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Pictures tell the story of clean 1970 Datsun 240Z

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When launched in 1970, the Datsun 240Z was literally a game changer. Here was a reasonably priced sports coupe with a strong inline-6 engine, a great chassis, reliability that was unheard of at the time and styling reminiscent of the Ferrari 275 GTB.

And the 240Z was offered with all his at the same price point of an MGB-GT.  Its status was solidified with an SCCA championship with John Morton driving for Peter Brock at BRE.

As collector cars, these original Datsun Zs were completely disregarded until just a few years ago as Japanese cars in general started to rise in interest, driven somewhat by the increased value of the rare Toyota 2000GT sports coupe.

How much did 240Zs increase? Well, in the past year we have seen a few of these cars sell for more than $70,000.

The Pick of the Day is a 1972 Datsun 240Z advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Farmingdale, New York, who provides absolutely no description of the car except to provide photos that show that it’s apparently in great condition.

Datsun

Many people hate listings with no descriptions. I, on the other hand, have found serious deals in listings with little or no description. What this listing does provide are many pictures of the car, and it is in examining these pictures that you get the idea of the quality of this Datsun.

What you see is a nice driver-level car, finished in correct New Sight Orange with a white interior. Looking further, you will notice little or no rust in the car, which is a definite plus. You will also notice that all the rubber window seals look to be old and are likely original.

The interior of the Datsun looks to be either original or a perfect match of the original. It does have aftermarket speakers from the period in the kick panels, but most of the cars from this era had this done at some point. There is discoloring or staining of the center tunnel pieces, but beyond that, the interior looks good. It is a manual-gearbox car, which is another plus.

The seller does list the mileage of the car at 108,144.

Datsun

The engine compartment looks to be completely stock and quite clean, another indicator of a good example. Many of these cars were modified in period, which this car looks to have escaped.

This 240Z also is riding on period-correct Panasport alloy wheels, which is more evidence of a higher-quality example.

From behind the wheel, a Datsun 240Z is a revelation in performance, especially when compared with MG or Triumph cars of the time. They are great handling and quick cars that will give a Porsche 911T of the era a run for its money. They are also reliable and offer quite a bit of bang for the buck.

Datsun

And that is the best part of this particular car. The asking price is only $23,900, which represents a solid deal on one of these cars in today’s market.

If the underside of the car is as rust free as the rest of it looks to be, this is a strong buy. You will likely have to replace suspension bushings and the window and door rubber, but even then, you will have one of the most usable and trouble-free classic sports cars of all time.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Barrett-Jackson scales new heights with record-setting Scottsdale sale

Led by the much-anticipated charity sale of the first-production 2020 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette, Barrett-Jackson scored the highest-grossing collector car auction in its history during the 49th annual Scottsdale sale.

The total was more than $141 million (including auction fees), with $129.7 million from its largest-ever docket of more than 1,900 vehicles, $7.625 million raised through the sale of 9 charity cars, including the Corvette, and $3.7 million for the sale of more than 1,200 pieces of automobilia. 

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A 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible sold for $110,000

Everything was super-sized for Barrett-Jackson’s signature home-base 2020 auction that continues to dominate Arizona Auction Week, which also hit a record this year with eight collector car auctions taking place.   The unofficial cumulative total for those auctions was $244.1 million.

Barrett-Jackson offerings included 180 collector vehicles from a record 9 collections.  The most-ever registered bidders competed during a full 7 days of auctioneering.  The event had a sell-through rate of 99.9 percent for the overwhelmingly no-reserve auction, with just one vehicle failing to sell.

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A Modena that stood in for a Ferrari California in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ sold for $396,000

The auction served as the start of Barrett-Jackson’s yearlong celebration of the “Road to 50,” which ramps up to the Scottsdale auction’s half-century in 2021.

“We kicked off our ‘Road to 50’ in Scottsdale with our foot planted on the accelerator,” company chief executive Craig Jackson said in a news release. “Our sponsors, consignors, bidders and guests made this week’s auction epic.”

Among the special auction features this year was the Paul Walker collection of cars and other vehicles that were owned by the late Fast and Furious actor.  Topping these was his group of 1990s BMW M3 coupes, including five of the rare competition lightweights.  One of them, a 1995 M3 Lightweight, sold for $385,000, more than double the previous auction record.

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The record-selling 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight

The $3 million sale of the 2020 Corvette Stingray VIN 001 was one for the books, with General Motors chairman Mary Barra appearing on the auction stage to help sell the landmark car, which GM donated for the event.   The car was purchased by Rick Hendricks, the North Carolina mega car dealer and NASCAR team owner who is a regular buyer of Barrett-Jackson charity offerings. 

 “Reaction to the mid-engine Corvette was incredible,” Barra said. “It’s both humbling and exciting to harness that success and support the local community through the Detroit Children’s Fund.”

The $3 million Corvette C8 on the block

Barrett-Jackson’s second-highest Scottsdale result was also a charity sale and also a first-production model, a 2021 Lexus LC 500 Inspiration Series convertible that went for $2 million to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 

All proceeds from Barrett-Jackson charity sales go directly to the chosen beneficiary.  The auction company has raised more than $126 million over the years for worthy causes.

