Auctions

Block Party: Barrett-Jackson Rolls Into Scottsdale

If you’ve never attended a Barrett-Jackson event, think of it as a massive car show blended with the insanity of an auction and the food trucks from a county fair plus a SEMA’s worth of retail vendors. The whole thing is wonderful, glorious, organized gearhead chaos – and its marquee event is happening right now in Arizona.

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R34 Nissan Skyline Driven By Paul Walker Fetches Record Sum At Auction

The R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R is one of the most iconic JDM cars in history, thanks to the Fast and the Furious movies, and the few that have made their way here over the years have sold for big bucks. Recently, a blue GT-R driven by Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 4 hit the auction block, and the result is surprising, even for an R34.

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QOTD: How Much Would You Pay for a Replica Movie Star Car?

Motor1 brings us a report of a replica 1975 Ford Gran Torino that has popped up on Bring a Trailer. It's a replica of the Gran Torinos that starred in the Starsky and Hutch TV show.

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Lot of Rare JDM Cars Will Likely Draw Deep Pockets at Auction

The Fast and the Furious franchise was the spark the dry powder keg in the Japanese domestic market (JDM) enthusiast world needed. Huge action and impressive racing scenes exposed newbies and diehard fans of other types of cars to models like the Nissan Skyline, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO, and the now-unobtainable Toyota Supra. We don’t see these cars coming up for sale often, but a whole load of impeccable Japanese metal is heading to auction on Bring a Trailer

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Weird Wheels: United Nude's 'Lo-Res Car' Up for Auction

If anybody has a soft spot for wedge designs and the automotive future envisioned during the 1970s, it’s yours truly. While mainstream vehicles being manufactured during the Malaise Era often left a lot to be desired, the concepts were sublime and led to some of the most unique-looking production cars in automotive history. I’m talking about cars like the Lancia Stratos, Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit, BMW M1, De Tomaso Pantera, and DeLorean DMC-12. Toss in the digital dashboards that were gradually appearing in standard passenger cars during the 1980s and you’ve reached the point where I would probably claim automotive styling reached its zenith after a few stiff drinks. But I’ve been told by those who can distinguish fetishization from appreciation that those designs weren’t perfect and kind of look the same when there’s enough squinting is deployed.

Apparently, someone took that premise and used it as a template for a modern prototype intended to help sell shoes. Though the company focused entirely on the basic shape of wedge cars, settling on a vehicle that resembles what a Countach might have looked like in a video game from two decades ago should the assets fail to load. Known as the United Nude Lo-Res Concept Vehicle, it’s probably one of the more-unique automobiles ever built and it’s yours for the taking now that the Petersen Automotive Museum doesn’t want it.

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BMW 2 Series April's Fastest-Selling Used Vehicles

April’s fastest-selling used vehicles were led by the BMW 2 Series, according to iSeeCars. The 20 fastest-selling used vehicles averaged 28.7 days, 1.2-1.7 times faster than it took to sell an ordinary used vehicle. The fastest-selling used vehicles included a mix of sports cars, luxury vehicles, hybrids, and minivans.

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Barrett-Jackson VIN 001s Boost Auction Results

VIN 001s are a rarity few can appreciate, let alone afford. Barrett-Jackson, auctioneers with aplomb, moved a handful of them last weekend at their auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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1970 Dodge Challenger Selected Barrett-Jackson Best in Show

A 2,000 horsepower 1970 Dodge Challenger was selected Best in Show from a group of 50 vehicles at the Barrett-Jackson auction this past weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona, and awarded the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Cup. The Challenger was among five finalists, including a ’32 Ford Tudor, ’55 Chevrolet Bel Air, ’63 Chevrolet Bel Air Wagon, and a ’70 Ford F-100 Pickup.

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Dodge Offers the Ultimate Two-for-one Deal With Demon/Viper Auction

Mopar fans are among the most steadfast automotive enthusiasts in history. Their ability to openly express their love for post-war luxury, classic muscle, and turbocharged compacts from the 1980s remains unrivaled. While an advocate for General Motors or Ford can certainly appreciate disparate models within their chosen nameplate, Mopar enthusiasts frequently push the envelope of sanity — at least, that’s the stigma.

