Monday, January 31, 2011

My Favorite Cars - Results From Arizona - RM Auctions

by Mike -

The results are in red text below, originally posted on January 12 and 13. It looks like RM also had a successful auction.

1958 Aston Martin DB MK IIIA Coupe - Estimate is $200,000 - $250,000

Not Sold at High Bid of $197,500

This Aston has a 2,922 cc inline six cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors producing 162 bhp with a 4 speed manual transmission. This is a very rare car indeed, it was owned by the original owner until 2009! It has only 44,000 miles and is in original unrestored condition. That is about 850 miles per year; it is a California car that still has the black California license plates and is left hand drive (my favorite). In addition to this great stuff I love the ivory white color. I will bet that two sets of golf clubs fit nicely in this wonderful car.

1956 Arnolt Bristol Roadster - Estimate is $150,000 - $200,000

Sold for $99,000

This car is Corvette powered with 225 hp from a 265 cid V-8, dual Carter four-barrel carburetors and a 4 speed transmission. According to RM this car is "In concours-quality condition, the Arnolt-Bristol has been driven a mere 33 miles since completing its full, body-off restoration." This car did not leave the factory with that Corvette engine. With body by Bertone this car would have originally come with a 6 cylinder Bristol engine. These cars have a colorful history and achieved some racing success. There were 142 made between 1953 and 1959 and probably less that 100 still exist today. It will take a special owner for this car, one who can appreciate the unique history. That new owner will then own a rare and special car.

1987 Porsche 959 - Estimate is $350,000 - $440,000

Not Sold at High Bid of $300,000

A 2,849 cc rear-mounted air- and liquid-cooled horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine with twin two-stage turbochargers, and six-speed manual gearbox produces 450 bhp. This is a 4 wheel drive super car, the Komfort model, and an "Unmodified, factory-specification 959" according to RM. Porsche 959s are great collector cars and originally were not imported to the US. So, a US buyer should be sure that this car can be licensed for street use (or modified to be legal for street use), or reserve it for track days - which would be great fun too. This will be the coolest Porsche on the block for sure.

1973 Lamborghini Espada Series III Coupe - Estimate is $30,000 - $40,000

Sold for $38,500

The engine is a 3,929 V12 engine with a 5 speed manual gearbox producing 370 hp. This has the same engine as the Miura but is less that one tenth the cost of the cheapest Miura. The Espada was styled by Marcello Gandini of Bertone. This is an original car with 84,000 miles and it will seat four people. It is comfortable for long drives, although probably not with four people. Espadas are under appreciated classic Lamborghinis and this one looks great to me. I have written about Espadas before.

So, these are some of the cars that I like at the upcoming RM auction in Arizona. Make up your own mind - read more and see more pictures at RM Auctions. More from me later this week.

My original posts are here and here.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Part 2

1952 Allard J2X Roadster - Estimate is $175,000 - $225,000

Sold for $187,000

This car has a 283 cid Chevrolet Corvette V8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission and 4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It puts out 230 bhp. It was originally equipped with a Chrysler engine; this was changed to the current Corvette engine many years ago. These are not the best looking cars around but they are fast and had a reasonable racing history. There were 83 J2X cars produced between 1952 and 1954, so they are quite rare. This is a great combination, British chassis with American power. It is said that these cars influenced Carroll Shelby to build the AC Cobra.

1967 Lamborghini 400GT Coupe - Estimate is $275,000 - $375,000

Sold for $341,000

This car has a 3,929 cc V12 engine with six Weber carburetors and a 5-speed manual transmission producing 320 bhp. I believe that I have mentioned before that the engine was designed by Giotto Bizzarrini. This is a rare "interim" 400GT meaning that it is one of 23 cars that have the 4 liter engine instead of the 3.5 liter engine of the 350GT but does not have the back seats of the 400GT 2+2. This car has beautiful red leather interior and a silver body - great combination and it is a show winner. I want this Lamborghini real bad.