“This was absolutely the most phenomenal Scottsdale Auction in Barrett-Jackson’s history,” said Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson. “But what really elevated this Scottsdale Auction to the next level was the wonderful generosity of the many consignors and bidders who opened their hearts to help us raise $7.625 million for charity. What an incredible feeling to know that the collector car community is having such a positive impact on the lives of people across the country who need our help.” 

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The 2020 John Force COPO Camaro sold for charity

Other charity sales included that of a 1968 Plymouth GTX custom by Chip Foose and owned by TV personality Chris Jacobs, which sold for $300,000 to benefit the C4 Foundation, and a custom 1981 Jeep CJ7 that was sold and re-donated on the block three times for a total of $425,000 raised to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Special guest 13-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient Will Wade fulfilled his wish by accompanying Craig Jackson on the block and hammering in the final sale of the Jeep,” Barrett-Jackson noted.

Also selling for charity were a 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Winston Cup NASCAR Race Car that sold for $250,000 to benefit the Arizona Animal Welfare League; a 2020 Chevrolet  COPO Camaro John Force Edition that sold for $600,000 to benefit DonorsChoose.org; a custom 1963 Volvo Amazon coupe that sold for $150,000 to benefit the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund; 1974 Ford Bronco Custom SUV that sold for $650,000 to benefit the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation; and a 1965 Superformance MKII custom Cobra replica that sold for $200,000, with an addition donation of $50,000, to benefit TGen Foundation. 

A 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe was highest-selling vintage car

Barrett-Jackson’s highest-selling non-charity cars were a pair of modern American exotics, 2017 Ford GTs, one selling for $1.485 million, the other for $1.182 million.  Three of the other cars on the auction’s top-10 seller list were low-mileage 2005-2006 Ford GTs, two of which sold for $440,000 and one for $451,000.

Just two vintage collector cars cracked the top-10, a 1969 Chevrolet COPO Camaro ZL1, which achieved $1.095 million, and a 1963 Aston Martin DB5 that went for $660,000.

To see the full list of Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale results, visit the auction website.

Larry’s likes at Mecum’s Las Vegas motorcycle auction

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If you thought there would be a break in the action after Arizona Auction Week 2020, you were wrong. Though it doesn’t have an alliterative name like its neighbor to the south, its motorcycle auction week in Las Vegas with Mecum Auction’s staging its 29th annual visit and with Bonhams also in town for a mid-week sale.

Our focus here is Mecum, which expects to send 1,500 vintage and collector motorcycles across the auction block in the sports arena at the South Point complex on South Las Vegas Boulevard (aka The Strip).

Mecum motorcycle division emblem

The first bike rolls onto the block late Tuesday morning, January 21, and the last hammer should fall sometime in the late afternoon of Sunday, January 26. 

The Las Vegas motorcycle auction is the second segment in Mecum’s ginormous January, which began with around 3,000 collector cars being offered over the course of 10 days in Kissimmee, Florida. The two January events are the largest of their kind staged annually anywhere on the planet. 

In 2019, the two events produced $133.8 million in sales, with the motorcycle auction in Las Vegas highlighted by the incredible MC Collection from Sweden, and by a 1939 Crocker Big Tank bike that sold for $704,000. 

Bikes, bikes and yet more bikes

Consignors were still checking in their bikes when we visited the South Point venue on Monday, and not all of the 1,500 machines were in the building and available for viewing, and many of those that were had yet to get their auction documents and be grouped into neat rows organized by day of bidding. 

But there were plenty from which to select some favorites: 

DKW Kavalier (or Express or Sputnik or Hummel)

Car enthusiasts will recognize DKW as one of the four rings that were combined to form the Audi emblem. But the company also had a history in producing motorcycles. In 1957, Odilo Burkhart combined motorcycle manufacturers Express and Victoria with the former motorcycle division of DKW and produced a series of DKW machines with what might be described as mid-century modern styling. You see them from time to time at vintage motorcycle auctions, and Mecum’s Las Vegas has what amounts to a small fleet of such machines, including a 1964 DKW/Victoria 155 Sputnik in red, a 1964 DKW Hummel (also in red), a 1964 DKW Express (beautiful in black) and a 1965 DKW Kavalier that is absolutely stunning in white.

1960 Parrilla Slughi 99

In keeping with the DKW theme of mid-century modern design, here’s another from the era, a 1960 Parilla Slughi 99. The bike (Slughi is the name of a desert greyhound) was introduced at the 1957 Milan motorcycle show and traces its styling to former Parilla designer Alfredo Bianchi. Parilla was established in Italy after World War II by Spanish immigrant Giovanni Parrilla.

1954 Ferrari Moto 150cc

That’s Ferrari as in Amos, not Enzo. Amos Ferrari worked at Moto Parilla in Italy and apparently figured his famous last name might be great for marketing his own machines. So he quit and with help from his brother founded Moto Ferrari in Milan in 1952. Naturally, Enzo sued, and won, and later the bikes were marketing as Fratelli Ferrari.

