This marks the second year for the Auctions America Hilton Head auction held as part of the Hilton Head Motoring Festival. Just as last year’s, this sale literally has something for every kind of collector regardless of interest.
The auction features a very manageable 105 total cars that run the gamut from American full classics, to European Sports and exotics, to entry-level collector cars.
There are quite a few cars that I wanted to take home, but I was able to narrow my favorites down to the six cars I most wanted to park in my garage. The cars all go on sale today. For information about the auction and a complete list of the cars, visit the Auctions America site.
1960 Maserati 3500GT
I actually have one of these and feel that the Maserati 3500 GT is one of the finest examples of a Italian GT car you can buy. Period. These cars are beautiful, fast, event eligible and cost a fraction of the price of a similar Ferrari. They are also less complex and costly to service. I also feel that the interior of a 3500GT is better than that of just about any 250 series Ferrari. The pre-auction estimate for this nice driver-level car is $275,000-375,000, which might sound like a lot of money, but is possibly the last great deal for a great 1960s Italian GT car.
1967 Porsche 911S
This white-on-white 911S coupe reminded me of why I love 911s. Simple and with what I feel is the perfect 911 styling, the ‘67 S is the first 911 that had serious performance. Driving the ‘67 S is very different from the cars that came later as these cars tend to foul plugs and really need to be wound out to redline to perform. I love those idiosyncrasies and feel that these are the things that give sports cars soul and character. The ‘67 911S has character in spades. This is a wonderful driver-level car that looked to be largely a survivor car in terrific shape, and I would gladly pay the $100,000-125,00 estimate to park it in my garage.
1955 Austin Healey 100 BN4
Of the three big Healeys on offer, this car was by far the nicest. It is a true complete restoration with the documentation to prove it. The Healey 100 is still to me one of the best bargains available for a British sports car, and I think these cars have the potential to increase in value much more in the future. This specific car amazingly had records that date back to 1955 which further added to its allure. It is hard to find Healey 100s restored this well, and the pre-auction estimate of $80,000-95,000 would not begin to cover the cost of restoring this car to this level.
1961 Pontiac Bonneville convertible
This is a weird car for me to like, but the grille sold me on it. This is an example to me of perfect Jet Age American styling, and this car has received an excellent restoration. Under the hood, it features the Pontiac 389 Tri Power engine, which only added to the attraction for me. Another example of a car that at its pre-auction estimate of only $42,000-48,000 would not nearly cover what it cost to restore.
1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Sport Coupe
Now this is what I call a great GM muscle car. In red with a black vinyl roof, this car was originally a SS 396 but now has a 454 under the hood. I guess the 396 was not fast enough, but I would bet that the 454 is. The car also has a red interior, which ties it all together as a great custom muscle car. The pre-auction estimate for this car is only $40,000-45,000, which I honestly feel is a great value, especially when you look at the upward trends we are seeing in the muscle car custom market. Oh, and the car sounds amazing.
2006 Lotus Elise
The Lotus Elise is the kind of car that we are not apt to ever see again for sale in the United States. Featherlight and built for the single purpose of attacking corners better than any other car on the planet, these cars are as astounding to drive as they are to look at. The Elise is the very essence of a small-bore exotic, and cars such as the new Alfa Romeo 4C owe their entire existence to the Elise. I like to think of the Elise as the world’s coolest Mazda Miata. The Elise has been increasing in value from the day they quit importing them into the U.S., and I feel that this will continue for quite a long time. This is a one-owner car that has covered less than 5,500 miles since new, includes every record since purchased and is immaculate. The pre-auction estimate of only $35,000-45,000 makes it my best-buy pick of the entire Hilton Head auction.
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.