Euro exotics, resto-mods appeal to growing group of new bidders
GAA Classic Cars has the sort of problem that’s nice to have: So many people want to consign their cars to its auctions that the company’s annual mid-summer sale will expand to three full days, July 26-28, with the auction action starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday the 26th.
Usually, summer sales on Thursday are an abbreviated evening event.
“We were turning away so many cars,” said Jerry Barker, the company’s general manger. “But we were fortunate enough to have people calling us to sell their cars, so we’re going three full days.”
Also fortunate, added Johnny Ransom, GAA business development manager, is that the company owns its own building, where Greensboro Auto Auction Inc., stages its weekly wholesale vehicle auctions.
“If the right opportunity arises, we won’t shy away from business,” Ransom said. “That’s the beauty of owning our own facility.”
GAA Classic Cars usually does three auctions a year, he said. But this year, it added a fourth, held in March, featuring more than 260 cars and thousands of pieces of automobilia from the Jerry and June Smith Collection from their Memory Lane Museum in Georgia.
The docket for the summer sale of collector cars, to be held at the Greensboro, North Carolina, facility, includes 650 vehicles.
“Our bread and butter is still muscle cars, muscle cars and trucks,” Ransom said.
But, he added, collectors in the Southeast have been showing strong interest of late in European and domestic exotics, and in resto-mods – muscle cars that look vintage on the outside but have modern powertrains and suspension systems so they are more comfortable to drive than they were when they came off an assembly line a few decades ago.
“People like new suspensions and new LS motors in their muscle cars,” Ransom said, agreeing that those who didn’t grow up with such cars aren’t eager to have to deal with leaking oil or other vintage vehicle maintenance issues.
GAA has been more conscious of supplying bidders’ needs and its docket not includes a Goodguys’ style 1950 Mercury street rod, a 1951 Chevrolet Bel Air with an LS1 V8, a 1938 Packard 1608 (one of only five surviving), a variety of muscle and resto-mods, but two Ford GTs — one showing only 700 miles in Tungsten Grey and the other with 1,800 miles in Red.
Also, Ferraris, including two 1983 BBI models; Jaguars of various vintages; a pack of Porsches; and, for the first time, a 21-window Volkswagen bus, a frame-off restoration “that’s been getting a lot of attention.”
Also drawing attention has been what Ransom called “kind of a sleeper in our mix of things,” a 1984 Lamborghini P350 GTS, one of only 410 produced over a seven-year span and this one driven only 18,000 miles since new.
To view the full docket, see the GAA Classic Cars website.