1903 Mitchell 

There’s nothing mid-century about this machine. It’s a 1903 Mitchell from the early days of motorized riding. Mitchell was based in Racine, Wisconsin, and proved the durability of its machine when A.A. Hansen rode 1,000 miles in 72 hours, 26 minutes, and through rain and mud, without any mechanical issues. Actually, Hansen needed only 55 hours to complete the distance; the rest of the time was spent fixing flat tires, unjamming the coaster brake and repairing a leak in the fuel tank.

1919 Harley-Davidson Model A Twin

Obviously, there are dozens upon dozens of Harley-Davidsons on the auction docket. What caught my eye was the gorgeous green shade worn by this one, which is part of the George Schott Collection, one of 28 private collections sending bikes to the sale.

1911 Flying Merkel Twin

I’m used to seeing Flying Merkels at motorcycle auction, but they’re usually painted in the iconic orange color. This one, from the Rhode Island Collection, has been restored in a nickel-plated finish, just like the one Joe Merkel displayed at the 1911 New York Auto Show.

1910 Sears single belt drive

Ah, the things you used to be able to buy through the Sears, Roebuck & Company catalog. For example, this machine from the Art Redford Collection. Sears motorcycles were produced by the Aurora Machine Company, which also made Thor motorcycles, and were sold from 1909-1916. This one would have cost you $169 back in the day.

1917 Henderson Detroit 4 Model G

There’s something about the inline 4-cylinder engine that gives vintage Henderson their beautiful proportions. This 1917 model was among the last built in Detroit before production moved to Excelsior Schwinn in Chicago.

1956 Norton Manx 350

This bike raced in the Isle of Man TT, and takes its Manx name from that island’s tailless cats. Although you can’t see it beneath the aluminum “dustbin” fairing, the bike has a 350cc overhead-cam engine and was capable of 130mph when prepped for racing.

1909 Excelsior Auto Cycle

Talk about elegant simplicity! Basically, it’s a bicycle with a single-cylinder engine and a bullet-shaped fuel tank. But after all, what more did you really need?

1912 Thor Single board-track racer

What more did you really need? Well, if you wanted to go racing on the big board speedways that were popular in the early 20th Century, you probably needed a bike such as this 1912 Thor. The bike from the Rhode Island Collection and was produced by Aurora, which also provided engines from Reading Standard and Indian and parts for Merkel, Henderson and Harley-Davidson. 

1900 De Dion Bouton tricycle

The marquis Jules-Albert de Dion was a pioneer in motorized transportation. The VIN on this compact 3-wheeler is 157. The 2.75-horsepower engine is de Dion’s, but the frame is from Decauville and the tires are early Michelin pneumatics. The bike was restored in Swedish expert Stefan Olavsson.

1945 American Moto Scoots

On the left is a 1945 American Moto Scoot Model 345 and on the right in a slightly darker shade of blue is a 1914 American Moto Scoot Model 145. They were produced in Chicago as commuter vehicles, have Briggs & Stratton single-cylinder powerplants, and are consigned from the Art Bulmann Collection.

1918 Johnson Motor Wheel Twin

The Johnson Motor Wheel takes its name from the device created by Louis Johnson but improved by Dick Oglesby that sits atop the rear wheel and uses a 1-horsepower, 2-stroke flat twin to drive the rear wheel. They were available in kit form and fit any 26-inch bicycle frame. In this case, the motor wheel is on an Iver Johnson bicycle built in Massachusetts. According to Mecum, the motor wheel cost $97.50 or you could buy the complete unit — motor wheel and Johnson bike — for $120.

1914 Harley-Davidson 10E

Among the dozens of Harleys that will cross the block is this unusual unrestored 1914 10E. For one thing, it carries one of only 20 or so “Factory Fast” 61cc V-twin engines, a unit rated at 8 horsepower. For another, it has a Triplex side seat by the Miller Company. The seat makes it possible for 3 people to ride a 2-wheeler and was marketed as a device that “lifts the motorcycle form the depths of prejudice and selfishness to a place not far removed from the automobile.”

When the market won’t bear what you think your car is worth

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How do you know when it’s time to sell one of your cherished collector cars?

The late Gordon Apker once told me that if he hadn’t driven a car within the last two years, he sold it. Another owner of a sizable collection explained that his wife wouldn’t allow him to build yet another garage, so if he wanted to keep buying — and he did — he had to start selling.

When I was first writing about the collector car hobby, someone who had been around long enough to understand the marketplace told me to pay attention to the three D’s: Death, Divorce, Deaccession.

Death explains the estate sales (or the reason why many collectors sell before becoming too elderly). Divorce should be self-explanatory as a reason for selling cars. Deaccession? Well, sometimes you just need some cash. 

Which brings me to a pet peeve: Consigners who set unrealistic reserves when they send one or more of their cars across an auction block. But I don’t blame only the consignors. I’d argue that the auction companies should do a better job of managing expectations, of making sure their sellers understand the current state of the marketplace. 