If you’re unfamiliar with the stereotype, log into any car forum and write that you’re considering swapping an LS motor into a Plymouth, Dodge, or Chrysler. Congratulations, you just made a dozen new enemies. On the flip side of that coin, owning a vintage Mopar can win you a lot of respect within the community. While not equal in terms of prestige, owning a Dodge Aspen wagon will still net you loads of brownie points with anyone driving a Coronet Super Bee Six Pack or Omni GLH-S. Hell, at this stage in the game you might even get a thumbs up for buying a Plymouth Reliant.

Unfortunately, Chrysler’s immediate future doesn’t look nearly as bright as its often dicey past. That’s especially true for Dodge. The Viper is dead, the Challenger can’t go on forever, and annual sales are less than half of what they were 10 years ago. But its fiercely loyal enthusiast community remains, and they’ll have an opportunity to purchase the final examples of what may end up being the brand’s two most illustrious models.

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First 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Sells for $300,000 at Auction

While Ford hasn’t announced the pricing of the new Bullitt Mustang, the first example just sold for three-hundred grand at auction. We’re presuming future production models will be considerably more affordable because, damn, that’s a lot to spend on an appearance package and a few extra horses — even if the end result is undeniably cool.

Fortunately, all the proceeds went to supporting the Boys Republic — a charity near and dear to Steve McQueen. In addition to being remanded to the school after his own mother signed a court order that he was “incorrigible,” a matured McQueen often visited its children during the holidays and frequently donated large sums of money to the organization.

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Rare Rides: The Stunning 2009 Maserati Quattroporte Wagon Has Passion, Flair, and NSFW Wheels

Our last Rare Ride was a true bespoke vehicle — a one-of-one Rolls-Royce coupe which drew mixed opinions from our readers. But we’ll have none of that today, as I expect only passionate and flair-y discussion once you’ve reviewed this beautiful Maserati Touring Bellagio Fastback.

Prepare yourselves.

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Across The Block Spotlight: 1982 Phillips Berlina At Mecum Kansas City

It seems that I’m not good at handicapping auctions. I’m sure it’s a skill that can be acquired through practice and repetition. But between the drudgery of a day job and wrangling a pair of kids, in-depth sales analysis will always get pushed to the back burner.

Still, exploring a single interesting car is never a problem. Maybe call it a Digestible Auctionable?

As I digitally strolled through the over six hundred lots offered this weekend at Mecum’s Kansas City sale, today’s 1982 Phillips Berlina stopped me cold, returning me to my teenage years and, of all things, my cheap toy-store mountain bike.

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Across The Block: RM Sotheby's, Milan

Our annual feast of dead bird, fine pigskin, family arguments, cheap electronics, and roughly 200 (of 600) good episodes of The Simpsons is upon us. And once again, we take a glimpse into the wild world of classic car auctions, sure to be another magnificent family tradition.

Due to the holiday weekend here in the States, this week we look east to Milan for RM Sotheby’s Duemila Ruote 2016, an auction featuring over 400 collectibles — all at no reserve. I loved looking through this catalog. The exotics are awesome, of course, but the relatively pedestrian cars that we just don’t see here are what catch my eye.

Or, with one example, turn my stomach.

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Across The Block: Mecum Auctions, Anaheim

It seems that I have much to learn about the classic car auction scene. A yearly January couch session with beer and remote in hand is clearly not enough to understand how cars go under the gavel. Depending on how I feel like keeping score, I’ve slipped well below the Mendoza line in my two short weeks handicapping vintage auto sales.

Fortunately, I have another chance for redemption this weekend. Once again, Mecum is doing the selling, this time in sunny Anaheim, California. I’m now seriously regretting not flying west to cover this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

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Across The Block: Carlisle Auctions, Lakeland, Florida

Well, that didn’t go as planned. Though, working from a baseball analogy, batting .250 isn’t too bad. More on last week’s picks later — on to the new stuff in sunny Florida!

For years, Carlisle has been shorthand for a series of massive swap meets in a central Pennsylvania town. I’ve not had the pleasure of a Carlisle event yet, but I’m imagining a million-acre orgy of rusty cars and parts. In other words, heaven.

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Across The Block: Mecum Auctions, Dallas

I have a sickness. I can’t stop shopping for classic cars I’ve no hope of buying. While I’ve been shopping eBay, Craigslist, various forums, and other classic sites over the years, I’ve never spent much time looking at auctions. The prices seem inflated — especially when the auction house’s cut is considered.

