My mission was to go Monday morning to the Worldwide Auctioneers preview in Scottsdale, Arizona, and do to one of our “Pick6” selections, choosing around half-a-dozen vehicles that will be offered at the sale and to select and share them with you.
With only 82 vehicles in the auction catalog, I briefly wondered if I’d even find six that I really liked, and that’s our minimum requirement for this feature.
I arrive at the Worldwide sales venue, a huge tent set up in what once was the parking lot for a few new car dealerships on Scottsdale’s old “car row” along McDowell Road. Even before I got into the huge white structure, I was drawn to a 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS, a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL roadster with a removable pagoda roof, a stunning 1935 Packard 1201 coupe roadster, and, parked side-by-side in a row, a 1967 Maserati Mexico coupe, a 1970 Pontiac GTO Ram-Air IV hardtop and a 1971 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS coupe, a brilliant 1934 Cord 812 SC Sportsman convertible coupe and a sea-vessel sized 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible.
I was like a kid in a candy store, or perhaps more like a puppy let loose among a group of squirrels.
As I break away from the cars parked outside, I wonder what might await within the tent, where what have to be considered the best cars will be on display. Right inside the front door is a 1995 Bugatti EB110!
Sure enough, there they were, and while Worldwide Auctioneers’ sale may be small, its docket is mighty. Classics, sports cars, barn finds, modern muscle, even a few motorcycles. Take your pick.
So, here are my picks, though I failed to limit my list to just six:
1936 Alvis Silver Eagle SG sport tourer
Coventry, England, may be famous for being the home of Jaguar, but it also was home to Alvis, which produced this diminutive and now CCCA Full Classic Silver Eagle SG sport tourer. This is one of only 15 produced with sport touring bodywork by Cross and Ellis, and only nine of them are known to survive. The car was imported to the U.S. in 1967 and underwent a five-year restoration starting in 1984.
1955 Porsche 356A/1600 Speedster
I once was fortunate enough to spend much of an afternoon driving a Porsche Speedster and became hooked. This one is one of the last 100 Pre-A versions produced with upgraded suspension and 1600 engine and comes out of the Darwin James collection. This one is way out of my price range, but Worldwide also has an also-red 1959 356A/1600 convertible D coming out of the same collection that is expected to sell for half as much as the Speedster.
1955 Lancia Aurelia GT B24S Spider America
This is the cover car for the Worldwide Auctioneers Scottsdale catalog. One of only 181 produced, it was bodied by Pininfarina and comes with a removable hardtop, and comes to auction after many years in a collection in its native Italy. It likely will sell for seven figures, and brings with it eligibility for all sorts of vintage rally events.
1967 BMW M1
BMW Motorsports’ M1 was a road-going racing machine with a mid-mounted engine. This one, originally owned by Sheikh Abdulla bin Kalifa Al Thani of Qatar, was outfitted with the Procar racing bodywork, which includes a huge rear wing.
1952 Jaguar XK120 OTS
I once had a boss who owned an XK120 that he’d drive to the office on days when the weather was perfect. This one, coming from the Lanny Sims estate, not only has rear wheel skirts but gorgeous white sidewall tires that enhance its presence and its stance.
1934 Peugeot 601 roadster
I fell in love the moment my eyes fell on this car with its big Peugeot 601 hood emblem. The roadster version of the 601 was produced only from September 1934 to July 1935, and even then only 109 rolled off the line. This one comes from a collection in the Netherlands and is one of only 20 known to survive.
1953 Buick Skylark convertible
You can be madly in love but still notice that attractive woman who just walked into the room. Thus this beautiful blue Skylark that was parked right next to the Peugeot in the Worldwide tent. The color is Reef Blue, the interior is red and white, and the car was produced for only one model year.
1928 Talbot-Lago T-23 sport cabriolet
Though built by the automaker, the sheet-metal design was inspired by the work of Figoni et Falaschi. The car rides on the short version of the chassis, has a 4.0-liter six-cylinder engine and Wilson pre-selector four-speed gearbox. Photos in the catalog show the vehicle’s sorry condition before its restoration in the 1990s.
It recently underwent a cosmetic freshening and was done well at several concours.
1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL roadster
Another car from the Darwin James collection, this 190SL recently underwent restoration and is being offered not only with a restored Becker “Mexico” AM/FM radio, but with fitted luggage and even a rare removable factory sunroof hardtop. Say what you will about it being the junior sibling to the 300SL, this Benz is a beauty.
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.