Fact is, the four-wheeled beauty into which you poured your affection, your time and money, perhaps even your sweat and scraped knuckles, likely is not as valuable today as you might wish. Yes, there are exceptions, for example, the latest generation of the Ford GT. Yes, the newest GT is a limited-production supercar, but it also is a vehicle Ford sells for around $550,000, yet it has become a $1 million-dollar auction baby.

I wasn’t in Arizona for the recent auction week (I stayed home to edit and post others’ stories and photos), but I followed the sales in conversations with those who were there, and online, and in the daily news releases from the auction companies. 

Speaking of auction companies, there were eight taking part in Arizona Auction Week 2020, and Mecum plans to present another 1,500 vehicles at its Arizona auction in mid-March. Yes, oversaturation certainly is a factor in depressing values, and I’ve been to enough collector vehicle sales to know there’s nothing much worse than sitting there and watching a parade of no sales. 

The car drives onto the block, there’s a quick verbal sales pitch, the bidding begins… and plateaus… and the auction house huddles with the consigner. But the reserve is neither lifted nor reduced and the car is pushed away without selling. It’s flirting without a kiss, foreplay and nothing more. And sometimes there are two, three, even five such no-sale disappointments in a row.

This 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC also was a non-sale as bidding didn’t reach the consignor’s magic and secret number

So here we are, the week after the auctions, and I’m looking at a Gooding email that shows cars that were on its block in Arizona and did not sell, but “are still available for a limited time only.”

The cars would make for a phenomenal collection: 1967 Ferrari 330 GTC, 1965 Ferrari 500 Superfast, 1936 Duesenberg Model JN Tourister, 2017 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, 2020 Ferrari 488 Pista, 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS, 1926 Duesenberg Model A Opera Coupe, 2017 Ferrari F12TdF, 1967 Porsche 911 2.0 S, 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition, 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ, 2006 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, 2011 Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0, 2018 Ferrai 488 GTB and 1960 Maserati 3500 GT.

Each of their owners was willing to put the car across the block, but when the bidding was done, those owners wouldn’t accept the money offered.

And that money can be considerable. You can go to Hagerty’s auction-tracking app to see those high bids, and hip-hip-hurray for RM Sotheby’s, which actually includes no-sale high bids in its final news release. 

There we learn that owners not only turned away the $5.5 million offered for a 1958 Ferrari 250 GT cabriolet Series I, $1.7 million for a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/6C, $1.35 million for a 1954 Ferrari 250 Europa GT coupe, $1 million for a 2019 McLaren Senna, but also $190,000 for a 1960 Facel Vega HK500, $185,000 for a 1956 Jaguar D-type replica, $170,000 for a 1948 Ford Marmon-Herrington station wagon, etc. 

And it’s not only at the high-end catalog sales. There were plenty of no-sales at the more entry-level auctions, too. Well, except for Barrett-Jackson, which has decided it can operate without reserves, even at the cost of missing out on some sensational and truly classic vehicles, unless a charity is involved.

And remember, these same car owners who are declining serious offers on their cars are the same owners who not only were willing to but likely even wanted to sell. And there were bidders who were willing and even eager to buy.

Should we blame the bidders? Not really. The auction venue and the bidders present (and by telephone and internet) are the marketplace — at least the part of the most visible part of that iceberg — and how many times have we been told that it is the market that determines real value, value at this very place at this very moment.

Yes, I know, just 18 or 24 or 36 months ago, those no-sale cars likely were worth more, perhaps even much more. But it’s not then, it’s now, as in 2020, and there’s a new economic reality in the world, and the collector car world is not exempt.

It’s time for auction houses to manage expectations and for consignors to get real.

Skoda may be largest car company you’ve never heard of

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Skoda may not be a familiar automotive brand to drivers in the United States, but the company based in what is now the Czech Republic and now part of the Volkswagen Group dates to 1895 and celebrates not only its 125th anniversary in 2020 but 115 years as an automaker.

The automaker traces its roots to 1895 when Václav Laurin, a mechanic, and Václav Klement, who sold books, started repairing and building bicycles in Mlada Boeslav, Bohemia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

Four years later, they produced their first motorcycle and in 1905, their first automobile, the Voiturette A. Their lineup of vehicles expanded. But in the aftermath of World War I, the company found itself in the new nation of Czechoslovakia, and with new restrictions on the export of its vehicles.

1906 L&K Voiturette A
Founders Vaclav Klement (left) and Vaclav Laurin

In 1924, a fire ruined the company’s production facilities and the following year, Laurin & Klement merged with Skoda, a large mechanical engineering company that also produced weapons and heavy equipment.

Skoda also had a license to produce Hispano-Suiza cars in addition to those it acquired from Laurin & Klement. In 1935, Skoda launched its 935 Dynamic model with a streamlined body.