But perhaps that’s a good thing. Private party sales via classifieds introduce a significant element of risk, either via outright fraud or the natural problems of handing over either a title or a wad of cash to an outright stranger. Classic car auctions are appealing since there is a nominally neutral third-party involved in the transaction.

So, I’ve decided to virtually wade into the crowd and see what’s coming Across The Block. In an occasional series, I’ll pick out several interesting cars coming up for auction that weekend, discuss them briefly, and make wild guesses to their eventual hammer price.

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Bad Decisions: From Auction Lot to Demolition Derby Ring

Note: I’ve mentioned my one-time demo derby experience in the comments on a few occasions, so here’s the full story. This piece originally ran on Autos.ca and was later republished on autoTRADER.ca. It’s republished here with permission. I hope you enjoy it. —MS

Public auctions are usually a sea of bad decisions waiting to find a home in a new idiot’s garage or driveway. At one particular auction over the summer, I was the idiot, and my bad decision lay in wait with bated breath in the lot of automotive shame.

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From Auction to Flip, This Is How a Salvage Car Makes It to Craigslist

Salvage and rebuilt vehicle listings on Craigslist (and other classified sites) are ubiquitous. They often manifest themselves as late-model metal with low prices and even lower standards of ad copy.

But have you ever wondered how those vehicles end up on Craigslist in the first place? What happens to a salvage or rebuilt vehicle between the time it’s sold at auction and its first appearance on your local classified site?

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These Are the Long, Rough Roads Traveled by Title Loan Cars

Many people rely on title loans when money is tight, regardless of their infamous predatory nature and high interest rates. However, getting that loan is much like playing Russian Roulette — and with similar odds. According to a recent PEW study, one out of every nine title loans results in a repossession, with the titled vehicle eventually heading to auction.

Recently, I received a notice that a large title loan vendor was to auction off over 500 vehicles. My curiosity got the better of me. Armed with the auction run list and a VIN history tool, I decided to take a look at what ends up at these auctions and how they get there.

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Tracking the Lot Time of Used Cars Can Save You Money

Going to visit a dealer on a rainy day or the third Sunday after a holiday might not help you get a better deal on a used car, but tracking how long it’s been sitting on the lot may work in your favor. Aged inventory takes up valuable lot space while interest adds up every day motivating most dealers to drop the price to sell it quickly.

Most cars arrive on a dealer lot arrive from wholesale auctions or customer trade-in and are paid out from dealer funds or by a loan through floorplan financing. As with most loans, interest and fees are paid until the loan is satisfied for the floorplan. Each day of interest cuts into the potential profit for a vehicle so dealers try to move inventory as quickly as possible.

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The True Cost Of Owning A Rebuilt Salvage Car

The prospect of buying a salvage titled car for almost half the price of one of its clean titled counterparts is tempting for many potential car buyers, but increasingly it’s becoming a losing proposition. I have bought and reconditioned a few dozen salvage cars (I currently own three). As I am getting ready to embark on a new car buying adventure, I sat back to look at the math for my current daily driver.

I purchased my 2005 Cadillac STS from an insurance auction a few years ago for about $3,400. After it arrived, I spent another $2,300 to repair it and get it back on the road. I went through the receipts a few months ago and wrote up a summary of the costs. It worked out to be a great deal for me at the time but now that I am getting ready to replace it, I decided to take a look back and see if I actually saved any money in the long run.

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Ultimate Barn Find, a Speculator's Stash, or a Clever Way to Promote a Car Sale?

Photos by Luc.A.

There’s been some attention on the recent acquisition by a Canadian muscle car collector of what Driving.ca called “the ultimate Canadian barn find”, about 40 late model American performance cars. While the assortment of Corvettes, SRT Mopars and limited edition Fords like Harley Davidson F-150s and three Ford GTs are undoubtedly desirable, I’m not sure if the term “barn finds” applies. I’m old enough that the first time I heard “the Cobra in the barn” urban legend, it had to do with a soldier who never came back from Vietnam. I’m sure the oldest version of that story has to do with a doughboy and and a 1917 Model T or even a Union soldier and a horse drawn Studebaker wagon. Either way, a barn find to me is exactly that, a find, in Yiddish a metzia, something perhaps overlooked or abandoned and now rediscovered. I wouldn’t necessarily apply it to a business proposition that didn’t pan out.

