Some of the cars awaiting the start of bidding at Auctions America’s Hilton Head Island sale | Larry Edsall photos
Bidding begins Saturday at 1 p.m. for Auction America’s inaugural Hilton Head Island sale, a 100-car boutique event being held in conjunction with the annual Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival and Concours d’Elegance at the Weston hotel and spa on the South Carolina coastal island.
Although there are only around 100 vehicles being offered at this event, I found a lot that I liked, cars that I think would be great for weekly local shows and weekend road trips.
1941 Cadillac Series 61 5-passenger Sedanette coupe
Sedanette was the GM term for fastback styling, and the architecture of this gorgeous two-tone gray Cadillac is underscored by rear fender skirts bearing the automaker’s wreath and crest emblem. This example, powered by a 346cid L-head V8, is believed to have had only two owners, both Mississippi residents, before the consignor got it.
1960 Buick Electra 225 convertible
The big Buick 225 never impressed me when it was new and I was a teenager. But I’ve grown up (though I cannot say I’ve matured) and my eyes now see beauty in the car’s styling. This 225 convertible has been restored, wears Pearl Fawn color and a dark brown top and two-tone interior. With a Wildcat 445 V8 under the hood, it has me thinking “road trip!”
1961 Lincoln Continental convertible
Here’s another early ’60s classically American luxo barge. The catalog says this Continental has been well-maintained since a long-ago restoration. A 7-liter V8 provides power, and the car is loaded with power options, including the convertible top.
1973 Porsche 911 Targa
This Porsche has a Nardi steering wheel, Recaro seats and Fuchs wheels. It also has some patina, but I think that only means it is a car that has been enjoyed, not overly pampered. And what’s not to enjoy about a vintage 911 with a top that can be removed for an open-air driving experience?
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC
It’s unusual for me to be drawn to the star car of an auction, and this car’s pre-auction estimated $650,000 to $725,000 has a lot more zeroes than an editor might ever write on a check, but this V12-powered car is stunning, and it reportedly has never undergone a full restoration, though it has been nicely maintained by California-resident owners since 1975.
1965 Maserati 3500 GTI Sebring Series II coupe
Fewer than 600 Maserati Sebrings were produced. This one, with Vignale coachwork, disc brakes, inline six-cylinder engine and a ZF five-speed gearbox, spent most of its life in Europe, and even after it came to the U.S., its owner had the fuel-injection system sent to a specialist in Holland for some needed work.
1952 Chevrolet Styleline DeLuxe sports coupe
This ’52 Chevy struck me as the sort of car that would be ideal for cruising Route 66. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for the skirted rear fenders with their chrome gravel-guard trim. Inside, there’s a Safety Sight instrument panel. Power comes from a Blue Flame inline-6 linked to a Powerglide automatic transmission.
1935 Hupmobile 2-door sedan street rod
With very subtle flames on its front fenders, this hot-rodded 1935 Hupmobile figures to be something of a stealth road rocket. Power comes from a 500cid V8. The doors have suicide hinges and open to a four-bucket seat, tan-colored custom interior. The car has air conditioning, power steering and brakes.
1934 Ford 5-window coupe
There’s something very pleasing about the proportions of the ’34 Ford 5-window coupe. This one was part of the Jeff Day Collection and has a flathead V8 and 3-speed manual gearbox. The body is dark brown and the fenders flack. The wheels and pinstripe are red. And there’s a rumble seat out back.
1989 Austin Mini Cooper S
Riding on Minilite wheels, this all-black ’89 Austin Mini Cooper S reportedly was sold new in Japan and retains its factory air conditioning, a feature available only in the Japanese market, where the S package also included wheel flairs, sport suspension, those Minilite wheels, multi-caliper front brakes and right-hand drive.
1963 Chevrolet Chevy II Nova SS convertible
Here’s another car that just looks like it would be a lot of fun for cruisin’. So it only has a 230cid inline-6, at least it has a 4-speed manual so you can maximize the use of the engine’s 140 available horsepower. The SS package brought spinner hubcaps, bucket seats, deluxe steering wheel, and special trim and instrumentation. And, hey, it’s red and has a white top.
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.