday’s results and assume that the top sale was in their prime time lineup. What I found: the overall top sale was, as it usually is here, a charity lot. The first 2019 Ford GT Heritage Edition went for $2,500,000.
Finally, we have Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale sale where this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the overall top sale at $990,000.
Our three Indiana-built feature cars all sold, with the two Duesenbergs falling in “good deal” range. The Duesenberg Tourster sold for $605,000, and the other Duesey brought $506,000. The Auburn Boattail rounds it all out at $291,500. Click here if you want more results from this sale.