Germany ruled Czechoslovakia during World War II, and afterwar the war, the country and its automaker found themselves behind the Iron Curtain and under Communist control. Nonetheless, Skoda entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950. In November and December 1989, the Czech people rebelled against one-party control and in the summer of 1990, the country held its first free elections, though it would divide three years later into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1935 Skoda Superb 640 and 1939 Superb 3000
First post-war design: 1948 Superb (left) and pre-war 1939 example
Skoda model lineup from 1970

In 1991, Skoda Auto was acquired by Volkswagen. Skodas are sold in more than 100 markets around the world, with customers buying nearly 1.25 million of its vehicles each year. In addition to Mlada Boleslav, the company has two other production facilities in the Czech Republic and others in China, Russia, Slovakia Germany, Algeria, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India.

“Skoda Auto is one of the world’s five oldest automobile manufacturers still active today,” Bernard Maier, the company’s chief executive, is quoted in the company’s anniversary announcement. 

“The courage and ingenuity of the two founders, Václav Laurin and Václav Klement, are the cornerstone of this unique success story and at the same time an obligation and incentive to lead the company toward a prosperous future. 

202 Skoda Superb Sportline

“This is precisely what we are doing through our Strategy 2025, transforming Skoda Auto from a car manufacturer into a ‘Simply Clever Company for the best mobility solutions’.”

With that future in mind, Skoda Auto plans to launch 30 new vehicles by the end of 2022, with a dozen of them partially or fully electric-powered.

Vision iV concept unveiled at 2019 Shanghai auto show will be first Skoda built on new Volkswagen electric platform

Arizona auctions do well when prices are in thousands, not millions

Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of daily Arizona Auction Week 2020 sales reports from Hagerty, the collector car insurance and value-tracking company that staffs each auction venue. As soon as the auction companies post their final results, including any post-block sales, we’ll post a final wrap up on the week.

The 2020 Arizona Auction Week — a “week” that actually encompasses 10 days — concluded Sunday with $244.1 million in overall sales. This is a 3 percent decrease from the $251 million figure in 2019 despite an additional 574 cars being sold (a 17 percent increase). There also were 8 auctions in 2020 compared to 7 in 2019.

Highest bid hammered sold during the Arizona auctions this year was the $3,222,500 paid for this 1995 Ferrari F50 at Gooding & Company. But that amount was far less than the top sale has been in Arizona in recent years | Bob Golfen photo

The takeaway for many is that the dramatic drop witnessed this past summer at the Monterey auctions was not repeated in Arizona, but there are plenty of devils in the details. Most important is vehicle condition. Finely presented and rare cars sold extremely well, but there were relatively few of those in the Arizona auction tents. 

Vehicles in #1 and #2 condition (“excellent” and “concours”) represented less than half the offerings — the lowest ratio Hagerty has observed in more than 5 years. Bidders, being more cautious, passed on common vehicles with visible needs unless the price was sufficiently discounted. Sell-through rate was 77 percent (compared to 81 percent in 2019), and the average price slipped to $81,534.

Cars over $1 million at first blush seemed to have an easier time of it in Arizona; sell-through rate increased to 73 percent, from 43 percent in 2019. However, much of the improvement has to do with sellers’ and auction companies’ newfound caution in bringing such high-dollar rides to market. There were 25 percent fewer million-dollar cars on offer compared to last year, and most sold below Hagerty Price Guide values. (For the first time since 2012, no vehicle at the Arizona auctions sold for more than $5 million.)

The challenging environment for the most expensive cars partly has to do with what’s going on in the larger economy — the tide of investment dollars that flowed into this segment following the Great Recession has clearly slowed, and a tax advantage that allowed collectors to roll gains from car sales into other cars has been eliminated. 

But as with the rest of the collector car market, condition and provenance matters. Today’s cautious buyers will pay top dollar, but only for the best and rarest cars. Bonhams’ Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, the most expensive unsold car of the week, had a replacement engine, but a Hispano-Suiza J12 at Gooding & Company that hadn’t been sold publicly in recent memory had no trouble beating its high estimate to bring $2.4 million. 

Even as parts of the market slide, others shine. SUVs and trucks continue to perform well — 77 percent sold on or above Hagerty Price Guide values, about the same as last year. Barrett-Jackson sold a 1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with 8,000 miles for $110,000, which was approximately triple its condition-appropriate value. 

There was also plenty of buzz around Dodge Vipers. Early RT/10s in excellent condition brought nearly 40 percent above expected results based — and that’s not including Lee Iacocca’s Viper, which sold for $285,500, a 

Ford GTs from 2005-06 also brought strong prices, the best being a 2005 example in a non-standard combination of Midnight Blue with silver stripes for $451,000 at Barrett-Jackson. 

And although American muscle cars and resto-mods remain the stars of Scottsdale, modern classics from Europe and Japan also did well. Barrett-Jackson sold a 1990 Toyota Supra Mk III Turbo with less than 100 miles for a record $88,000. The Paul Walker collection offered by Barrett-Jackson contained five 1995 BMW M3 Lightweights, with the lowest-mile example selling for $385,000.

