January 2019 Auction Highlights

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.

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Next up from Arizona is RM Sotheby’s, and there were a couple of cars that failed to meet their reserve, including a previously-featured Hispano-Suiza and the Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Speciale. But another Ferrari was top dog at this sale, specifically this 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO that sold for $3,360,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The biggest money feature car we had was the Vector WX-3 at $615,500, with the WX-3R coming up right behind it at a cool $500,000. The Lesovsky-Offy brought $201,600, the Rolls-Royce State Landaulette $190,400, the Hooper Bentley $128,800, the Apollo 3500 GT $134,400, and the Lone Star Touring $44,800. 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.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

That crazy Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 sold for $1,210,000, while the Paige Ardmore sold for $16,500 and the Ford Lightning Rod Concept $27,500. All of the results can be found here and you can scroll through them at your leisure if you have a spare five hours.

Next: Gooding & Company, where the 1902 Yale we featured brought $105,280, and the Ferrari 275 Prototype failed to sell. The biggest money was reserved for this 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta for $7,595,000. Click here for more results.

Photo – Gooding & Company

Finally, we have Worldwide Auctioneers’ Scottsdale sale where this 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was the overall top sale at $990,000.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

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.

Boattail Auburn V-12

1932 Auburn 12-160A Boattail Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

While skimming Worldwide’s Scottsdale catalog, I realized we’ve never featured an Auburn, which is a shame as they were great cars. Worldwide have a few on offer, so I picked the most beautiful one I could find, which happens to be a real 12-cylinder Auburn wearing a real Boattail Speedster body, that just so happened to have been transferred to this car from an 8-cylinder Auburn.

So the body isn’t original to this chassis, big deal. The 12-cylinder Auburn went on sale in 1932 and would last only through 1934. It’s a 6.4-liter Lycoming V-12 that makes 160 horsepower. It was the prime example of “cheap” performance of its day, coming in at almost a third of the price of Caddy’s V-12.

These disappearing-top boattail speedsters are the best of the bunch, body-style-wise. New, this car would’ve cost $1,275. Today, even with a non-original period-correct body, it should cost $250,000-$350,000. But it is selling at no reserve, so who knows? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $291,500.

Duesenberg J-348

1931 Duesenberg Model J Custom Berline by Judkins

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 16, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Classic cars don’t always make for great drivers. They can be pretty, historical, or just fun to say you own, but not everyone takes them out and drives them. The great part – well one of many – about a Duesenberg Model J is that it has enough performance to keep pace with today’s traffic, though I suspect the brakes aren’t quite what you’re used to.

This Model J is a long-wheelbase example carrying its original Custom Berline sedan body by Judkins. The car has never been restored, just serviced as-needed to keep it roadworthy. The engine is a 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight, and, strangely, the auction listing makes not one note of which engine this car carries. A little internet sleuthing reveals it is most likely J-348.

It was delivered new to the daughter of Billy Durant, and was purchased by the current owner in 2001. Being sold without reserve, it’s a great opportunity to acquire an all-original Model J… that you can still go out and enjoy. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $506,000.

September 2018 Auction Highlights

We’re picking up with Worldwide Auctioneers in Auburn, Indiana, where the Ford GT Prototype we featured was the top sale at $467,500. The other two prototypes we featured both sold at no reserve with the Ford Ghia bringing $1,650 and the Seagrave $11,000. Most Interesting goes to this 2014 WaterCar Panther that sold for $88,000.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

A previously-featured Ford Thunderbird Concept Car sold here for $25,300, a long way from its original asking price. More results can be found here.

We move on to RM Sotheby’s in London. A low sell-through rate saw two of our feature cars, the Maserati Barchetta and De Tomaso Guara, fail to sell. The top sale was $2,550,296 paid for this 2003 Ferrari Enzo.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Sbarro Espera sold for $10,401. Complete results can be found here.

Next up is Brightwells’ Modern Classics sale. We didn’t get to feature anything, but this 2001 Land Rover Defender 90 Tomb Raider Edition was the top sale at $18,477. Click here for more results.

Photo – Brightwells

Bonhams held their Goodwood Revival sale in September. The Bristol 404 Coupe we featured failed to sell (as did the rest of an interesting collection of Bristols), but the Jaguar XJR-11 brought big money: $1,542,582. The biggest money of the whole day was for this 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 Competition at $1,760,176

Photo – Bonhams

The Rolls-Royce State Landaulette failed to sell, otherwise it probably would’ve taken top sale honors. Click here for more results.

The top seller at Mecum’s Louisville sale was this 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon that sold for $132,000. All results from this sale can be found here.

