Bonhams is celebrating its fourth year in Scottsdale, and this year’s selection of cars is the best the venerable auction house has ever had here in the desert, as well as being among the best offerings of any of the seven auction companies working Arizona Car Week. This includes my second-favorite car ever offered for sale at any auction anywhere.
As always is the case, Bonhams has a bit of something for every price level, and my picks of cars that I would most want to take home reflect that.
1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Veloce This beautiful gray Alfa Giulietta is one of the nicer restorations I have ever seen. Not usually my favorite color on these cars, but combined with the red seats, it works wonderfully. I have enough time behind the wheel of these Alfas to know that the driving experience is amazing, and this car is so nice that I would keep it forever.
1969 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Those who know me are thinking, “Seriously, a C3 Corvette on a list of cars you want?” Well, seriously, the stigma of the C3 is gone and an L88 is truly a weapons-grade sports car, likely able to keep up with and then easily pass any 275 GTB/4 Ferrari on a vintage rally, and likely to cause much consternation in the process. This car is a great example, and I asked a friend, Bonhams specialist Steffan Frisk, to fire it up. The sound was exciting and immediately made me want it.
2003 Aston Martin Vanquish The gentleman’s alternative to the L88 Vette, a Vanquish has been on my list for a long time. This example with only 15k miles and in a great black color just ticks all the boxes. These cars are on the rise and I want to buy one before they double in value.
1956 Porsche Speedster I love Speedsters, especially the early cars with the beehive taillights. The first Porsche I ever drove was a ‘56 Speedster, and it has stuck with me over the years. This Aquamarine Blue Metallic car is an extremely well-restored No. 1 condition car that I would personally love to drive into a No. 2 condition car.
1952 Ferrari 340 America This Ferrari represents the beginning of the marque’s long and storied racing history. It competed in the 1952 Mille Miglia, the 24 Hours of Le mans, and the Targa Florio. It was a factory team car and was driven my Taruffi, Trintignant and Bracco. It is eligible for any and all concours and vintage-racing events and rallies, aside from London to Brighton. How much better does it get in a single car?
1963 Iso Rivolta These are the easiest-to-live-with Italian GT cars ever built, with stunning Italian coachwork combined with a reliable Chevrolet Corvette powertrain. This Iso Rivalto has a manual transmission and is a great example of a truly world class GT car. A Iso Rivolta like this in a great color combination of silver paint with maroon leather would make a tour car par excellence. I loved this gentleman express.
1977 Honda Civic CVCC This little yellow Civic is the nicest example I have seen since they were new. It needs nothing, and if entered would likely win Best of Show at ClassicCars.com’s Future Classics car show. It is easier to find a really nice Ferrari California Spider for sale than it is a Civic as nice as this one. This is a future classic that is guaranteed to increase in value while it sips very little gas.
1984 Ferrari 308 GTS QV Sure it is a 308, but this Ferrari is one of the cars used in one of my favorite TV shows, Magnum P.I. This is the car that is one of my all-time favorite auction cars, second only to the DB5 form the movie Goldfinger. I will in fact be bidding on it, but I expect it to sell for much more than I am willing to spend. I will be test driving it Wednesday to see if it is everything that I hoped it would be.