It’s clear we have a collector car market that’s cooled from the highs of the previous decade, especially at the top. Yet for most car collectors — that is, those who buy cars for thousands, rather than millions of dollars — Arizona  was business as usual. Barrett-Jackson drew more than 5,600 bidders and enjoyed its highest grossing week ever. Long-term owners are still realizing gains. (In the current market, owners have typically reached break-even after three years of ownership.) 

And, as always, the best cars continued to appreciate. But price-sensitive buyers should be aware of the chill that has set in upmarket, as it could creep downward. Knowing what you’re buying and buying for enjoyment are two strategies that are as important today as ever.

Listed below are the raw results witnessed by Hagerty during the live auctions and may not include any post-block sales. Figures reported include the appropriate buyer’s premiums. 

Arizona Auction Week 2020

Overall results through Sunday, January 19

Total sales at 8 auctions: $244.1 million

2,994/3,867 lots sold; 77 percent sell-through

Average sale price: $81,534

2019 results

Total sales at 7 auctions: $251.2 million

2,662/3,295 lots sold; 81 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $94,374

Overall top-10 sales 

  1. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,222,500 (Gooding & Company)
  2. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe sold for $3,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)*
  3. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000 (Gooding & Company)
  4. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster sold for $2,370,000 (RM Sotheby’s)
  5. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $2,040,000 (Gooding & Company)
  6. 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible sold for $2,000,000 (Barrett-Jackson)*
  7. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,985,000 (Gooding & Company)
  8. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $1,930,000 (Gooding & Company)
  9. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $1,930,000 (Bonhams)
  10. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,710,000 (RM Sotheby’s)

* Charity car

Results by auction company

BARRETT-JACKSON

2020 total sales: $137,1 million

1,908/1,909 lots sold: 99.9 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $71,833

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe sold for $3,000,000*
  2. 2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible sold for $2,000,000*
  3. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $1,485,000
  4. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $1,182,500
  5. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro COPO Sport Coupe sold for $1,094,500
  6. 2019 McLaren Senna Coupe sold for $946,000
  7. 1963 Aston Martin DB5 Saloon sold for $660,000
  8. 1974 Ford Bronco Custom SUV sold for $650,000
  9. 2020 Chevrolet Camaro COPO John Force Drag Car sold for $600,000*
  10. 2003 Saleen S7 Coupe sold for $467,500

* Charity car

2019 results:

Total sales: $119.0 million

1,627/1,628 lots sold: 99 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $73,090

BONHAMS

2020 total sales: $8.4 million

88/108 lots sold: 81 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $95,872 

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1951 Ferrari 212 Inter Cabriolet sold for $1,930,000
  2. 1955 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America sold for $810,000
  3. 1924 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Piccadilly Special Roadster sold for $368,000
  4. 1995 Ferrari F512 M Coupe sold for $313,000
  5. 2005 Ford GT Coupe sold for $285,500
  6. 1992 Dodge Viper RT/10 Roadster sold for $285,500
  7. 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS Spider sold for $280,000
  8. 1960 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider sold for $154,000
  9. 1901 Winton 8 HP Runabout sold for $142,800
  10. 1912 Winton Six 48 HP Touring sold for $140,000

2019 Results

Total sales: $16.1 million

108/120 lots sold: 90 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $149,070

GOODING & COMPANY

2020 total sales: $35.8 million

122/137 lots sold; 89 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $293,501

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1995 Ferrari F50 Coupe sold for $3,222,500
  2. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000
  3. 1948 Tucker 48 Sedan sold for $2,040,000
  4. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,985,000
  5. 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider sold for $1,930,000
  6. 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet SII sold for $1,462,500
  7. 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe sold for $1,242,500
  8. 2014 McLaren P1 Coupe sold for $1,160,000
  9. 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT Targa sold for $995,000
  10. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $940,000

2019 Results:

Total sales: $48.1 million

105/124 lots sold: 85 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $458,458

LEAKE AUCTIONS

2020otal sales: $16.6 million

357/674 lots sold: 53 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $46,574

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2012 Lexus LFA Coupe sold for $429,000
  2. 1957 Chrysler 300C Convertible sold for $357,500
  3. 1958 Dual-Ghia Hemi Convertible sold for $330,000
  4. 1960 Chrysler 300F Convertible sold for $319,000
  5. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe sold for $275,000
  6. 1959 Chrysler 300E Convertible sold for $242,000
  7. 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold for $222,200
  8. 1962 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible sold for $220,000
  9. 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible sold for $220,000
  10. 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible sold for $216,700

2019 results:

2020 was Leake’s first year in Arizona

MAG AUCTIONS

2020 total: $1.7 million

98/326 lots sold: 30 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $17,846

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1968 Shelby GT500 KR Fastback sold for $167,400
  2. 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 SportsRoof  sold for $64,800
  3. 1934 Pierce-Arrow Model 836A Sedan sold for $47,520
  4. 1968 Dodge Charger Hardtop Coupe sold for $44,820
  5. 2007 Bentley Continental GTC Convertible Coupe sold for $44,280
  6. 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Clone Sedan sold for $43,740
  7. 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Custom Sedan sold for $43,200
  8. 1972 Chevrolet C10 1/2 Ton Pickup sold for $43,200
  9. 1937 Buick Special Model 46-C Convertible Coupe sold for $41,040
  10. 1933 Factory Five Hot Rod Roadster sold for $39,690