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Mk I Lotus Cortina – The Original Lotus Tuned Car

Photo: Bonhams

TTAC contributor Abraham Drimmer has a fine piece over at Road & Track about his favorite cars that resulted from collaborations between Lotus and other, usually much larger, automobile manufacturers. Each of Abe’s five choices are worthy of note in their own way: the Isuzu Impulse, the C4 Corvette ZR-1, the Lotus Sunbeam, the Lotus Carlton, and the DeLorean DMC-12, but Mr. Drimmer is a relative youngun, so I wasn’t surprised that left off of his R&T list was the original ‘tuned by Lotus but sold by another company’ car. It’s the Lotus tuned car that Lotus purists are most likely consider to be a genuine Lotus and not an Isuzu, Chevy, Chrysler, Vauxhall or DeLorean. In some cases it fetches prices north of its contemporary Elans. It has a pedigree that includes some of the greatest luminaries of British motordom and it helped to establish the foundation of a relationship that would eventually revolutionize motorsports. According to Lotus’ factory nomenclature, it’s a Type 28, according to the sales brochures it was the Ford Cortina Lotus and according to just about everybody else who knows about it, it’s called the Lotus Cortina.

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Vintage AMC AMX PPG Indy Car World Series Pace Car Up For Sale

In 1981 the CART/PPG Indy Car series was in its third year. Formed in 1979 by racing teams who had split from the previous sanctioning body, USAC, over how races were promoted, the way that television contracts were handled and what they believed to be the small size of the winners’ purses, the ‘81 PPG Indy Car World Series had 11 races on the schedule and featured drivers like Rick Mears, Johnny Rutherford and Mario Andretti. In time the series would go on to become the sole sanctioning body for all of Indy Car racing, but in 1981 the series was still in its infancy and, despite having Indy Car as a part of it name, did not even include the Indianapolis 500 among its officially sanctioned events.

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Elon Musk Buys 007 Submarine, Will Attempt To Make It Functional

Elon Musk, the real-life Tony Stark of our times, has quite the extensive résumé: Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; billionaire investor of projects and businesses such as SolarCity and the preservation of Nikola Tesla’s lab; inventor of the Hyperloop rapid mass transit concept; 007 cosplayer…

Yes, you read that right: Musk is a huge fan of the man who loves his martinis shaken and his women to have double entendre naming schemes. So much so, in fact, that he now has one of Bond’s most awesome vehicles ever conceived.

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Never Mind Detroit's Rembrandts & Van Goghs, to Pay Off Creditors Will the City Sell the First Mustang?
Mustang II Concept from 1963

It was once hypothetical, but now that the City of Detroit has filed for municipal bankruptcy, and since no legislation has been passed in Lansing to prevent it, it’s possible that a bankruptcy judge will order that city assets, including the art collection of the city owned Detroit Institute of Arts, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion or more, be sold to satisfy creditors, mostly public employee unions and city pensioneers. A less well known collection of artifacts more closely related to Detroit’s role as the Motor City, and perhaps nearer to the hearts of our readers (not that you’re Philistines who can’t appreciate fine art, but this is not The Truth About Art), could also be sold off to give creditors a few more pennies on the dollar.

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Push To Pass Out – Nigel Mansell's 1984 Lotus 95T Comes Up For Auction

One of my favorite Formula One memories is from the inaugural (and only) Dallas Grand Prix, in 1984, involving my favorite team, the Colin Chapman era Lotus (though by 1984 Chapman had already died) and one of my favorite drivers, Nigel Mansell, forever shattering a stereotype of F1 drivers as prima donnas. Now you can own the Lotus 95T that he drove that day. Today’s F1 cars have a Drag Reduction System, DRS, as well as being able to use energy recovered with regenerative braking by the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, KERS. Both allow the driver to push a button and go faster, not entirely unlike IndyCar’s “push to pass” system that momentarily increases engine power. Twenty-nine years ago this week, Mansell had no such technical aids. Instead of push to pass, he pushed, literally, until he passed out.

