December 2019 Auction Highlights

Not a lot of action in December, but Mecum did wrap up a sale in Kansas City that saw this 2005 Ford GT sell for $247,500. Gotta love it when the consignor of this car couldn’t be bothered to provide halfway decent photos (these are extremely pixelated). Hopefully, the car fared better during that ownership than the pictures show.

Photo – Mecum

The Graham Series 97 we featured sold for $22,550. More results can be found here.

Bonhams’ Bond Street sale saw the Alfa Romeo we featured fail to sell, though the 550 GTZ Barchetta brought $769,393. The overall top sale was $3,167,224 for this 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Lightweight. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Bonhams

Into 2020 we go with Mecum’s Kissimmee sale. No surprises here that the top sale was the Bullitt Mustang for $3,740,000. The Duesenberg we featured from this sale sold for $522,500. Not too far behind that was the Dodge Charger Daytona that sold for $346,500. I think we have to award Most Interesting to the 1968 Challenger 2 land-speed record streamliner that sold for $561,000.

Photo – Mecum

The Chrysler Prowler we featured sold for $27,500. The L88 Corvette did not sell. Complete results can be found here.

BH Auction had its first sale of 2020 in January, and the Lotus 88B we featured is still available. The top sale was this 1987 Ferrari F187 that sold for $1,717,578. More results are available here.

Photo – BH Auction

Finally, we have Bonhams in Scottsdale, where the top reported sale was a Ferrari we featured a while back, a 1951 212 Inter Cabriolet for $1,930,000. Leading the way among our feature cars was the 1901 Winton at $142,800. This 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America brought $810,000 and is awarded Most Interesting, mostly because it’s beautiful in this color.

Photo – Bonhams

The other Winton brought $140,000, and the Boyer and a previously-featured Kurtis failed to sell. More results from this sale can be viewed here.

Duesenberg J-490X

1932 Duesenberg Model J Tourster

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 9, 2020

Photo – Mecum

So what’s the deal with the engine number on this one? The Model J that carries engine J490 is out there, alive and well. But this car also has a 265 horsepower, Lycoming 6.9-liter straight-eight that has “J490” stamped on it. But it also has an “X”… which most likely means this engine was returned to the factory during the 1930s, rebuilt, restamped, and sold. It probably carried a different number prior to the factory rebuild.

Meanwhile, engine J490 was probably rebuilt separately and used in another car. Remanufactured or not (many of these engines have been rebuilt over the years), this is still a real-deal Duesey engine and a real-deal Model J frame. The body, however, is a reproduction of a Derham Tourster.

This car is said to originally have had a Derham body, but it could’ve been a sedan or something and probably wasn’t one of the original eight Toursters. With this muddled history, the car is expected to fetch between $350,000-$450,000. A bargain. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $522,500.

C3 L88s

1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 10, 2020

Photo – Mecum

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

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

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.

Chrysler Prowler

2001 Chrysler Prowler Mulholland Edition

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 8, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Listen. The Prowler is cool. All of you old folks who hate that it “doesn’t have a V8” are missing the point. Go drive your hot rods that are quickly depreciating. The Prowler, with its 3.5-liter V6, was poster-worthy when it debuted for the 1997 model year.

Interestingly, the Plymouth brand was axed after the 2000 model year. So Chrysler picked up the torch, and “Chrysler Prowlers” were sold in 2001 and 2002. In all, 11,702 Prowlers were built, 3,170 of which were Chrysler-branded. The Mulholland Edition brought special Midnight Blue paint with a dark blue soft top. Only 1,278 cars were finished in this color.

That 3.5-liter V6 was good for 253 horsepower. Yes, it has an automatic transmission, but the car comes in at about 2,800 pounds. If you’re still not convinced of this car being cool, just look at it. This will never happen again. Chrysler had balls in the 90s and 2000s. They built some wild stuff. It just can’t happen anymore. Get ’em while you can, as my prediction for the last few years has been that these are going to take off big time in the next 15-20 years. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $27,500.

Charger Daytona

1969 Dodge Charger Daytona

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2-12, 2020

Photo – Mecum

Before the mighty Plymouth Superbird debuted in 1970, there was the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. Based on the Charger, the car featured a sheet metal nose cone and a big rear spoiler. These modifications were intended to help Dodge win some big NASCAR races. And it worked.

