29 December 2010

2011 Scottsdale Cars to Watch

With the Scottsdale auctions less than a month away, it’s time to peruse the catalogs. The top end of the market remains strong, so we’ll be paying close attention to "mid-level" cars crossing the block – consignments in the $200K-$750K range.

As the world recovers from the recession, the trickle-down theory says that available money should flow down to more modest collectors. If it does, there should be money to be made in this range. So here are 10 cars worth considering:

10 Cars to Watch at Scottsdale

 

1. 1927 Bentley 3-Liter Red Label – This high-compression engine and short-wheelbase Red Label model is one of the most desirable “W.O.” Bentleys in existence. George Bennet, one of the founders of the Bentley Drivers Club in 1936, owned this Vanden Plas tourer. It has been fastidiously maintained – and raced – with the engine upgraded to team specifications and 4½ -liter performance. Form AND history, what more can you ask? (RM Auctions, Lot # 159, January 20-21. Est. $350K-$450K.)

Photo Credit: Hugh Hamilton ©2010 Courtesy of RM Auctions



Standard Steel Bentley Mk VI sedans are the most pedestrian way into Post-WWII Rolls-Royce circles. This '47 crosses the block at RM's auction in 2011.

2. 1947 Bentley Mk VI Drophead Coupe by Graber – Standard Steel Bentley Mk VI sedans are the most pedestrian way into Post-WWII Rolls-Royce circles. However, the Mark VI also sports some of the most elegant custom bodies. Swiss coachbuilder Hermann Graber was without peer in his perfectly proportioned coachwork – he even improved on 1930s Packards. This car is unmistakably Graber, with delightful Teutonic touches. (RM Auctions, Lot # 141, January 20-21. Est. $150K-$180K.)



This 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Custom Limousine was built by Maurice Schwartz and is the only survivor of six limousines constructed for MGM Studios.

3. 1949 Cadillac Series 75 Custom Limousine – There are woodys and there are Woodys. This 1949 car was custom built by Maurice Schwartz (think Bohman & Schwarz) and is the only survivor of six limousines constructed for MGM Studios. It’s been beautifully restored over many years; movie buffs can imagine the glamorous actors and actresses who rode in it. It was also the first year for the Cadillac OHV V8. (RM Auctions, Lot # 253, January 20-21. Est. $300K-$400K.)

Photo Credit: Shooterz.biz ©2010



Allards are thumpingly efficient roadsters remain as competitive in vintage racing as they were when new.

4. 1952 Allard J2X roadster – These bare-bones, thumpingly efficient roadsters remain as competitive in vintage racing as they were when new. Usually powered by Mercury, Cadillac or Chrysler V8s, this one-time race car was converted to street use 50 years ago and fitted with a 1960 Corvette 283 V8 and 4-speed, making it lighter and more tractable. It’s one of only 83 J2Xs built, few of which seem to change hands. (RM Auctions, Lot # 145, January 20-21. Est. $175K-$225K.)



This 1956 Nash Rambler Palm Beach was built as a concept car for the 1957 season, and it’s easily the prettiest Rambler ever built.

5. 1956 Nash Rambler Palm Beach – This Pinin Farina two-seater coupe was built as a concept car for the 1957 season, and it’s easily the prettiest Rambler ever built. It was beautifully finished in and out and very much a working car, although it was never intended for production. It probably gathers speed gracefully, rather than accelerates, thanks to its flathead, 82 hp Nash 6-cylinder. But if you want to be noticed, that’s guaranteed. (Gooding & Co. Lot# 143, January 21-22. Est. $550K-$650K.)



With just one owner for almost 50 years and only 7,367 original miles, it’s hard to imagine a lower-mileage example of a 300SL anywhere outside the Mercedes-Benz museum at Unterturkheim.

6. 1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster – With just one owner for almost 50 years and only 7,367 original miles, it’s hard to imagine a lower-mileage example of a 300SL anywhere outside the Mercedes-Benz museum at Unterturkheim. The best cars with Rudge wheels topped $800,000 in 2009, and this has a good shot at beating that. (Gooding & Co, Lot# 126, January 21-22. Estimate on request, but $700K-$900K is in the ballpark.)



1964 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX2289 is an unrestored car that’s one of five in a Gooding & Co sequence of consignments.

7. 1964 Shelby Cobra 289 CSX2289 – CSX2289 is an unrestored car that’s one of five in a Gooding & Co sequence of consignments. 289 Cobras are much easier to live with than big-block cars, with less engine heat and more nimble handling. Though narrow-bodied replicas are rarer, almost the only way you can prove it’s a real car is to drive one that’s charmingly scruffy, like this. (Gooding & Co, Lot# 32, January 21-22. Est. $525K-$625K.)



This 1965 Shelby GT 350R is the ultimate derivation of the GT 350. There were only 26 “R” – for racing – models made, so almost every one you’ve seen on the track at historic events is probably a clone. This is the real thing with history; it breathes fire and makes you deaf – the whole package.

8. 1965 Shelby GT 350R – This is the ultimate derivation of the GT 350. There were only 26 “R” – for racing – models made, so almost every one you’ve seen on the track at historic events is probably a clone. This is the real thing with history; it breathes fire and makes you deaf – the whole package. (Gooding & Co. Lot# 39, January 21-22. Est. $650K-$850K.)

Photos by Alejandro Rodriguez © 2010 Courtesy of Gooding & Company



From the Nickey Chicago Collection, this Fathom Green car is authenticated as COPO 9561 – the iron-block L72 427/425 hp with M40 TH400 automatic transmission, and COPO 9737 Yenko Sport Car Conversion with Rally Wheels and 140 mph speedometer.

9. 1969 “Double COPO” Berger Camaro – From the Nickey Chicago Collection, this Fathom Green car is authenticated as COPO 9561 – the iron-block L72 427/425 hp with M40 TH400 automatic transmission, and COPO 9737 Yenko Sport Car Conversion with Rally Wheels and 140 mph speedometer. It also has an SS front end with hidden headlights and enduro bumper. The numbers match, and it’s fresh out of a 1,700-hour rotisserie restoration by Nyle Wing and Scott Tieman. (Russo & Steele, consignment #9344, January 19-23. Est: $135K-$225K.)



This 1987 Porsche 959 is the ultimate street Porsche to many collectors.

10. 1987 Porsche 959 – This is still the ultimate street Porsche to many collectors. 450hp, twin-turbo, 6-speed, all-wheel drive – an off-road version won the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986. Only 283 were built and they were famously difficult to import to the US. This is an India Red, 22,900 original mile “Komfort” street car in perfect condition with a clear Colorado title for show and display. 0-60 in 3.6 seconds and 198 mph top speed. Yee Ha! (RM Auctions, Lot # 237, January 20-21. Est. $350K-$450K.)

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