Tag: Auction

By on January 24, 2020

Making the pilgrimage to the big top building at Westworld in Scottsdale to experience the insanity that is Barrett-Jackson’s flagship is a trip that should be undertaken by every red-blooded gearhead. Equal parts car show, party, and sale, the annual desert soirée is gloriously mad in all the right ways.

Of course, there are plenty of people who carp that vehicles at Barrett-Jackson fetch too much money and, indeed, some of them do. Witness the 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight that traded for an eye-watering $385,000 simply because Paul Walker’s name was on the ownership.

However, many of those same people are simply making noise on the internet and have no plans (or means) to, y’know, actually buy something. They’ll also bemoan the so-called Bring-a-Trailer premium instead of simply appreciating the weird and wonderful cars that appear.

Here’s the simple fact: there are deals to be had. While on the ground in Scottsdale, we sought out a few we figured would be of interest to you, the reader. And to prove a point, of course.

(Read More…)

By on January 20, 2020

Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale Arizona

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?

(Read More…)

By on August 19, 2019

1991 Pontiac Trans Sport, Images: RM Auctions, Inc.

Over the weekend at Monterey, RM Sotheby’s executed what will forever remain one of the worst screw-ups in auction history. With a piece of is-it-or-isn’t-it Porsche history on the block, the auctioneer started his patter at what the crowd (and the media screen) thought was thirty million dollars. That same media screen quickly rocketed to seventy mil before said auctioneer clarified he was saying seven-teen not seven-ty. Boos rained down upon the room and bidding predictably evaporated like chloroform. The car failed to sell.

Conspiracy theorists will forever debate what really happened, but our question for you today is this: what’s the biggest error — either in buying or selling — you’ve ever seen at a car auction?

(Read More…)

By on October 1, 2018

This weekend, someone raised their bidder’s number at Barrett-Jackson in Las Vegas when the auctioneer asked for $58,000. It wasn’t on a Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. Nor was it on a tasty ’70 Chevelle SS. It was on the 1997 Acura Integra Type R you see above.

After buyer’s fees, the new owner shelled out $63,800 for what may very well be the lowest-mileage ITR in existence. Do you think collector’s tastes have shifted? Maybe permanently?

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2018

Corvette ZR1

The most gonzo of all current Corvettes, the ZR1, packs a 755 horsepower wallop from its supercharged LT5. Chevrolet, as it has in the past with other notable versions of popular models, offered up the first retail copy to the highest bidder at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale.

Rick Hendrick, who is reported to already own a couple of Chevys, ponied up the cash and won the auction … despite not even being in the room.

(Read More…)

By on January 21, 2018

2019 Mustang Bullitt

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.  (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2017

s-l1600-7

Last time on Rare Rides, we carried the racing [driver] and special edition themes to new heights, and featured a shockingly bad Jeff Gordon Monte Carlo special edition of which there were 24 copies made. Our ride today is still made by General Motors, and it’s still about racing, but it’s larger and even more rare. It’s also better, because it has an Oldsmobile logo on the front (albeit not the superior rocket one).

Oh yeah, and it’ll go 140 miles per hour.

(Read More…)

By on March 10, 2017

2004 Saleen S7

When you put pen to paper and start making a list of American super car models, it doesn’t take long to conclude that The Land of the Free is not a leading purveyor of the species. In fact, you can fit the list on a standard Post-It. Google reckons there are just four generally — Ford GT, Hennessey Venom GT (which are current), a couple of Mosler MTs, and the Saleen S7 (which are deceased).

So come and check out a rare example of what happens when American British engineering meets super car specifications, and then it all gets screwed together in the U.S. of A.

(Read More…)

By on March 6, 2017

Barrett Jackson Scottsdale, Jan 2017

It’s the dream of us all, isn’t it? Knowing tomorrow’s lottery numbers. Correctly predicting the long-shot Super Bowl winner before putting down a big bet in Vegas. I don’t know about you, but as a gearhead I harbor similar fantasies about the Next Big Thing in collector cars.

