22 September 2011

Entry-level prices strong in Fairfield County

Little doubt remains as to the vitality of the market at the upper reaches with 30+ million dollar cars sold in Monterey. But the hand-wringing over the middle and low-end of the market is nowhere near over. While the strong results at the Bonhams sale at the Fairfield County Concours may simply be a reflection of the ZIP code in which the auction took place, they are nonetheless cause for optimism.

Ever the doormat, Fiat X1/9 prices have of late shown signs of activity, which is perhaps partially a result of Fiat’s successful re-entry into the U.S. market. The example sold at Bonhams was an especially nice late Bertone-built example dating from 1986. With glossy original two-tone paint, a spotless interior and just 55,000 miles (it could have easily passed for half that), I’d go out on a limb and call it well-bought at $5,850, including buyers premium.

A driver-quality 1972 Porsche 914 1.7 liter sold for a very strong $8,100, perhaps a third more than what I would have expected to pay for the car in a private sale. The ex-Jerry Seinfeld 1977 Volkswagen Beetle sunroof sedan with just 150 miles on it sold for $21,000. It’s tough to say, but $15,000-$20,000 might just be the price of a brand new, non-Mexican Beetle. The Seinfeld provenance seemed to have meant little here. What’s up with that??

Rob Sass is the publisher of Hagerty magazine and the author of the book “Ran When Parked: Advice and Adventures from the Affordable Underbelly of Car Collecting.”

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