Bob picks his 7 favorites from Worldwide auction in Arizona

Rare exotics, pre-war classics and a few celebrity cars populate the small but robust selection of collector cars

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Worldwide
Worldwide has changes venue for its Arizona auction | Bob Golfen photos

Worldwide Auctioneers holds its fourth annual Arizona Auction Week sale at a new venue for 2020, pitching its tents on a former golf course turned event center on Scottsdale’s southern border. 

The car selection is small but tasty, with just 58 lots that include such rarities as the first production prototype 1995 Ferrari F50, a massive 1937 Packard 12 convertible sedan originally owned by screen legend Betty Davis, a 1971 Plymouth Cuda 440-6 convertible owned by hockey star Ed Belfour, and an evocative 2009 Bertone show car named Mantide. 

Worldwide has a strong contingent of classic Cadillacs among the offerings, including several fine pre-war examples, plus a 1930 Duesenberg Model J Berline, a 1932 Chrysler Imperial CH convertible sedan and a striking 1934 Auburn 850Y Custom Phaeton.

The auction starts at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15.

There are lots of sharp cars that caught my eye, and here are seven favorites:

1995 Ferrari F50 Prototipo

Of course, this red bauble is something that I would be delighted to park in my own garage.  The F50 is a fabulous car as well as being a living piece of Ferrari history, not only as the test mule (or more appropriately, thoroughbred) used to perfect this exotic line of V12 sports cars but the show car that debuted at the Geneva Motor Salon. Factory restored before being sold to the public, the Ferrari has just 1,400 miles on its odometer.  Sigh.

Worldwide

1968 Shelby GT500 convertible

This Shelby Mustang is special indeed.  “An original, unrestored time-capsule example” is how Worldwide describes this remarkable piece of Carroll Shelby’s high-performance mastery.  Owned by just one family until 2019, this GT500 has its original interior, paint, sheetmetal, engine and transmission and has been driven just 35,618 miles.  All true, according to a 4-hour inspection and photo documentation by Ford expert Kevin Marti.  And despite its age, it looks absolutely terrific.

Worldwide

2009 Bertone Mantide

A one-of-a-kind concept car by Carrozzeria Bertone of Milan in collaboration with Danisi Engineering, the Mantide is an intriguing example of the coachbuilder’s art.  As outrageous as it looks, Mantide is a fully road-ready machine powered by Chevrolet; there’s a 638-horsepower Corvette ZR1 supercharged L59 V8 under its sculpted hood, with a 6-speed manual transmission and the capability of pushing Mantide past 200 mph.  Pictures do not do it justice.

Worldwide

1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster

The Auburn Boattail Speedster is a perennial favorite with classic car people everywhere, and this is a particularly great one.  A rare supercharged example, the Speedster has been gorgeously restored, a CCCA Senior and 100 Point Award winner finished in a luscious shade of dusky red.  The magical styling was done by master designer Gordon Buehrig, who also created the Cord 810. This rare and elegant machine will be sold with no reserve at Worldwide on Wednesday. 

1935 Chrysler C1 Airflow Coupe

Another piece of imaginative pre-war design, although too radical-looking in the eyes of the car-buying public at the time, the short-wheelbase two-door version of the Airflow is the best model for the aerodynamic shape.  This one is attractively restored, which must have been a complex task considering all the bits of Art Deco trim that highlight it. It’s an AACA Senior Award winner and won Best of Show at a Chrysler Airflow Club of America national meet.  Very nice.

Worldwide

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429

So, this is the second Mustang-based entry on my list, but how could I resist a blazing-red big-block that has been so immaculately restored?  Powered by a NASCAR-bred 429cid V8 conservatively rated at 375 horsepower, it is one of just 859 Boss 429 Mustangs produced for 1969.  Beauty and brawn and fully documented by a Marti Report.

Worldwide

1956 Chrysler Ghia Plainsman concept car

I first spotted this oddity a couple years back at the Amelia Island Concours in Florida, a weirdly wonderful example of ’50s kitsch designed by Ghia of Italy.  What seems like a random collection of styling cues, especially that roofline, the Plainsman stays true to its frontier name with an interior trimmed in fuzzy brown-and-white cowhide.  The look is strongly polarizing, to say the least.  

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. So significant a difference between the 4 door Airflow and this 2 door. The 4 door is an interesting bit of auto history, but this 2 door is just outstandingly great.

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