The collector car market has waned somewhat from the breathless heights of 10 years ago. Sure, there are still pockets of crazy money — witness Hemi ‘Cudas that can still trade for outrageous sums, not to mention air-cooled Porsches and Pebble Beach with their Holy Grail Ferraris hammering away for many tens of millions of dollars.

(Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

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No, not Kato Kaelin. (That’s two OJ references on one day. We’re done. – Ed.)

Mouth-watering classics hit the block at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction house all the time, but few were ever driven by the embodiment of 1980s masculinity. Well, today’s your chance to clear out your retirement funds and make a bid on one of the most recognizable vehicles in all of TV Land. (Read More…)

By on January 16, 2017

At the 2015 Palm Beach Auction, driver Herb – on his birthday – got to drive “Herbie” across the block. Image: Barrett-Jackson

This week, the deep-pocketed guys and girls of the car collecting world will descend upon the state of Arizona for the annual collector car auctions. From the televised glitz of Barrett-Jackson to the white-gloved stratosphere of RM Sotheby’s, there is something on the docket to fit everyone’s taste.

For years, I’d watch the events on television or follow the sale prices online with a certain amount of apoplexy. “They paid how much? For that?!?” I’d routinely fume, reliably waking my spouse and buying myself yet another night in the guest room.

A couple of years ago, though, I had a minor revelation.

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2016

1958 Ford Thunderbird (Stephen Velden/Flickr)

Pitchforks and dung aside, the world’s barns often hold undiscovered treasures, from the 1974 Volkswagen Beetle that sold for $43,000 in June, to a bumper crop of Ford Thunderbirds recently uncovered near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

According to the Detroit Free Press, an unnamed family recently called a Wayland auction house in the hopes of making a sale. The item? The contents of a barn containing about 50 classic cars, including a bevy of Thunderbirds from the porthole to basket handle eras. (Read More…)

By on June 2, 2016

1974 Volkswagen Beetle

If there was ever a hermetically sealed time capsule of a car, this is it. And we can thank an old, religious Italian man who hated driving for keeping it so fresh.

A beyond pristine 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, once a common sight on roadways everywhere, just sold at Silverstone Auctions in Denmark for a price that would make an original buyer choke on their Tab. Did they get a good deal? It depends on how much value you put on “perfect.” (Read More…)

By on January 8, 2016

auction1

I buy a lot of cars, which means I often find myself thinking about car sellers and buyers. These are two interesting groups of human beings. In many cases, they’re openly trying to screw you. In other cases, they have no idea they’re screwing you, and you don’t discover they have until four days later when you go to put your briefcase in the trunk and it’s full of rain water.

This got me thinking: What is the least trustworthy group of automotive sellers in existence?

I’ve bought cars from all of them. New car dealers. Used car dealers. Family members, friends, auctions, and strangers on the Internet, from Craigslist to Cars.com to Autotrader to web forums. Every transaction is a little different. And every time, I’m wonder to myself: Is this person going to screw me?

That’s why I’m soliciting your opinion on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart (and wallet). Which car seller can you count on to be the very worst?

(Read More…)

By on December 18, 2015

RM-NYC-2015-1955-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Sportabteilung-Gullwing-15

During the last week, much has been written about the “Driven By Disruption” auction Dec. 10 by RM Auction/Sotheby’s.

Most of that reporting was about Janis Joplin’s Porsche, which sold for a mildly outrageous sum of $1.6 million (plus fees), which beat the estimate about 2.5 times. Other top-dollar cars were mentioned as well, especially the first Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato sold in almost a decade, or the Ferrari 290 MM that was driven by the famous Juan Manuel Fangio in the Mille Miglia. Both cars brought even more eye-watering amounts of money – $13 million for the Aston, $25.5 million for the Ferrari. The Aston even set a historical record for the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

The message is clear: The collector car market is not only alive and well, it’s thriving. Cars sell for ever-higher sums and they are a marvelous investment value. After all, they aren’t making any more classic Ferraris and Astons, are they? So the value can only go up, right? (Read More…)

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