Two engines were offered: a 440 and the Hemi. While we previously featured a Hemi variant, this is our chance to showcase the “base” version, as we did a few weeks ago with the Superbird.

The standard 7.2-liter V8 made 375 horsepower. Only 543 Charger Daytonas were built in total, which makes them rarer than their Mopar cousin. This car is one of only two 440-powered cars with an automatic transmission that were finished in white. You can read more about it here and see more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $346,500.

Sharknose Graham

1939 Graham Model 97 Sedan

Offered by Mecum | Kansas City, Missouri | December 5-7, 2019

Photo – Mecum

The “sharknose” Graham was introduced for 1938 and it was a pretty radical design. The design lasted into 1940, and four models were offered in 1939: the Model 96 (which could be had in Special or Custom form) and the Type 97 (which was available in base or Custom form). Both Type 97 models were supercharged.

The 3.6-liter inline-six featured a Graham-designed supercharger that allowed for about 115 horsepower. The auction catalog does not note that this car is supercharged, but if it were a Model 97 from the factory, it would’ve been.

As great as the cars look today, they weren’t strong sellers when new. Graham managed to move only about 3,600 units in 1939. By 1940, they switched to producing the Hollywood, but the company was doomed. You can see more about this car here, and more from this sale here.

Update: Sold $22,550.

October 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

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.

Photo – Artcurial

Next up is Mecum’s Chicago sale. A previously-featured Delahaye failed to sell here again, and the Atterbury truck brought $77,000. The big seller here was this 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Fastback. It sold for $275,000. More results are available here.

Photo – Mecum

Bonhams’ London-to-Brighton sale is one of our favorites. The 1901 Panhard we featured was the top sale at $573,410. Other sales included the Bartholomew for $25,254, the De Dion Model Y for $74,468, and the MMC for $290,428. We will award Most Interesting to this 1903 Oldsmobile Model R Curved Dash Runabout that sold for $49,149.

Photo – Bonhams

A previously-featured 1899 Star sold for $178,725, along with a Phoenix Tricar at $40,213 and a Bruneau Quadricycle at $53,617. The Peugeot Bebe failed to sell. Complete results can be found here.

Osenat’s October sale saw our featured Flipper fail to find a new home. But that didn’t stop this 1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi from going home with its new owner for $64,791. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

Mecum’s tractor auction in Davenport, Iowa, in November also featured a whole day of classic trucks, the most expensive of which was this 1934 Ford Roadster Pickup at $104,500.

Photo – Mecum

The Fordson prototype brought $90,750, and the Erskine failed to sell. More results are available here.

Fordson Truck

1926 Fordson Prototype

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Early Ford trucks were based on the Model T. They usually had a dually rear axle and some other changes, but the relation to the T was pretty obvious. They were even called the TT. The vehicle you see here was the first Ford heavy-duty truck. It’s a two-ton chassis, and it was built under the Fordson brand.

Fordson was a brand of tractors marketed by the Ford Motor Company between 1917 and 1964. The name also appeared on some light commercial vehicles in the U.K. The truck is powered by a Fordson tractor engine and transmission. The way it is packaged makes it looks like it completely lacks an engine, with the radiator mounted behind the front axle.

This was the only example of the Fordson two-ton truck that was actually delivered to a customer. It eventually made its way to the Harrah Collection and has been privately owned since 1983. Mecum has been making a big deal of it, which is the star of the show at this sale. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $90,750.

Bullitt

1968 Ford Mustang GT

Offered by Mecum | Kissimmee, Florida | January 2-12, 2020

Photo – Mecum

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.

Update: Sold $3,740,000.

Erskine Panel Delivery

1928 Erskine 51B Panel Truck

Offered by Mecum | Davenport, Iowa | November 7, 2019

Photo – Mecum

Erskine was introduced by Studebaker in 1927 as a low-priced brand and was named for company president Albert Erskine. It lasted through the 1930 model year when Studebaker dumped the idea and absorbed the line into its own.

What Erskine didn’t really do was commercial vehicles. Yet here we are. This is believed to be the only example of the Erskine Panel Truck produced, and it was built in 1928 as part of the Model 51 line, which was powered by a 43 horsepower 2.6-liter inline-six.

The truck was discovered in a warehouse in 1962 and later restored. It’s now being offered as part of Mecum’s “Antique Trucks” day at their massive tractor auction in Iowa. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $19,000.