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The Story Behind the Lambrecht Chevrolet Collection

Mildred Lambrecht and her son Mark. circa 1953

As our esteemed colleague Mr. Baruth pointed out, it’s not every day that you can buy dealer fresh 50 year old Chevys, referring to the upcoming auction of over 500 cars owned by Ray P. Lambrecht, now 95 years old, who with his wife Mildred and a single mechanic ran Lambrecht Chevrolet, a small rural dealership in Pierce, Nebraska from 1946 to 1996. The collection includes a startling number of new old stock cars, time-capsules that were never sold or registered as well as trade ins that Lambrecht and his Mildred decided to keep. Though it’s not on the scale of Barney Pollard’s massive inventory, I suspect that in time, as with former Pollard cars, the provenance of being a “Lambrecht Chevy” will be a factor in those cars’ collector value. A number of comments to Jack’s post wondered what the story was behind the collection. Fortunately, the auction description at VanDerBrink’s Auctions website was written by the Lambrechts’ own daughter, Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell, who gives the human side to the Lambrecht Chevys:

The Man Behind the Legend
The Story of Ray P. Lambrecht and Lambrecht Chevrolet Company
by Jeannie Lambrecht Stillwell

Urban legends speak of a former Midwest Chevy dealer with a collection of hundreds of vehicles hidden away in a rural setting. Rumors abound regarding this man and the mystery of that collection. The man behind that legend is my father, Ray P. Lambrecht. Dad owned and operated Lambrecht Chevrolet Company from 1946 until 1996, selling new Chevrolets to multiple generations of families all over the Midwest and beyond. This is his story.

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Monday Mileage Midget: 2011 Honda Accord LX

Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.

Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.

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Auction Day: The Euro Bailout

What percentage of new cars sold this year in the United States have European badges?

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Review: 2012 Mitsubishi I-MiEV

A rear-wheel-drive four-door hatchback with staggered wheels and a mere 2,579 pounds distributed 45/55. From the folks who gave us the Evo. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? But the Mitsubishi i-MiEV (conversationally referred to as either the “i” OR the “meev”) isn’t that sort of car. Its focus is just as narrow as the Evo’s but could hardly be more different: the cheapest, most energy-efficient electric car you can buy in the United States. How cheap? The i-MiEV’s low-20s price (after a $7,500 tax credit) isn’t much higher than that of a Toyota Prius c, the cheapest, most energy-efficient hybrid.

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Auction Day: Finance Kings & Dealer Queens

When over 60 dealers are looking at the same vehicle at the same time, your chances of a finding a good deal at an auction decline dramatically.

That 2009 Nissan Versa that you like? At least five large-scale buy-here pay-here dealers will be fighting for it along with two other wholesalers that have a warm relationship with a Nissan dealer.

The scuffed up low-end Impala with over 200k on it? A public auction on the south side of town will be all over that. As will many other used car dealers who finance older vehicles in the urban areas of Atlanta. Don’t even think about buying that car as a cash flipper these days; because financing is the new elixir of older, popular used cars.

But an 11 year old Buick? Midsized? Unpopular? Well cared for? That’s my niche!

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Beater Edition: Rent, Lease, Sell or Keep

A 1997 Ford Escort is not exactly a rolling testament to the dreams of auto enthusiasts.

But for $300, it beats the ever loving snot out of a Schwinn.

This LX model was a trade-in from one of my customers. Did I rip them off? No. Not at all. One of the cylinders was dead. The interior was as dirty as Hugh Hefner’s mind, and with 221k miles coupled with a 5-speed, it wasn’t about to go on the front line.

But where should I put it?

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Hammer Time: If You Want A Deal, You Have To Pay For It

BCA Auctions in Derby, UK; Courtesy of Zimbio.com

I get a lot of emails from auto enthusiasts. About 60% of what I get comes down to this question.

“Can you get me a high demand vehicle at a disgustingly low price at the auctions?”

The short answer is no. Just as an athlete can’t contradict the laws of physics, I can’t control the free market aspect of a dealer auction. In my world a car is bid on by dozens of professionals until the last man pays the most. If you want a Toyonda or the latest and greatest wheels that are based on yet another ‘”Fast & Furious” ripoff, then you have to pay the premium.

As for unpopular cars, they are a different story.

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Could There Be Any Vintage Wagon Greater Than This?

Well, yes, there are a few wagons greater than this, but not many. An Intermeccanica Murena 429 GT, maybe, or perhaps a 9-second Buick Sport Wagon. The important thing to understand here is that this wagon is for sale, now!

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  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.