September 2019 Auction Highlights

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.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Epperly-Offy we featured sold for $385,000, and the Surlesmobile went for $30,800. The Gray-Dort was a steal at $6,600, and, not surprisingly, the 1904 Carter brought only $1,925. Full results can be found here.

Across town (or on the other side of the highway), was RM’s Auburn Fall sale. The top seller here was this 2005 Ford GT for $302,500.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Duesenberg concept car failed to sell, but the Harroun brought $33,000, the Auto Union $23,650, and a previously-featured Kissel $49,500. Click here for all of the results.

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.

Photo – Brightwells

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. 🙁

You can still read through the results here.

Finally, Bonhams at Beaulieu, where a previously-featured Trumbull cyclecar failed to sell for a second time. The top sale was this 1929 Bugatti Type 44 Tourer by Harrington. It brought $365,225.

Photo – Bonhams

Our other two feature cars both sold. The Miniature Velox brought $64,451, and the Healey Tickford sold for $21,483. Click here for complete results.

April 2019 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

We start off this highlight reel with H&H Classics’ Pavilion Gardens sale. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to feature anything, but this 1963 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Roadster was the top seller at $155,278. Click here for more results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Next up is Barrett-Jackson’s Palm Beach sale, and we didn’t get to feature anything from this sale either. The top sale was kind of a surprise – $412,500 paid for this 1947 Buick Super 8 Custom Convertible. Complete results can be found here.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Next up are two liquidation sales of entire collections, the first of which is the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi. The 1948 Tucker was far and away the top sale, bringing $1,985,000.

Photo – Bonhams

This sale was a great entry point to Duesenberg ownership, with the Model J sedan we featured selling for an “affordable” $450,500. The only other six-figure car was the Owen Magnetic at $128,800.

Here’s a rundown of all of the other cars we featured:

Click here for more results.

The sale of the Guyton Collection by RM Sotheby’s included some fascinating cars, foremost among them was the Duesenberg Model X, which ended up selling for $527,500. Meanwhile, this Model J sold for $1,105,000. And the overall top sale was $1,325,000 for this 1909 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Roi-des-Belges touring car.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Continuing down, we had the Ruxton Roadster at $747,500, the Du Pont Model G for $368,000, and the Mason Touring and Gothic Lincoln at $112,000 each. The H.C.S. was a relative bargain at $49,840. Click here for more results, including a huge amount of automobilia.

Finally, we have half of a Silverstone Auctions doubleheader: the Heythrop Classic Car Sale. No feature cars here, but the top sale was this 1988 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa for $102,343. Click here for the rest of their results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Gooding & Co – Amelia Island Highlights

Gooding & Co’s annual sale in Amelia Island, Florida produced some spectacular results. The inclusion of the Drendel Family Collection of rare Porsches certainly helped things. Ten cars broke the million-dollar mark (including buyer’s premium). Top sale of the auction went to the Porsche 917/30 we featured a few weeks ago, selling for $4,400,000. The second highest-selling car was also a car we featured, the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder. The high-end of that car’s estimate was $2.6 million but it ended up selling for $3,685,000.

After that, two other Porsches, both of these ex-Martini race cars, were the next-highest selling cars. First was a 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14 which sold for $3,2450,000.

Then there was this 1976 Porsche 935/76 which brought $2,530,000.

A few more of our feature cars followed these two awesome 1970s race cars. Next was yet another Porsche in this already Porsche-heavy sale (before you include the Drendel collection). It was the “winningest” Porsche 962 we featured. It sold for $1,925,000. Then, finally, something else: the brilliant blue 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter, which brought $1,375,000. After that was a 1948 Tucker 48 – the second Tucker sold at auction this year, which is kind of strange in itself. It didn’t bring as much as the one at Barrett-Jackson, but it still commanded a respectable $1,320,000.

The Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution race car, which I am still enamored with, sold for $1,265,000. Then another Porsche, a 1967 906E that we actually featured when it was listed with a Bonhams auction back in Scottsdale in January. It didn’t sell at that auction but did sell at Amelia Island at this auction for $1,001,000. The final million dollar car also brought $1,001,000. It was a 1971 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider.

The 1911 Rambler Touring Car we featured sold for $275,000, just barely short of its estimate. And the very interesting 1930 Willys-Knight Plaid-Side Roadster brought $220,000, exceeding its estimate by about $40,000.

Although there were a boatload of million dollar sales, there were also some bargains to be had. Among them, the TVR 3000S we featured that was estimated to sell for between $40,000-$50,000. It only ended up selling for $24,200. I recently saw a list somewhere of collectible cars that you should buy now because they are at their lowest price points they are likely to ever see. That TVR was on the list and whoever bought it scored. Another car that was on the list, the first generation Lotus Esprit. And one of those sold at this auction for $20,900.

And one final car, a very interesting 1941 Chrysler Town & Country Barrelback with the beautiful woodwork that is the trademark of the original Town & Country (not the sticker-sided minivans of the 80s). It sold for $286,000 and with the shape it is in (and the unusual bodystyle) I think whoever bought it got a great deal.

In all, the auction sold more $36 million worth of cars with a fairly high sell-through rate. For complete results, click here.

Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Highlights Pt. II

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – but especially Saturday – are the big days at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona. The past few years have seen this event be strictly a No Reserve auction with every car that crosses the block selling, but this year there were some heavy-hitters in the auction’s new “5000 Series” of classics that did in fact have a reserve. And not all of them were met – like the 1955 Flajole Forerunner we featured a few weeks ago: it was a no-sale.

