Friday, January 28, 2011

Scenes From An Auction II: Scottsdale 2011

1934 Riley 12/4 "Ulster"
This car caught our eye as it was very similar to the Riley re-creation that we featured on Barnfinder! a few weeks ago. Little did we guess there was more in common than we could have known. This car was billed in the Gooding catalog as having pre-and-post war race history with possible connection to the 1935 RAC Tourist Trophy. As it rolled up to the auction block at Gooding's on Saturday, David Gooding soberly retracted all claims to any provenance and announced that it was a replica made from a Riley sedan. Ouch! Having said that, it's final sale price of $121,000 was only $29k off the low estimate for a real car, and considerably more than the high bid for the German replica we featured a few weeks ago. The bait-and-switch was unfortunate- and Gooding owned up- but the buyers for this car were already in the room and not going home empty handed. It's unfortunate that the seller was ultimately rewarded for his misrepresentation regarding the vehicle's history, and I doubt Mr. Gooding will extend the offer to consign again.

1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale
Alfa prices were clearly up this year and the Milanese marque will probably be featured strongly at Monterey in August. This car was an older restoration that was showing some wear. It gave away some of the purity of the early Giulietta SS, but made up for it with the eminently more driveable 1600 Giulia engine. Given that a North Scottsdale classic dealer sold a better car in the same color that same week for near money- this was a good car (and good time) to let go. The car sold at Gooding with commission for $79,750- which just about met it's high estimate. A very pretty car with classic Scaglione lines...but think of the Maserati that same money could buy right now...

1923 Dort 25-K Five-Passenger Sport Touring
Scottsdale was apparently not the place to sell obscure 20's era cars. This Dort was a jaunty looking bit-of-kit, but fared no better than many of the early cars in the Gooding catalog. No fault of the location or company, but merely reflective in the truth that these cars (and those that love them) are becoming ineffectual in the collector world at large. Pity because there is so much craftsmanship and appeal to these vehicles, and for the price of entry you cannot beat the experience. This Dort had a inline-six promising 45hp (which should even make it usable) and was striking in green and black with a saddle interior. The sale price of $15,400 would barely put paint on a car today. Previously owned by the Nethercutt and Harrahs collections.Offered at No Reserve, and bought cheaply. Wonderful value, and for under $30k you could have put it next to the matching green and black 1967 Eldorado featured earlier!

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