Gooding & Company will parade 98 cars across the block at its annual auction on Florida’s Amelia Island. This year, more than 40 of those cars were produced between 1955 and 1988 in Germany.
“The build quality is being appreciated 30, 40 years on,” said Garth Hammers, a car specialist for the auction company.
“There’s no question that Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars are doing extremely well at the moment,” he added. “This year we’re adding to the mix BMW. Personally, I think it’s high time.”
Post-war European sports cars have been strong sellers at the high-end classic car auctions in recent months, with Porsches in particular accelerating in price.
Hammers said he recalled reading the phrase “inherent rightness” as a description of a design that carried Porsche from the early 356 through the current 911.
“They didn’t follow anybody else’s lead,” he said. “They were going to do it this way, and it’s brilliant. And they’re still going.”
Hammers said that BMW “also was its own company. You’re not going to find a lot of cross pollination.”
And at Gooding’s Amelia Island sale, which takes place March 7, you’re going to see an amazing spectrum of BMW products, most of them from the same collection.
“We’re very happy to have this group,” Hammers said, adding that while there are more BMWs in the auction than any other marque, the cars run the range of the brand.
You can get something for ‘cars and coffee’ for $25,000 or you can spend half-a-milion.”
— Garth Hammers
[/pullquote]“There’s a bit of synergy about them,” he said of having such a large group of Bimmers in a single auction. “They add interest to each other.
“This really is truly a something for everyone group.” he said. “They exist across the really serviceable price points. You can get something for ‘cars and coffee’ for $25,000 or you can spend half-a-milion.” Or more.
To be presented as Lots 11 through 28, with their own color-keyed section of the auction catalog, the pre-auction estimates for the various BMWs range from as little as $12,000 for a 1960 BMW 700 coupe to as much as $1.8 million for a 1958 BMW 507 Series II roadster.
In between are Isettas, a 1958 501 A sedan, a 503 coupe, a 1600 GT,a 1602, a couple of 2000s (one a coupe, one a sedan), a 2002 convertible, a 3200 CS, a 3.0 CSL, an M6 and an M1.
And then there are the Porsches — 14 of them. Well, 15 if you count a British-built March race car powered by a Porsche engine. But don’t expect to find any $25K cruise-in specials among them, though the pre-auction estimate on a Reuter-bodied 1964 356 SC coupe is fewer than six figures. And that’s the only Porsche in the auction for which that statement is true.
Either the 1958 356A Reuter coupe or the 1969 911 2.0E figures to cost someone at least $100K. Double that for a 1973 911 2.4 S or the 1967 911 2.0 S soft-window targa formerly owned by rally champion John Buffum.
The 1983 March-Porsche 83G GTP car that Al Holbert and co-drivers took to victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona figures to push near the million-dollar plateau, with a 1973 911 Carrera 2.7 RS lightweight and a 1988 959 Sport be seven-figure sales.
And then there are the 1959 718 RSK and 1968 907 “longtail;” each figures to sell for around $3 million.
The Wendler-bodied RSK raced successfully for several seasons on the American sports car circuit, as well as in Cuba and Nassau. The longtail won the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1968 (Vic Elford was one of the five drivers taking turns in the car during that race) and competed four times at Le Mans.
Among the Mercedes at the Gooding auction are a 1957 300 SL roadster, a stunning ’55 300 SC roadster, and a 2005 SLR McLaren.
Oh, and there’s one other post-war German sports car to cross the block, a 1955 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia, this one among the very early cars and thus a “low-light” because of the placement of its headlamps.
But the Gooding sale isn’t an all-German affair. The catalog includes six Ferraris. Among them are an unrestored1965 250 Europa GT owned by one family for 45 years; a pair of 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytonas, and a trio of Dinos — a one-owner ’69 206 GT, a ’72 246 GT and a ’74 246 GTS.
“We really want to cover the whole hobby,” Hammers said. “Antiques if we can, classics certainly, and some of the special-interest cars. But more and more, it’s European and sports and racing of the ‘50s, ‘60s and now the ‘70s.”
The oldest cars in the auction are a 1906 American Tourist and a 1909 ALCO 40-horsepower runabout. There also are a 1913 Pierce-Arrow 48-B, a 1930 Avions Voisin C14 Berline, a 1930 Minerva AL three-position cabriolet, a 1932 Cadillac V16 452B Madame X Imperial sedan, four 1920s and 1930s Rolls-Royces, a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24S Spider America, four Jaguars, three Corvettes, and even a 1967 MGB and a 1968 Datsun 1600 roadster.