1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder - Estimate is $800,000 - $1,000,000

Sold for $880,000

OK, this estimate should be a clue that this is a real Spyder and not a conversion. Indeed RM states "One of only 121 factory-built Daytona Spyders". It has a 4,390 cc double overhead camshaft V12 engine, six Weber carburetors and 5-speed manual gearbox producing 352 bhp. So, it is a Ferrari and a real Daytona Spyder so what more do you need? How about celebrity ownership like “Evel” Knievel, Reggie Jackson and New York DJ Frankie Crocker? Well, it has that too. If you want a Daytona Spyder this one looks like a great catch, it is sure to impress your friends even the Ferrari folks.

1970 Ferrari Dino 246 GT - Estimate is $125,000-$150,000 - OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $115,500

This car has a 2,418 cc mid-mounted V6 engine with four overhead camshafts and three Weber carburetors and a five-speed manual transaxle putting out 195 bhp. These have now been fully accepted as real Ferraris although they originally did not carry the Ferrari badge. This one is a driver quality car and not a show car, so if the hammer price reflects that then this can be a very enjoyable weekend driver. It is the second lowest priced car that I have profiled from RM and it is not a red Ferrari. So, its got that going for it too.

1966 Shelby 427 Cobra - Estimate is $650,000 - $750,000

Sold for $643,500

This is a real Shelby Cobra with the huge 427 cid engine producing 520 bhp. It also has 4 Weber carburetors and a 4-speed transmission. This car has been fully restored by a well known restoration expert, Stewart Hall (even I know Stewart). RM says "The restoration was completed to spectacular standard in a no-expense-spared fashion to not only look great but also to perform well under the rigors of competition driving". Great car.

So, these are some of the cars that I like at the upcoming RM auction in Arizona. Make up your own mind - read more and see more pictures at RM Auctions

My original posts are here and here.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Below is a Shelby factory post card given to me by my father in 1965. Man, did I want this car.

This is on the back of the post card.

Friday, January 28, 2011

My Favorite Cars - Results From Arizona - Gooding & Company

by Mike -

The results are in red text below, originally posted on January 10. It looks like Gooding had a successful auction.

1966 Ferrari 330 GTC - Estimate is $250,000 - $300,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $220,000

40,000 miles - sliver with red interior - a great combination. The 300 GTC is one of the best looking Ferraris of the 1960s and will always be appreciated by Ferrari lovers. This car has been in the movies!

It has a 4 liter V12 Engine with three Weber carburetors producing 300 bhp through a 5-speed manual transaxle. Oh yeah.

1967 Jaguar E-Type Series I Roadster Race Car - Estimate is $125,000 - $150,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $96,800

"Fully equipped for vintage racing" according to Gooding. This car just looks good and with a 4.2 liter 6-cylinder engine producing 380 bhp it will move fast as well. Look good and go fast, that's what I want.

1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I Lightweight Race Car - Estimate is $250,000 - $325,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $187,000

Another vintage race car - "Overall Winner of the 1992 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique". Also at 380 bhp it is quick. It has a 4.2 liter 6-cylinder engine with three Weber carburetors and a 4-speed manual transmission. It also has disk brakes on all 4 wheels. This car has style and speed.

1965 Ferrari 275 GTB - Estimate is $700,000 - $800,000

Sold for $797,500

One of the most desirable Ferraris ever - the 275 GTB is a timeless classic. This one in Fly yellow with tan interior was restored in 2002. A V12 engine with 3.3 liter capacity and three Weber carburetors produces 280 bhp through the 5-speed manual transaxle. I love yellow and am glad to see it is not red.

1958 AC Ace Bristol - Estimate is $250,000 - $325,000

Sold for $258,500

This looks like a Shelby Cobra but it is the predecessor to the Cobra and is driven by an inline 6-cylinder 2 liter Bristol engine with 128 bhp. So, it is not as fast as a Cobra but it looks just as good and is much cheaper than a real Cobra. These cars are very much appreciated by collectors today and the price range set by Gooding reflects that interest.

1967 Ghia 450 SS Convertible - Estimate is $100,000 - $130,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $103,400

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro this car has a 273 cid Chrysler engine putting out 235 bhp through an automatic transmission. It has lived its whole life in Southern California and was restored in 1988. This car is not a high performance car but is a good looker for cruising on a summer day to the beach, or anywhere.

1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS - Estimate Available Upon Request

Sold for $1,045,000

This beautiful classic Porsche has a 1,966 CC 4-cylinder engine putting out 185 hp through a 5-speed ZF transmission. This is one of the best looking Porsches ever and this car has a successful race history. 