2019 results

Total: $2.5 million

139/384 lots sold: 36 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $17,816

RM SOTHEBY’S

2020 total sales: $30.3 million

127/142 lots sold: 89 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $238,507

Top-10 sales:

  1. 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster sold for $2,370,000
  2. 1967 Ferrari 330 GTS Spider sold for $1,710,000
  3. 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Coupe sold for $1,391,000
  4. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Coupe sold for $1,270,000
  5. 1930 Cadillac Series 452 Fleetwood Sport Phaeton, 5-p. sold for $1,105,000
  6. 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Coupe sold for $1,105,000
  7. 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Hebmuller Coupe sold for $995,000
  8. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for $973,000
  9. 2017 Ford GT Coupe sold for $923,500
  10. 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Coupe sold for $786,000

2019 results

Total sales: $36.8 million

129/154 lots sold: 84 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $285,448

RUSSO AND STEELE

2020 total sales: $8.0 million

251/513 lots sold: 49 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $31,998

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster sold for $258,500
  2. 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Wide Body Coupe sold for $253,000
  3. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hardtop Coupe sold for $214,500
  4. 1966 Shelby GT350 Fastback Sedan sold for $156,750
  5. 1973 Lamborghini Espada 400 GTE SIII Coupe sold for $154,000
  6. 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Resto Mod Convertible sold for $126,500
  7. 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider sold for $118,250
  8. 1958 DeSoto Firesweep Convertible sold for $115,500
  9. 2008 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera Coupe sold for $115,500
  10. 1990 Ferrari Testarossa Coupe sold for $110,000

2019 results:

Total sales: $11.8 million 

308/621 lots sold: 50 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $38,464

WORLDWIDE AUCTIONEERS

2020 total sales: $6.1 million

42/55 lots sold: 76 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $144,264 

Top-10 sales:

  1. 1936 Auburn 852 Supercharged Speedster sold for $880,000
  2. 1956 Chrysler-Ghia Plainsman Concept Station Wagon sold for $742,500
  3. 1930 Duesenberg Model J Willoughby Berline sold for $605,000
  4. 1937 Packard Twelve-Series 1508 Convertible Sedan sold for $451,000
  5. 1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe sold for $341,000
  6. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird Hardtop Coupe sold for $242,000
  7. 1934 Packard Super Eight-Series 1104 Sport Phaeton sold for $192,500
  8. 1930 Cadillac Series 452 Vanden Plas Imperial Landau, 7-p. sold for $167,750
  9. 1957 DeSoto Adventurer Convertible sold for $165,000
  10. 1938 Packard Twelve-Series 1607 Convertible Victoria sold for $165,000

2019 results

Total: $9.4 million

55/71 lots sold: 78 percent sell-through rate

Average sale price: $171,166

Someday you’ll want a car like this early Olds

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The Baby Boomers’ lament is that the young whippersnappers coming into the collector car hobby don’t want the cars the boomers have collected and cherished through the years.

But here’s the secret: Back when they were fledgling car hobbyists, the Boomers didn’t want the cars that their fathers and grandfathers loved. What they wanted were the cars they themselves lusted for while in high school.

But guess what! They bought those cars, took them to car shows, and as they aged, their tasted matured as well. So they had to have a post-war European sports car and then a pre-war Caddy or Packard or even a Duesie, and eventually they wanted a Brass Era car so they could do London to Brighton at least once before they rode the highway to heaven.

It’s the same for the newcomers, the Xers and Millennials. They don’t want the Boomer beauties. They want stuff that takes them back to their teen years, or to the status that comes with an almost-new exotic. But just like their predecessors, their tastes will mature and someday they’ll want a car just like the Pick of the Day, a 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile, a Model 6C to be specific.

The car is being advertised onClassicCars.com by a dealership in St. Louis. The price is $67,500 and the car makes you eligible for events such as the London to Brighton event that takes place each November in England. 

And just think of the crowd such a car will draw at your local car show, parked there among all those cookie-cutter contemporaries.

The dealer correctly points out that it was Ransom Eli Olds, not Henry Ford, who actually produced the first motorcar produced from standardized and interchangeable parts on a stationary assembly line. That car was the Curved Dash Olds.

Interesting sidebar: Olds started building motor vehicles in 1897 and had half a dozen or so with various power sources — gasoline, electric, steam — and wasn’t sure which to put into production. His decision was made in 1901 when a fire swept this factory and only one of his prototypes, the one for the Curved Dash single-cylinder runabout, was saved.

The 1904 example being offered in St. Louis “presents with a crisp and beautifully preserved older restoration,” the dealer reports. “

“The paintwork on the body, chassis, and steel mudguards is period correct and in superb order. Red accents on the body and lovely gold coach stripes that repeat on the frame and wheels give the car a handsome, upmarket appearance, along with the white rubber tires. 

