QOTD: Big Bucks Surprise?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
qotd big bucks surprise

It’s no secret that wherever enthusiasts — of any person, place, or thing — get together, mad money soon follows. Look at the huge money being commanded for certain rock n’ roll memorabilia, or rare artwork by a noted painter. Your author just bid obscene money for a frame containing handwritten liner notes, a platinum record, and a picture signed by some famous Canadian musicians. My bank account weeps but my office walls are happy.

It is the same, of course, with cars. Some recent models have skyrocketed in value, while a few others have traded on famous names. What’s been your biggest surprise of late?

On Saturday, I watched someone at Barrett-Jackson pay $300,000 for a BMW M3 Lightweight. With a carbon copy currently on Bring-a-Trailer for fifty grand, it was clear the Paul Walker connection commands a hefty premium. Other examples sold for similar cheddar. BMW never disclosed how many of the things it built, but consensus puts it around 125 units.

If that number is even close to correct, the half dozen or so that popped up this week at Barrett-Jackson and Bring-a-Trailer represent about 5 percent of total production. To put that in perspective, there would have to be over a million original VW Bugs for sale simultaneously to equal roughly the same percentage of vehicles built.

Supras also bring jaw-dropping money, of course. It’s not limited to the A80 series, either. A low mile (

What sale prices have raised your eyebrows lately? Comment below.

[Image: © 2020 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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5 of 51 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jan 20, 2020

    Continue to be surprised by the values some '70s land yachts are pulling. As cars they are the worst of all worlds, but there are some people out there who just love the peak brougham look.

  • Land Ark Land Ark on Jan 20, 2020

    For me, it's the E36 M3s - the ones on BaT are going to nonsense money. Granted they are likely the best of the best, but they are still 23 year old BMWs. I drove one for a few days back in 2004. It was ok, I remember not being terribly impressed though I was only driving it to and from work. For the money, there is no shortage of other cars I would seek out.

  • Redgolf Redgolf on Jan 20, 2020

    The "Greatful Dead" 1949 (year I was born) Studebaker M5 pick up truck sold for $30k, who's buying junk like this, do ya think it will appreciate in value or fall apart soon? Maybe cut it up and hang the pieces on a wall, some schmuck will pay big bucks if you call it art! https://barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1949-STUDEBAKER-M5-TRUCK-GRATEFUL-DEAD-233868

  • Silverfin Silverfin on Jan 21, 2020

    I am amazed at how much Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40s go for now. Restored by companies specializing in them they can go for 45k+! I guess the alternative is a new Jeep Wrangler for about the same money with Chrysler's crappy build quality. Years ago in Anchorage I bought a 1978 FJ40 for $1,800 and it could go anywhere....much tougher than the cheaply built and fragile Jeeps. Wish I still had it.