HomeThe MarketNew auction house staging initial online sale Saturday

New auction house staging initial online sale Saturday


1981 Ferrari 512BBi with 1,600 miles on odometer is among featured lots at The Finest’s first sale | The Finest photos

Bradley R. Farrell and his new The Finest Automobile Auctions stage their first sale Saturday. This inaugural event is an online-only auction featuring some 15 collector vehicles and a variety of automobilia, all available through the Proxibid online portal.

Farrell, who was chief operating officer for the inaugural Keno Brothers automobile auction in 2015, also has The Finest sales scheduled June 11 at Hershey, Pennsylvania, and September 17 at Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado, and already is working on another online-only sale for July.

He sees such online sales as an opportunity yet to be owned by the major classic car auction houses.

1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GR-R ‘Hakosuka’

“They may not see the necessity for it yet,” he told Classic Car News. “They’re trying to make the younger, Internet generation adapt to their methodology rather than adapting to the younger generation’s way of buying. That’s the space I want to be in.”

But Farrell sees his company’s future success in a mixture of live and online sales.

“I need live auctions to build the credibility and the trust factor,” he said, explaining that he knows it will take time for buyers and sellers to feel confident in Farrell and his team, and the auction’s sales format.

That format will be different, Farrell said, adding that he has been turned off by the “grinding” he sees at many auctions, when as a car is on the block and bidding has yet to reach the seller’s reserve price, the auction staff will pressure the seller to lower that price so the car will sell right now.

Farrell’s answer is to remove that pressure by extending the buying and selling opportunity. For example, a car that doesn’t reach its reserve during the bidding Saturday will be available for higher bids for at least 24 hours. Then it will be assigned a buy-it-now price. If still not sold after an additional 24 hours, it will go into a make-an-offer queue for another 24 hours.

Bidding at Hershey and Aspen will be available in person or online, and Farrell plans to have a second online-based sale in July, though with the likelihood of also having some bidders in his company’s 48,000-square-foot facility near a private airport in Connecticut, where a bidder might fly in, do a test drive and then bid on a vehicle.

Low-mileage 2001 BMW Z8

But it’s not only those with private aircraft to whom Farrell hopes to include among clients.

“It doesn’t have to be a $200,000 car,” he said, explaining that he also hopes to offer high-quality, low-mileage cars with known history in the $20,000 to $50,000 heart of the collector car marketplace.

Among the featured vehicles for The Finest’s inaugural sale are:

  • 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R “Hakosuka,” a Japanese Domestic Market vehicle with right-hand drive in original condition and still wears its wrinkled GTROC decal on the rear window, “an indication of long-term enthusiast ownership, like seeing an old ‘PCA’ badge on an early Porsche 911,” according to the description in the online catalog. The description includes a “market trends” section that quotes recent transaction prices. The Finest expects this car to sell for between $125,000 and $175,000.
  • 1981 Ferrari 512BBi with only 1,600 miles on its odometer and believed to be owned by the original family until 2003. The pre-auction estimated price is $400,000 to $500,000.
  • 2001 BMW Z8 with only 1,940 miles driven from the showroom and a one-owner car until it was traded in on a new car in February. One of 2,543 Z8s for the U.S., the car has a pre-sale estimate of $215,000 to $235,000.


Also on the docket are three additional Ferraris, a 1970 Mazda Cosmo L10B, a 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, a 1959 Alfa-Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce, and a 1985 Fiat Campagnola 4×4 convertible 1107A.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
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.


  1. They will have to come up with some more mainstream collector cars if they want to ever be a serious presence on the internet or the antique car auction circuit. 1971 Nissan Skyline? What’s that? 1970 Mazda Cosmo? Give me a break!
    Pete Phillips
    Leonard, Texas

  2. A 1971 skyline is a serious muscle car that would smoke any 1971 U.S. Muscle car.
    Paul Dunn

  3. Mr. Phillips, while Mr. Dunn may be somewhat overstating the GTR’s straight line prowess vs say a classic Hemi Roadrunner, the first generation GTR is an amazing machine, especially to nearly anyone under forty. Our so called “Gran Tourismo” generation has learned about, loved, and even owned many of Nissan’s most famed marque. What’s even more special about this GTR is that they are rarely, if ever, available for sale outside of Japan. The Mazda Cosmo is also the first iteration of what would eventually become the RX-7, which have a supremely loyal cult following. The fact of the matter is, our generation now have the money to start buying cars that we have admired for years. Personally, I would have that GTR in my garage long before I spent equal money on a first generation 911. Why? Because they are far more rate, have a terrific racing heritage and are a stunning example of Japanese design. The auction format may remain to be proven, but I think The Finest is on their way to a very solid concept. I will definitely be paying close attention to several of the ca that sell, because while they aren’t million dollar machines, they are all interesting.

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