“The body details include a leather buggy top and optional Neverout kerosene carriage lamps. Following its superb restoration, this Olds earned an AACA National First Prize Senior award in 1998, and it remains in exceptional, show-ready condition today.”

The car is tiller steered and “controls, fittings, and hardware also present in excellent condition. 

“The 7-horsepower, horizontal single-cylinder engine sits below the driver, powering a 2-speed planetary transmission and chain-drive rear axle. The engine and ancillaries are beautifully restored to a high standard, and even the rear axle is finished in gloss black and striped to match the body.”

The dealer notes, “The little Oldsmobile runs and drives, although due to its recent time on display in a private collection, some additional attention is recommended before tackling any significant distances.”

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

‘Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story’ documentary available from Chassy Media

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It took years before NASCAR would admit that a black man, Wendell Scott, had actually won a stock car race. But there was no overlooking the impact Willie T. Ribbs had on motorsports a few decades later, and Ribbs’ career is now featured in a new film by Adam Carolla’s Chassy Media.

Uppity: The Willy T. Ribbs Story is available for purchase and downloading from the chassy.com website.

Ribbs was the first African-American driver to win a Trans-Am race, to test a Formula One car and to race in the Indianapolis 500.

Movie poster

“Willy T. Ribbs was the Jackie Robinson of auto racing who shattered the color-barrier in the all-white sport,” Chassy Media said in its news release. 

“Willy was referred to as ‘Uppity’ behind his back by mechanics and other racers. He overcame death-threats, unwarranted suspensions and engine sabotage to go after his dream. Ultimately, Willy beat the haters and became the first Black driver to win a Trans-Am race, test a Formula One car, and race in the Indy 500.”

“Willy T. Ribbs is an extraordinary racer who overcame adversity throughout his career,” the release quotes co-directors Carolla and Nate Adams, whose previous work includes The 24 Hour War and Shelby American: The Carroll Shelby Story. 

Willy T. | www.officialwillytribbs.com photo

“Willy’s determined spirit and desire to prove his naysayers wrong serves as a beacon of light and hope that one should never give up on their dreams and to continue to fight regardless of what others think.”

The documentary film includes racing footage and interviews with Ribbs, Paul Newman, Bernie Ecclestone, Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Al Unser Jr., Robby Unser, David Hobbs, Caitlyn Jenner, Wally Dallenbach Jr., and Humpy Wheeler.

Here’s the link to the movie trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKwfDjfO9Pw&t=2s


Lamborghini unveils… not a car, but latest line of men’s wear

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Automakers typically unveil their latest vehicles at major auto shows, concours d’elegance or even the Consumer Electronics Show. Automobili Lamborghini used the Pitti Uomo international men’s fashion show to unveil its “total-look collection” for fall-winter 2020-2021.

That’s “collection” as in clothing.

“Outside the exhibition space, the Huracán Evo coupé on display in orange Arancio Xanto exemplifies Lamborghini’s iconic brand features reflected in the menswear collection premiered to the event guests,” the company said as it revealed its latest fashion collection.”

Featured in the collection is a black thermal jacket. Here’s how the automaker describes it:

“The distinguishing technology of the Lamborghini super sports cars contaminates the items too as for example the black thermal jacket in triple-layer material (waterproof and windproof) with a heat regulation system consisting of an inner resistance mesh in carbon fiber for fast-developing and uniform warmth.”

RM Sotheby’s sets ‘Youthquake 2.0’ for Paris auction

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As the auction companies are totaling up the numbers from Arizona Auction Week, they also are preparing for the next major stop on the 2020 collector car auction calendar, Retromobile, in Paris the first week of February.

In addition to an array of more traditional collector vehicles, RM Sotheby’s seventh annual Paris sale will include 11 “modern classics” from the Youngtimer Collection. “Youthquake 2.0” is what the auction company is calling what it also terms as the “return of the Youngtimers.”

More than a year ago, RM Sotheby’s announced the consignment of more than 150 modern classics from a single collection to be sold at five of its auctions in 2019. Another 11 are on the Paris 2020 docket, including:

— A 1 of 57 1993 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 coupes, and with less than 9,000 kilometers on its 412-horsepower engine, which is linked to a 6-speed Getrag transmission.  RM Sotheby’s expects the car to bring €300,000 to €350,000 ($333,600 to $390,000) at the auction.

2008 Spyker C8 Laviolette

— A 2008 Spyker C8 Laviolette, which RM Sotheby’s says “offers an old-school supercar driving experience with space-age aesthetics.” This example was the factory demonstrator and features several “desirable” options. The pre-auction estimate is €200,000 to €250,000 ($222,400 to $280,000).

Others from the collection include a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL 70 AMG upgraded to 7.0 specification (which means 500 horsepower), a 1989 Mercedes 560 SEL AMG “Hammer,” a 2007 Aston Martin Vanquish S, a 1997 Bentley Turbo RT Mulliner, and a 2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo.

The Youngtimer cars will be among nearly 80 on the docket for the sale February 5 at Place Vauban. The complete auction docket is available for viewing at the RM Sotheby’s website.