A few of the other cars we featured did sell – and for a boatload of money. The 1930 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A by Castagna sold for $1,100,000. The 1928 Daimler Double Six P.1.50 Limousine brought $1,155,000. The 1930 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Town Car was hammered sold for $1,045,000. Another “bargain” was the 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II which sold for $1,430,000. Keep in mind, all of this happened within about an hour’s time.

One car we didn’t feature was this 1947 Bentley Mark VI by Franay:

It came from the collection of collector Ron Pratte and sold for $2,750,000, which was just barely more than I was going to offer to pay for it. The other mega-sales included the 1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow. The live television broadcast of the auction showed an overhead shot of the Silver Arrow and the lines of that car are actually perfect. It is breathtaking. It sold for $2,200,000. And the top sale of the entire auction was the 1948 Tucker Torpedo (also from Ron Pratte’s collection) which was hammered away for an astounding $2,915,000 – about three times my estimate of $1 million.

The only other million dollar sale was this all-original 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing:

$2,200,000 brought this car home. It only had 4,149 original miles on it and was one of 146 Gullwings built that year. Other highlights from Saturday included a 2009 Devon GTX – one of just two produced. It’s a Dodge Viper-based supercar that went out of production as quickly as it entered it because the Viper was axed just after the GTX was announced.

A 650 horsepower American supercar that was originally supposed to cost $500,000 sold for $220,000.

Another car that has started to interest me a little more is this Chevrolet Corvette 2003 Commemorative Edition built by Advanced Automotive Technologies. It’s a standard 2002 Corvette with a custom built body. Coachbuilding isn’t quite as vogue as it used to be but I think over time these cars won’t depreciate wildly like some other “customs.” It sold for $66,000. Another one sold on Friday for $88,000.

And of course ultra-rare muscle cars are the order of the day at Barrett-Jackson. Among Saturdays highlights was this barn-find (yet mechanically “refreshed”) 1965 Shelby GT350. I hope whoever bought it doesn’t restore it – although they paid a pretty penny for it at $385,000. 

Another rare Ford was this 1969 Ford Talladega Prototype. This car was built by Ford for Ford. It’s the only red Ram Air Talladega built. Regular Talladegas aren’t something you see everyday, much less a factory prototype. $137,500 sale price. Oh, and do everyone a favor. If you’re going to sell your car at auction and you‘re responsible for the photography: get a quality camera.

Friday also had its share of highlights including the Nash Bridges Cuda we featured. Last time it sold it was right at about $150,000. This time it sold for $88,000. Other interesting Friday cars included this 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air III Convertible ($158,400).

There were a pair of ultra-rare and very famous 1960s drag cars. First, this 1964 Ford Thunderbolt sold for $242,000.

And right after that crossed the block, this 1968 Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock rolled across. It’s an actual “Mr. Five & Fifty” drag car built by Hurst for Chrysler. It also sold for $242,000.

Something from the quirky side was this 1929 Ford Model A Snow Bird built by B.P. Arps Company of Wisconsin. This was something that was done back in 1929 and there are multiple of them out there. It could have been yours for $66,000.

In 1987, Buick took their not-your-daddy’s-Regal Grand National and souped it up to 276 horsepower and 360 lb-ft torque and called it the GNX. They built 547 of them and recently that have become the most collectible American car of the 1980s. This time capsule example with only 1,200 miles on it sold for $88,000. For a 1980s Buick.

The only thing truly odd to cross the block on Sunday was this 1971 Kelsen Sports Rider Electric. It was a street-legal microcar built in from 1963-1973 in California. There were a number of companies who built similar vehicles and I’m not sure I’d drive any of them on the street. A golf course, maybe. When new in 1971 it cost $1,295. It sold on Sunday for $1,540. It’s not really appreciation if you’ve had to sit on it for 40 years to make $250. I used to have a ’92 Century – maybe I should have held on to it and used it to start a retirement fund.

There were also hundreds of other interesting cars. Check out full results at Barrett-Jackson’s website.

Tucker Torpedo

1948 Tucker Sedan

Offered by Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 15-22, 2012

This Tucker – one of 51 produced by Preston Tucker’s forward-thinking company in 1948 – is offered from the collection of noted Scottsdale-area car collector Ron Pratte – who is a fixture at Barrett-Jackson each January. While the pictured car may or may not be the car offered – it looks exactly like it in beautiful Waltz Blue.

Tuckers utilize a 166 horsepower flat-6 produced by aircraft engine manufacturer Air Cooled Motors. To secure the supply, Tucker bought the company and cancelled their contracts to make them exclusive to Tucker. The engine is mounted in the rear (and it’s rear-wheel drive). It also features one exhaust pipe for each cylinder – which is certainly interesting.

The car features a number of innovative features such as the directional headlight – or “Cyclops Eye” – that turns with steering angles of more than 10 degrees. It has a padded dashboard (hey, in a pre-airbag world, it’s better than nothing). The windshield is shatter-proof pop-out glass and the car was one of the first to feature seat belts.

There were only 51 Tuckers built (50 production models and 1 prototype), yet they still manage to pop up for sale every now and then. Look for this to bag about $1 million. More info is available here and here for more about the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction.

Update: Sold $2,915,000.