25 January 2012

A tale of two Gullwings

The Scottsdale auctions could have been called “A Tale of Two Gullwings.” At Gooding and Company, an alloy-bodied 300SL Gullwing (one of just 29) sold for $4.6 million. The same weekend, a visually identical steel-bodied car sold for $632,000 at RM. Almost precisely a $4 million spread between Gullwing prices — I can’t think of another example in the collector car world where two such similar cars have as large a disparity in price. 

In an attempt to clear the air, here is our view on Gullwing prices where there are essentially four price points:

  1. Steel-bodied cars with deteriorating older restorations or poor/incorrect recent ones. We’ve all seen these cars with shiny paint but poor panel fit, and lots of body filler. These cars start at $575,000.
  2. Steel-bodied cars with no history or without restoration receipts from a well-regarded marque expert. These cars can still be had in the $625,000 to $750,000 range. 
  3. Steel-bodied cars in good colors with options (Rudge wheels, belly pans, fitted luggage) and/or history plus a restoration by a recognized specialist like Paul Russell or the MB Classic Center. These are the $850,000-$1.2 million cars.
  4. Over $1.5 million is all of number three above plus a SUPERB history and above $2.7 million are where the alloy cars start. 

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