Gooding says "One of the earliest Carrera GTS models built, chassis 904-017 is an exceptional car that possesses a brilliant racing record, a documented ownership history from new and a level of authenticity matched by few of these dominant Porsche race cars."

"Estimate Available Upon Request" is code for "very expensive".

1964 Shelby 289 Cobra - Estimate is $525,000 - $625,000

Sold for $610,500

A 289 cid Ford engine with a 4-speed transmission delivering 271 bhp. This is a rare unrestored, real Shelby 289 Cobra. It is unusual to find one of these cars that has not been modified in some way over the years and then to find one that has not at least been restored is fantastic. They are original only once - I hope this car goes to a good home and lives a long unrestored life.

1965 Shelby GT350 R - Estimate is $650,000 - $850,000

Not Sold

Wow, a real R code 1965 Shelby GT350! The R stands for race and this is a race car with a great history that includes drivers Pedro Rodriguez and Freddy Van Beuren and a national championship. I have written about Shelby GT 350s before so I won't repeat myself here.

1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV - estimate is $850,000 - $950,000

Sold for $990,000

I am a huge fan of the Miura, however, I am not sure why the P400 SV commands a 100% premium over the P400 but it does, so who am I to argue with market forces? 

This car has a 4 liter alloy V12 engine (originally designed by Giotto Bizzarrini), four Weber carburetors producing 385 bhp with a 5-speed manual transmission. It has had a full restoration by marque experts. There were 751 Miuras produced of which only 148 were the SV like this one.

1969 Porsche 911 S 2.0 Coupe - estimate is $90,000 - $120,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $121,000

This car has a 1,991 CC boxer 6-cylinder engine producing 170 hp with a 5-speed manual gearbox. This model is rare and one of the most desirable of the early 911s. This car is an award winner and has been fully restored. 

I owned a 1967 911 many years ago that looked very much like this car but not as nice.

1963 Aston Martin DB4 Series V Vantage GT - Estimate is $650,000 - $750,000

Sold for $660,000

This Aston has a 4.2 liter inline 6-cylinder engine with three Weber carburetors putting out 304 hp using a 4-speed manual transmission. This car has had a complete restoration by Aston Martin Works Service with some performance upgrades. This car is set up to go either way - road or race. This is a rare car and the only problem for me is that it is right hand drive (this would be OK on the track but I would not like it on the road). But still a great car.

1963 Lotus Elite SE - Estimate is $60,000 - $80,000 WITHOUT RESERVE

Sold for $99,000

This car has a 1,460 CC inline 4-cylinder engine with twin Weber carburetors putting out 108 bhp using a 4-speed ZF transmission. It also has 4-wheel disc brakes. These cars are much loved by Lotus fans but they can be difficult to live with if you do not understand them. If you want an Elite this one sounds like a great one to own based on the Gooding description.

So, these are the cars that I like. Make up your own mind - read more and see more pictures at Gooding & Company.

My original post is here.

Click the images for a larger view.

The pictures below are from the Gooding auction preview in Monterey, August 2010.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steve McQueen's Siata - Part 2

by Mike - 

Here are more pictures of this great little car the 1953 Siata 208-S once owned by Steve McQueen. This car (BS-523) is the first car profiled in Matt Stone's book McQueen's Machines: The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon. In this book Matt Stone says that Steve McQueen bought this Siata after his wife crashed their new Corvette.

Ernie McAfee Engineering on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood was a car dealer who sold Siatas. It is believed that this is where Steve McQueen bought, and later sold, this car.

The tail lights are not where I would expect them to be creating a very interesting look.

"This car is really fun to drive" says Tony Singer, the owner.

In Part 1 yesterday I mentioned that the Siata front end style could have been the inspiration for the AC Ace (and thus the AC Cobra). Jeff S. Savage, AutoPhyle, pointed out to me that there were some earlier designs that had a similar front end style, like the Ferrari 166 MM, a 1949 version is pictured below (body by Carrozzeria Touring). Maybe the Cisitalia design by Pinin Farina was influential as well.

Do you see a resemblance?

Click on the images for a larger view. Part 1 is here.