Barnfinder! visited the Arizona collector car auctions last week to get a feel for market values and trends. And we even found a few interesting deals under the nose of thousands of educated buyers. Let's break them down into Well Bought and Well Sold, shall we?
WELL BOUGHT1967 Cadillac Eldorado
This car crossed the block at the RM Auctions at the end of the day on Friday as the bidding room was nearly empty. The buyer couldn't believe the lack of interest and bought the car with a single bid of $15,000. Now (despite some previous posts) big American cars are really not our thing; however the innovation and styling on these full-size front wheel drive cruisers make them ripe for future appreciation. The car wore California black plates and was the same top quality as most of RM's offerings that weekend. The new owner was entertaining offers (not sure he had a garage big enough to house his win!) at a $5,000 markup. Well bought, and shows that serious bidders should be the first to enter and the last to leave an auction.
WELL BOUGHT1935 Fiat Balilla Sport Spider 508 S Coppa d'Oro Corsa
Gooding & Company sold this amazing car for a hammer price of $110,000...$15,000 under the low estimate. Powered by a one-liter Siata motor and eligible for virtually every vintage event in existence, this beauty is now going to a new home in Chicago. Many of the larger collections were kicking themselves for passing this one by. The level of preparation on this car was wonderful; the bonus was that the car came with plenty of documents, photos and history. What a great (and cheap) ride for the Mille Miglia.
1955 Arnolt MG Bertone Coupe
Sold at a hammer price plus commission of $38,500 at RM on Thursday. This car (which really is much shorter in person) had lots of cross appeal. It utilizes a supercharged, twin SU carb MGTD engine and chassis and came from the Gene Ponder collection. Coachwork was by Bertone under commission from "Wacky" Arnolt and was limited to 67 units. Where can you find ANY car in this condition, with exclusive Italian coachwork, interesting Arnolt history and the hot rod MG motor at anything near this price? Cheap admission to any Italian or British concours. To put it in perspective, a chrome bumper 1967 MGB Roadster sold for $27,500 to that same room of bidders. Somehow this car fell between the cracks of the British and the Italian enthusiasts and someone got a great deal.
1987 Fiat Bertone X1/9 Convertible
Sold at RM on Friday for $3875 with commission.I would really, really love to know the true back story about this consignment. Was this a last minute addition for a cancelled lot? A prescient nod to a future collectible from the RM staff? A way to draw a younger entry level demographic into the auction world? Or was it simply illegally parked in the Biltmore garage and sold for parking fees? Make no mistake..there will be a time and place when these interesting but much-maligned cars see their day in the sun. As it was, on this sunny day this car made full retail for it's consignor.