Photo – Mecum

August 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. II

Picking up in Monterey with Mecum, we have three Duesenbergs, two of which sold. J-262 brought $1,155,000 and the other two were previously-featured cars. J-386 brought $3,850,000 (which turned out to be the overall top seller) and J-255 failed to sell. Excitingly, Alexander Rossi’s Indy 500-winning car sold for $1,127,500. On a related note, Most Interesting goes to this 1957 Kurtis Kraft 500G “Bardahl Special” that sold for $258,500.

Photo – Mecum

The Alpine Edition Diablo brought $253,000. Cars that failed to meet their reserve included the Lamborghini Murcielago, Ferrari F12tdf, the Sang Noir Veyron, Lamborghini Centenario, Porsche 550A, and a previously-featured Locomobile, and Porsche GT3.

We move on now to Russo & Steele in Monterey where they sold John Cena’s 2017 Ford GT for $1,540,000.

Photo – Russo & Steele

The GSM Dart that we featured from their Newport Beach sale (and failed to sell there) also failed to sell here. Click here for more results.

Finally from Monterey we have Worldwide Auctioneers. The top sale was $1,320,000 for the Duesenberg Convertible Sedan we featured. The Tourster brought $775,500. Most Interesting goes to this 1916 Locomobile Model 38 Collapsible Cabriolet that sold for $473,000. Click here for final results.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Off to the fun that is Auburn, Indiana, in the fall. RM Sotheby’s is where we’ll start and top money went to this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $852,500. The Duesenberg we featured wasn’t far behind, selling for $737,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Going through the results of this sale every year makes me sick to my stomach. This year there were at least a dozen cars that are things I would love to have (and can actually afford!) and failed to purchase because I didn’t make the trip to Auburn. Such deals would’ve included the Maxwell we featured that brought just $13,200. Similarly, the 1920 Buick went for $14,300, the Cole $28,600, and the White $29,700. A previously-featured Terraplane failed to sell and complete results can be found here.

Held the same weekend as the previous sale, Bonhams had an auction across the pond in Beaulieu. The top reported sale here (there was a pre-war Bentley that they aren’t reporting the sale price on) was $283,001 paid for this 1935 AC 2-Litre 16/80HP Competition ‘Slab-Tank’ Sports.

Photo – Bonhams

Among our feature cars, a previously-featured Marendaz led the way at $111,710. Four of the five old cars we featured sold, the exception being the Paige-Detroit. The Corre brought the biggest money at $40,215. The Phoenix blew past its estimate, selling for $32,768, the Reo sold for $23,831, and the Alldays & Onions brought $33,513. Click here for more from Bonhams.

Three Prototypes

Three Prototypes

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018


2004 Ford GT Confirmation Prototype CP4

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

We’ve featured prototypes of the original Ford GT40, but here’s one of what we’ll call the “second coming” of the GT. The original concept car for this model debuted in 2002 and it’s thought that Ford built nine “confirmation prototypes” of which this is CP4, or vehicle #00007. Its purpose was to be the test bed for ride, steering, handling, and climate control systems.

All black, it was the first GT to hit 200 mph. It’s powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 making 550 horsepower. It joined the collection it is being sold from in 2012 and it is street legal. It’s the only “CP car” from the GT program that is road-registered and not governed to 15 mph. It’s thought that only four GT prototypes remain and this one is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $467,500.


1997 Ford Ghia Vivace Concept

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Well here’s a weird one. It looks like the love child of a Ford Ka and a last-gen Mercury Cougar (it’s actually based on a Mondeo platform aka the Ford Contour). It’s honestly pretty crazy this car still exists at all. It’s just a rolling concept car – there’s no engine, no interior. It’s just a two-door coupe body with some wheels on a chassis.

Ford and Ghia teamed up for two concept cars in 1997 just to explore new shapes and using aluminium space-frame construction. The body is fiberglass, the wheels don’t steer, and the doors don’t even open. It’s like having a rolling brick. Not much to do with it other than look at it. But hey, at the same time, you’re going to be the only person who has one. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $1,650.


1960 Seagrave Prototype

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

In 1960, the Seagrave Fire Apparatus, the longest-running producer of fire apparatus in the United States dating back to 1881, decided they wanted to build passenger cars. But not just normal American passenger cars, but economy cars. This in 1960, when American automobiles were perhaps approaching their largest.

This two-door hardtop is much smaller than the photo above makes it look and it weighed in at only 1,700 pounds. Seagrave managed to build three prototypes (two in fiberglass, one in aluminium), and this fiberglass example was powered by a 2.7-liter Continental straight-four engine capable of 65 horsepower. It was pulled out of a barn in Michigan in 2013 and is restoration ready. It’s one of the most interesting cars for sale in Auburn this year. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,000.

Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

1912 Oldsmobile Defender Speedster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Auburn, Indiana | September 1, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Oldsmobile became part of General Motors in 1908 and cars like this make it seem like the General left Olds alone for the first few years of their relationship. This does not look like a General Motors product, yet by 1913, Oldsmobile cars started to look more or less like everything else on the market. This Defender Speedster looks expensive and high-quality, not something from a company consumed with mass production.

