AUCTION ACTION

WHAT'S HOT ON THE BLOCK THIS MONTH

ANDY ENRIGHT

WHAT'S MOVING AND SHAKING

PORSCHE 944 TURBO Last year we ran a feature on ‘Sleeping Beauties’ – undervalued classics you should buy now.

The Porsche 914 was in there and at the time you could pick a tidy one up for $30,000. Call that $50,000 now, mirroring an upward trend for air-cooled Porsches. Looking for a Porker with a bit of growth potential?

We’d be digging round for a late 944 Turbo.

CHEVROLET SUNOCO CAMARO TRANS AM 1968

$1.3M RMA, AMELIA ISLAND

Penske’s Chevrolet Camaros dominated the 1968 season, with Mark Donohue winning 10 of the 1968 season’s 13 races, a record that was unassailed until 1997. Donohue’s dominant season easily propelled Chevrolet to the 1968 manufacturer’s title and this car is the third of six built and later got the clever vacuum-based system that retracted the brake calipers, allowing Penske’s pit mechanics to change the pads in less than half the time of Ford’s four minute stops. It also got the dual four-barrel Cross Ram intake manifold on the 302– cubic inch Traco-tuned Chevy engine.

Donohue went on to write, “it was so much faster than the single four [barrel set-up] that we reckoned it was another Unfair Advantage.”

1990 MERC 190E 2.5-16 EVO II

$558,000 SILVERSTONE, UK

Over half a million for 188 rippling kilowatts from the Nineties? Doesn’t seem much of a deal on first acquaintance, but the 190E 2.5-16 Evo II is a car that gets Mercedes-Benz lovers a bit weak at the knees. This one’s number 262 of 502 cars and was supplied new to Germany. With just 2,772 kilometres on the clock, it’s almost a museum piece, but if you thought the prices of BMW E30 M3s were crazy, here’s some perspective. Values have ramped up sharply since last year when the Evo II became legal for US import.

1960 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE

$158,121 GOODINGS, AMELIA ISLAND

Yep, it’s an auction record for a Beetle, but before you start thinking your rusting Bug is going to put the kids through college, consider this. It was part of the Jerry Seinfeld collection so it was liberally sprinkled with celebrity fairy dust yet most of the 18 Porsches in the Seinfeld sale failed to hit estimate.

Overall Seinfeld’s collection raised $29m against a pre-sale $39m prediction.

Hagerty’s were already across that result, their Market Rating index posting its largest month-to-month drop in February since 2009.

1970 BOLWELL NAGARI

$60,500 SHANNONS, SYDNEY

Australia’s most exotic homegrown shape attracted quite a bit of interest for this ‘lesser’ 302ci version. This one was the first and only Nagari completed in left-hand drive but was never exported, instead remaining with Bolwell as a development and show car. Since then it’s been converted to right hand drive and once had a 351ci race motor in it, chassis B7-57 subsequently enjoying a full resto.

1969 FORD TORINO TALLADEGA 428

$112,000 SHANNONS, SYDNEY

Reaching $35k over its median estimate, this 79,000 mile ex-Petersen Museum Torino Talladega was always going to prove a big draw, representing the Blue Oval’s ultimate weapon in NASCAR’s aero wars and a key instrument in Ford’s Total Performance program for ’69.

Finished in Presidential Blue, this one was also used as the template for the Maisto scale model of the Talladega.

1948 TUCKER 48

FT LAUDERDALE AUCTIONS – 2ND APRIL ESTIMATE $1.275M - $1.7M

What you’re seeing here is a bit of a unicorn. It’s the last Tucker ever built, but it took a bit of time. Car number 1052 here was used as a test mule for the Tucker auto box and after the company’s bankruptcy in 1950, it was sold to collector Ezra Schlipf who, in the goal of completing the car, gathered several other components, such as the undamaged front end sheetmetal from car no 1018.

In order to complete the car, the Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan fabricated the car’s floor, roof, and rear doors, using patterns taken from an original car. With the supply of original major components drying up, it’s doubtful any more completed Tucker 48 chassis will appear. Preston Tucker walked out of bankruptcy court saying “Even Henry Ford failed the first time out,” but six years later Tucker was dead. Here’s his final legacy.

1971 VALIANT VG REGAL COUPE

$20,500 SHANNONS, SYDNEY

Just to prove that you don’t need bottomless pockets to drive away from Shannons in something that’ll raise a big smile, this VG Valiant Regal is just the ticket. Owned by the same family since new, it’s covered a piffling 46,000 miles from new. Admittedly, you’ll have to like brown, as it’s a kaleidoscope of craptones inside and out, but early Baby Boomers would have loved it.

1966ABARTH 1300 OT PERISCOPIO

$661,500 GOODINGS, AMELIA ISLAND

Carlo Abarth is more famous for his work on hot Fiats, but the Omologato Turismo could well be his career high point.

Despite this it’s little known. In late ‘64, Abarth’s contract with Simca expired and he developed his own engine, a 1300cc inline four good for 145hp. Only 50 were built and only around a dozen featured the dinky cooling periscope on the roof.

1991 VAUXHALL LOTUS CARLTON

$38,700 SILVERSTONE, UK

If the Merc Evo overleaf was a bit too rich for your pocketbook, how about something rarer and way more powerful?

Only 320 RHD Vauxhall Lotus Carltons were made, each fitted with a Lotus re-worked 3615cc straight six with twin Garrett T25 turbochargers resulting in 281kW and a 285km/h top end. This 77,000 mile hero looked good buying.

1980 FERRARI 512 BB

$389,000 RMA AMELIA ISLAND

Bargain Ferraris are a rarity, and while $389k is still a tall stack of simoleons, this beautiful Berlinetta Boxer represents the best of Pininfarina’s minimalist design phase. At around half of what a tidy 246 Dino fetches, this looked a decent deal.

Showing only 45,000 kilometres on the clock, this BB even came with its original Alitalia bill of lading. Fortissimo!