The 1912 Oldsmobile lineup consisted of this, the “small” Defender powered by a 35 horsepower, 4.4-liter straight-four, the mid-sized four-cylinder Autocrat, and the gargantuan Limited six. Open-top Defenders went for $3,000 in 1912, a pretty sizeable amount in its day.

This well-restored car has been in the same collection for the last 12 years. It’s a rare model (only available in 1912 and 1913) seldom seen today. A great example of what Oldsmobile once stood for, it should bring decent money in Auburn. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Duesenberg JN-575

1936 Duesenberg Model JN LWB Tourster

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 23, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

Here’s yet another Duesenberg on offer during the week of car activities in and around Monterey. What this is is a “JN” – a term never used by Duesenberg themselves. The Model J was introduced in 1929. It was expensive. Obviously, that didn’t go so well once the Depression set in and Duesenberg had surplus chassis lying around for years. So in 1935 they decided to freshen the look a little bit. They put on smaller wheels, lowered the body, and fitted different fenders, taillights, and trim. Every one had Rollston coachwork.

This one does not have Rollston coachwork any longer. It still features the same 265 horsepower, 6.9-liter straight-eight under the hood that all of the other Model Js started with. But the body is different. And here’s why: when it was sold in 1969, it’s new owner, commissioned a restoration. The body was separated from the chassis and the building the Rollston body was stored in burned down.

In the early 1970s, this Derham-style Tourster was constructed on the original chassis with the original engine and mechanicals intact. Since that restoration and re-body, the car has been maintained but never again restored. It shows well and is one of 10 Model JNs built by the factory. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $775,500.

Update: Sold, Worldwide Auctioneers Scottsdale 2019, $605,000.

July 2018 Auction Highlights

Our July auction highlights begin with Bonhams sale at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. We featured two Brough Superior road cars that both sold, with the 3½-Litre Saloon bringing $42,367 and the one-off V-12 $68,091. The overall top seller was this 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato for a whopping $13,264,951. The “regular” DB4GT we featured failed to sell.

Photo – Bonhams

The Marendaz Special also failed to meet its reserve. The other two cars we featured both turned out to be million dollar sales with the Blower Bentley bringing $2,654,569 and the Bugatti Super Sport hammering sold for slightly more at $2,691,410. Click here for complete results.

Osenat held a sale of a private collection and this 1963 Citroen ID 19 Cabriolet was the top sale at $62,172. Click here for more results.

Photo – Osenat

On to H&H Classics’ Pavilion Gardens sale where the Bond Equipe we featured was no match for the top sale, selling for $4,577. That top sale? $98,938 paid for a dusty 1962 Jaguar E-Type Series I 3.8 Coupe.

Photo – H&H Classics

The Beauford and McLaughlin both failed to sell. You can find more results here.

Now it’s time for Silverstone Auctions’ Silverstone Classic Race Car Sale. The top sale, which was one of just a handful of cars to find new owners, was this 1964 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk I for $73,884. Click here for complete results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

And finally, into August, Worldwide Auctioneers liquidated Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana, Indiana. The top sale was the 1952 “Fabulous Hudson Hornet” NASCAR race car that sold for $1,265,000. The next big-dollar feature car was the Hudson Town Car. It brought $313,500. We’ll award Most Interesting to this 1936 Terraplane Series 61 Panel Delivery that sold for $115,500.

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

The Dover Mail Truck achieved $55,000 and the Essex Touring Car brought $26,400. More results can be found here.

Duesenberg J-475

1931 Duesenberg Model J SWB Sport Convertible Sedan by Derham

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Pacific Grove, California | August 23, 2018

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

I’ve said many times before that the Model J is one of the best cars ever built. Want proof? Look at auction catalogs surrounding big auction weekends (like Monterey/Pebble Beach) and what is the one, classic American car that every auction house has? A Model J. They don’t all have Pierce-Arrows, they don’t all have Cadillac V-16s. But they all have a Model J. Or two. This year Worldwide Auctioneers has two. Gooding & Company has two. Mecum has two. They all come out of the woodwork this time of year.

This Model J has engine number 475 and that engine is a 6.9-liter straight-eight developing a mighty 265 horsepower. It’s a four-door Convertible Sedan but it’s also on the “short” Model J wheelbase (still a massive 11, almost 12, feet). Derham built five examples of their Sport Convertible Sedan, and this is one of three that remain.

This car has known ownership history from new and the current owner acquired J-475 in 1974 as what was essentially a project car. It was restored during the mid-1980s and has been on museum duty for the last two years. It’s been serviced and freshened since and can now be yours. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,320,000.